(Whoa there! This is the final part. Click here to read the previous if you haven’t! :D )
1. Osama, Waldo, Carmen Sandiego Ain’t Got Nothing On Superman
For those of you who don’t know, let’s get a quick lesson:
Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist and former leader of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda. He was the mastermind behind a number of terrorist attacks the world over, including the 9/11 downing of the World Trade Center twin towers. After 10 gruelling years, millions of dollars, and the lives of countless soldiers and agents, the US government finally found – and killed – him.
‘Where’s Wally?’ is a children’s game where a character – the eponymous Wally (or ‘Waldo’ in the US and Canada) – is drawn into a crowd of people, and you have to find him. Due to his characteristic pink-striped clothes and suspenders, and because great lengths are taken to blend him in, it’s not as simple as it sounds…
(Brøderbund are also the makers of the popular Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, with Mavis being another titular and popular, though fictitious, character. Seriously, guys?)
As well as inspiring a ’90s educational cartoon series, Carmen is the leader of V.I.L.E., a criminal organisation, and serves as the main antagonist who somehow eludes everyone despite their best efforts.
Now, what do the above three have in common? Well, this: for a long period, people (have) spent a lot of time and resources looking for them.
All of them have been identified…though Carmen is still on the loose, lurking around somewhere…
That brings me to my final point: how hard is it to unravel Superman’s secret identity?
In the movie, that question is first posed to reporter Lois Lane. Having met and gotten saved by him, she – after unsuccessfully trying to publicize his story – sets out to uncover his secret. We see her doing her reporter thing, interviewing people, taking notes, bla bla, until…huzzah! She locates the very house he grew up in. More so: his cover blown, he is forced to find her to convince her to be quiet.
Now, you’d think that the very government that located the head of a terrorist network, not to mention whose defence budget is more than the next top five nations’ combined, would have absolutely no difficulty locating someone a reporter with comparatively limited resources found.
Actually, if you had thought that, you’d be wrong. Oh so veeeery wrong….
If you were someone who, prior to this movie, was rooting for the CIA and all those other acronyms, I can’t help but comfort you in the disappointment you must have felt afterwards. As you keep watching, you keep hoping, surely, one of these guys will find Superman’s true identity!
They don’t. But that’s not the real disappointment.
The real disappointment is that you will realise that this movie – whether purposely or inadvertently – actually announced that finding Osama was pure luck, and the American government – perhaps the entire world – is actually full of numskulls.
Why this conclusion? Follow the signs:
Aliens come and threaten the world unless one of their own hiding on earth is revealed.
It comes to light that a famous reporter is aware of the identity of said alien.
The reporter insists she will not reveal it. Even though her boss and the FBI pushes, she stands her ground.
This is where things become…upside down. Normally, in the real world, at this point, someone would have screamed in Lane’s face, ARE…YOU…CRAZY?!
Or, with the pressure of far superior weapons of mass destruction looming down, it is most likely somebody with lesser morals would have hinted, “Why don’t we torture her? It is literally the end of the world if we don’t get her to talk for cryin’ out loud…”
Both don’t happen (thank goodness).
Okay, how about something more humane, like oh I don’t know, tracking Lane’s movement over the past week/month/year? With all the recent brouhaha on the NSA’s snooping and other privacy violations, it is mind boggling to think this government can be this oblivious. Surely someone somewhere would be able to know precisely where Lois had been/was coming from i.e Kansas, retrieve her airline ticket(s) and travel routes, where she stopped for gas…in today’s techie world, and with the threat of extinction, the options are endless! This should be EASY!
None of this happens. To the shock of all knowledgeable watching, the American government, while displaying superior firepower, shows a surprising lack of sense.
Oh, it doesn’t end there…it seemed the movie had to really rub it in the face of the government with what else happened:
A little while after threatening earth and then receiving Superman captive, Zod sends two of his spacecrafts (whose trajectory the Americans monitored by the way)…to Kansas…
The Americans sent their military to engage those same crafts and aliens…in Kansas…
An all-out alien brawl levelling several structures and killing some military servicemen ensued…in Kansas…
Zod himself – the big bad boss himself – was on one of those crafts, which landed on a farm…in Kansas…
Lois Lane – that very reporter oh – gets a ride in a police car to that same farm…in Kansas…
Hmmm…is anyone else seeing a trend here?
Chai! ALL it took was for someone, ANYone, to point out, “Yo…what’s up with Kansas all of a sudden?”
Instead, something I can only imagine and forgive as fiction occurs: well after the alien wahala passes (so that rules out the excuse that they were under pressure and could not think straight due to the pressing circumstances) the movie ends with the government spending TWELVE-WHOOPING-MILLION-DOLLARS ($12,000,000) on a drone to monitor and locate Superman…
…which he then SMASHES…
If you thought the obvious meter could not be maxed out, you should stop reading right now. Why? Because after the effrontery of smashing said drone directly in the general’s presence, the following conversation takes place between Superman and him:
General: How do we know you won’t one day act against America’s interests?
Superman: (pointing to his background) I grew up in Kansas, General. I’m about American as it gets.
In case you speed-read that, lemme slow down and re-emphasis for you:
Somehow mocking that everybody around him is as dumb as a brick to not have picked up on the Kansas flare by now, Superman (while pointing to a specific direction oh!)…also…blatantly…stated…that…he…GREW….UP…IN…wait-for-it…KANSAS…AMERICA…
Don’t know about you, but I understand ‘grew up’ to mean ‘SPENT A MAJOR PART/PORTION OF MY LIFE’.
This is no longer easy – it has become RIDICULOUS!!!!
This movie should have ended with the general giving a smug laugh and saying, “Aha! Gotcha fool! Took us a while, but we finally know how and where to find you, sucker!”
Instead, the movie ends with the general – and the general public – still being oblivious to Clark’s secret identity.
(On a side note, it should now make sense why he really fell in love in Lois – she is obviously the smartest woman, nay human, on earth to have figured it out with even less clues. May their intelligent offspring give our doomed idiot race hope. K)
So, we learn the following:
- as it turns out, in Superman’s world, sending in a bunch of reporters/secret agents equipped with nothing more than a pen and paper – or at most a smartphone – to find someone’s obvious secret identity is for FOOLS! If you want it done right, splurge like some $12million of the faithful taxpayer’s money on a drone, shrug “Oh well!” when it gets smashed, then rinse and repeat – that’s how to do it right. BURNING MONEY! ’cos that’s how the American government rolls, baby.
- But more importantly: spending millions of illegal money and using terrorist networks is for amateurs! Pink suspenders? Lame! Overcoats and a Spanish name are old school. If you really want to never be found, tell your seekers where you live(d), comb your hair a different way, and then don a pair of transparent glasses.
Don’t agree? In case you were having any doubts as to this last point, then well…