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superheros in training

Note: I’ll be away from blogging for the next six weeks. Mainly I’m putting that energy into finishing my book manuscript by summer’s end. My next post will be August 14 when I return from a family vacation. So before the break here’s a bit of silliness and fun . . .

Postmodern Superpowers

If I were going to order up a postmodern superhero persona I would want the following: a really cool costume – one that smoothed out bumps and blemishes, of course. A way to fly – because of course I love that, so I’d put that on the list. And I’d want a really good set of superhero friends who had nicely matching powers and of course coordinating but not matchy-pooh costumes. And what other powers would I want? Well . . .

I’ve long been a fan of the superhero power of time travel. In fourth grade I started reading the Little House on the Prairie books. And in reading group we learned how incredibly long it took covered wagons to rumble over the Oregon Trail. Even at 9 I could grasp that we could save so much time by traveling in cars, not horses, wagons or on foot. We could save even more time by plane or supersonic jet. In comparison to just a century ago, we  are time travelers. What took months now takes hours. When my husband and I flew home from a trip to Australia two decades ago we actually arrived back in the US a couple of hours before we left Australia. Mind bending in a way.

More recently I’ve been watching everyone from students and business people, to soccer moms and garbage collectors move through their day not staring into space or daydreaming, not wondering what their friends, spouses or children think about something. No. Nothing left to wonder about. Now there is an immediate way to know: call, text, email, twitter, facebook. All from your handheld or earbud. You don’t have to carry around internally constructed object representations of your loved ones or enemies in your mind. Just call ‘em up. Someone wants to know what so-and-so thinks. Read their website or google them. You can discover where they live, how to get in touch or what their opinion is on off-shore drilling or the latest flavor of chai. It is the postmodern super power of mind-reading. No need to wonder any more. Just ask and get an immediate (if mostly shallow) response.

And if these powers are not enough! Now you, too, can add to your superpowers of time travel and mindreading the much sought after supernatural gift of invisibility. You can be on line watching your friends log on and off skype, gmail or facebook, but you can remain invisible while you do it. Whoa! This goes beyond lurking in an old-fashioned listerv group. Now you can be right in the thick of the action. You can even interact, but only those you chat or IM will know you are there.

Who needs a cape, special glasses or a lasso? We’ve got virtual reality and superpowers to match. So jump on the postmodern superhero band wagon. If there aren’t enough new gadgets and gimmicks to suit you today, just give it a week or two and something else will come along. Now if we could just find the wisdom to match our newfound powers!

See you here in a few weeks . . .