Why we love men in capes
I’ve often enjoyed Mark Meynell’s book reviews and suggestions (the breadth and veracity of his reading is rather astounding) and appreciate his helpful ‘questions to ask of…‘ guides (all found at his blog Quarentia). He has a particular interest in exploring culture, and I think exemplifies a healthy approach to it. So, it was with great interest that I downloaded his latest offering Why we love men in capes.
It’s difficult to define the genre of WWLMIC. It is part documentery, part review, and perhaps a kind of pilot for a radio show. Whatever you want to call it, it is certainly a fascinating radio-quality 30 minute programme.
Mark explores the popularity of superheroes in 20th century western culture, taking in ancient pagan mythology, Nietzsche, Sartre and C.S. Lewis along the way. He looks at the kinds of superheroes we’ve created and the social climates they were created in, and for. He explores the worldviews they present, and asks whether these fictional characters and their plotlines reveal something about us, and our nature, and whether it points to the reality of a real ‘superman’ saviour.
It’s well-produced, and enjoyable programme; the 30 minutes actually felt too short. I’m not sure what plans Mark has for expanding on the programme, let alone what direction or themes it might investigate, but I certainly hope this is not the last of his radio-style programmes.