Sunday, 11 October 2009


The times we live in are indeed tough. The economy is in shambles; wars seem to be sprouting across the world and never before seen viruses are spreading airborne fear among the masses. We live in a world where happiness and positivity are packaged and sold, where it is easier to nourish the land with blood than water, a world where even the children are suffering from exhaustion and depression.

Before you rush to label me a pessimist and a painter of bleak images allow me to clarify that I am neither. I belong to the group of people who still have faith in the world, who still seek the silver lining as hard as it might have become to glimpse. But the grim examples are overwhelmingly great and they are creeping ever so closer to home.

So what do we do when we feel that our worst fears have become tangible? Most of us will seek divine intervention, fall down on our knees and lift our hands up in prayer for what else are our feeble hands able to do? Nothing else. This state of helplessness has inseminated popular culture and allowed for the birth of the ‘superhero.’

The ‘superhero’ is a fictitious character developed to rescue humankind from their most devastating circumstances. A character made up of all that we feel is ideal and necessary. It is a hologram projected by our own aspirations. The first appearance of this superhero was through the character of Superman. Superman was born in 1938 amidst the raging fires of the Second World War. It was a hopeless time and so a character such as Superman was not only needed but essential for the world’s moral and spirit.

A superhero is forever mysterious, tirelessly concealing his secret identity. It is important to us that he remains as such because we realize that it is in our nature to admire and respect what we do not fully understand. We are surrounded by real-life ‘superheroes’ who endlessly sacrifice for the good of others. Yet, we do not acknowledge them, simply because we have the habit of taking what is right in front of us for granted.

Fiction is nothing but an extension of real life, through it we translate our inner most desires. Secure under its thin veil we summon up the courage to create a person, only one, who is able to rebuild all that we have come to destroy in life. A person who walks among us by day and soars above us by night, watching over us, keeping us safe. Fiction offered us Superman, but dare we ask reality for one? Say we did, that would be its cue to laugh in our desperate faces and think us mad.

Superman paved the way for hundreds of other ‘superheroes’ each responding to a need, each representing a missing thread in the fabric of society. In the 40s for example, DC Comic’s created Wonder Woman. Just like Superman she came to life responding to the necessity of women’s role in society that was simply non-existent beyond the house gates. Wonder Woman came to life in order to represent feminism and sexual equality, her role, to shatter the fence of these once confining societal norms.

Indeed superheroes are extreme role models yet they are role models nevertheless. And while we do realize that a single human being no matter how noble, honest and forthright, or maybe because of these qualities, could never eliminate injustices with a ZAP and a POW. We must recognise that saving the world does not rely on one person, but starts with one. The more we reach out to one another the more invincible we shall become.

Every superhero has a weakness. For Superman it was kryptonite, for us mortals the weaknesses are many. Ones that we must acknowledge before we can eradicate. It is the only way we can hope to survive. For only by facing our flaws and accepting our frailties shall we grow strong again. In a world such as ours, we do not need super powers, what we truly need are humane ones.

This article was published in The Gulf Today Newspaper on 11th October, 2009.


  1. the real people with superpowers are people like urselves who control the media, people listen to news, people like urselves can even make superman looklike our worst enemy(its funny he was a journalist) even this new pandemic, the media is scaring us into taking drugs which havent even fully been tested, but people will take them cos the media is like the big brother, whatever he says people will follow, we were led to believe there was wmd in iraq, there never was, what did the media say ..ohh he was a bad man so we got him anyway... wheres the mention of over 250000 innocent lives lost?? but its all ok because the media says its ok, we are being daily brainwashed, they will keep repeating the lie until the person starts beliveing its the truth, anyway i can go on and on, MY POINT BEING IS THE MEDIA HAS THE SUPERPOWERS THEY CONTROL THE WHOLE PLANET THEY TELL US WHO ARE FREINDS ARE AND WHOS OUR ENEMYS ARE.. superman and the rest of the superheros from DC MARVEL are fiction created again by the MEDIA ..(this post wasnt directed at the person who posted this article) . i just wanted to get point in



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