Sunday, June 2, 2013

Truth, Justice, and the American Way

Jerome Siegel *1914,1996† and Joseph Shuster *1914,1992† were children of Jewish immigrants living in Glenville Cleveland. They created Superman. They lost Superman, and the franchise has made many millions. For several years in the mid-30s they worked out the concept and story. Superman was published in Action Comics #1 (June 1938). The duo sold their rights to the publisher for one hundred and thirty dollars. At auction, a copy of the first issue went for a million dollars.
the crystal gemstone tourmaline can pass for kryptonite
Superman became the first of the comic book superheroes. He was in the newspapers, radio, television, and the picture show. Many people have become familiar with the outline of his story, and many of the characters, and plot elements.

Siegel, Shuster, and Superman came to age in Depression, and New Deal America. Franklin Roosevelt was making a better America, and Hitler was creating a bloodthirsty empire. Siegel and Shuster were familiar with, and enthusiasts of, the picture show, and of science fiction and detective book cheapies. Such was the genesis of Superman.
  Superman's attic, boyhood home Jerry Siegel
For many years, Cleveland had not recognised Siegel, Shuster, and Superman.  Superman/Clark Kent is seventy-five. The Jewish cultural museum in suburban Beachwood has a permanent exhibit. A few markers have been put up in Glenville, and last fall a statue and exhibit were installed at a baggage carousel in Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Cleveland has a lot of public art, a large outdoor statue would be in order.

There is a comedian (others too had to make the connection) somewhere that made the observation on how simple it is to identify the character by using a pair of glasses, putting them on and taking them off, and again so, saying "Clark Kent. Superman...". Perhaps, the same fellow, spoke on the ending of The Fugitive, holding one arm behind his back while waving the other up and down. The Fugitive was based on Cleveland's doctor Sam Sheppard.

In 1972, DC comics named Metropolis Illinois as Superman's home town. Now a large colorful statue proudly stands in front of the town hall in a characteristic, undaunted, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.-Errol Flynn Robin Hood stance and the slogan, "Truth-Justice-American Way".

Currently in town, a couple of Hollywood movies are being filmed. One is a superhero movie, Captain America. Cleveland is in the habit of bending over backwards for outside money coming to town. If people are inconvenienced, so what? Also, this is interesting, some people make out in financial gain, hooray for them; others lose out, and miss income and so what? Whoever is quickest on the make wins. An 'entrepreneur' with the slickness of a confidence-man can make out like a bandit in Cleveland. Of course, the big money and corporations in town wheel a similar practice as standard operating procedure. Cleveland was the hometown of the once richest robber baron of them all, John D. Rockefeller, and many other millionaires. Their money did not trickle down.

A local reporter, Bill Sheil, did a good piece on the "authority"of filming "security". A highway was shut down Friday, and will be for two weeks. That caused a hellacious traffic jam on the suggested reroute, that along with other construction and filming downtown added to commuter immobility. That was the lead story on many of the editions on four Cleveland television stations. Not too many bosses will shrug off an employee coming late to work, especially when other workers (and he of course) are not in similar circumstances. Hey, but a few people get minimum wage jobs as extras, it beats jury duty. I am not paying for the movie tickets.

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