By Julius Jaramillo
I’d be hard pressed to find someone who’d never had a bad period in their life. A time where confusion, desperation, and sorrow dragged themselves down to meet those demons, starving for a piece of cynicism. If I did meet this person, I would be impressed but at the same time… I might need to catch my breath. Because I have been through dark periods; lonely years where you don’t see things as black and white, but as a hot red. Those experiences take a lot of time and effort to come out the other end from. And though I’m not perfect today by any means, the work I have done has led me to a realization that has now meant more than ever before… I am a Superman Fan.
I had my Batman periods, my Spider-Man marathons, my Doctor Strange vacations, but it would always come back to The Last Son of Krypton. As I think back on it, he’s been an inspiration throughout my upbringing. Looking for my first pair of glasses, I knew I wanted to be the only Middle Schooler resembling Clark Kent, brilliantly late for work at the Daily Planet. And when I’d hear the music from John Williams Superman Theme, I would go outside, and look up, shooting my arms as if the momentum would actually launch me.
Of course, growing up a comic book nerd, it’s not that unlikely I would look to these idols and role models for inspiration. Who else other than the man (or woman) strong enough to stand up against blatant wrong doers should I aspire to? Yes, my mom, but she happens to be a Superman fan as well, so I think I’m covered there… As to why I’ve reestablished my love for the Man of Steel… I need Superman to exist. Not because of his powers, not because of his costume, but because this was a man who acted. Someone who would do whatever he could to be part of the solution rather than add to the problem. This is the man I aspire to be and have found it difficult to achieve in a world stricken down by pandemic.
We live in a very trapped, frightened, and angry time. Our lives are projected through Zoom calls and Facebook Posts. It’s the moment where people demand for something more than what CNN or FOX News pushes but don’t expect it. They want the brave and bold to speak, to act, and to remain consistent. They need heroes. Thankfully, their faith had been rewarded. For heroes do exist; they just don white coats and work in hospitals rather than wear tights and fly.
But there is a reason why those brave, educated, and passionate doctors are looked at as our champions. The passion and effort put forth to save as many lives as possible, at the risk of their own health can be described only as a superpower. Our physicians may as well wear a red and yellow shield on their chest because their actions and effortless spirit justify the flamboyance. As a member of this pandemic who has questioned his role; conflicted and confused about what he can and should do during this complicated period… my anger has (at moments) taken the opportunity to resurface.
It feels like a weakness in the heat of the moment when I burst with irrational and misplaced fire. And after these explosions, I look back and realize that these fits won’t help anything or anyone. I understand that I’m angry because (like everyone else) I feel trapped, not only at home, but in a word where injustice has been the status quo, and the obvious, moral solution has continuously been ignored for the interests of the Luthor’s rather than those of Smallville. What can I do to help? What would Superman do?
Clark would stand and endure. He would remain tolerant and open with others. Not allowing a conversation or bias get in the way of society’s ill nature. He’d take responsibility for his own health (even though he couldn’t physically get sick) and wear a mask. Not for himself but for them. These are the actions of someone who’s as desperate for change as the people he saves. Because after all, Superman isn’t from Krypton… he’s from Kansas. He grew up a young man, raised by good people who taught him that you don’t save the world, you save a person.
These are the ideals that I fight every day to live by. Because, yes, the world needs Superman. But at the same time, I think he secretly exists. I think he will live beyond us all, and even though our world may go through harrowing experiences, there will still be people calling for the hero. Maybe that’s the point. Why our moments of darkness aren’t as meaningful as the work we put in. Maybe… that’s why we all stop and look up in the sky.
Julius Jaramillo grew up across Los Angeles, always writing. Short stories, scripts, movie reviews, etc. His work has been influenced by his inert passion for justice. So, some of his writings may include a cape and tights, but the love for the craft along with the pursuit of quality is never excluded.
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Blog Posts reflect the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of Pasadena City College or Inscape Magazine Editorial Staff Members.