Superman: Heroic Immigrant.

When Henry Cavill was cast as Superman, there was a great deal of controversy based on the fact that the actor was actually British and many people felt that Superman was a huge representation of American ideals. The idea that people would get up in arms about such a triviality didn’t phase me much because access to the internet has made me acutely aware of the reality that some people will rise up against anything, so long as they can start some sort of debate or stir the pot. I didn’t care to weigh in on the debate because it seemed pointless.

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Today, as we ate lunch, my husband brought up the fact that he’d kind of watched Henry Cavill’s career blossom, over time and that the actor really was most suited for Supermans physicality. As I sipped my caramel machiatto a thought came to me suddenly, due to remembering the controversy. I set down my cup with it’s cute little snowman and as typical Captain Obvious, I blurted out “I don’t get why people were so angry about him being cast as Superman. I mean, Superman was an immigrant, too. He was Kryptonian. He was just fighting to save the country and planet he landed on.” and my husband said “He just happened to land in Kansas.”.

Planet_Krypton_by_Yowan2008This would be Planet Krypton. (At least as depicted by an artist by the handle yowan2008 on DeviantArt)

planet-earth-from-space  And this is Earth as would be viewed from outer space. They are rather different in appearance, aren’t they? Hmmm.

This has probably been addressed by other bloggers or critics, but I won’t focus on Henry, specifically here. I’m going to divert the conversation to the one people really buzz about in the comic book world. I’m digging into the traveling roots of the Man of Steel.

As most of us know, he was born on Krypton and was sent to Earth by his parents to be spared the eventual downfall of his planet as well as to show them “the light to show the way.”. He landed in Kansas without ever going through the proper immigration paperwork and was adopted by American parents who also never really bothered to go through any paperwork. Now, kind of understandably, this wasn’t done because when you walk into an immigration office and say “Hi, this little boy was dropped into my fields in a pod and I believe he’s from a different planet.” said kid would be ripped out of your arms and placed in foster care while you get sent to the loony bin. Most people don’t react well to news like that. As an adult he never went through that because he would also have been tossed in the bin and he’d risk exposing his powers to people who may not have very good intentions.

We willingly accept this as reasonable explanation for disobeying laws put in place in order to protect countries and the societies within them from possible ‘damage’ brought on by undocumented immigrants. The reality is that we accept it because so long as he seemed good and was willing to take blow after blow, hit after hit, for a world that wasn’t even his, it was totally okay for readers to ignore what in real life they often abhor. But let this truth be blunt: Superman was NEVER and NEVER WILL BE a nationalized citizen of the United States of America. Not even of this planet. Not so long as he hides his own reality, and I think that if he ever did openly walk out and said “I’m from a different planet and I’ve come to help you.” (if this were happening in real life) most humans would freak out and reject him. Because it would appear that so long as it is in secret and as long as we can claim to assume he is just an abnormally gifted human who is from our own planet and of our own nation, then it is okay if he doesn’t fill out a couple of sheets of paper and go through the eternal hassle of payments for processing, background checks, etc.

Interesting. So, it’s not okay for a British actor to play an immigrant from space because that immigrant wears two of the 3 colours on the American flag and happens to live in the United States. It’s not okay for an undocumented immigrant who works hard, pays anonymous taxes, and tries to educate their child about adapting to different environments and always giving back to your community, no matter where you are, to be safe and work towards that citizenship in peace? It’s also totally not okay for any country to treat these people like welcome visitors in transition, who may be trying to improve their surroundings while also trying to improve their own lives? Right. That makes perfect sense. Stomp your feet and holler about an actor from another country playing a fictional character from another planet, because apparently, that character must solely remain in the possession of American actors. He, being of strength, power, and flight, is an American human, when it is convenient. But what if it weren’t convenient? What if he wasn’t an idealized fictional character?

What if people viewed Superman for what he really was. A heroic undocumented immigrant. Would people still be up in arms wanting to claim him as an American? Would Henry Cavill playing the character ever have been an issue?

There’s something to think about. Maybe instead of fighting over a fictional character, we should be taking some of the things we idealize him for and apply them to our own lives. Maybe we should be little heroes, immigrants or not.

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When Not Knowing Who You ARE Defeats The Person You COULD Be.

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When massive changes come into our lives, there are so many possible things that can occur within us. We can transform from caterpillars into gorgeous butterflies… or we can shrink like ugly brown leaves in Autumn. Let’s face it, even the bravest of people can become shell-shocked when encountering something new that’s far outside of what they could have ever imagined.  I am not particularly brave but I’m not cowardly either. I’m in the healthy middle where if poop hits the fan, I can roll with it and come out standing. Whether I’m as I was before is a completely different matter. Due to the fact that I am a (confessedly) tad emotional at times, things can often hit me very hard and even if I do tend to take things as a lesson and grow from them, that doesn’t mean they can’t leave scars in the meantime.

I am, to be completely and most unabashedly honest, utterly lost. I was once a very go go go individual, always with a project, always independent. That changed when I moved to Canada (or Canadia as I like to call it). I’ve always wanted to travel and live abroad but in my imagination it was going to be some place amazing with a ton of rich history dating back CENTURIES upon centuries. As a History nerd, that concept thrilled me in a way that chocolate, girl toys, and watching anything Bradley Cooper does never will. And Bradley Cooper thrills me. Oh he does. My husbands not even jealous about it, which is awesome because it’s not like I’m ever going to get to meet Mr. Icy Blues. Point being, I had plans.

REALITY: PLANS CHANGE.

That can kind of suck. In ways one wouldn’t believe. Where I was once on a path to being a History Professor with a background in marine archaeology and ancient art, I’m now a housewife. Don’t get me wrong. I love taking care of my guy and he is great at taking care of me (especially during tear-filled breakdowns about how I miss my crazy family so damned much it hurts)  but often times my mind wanders right back to the shoulda beens and coulda beens. I am not one of those people who picks up a hobby to fill a void. Yes, I enjoy knitting scarves and making jewelry. I love watching anime and am kinda enjoying this blogging thing a lot. At the end of the day though, it’s not what fulfills me and pretending it does is a very unhealthy way to push into the coming years. The question is: Is having a “secure” future with a job of my dreams, most likely without my awesome husband in tow, worth it?

Kind of obvious answer here: Hell no.

I know a lot of self-assured women out there probably just guffawed at that but the fact is, I DID grow up with instability. My parents tried their best. I don’t resent how I was raised one bit. The reason my husbands worth sticking around for is simple. A life filled with everything except that one cure for the hollow aching in ones stomach to know that they will have someone at their bedside if they get ill, or to understand the really dumb jokes we make, that person who can hold you when you sob at 3am in the morning over something you can’t control but wish with all of your might that you could, makes no sense. We die alone. Everyone says that. I get that. Funny thing though. We aren’t BORN alone. We’re not. Which means that whichever route you prefer to take is up to you. Live alone, thrive on money and whatever makes you tingle inside as long as it harms no one else. Or live with someone who drives you nuts sometimes but makes you laugh and smile a hell of a lot more than they make you angry. I prefer the latter.

That doesn’t mean that I’m comfortable giving up independence and the career I love. It means I have to tweak my career options to still fit what I love to do within the realm of what I can do. That’s hard as hell in a very small town that has no desire to pursue these matters. Art and History get shelved in the far back of the priority bin here. I can hope that changes or we can figure out what our lives will have to be like for both of us to be comfortable in the future. Personally, I need my family. Hell, I need a LATIN FOOD restaurant that isn’t Taco Time (which is almost 2 hours away by the way!). As a Hispanic American who has to deal with so many levels of ignorance here that I cringe whenever someone equates Puerto Rico to Mexico (I have an awesome friend from there who has many similarities to me, but we are completely different culturally speaking, and that’s just fine) or whenever someone tries to lecture me on the struggles of minorities when they themselves are not a minority, I get fidgety and fantasize buying a plane ticket back to the States.

Here are a few of my gripes:

1.  Many people I meet feel the need to lecture me about the United States. I have to listen to everything about how our education system “is” (and they are often times WRONG) to conspiracy theories about how the Boston bombing was a hoax set up by the government (which let me tell you, the governments of MOST countries have so much on their plates right now that bombing a race is probably their least priority and I find it shocking that anyone would make such an uneducated suggestion followed by “So I don’t care if those people died because like, there are people like, dying in Venezuelan hospitals, like right?!”. I grew up in Massachusetts you dillhole. I don’t want to hear that crap, nor do I have any desire to feed into the anti-anybody mentality.

2. Getting blasted about Native culture by anyone who isn’t Native. Hi. I can read. I’m well aware of the current situation. I won’t voice my personal beliefs on the matter but I will say this. I will not tolerate anyone insinuate that I’m a racist against ANY Native culture. Why? Because Puerto Ricans are TAINO’S. I.E. A Native tribe currently encountering similar circumstances and ailments, just handled very differently. Different methods, same results. So I don’t judge.

See? Not actually that many gripes. There are some things I like about where I am and some I dislike. Kind of the same as anyone else in the world right now. What matters is how we approach the situations we are handed. What matters is how we make the best of everything around us and try to be the better person when someone strives to upset us. Also, sometimes people don’t even mean to upset us. They might be having a bad day and that in itself is okay. It’s not okay to treat your friends or loved ones badly because you’re not sure how to handle whatever you’re going through. That’s when you stop, clear your head for a moment, and ask for help.

Currently, I’m in shadow-mode. I look at my own shadow and don’t even know who it belongs to anymore. So what? I’ll get to where I’m meant to be eventually. For now I make the best of it.

But for the love of all that is good, stop trying to convert me. I’m an American Puerto Rican Israeli with a bunch of other ethnicities tossed in there.

Like my dad says: “I don’t need to do anything except stay Puerto Rican and die.”

Now, to end this on a happy note:

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See? Thrills. Just Thrills.