On Being Super

I’ve always wanted to be a super hero. For as long as my little brain can recall, it’s been my over-riding dream. Whether it be wielding Green Lantern’s power ring, battling villains with Captain America’s augmented strength or speaking in Batman’s gruff voice, I WANTED IT ALL.

Growing older has not diminished my zeal. Far from it in fact. It’s simply given me more resources to pursue it. But one thing has changed as I’ve grown older, and that’s my view of the whole mythology and ecosystem of heroism, as it were.

Comics are fantasy. It is escapism at it’s colourful best. Pick one up and be transported to a world where no-one questions men who dress as bats and are accompanied by underage boys. It’s a glamourous world where the heroes are lauded and applauded. But would it really be so glamorous?

I’ve thought about it a lot. Like A LOT a lot. And the more I think about it, the more I realise that it would just not be feasible.

Consider this. If you were a hero akin to Superman, who could plug up volcanoes and quell tsunamis, the world’s reliance on you would become unbearable. As it stands now, people find it easy to blame God for calamities that occur daily. What would make you different? You would never be allowed a moments rest. People would begin to hate you as you gradually found it harder and harder to be everywhere at once. There’s a reason why omnipotence is a godly trait and not a human one. No one human could handle the responsibility of guarding the entire world. Heck, even watching over a city would be tough enough. How do you decide which task is more important? If two people are getting mugged, who gets your attention? What makes one person better than another?

Unfortunately, we have an obsession with celebrity. People would hound you and anyone who might possibly know you to find that elusive secret identity. And what then? Have your very life taken from you by the people whose lives you are trying to protect? How would you have a relationship, have a life, hold a job?

On the topic of jobs, how would you swear allegiance to any one country? If a country possesses a man who can catch missiles and sink ships with his eyes, that’s enough cause for concern. A rumour of weapons was all America needed. But inversely, aligning yourself with an organisation such as the UN means that you’d need to apply yourself globally. And that leads into problems as mentioned earlier. Plus, how do you promise your service and loyalty to an administration whose policies are unsound or filled with corruption?

Is there any good news? Well, kinda. The adoration of all those you haven’t disappointed by not being there when they slipped in the kitchen, I guess. The fact is, you would help people. But what of the guilt of all those you never got to in time?

Do I still want to be a superhero? Well, the dream is there. But that’s all it is. A dream. I’ll keep it in between the pages of the comics.  The reality is far more depressing. I’m quite happy to stay in a loving relationship, work out my humdrum job and live my anonymous life.

I think being me is about as super as I need to be.

Trials Of Manhood

It’s Theme Blog Day! Huzzah! My ol’ muckamuck Scruffy Craig and I do this from time to time so go read his take here.

For a while now, I’ve pondered what it means to be a man. Here in South Africa, we have a certain idea of what a Man is. Drink beer, braai, watch sport etcetera. Is that it? Is that the definition of a Man?

I guess it started the other day when one of my friends was sad. He’d had his heart trampled upon by a lady, as that is seemingly what they do for fun, and he invited me out for a beer. Now let it be known that I have a long history of being anti-beer. The smell alone brings the bile. But he had his puppy eyes on and my empathy was in full swing so I obliged. And struggled my way through a full pint of Peroni. Perhaps I have ‘acquired the taste’ as I didn’t immediately vomit on his shoes. But it was at this point that he said “I’ll make a man of you yet!” Ah fantastic! If I drink beer, and perhaps get a leather jacket emblazoned with a lone wolf, girls will love me! The secret is revealed! Meh. I’ll stick to whiskey thanks.

Braais. For those of you in America and other countries, it is akin to a barbeque. Kinda. In the UK it’s akin to standing in the rain and moping. Here’s the thing. It’s not that I can’t braai. It’s just that I have intention of being ‘That Guy Who Braais’. I don’t want to be that guy who gets stuck handling another man’s sausage. Plus, I seem to have the smoke curse. Y’know, no matter where you stand the smoke snakes after you, making you smell like a volunteer firefighter. So I’d rather be somewhere else, somewhere less smokey. Drinking a whiskey.

Sport, I’ll admit, I’ve grown into. I enjoy a spot of cricket on occasion and I love playing tennis. But that most manly of manly pursuits, the rugby, eludes me. I’m not in favour of any particular team, like the Blue Balls or whatever their names are, nor do I pretend to understand the rules. As far as I understand, it’s much like life in that you can only score if you try or convert, making it some kind of weird mix between pickup artists and Jehovahs Witness’. The goal just seems to be muddy pain. The mind boggles.

There are other lesser trials such as changing a tyre or fighting a bear, but those are only really thought of once encountered. You either fight bear or you don’t. As it happens, I have changed a tyre or two in my short life. They should teach this stuff in school. Not putting a condom on a banana. Fat lot of help learning that did…

I think they should have real Trials Of Manhood. Perhaps along the lines of Japanese game shows. Human Tetris, running gauntlets, etcetera. Perhaps get a certificate or something.

Save me having to drink beer…

Attraction

So a lot of people have asked me what attracts me to a girl. Okay…not that many. Okay…none. But I’ma tell you anyway!

1. Mute

Haha, just kidding. I don’t mean that. She’d still be able to sign and that incessant flapping would drive me mad! (How do you shout in sign language, by the way?)

So here’s the real list.

1. Funny

Very important! My sense of humour is, well, unorthodox, to say the least. Drier than the Gobi on occasion. What I need is someone who will not only get it but be able to keep up with me and make chuckle, nay rofl. Is there such a girl? Perhaps. Outside of a mental institution? Let’s not push it…

2. Compassion

Ah, that most underrated of emotions! I met a girl who had as much compassion as a ball of string. Uncompassionate string. Attractive? Nay! How can you expect someone to care for you when you can’t care for others?

3. Tolerance

This may need a bit of explaining. Tolerance of me and my habits is what I mean. I’m a nerd. I enjoy manga. I enjoy playing on my DS. I like surfing and not getting shouted at when I get out. See what I’m saying?

4. Mutual Attraction

Yeah, that’s pretty important :)

5. Balanced

A decent blend of indoorsy and outdoorsy. I like being on the couch with a DVD but I enjoy a good game of tennis. *ahem*

6. Physical aspects?

Well, yeah, of course. I do enjoy a good pair of…eyes.

7. Not Crazy

This one’s pretty crucial. I seem to attract real nut jobs. There’ve been some nice girls, sure, but there’ve been just as many crazies, psychos and stalkers.

Yeah, I guess that’s kinda it. There’s probably more to it but I’m tired so maybe some other time.

And Craig, I know you fulfill all of the above but, well, you’re a boy.

The Great Debate

There’s a great debate that’s been raging for many years, a topic that is never brought up in polite conversation for fear offending people. Tempers flare, comments get heated, arguments rage in circles and fights break out.

What is the debate? Star Wars versus Star Trek, of course.

To be a nerd, it’s one or the other. You can’t be like certain athletes and have the best of both worlds. I won’t say which one I choose but Star Wars is obviously better.

I think I’ve worked it out though. You’re either an action nerd or a technical nerd. Would you rather slice up a bantha or discuss photon acceleration? Some nerds design things, some nerds build things and then ramp them off of stuff. I’m trying very hard to be unbiased here, for a fair impartial blog, but it’s hard. I’m an action nerd. I want to slice things up with a lightsaber! I’d be a superdangerous Jedi because I’d wanna use it for everything! Opening cans, cutting paper, opening doors…I mean gosh, it’s a laser sword! As opposed to a weapon that looks like a barcode scanner and stuns people…no wonder the dudes in the red jerseys keep dying.

I’m starting to wonder when I’m going to get to the point. SURPRISE! There isn’t one! Star Wars is better. I win.

Sorry. You can never have that time back.

Things That Bother Me

The following things bother me. If you perpetrate any of these, consider the call of the lemming.
*Whenever I have something important to do, something way more fun and awesome comes along to distract me.
*Fat people who order chips with their salad starters, have mains and dessert, plus milkshakes, then think a Coke Lite will cancel it out.
*Informercials. Why are they so addictive? They’re like visual LSD.
*People who judge others on how they dress. I know people who dress like hobos who have more class than most.
*Friends who only show up when they want something.
*People who pass the blame instead of shouldering the blame which is clearly theirs.
*Two-faced people.
*Money.
*People who slam on brakes to see a whale.
*People in the express line with more than 10 items.
*People who take aggression out on people who serve them, be it waiters, retailers, whatever.
*Metrorail.
*Corrupt (insert position here).
*Fat cops.
*Hit and run drivers.
*Daniel Carter (dunno why).
*Arsenal.
*Not remembering the other points.
*Danny K.
*Tab.
*Decaf coffee.
*Being so far from Japan.
*Having to work for a living

SA Movies

Other day I saw a poster for that accursed High School Musical and thought to myself “That’s not what schools are like!” So I thought I would give South African versions of a few movies.

High School Musical

Everyone knows that high schools here, primary schools even, are nothing like the squeaky clean schools portrayed in that atrocious movie. Schools are breeding grounds (excuse the pun) for underage pregnancies, drug abuse, clandestine cigarette breaks on the field and alcohol consumption. In my high school there were no mass singalongs, no hard choices between being a star sportsman or a singing dancing ponce (most of the jocks did both at mine) and no Ashley Tisdale. We had kids building full-scale tanks, digging tunnels under the sports fields, having stone wars, blowing holes in blazers with firecrackers, kickboxers getting into fights with groups of gangsters, lighting desks with lighters and aerosol cans, making teachers cry, teachers pouring whiskey in their coffee flasks, teachers punting books they wrote themselves rather than our setwork books…and that was a school in a decent area!

Taxi Driver

I’ll admit, I haven’t seen the movie with Robert De Niro but I reckon all you’d need for a good thriller is stick a clueless white boy in the middle of nowhere and film his first taxi ride. I know mine almost killed me.

RoboCop

eRoboCop: Desist, citizen! You were driving 61.879kph in a 60kph zone! You are under arrest!
Citizen: *(thinks) Oh crap, eRoboCop!* I’m sorry, officer, I didn’t mean to! You couldn’t let me off this one time?
eRoboCop: No, the law is the law!
Citizen: What if I were to give you…this can of WD40?
eRobocop: Very well, citizen, this is your first warning. Drive safely.

Transformers

Durban Indian streetracers who take modding their cars to the next level. Starring Megan Foxigarahesh.

Rambo

He came back from the border, alone, reeking of brandy and ready to take down anyone who disagreed with him. Which is everyone to a drunk war vet.

Lyrics

What the hell is happening to the state of music? At work we now listen to the radio as we work, 5fm if you must you know, and I’m starting to think that I prefer the sounds of silence. Has anyone actually listened to the lyrics that are broadcast? Chris Rock spoke about how girls will listen to anything as long as it has a good beat and now I know it to be true. Allow me to present a few examples:

1. Lily Allen “It’s Not Fair”. I was listening to the lyrics because I enjoy the subtle nuances and wordplay that most artists (that I listen to, at least) employ. This song was…well, I heard something in the song that made me wonder so I typed it into the ol’ Google. Gosh…try Lily Allen Its Not Fair lyrics. Go on.

2. Hoobastank “Inside Of You”. Enough said.

3. Almost any rap song. Or hiphop song. Or R&B for that matter. Anyone listened to “Get Low” by Lil John? Or how many of you “love college”? Right now, girls reading this are getting their Westlife panties in a bunch, “Oh but I love that song!” And some people love child pornography, doesn’t make it right, does it?

Unfortunately, the accompanying videos are even worse. I saw one of the recent Now DVDs. Wow. How the hengis green are they gonna top this? Britney dryhumping guys in various states of undress, Hillary Duff in bondage and of course, the ever-classy Lady Gaga. Has anyone else noticed that she cant’ dance? And trust me, I know what not knowing how to dance looks like. Apparently she used to be a stripper. Even fully nude I doubt it could distract from that giant nose of hers…Anyway, proboscis aside, how can they top these videos? They’re gradually wearing less and less whilst doing outrageous things. Soon, they’ll be fully nude, singing how virginal they are, while riding a purple unicorn and fighting a giant dragon made out of marzipan.

The worst part about all of it is that rock music now seems comparitively tame. There are no real shockers anymore. Popstars behave worse than most rock stars. Where’s Marilyn Manson? Off concentrating on his painting somewhere. I saw the ‘behind the scenes’ footage of the Fall Out Boy DVD…this is a rock band? With it’s roots in hardcore and punk? Good gracious. Even Slash has toned down his drug use, no doubt due to some of the American Idols finalists getting to the dealer ahead of him and buying the lot. And the original shock rocker? Where is he? Falling off karts, doddering around his house in a (not drug-related) daze mumbling and murmering.

“Sharon?”

*sigh* What happened to popstars singing about rainbows and happiness and leaving the anguish to the pros? I don’t want to see Robbie Williams chuck a TV out of a hotel window, unless said TV takes out the rest of Take That. (C’mon guys, it wasn’t even cool the first time)

And we wonder why school kids are having sex in the bathroom at Cavendish Mall. Apart from the fact that those bathrooms are pretty cool.

And I know a lot of people don’t agree. That’s why this is about MY opinion and not yours. So shut your mouths. The Slipknot/Celine Dion duet is about to begin.

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