Friday, December 9, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY! 12/9/11

facade [fuh-sahd, fa-sahd]
noun
1. Architecture. a. the front of a building, especially an imposing or decorative one.
                          b. any side of a building facing public way or space and finished accordingly.
2. a superficial appearance, illusion, or something.

EX. The Clark Kent-to-Superman facade is a mysterious function of his comics that has left the public conscious curious, confused, or both. The easiest explanation of how the disguise works is a rather simple one-- in Superman's Universe the difference of wearing clothes, glasses and his hair in a different way is enough of a disguise. Yet, for those of us unsatisfied with this lazy narrative choice we need only look to the various theories (some of which have actually been put into comics) to explain this feature of the Man of Steel's life.

The most ridiculous explanation, in my opinion, comes from the Silver Age. During the Silver Age, and in the films starring Christopher Reeves, is the idea of Superman having incredible powers of hypnosis and suggestion. The idea goes that he simply hypnotizes everyone who sees him into not making the connection between Clark and Superman.The problem with it? Why the hell wouldn't Superman use it all the time?


 On a terrible side note of Superhero history, Superman once got hypnotized by a hideous little gremlin by the name of Sleez into making as porno with MARRIED super heroine Big Barda in a comic lauded since its release as disturbing, sexist, stupid, etc. Just goes to show as bad as the Silver Age could be about silly stuff, at least it didn't involve Superman technically being raped/forced to rape one of his friends by a super villain. Egads! I need to go wash my eyes by reading All-Star Superman.

1 Hour Later...

The next explanation is that Superman's glasses have a special property, probably made from his ship, that disguises him as Clark Kent. While the idea has a little more plausibility, it doesn't explain why, if Clark lost his glasses, people still wouldn't make the connection.

The idea that I tend to support is the most bizarre, sci-fi, and therefore somehow more sensible. Superman has complete control of his body. For example, he can control his vocal cords to be able to imitate anyone's voice. So, how does he disguise himself? He vibrates features of his face at super sonic speeds thus distorting his face just enough to remain disguised. Only problem? If he kisses someone while doing this he'd probably kill them! 0.0


I don't know which theory to buy into or whether I need to buy into it all. A lot of attention has been paid to this dichotomy over the years, but one thing is important to know; Clark Kent is real, Superman is the mask. In Kill Bill: Episode 2 there is an infamous speech about how Clark Kent is a criticism of the human race-- cowardly, weak, and clumsy. Its a nice speech and feeds into all the Superman hatred out there, but its completely off base. Clark Kent is an honest, brave, trustworthy, respectable, hard-working, compassionate, generous, genius, kind and American human man. In the end, Clark Kent stands as the most human of men in the DC Universe, and Superman will continue to capture the imagination of people everywhere and serves as a Paragon of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.




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