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Power vs. Responsibility

Power vs. Responsibility

This post was written by Captain Freedom on September 19, 2007
Posted Under: Ask The Superhero

Dear Captain,
Is it always true that with great power comes great responsibility?
-Jimmy Olsen from Dundas, MN

This is pablum of the worst kind, a stereotype perpetuated by the media that gets me in trouble at work, with my girlfriend, and with my family. ‘Take out the garbage,’ she says. ‘I don’t feel like it,’ I reply. ‘With great power comes great responsibilities’, and then I’m hulking the cans out to the driveway, even though they only feel like empty paper bags to me. Superheroes shouldn’t be more responsible than anyone else. Nobody else seems to care when cops blow a red light, but I’m not allowed to drive on the sidewalk when I’m late to a Duran Duran concert?

Albert Einstein, greatest of all Americans, once said this: imagination is more important than responsibility. Actually, he didn’t exactly say that, but he said that ‘knowledge is power’, and that ‘imagination is more important than knowledge’ (saw that one on a bumper sticker). I’m no logician, but with a little word substitution you could also say that ‘imagination is more important than power’, and ‘with great knowledge comes great responsibilities’, so it follows that imagination is more important than responsibilities.

Yo Captain!
Is it alright to grill baby back ribs on a gas grill?
Name withheld

Noname Propane,
You could grill ribs on a gas grill, if you’re the kind of person who would be satisfied seeing the Mona Lisa in a textbook, or doesn’t buy the Duran Duran reunion album because a rock ‘critic’ said it wasn’t any good, or you’d rather push paper in a cubicle than hunt the wild creatures of the Serengeti. With a gas grill you might as well head on over to the Burger King and ask them to flame broil your twenty dollar aged steak.

When you become brave enough to face your inner demons and purchase that actual grill, the one that speaks to the ancestral urges of fire and flesh, try using mesquite fuel instead of charcoal. It imparts a nice smoky flavor, and happens to be carbon neutral. Neat!

Dear Mr. Freedom,
How do I know if I can fly? Please write back because this is an assignment for Mrs. Prokop’s fifth grade class. I was going to choose David Hasselhoff, but my best friend Eric picked him so you were the only one left. - Peter Busby

It’s not very likely that you can fly. Look at yourself. Superheroes and others who fly are fabulous people. Are you surrounded by fabulous people exchanging witty banter and enjoying expensive wine? No. You’re twelve years old. Making fart jokes in the cafeteria.

But you will never know unless you try. First thing you should do is have your mother sew you a costume. Tell her it’s for the school play. Then you should stand on top of a very tall cliff, close your eyes, and leap.

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