Kelly's World | Forget comic books, I have my own heroes
Now, dependent on your outlook on life in Jamaica, Heroes Day has moved rather quickly from celebrating our six heroes and one heroine to going to the beach and/or any other party spot.
But for those who still remember Jamaica has national heroes, and can actually tell you who they are, the day still means something.
Of all the national heroes, though, I don't really identify with any of them.
I'm no leader like Norman Manley, I'm no entrepreneur and nowhere near black-conscious like Marcus Garvey, and George William Gordon was a decent politician (those today could learn something). Me not turning MP or councillor any day soon.
Nanny was a fierce warrior (I have trouble killing mosquitoes), Paul Bogle was a man of conviction but the only thing he and I have in common is walking long distances, Sam Sharpe was a deacon (last time mi go church a grandpa Val funeral), and Alexander Bustamante never lost touch with the common people.
But here's the thing. I never really identified with any of the comic book heroes I used to read either. Mi never rich and fearless like Bruce Wayne/Batman (still ain't), I'm no alien like Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman (and the only time I felt super, even for a minute, was academically), and me fraid a heights, so Spider-Man was never my idol either.
Over time, I've wondered why I even read those comics, other than that they were the thing to do.
MADE NO SENSE
Truth is, those comics never really made sense. Why, for instance, did Superman and some of the other male superheroes wear dem brief outside dem clothes?
Think about it for a second. That nuh mek nuh sense.
And some of the villains were so powerful, they could turn cities into rubble with a mere thought. And yet, dem always a get beat up like me if I took up professional wrestling.
And why did the heroines always have hourglass shape? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be saved by Wonder Woman and be able to get up close and personal with her lovely, ahm, eyes.
But the figures of all superheroes were just not a true reflection of the 'average' person.
Maybe that's exactly why I did love them. I mean, who wants to be 'ordinary' and average? That's boring, right?
And yet, those are the persons I want to emulate. There are many normal folks walking around (not flying or running faster than the speed of light), who are doing what I consider superhuman things.
A mother stretching her tiny cheque thinner than Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four? That's incredible.
A father serving as the sole breadwinner for a big family because his wife can't work due to illness? Captain America has nothing on him.
Street sweepers who keep the place cleaner than Captain Planet? They're saving the environment better than all of us, and doing it at ungodly hours.
So although me and the incredible Hulk have a few things in common, my heroes are the good, honest Jamaicans. And should be.
Link me at firstname.lastname@example.org