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October 17, 2008



Auggh, what's your piece on, Marc - tell me it's on the sun/hope/empathic parabolics and symbology between Barry's campaign and Superman and how BHO is like Superman only maybe better and also real? Also both = a little bit dorky and earnest, just enough to be attractive, not awful. Additionally, further still, mom and roots in Kansas, career begun in Illinois with Metropolis on the border there, by Kentucky. And the photo, with the statue.

I have even drawn a like-for-like character map in my head, which while startlingly obvious, has a satisfactory conclusion, to wit:

Leo Quintum = Biden
Daily Planet = liberal media, in the tank for Superman
Luthor = McCain
Nasthalthia = Palin (unfortunately Palin is really very stupid, which rather spoils this)
Solaris = the economy? I guess
and of course Bizarro horde = McCain/Palin Hate Rally attendees

If it is, I have a fine excuse not to write mine (and have completely SPOILED yours,) which would only I fear embarrass me in any case because I am from 'the rest of the world' and we pretty much all think Barack Obama is terrific and probably just do not fully understand why people would not just all vote for him.


One more thing, via mgk - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOaEjcIdBGg

Let's just say 0:44-0:46 - central.


Much like Chris Bird, I am creeped out by that video. I would rather link to
this video, or in a slightly punchier mood this one.

No, the post won't be about Superman/Obama confluences, though there's certainly plenty of material out there. We've barely scratched the surface of all the user-generated Superman/Obama mashups--I don't think the Obama campaign encourages the comparison exactly, but they encourage the playfulness and creativity and participatory action that have led to dozens of newly hopeful nerds making the comparison on their (our) own.

And you're so right about the similarities of character and temperament and biography--born in a distant and exotic land, the Kansas roots and (politically) midwestern origins, the journey to the metropolis and the no-nonsense woman he meets there--and I couldn't resist the Luthor/McCain, Nasthalthia/Palin comparison either. Two vain, angry old men who like to surround themselves with eye candy? What's to resist? Although at least Luthor doesn't want to bang his eye candy, so that's a point in his favor. (Also, I take it you're not implying John McCain will travel back through time to become Joe Biden.)

I had to stop pursuing the parallels because it was in danger of becoming too saccharine and, far worse, too trivial--an act of fan devotion when times call for action. (So, if you're a US reader, sign up and act.) But Obama's joke last night made it impossible to ignore the inner and dual fanboy. To bring your allegory to its inevitable conclusion:

Jimmy Olsen = me, and every other dedicated Obama supporter. And we all have signal watches.

The post will just be about All Star Superman and inspiration and hope and idealism and any Obama comparisons were going to percolate just under the surface. But it is truly remarkable how Grant Morrison and Barack Obama have both captured the zeitgeist so effectively that they've begun to approach each other.

David Allison

Heh -- Duncan, I actually have notes for a post that makes more or less that exact argument!

I abandoned that essay earlier this week though, because after my David Foster Wallace post I was worried that it would seem like I needed to process every important real life event through the ASS-prism.

Also, I have quite a few hang ups about being the British (or rather Scottish!) guy who thinks he's got amazing insights into American politics.

Marc -- can't wait to read whatever you have to say on All Star Superman. Here's hoping that this particular bit of zeitgeist-spotting proves accurate on a national scale!

David Allison

Also, that signal watches joke is killing me.

In a good way.


I know what you mean, David - don't wanna jinx it, like Operation Clark County; I might write the post anyway, because there has to be some product of my endless staring at Kos, 538, tpm, Pollster, Ambinder (I can't recall if he's the guy Marc totally took down over The Wire, some Atlantic guy) shoorly and maybe twist it like yo, Scotland, obsessed with America - especially your area which I believe owes it's particular fetish to GI postings in WWII.

I had a good notion to alter the Biden/Quintum correlations but I can't remember it now.


Ah, furthermore! (I'm sorry, Marc, and I do realise this is utter trivialism compared to basically, so far as I'm concerned, the USA's last chance) The whole centrepiece, the last page of #6 - I haven't read 'Dreams from my Father' but well... I read the IDW comic, you know.


The Atlantic takedown was Mark Bowden. Ambinder's just your typical "centrist," chewing and regurgitating the conventional wisdom extruded by his peers in the DC pundit class (which probably means he said something in support of torture circa 2002-2005 but never stooped to comment on the Wire).

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