On 9/22/11, I kicked off the 2011-12 year of author visits at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD. The students in attendance had all met or exceeded the summer reading book quota the school had set forth in a challenge.
When speaking at Jewish venues, I like to share a brief, anonymized version of the Moses story and ask the audience who I’m talking about. They always get it.
Then I ask who else I could be describing and usually someone answers as I am hoping by saying Superman.
However, it appears we’ve reached a dispiriting shift. For the first time, a student did not say Superman…but rather Metro Man (technically, the student said Megamind, who is Metro Man’s enemy and the star of the 2010 film of the same name).
The linked origin of hero Metro Man and villain-turned-hero Megamind is a parody/homage of Superman’s rocketed-from-a-dying-planet backstory. It’s hard for me to accept that these two characters from a derivative, forgettable film (whose cast, nonetheless, I do love) now loom larger in some young minds than the world’s first superhero.
This looks like a job for Superman. I just hope we don’t reach the point where a student responds “Super who now?”