Superhero Lunchboxes: A Force for Good September 4, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
Can you imagine school without superhero lunchboxes? Some people can:
A little girl named Laura was sent home with a note because she had brought a Wonder Woman lunchbox to school. (The website the Mary Sue first reported the story, from a post on the social-media site Imgur.) In the letter addressed to Laura’s parents, the school explained: The dress code we have established requests that the children not bring violent images into the building in any fashion — on their clothing (including shoes and socks), backpacks and lunchboxes. We have defined “violent characters” as those who solve problems using violence. Superheroes certainly fall into that category.
At the link, Jonah Goldberg does a great job of showing that solving problems using violence is very often an act for good and the only realistic alternative. But I think he missed a bigger point.
The great lesson of superheroes is that power must be used responsibly and in the service of good. It’s such a common mantra in comic books that it’s turned into a joke: “Hah! I opened this jar of peanut butter!! Henceforth I vow to use these powers for good and not evil!”
It’s a lesson that anybody who rises to a position of power needs to learn, and of course we all rise to a position of power at some point. Just becoming a parent, for example. Or driving a car. Teaching. Supervising. Making laws.
Watching President Obama’s rampant abuse of Executive Orders, I’ve got to believe he never carried a superhero lunchbox. And looking at the idiocy of the staff at little Laura’s school, they never carried any, either.
So now they use their powers for stupidity and not good.
[Full disclosure: I carried a Man from UNCLE lunchbox and a Superman lunchbox until we switched to sack lunches. I included a photo of the Man From Uncle lunchbox because the movie is out, and because everybody’s probably seen Superman lunchboxes.]