S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Pull the other one

Image S Sorrensen

Larnook. Tuesday, 6.45pm

‘Maybe the boot doesn’t pull off,’ I say.

‘Maybe not,’ he says, but continues to pull at Batman’s boot.

‘You don’t want to break his foot,’ I say.

Batman’s yellow utility belt lies, with his cape, on the table, next to a bottle of wine. His remaining grey costume is pulled down to his hips revealing a well-muscled torso and erect nipples. My mate continues to roughly pull at the boot. Go gently, I think.

But I shouldn’t interfere. I’m not an expert when it comes to undressing Batman. I have had some experience with Superman of course (we’re close) but I have never pulled the clothes off Batman.

There’s so much in life I haven’t done.

The boot comes off, exposing a mutilated foot on the 6:1 scale Batman model. Oh dear. My toes curl.

‘Had to shave down the foot to make it fit,’ explains my mate as he places the boot on the table next to the utility belt, cape, wine bottle and Batman’s head. I pick up the head – a great likeness of Adam West. The head will be kept, but Batman’s body is being replaced.

‘I don’t like his legs,’ my mate says, swivelling Batman’s legs so they bend forward like a chook’s. ‘They’re unnatural. He’ll function better with a new body.’

A new and naked body with better legs and without a head lies on the table next to some bubble-wrap packaging, the boot, utility belt, cape, wine and Batman’s head. The replacement body arrived today in the post. Is there no limit to the benefits of the internet?

This is the age of the superhero. Two thousand years after Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha – the original Justice League – come Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. It’s the sequel. Why is it happening now?

Because evil threatens the existence of humanity. Planet-guzzling aliens with tax breaks are devouring the Earth, crazed madmen with super political powers are poisoning the air with hair product, and robots in charcoal suits are constraining the blossoming of humanity in a shackle of inhumane laws.

We don’t need a superhero; we need heaps of them. We need good guys with superpowers…

‘Technically speaking, Batman doesn’t have superpowers,’ says my mate, opening the wine. ‘He’s just a pissed-off human using modern technology to save the world from evil. Glass of wine?’

It’s my son’s birthday today, and we’ll offer a toast.

‘What is it?’ I ask. I’ve been drinking pinot noir lately, but I can always go a good shiraz…

‘Aldi,’ he says.

‘Okay.’ I toast my son and pray that Superman will look after him. My mate, no doubt, asks his hero to keep a bat-eye on him. The tough times are coming. The kids needs us. Now, we get real.

Today, I fed more than eight dollars into my Superman money box, coin by coin. With each coin, Superman raised his fist, his cape blowing in a battery-created wind, and announced, ‘Don’t worry. I will save you.’ With each announcement, I was more determined to fight against Earth ending up like Krypton.

Now, some may say my mate and I are living in a fantasy. Ha! As if. Assuming the world will continue as it has – that’s living in a fantasy. Believing all will be okay makes playing with superhero toys seem rational. The absurdity of gods and superheroes is an antidote to the absurdity of denying the global sickness engulfing us.

We create our gods and superheroes. We can even re-body them. They work for us better than trickle-down economics. They gather and focus our positive human energies and drive the forces of resistance and recovery.

My mate and I raise our glasses again:

‘Truth, justice and the sustainable way!’


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