Friday, October 17, 2008

Holier Than Thou

I have always liked DC Comics more than Marvel.

The reason is simple. I no longer feel the need to see what would happen if super-powered beings lived in the real world.

My interest was not, is not, in the plausible, practical questions.

Instead, I was drawn to the morality issues often featured in DC Comics.

When people have the power of gods, for what and how much should you use your powers? What is the limit of Superman's participation in the world?

Kingdom Come explored Superman's role as a world leader. He imposed himself to put order back into a chaotic world. For good. But as they say with ALL good intentions...

I mean, imagine the kind of havoc Superman could put on the world if he had simply manufactured as much diamonds and oil as the world needed, and more. The headache he would impose on immigration, border patrol and citizenship.

If he had stopped all conflicts before they even happened. Which side would he choose? In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, he is always on the side of America. In Superman: Red Son, he he is Russia's ultimate ruler.

In Watchmen, Dr Manhattan, who could do anything, did not do enough to stop millions from being killed.

Action, inaction. Too much action? Too much inaction? It is a fine balance and a very strong morality issue.

I find myself, at times, faced with amazing possibilities. It would be so easy to teeter over the edge and simply plunge in, forcing my beliefs and my opinions down the throats of innocent bystanders.

Forcing my brand of morality on other people. And I see more Malaysians facing the same choices. CHoices I made, paths I took. And I see people who already made their choices, selected their stand and their fights. I do not like most of them. I worry if one day I am to become one of them.

We often do not realize the effect and influence we have on others. Like a blind giant baby wading in a pool of human thought and emotion. A big enough baby to create tsunamis in a hundred different worlds. A hundred different lives.

Again, we face the moral question of where to draw the line between doing good, and taking away people's ability to choose.

As well as the situation of not doing enough with our abilities to help humanity along. Not doing enough and doing too much are both just as bad. It creates imbalance.

And what right do we have to make that choice? Are we informed enough? Smart enough?

The closest thing to a morality battle seen in Marvel is Spider-Man's quest to put responsibility on power. Strangely enough, this could be the answer.

With great powers, come great responsibility.

Thankfully, I am not Superman. So I do what I can. I understand that even if I push as hard as I can, I do not have absolute power. The world will not keel over and die if I write as much as I could.

What I AM worried about is if I end up like Dr Emil Lang from Robotech. That one day I would be a snowflake in a reality storm, determining where the avalanche of possibilities fall.

I do not think I am experienced enough to make that call.

Thank God I have a few years at least before anything of that magnitude happens. Before I face the same dilemma.

The best advice I can give myself right now is to follow my conscience. And I prayb to God that other people will have enough of their own.