Comics / Cult Favorite

No Good Deed…

By Philip Schweier
Jul 9, 2014 - 20:25

On Wednesday, DC Entertainment reversed its decision regarding the Jeffrey Baldwin controversy, and will now permit the use of the iconic Superman S on the boy’s memorial. Five-year-old Baldwin died tragically in 2002, the victim of child abuse at the hands of his grandparents. An avid Superman fan, he is portrayed in the sculpture wearing a Superman costume.

Earlier, DC Entertainment had denied the use of the trademarked S symbol in the memorial, but a flood of protest from fans has resulted in the company re-thinking its earlier decision. Part of that protest came in the form of fans changing their Facebook profile photos to the S emblem. Following the announcement of DC Entertainment’s reversal, many of the comments throughout Facebook crowed in triumph.

I’m here to tell ya, people, nobody likes a sore winner.

Many of the comments I read were full of smug satisfaction, as people patted themselves on the back for fighting the good fight and winning. Maybe the company had surrendered in some way, but I feel it is poor taste to gloat about it. It makes the story more about DC, and about Facebook, and less about Jeffrey and the horror of child abuse.

I could be wrong, but my impression is that much of this activism came from younger people who believe they were doing something righteous, and completely in tune with the ideals of truth, justice and the American way. But DC Entertainment is not the villain here. Sending emails and making phone calls and changing your profile image does very little to eliminate child abuse.

I find it admirable when young people develop an ambition to change the world. I applaud their willingness to take a stand, but I sometimes question their means. The fact is that due to their youth and general lack of experience in life, their perception of the world is uninformed. They’re not stupid, merely inexperienced. Consequently, the ambition of changing the world is sometimes beyond their ability.

I propose that a person’s goal should be to change their world. If that world extends no further than the county line, so be it. It's virtually impossible to effect change for the better from a great distance. It’s horrible that a number of trucks pulled into African villages, loaded up the women, and took off to parts unknown to do God knows what, but there is absolutely nothing I can personally do to correct that.

I believe that activism, in order to be effective, should start close to home by fighting social ills in one’s own community. I say this not out of any party beliefs, as I choose not to affiliate myself with any political party. My political reactions are usually based on how far the pendulum swings in any given direction. Extremism of any stripe can be dangerous, and I feel compelled to try to bring the pendulum back to center.

I changed my Facebook profile image back to what it was, because I don’t believe too many people are concerned with my interest in Superman or his ideals. But I expect it won't be long before comic book fans rally around another cause. Perhaps a natural disaster will impact the hometown of some other super-hero, and fans will once again launch a Facebook campaign as a show of support.

Hopefully I’ll be too busy lending effective help to notice what goes on on Facebook.

Last Updated: Jun 26, 2018 - 9:28

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