I have developed a serious and quite debilitating addiction. I know it will run its course and in a little while I'll be free of it but for now it is ruling my life. This happens to me occasionally: I have, in the past, been addicted to – amongst other things - chocolate brownies made by a company called the red house; tables; shoes; Riesling; sunshine; Mossyard beach and going out for cocktails. I often get addicted to a particular author and read everything I can get my hands on written by that person. I also have a tendency to become addicted to certain music or musicians: at the moment I'm a bit partial to the Kings of Leon. But this latest serious addiction is to to the American TV series Heroes. My son has the whole first (and, so far, only) series on his computer and I can't stop watching it. Last night, alone, I watched four episodes. It's great, about a load of disparate people who are discovering that they are different from what might be considered normal: they can do things.
There's the girl who can't be hurt: any injuries heal immediately; the artist who paints the future; the chap who can bend time; a politician who can fly and whose brother can adopt the power of whoever he is with. So when he's with the artist he can paint the future, when he's with his brother he can fly etc. There's also a policeman who can read people's thoughts and a woman who has a lethal alter-ego and is very confused. There is also 'the baddie' who we haven't yet seen properly. He also has super-powers and is going around killing anyone he suspects of having them too. Then there's the chap who might be good, might be bad. It's all so riveting.
The premise of the plot seems to be that we, humans, are entering the next stage of our evolution. With all the evil in the world we need people who have certain skills in order to enable survival of the species. And these people are beginning to discover that they have such skills, but they don't know why yet. Luckily there is a very handsome young Indian professor whose father, a geneticist like him, had a theory. This theory got the father killed and now his son is agonizing over whether daddy was bonkers or right. This is where I've got to so far.
It's quite an interesting premise don't you think? Extrapolating Darwinism out to the world of the comic book. The reason why humans have been so successful is because we are so adaptable. Whatever the conditions we have found ourselves in we have managed to, not only survive, but multiply to the point of being a danger to the rest of the planet. So, running with this one, in order to continue to survive we need to start trying to adapt our way of life into a less competitive and more co-operative one. We need to begin to stop thinking only of ourselves and think of the rest of the world. If we continue to plunder for our own short term goals we will wipe ourselves, and everything else, out.
So, going back to Heroes, could there be a new evolutionary type that has the power needed to take the species to the next stage and could this type be what we might call the super-hero? A type that has the extraordinary power needed to bring the rest of us greedy, selfish bastards into line? Who knows, but it's fun to imagine it especially if one tries to imagine what type of super-power one might have oneself.
So, of course, I have been trying to decide what super-power I might develop if conditions were ripe. Firstly by trying to pin down and identify any talents I might have. Secondly by trying to imagine how they could become enhanced and lastly by asking how such enhanced talents could save the world.
The first thing that came to mind that I certainly seem to have a talent for is procrastination. I mull, turn things over in my mind, analyse, ignore, worry and eventually, when all hope of action has evaporated... act. I'm not sure, though, how this 'talent' could develop any further. Perhaps the process could be speeded up: if I could mull and analyse in the blink of an eye, omitting the ignoring bit, it might become a power that could save the world. Someone who could look at a situation, see it for what it is and then act on it could, I'm sure, be of use. But, it has to be said, the part where I ignore is crucial as this is where my subconscious takes over and the solution, or answer, grows. It is then presented back to my conscious self enabling me to act. So I'm not quite sure about that one as a super-power, however if I mull it over for a while I may be able to draw out its potential.
The second thing I think I'm quite good at is nurturing. This is probably a second nature talent that has developed over years of experience. When I first started I was pretty hopeless at it. I've cooked some disgustingly inedible meals in my time, but now I pretty much turn out something delicious and nutritious every time without much effort or thought at all. I can usually tell if someone, or some other life form, is not quite in the peak of health and do a bit of nursing. I have, for example, nursed two puppies back from the brink of death. I have saved ailing plants and of course brought my son up into a healthy, strong adult. What use might this be in saving the world however?. A few intuitive nurturers might be necessary if all else has failed perhaps.
I'm sure I will continue to ponder this one for a while. Maybe by the end of the series I will have worked out what I might be capable of in the hero department.
But what about you chaps out there in blogland, do any of you have a skill or talent that could help save the world? Or, if you could choose a super-hero talent what would it be and why?