Monday, March 22, 2010
[Part of Law & Lawlessness Week @ Heroes in the Night]
The write up for today is different than I thought; sometimes things follow a forest trail instead of a train track.
I was supposed to meet up with Sentinel, who would travel from Grand Rapids, Michigan to meet me in Chicago. He had something important come up, so we agreed we'd plan to roll to Chicago another time in the near future.
Our plan isn't a major operation, we were just planning to cruise around and check things out, to see what we could see.
Meanwhile, I had the weekend off so I thought I'd cruise down there anyway to visit some friends, get some drinks, and check out the Field Museum.
I rode across town on the el train alone, listening to the clack of the tracks, cruising through Chicago's second story windows, over the Chicago River, past Wrigley Field, and I thought about the city unfolding before my eyes.
This Chicago idea started with a thread I posted on a RLSH forum, wondering out loud why Chicago had no Real Life Superheroes (that I knew of) as opposed to cities like Los Angeles, New York, and my hometown of Milwaukee, much smaller (and close by- just under a two hour drive, depending on if traffic is terrible or really terrible) but home to 3 RLSH.
There were many interesting but inconclusive answers.
"Fear? Lack of motivation/inspiration?" Speculated one RLSH. Another noted that Chicago can be a dangerous place and it would take a team of RLSH rather than a "lone wolf." My issue with that argument is that there are RLSH in cities I would guess are equally or more dangerous.
Someone suggested it was too cold, but Chicago is no colder than Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and other cities that have year round, active RLSH.
Among the other ideas was the argument that Chicago is "A Socialist city trying to deny it's residents their 2nd amendment rights." and that RLSH should not try to "protect a place that denies it's own citizens the right to defend themselves."
I don't know about this idea. I would think that is exactly what might inspire someone to become an RLSH and stand hands on hips on an el platform, the Sears tower and city skyline in the background.
I'll have to pick this story up another day.
HOW MANY RLSH ARE THERE?
I talk to a lot of people about this story. My friends, other writers, anyone I think might be interested. I want to hear their reaction.
Here are the FAQs I get- "Are they crazy?," and similarily- "Do they think they have super powers?," followed by "Where are they from?" and "How many of them are there?"
The "where are they from" part is pretty easy. All over (except apparently Chicago!)- Vancouver, Milwaukee, New Bedford, Washington DC, New York, Portland, Italy, Australia,I've even been in contact with a group from Brazil. So all over. Big Cities and small cities, east coast, midwest, west coast, Finland, whatever.
But how many? That is a really tough question. It's tough because people "retire," some retire and then come out of retirement, some change names (multiple times), new people show up, trolls are exposed,and some people are out there that no one knows about.
I saw a list being compiled that placed the number at around 120. That's probably a good start, but most likely incomplete due to the previously mentioned factors.
Most media sources mention some 250-300 number, but that "fact" is just a media invention, passed from one media source to the next.
So, do you want to know the incredible truth? Yes, folks you heard it here first: NOBODY KNOWS. And probably no one will. And that's one of the things that attracted me to this story in the first place. There's a certain unknown factor you have to accept.
As a postscript today, I'd like to note that if you've seen the last couple entries, things have been (as The Mask would say) "Smmmmmmmmmmok'n!" As in a fire breathing flame war.
I take responsibility for this starting myself, by allowing myself to get irritated. Let me explain. It really sucks when you put a lot of thought into a piece, as well as possibly reviewing interviews and other notes, check it twice,and push the "publish post" button, only to have someone immediately run up and scribble some crappy line on it immediately, post after post.
This should have been ended earlier. As I said I am all for hero, villain, general public, anyone commenting. I don't care if the opinions are in contrast to the blog or other commentators. In fact I think a well thought out debate is a great thing.
And I don't care if people leave jokes or one liners or whatever. I do ask people try to use a sensible level of respect and not use insane sexual comments that can be viewed as sexual harassment, threats, using sexuality as an insult, etc.
I don't want to have an environment where people feel that if they have an opinion different than your own, they're going to be bullied with sexual comments.
And actually everyone except one has been really good about this so far, so I'd like to thank everyone reading and leaving comments! It's great knowing people are reading and taking an interest.
Tune in tomorrow for an interview with the creator of the "Superhero Law" blog.