By Lynn S. M. [lois_and_clark_fan_at_verizon.net] (Replace _at_ with the appropriate symbol.)
Submitted November 2010
Summary: A letter to the editor of the Daily Planet to express concern over public reaction to Superman.
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Thank you, Corrina (Female Hawk) for coming up with the title for this piece, as well as for suggestions correcting some awkward phrasing. You’re the best! :)
My thanks, too, to LabRat for GE-ing this piece and for all her hard work matching authors to GEs and doing other “behind the scenes” work here and on the lcficmbs.com site. Your work on both sites is greatly appreciated.
Standard Disclaimer: The Daily Planet and the characters mentioned herein belong to people much richer than I am (specifically, Warner Brothers and DC Comics). I am only borrowing them for a little not-for-profit fun. The first charity auction mentioned is taken from the Lois & Clark episode “I’m Looking Through You,” written by Deborah Joy LeVine.
DAILY PLANET Editorial Page November 23, 1993
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this page are those of their authors and are not necessarily representative of those held by the Daily Planet, its employees, its board of directors, or its advertisers.
The November 20th edition of your paper reported that a cape previously worn by Superman had been auctioned off for $100,000, with the proceeds to benefit the Metropolis Children’s Hospital. In a different charity auction held last month — before his presence in Metropolis was as well-established — the winning bid for a date with Superman was $50,000.
Without question, the proceeds will be put to commendable use, but the exorbitant bids trigger an alarm in my mind — $100,000 for a piece of cloth? And one with bullet holes in it, no less?!
The alarm intensifies when I observe video footage of the public interacting with Superman. The fawning I see transcends hero worship and reaches the level of idol worship. Mere mortals are not fit objects of such worship, nor is receiving such constant adoration in the recipients’ own best interests. If you are skeptical, then simply look to Hollywood to see how such attention causes many stars to grow increasingly self-absorbed and demanding. If you still need convincing, then examine the abhorrent behaviors of many professional athletes.
Superman has not stated his views on this adulation. But consider the logical possibilities: Either he dislikes such attention, he is neutral to it, or he appreciates it. If he dislikes it, then surely it would be a kindness to him if the public were to cease its fawning and relate to him simply as a fellow resident of Metropolis. If he is neutral to the attention, then the public would be wasting its energy engaging in such interactions. But what if he enjoys having such attention lavished on him? That would be the worst scenario of all. Imagine what Metropolis would be like if Superman were to develop a prima donna attitude!
Perhaps some would consider this last scenario far-fetched; if so, I would ask them what grounds they have for their opinion. Superman has been in Metropolis for only a relatively short time, and we don’t even know much about him. How could we possibly predict the effect on him of having a cadre of fans flocking about whenever he lands? If there is any doubt, surely it would be better to err on the side of caution. No harm could come from taking Superman off his super-sized pedestal, but much harm might come from keeping him there.
There is another, more practical and urgent, reason that it would be best for the public to cease mobbing him; it undoubtedly hampers his efforts to help at accident or crime scenes. The few seconds it takes him to apologize for not being able to give autographs at that moment may mean the difference between someone being saved or dying. No autograph could be worth the cost of a life.
In conclusion, I would encourage everyone to consider interacting with Superman in a more restrained, mature fashion. He undoubtedly puts his pants — well, his tights — on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.
C. Jerome Kent