What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?

What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?

Why old fashioned superheroes are still relevant.

Superheroes are everywhere. Whether it's comics, movies, or other merchandise, one is hard-pressed to go anywhere now without seeing the likes of Batman or The Avengers. I find this slightly humorous, being that I grew up completely enamored of these modern day mythological characters, and because of that was deemed 'not cool' and 'nerdy.' Yet now every hipster that you see walking around Hot Topic has a Deadpool shirt on, or is an expert on the subject because of watching "The Dark Knight" or any Marvel movie. But I digress. The point of this article is not for me to cynically bash people for hopping on to the latest bandwagon; it is actually to promote and encourage people to appreciate some of the more old-fashioned heroes a bit more. In particular, I am talking about Superman and Captain America, or any of the heroes that are generally considered lame and uninteresting.

The common trend for the casual comic fan is to gravitate towards the angsty, violent anti-heroes; Batman, Wolverine, Punisher, etc. These are characters that have dark pasts, and in many cases are morally flexible in their quest for justice. These are the movies that are the most successful, and seem to resonate with audiences the most. They are a reflection of the society in which we live; a society that cannot fully trust their own government, and one that cannot go more than a few months without some sort of national tragedy involving gun violence or racial wars. That reason alone is why I feel like the golden-age heroes are more relevant now than ever. In such dark times, we need these beacons of hope to keep us from crumbling under the weight of our own pessimism and despair.

The 'superhero' was essentially created in the late 30's and early 40's, as a way for people to escape from their bleak lives and make them happy. Characters like Superman and Captain America were meant to be bright and positive to remind people not to lose hope, and that things will always get better. These crime-fighters came about during the Great Depression and World War II, when the world needed hope. Superman in particular has always stood for the idea that there is always another way, things will always get better, and no matter how bad it may get, to never give up. He does not kill, and always does the right thing. These are not ways that I would describe most modern-day superheroes and, unfortunately, he is typically seen as uncool because of that. But we need hope now more than ever. We need that light to guide us through the dark world we live in.

Despite these particular characters generally not being as popular, Hollywood is still capitalizing on them, but what is a bit unnerving are their attempts to darken these particular heroes to make them more appealing to the general audience. Recent reboots of Superman, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man have attempted to emulate the 'Nolan' style (the director of the very dark, yet very popular, Dark Knight franchise) and imbue these characters with a gritty and angsty aesthetic in order to make them more profitable. I know I am probably in the minority here, but I think by doing that, the integrity of these characters becomes diluted and compromised.

Realistically speaking, Batman will always be more popular than Superman, and Captain America will never be the most popular Avenger, but that does not mean that they are not as relevant now as they were at their inception. Whether people choose to pay attention or not, these heroes are here to inspire us to always be the best we can be and never lose hope in the face of such bleak times. I will end this with a quote the Last Son of Krypton, where he is faced with the question of his own relevance in a much darker world:

"Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul I swear... until my dream of a world where dignity, honor and justice becomes the reality we all share... I’ll never stop fighting. Ever."

Cover Image Credit: artmajeur.com

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:

“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:


When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:

"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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