Obsession with Superman
The first American comic books appeared in the early 1930s, which opened the “golden age” of comic book literature. Superman was the main character of the first set of superhero comics. In just two years, a large number of heroic characters with extraordinary abilities, also known as Mysterons, emerged immediately afterwards. “If you let them all live on one planet,” said critic Jules Feiffer, “they would certainly darken the world.”
The comic book boom lasted until the 1950s. After that, superheroes disappeared from the scene, with the exception of the brilliantly victorious Superman (and Batman and Wonder Girl). How did Superman – in addition to Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck – rise to become “the most famous character in American fantasy books” and be passed down from generation to generation?
Superman’s success began in the 1930s as a representative of the poor and a savior of refugees from disasters such as floods and dust storms. Unlike most superheroes of the 1930s and 1940s, the other side of Superman (Clark Kent) was a plain, unassuming journalist, neither Hercules nor a great handsome man, but a lean, white-faced scholar. Unlike other legendary post-World War II superheroes (Captain America, the Shining Star Kid, and Uncle Sam), Superman is not a super-soldier fighting Nazis in Europe, and most of his legend has little to do with current events.
Conservative politicians applauded the publication of Frederick Wortham’s book, “Seducing the Innocent,” which raged against the cruelty and callousness of American comics, saying they were cheap reading and responsible for rising crime rates. This led to the establishment of self-censorship by comic book writers, which led to the creation of the “Comics Code”. This code not only forbade the depiction of violent scenes, but also criticism of justice, police, parents and general moral values. This led to the almost total collapse of the comic book genre and the failure of most superheroes. Superman survived the panic of the McCarthy era, but unsurprisingly became placid and seemed to have little interest in romantic adventures anymore.
To keep Superman alive, from the 1960s onwards, comic book writers gave him a new incarnation. 1980s, bookish Clark Kent turned into a manly icon: the journalist started lifting weights. At the same time, he lost his divine power to move an entire planet, his parents (representing the values of small-town America) became active, and the women became interested in him.
No other country on earth is as suburban as America. 23% of Americans preferred to live in the rural-urban interface in 1950, and this percentage remained until the 21st century. 2000 saw the first presidential election in which suburban voters were in the majority. That year a book was published by designers and urban planners that called America a “suburban nation. The largest suburbs, like Mesa, had 250,000 residents, more than some large cities, while Los Angeles, with a population of nearly 15 million, was seen as a “suburban metropolis” in its own right.
Some of America’s older suburbs were scattered, such as Chevy Chase near Washington, D.C., which was connected to downtown by a streetcar. Mass production created an overall suburban boom, and by the 1950s, the pace of suburbanization had accelerated significantly. the advent of the Interstate Highway Act in 1956 prompted the construction of 66,000 kilometers of roads in just a few years. 90 percent of the projects were funded by U.S. federal grants, and the government neglected to support public short-distance transportation: in the 1950s, 3/4 of the federal transportation budget went to roads. of the federal transportation budget went to road construction, with only 1% going to urban public short-distance transportation. A consortium of auto plants, tire factories, and oil companies implemented a systematic acquisition and dismantling of more than 100 rail networks in America’s downtowns, making automobile transportation attractive in the United States.
The postwar changes in urban construction, I’m afraid, contributed most to the Federal Building Administration’s national loan program – which, according to the FBA, was designed to reduce unemployment in the construction industry – and was responsible for providing financial support for the construction of more than 11 million new houses. The monthly loan repayment for building a house in the suburbs large enough for the whole family is usually cheaper than the rent for an apartment in town.
The federal government and the automobile industry joined forces to support suburbanization based on their respective interests, and postwar urban planners contributed to the consolidation of new suburbs. They created a building-lined plan that dispersed all shopping from the residential areas and thus created an alternative landscape of inner-city architecture. In contrast to this suburban plan, the new suburbs during the two world wars lacked stores and markets. At first people had to commute between town and country to buy things, but restaurants, banks, supermarkets, gas stations, and large parking lots soon appeared. Their sole purpose: to make those who drive cars in America happy.
No one takes a walk.
Americans love cars, and they also have a special affinity for jogging machines. But in America, there aren’t many walkers.
Because the production of land seems endless, American farmers and planters developed a relationship with their natural surroundings as early as the 18th century. Many ranchers were not integrated into the landscape in which they settled, often without having had a good look at their land before selling it. Their relationship with the natural environment is dominated by economic interests. The quick sequence of green land application, development, planting and subsequent resale of the land, which turns the land into a commodity, is the safest form of gaining an economic interest. The relationship between ranchers and the market in the West, for example, was more important than the social and emotional relationships in villages that took several generations to stabilize, and even surpassed the social order in cities. Unlike the Old World, 19th-century America was dominated by yards and plantations that were far apart from each other. Distance and flexibility – as they are today – became the main characteristics of “American space.
In addition, the technological means that allowed people to settle on the continent played a major role: axes and mills, roads and dams, canals and railroads, were praised by politicians and writers as the second element of America, the true American “creation,” a harmonious complement to God’s “first In the 18th century, Germany began to value and pursue nature in its original form, thus giving rise to an urban phenomenon in which citizens walked or strolled in groups or pairs in the open air, in front of their fellow citizens, showing that they were part of a socially important community. Strolling through the scenic area with manners, pace, decent clothes and greetings appropriate to their status becomes a sign of showing the noble status of the society and distinguishing the noble middle class from the rural culture, the lower class citizens and the working class in the farmland. In the United States, on the other hand, there is neither aristocracy nor class, and the walk has no social differentiation function as described above.
Moreover, as society evolves and changes – as an area evolves and changes due to the arrival of immigrants in groups, the influx of immigrants and settlement – people place greater importance on the beautiful scenery in the suburbs of cities or in vast walking places. Of particular importance in the natural landscape of the United States is not the urban green space, but the national parks. And when people visit national parks, they almost always do so by car.
The car equals freedom, which is the core of the American way of life. One can travel through the suburbs and across the continent in the comfort of a fully air-conditioned car, completely independent of weather conditions. The climate zone in the United States extends from sub-cold climates all the way to sub-tropical climates, many of which are not suitable for walking.
In Germany and other European countries, cities with rest areas and green spaces turn out to be an ideal model. In the United States, however, two types of patterned and typically American landscapes have emerged: national parks with magnificent views and “wild” nature, and suburban neighborhoods without sidewalks that are convenient for car drivers. In both scenes, there is no place for pedestrians.
Obsession with Superman