Did you look up in the sky yesterday? Did you see a bird, or maybe a plane? Did you know Thursday was Superman’s 75th birthday, or, to be more precise, the 75th anniversary of his appearance in the first Superman comic book?
For those of us of a certain age, and by that I mean those who were around for the first run of the Adventures of Superman TV show (1952-1958), yesterday was a day to engage in reverie about our youth, of dreaming about milk mixed with Bosco or Ovaltine (ok, the latter was Captain Midnight’s sponsor, but you get the picture), and eating Kellogg’s cereal, Superman’s actual sponsor.
Superman took flight in 1938 and quickly captured the nation’s fancy at a time when evil seemed to be erupting around the world, especially after the United States entered the second world war. Just how pervasive Superman became was demonstrated to me by two films Turner Classic Movies aired last week. In the first, 1943’s So Proudly We Hail, about nurses tending to soldiers in the Philippines before their surrender to the Japanese, Paulette Goddard tells Filipino children a story about Superman. Ironically, the male lead in the movie was played by George Reeves who a decade later went on to play Superman/Clark Kent in the TV series.
In the second movie, 1944’s Since You Went Away, the character played by Monty Woolley, noting that his morning newspaper was missing pages 9-12, complained, “Where is Superman?”.
It’s a legitimate question given the actions of U.S. senators Wednesday. Instead of showing the type of profile in courage exalted by John F. Kennedy in his book about politicians who took stands for the country rather than their own political gain, four Democratic senators—Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Max Baucus of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota—chose to kowtow to the National Rifle Association in lieu of voting for the best interests of their constituents and the nation. They rejected the idea of expanding background checks before the sale of firearms at gun shows or through the Internet. By comparison, four Republicans stood out for their courage in supporting the expansion—Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John McCain of Arizona and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Had the four Democrats voted for the measure, the amendment still would have failed. It would have had support of just 59 senators, one vote shy of the 60 needed to beat a filibuster. How shameful that the Senate turned its back on the victims of multiple shootings and their survivors. The clock is ticking. How long will it be before another unstable person kills and maims innocents?
I’m thinking of going postal. Not really. Just thought I’d get your attention to a flyer that came in the mail from the United States Postal Service seeking city carrier assistants in post offices in Westchester County to collect and deliver mail by foot or by vehicle. Don’t you think it would be fun riding around in a postal truck, steering wheel on the right side, or walking a route dressed in shorts with a pith helmet to keep sunstroke at bay?
As much as I’m intrigued by the notions, I don’t think I’m cut out anymore for disciplined clockwork. I’m afraid I really might go postal if I had to punch a time clock or take abuse from a nasty supervisor or customer.
News You Might Have Missed: What with all the important news of the last two weeks, including the Korean crisis, the gun law debate, the bombings at the Boston Marathon and the subsequent dragnet for the perpetrators, the explosion of the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, the death of Margaret Thatcher, some stories of import, depending on your point of view, might have escaped your news net. So here’s a couple of items that, regrettably, show the gender gap is narrowing, at least as far as retaliatory behavior is concerned.
Shades of Lorena Bobbitt, a California woman took matters into her own hands and cut off her estranged husband’s penis with a 10-inch kitchen knife. She outdid Lorena’s revenge by throwing the severed member down the garbage disposal. According to the Associated Press, “Catherine Kieu, 50, is accused of drugging her estranged husband's tofu with sleeping pills and tying him to a bed before the attack, the Orange County Register reported.” During her trial which began earlier this week, “The prosecution alleges that Kieu was motivated by jealousy, and that she was angry about her husband's plans to divorce her because he was seeing his ex-girlfriend.”
Okay, that might be an extreme example of a woman behaving badly. But how would you explain this episode? In a confrontation reminiscent of fathers behaving badly at Little League games, two mothers got into it during an Easter egg hunt in Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. Once again, we turn to the Associated Press for details:
According to the Seattle Police Department blotter “one woman reportedly pushed a child aside as her own child was scrambling toward some brightly colored eggs. Police say the two mothers began fighting and had to be separated three or four times. The fisticuffs left one woman with a bloody nose.”
Makes me kinda glad our children never played Little League baseball or went searching for Easter eggs.
Are New York voters more forgiving or more discriminating than South Carolinians? We’ll learn the answer to that question should disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner choose to throw his hat, and hopefully only his hat, into the mayoral race.
Will the “junk” tweeter be given another chance, as South Carolina voters have given disgraced former governor Mark Sanford? Sanford won a Republican primary to run for Congress. By the way, in the general election he’s running against Stephen Colbert’s sister.