Alienation (part II): musings on Kryptonopolis

Another thought, on the same subject, but slightly distinct, that might go someway to further describing my state of mind, would be to draw an analogy, and given the exact type of Gareth Ian Michael Peter that I am, I’m going to do that by reference to that last son of Krypton we all know and love; Clark Kent/Kal-El.

Now, Superman, as the Crash Test Dummies observed, never made any money whilst saving the world from Solomon Grundy. But that’s really neither here nor there.

One of Superman’s most genuine dilemmas, as explored by the TV-series Smallville and a couple of the comic lines (although not recently) is the conflict between his homeworld and his adopted planet. In many ways, Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster (Kal’s creators) had a pretty good feel that nurture won out in the n/n debate. Kryptonians were self-centred, soul-less and emotionless creatures; although Kal’s parents are generally depicted as anomalous, they were products of an entirely alien civilisation.

So what should Clark feel? Sure, a loving upbringing, good education, super-powers – but did he ever feel he belonged? Like Peter Parker, and so many other heroes (these are amongst the observations my brother made recently made in a paper he wrote on Superhero mythology, not currently available online, but go read Joseph Cambell’s Heroes with a Thousand Faces for an indication of where he’s going with it), Clark never belonged anywhere; not at school, not at the Daily Planet, only just with the Justice League… (ok, I sense I’m taking this too far, but you get my point).

I don’t think my current state of mind is particularly different or special from anything that anyone goes through, but there are obvious parallels (although my genetic heritage is kinder than Kal’s – except in the super-powers department, obviously). Born with so many cultures attached that I’m incapable of sustaining a single accent, have absolutely no idea who to support in the football (or any other sports), and can never say “we” when referring to a nationality or people. All I have is a general sense of obligation to the greater good, my family and my friends.

So, in a lot of ways, I really am Superman.

Sorry this is all a little weird. I should probably have got a little more sleep this weekend.

[Listening to: Queen of New Orleans – Bon Jovi – (04:28)]