Friday, June 01, 2007

Post Titled: Relationship between the yawn and the Ohrwurm and the Origins of the Superman "S"

Notes from the road to work: The yawn passes from person to person through a sort of sympathy system that is as-of-yet still not understood.
The Orhwurm (aka getting a song stuck in your head) is passed in a similar fashion throughout society on a word-of-mouth (or audiovisual sympathetic)-type basis.
Both are viral in nature and... well, just keep on speading and dying out. I realized this this morning at work when I found myself whistiling the Rolling stones "Paint it Black" which I had seen in a commercial last night, then my co-worker started humming it a half hour later, having caught the opening melody from me whistling it...
Meanwhile, on my bike-ride to work I was wondering what the "S" on superman's chest actually stands for, because according to the first (Richard Donner, Christpher Reeves) Superman film it cannot possible stand for Superman because his parents on Krypton have the very same symbol on their chests
and they sure as hell weren't speaking english on Krypton, that would be impossible, nor did they posses superpowers there because Superman's
powers derive from his aline presence on earth- and the rules (or phyics and gravity) being slightly different on Krypton so he therefore
is automatically Super in the Earth environment (well, outerspace as well-?)
Anyhow, I did a quick search for an answer and came up with dissapointingly inconclusive results from many a superman nerd in various forums, for example some of the fundamental flaws are outlined in the comments:

Posted by albertasuperman
Now I know that many of you are saying to yourself, "The S stands for Superman of course". But that cannot be it. Remember Superman's ship with the on it, or his suit that he supposably got from the fortress of solitude. And as well in the movies Lois Lane gave him the name Superman (as well as in Lois & Clark")

So with the understanding that every movie or series Clark has gotten his name Superman from Lois and the fact that he got the symbol from Krypton, it must be.......a kryptonian symbol.

Originally Posted by Iphus
What does the 'S' stand for? Well, it stands for Superman.

And therin lies the problem.

When the character was first created, he had an S on his chest because he was called Superman. It makes sense.

Posted by MildMannered
Superman's backstory was told in roughly a dozen drawn frames-- He was sent to Earth by Jor-El, put into an orphanage, then adopted by the Kents. When he left for Metropolis as a grown man, he knew he was going to have a secret identity and fight crime as "Superman." The creators never felt the need to flesh out the nuts & bolts of his beginnings or his costume so that it would all make "sense" 60 years later to a much more sophisticated audience. That omission has presented a big challenge to filmmakers, because doing a "realistic" telling of the Superman story requires convincing details in order to achieve a suspension of disbelief. You could get away with vagueness in a 20-page 1938 comic book, but not in $200 or $300 million film. Tom Clancy said it best when he described what made writing fiction much more difficult that writing non-fiction. To paraphrase, he said, "People will accept that unexplained things happen in real life, but when you're writing fiction you have to make sense."

When the Reeves TV series aired, they had to invent a lot of his early life out of thin air. Ma Kent made the suit in that show. To me, that was the simplest way to explain the "S". Knowing what he was destined for, she had to let her adopted son go, and she fashioned his suit from the blankets he had been wrapped in when the found him. "You're not my little Clark anymore. You're a man. A super man."

I'm not really sure why Donner didn't just make that simple concept work, because it's a lot less complicated than the abstract Kryptonian "S" thing he put together. Seems that he coud have a found a way to get around the issue of the material being indestructible, which would have logically made it impossible for Ma Kent to construct the suit without Clark's help. Anyway, this thread will lead to a debate which nobody can ever really win because the guys who came up with the whole idea simply neglected to make things clear.

But then, when you think about his origin in any kind of detail then unless Clark Kent always intended to call himself Superman then it makes no sense at all that he should have an 'S' on his chest.

Hence why the movie made it a symbol of Krypton and had Lois give him the name 'Superman'.

It's one of the things that gets my goat about the Man of Steel mini-series - the fact that Jonathan Kent designed the 'S' so he could call his son 'Superman'. I just find that silly. Hence the reason I liked what the movie and Birthright did - have the S be a kryptonian symbol and have Lois give him the name.

It makes about as much sense as anything.

Complete forum discussion HERE

Uhm, based on this information, then... Objectively, I would have to say that in this image, the pillar of TRUTH himself is lying:

IDEA STUB: Culturemix explanation of evolution of European Culture in a cooperative visual form...

Anyhow, HERE is some supposedly brand- new footage of the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie.


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