The People Will Look Up and Shout ‘Save Us!’
Originally posted: http://golgotron.com/2010/08/the-people-will-look-up-and-shout-save-us/#more-5398
2010 has ushered in the era of the super hero. Amazing comic book characters are inspiring several franchises in movies, video games, TV and more. As movie goers, we look to these characters and relate to them, admire them, aspire to be them. The super hero saves the people and protects their city, but outside of the movies and the comics we have the same problems with crime and poverty and death. We have real-life issues that parallel those of the comic book world. There isn’t a mad scientist threatening to blow up DC, but there are people getting mugged in the streets, parents losing children to gangs and drugs, people losing everything and struggling to survive on the streets. The real-life super heroes are out there, but they don’t do it for the fame or because they loved Iron Man 2. These heroes are out there helping their communities and looking out for the less fortunate. They are out there with a message, a message that has fallen upon few ears until now.
Ken Goldstein is one of the founders of Planet Illogica. With his help, Peter Tangen was able to bring about “The Real Life Super Hero” project and voice this heroic message. While in Vancouver, Peter Tangen, photographer for major movie posters such as Hell Boy and Spider Man, was doing a photo shoot when he met one the many people who exist to help others. Peter met a man who wears a costume, and goes by his own super hero name. He helps the homeless, stops criminals, and protects his community. These super heroes exist all over the world. They may not have super powers, they may not be able to fly or stop bullets, but they act out of their own volition to help people, even just by getting to know the name of someone homeless. Good deeds like these happen everyday, most of which go unnoticed. The heroes have their own personal reasons for taking action but they all share a very real, very inspiring message. That message is the power of a symbol. A symbol that doesn’t draw attention to the guy dressed like a super hero, but to the good deeds he does everyday. The symbol of helping your fellow man and showing that the homeless people you pass everyday on the street are not invisible. They want people to call the police when they see a mugging instead of closing the blinds. Drug dealers, gang members, homeless people, they are all still human beings. Many of these people need help and even a small act of kindness can change their lives.
So how did Planet Illogica offer their support and bring light to the efforts of these super heroes? They held the launch of “The Real Life Super Hero” campaign with Golden Apple in San Diego during Comicon. Guests got a chance to do a photo shoot with Peter Tangen dressed as their own alter ego super heroes. The event was to announce the launch of the campaign and possible future plans. Unbeknownst to anyone at the launch, except for Tangen, six real life super heroes attended out of costume and under their alter egos.
There are many sites dedicated to the super hero community. They share stories, philosophies, and encourage others to join their cause and give them advice. There are many icons in the media that send a different message of what it means to do something heroic. Kids and adults get inspired by these icons and confuse being a super hero and doing a heroic deed. “The Real Life Super Heroes” say that you can do heroic deeds everyday with or without a mask. It is a concern that in the future someone will come along amongst the wannabes and hero fans that will start taking the law into their own hands or declare themselves a “Real Life Super Hero”, then go out and rob a bank or commit crimes at large. “The Real Life Super Heroes” do not declare themselves as an organization. They are a collective of people inspired by a message and are taking action. They all live by a strict code and stress this code to any newcomers. They ask that if you are planning on taking action that you obey any laws where you live, and to not become a vigilante dealing judgment and deciding what’s right and wrong. The heroes say that they do not deem right from wrong, but simply uphold their moral and ethical code. The websites are a place for newcomers to get information and gain advice and guidance, but likewise if they are joining for the wrong reasons they can be turned away.
Peter Tangen did a side-by-side photo shoot of the super heroes, one in costume and one out of costume (for those who would take off their masks). The heroes wanted people to see past their masks and look into the eyes of a person looking to help. The other side was not to compare themselves to Batman or Superman, but to show themselves how the people they help see them. To the homeless, these people look like shining super heroes. They extend a hand to the homeless and they see a caped crusader, a savior in a mask with a gentle smile. The heroes do not judge who they help or who joins their cause. People of all walks of life put on these disguises because they have been inspired to do something good. They use their costumes to market good deeds, not to market being a super hero. Even with the colorful costumes, there is still a sense of humility and humbleness. Heroes have been in the media and have experienced humiliation and being mocked, so of course they became reluctant to use media to spread their message. Peter Tangen gained the trust of the heroes, understood their message, believed in it, was inspired by it, and that’s really what this project is all about. The greatest power any of these super heroes have is to inspire.
Many companies and charities love the idea of spreading heroic acts. From small things such as handing out water to large donations and giving people another chance at life, every day people can become super heroes in the eyes of those in need. To get involved with “The Real Life Super Hero” campaign or just find out more as it develops, you can visit www.planetillogica.com. You can also visit the heroes community site www.reallifesuperheroes.com. It’s time for people to believe in something. One man has the power to change the world. We can care for those less fortunate, look past them being homeless and see a fellow human being in need. The idea isn’t to strap on a bullet proof vest and hit the streets with your cape blowing in the wind, but you can take the time to do something heroic. To become a symbol for good. To become inspired.