Holding on for a hero

The world has a new nuclear power. Last weekend North Korea announced it successfully detonated a nuclear bomb in an underground facility. This left the rest of the world scrambling to determine whether North Korea’s claim was true and to denounce it, whether it was or not. Reactions from the United States, Japan and North Korea’s usual supporter, China, are easily understood. North Korea has fostered the image of an opressive backward country led by a complete lunatic, so it’s no surprise the rest of the world gets wound up at the thought of them acquiring weapons powerful enough to destroy entire cities. In order to deal with this problem, United Nations members have proposed strict economic sanctions in hopes of forcing North Korea to abandon their nuclear aspirations.

Unfortunately, this proposal is as likely to stop North Korea from pursuing nuclear force as taking away a junkie’s spoon is going to stop him from doing heroin. The problem starts at the top, with Chairman of the National Defense Comission of North Korea, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il–a man so out of touch with reality that he gives himself titles at such a torrid pace that even Supreme Dictator for Life Calvin and First Tiger Hobbes would be impressed.

What the world is missing is that when dealing with someone as deluded as Kim–an individual who still adheres to Stalinism, an individual who doesn’t realize his policy of self-reliance is literally starving his country, an individual who both criticizes western countries’ foreign policy while allegedly loving James Bond films–realistic measures, like economic sanctions, aren’t going to work. When a person insists on living their life guided by absurd principle, only something equally absurd will make any impression on them. The most obvious¬≠–and most awesome–solution to such an affair is superheroes.

A quick perusal through any comic book ever published proves the North Korea fiasco is practically begging to be solved through laser vision, super-speed and teleportation. As far as criteria needed for super human intervention, North Korea meets all of them. They’ve got a tyrannical maniac, they have different, even bizarre views about how the world should function, they probably have a secret island or two and now they’ve gone and made themselves a doomsday device. This situation calls for a flashy, one-liner filled super-brawl so much that any hardened comic dweeb would call it a cliche. If the world explored the superhero option to deal with North Korea, the whole debacle would end quickly. North Korea’s nuclear weapons would be dramatically thrown into the sun seconds before exploding, North Korean chairman Kim Jong-il would flee to an underground lair, popping up sporadically to busy the new heroes between intergalactic wars and the citizens of North Korea would emerge from their lives of oppression as lovers of North American pop music and apple pie.

Of course, there aren’t superheroes yet–a grave situation considering how many conflicts they could solve in a tidy and thouroughly entertaining manner. In light of this problem, nations the world over should seriously invest in superhuman research before it’s too late and the world is conquered by North Korea or telepathic aliens intent on harvesting our moss. Just think of how quickly people would be running around shooting ice out of their mouths if Canada alone used the money it spends yearly on purchasing and maintaining inoperable helicopters and submarines. The U.S. are on the right path with their rumoured super-soldier program, as are the Japanese with their use of mechanized vehicles for rescue purposes, but the world will need more than a few Captain Americas and Gundams to combat the inevitable surge in off-world invasions and giant monsters raising from oceans after the first superheroes enter the fray.

Though the impetus falls on governments with their astronomical budgets, common people can make important contributions as well. The world will need vigilantes to provide balance to the legions of government-sponsored metahumans who will soon be flying around with explosions and onomatopoeias in their wake. To accomplish this, people all over the world should adopt the “try anything” approach. This method recognizes that many fictional heroes received their fantastic powers through freak accidents and seeks to enhance the possibility of these accidents happening. Essentially, people should deliberately put themselves in as many situations as possible that could potentially go awry and grant them powers. Some easy examples most people can do from the comfort of their homes are acquiring bug bites in hopes one of them had recently been exposed to radiation, repeatedly standing in front of the microwave while nuking burritos and performing strange experiments with household chemicals as often as possible.

If people give up on using realistic solutions to ridiculous problems and opt for super-heroics instead, not only will the North Korean problem wrap itself up tidily, it will open the door to solving other crises in such a viewer-friendly way. Until then, humans must wade through the boredom of petty skirmishes, pointless disputes and normally-powered ceasefire talks; all problems a small group of individuals with superpowers and a headquarters on the moon could solve in a quick, enjoyable fashion.

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