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04 December 2009 @ 01:38 pm
The Hoard Potato: Personal Reference Post (Superheroes)  
Thanks to leonard_arlotte:
On Superheroes

Addendum, 2009-12-09:
Addicted To Being Good? The Psychopathology of Heroism

Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on December 4th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
I shall make a point! Perhaps it is not a good point, but it is mine and I will inflict it on you! ;)

I think there have been superheroes. Mostly we don't have them because we don't really need them. In large, the article is right. Those of us in fairly well ordered countries have professional police forces.

But then I think about people like . . . the French Resistance. Here, law and order broke down real far and the people organized themselves in all kinds of ways - commando raids, assassinations, distributing food, jurisprudence, espionage, etc., etc. They even had code names!

The reason why we don't have superheroes is we don't need them. We don't live in a world where - as in superhero comic books - the traditional bodies of law enforcement are wholly impotent in the face of criminality. In those places in the world where law enforcement and civil society have broken down to that extent, you see a lot of behavior that . . . is . . . in line with what a lot of superheroes do.
K. Peaseceruleanst on December 5th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
I could see someone maybe setting up a police scanner, rushing to certain scenes with body armor and a video camera, and, when necessary, rescuing innocent people from cops.
Your Obedient Serpent: big ideasathelind on December 8th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
This may be why you can draw a straight line back from the superhero, through the Pulp Hero, to the Penny Dreadful icons of the Old West, many of whom WERE based on actual individuals and their exploits in an area with little in the way of formal, organized law enforcement.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on December 10th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
I hadn't thought about it that way, but it resonated with me. I've seriously considered writing a novelization of the life of Porter Rockwell - the Destroying Angel of Mormondom - in part because he was so larger than life.

"Porter Rockwell was that most terrible instrument that can be handled by fanaticism; a powerful physical nature welded to a mind of very narrow perceptions, intense convictions, and changeless tenacity. In his build he was a gladiator; in his humor a Yankee lumberman; in his memory a Bourbon; in his vengeance an Indian. A strange mixture, only to be found on the American continent."

—Fitz Hugh Ludlow, 1870.
Your Obedient Serpent: big ideasathelind on December 10th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
As this is primarily a reference post so I can find these at a later date, I've added another link to this entry. It tied in nicely, and I thought I'd point it out to you, specifically.

Addicted To Being Good? The Psychopathology of Heroism

The similarities between "heroes" and "villains" is no news these days; in fact, it's very nearly the literary default anymore. Messrs. Miller and Moore certainly set the precedent for it in the comic book arena, but it's been the zeitgeist in prose, cinema, and other media for just as long.

This article underscores the key difference in the real-world psychopathology of the altruist and the sociopath.

Edited at 2009-12-10 12:53 am (UTC)