Monday, June 05, 2006

Gor-Al: Last Son of Earth?

Elliot S. Maggin, the main Superman scribe during my youth, ponders planetary-scale heroism for the El-A Times:
I have often thought that doctors and scientists, trained to concern themselves with truth and human values, would be more suitable candidates to set public policy than those schooled in law, economics and management who commonly populate our public servants' talent pool.

But on Krypton, either the essential nature of scientists diverged from that of the open-minded and collaborative types with whom we are familiar here on Earth, or generations of "scientific" rule had befouled the Kryptonian leaders to the degree that they became as shortsighted and starchy as those who traditionally administer our own public affairs.

Like the Science Council, our leaders reacted with guffaws when one of our own rose to sound an earthshaking alarm. As a professional fabulist, by contrast, my reaction to Al Gore's 1992 book, "Earth in the Balance," was one of enormous excitement. It had pathos and drama, and extraordinary ideas expressed clearly and simply: a proposal for a new paradigm for the relationship between humanity and the planet.

Now comes "An Inconvenient Truth," with Al Gore as Jor-El.

People, we could have had Superman's dad as president instead of the half-wit supervillain currently occupying the Whitehouse.

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