The Superman Syndrome
The other day Mrs. Cog and I were discussing the latest fear mongering article by a well known doom porn purveyor. Of particular note was the actual technique use to inflame both hope and fear; a particularly effective mind control technique when used with precision and skill on a previously primed audience.
The name of the author is not important and thus, in order not to distract from the conversation, will remain nameless. The technique employed, however, warrants further discussion because of its effectiveness. First it outlines (in frighteningly graphic terms) a potentially mortal danger developing in the political/financial/military sphere, then it reveals some hidden knowledge gained from special insiders who (perhaps, maybe, possibly) are ready to step in and intercede on our behalf.
And for those disaffected with the way the wind blows, who are angry with selective (or nonexistent) law enforcement, Too-Big-To-Fail crony capitalism, money for nothing and the insider deals for free current state of affairs, a white knight riding to the rescue does sound rather comforting. I’ve coined this phenomenon "The Superman Syndrome", and it enables those of us who wish to put off doing what we do not wish to do by engaging us in wishful thinking and false hope seeking.
The biggest cultural myth we believe in is the one in which some divine superhero will save us from ourselves.
You see, there is nothing wrong with hope itself. Often it is the only fuel that can propel us forward, enabling us to accomplish the nearly impossible on a regular basis. But false hope binds us to impossible situations and must be avoided at all costs. Sadly it is often willingly embraced with open arms and closed minds.
Let me emphasize that this mind control method is designed to influence only the unhappy campers and not someone pleased as punch with the system as presently designed and operated. It is the malcontents who are the most dangerous to the monetarily and politically advantaged establishment, the so called elite or .01%ers as we like to say.
This mind control step comes just before The Stockholm Syndrome kicks in. But make no mistake about it, both work hand in hand to soften the mind, weaken the heart and deaden the resolve.
We may deny it all we want, but there is a place in all of us that just aches for Superman to appear and make things right, to bring truth, justice and the American way to a country desperately in need of some law and order. Or, at the very least, wrongs finally made right, something urgently needed in our own neck of the woods. It’s just that we don’t think about it quite like that.
Our culture, in fact all cultures to some extent or another, actively engage our need to believe there is a way out, an escape from our chains, a power greater than us individually or collectively that will save us from……well, to the perfectly frank, from ourselves. Regardless of whether we are discussing mass market religion, mainstream entertainment media such as movies, TV, music, even video games, or that old standby, classic fiction in the form of novel or short story, the theme of a glorious savior appearing when most needed resonates loudly within us.
Whether 8 or 80, we remained mesmerized by false superheroes.
All one need do is examine political slogans and candidate promises to see the validity of my premise, that the savior theme is recycled time and time again. And still, like immature little children, we fall for it…..over and over and over again. I would be hard pressed to find anyone out there who claims to fully ‘believe’ in the system or the promises of the politicians. Yet seduced we are by the continuous stream of lies and deceit. Are we nuts?
Actually we are. But don’t tell anyone or you might upset them.
I remember an election poll released in 2006 where 80% of respondents felt that most politicians were liars and crooks. But only 20% of the respondents believed their local politicians were corrupt. How does one explain this obvious contradiction other than to acknowledge our own need to believe those most locally and directly influencing our lives aren’t really that bad?
For if they were that bad, then “We the Individuals” might just need to do something about it. Since actual personal responsibility for anything other than ourselves (and often not even that) is the last thing we want to be saddled with, denial is our best friend and closest companion.
We Baby Boomers talk about how the Millennial Generation was raised on video games, text messaging, Facetime and Snapchat, snidely implying they are unfit for much more than slices of life served in 140 character bits and bytes. Yet we conveniently forget “We the Boomers” were weaned on Andy Griffith, white hatted cowboys, day time soap operas and the first wave of ‘reality’ TV.
How does this make us any more attached to the ‘real’ world than any other generation before or after us, let alone more capable or competent? Exactly who is leaving whom with crushing national debt, an overripe banana republic and megalomaniacs in control?
Every four years we engage in the comforting ritual known as ‘Presidential voting’, where we imprint the control system with our stamp of approval via our participation in the election farce. Even those of us who have matured enough to understand the system is completely rigged still watch the three ring circus from the cheap seats way up in the peanut gallery, all secretly rooting for this or that lesser evil.
Or better yet, we anoint one of the really good guys and gals, the ‘third’ party candidates who have a snow ball’s chance in hell of actually winning, but carry the glorious flag of purity and righteousness. We truly do love our superheroes, regardless of their (or our) race, creed and color.
Who knew Fox Mulder was speaking for all of us every time the camera panned past his office wall poster with the UFO hovering over some trees, blazing white words on the pitch black background boldly declaring “I Want To Believe”. It contrasts so beautifully with the show’s other theme, “The Truth Is Out There”.
Truth be damned, do we ever want to believe.
Rest assured, we will be provided with someone to believe in….over and over and over again. There’s no doubt our handlers will see to that. And the reason is simple and completely understandable. When we forsake personal responsibility for ourselves, our family, our community, our nation and our world, how can we possibly tolerate seeing our obese reflection in the morning mirror?
Actually it’s quite easy. Just believe in our favorite superhero.
"Here I come to save the day". That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way.
We are desperate to believe anything in order to avoid personal responsibility for ourselves.
Compared to the stream of (political) lies we continue to believe, flying saucers are quite believable.