Alan Grayson on Green Lantern

An Email From Alan Grayson – June 20, 2011

Dear Friend:

The movie Green Lantern opened on Friday, to mixed reviews.  Maybe the reviews would have been better if the movie had included this powerful exchange, from Green Lantern #76:

African-American Man: I’ve been readin’ about you . . . How you work for the blue skins . . . and how on a planet someplace you helped out the orange skins . . . and you done considerable for the purple skins!  Only there’s skins you never bother with – the black skins!  I want to know . . . how come?!  Answer me that, Mr. Green Lantern!

Green Lantern:  I  . . . can’t . . . .

https://i0.wp.com/www.bluecorncomics.com/pics/gl76a.jpg

I may never have the chance to talk to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or any of the otherMasters of the Universe who led and misled our country for eight long years.  Nor may I ever have the chance to speak to Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, or any of the other savage right-wing loons who want to finish the job that Bush et al. started.  But if I could, I might say:

Me:  I’ve been readin’ about you . . . How you work for multinational corporations like Big Oil. . . .  And how you say you built all those roads and schools and bridges in some country in Asia.   And in some othercountry in the Middle East someplace you got rid of some dictator.  Only there’s one country you never bother with – America!  I want to know . . . how come?!  Answer me that, Mr. Flag-Waiving Patriot!

Them:  I  . . . can’t . . . .

Well, I can answer that.  For a generation now, we have seen the heartless, callous erosion and destruction of all the things that make you a member of the middle class in America:

A job.

A home.

A car.

The chance to see a doctor when you are sick.

A pension or retirement account.

Social Security and Medicare.

And we’ve seen them replaced by endless war, falling home values, no pensions, lower wages, and now what Karl Marx called a “reserve army of the unemployed” – to keep wages down forever.

Even after only two years in office, as one out of 435 in the House, I can point to a lot of things that I did to preserve, protect and expand the middle class in America, and to help those of us who were falling through the cracks.

I look at our so-called leaders on the other side of the aisle, and I see nothing like that.  Only a perverse delight in eliminating programs that help my fellow Americans in need.  They’ll lead us, all right – they’ll lead us straight to ruin.

The next time you see one of them — at a town hall meeting, in their plush offices, or just on the street – ask them this:  “What have you done to help the people?  Answer me that!”

If they’re honest, they’ll say what Green Lantern said:  “I can’t.”

Courage,

Alan Grayson

In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.

10 thoughts on “Alan Grayson on Green Lantern

    • One of my good friends really likes Green Lantern. It’s his favorite superhero. We recently saw the movie in 3D. It was fine, but I’m not as excited about Green Lantern.

      I posted the above because I liked the fact that a politician would use a comic book to explain political injustice. I’ve gained new respect for Grayson.

  1. You’ve not told me of your favorite superhero, who is it? Mine is the Dark Knight followed by Daredevil, closely. Don’t ask why cos it’s complicated. I never knew Green Lantern had such an episode, wow, a brave statement.

    Black people, we have to help ourselves, we have the ability; Tupac was showing promise but he got caught in the contradiction of human and helped his enemies to eliminate him – I always think the government killed him.

    • I didn’t grow up reading comic books for the most part, especially not superhero comic books. I did watch some superhero cartoons as a kid and some old superhero tv shows such as Batman.

      I never used to have a favorite superhero. And I’m not sure I have one now. But there are some superheroes I like more than others. I like Wolverine, partly because he has an interesting backstory. I don’t tend to like the more popular superheroes. I did like Superman in the Smallville tv series and I like Batman as Dark Knight, but they aren’t the type of superhero I tend to like.

      Actually, my favorite series so far is the show Heroes. The superheroes in that show are more dark and troubled (the same reason I like Wolverine). In Heroes, there are many interesting characters. Sylar is particularly interesting because he begins evil and slowly changes over time.

      On a slightly different note, I like Sandman and Promethea. But Sandman isn’t really a superhero in the normal sense. Sandman does have a similarity to Wolverine and Sylar. None of them can be easily defeated and so their struggles are often with themselves.

    • I personally can’t speak for black people. I would say many people have to help themselves in this world. Minorities have it worse in many ways, but being poor white is hardly an easy life. There are more poor whites in the US than poor blacks, just because there are more whites in general. Most American whites don’t have much wealth or power. Also, in the US, there are many programs and services targeted at helping poor blacks whereas there are few targed at poor whites (on the other hand, there are more police and prison resources targeted at poor blacks as well). All in all, it sucks to be poor in America or anywhere else in the world.

      I’m not familiar with Tupac’s life to any great degree. So I have no opinion about who killed him. The US government has been known to do some mean and nasty things to people they deem problematic, but I wouldn’t think they would use assassination all that often. With the Black Panthers, they covertly created conflict and paranoia (by infiltration along with starting rumors and sending fake letters) so that they ended up in some cases killing each other. Either way, the government can indeed be devious.

  2. I forgot Wolverine, he’s my tied second. It’s for that reason you cited that I like mine. I hate Superman, he’s a hippy’s superhero, too much brightness, from the personality to the atmosphere. Too super too, not accessible to humans. Too moral.

    Batman – that’s a character. Just a man who has trained himself to peak performance, mental and physical. Deeply troubled, torn between the murderous attitude and the humane. Not fully recovered from the pain of the past. Serious self-esteem problems. Blames himself for parents’ death. Split-personality. The whole of Batman, with his villains and other supporting characters, is a full course in psychology.

    Daredevil is also to some extent pretty normal, just incredibly sensitive and agile. Always confessing his sins, self-blame (all my faves do this), he’s human. I’ve read only one issue plus the movie but I’m in love

    I’ve had experiences of the berserker rage and the mistreatment of my youth, these put me and Wolverine in a relation of mutual feeling. Tries to curb his brutish and murderous instincts, he’s turned altogether into an animal before. He has an anima in Jean Grey, well, Batman does too, Batman’s changes perhaps cos of the psychic instability. He has lived through tons of pain. Wolverine has a wise old man in the form of Professor X, an anima, a demon in Mystique, but I don’t know where Magneto will be. He’s a great character but, for me, he doesn’t beat Batman. The Bat is dark, the whole comic is dark, his voice is ominous, his temperament is non-joking almost salty, he lives spare too, only his gadgets, a true Spartan ;-)I forgot Wolverine, he’s my tied second. It’s for that reason you cited that I like mine. I hate Superman, he’s a hippy’s superhero, too much brightness, from the personality to the atmosphere. Too super too, not accessible to humans. Too moral.

    Batman – that’s a character. Just a man who has trained himself to peak performance, mental and physical. Deeply troubled, torn between the murderous attitude and the humane. Not fully recovered from the pain of the past. Serious self-esteem problems. Blames himself for parents’ death. Split-personality. The whole of Batman, with his villains and other supporting characters, is a full course in psychology.

    Daredevil is also to some extent pretty normal, just incredibly sensitive and agile. Always confessing his sins, self-blame (all my faves do this), he’s human. I’ve read only one issue plus the movie but I’m in love

    I’ve had experiences of the berserker rage and the mistreatment of my youth, these put me and Wolverine in a relation of mutual feeling. Tries to curb his brutish and murderous instincts, he’s turned altogether into an animal before. He has an anima in Jean Grey, well, Batman does too, Batman’s changes perhaps cos of the psychic instability. He has lived through tons of pain. Wolverine has a wise old man in the form of Professor X, an anima, a demon in Mystique, but I don’t know where Magneto will be. He’s a great character but, for me, he doesn’t beat Batman. The Bat is dark, the whole comic is dark, his voice is ominous, his temperament is non-joking almost salty, he lives spare too, only his gadgets, a true Spartan 😉

    • Batman is decent, depending on the version. The part that never connected for me is that he is a rich guy who acts like a vigilante using his wealth. In some versions of Batman (like the 1960s tv show), his acting as a superhero simply seems like a hobby. That is why I liked him as Dark Knight because he seemed more authentic in his motivations.

      Here is some humor at Batman’s expense:

      Poor Batman! He has no super powers. LOL

      I was just thinking of maybe my favorite superhero: Rorschach from Watchmen. He is sort of like Batman as Dark Knight but even darker. Rorschach, unlike Batman, has no qualms about killing. He’ll take either justice or vengeance, but he will never back down. Total badass!

    • I was just realizing that you told me you can’t play videos. So I guess you can’t watch the videos I just shared. Are you going to be able to have access to watching online videos again in the near future?

  3. For sure. Add them as you like, hakuna matata, the future’s there for the picking. It’s all just temporary, will end soon, I hope

    “One can’t plot one’s life, the only way to plot is to walk it. The birds that you send eat the breadcrumbs, place them yourself”
    ~ Monarc 😉

    • My friend MIke just told me about Quentin S. Crisp’s new blog post. It’s about PKD’s VALIS along with his thoughts on Ligotti, pessimism and Buddhism:

      http://my.opera.com/quentinscrisp/blog/2011/06/28/valis

      Since I’m sharing videos you can’t watch, here is one that I saw the other day and I was immensely amused:

      I forget if I’ve ever asked you about cats and pets in general. Do you like cats or dogs or any other kind of animal that can be kept inside one’s home? Do you now or in the past had any pets?

      Other than a few years following high school when I was moving around, I’ve always had pets. I love my cats. I must admit that if my calicao Stella Blue was drowning and you were drowning, I’d probably save her first. I’m sorry. Don’t be sad. You would die for a good cause.

      Heck, while I’m sharing videos, here is another one about cats:

      When I saw that video, I immediately thought of my sister-in-law who is married to my oldest brother. She is a crazy cat lady who is always taking in strays. The video perfectly expresses her love of cats.

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