I have always been influenced by popular culture. I had wonderful parents but to be honest I feel as much raised by Stan Lee and Paul McCartney really as anyone else, not the lest while slandering my wonder mom and dad who introduced and helped support the exposure to the works of those guys. Not just Lee and McCartney of course molded me with their work to be the man I became. I have been influenced by all kinds of music, and literature, and film. By all means, I have encountered quite a few wonderful educators who also inspired me to become more than I was and to give back to others what I’d learned.
LIfe can kick a person around a lot and I think the character that best exudes that is Peter Parker. Parker and his alter ego Spider-Man get kicked around a lot. He gets it from bad guys, good guys, and just regular crap like bosses and bill collectors. Reading that stuff makes me feel good and its nice to see someone rising above the odds to win out in the end. Spidey has trouble making rent, I’ve had trouble making the rent. We are alike!
A person does need to stretch their influences to different media and authors for example. Shakespeare had characters dealing with the whole range of the human spectrum. George Orwell’s To Shoot an Elephant is a taught, harsh short story about having to make the hard choices in life and living with one’s choices. Hell, 1984 is about what a nation can let it’s government become and it’s a lesson for everyone.
I myself identify with the Liberal, Progressive, Democrat political party. You may hiss or boo at that, I have many friends that do. However, I feel like people need to be taken care of. Children need to be clothed and fed, the sick and the poor need food and treatment. Now, I don’t think that anyone wants children to go hungry, it’s just how do we get there? The counter argument to my political beliefs seem to be to have government get out of the way and people will take care of themselves. The awful stereotype is that the super rich corporations and their respective CEO’s tend to want to keep their money and their successes to private. I feel that the elected government has the responsibility insure the money and blessings of this nation are not hoarded and locked away only to be shared by a few.
Some people get rubbed the wrong way by that, they call it communism or Socialism. One of the most influential books I’ve ever read on politics is Plato’s The Republic and Socrates Tri-partite City has also been called communist so I guess I take it as a compliment.
The grand daddy of all comic characters has to be Superman. Superman is the embodiment of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Superman is such a wonderful invention of America as she came to be a dominant force on the planet. We lived through World War II, we bounced back from the Great Depression, we had become a industrial juggernaut and had the rewards to reap from that. Superman was created by two Jewish guys in Cleveland, Ohio who probably felt a little powerless as the world dealt with poverty and marched to war. They created a character who had the power to change the course of rivers. Superman was also an outsider, which we all feel to be at times. We all know he’s the alien who arrived on earth as a baby to be raised by kindly farmers. A true Kryptonian rags to big city journalist story.
Superman loves his adopted homeworld and is characterized as being a good kinda big brother, unlike Orwell’s, that we can look up to and emulate. Well, I found this clip of a Superman discussing welfare from and old Bob Hope comic and loved it and thought, ” Wow, Superman is a Socialist.” Rock on.