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The Superman Foundation for Peace

2004.06.22 — Culture | Personalities | Satire | by Andrew Cole

Superman

Founder and CEO of the Superman Foundation for Peace. [source]

If you haven't seen the American Express Web-mercials with Jerry Seinfeld and Superman, check them out. The second episode is now available. In them, Superman (voiced by Patrick "Puddy" Warburton) is Jerry Seinfeld's friend, and the episodes play out as if the Man of Steel were just another character on Seinfeld. This makes the Supester more human and, somehow, less real.

Superman is, after all, an alien. He was born on Krypton and was sent to Earth in a rocket capsule, where he was raised by the kindly Kent family and named Clark. They taught him that standing out as an individual was wrong and bad, and that fitting in was the ideal.

[T]he kindly Kent family... taught him that standing out as an individual was wrong and bad, and that fitting in was the ideal.

Hey, it was 1938.

Superman adopted the identity of mild-mannered Clark Kent and lived his life as a lie, slipping out of character only when disaster struck or peril raised its ugly, un-American head.

The American Express Web-mercials postulate a different kind of Superman, one at ease with his superlativeness and willing to walk amongst the rabble in full costume, even attending a theatrical show.

[I]t wouldn't be long before Superman encountered a visionary entrepreneur....

It seems to me that a real-life Superman wouldn't act this way either. For one thing, it's hard to be humble when you are invulnerable and have super-strength, super-hearing, super-every-damn-thing. Moreover, why slave away at a crummy newspaper (later broadcast news) job when you're the freakin' Man of Steel?

I think that it wouldn't be long before Superman encountered a visionary entrepreneur who would become his manager of sorts. Together, they would set up the Superman Foundation for Peace, which would be funded by private donations and the occasional government contract. Superman would inevitably become an icon, a household word; why not brand it and productize it? He's already got his own logo.

Superman would become like Oprah. Maybe he would have his own magazine.

Superman would become like Oprah. Maybe he would have his own magazine (S, the magazine for superheroes and their fans). The foundation would be much like Bill and Melinda Gates' Foundation, or like a Washington think tank, except that instead of giving away money or just sitting around thinking, Superman would be out and about solving problems, helping erect skyscrapers and bridges, disabling the weapons systems of outlaw regimes around the world.

Weapons inspectors? You want a weapons inspector? Superman can see thru everything but lead! And if you're hiding something under a pile of lead, it had better be more lead or Superman will soon be dismantling your whole military, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Go ahead; shoot him with anti-tank missiles. At best, you'll muss his hair.

[E]ven his suit is impervious to damage, so there would be no embarrassing nudie shot of the Man of Steel losing his Underoos in a puff of smoke and flame.

So, forget petty crime. Why waste Superman busting muggings and drug deals? He has heat vision; he can be destroying whole fields of poppy and cocaine. He can carry your nuclear waste into a volcano. And he could do it on camera; even his suit is impervious to damage, so there would be no embarrassing nudie shot of the Man of Steel losing his Underoos in a puff of smoke and flame.

This is all assuming the Superster is not too busy fighting supervillains, of course. That's what he's always doing in the comic books. But that sort of thing doesn't pay well, if at all ("Super-Extortion! Superman Demands Compensation for Capture of Luthor!"); that's why he has to have a 9 to 5 job. But if Superman starts a foundation, he could spend all that valuable work-day time takin' care o' business.

"Super-Extortion! Superman Demands Compensation for Capture of Luthor!"

I don't think he'd be running for president. After all, not being a native-born American, he's not eligible. But I also don't think he'd be hooking up Jerry Seinfeld's new DVD player.

Nicole Kidman's DVD player, on the other hand....

 

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