Michaels: Let’s keep our vigilantes in the pages of comic books

Here's a confession most self-respecting adult women won't make: I love superheroes.

Here’s a confession most self-respecting adult women won’t make: I love superheroes.

Not in a wishy-washy, I-like-blockbuster-movies-and-the-lead-actors-are-so-handsome way.

A Marvel comic puts my outfits at risk, as there’s a distinct possibility I’ll salivate on my shirt with childlike excitement upon reading. There are even certain passages from volumes of Spiderman that have made me verklempt, while others made me laugh out loud. As an aside, DC is fine, too. Just devoid of the Stan Lee’s knack for pithy dialogue, but I digress.

While my detractors have surmised I’m a drooling, pre-teen boy tragically caught in the body of an aging woman, I know better.

My love of superheroes comes from a fondness for the black and white renderings of right and wrong, clear-cut heroism and the sacrifice they display in everyday life.

These fictional crusaders are flawed people abandoning their personal problems to protect others. Frankly, why anyone wouldn’t be inspired by their reckless abandon of social norms in exchange for martyrdom and the greater good, is beyond me.

Plus, superheroes have great toys.

Thing is, while I revel in a good story about good versus evil and the heights some will go to in pursuit of balance, I also know real life is far too complicated for these types of characters to really exist.

In real life, Peter Parker would be a flexible narcissist and Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) would be a creepy, rich psychopath.

Above all else, they’d be vigilantes—something Okanaganites got a chance to ponder the actions of Thursday morning when a police report about events from the night before was released.

Quick recap: At 8 p.m. Wednesday, an allegedly drunk driver was served quick retribution for nearly wiping out three teenagers with his truck in West Kelowna. He apparently ran from the scene where a 12-year-old sat injured on foot, but two men in pursuit caught up, allegedly beat the snot out of him and he was taken away in an ambulance.

Admittedly, the first thing I thought was “this (expletive) got what was coming to him.”

Upon re-evaluation, however, I was far less enthusiastic.

Cut and dry good-versus-evil  is the domain of fiction, not reality. Our world is filled with complicated twists and turns and while succumbing to violence may sound good on the pages of a comic book, it’s hardly an earmark of an evolved society, which is  really the problem.

It seems we give away a little bit of our hard earned civility each day and episodes like this are just the tip of the iceberg.

These men who beat up the alleged drunk snot weren’t showing sacrificing themselves for the greater good, they were weakly giving into their base emotions and that’s the furthest thing from heroism.

Kelowna Capital News