Shadow Hare and RLSHs

By | Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Leave a Comment
Cincinnati can now claim we have our very own, real-life superhero. The Shadow Hare was introduced to much of the area courtesy of the local NBC affiliate last night. There's more direct information about him on his MySpace page.

You know, I've heard of other Real-Life Superheroes but I never gave much thought to them because I figured it was a small fad that would come and go quickly. Evidently not.

I've been struggling with this most of the day actually. On the one hand, I'll give them credit for trying to make a difference and for having the chutzpah to go out on crime patrols. On the other hand, isn't that kind of... I don't know... bat-shit crazy? Now I can kind of see if they were really well-trained and in great physical shape. Maybe they don't need to be a black belt in aikido to scare off a thug, but I should think some basic martial arts or boxing or something would be in order. And maybe I'm being a little presumptuous, but the members of Shadow Hare's Allegiance of Heroes don't look terribly athletic.

And they certainly don't seem to have the presence or stature to terrify "a superstitious and cowardly lot" of criminals.

Now, Susan Boyle just reminded everyone that you can't judge a book by its cover and I'm not about to cast aversions against any RLSHs just because I don't think they're very effective, but I do find myself wondering about mindset that prompts people to go to such lengths. I'm sure none of them think they have actual superpowers, and I'm sure the vast majority of them don't think they can kick ass as well as Batman. In fact, I'm sure the vast majority of them don't have any delusions about what they're doing and how dangerous it can be.

And I think that's what concerns me. That these people, often with little more than good intentions, are potentially putting their lives at risk for the sake of altruism. Cops and firefighters and such clearly have some sense of altruism to do what they do, but they're also rewarded with a paycheck. (One that's far too small, IMHO, but that's another issue!) But these RLSHs only have an occasional "thank you" as their reward. In fact, they're using substantial portions of their own resources to fund these endeavors with almost no hope of being reimbursed. This is altruism in a rather extreme case.

And I have to wonder about that. Yes, it's absolutely cynical of me, but that they are continually putting an entire city's welfare above their own... well, it makes me think about people behind those masks. Are these people the real world equivalents of Walter Kovacs? Or am I just projecting insane thoughts onto them?Seriously, I wish the best of luck to Shadow Hare and his companions. I really do hope he's able to help the city and not get hurt in the process. I'm still ambivalent on the whole RLSH deal, but I guess when it comes down to it, who am I to judge?
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