Monday, June 07, 2004


Truth, Justice, and the Canadian Way?

Okay, I found this website with that PSA about Joe Shuster, the Canadian half of Superman's creators. After watching the thing again, I see that I was mistaken before; a caption sets the vignette in Cleveland, 1931, making Shuster 17. So I retract my earlier trashing of the piece.

And now comes the brand new trashing.

First of all, when I was searching the site, it lists all the people in alphabetical order by FIRST name. Oy. Then, when I got to the J's, I found no mention of Joe Shuster. Until I got to the S's, and there was the listing for "Superman."

Bad enough these guys got screwed out of the royalties for their character, now this?

Second of all, there's STILL no mention in the commercial of Jerry Siegel. That's like honoring Walt Disney and ignoring Ub Iwerks.

Oh, wait...

Third, the website quotes Canadian author Mordechai Richler describing Superman as, "a perfect expression of the Canadian psyche...a hero who does not take any credit for his own heroism, a glamorous figure in cape and tights who is content to live his daily life in horn-rimmed glasses and brown suits."

People, Superman, in his 30s and 40s heyday, was not a metaphor for the Canadian psyche, he was a metaphor for Jewish immigrants, coming to America, blending in to American society, and using his unique talents in the service of America.

THAT'S what Superman is, not some idealized expression of an imaginary "Canadian psyche." You leave Canadians to come up with their own superheroes, they come up with crap like Captain Canuck.

Though I did not know that Joe Shuster was related to Frank Shuster.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

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