Who is this Masked Man? And Why did America have to Invent Him?

Here’s a curious thing:
On 30th January, 1933[*], ‘The Lone Ranger’ made its debut on United States radio, originally on station WXYZ in Detroit. “Writer Fran Striker and station owner George Trendle created the adventure of the masked man who brought justice to the American West…” [Wikipedia]

The concept of the Superhero is very American: the Rescuer who swoops in and ‘brings justice’ to a situation were struggling powerless Victims are being oppressed by some Oppressor/Bully. It has spawned countless characters, comics, TV serials, movies and cultural references, and possible even a market for brightly coloured underwear without a Y-front.

BUT — for anyone familiar with the famous ‘Victim Triangle’, you’ll spot the same disturbing trend I do. The USA, that supposedly great nation, has built its entire mind set (and justice system, foreign policy, hand-gun laws and voting preferences) on that self-same triangle. Why else an obsessive fascination (and need) for superheroes?

Having a national myth involving superheroes makes everyone else ordinary, and thus powerless; in need of rescue. i.e Victims. And everything is seen only from within such a triangle. And if you’ve studied it you’ll know that people keep spinning around the three-cornered wheel. Give the down-trodden a few guns and suddenly they regard themselves as ‘supers’ — out to perform rescues (“interventions” in military newspeak) and ‘bring justice’. I could point you to a few truly fucked up wars as good examples.

But heroic rescuers are often mistaken for oppressive abusers (never by themselves, of course!). ‘Freedom-fighters’ morph back and forth into ‘terrorists’ according to the whim of the media and their political and economic masters. And the public just love another superhero story where the USA once again becomes the Lone Ranger. A compliant population too willing to swallow the next installment without question. Hey: it fits the trope! Send in the marines!

So the Trope Of The Superhero is projected onto reality at every scale. Sure, it was there before the Lone Ranger, but on that date it grew a little bit stronger, as it did with every new superhero Marvel and DC could contrive.

So; does this explain the election of Donald Trump? Against the solid wall of reality that most of us watching from beyond the borders of the Good Ol’ USA could see, millions of Americans — convinced of their victim status (largely assisted by Fox News) — projected Trump as the new superhero who would rescue them from their supposed oppressors (y’know, like gays, Hispanics, women and blacks? Such bullies!) and voted him into power?

The switching will continue. The self-appointed victims will quickly become the new ‘rescuers’ — conducting his dirty-work with the same smug smile on their lips and the sound of the William Tell Overture beating in their bully-boy hearts. And “who was that masked man?” — Rupert Murdoch, of course!

*Oh, and that date: 30 Jan 1933? — That was the day Adolph Hitler was sworn in as the new Chancellor of Germany.