Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

November 6, 2012

Listen, folks, it's just a comic

By Mike Redmond
CNHI

— I see where Superman's alter ego Clark Kent, disgusted over the state of American journalism, has quit his job at The Daily Planet. Honest. It was in all the newspapers. The real ones, I mean.

Clark has joined the ranks of many of us who once worked for Great Metropolitan Fishwraps who left to find other careers in public relations, politics, and other unsavory pursuits.

I, personally, went back to working on a farm. I figured that if I'm going to spread manure, it might as well be the real kind.

Besides, I keep my hand in the newspaper business, a little. I just don't do it for Big Idiot-Run Newspaper Companies anymore. I work with small papers that still practice good journalism as I knew it for most of my career, for which I am grateful.

OK, enough kissing up. Back to Clark.

I always thought he was kind of a drip. At least, that's how it looked when I started reading Superman adventures, in the Jurassic era. Comics were 12 cents then (which left 13 cents out of your quarter to get a package of Hostess Cupcakes and still have a penny in your pocket for a gumball). So, on the one hand, I guess it's kind of good to see the big Milquetoast standing up for something he believes in.

On the other hand, we should remember that Clark is ... oh, how shall I say this? Ah, yes: Fictional.

Also Made Up, Not Real, and A Figment Of Someone's Imagination.

And as such, probably not worth the furor I have detected on the Weird Wide Web, which of course is the International Capitol of Furor.

No kidding, there are people out there who are up in arms over this.

They're also frosted over the fact that Clark and Lois Lane are no longer married or even interested in each other. And they're muttering darkly because there's a new Superman movie coming out in which the editor of The Daily Planet, traditionally a middle-aged white man, will be portrayed by Laurence Fishburne, a middle-aged black man.

Basically, where Superman is concerned, there seems a lot to be agitated about these days. Which leads us to a teachable moment: Children, this is what happens when you spend all your time on your computers in your parents' basements.

Look, I like comic books. That kid with the holes in the knees of his jeans rummaging through the carousel rack at the drugstore back in 1962? He's still here. He just wears better jeans nowadays when he stops in at the comic book shop to see what's new.

But sheesh, getting upset over who plays Perry White in the movies or whether Superman still works at a newspaper is like getting upset when Bugs Bunny pulls off his wig to reveal he's not really a girl.

And it's especially sad when you consider all the real problems in the world deserving of genuine outrage and action. But you have to get out of the basement for that.

Oh, well. Adios, Clark. Fake journalism will miss your fake insight and fake prose. I understand they are now going to go to the fake blogosphere where you will become a fake blogger. Good fake luck with that.

And if that doesn't work out, maybe you can get a job on an imaginary farm.

© 2012 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.