Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another Reason Why Kryptonians Are Better Than Humans

Now we will learn the secret behind "Superman's Day of Truth!" as narrated in Superman #176 from 1965.  It seems that Superman and Supergirl have been going around today, saying THE ABSOLUTE UNVARNISHED TRUTH, with no regard to social niceties or people's feelings.

Now, they have descended into the shrunken last city of Krypton, Kandor, to participate in a mysterious ceremony with all of the Kandorians.

It begins with the reading from a mysterious Book of Deeds, and tells of how, thousands of years ago, the peaceful Kryptonians had been invaded by the warlike Vrangs.

The Vrangs look like humanoid rats, don't they?  They have lots of fun making the peaceful Kryptonians fight in arena-style games, and using them as slave labor to mine the Jewel Mountains.  They provide only the barest minimal sustenance.  "Its far better than you Kryptonian slaves deserve!" one of the captors says.

(Kinds of sounds like a day in the life of a US taxpayer enslaved by Congress, regulations, and Presidential orders-by-fiat.)

Finally, after years -- YEARS -- of this, one man stands up for his basic rights of liberty and self-determination.  As you might have guessed from the beginning of this narration from the Book of Deeds, his name is Val-Lor.  He speaks the feelings of all enslaved people to his oppressors:  "I hate you and I wish you were dead!"

As you would expect, the Vrangs deal harshly with this upstart.

But what's this?  The murder of Val-Lor has brought his fellow slaves to a remembering of their freeborn state.  A great rebellion sweeps across Krypton, and (after many deaths) the Vrang are swept from Krypton.

As the ceremony honoring Val-Lor draws to its end, it's up to Superman and Supergirl to go back to their friends and explain their actions on this day of "total truth."  That will be covered on our next instalment.

First, I want to think again about the (fictional, I grant you) story of Val-Lor and how his truthtelling inspired his fellows.  Krypton became free again!  And all because one man stood up and told the truth -- that slavery is wrong.

Now, you can read all sorts of allegories into this tale.  Certainly the "standing for truth" angle is applicable to nearly all human struggles.

However, we Earthlings don't have it as simple. We don't have the luxury of fending off an invading alien race.  No, our oppressions come from each other.  And sometimes we are both oppressed and oppressor.

Sermon over.  Let's get out there and tell the truth, ameliorated by kindness!

The rest of this story on Friday.


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