I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those who do not know me. I am The Watchman. I am a husband, father, brother, and son. I am a man who cares about humanity and the world around him. For years, I have been what is commonly called a Real Life Superhero (RLSH), and now, I have become the administrator of this website. With this change, there will be other changes made over time, though the spirit in which this site was created will remain.
The man formerly known as Zetaman, after retiring as a RLSH, passed this site on to me. More recently, he completely removed himself from this site. He believes there are too many bad feelings between him and others to remain, feeling that it would hinder the growth of this site and the RLSH sub-culture as a whole.
The RLSH sub-culture is fluid. It is always changing. It is always in motion, even when it seems to be standing still. There are many people who feel we have not gotten anywhere. However, in many ways, we are much different than we were just a few short years ago. Some of these changes have been for the better, while others have been for the worse. Still, we continue on, searching for a better world and a brighter tomorrow.
2011 was predicted by some to be “The Year of the Superheroes”. I do not believe that, and frankly, would have been disappointed had that been the case. The phrase implies the reaching of the peak, and typically, peaks are followed by decline. I do not believe we have yet reached the peak. No, I believe we are still far from it. We have a great deal of potential yet to be uncovered. What we lack is unity.
There are many different kinds of RLSHs. There are crime-fighters, social activists, charity warriors, environmentalists, social commentators, and those who try it all. Some embrace the superhero terms and imagery, while others are less than pleased with them. Regardless of personal missions, opinions, methods, and motives, we are all a part of something BIG. Yet, too many of us cannot seem to get over ourselves as individuals or small groups.
I can remember a time when squabbles and differences between us were handled quietly, out of the public eye, in order to allow us a chance at the heroic and inspirational images we wished to project. Now, there is no secret that this “community” of ours is full of fighting and drama. Online comment sections and forums are bursting with ridicule, arguing, and flame wars from within. Many of us try to avoid this behavior, but it seems to follow us around. The feuding and hatred has driven too many of us away from what could become a great movement, and it has proven to onlookers that we are no better than much of what we claim to fight against. Even as some of us fight to prove to people we are serious when we are accused of being ridiculous, more of us seem to go out of their way to prove them right.
I realize a large number of people feel we cannot be organized or united, and there are too many differences between us to unite. I believed that for a time. However, I am no longer content to worry only about local matters. The world does not end at my back door. What affects the world affects me. What happens with one of us can affect us all. We are creative individuals who tend not to conform, but I’m not being unrealistic. We do not need to agree with everything everybody else says or does, and there are many more ways to get things done than what we do ourselves. We do not necessarily have to change our own missions and methods, and we do not need to lose ourselves to be a part of something bigger. We can still disagree, but it is time to turn to healthy debates that maintain respect rather than being hostile. It’s not that we need to become some giant organization filled with rules and regulations, but we do need to put aside petty differences and focus on what we have in common. All this unity requires is that we lay down our egos, open our minds to new ideas, and have respect for each other, as well as for ourselves.
I don’t think this has been the year of superheroes at all, and I am not looking for that year to come. Instead, I am looking to the future; I am looking toward a new era. I believe that era can begin now. Therefore, I am using this opportunity to do what I can to bring RLSHs together to grow this sub-culture into the great movement it has the potential to be.
However we may each go about it, we are all trying to make this world a better place, and that will only happen together. I am extending a hand to each and every one of you. I hope that each of you can get past the egos and differences, and learn to work side by side, even if our own mission is not quite the same. I am asking that we try a new way, and hopefully each of you will extend your hands as well. Let’s look to the future and welcome a new era for Real Life Superheroes. If we want the world to be better, we must be better. Let it begin now…