06 March 2010

Our definition and Under the Hood

“Under the Hood” form the comic book the “Watchmen”. It’s the autobiography of one of the comics characters named Hollis Mason who is the masked adventurer named Nite Owl. The reading goes through from the time Mason is twelve in 1928 to when he retires as a police officer and Nite Owl in 1962. First he tells us the story of Moe Vernon. Moe was his father’s boss who was laughed at by all his employees when he reviled to them that his live was crashing in all around him. Point of the story was to get readers sympathies, to highlight unfairness of life and her later states that he was more of a laughing stock then Moe could have ever been. Account is given of how he inherited his sense of morals from his grandfather who was a farmer from Montana. The affect of his grandfathers moral instruction is what caused him to grow up with a sense of moral repulsion when looking at the state of things his New York home. This is what drove him to be a police officer. In 1938 he graduated from the police academy. 1939 he was 22 years old and read Superman for the first time while on duty having barrowed it from a young kid.
He later read a news radical describing a crime foiled by a masked avenger. He decided he’d be the next such avenger. He became Nite Owl. So the birth of the citizen vigilante. First “Hooded Justice” then Nite Owl, the Comedian, the Silhouette, Dollar bill, the Silk Spectre with in twelve months of the first. Mason’s personal motives are first stated as for fun, because it was needed and because he felt like it. Mason later when addressing the group of them states that reasons varied between them all. He states the reason ranging from being hired to getting publicity to fulfilling childish fantasies to fulfilling less health adult fantasies. Essentially all motives are covered with the broad brush of doing what they think is right and making their country a better place. Observation is made that on their own perhaps they would have quit and that would be the end of it but when they united in a team called the Minutemen who’s agent kept them in the public eye and kept them together as a group. The group was formed by fall 1939.
The group started falling apart soon after it was formed. First the Comedian’s attempted rape of Sally Jupiter getting him kicked off the team in 1940. 1946 the Silhouette kicked out because of her life style choice then killed by an enemy. Dollar bill killed on the job and Sally Jupiter getting married both in 1947. So the Minutemen disbanded in 1949.
Then the McCarthy era everyone except the Comedian were called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Hooded justice disappeared and was rumored to be a man named Rolf Muller found dead pulled from the sea with a bullet hole in his head put there by his “Red superiors”. They all had their identity’s revealed and cleared of charges after a while. The late 50’s no serious note worthy thing just a lot of dark crime and uneasiness.
Then came the 60’s and the super-hero era and Dr. Manhattan. Mason briefly goes over how it feels to be replaced in context of a Red Cross Charity event. Then is resigned to his retirement with a brief mention of a new Nite Owl coming on seen and a statement of the lasting consequences of his own living out of childhood fantasies.
It’s interesting to me that though this is this mans legacy he sees it as more of a consequence of his actions. He sees his actions as a superhero in a more negative light then he did early on in his career as one.
Mason names a lot of reasons why the heroes of the 1950’s did what they did. The list is justified by the statement “We were also doing something because we believed in it. We were attempting, through our persona efforts, to make our country a safer and better place to live in.”(p.8 last paragraph) Judging strictly by the definition we created in class that says a ‘Super Hero is someone who dose good and doesn’t get a reward’ I’d venture to say that none of these “Super heroes” are super heroes at all. Starting with Dollar Bill who is on a pay roll of the banks he protects. He is hired partly for real protection and part for bank publicity. Dollar Bill seems a decent guy and dos do heroic things but heroism is his job. Granted he probably wouldn’t apply for the job in the first place unless heroism appealed to him in some way still he gets a reward so by our definition he is not a super hero. The Silk Specter fought crime to get on the front page and get publicity to further her modeling career. Her publicity is her reward making her not a super hero. The Comedian, from Masons point of view, seems to be motivated by fame and he gets it. So he isn’t a superhero. Though I would disqualify him because of his less heroic actions our class definition allows for bad behavior.
With the definition we created in class we didn’t set qualifiers that defined reward. Reward could be brode as to include emotional reward. In other words if a hero feels good after beating the bad guy and saving the day that good feeling could be seen as a reward and by our definition they are no longer a super hero. Saying this disqualifies the rest of the Minutemen because none of the rest would have fought crime or stayed fighting crime if they didn’t at least feel good about what they were doing. Then again them being a superhero would rely on their success if they did a good job at being a superhero and saved the day they’d feel good about that and no longer be a super hero by our definition. However if they aren’t a good super hero and don’t save the day they don’t feel good about themselves then they are still a super hero by our definition but I don’t think they’d have a lot of fans.
Unrelated to the definition dispute, Hooded Justice, I just had to talk about him. It’s interesting I’m sure that there’s a comic that spells out who he really is in depth but for Mason in this life like autobiography louse end aren’t neatly tied up the way they are for a real audience. If Rolf Muller is Hooded Justice it says something about Americans and their super heroes. On the on hand It says that Americans are ok with just the fantasy but perhaps someone from another country would take it more seriously and try to on a personal level make the world or their country a better place. May be if given our freedoms they would be more likely to turn vigilant to right wrongs. There’s a disconnect in which the average American read Superman and like Mason jumped buildings in their mind but the fantasy stays between their ears where as Muller reads Superman and is inspired to do what he does to the best of his ability. If Rolf Muller is Hooded Justice then it says something more about the real origins of Superman. After all Hitler had his idea of what a superman was. His idea was blond hair, blue eyes, and light skin. (His idea included purifying the race so to have a race of supermen. By the way he thought that he was making his country a better place. That’s why good intentions don’t qualify a person to be a super hero) May-be our Superman was a response to that. Likewise in the watchmen Muller perhaps decided to step up and be Hooded Justice which was a bit brutal but inspired Mason to respond. Even if Hooded Justice isn’t Muller he had a different perspective on entertainment. To an extent Superman is seen by all as an example but not to the point that the average man is going to put on a cape and mask and kick butt. Hooded Justice did just that. One can only conclude that something must have been different than the average American underneath that hood of his.

04 March 2010

Awesome-ist of all awesomer of all awesome blogs!

Umberto Eco writes this book called The Role of the Reader but for class we we’re assigned to only read a small section of the book, chapter four which is titled The Myth of Superman. Eco makes many good points in his whole writings within this chapter. Giving us some facts that show superheros have been around for a long time from Hercules to peter man. Making the suggestion that all superheroes are a myth because of the many attributes they possess. Then he goes on by only focusing on Superman because he is the ultimate superhero. Although superman is the ultimate superhero he is not out of reach for readers to identify with because superman has a double identity. Clark Kent is kind of a nerd which gives the readers an easier way of feeling they have more in common with him.

Not only is Eco taking both sides of superman and applying each one to its own category but he’s showing how each of them contradicts each other. Eco defines all superheroes as being a myth because we already know what happens to them, they always overcome evil. Whereas with his double identity Clark Kent (superman) is subjected to an average persons troubles, like getting rejected from the person they might like. Even when it comes to morals each are different because Superman already has all good morals whereas a literature figure has to learn all their good morals.

When it comes to the plot of a story involving superman, there is a problem because the story can never really change. Because, Superman, himself can never die, get old and never get hurt, so where this story is headed, nowhere? Superman can never really have an equal adversary either so any evil that may challenge him he can easily overcome, does this make Superman (or all heroes) to predictable. Will this character become too boring that the audience will soon what something more other than the average mythical hero namely Superman.

Time also becomes an issue because since Superman is an immortal being his going back in time and changing some event in his life shows that he gets closer to death. When his younger self comes into the story it gives the reader the impression that he can get age a shows that someday he will get old.

At one point Umberto throws in a very controversial topic that people have been talking about which is that some superheroes can be seen as homosexual. But that’s only a small piece and then Umberto ends his article with the fact that a plot must be a never moving one because “Superman must make virtue consist of many little activities on a small scale, never achieving a total awareness”. So that since he’s a myth there will never really be an ending which will contradict the myth of Superman (all superheroes).

I like this reading, but when I first read it I did not understand it whatsoever. Until I was in class and the teacher had summarized it, this made it clearer. I can agree with him on many points like making Superman the ultimate superhero, since he embodies all the powers and then some it’s hard to disagree. Umberto’s whole work is very controversial in so many ways like when he talks about the homosexual characteristics many superheroes have and even when he talks about each the mythical superman and the literature Clark Kent as being contradictory of each other. All in all it was a good reading and I found much of the information very interesting. :]

this is the the real superman

In the myth of superman the author Eco starts off by saying that a hero is equipped with powers superior to a normal person. The meaning of having super powers might be swiftness, fighting abilities, or just even being really smart, but if you are a real person having might have some of those traits more than another people it does not make you a super hero. Eco starts off by saying what superman can do and what his talents are to help people, but it somewhat does not like that superman hides his identity. He does that by saying he acts like a normal person, but can do all this amazing things which a normal person cant and strives for a better life. Eco goes on to explain how people might see superman as a hero from the past such as in religion or mythology in a novel perspective, its goes on to explain that people make them heroes from herein what they have done in the past and putting some kind of faith that maybe something like that might help them one day. He goes on to explain on how when a person is writing something they do not know what is coming in the future of the book or comic. There writing could have so many different outcomes. Eco explains that in comics such as superman there writers put things in their stories so that they don’t make the story end. They don’t put things in the story line because then the story will end, but what they do to keep the story going is by making new characters in the story line that resemble the same main character. The reason why they do this is to have the story stay the same and not change dramatically.

In the readings and the myth of superman see things in some of the same aspect. Eco and Weinstein both see that people in the past could be seen as heroes because of the good things they have done to help people. They both see that good will triumph over evil. They both see that people go off of what happen in the past. The difference is that Weinstein is trying to say how it is like Jewish pasts, but Eco sees that people go off of past experiences.

Its a Bird Its a Plane No its a Myth?

In the reading The Myth of Superman by Umberto Eco he discusses the relations of super heroes to mythical god and creatures. He speaks mostly on Superman and his life as a hero. Superman encounters many obstacles no human could ever do and sometimes it seems as if he can never do it. Eco discusses that Superman is put through many obstacles but in some episodes they are never finished. He believes this is done because if superman were to finish then that would mean that time is passing and he is aging. Superman to Eco is a character not like a myth because Superman cannot consume himself since a myth is “inconsumable”. The hero of a classical myth can become inconsumable because he was already consumed in a some exemplary action”. Superman’s stories never would have an ending and always kept the reader guessing what was going to happen next to Superman or the villain. Eco wants his reader to understand what has happened to the hero world and gives us insight on what will happen.
The reading was an interesting one to me I believe that superman should never be considered a mythical figure because those tend to die. And who wants their favorite super hero to die or get old. He doesn’t get married for that fact which makes sense. If he were to get married and settle down and have kids he would have to pass on his legacy and a different hero would be there. Eco makes a very good point that the “discussion does not take on the features of the Authors’ preference as much as their adaption to a concept of `order` which pervades the cultural model in which the author live and where they construct on a small scale “analogous” models which mirror the large one”. Which is saying that in order to please the reader they must follow the order that has been set in which the author lives.

The Idea of Superman Being Mythical.

In The Myth of Superman by Umberto Eco, Eco writes that in industrial civilization a hero is obligated to demonstrate features that a typical human want but doesn’t and cannot obtain. Intelligence, swiftness and having the skill of fighting in times of conflict are gifts. Eco gives his readers Superman’s background and story. He writes about Superman’s strength being virtually limitless, how he can fly through space, move to other epochs etc, but he also writes about Superman living an average life as journalist Clark Kent. Eco discusses how Superman’s story varies from other superheroes because of its development. Superman’s storyline is unfailingly almost identical; the only difference is the events that take place. The reader is conscious of the ending but never knows how Superman defeats the villain or villains. How Superman conquers any obstruction is always a mystery. This suspense keeps the readers eager to discover what occurs. Eco’s main point is that the reader knows how the myth ends but doesn’t know what Superman faces to overpower.

I think Eco and Weinstein would possibly agree because they both make reference to history and culture even though Eco writes about Greeks and Weinstein writes about Jews. Eco’s concept is that superheroes are mythological and Weinstein writes about superheroes having moral impressions, but who’s to say that nonexistent characters don’t hold upright and moral beliefs.

Superman's Astuteness!

A hero is advanced with exclusive powers of those that the average person has been at nonstop fascination with. Frequently a hero’s talent or feature is humanized. A hero’s powers are the utmost accomplishment of having an ability to assess situations or circumstances to their advantage. Whether it’s swiftness, action fighting, wisdom or having a pure frame of mind it is a talent. In an industrial society a hero must be an expression of their quality to an unbelievable extent that an average human seeks but does not possess. Umberto Eco writes as his establishment in The Myth of Superman.

Eco provides his readers with Superman’s story, from having unlimited strength to having superhearing, how his life is devoted to fighting the forces of evil and about Superman having double identity. He writes that the story of Superman is unlike the tales of the traditional superhero because the development and progression is different. The advancement in which the reader’s attention is progressed over to the unforeseen, the intrigue creation, which now hold our awareness and attention; “the event has not happened before the story; it happens while the story is being told” (109). Superman’s plot is always known but the occurrence of how and why is unknown. As readers we are aware that a villains will try to be an obstruction but Superman never disappoints he always overcomes anything and everything. Even knowing how Superman’s narrative ends readers are still allured because they are in uncertainty of what will happen.

Weinstein has the thought that superheroes share similar values and morals and Eco’s notion is perhaps superheroes resemble imaginary characters; but they both talk about backgrounds and culture. Even though Weinstein writes about Jewish traditions and Eco writes about Greeks, I think they would agree with one another to a point.

superman

The myth of Superman by V. Berto Eco
The beginning, superman’s powers are described. He can fly at the speed of light, he has this pressure where he can change coal into diamonds in his hand, and he has x-ray vision. Eco mention that superman “personifies fairly typically with the average reader”. Weinstein would probably disagree and argue that superman personifies more with the Jewish heritage. According to eco, there is a difference between superman and heroic figures in religion. He explains that in religion, heroes gradually develop their powers. He uses Hercules in his example, a hero through hard labor and public recognition. Superman doesn’t have to work hard for his powers because he was born with them. Another way that religious heroes are different from superheroes is that religious heroes have stories that are predictable because it is known that they will do something good. As for superheroes, their stories are unpredictable and these cause readers to have more of an interest in them. Weinstein and Eco would have to agree that the characteristic of superman follow the heroic deeds from the bible such as the rich giving to the poor. Superman gives money to the poor and he donates to charity.
The first paragraph was boring to me. I noticed that in the reading it discussed Superman’s identity. It made me think about the class discussion about his identity. In some of Eco’s mythological examples were too long. One of his topics I didn’t understand what Mxyzptlk, the gnome have to do with superman’s weakness if they both have the sane powers.

03 March 2010

If Being Mythical Means Superpowers, Well Then Sign Me Up!

The Myth of Superman was a very difficult but yet informative reading. Mr. Eco touches on hero’s powers as well as the different progressions they tend to take on. Although the reading may not be clearly comprehensive to the reader (me for example) the reading was very well written. Eco had eye opening claims and connections in the reading The Myth of Superman stating that Hercules and Peter Pan were superheroes alike (not in those exact words though). When a person thinks of a superhero similar to Hercules, Peter Pan doesn’t come to mind and vice versa. Eco goes on to discussed the history of the hero we know as Superman. Eco topics on Superman ranges from his double identity to his indestructibility. For instances, Eco believes that when Superman is Clark Kent he worries, fears, and engages with the opposite sex (ex. Lois Lane). But when Clark Kent is Superman is he totally the man. Superman is indestructible, fearless, and super strong. Eco also uses these claims to help him setup a beautiful point that is readers already know what will happen in issues of Superman. Readers can guess that when an issue of Superman comes out that he going to defeat the adversary or conquer the obstacle that’s put in his way. The reader knows this because Superman is just that…SUPER! Nothing can stop him! Even knowing this the reader is still drawn to Superman because of the event build up it offers. According to Eco regular novels have a storyline that builds up the suspense, but Superman had events like action happening that build up its suspense.

I think Eco and Weinstein would agree with each other but yet disagree with each other. They would come to an agreement on the ideology of the topics they discussed but disagree on the backgrounds. Weinstein reading was about superheroes and how they relate to the Jewish heritage and tradition. While Eco reading was about superheroes (Superman majority of the time) but when he did relate it to a heritage or idea it was of the Greeks and their mythology. So I think they would agree on certain ideas but bump heads on where the ideas came from.

Hero or Zero?

The reading “The Myth of Superman” by Umberto Eco is about the literature and mythical aspects of Superman or other major characters. Heroes are known for their powers and super natural ability to play hero and human. However, not all heroes are mythical more than literal and vice versa. Peter Pan was simply a child who never grew up and goes off exploring the world, however when it comes to Peter Pan and Superman, they are somewhat different. Superman is both a literal and mythical person because he can be Clark Kent, a news reporter and loves Lois Lane. When Superman is Clark Kent, he has worries, fear, be intelligent, and has Lois Lane in his life. However when Clark is Superman, he has unlimited powers, no fear, and is indestructible. The double identity of Superman helps most readers to make a connection with Superman because readers want to have what Superman does. The difficulty of both literal and myth are hard to co-exist because myths are more recognizable. The fact that civilization of a regular novel offers a story in which it keeps the readers interest to build a certain suspense of what will happen rather than an event being told during the story and not the beginning. Mythical characters have a sense of morals, demand, and are usually the predictable ones and cannot surprise the audience. The literary explanation to the mythical explanation is the character of a novel wants, rather, then seeing what meets the eye to the readers. Eco’s purpose was to show that most mythical characters are original, always do the right thing, and making it necessary to move about in any way possible (this what Superman does) but since he in love, he has now been identified as a typical development of a novel character. Superman must have or face challenges in order to change because if he has nothing to challenge him then he does not change, remains the same until something different appears. Although Superman has weaknesses, there is nothing to do, but test him thru a series of unknown obstacles. Superman has to be more careful of his decisions because the more he does indescribable events the closer he is to death creating him to become more of a literal figure. Superman turns to a literal figure because myths don’t die, and if certain actions lead up to his death then he is no longer a mythical hero. The adventures of Superman do not have this vital intention to where it is most obvious to the readers, just as the authors would too. Superman comes off a myth to the reader because they lose control of relationships and renounces the need of reason.

I thought the reading was very interesting because it picks Superman apart basically to find flaws in which makes him either a literal or mythical super hero to me. I think the ideas or statements that Eco’s makes are similar to what most people would think if they took the time to understand what they are actually reading. I believed that Superman was the greatest super hero of all time, but now after reading this essay, I guess, made me think about my judgment. Many other super heroes have powers and weaknesses, but they can’t compare to Superman because he floats in the middle of being mythical or literal. I thought the reading was going to be long and very boring, but after taking the time to read what I did not understand makes thinking about comics and super heroes a lot less painful. The idea of how Superman could die if he involves himself to certain situations makes me wonder if all Superhero’s could turn out the same way. Superman was made out to be a great legend in which we well talk about for a long period of time, however many well be disappointed when events changes, creating people to not care anymore. I think when this does happen nobody well truly understand unless they know the difference between mythical and literal.

Insperation

who new that comics were so inspirational especially talking about heroes from Greek mythology and then how they played a role in uplifting some peoples spirits or just give them courage to continue to move on with there life like the Jewish people with Hitler Superman was created around the time the Jewish people needed a Moses like savior. Even though these comic book characters were all created by Jewish men it’s a strong enough case so they tried to show us some of the values of the Jewish heritage which I think is really cool because as different as we all think we are we all related to these superheroes in the same since. Which brings me to this idea since we as humans and as individuals if we can agree with one another maybe comics can be used for bringing to countries or nationalities together through there beliefs on religions.

The Myth of Superman....

The Myth of Superman by Umberto Eco is a complex reading which is always hard for me to understand. I understand the reading so much better when we go over it in class. What I did get from this reading was, well Eco starts off by giving us information about the history of hero’s. Ranging from Hercules to Peter Pan. He also gives us some back ground information about Superman before he tells us that his myth is different compare to all these other hero’s because of its progression. Which is the part of the novel that attracts the readers. Superman is so powerful. He has so many great powers, he can fly, he has great fighting skills, he has ridiculous strength, and Eco explains that because he has all these great powers no one can stop him. Villains can only get in his way and slow him down but can never stop him. One of Eco’s main points is the reader knows what’s going to happen, not exactly know but the reader knows that there will be a Villain to try to stop Superman but will only fail.

I didn’t really like that Eco thinks Superman is predictable, I mean don’t get me wrong because I think it is to, but every super hero comic is predictable. Every hero will run into trouble because of a villain but the hero will never be stopped because if the hero is stopped by the villain, then we as readers wouldn’t consider that hero who got stopped to be a hero!!! Weinstein believes that these comic book hero’s were created to resemble people out of the bible, and for them to be someone we can look up to when our world has just had something that impacted it in a bad way. Weinstein also concentrates on the whole Jewish area while Eco concentrates more on Greek mythology. Eco believes that the characters should emphasize more on values rather then Weinstein who see’s them more as a role model when the worlds at a low!!

Up, Up and Underrated!!

The reading Up, Up and Oh Vey by Simcha Weinstein was just another long and confusing reading, but the parts that I did understand were pretty interesting. Weinstein talks about how super hero’s were created by the Jewish pretty much. After the Holocaust, Superman was created which was a perfect time because the people needed that protector or savoir. He resembles Moses and when Batman was created he resembled Joshua. Also the other superhero created by the Jewish was Spiderman and he is suppose to resemble David from the bible. Weinstein believes that all these superhero’s tie together with the Jews and the bible and how each superhero was created at a certain or great moment for the people, to help out the people and give them someone to look up to. Especially after how Hitler and the Holocaust impacted not only Jews but the whole world. Weinstein also believes that Superman represents integrity, the Hulk represents anger, and Fantastic Four represents family values. Weinstein argues that superhero’s become more famous when something big happens that changes the world such as World War 1 or 9/11. Superhero’s are like the peoples role models its who they look up to for security.

I enjoyed reading this because it was interesting and I never thought of superhero’s this way. I never realized that they were so important because now that I think about it I do look up to them because there’s not many people in the world that help other people. I mean there are but only because they have to do it there are very few that do it because they have a good heart. Superhero’s are underrated if you think about it, they never get talked about unless it is for class or something in that area.

Up, Up, and TOO LONG!!

Weinstein… Weinstein… Weinstein!!! After reading Weinstein’s, Up, Up and Oy Vey, let me start by saying he got my attention by talking about heroes from Greek mythology to those of my child hood, such as superman at the beginning. Then later on he gets all crazy on me, tries to find any type of relationship or similarities between biblical men and those that we call super heroes because he says if the word “man” appears at the end of a character’s name because they were created after strong biblical men. In the bible that’s where it was first mentioned of men of courage and supernatural powers, and how Superman was created around the time the Jewish people needed a Moses like savior and it was a way to bring spirits up after Hitler and the Holocaust. Superman was suppose to be the representation of Moses, and Batman was suppose to be the that of Joshua, but the one I found very interesting was Stan Lee’s Spiderman. Spiderman brought Jewish pride because of Jewish ethics; Lee said his character resembles David from the bible. David had an interest in spiders but he didn’t understand their reason for creating webs. Even though these comic book characters were all created by Jewish men it’s a strong enough case so they tried to show us some of the values of the Jewish heritage, Superman represents integrity, The Hulk represents anger, and the Fantastic four represents the family values.
I found it interesting at times but very wordy and I think that he could have left a lot of things out so I wouldn’t feel like I just read three different essays. The Jewish culture did take part in the comic book boom of the 1930’s but do I think these characters were made of Jewish beliefs and culture not really. Captain America comes close because he defeats Hitler and fight for Jewish rights, and I believe that characters represent certain values because we need that in the world, Captain America was a cartoon/mini comic series but he stood for world peace and fixing the problems with pollutions and poverty. So we need Superman to represent for integrity and Hulk can represent anger so the world can be drawn in by the action of comics and still learn and understand things of life.

02 March 2010

Mythical Superman Side By Side With Hercules

Umberto Eco's chapter four of The Myth Of Superman starts out by discussing heroes throughout history and how they've been blessed with powers superior to basic man. "The hero equipped with powers superior to those of the common man has been a constant of the popular imagination" (Eco 107). According to Eco these heroes have ranged throughout a wide variety of history; from Hercules to Peter Pan. After giving a brief history about Superman and his origins Eco goes into detail about how Superman is different from other novels. The myth of Superman is different because its build up and progression is different from others. This part of a novel is what attracts readers. A novel that builds up with events and leaves us unaware of what will happen. In Superman's case he is equipped with such great powers that virtually nothing can keep him from saving the day. Eco describes that with all these incredible powers, the villians can only try and get in Superman's way with "obstacles" (Eco 111). But once he completes these he will still accomplish something. His main point is that Superman's story plots are predictable. The reader knows there will be trouble and a villian will do harm. But knowing all of Superman's powers, the reader knows that Superman will overcome any "obstacles" that come in his way and that Superman will not fail. Eco also explains that this fact can be seen with the time that the issues are released to the public. All of these aspects make Superman a heterodirection model, a character whose plot progression is in a different direction. Eco also discusses Superman as being a model of civic consciousness and political consciousness. In Superman his civic and political duties are perfect and all exemplify good deeds.
Overall, Eco's main point is that Superman resembles more of mythical character than a novel character. Superman never develops and has a "fixed nature which renders him easily recognizable" (Eco 110).
I think that Eco would agree with Weinstein and the two could correlate their ideas together. Weinstein having the idea that superheroes resemble a certain value to different cultures or religions, and Eco saying that superheroes might resemble more mythical characters. Mythical stories contain lessons and values, at least thats how I look at them. I believe that these two could get together and create a killer idea combination about superheroes.

The myth of Superman: Better than Simcha!!!!!!!!!!

The Myth of Superman by Umberto Eco was very informative, and a very complex read. Eco's thesis in this book is to show his readers that even Superman or Super humans have sides to them that is hard to see for a normal eye and the importance of morality, and ethics for a Superhero. Eco writes, "the hero's virtue is humanized, and his powers, rather than being supernatural, are the extreme realization of natural endowments, such as astuteness, swiftness, fighting ability or even logical faculties" (107). He goes on writing about humans in the present world, who have been defeated by machines. Eco compares these cubicle slaves to Clark Kent who is fearful, timid, and hopes one day gets a chance with their female co-workers or loved ones. Similarly, these readers like Superman, hopes to come out of their cubicle and be a Superman themselves.


On comparing Simcha Weinstein and Umberto Eco, the first difference I can find is their background. Weinstein was more focused on convincing his readers that these Superheroes have a Jewish background. As for Eco, he backed up his thesis with some

greek mythology.

The Myth of Superman was published in 1979, which was about thirty years after the birth of Superman.And, Weinstein published Up,Up, and Oh Vey! in 2006, about almost eighty years after the birth of Superman. Umberto Eco would argue Weintein's point of view on comic heroes. Eco coming from a medivial background focusing more on Greek mythology, as we can clearly see, would not believe in any of Weinstein's ideology. Eco emphasized more on several moral values, and ethical values irrespective of their religion.

Superheroes History: Lies In Up, Up, Oy Vey!...No F**king Way

I would like to start this blog off with an apology. I did not finish the reading of Up, Up, And Oy Vey! Because I could not take any more of what Mr. Weinstein was claiming. Reading this particular essay really worked my nerves. Once again, I apologize.

Now that I got that out the way I would like to summarize Up, Up, And Oy Vey! Well at least up until the part I stop reading. Weinstein started off the reading with educational tactics. The reader was informed that if someone’s name ends with “man” then you can assume that they are Jewish. Weinstein also went on to state that Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man are similar to the likings of Moses, David, and Joshua of the Bible. All the creators of the comic Superheroes were Jewish or had Jewish ties according to Weinstein. Later on Weinstein points out that all of the comic superheroes had a Jewish tradition about them that ranges from integrity to anger. Weinstein also asserts that the Jewish heritage had made a major contribution to the entertainment business and now it’s time that they heritage gets recognized for the contributions it made for comics. Even stating Spider-Man is so similar to Jewish people because he tries to do right but is viewed with “suspicion” by authority.

That last statement was the boiling point for me when reading Weinstein. Although Mr. Weinstein makes strong statements I feel a lot of traditions that he was claiming were just Jewish are just basic morals. For example when he claimed that Superman personifies integrity or Batman and justice. I feel I have a strong value in justice and I have the upmost integrity so does that make me Jewish, because I too believe and uphold these values? Weinstein makes it seem throughout the essay that a Jew does no wrong or that all Jews uphold these standards that he does. If so then they wouldn’t have been a Jew that interacted with the KKK, right? Weinstein gets caught up in his childhood teaching and believes that everything good is Jew related and its not. My parents taught me right from wrong and once I too seek the goodness instead of the evil. My whole family believes that good will always triumph evil but we did not learn that from a Jew or from their heritage. I wish I could really get into this but I will run out of my mandated word limit. Weinstein really needs to see other religions or heritages and he’ll see that have the same values. And they didn’t just read the history of Jews to obtain them!

Where Do Superheroes Come From?

In the reading, Up, Up, and Oy Vey! Written by Simcha Weinstein, the main claim is that superheroes are Jews. Weinstein claims that like Moses, Joshua, David, and Samson mentioned in the bible, Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man they all have courage and supernatural powers to protect the innocent people. Weinstein goes on to explain that Jewish men invented comic books. Some names that were brought up included, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson, and Will Eisner. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster invented Superman which was the first superhero comic. Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Batman. Weinstein’s argument involves the fact that two of the original superheroes were created by Jewish men and therefore all superhero comics revolve around these original comics. Another argument is that a lot of superheroes personify some of the Jewish traditions such as Superman represents integrity, Fantastic Four represents family values, and Hulk expresses anger. These are some of the values that Weinstein believe the superheroes represent. Weinstein explains how superheroes become more popular after a big catastrophe occurs. After World War II superheroes became more popular and new superheroes are created. After 9/11 more superheroes were created around the city of New York. This seems to provide a security blanket for people to feel comforted and protected from any harm.

Anybody can connect superheroes to any religion is some way. We can take the superhero intentions and twist them to form the religious story we want them to express. Superheroes are only viewed as saving innocent people and making the world better. It doesn’t matter whether they originated from the Jewish or Buddhists. All that matters is that superheroes were created in order to provide people with hope that there are good people that want to save the world.

Comics with Heritage

Up, Up, and Oy Vey Simcha Weinstein
The beginning of the comic article is not detailed. In the plot, there is a need for a superhero. The article doesn’t provide a name of this hero, just a cut off picture of a muscular arm, part of a cape, and a band of stars on the wrist. With little description of who this superhero could be, or what he looks like, cause suspense to the reader. Weinstein adds in a side note about “if the word ‘man’ appears at the end of someone’s name, you can draw one of two conclusions...”. He establishes his characteristic of why the word “man” appears in a person’s name. Before superheroes such as “Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man”, there were people mentioned from the bible that had “courage and supernatural powers”. Jewish people looked up to people from the bible European Jews immigrated “into New York’s Lower East Side”. The Jewish people used stories from the bible to apply to their life and pass it on to their children. The children would retell the stories “using dots of colored ink on pulp paper”. This relates to superheroes because “Superman was first drawn on cheap brown wrapping paper”. When Jews faced problems in their country and Hitler. This encouraged young Jewish artist and writers to craft the need of “powerful characters who were dedicated to protecting the innocent and conquering evil”. A group of Jewish men created familiar characters such as Superman, Batman, the Joker, Justice League of America, Green Lantern, Captain America, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four and X-Men. These superheroes fulfill the themes of the Jewish tradition: integrity, justice, patriotism, teamwork, family values, anger, responsibility and redemption, anti-Semitism and reconciliation. The Jewish theme of good over evil has been applied to comic book stories. After September 11th, the need of a superhero had a comeback. The Spider-Man movie came out afterward. Filmmakers brought a superhero to the New York scene. Stan Lee is the creator of Spiderman. Lee created a hero that was different from other Jewish creators created superheroes. Lee’s superhero was a teenager and not an adult. Spider-Man “acted as a sponsor for many Jews”. Spider-Man brought Jewish pride. Lee created Spider-Man with Jewish ethics. According to Lee, his character resembles David from the bible. David had an interest in spiders but he didn’t understand their reason for creating webs. Through David’s personal situation, he learned that the web is a form of protection. Spider-Man himself is a form of protection. Spiders in nature, keep insects under control. Spiderman performs in the same way. He keeps villains under control. The article concludes how Will Eisner, the superhero pioneer, used comics to express his Jewish heritage. The author elaborates on his connection to comics. He also finds them inspiring because it links to his Jewish heritage.
I found this article interesting because it demonstrated a connection to religion. I felt drawn to this article because I was amazed at how the Jewish people created these fictional superheroes as hope and inspiration during the time of the Holocaust. This article opened my mind about the themes of Jewish tradition. I thought that it was very creative of the writers to create the superheroes that have a meaning to the Jewish heritage
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The Original Superheroes

Superheroes are all viewed as the good guys that save the world or even their city. Superman can from a different plant and had supernatural powers that enabled him to perform heroic acts with little effort. Superman has super strength and can jump over buildings several stories high. In the first superman comic, there is a woman on death row and she is actually innocent. Superman knows this and demands that she is let free. Well, the governor thinks he is evil and shoots him. The bullet doesn’t faze superman one bit. The innocent woman is let go and justice gets served.

Batman is an average guy besides the fact that he is rich and really smart. Nobody knows that batman is actually a normally civilian who goes by the name of Bruce. People are getting murdered and batman wants to get to the bottom of the murders. Batman discovers who the murderer is and after fighting for a while batman prevails and the murderer ends up dying.

In the end both Batman and Superman can be defined as superheroes. There isn’t really a set definition because if we say that a superhero has superpowers that would be a broad term. What is the definition of a superpower? Batman doesn’t have powers that we would define as superpowers. His powers basically include his intelligence and the fact that he is really rich. On the other hand Superman is super strong and can jump over buildings. There is no real answer to what defines a superhero. Superman and Batman are two different types of superheroes when it comes to morals. Superman lets justice do its job when dealing with the bad guys. Superman seems to have morals and isn’t able to kill someone. On the other hand, Batman kills a guy and it doesn’t seem to bother him. Ironically, Batman is actually human and most people would believe that he would have morals and wouldn’t be able to kill somebody. Superman is from a different planet and ends up on Earth. Someone would think he wouldn’t care if he killed the bad guy or not.

01 March 2010

Up, Up and O boy?

The reading Up, Up and Oh Vey by Simcha Weinstein was a long reading, but was very interesting. The reading was about how super heroes were created in a time in which we needed them the most. During the time the world was suffering, super heroes were created to help America see strength. Weinstein talks about the Jewish community and their creation of very successful comics. He also drew up a diagram of what each super hero’s purpose in the Jewish language because the super’s mean different things as well as representing idols for those who are suffering. Weinstein believes the world needs hero’s in a time of great dilemma because when American’s look at a super hero, they are have a sense of belief in the world they are involved. Most comic’s of super heroes were created by Jews who wrote about their struggles because the super heroes started coming out during the phase of the Holocaust. He explains how Jews created the best super hero’s when they were the target for horrible events because of who they were, eye color, skin color, and height. However, they did not understand the values that were able to come from horrible events with the hero’s that were created.

I thought the reading was very interesting and different from all the other readings that was required from the class. I enjoyed reading it cause it gave a new perspective of how comics were created. The super heroes that I loved while growing up have different meanings in the Jewish language and now I know who created my favorite super heroes. The Holocaust was a very horrifying event that took place in history and is still a sensitive subject to many people in present day, America. I feel that comics have a story rather than the ones that they are lead to believe or presented. The stories within a story are what should be shown followed by the pain and suffering each creator endured. Although, they can’t show that kind of pain and suffering, the creators show America that super hero’s can lift spirits when there is none. I feel the reading has opened a different of the super hero’s that I do look up to and how they were created.

the myth

The Myth of super man by Umberto Eco first gives us a back ground over view of super man and all of his powers and how he got to earth and also it showed us how the comic artist plugged in super boy and super girl to make the superman comics make since. Then he talks about past heroes pre comic heroes such as Hercules, Pantaguruel, and even Peter Pan, and how they Have been blessed with powers that are not know to man. He describes that to understand a plot of a super hero comic the character must be understandable for the reader. Eco talks about how superman is a model of heterodiriction and a political consciousness.

This is about all I could gather from Eco’s work. it was very difficult to understand as I still don’t really understand the heterodiriction meaning fully. To me this article had to have been meant for very well educated people. Now to me I don’t think Weinstein would have much to argue about with this article I didn’t see any thing that would contradict any of his views except maybe when Eco asked why super man couldn’t help out with the whole world. It shouldn’t be that hard since he can fly to different galaxies with ease. I can see Weinstian having a few opinions but nothing to much. As for Eco’s Main thesis I think it has to do with the superman being a model of heterodiriction even though I don’t know fully what he means I’m sure the class discussion will help me on that.

Up, Up and No he didnt!!

This reading titled Up, Up and Oh Vey by Simcha Weinstein was long but I doubt the longest. Its introduction introduced some of the “famous” superhero characters that are loved by many and have become popular over the years. The author starts off with a witty little quip about all Jewish last names ending in with “man” just like some of the most popular superheroes, like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc. going on to more complicated things like explaining how there were superheroes before the famous superman, etc. There were heroic figures throughout the bible including both men and women. Mainly the author is explaining that his book is like he said here, “This book seeks to reclaim a vital component of that heritage. While the Jewish contribution to film, theater, music, and comedy is well known, the Jewish role in the creation of all-American superheroes is not—until now!”(18)

Spider-Man:"Wherever there’s a hangup…” by Simcha Weinstein. He writes about the original spider man and his origin. Once again when the author opens this part with a witty quote by Jon Stewart. Going from there to talking about some guys robbing a bank thinking they’re home free but end up getting their plane stuck in a spider web between the two towers, familiar? With the events of the two towers being destroyed there is controversy so the thrilling teaser is yanked. In this chapter Weinstein takes Spiderman an all American teenager who becomes an all-American superhero fighting to keep his town safe because of responsibility? After the death of his uncle, Peter Parker, is driven by guilt to bring justice to those who deserve it. He goes through all the same problems as anyone else would go through at that age so he became a hero for many. But the author tries to intertwine Jewish culture and everything iwth Spiderman. Not really intertwine but showing his audience the connection, he does this by giving us many examples and quotes from the original Spiderman creator Stan Lee. Ending with the one thing superheroes have in common, a tailor?!

In Conclusion: spiritual metaphors in spandex by Simcha Weinstein, the author starts off with the best quote yet by Jerry Seinfeld, just because it’s so true. He gives readers a brief history of the great comic artists/storytellers, as if to share the less interesting first. Then he gives us this great story about his life starting from when he was young to when he grew up loving to study comics because of his love for them. When his antidote is written out for his audience about his resistance to go against his religion and work on the day of Sabbath. By denying to work on this day of rest and worship, Weinstein is removing his mask and becoming a hero for finally doing something that wouldn’t betray who he was but would strengthen his identity. As he ends, Weinstein asks his readers to “stop and reflect the real you—the unassailable, essential you.” Weinstein encourages his audience to go out without a mask and to touch the lives of many or even to transform the life of another.

This reading was long but not at all complicated. It was interesting from the little quotes in the box to the end. Weinstein does a good at getting my attention with the humorous quotes. He did a good job at getting me to really believe the main topic he kept writing about how Jewish culture could be found in almost every superhero character. I would never have considered that maybe each superhero standing for something like courage, teamwork etc. I do think this is a very controversial writing though because although Weinstein gives good evidence he’s saying that there is a lot of Jewish things that could be found in almost every superhero figure but he focuses mainly on Spiderman (Peter Parker) in this reading. However, it was a good reading, I found it interesting and learned something new.

28 February 2010

jews are not quite superheroes

Up up and oy vey is an essay written trying to compare today’s super heroes and Jewish heroes. Weinstein “the author” argues that the super hero boom in the 30s was caused by Jewish culture. And since Hitler was persecuting the Jews the writers made super heroes with characteristics to beat real life terriost. The characters have these traits all in common integrity, justice, patriotism, teamwork, family, value, anger, responsibility, and reconciliation. These characteristics are what makes super heroes great and also they would destroy all the bad things in the world. This article compares super heroes to people like Moses, Joseph, and Elijah.

The super heroes don’t really live up to the Jewish culture like this Weinstein is saying. Maybe in world war two. But superman was made way before world war two was even thought of. So I cant see where he gets his argument for that. And also as I have learned most of the super heroes were made as spin offs of superman to try and make money just like the superman creators did. So as for that they weren’t made for Jewish culture. The only one that even comes close is captain America because he fights for Jewish rights and defeats Hitler in one of his famous comics. But the reason he’s called captain America is because he fights for America his name is not Captain Jew.

Up Up and I Dont Quite Think So

Weinstein's Up Up and Oy Vey explains how Jewish history and culture paved the road for the comic book superhero. He describes that during the 1930s, persecution was brought upon on Jews in Europe. But the problem was that no one seemed to come to rescue. In return, Jewish Americans began creating stories with powerful characters that where meant to conquere evil. These stories became later known as the comic book. Each of the superheroes created after World War II represented a specific theme found in Jewish beliefs and the Bible. These include integrity, justice, teamwork, family values etc. After Weinstein describes the story of Spiderman, he begans to tell how it relates to the Jewish culture. That Spiderman's guilt of his uncle's death is what drives him to become a superhero and how that is a Jewish quality. According to Weinstein, Spiderman's creator, Stan Lee fused Jewish ethics into Spiderman and he most resembles David. After that Weinstein elaborates on David's relationship with an eight legged creature in the Bible. Spiderman, like Jewish people try to do what is right but are viewed with suspicion by authority figures. Another point that Weinstein points out is that all superhero costumes were designed by a Jewish tailor. In Weinstein's concluding paragraph he makes an interesting connection with hidden identities with superheroes and ourselves. How "part of us is revealed, and part of us is concealed" (Weinstein 124). He then ends with the lessons that can be learned from our superheroes inspired by Jewish beliefs.

I thought a lot of connections were coincidental, but all the different Jewish Bible stories, comic stories, Jewish charactures, comic charactures got confusing when he would use them all in one paragraph. I dont agree with Weinstein because I think he made these connections because he wanted the two to correlate with each other. I also dont think comic creators create charactures that are based on a certain religion. But I did like his concluding paragraph. I liked how Weinstein in a way brought the superhero responsibility on the reader. He told the reader to be more true to themselves and help the world around them. Some points in this reading were pretty cool but I dont strongly back up Weinstein's argument.