The most enduring American hero of the last century is someone who lived half his life in disguise and the other half as the world's most recognizable man. He is not Jack Kennedy or Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, Batman or Jerry Seinfeld, although all of them were inspired by him.
"The Beatles and I went to India for ourselves at first because fame had become extraordinarily overwhelming. We turned to ourselves in a way by going to the ashram, learning about ourselves, de-stressing our incredible nervous systems that had been shocked by enormous fame."
This surprising aside while sermonizing us with the usual exculpatory rhetoric emanating from the White House that "...what I've said about gas prices is that there is no silver bullet ..." to high, ever higher gasoline prices.
Taken with a sense of disbelief, superheroes live in a world of constant danger. A day off is always just out of reach. Even a day at the beach brings up bad memories of a Sandman/Hydroman team-up. And the Waynes couldn't even enjoy a quiet night at the theater.
After spending most of the last week digging into the complete series set containing all ten seasons of the proto-Superman skein, I'm struck by how, despite sloppy storytelling techniques and narrative cul-de-sacs, none of that particularly mattered.
A big reason why we continue to find the character so interesting is his role as a kind of cultural arbiter in our society, with an elastic appeal that makes him ripe for reinvention generation after generation.