- Posted June 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Superman: Memories of a Cultural Icon
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
I'm a 33-year old male with a wide variety of tastes, from Super Mario to Elvis Presley to Twilight. So what is it about Superman? What drew me (and so many others) to him? Why is he still so iconic 75 years later, when many other characters have faded from the collective forefront?
While there have been many variations over the years, the core of the character explains all of these things. Superman appeared in the age of the Great Depression, a time when the average man felt powerless against the ravages of the times they lived in. Superman was created as a champion of the oppressed, an aspiration of the strength of conviction we all can posess to fight injustice. As time and technology progressed, Superman's powers evolved with the times - an aspiration that we, too, could keep up with the changing world around us. The humanity in his personality - to be fair, uphold what's right and help your fellow man - is the aspiration of us all in our best moments. One personal moment for me, when he married Lois Lane on October 9th of 1996, gave aspiration to a 16 year old boy that a strong marriage is only that start of life's story - a moment I had for myself with my Lois, my wife Ronda, on October 9th, 2009.
Aspiration. The idea of what we can be, if we hold fast to our humanity, our hopes. Superman's embodiment of this is my favorite memory of the character, what draws me to him, and why he is so iconic. This same idea, that we can find the strength if we try, has been the center of everything from our start as a nation to the civil rights movement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is the core of all of us. It can be challenged, it can be beaten down, but it can never be defeated. As long as this lives.. so, too, will Superman. In all of us.
(aka: Clark Kent / Superman) ;)