Blog Post

Mental Health and Heroes- A Personal Comment

Co-Host Jacob wrote a powerful and moving statement about our most recent episode about heroes, villains, and mental illness, that we wanted to share with you all.

On this edition of the Superhero Ethics podcast, Matthew and I discuss the portrayal of mental illness in popular media, including how it differs between our heroes and our villains and also what we like and dislike about more-recent popular cinematic portrayals, and how it can sometimes contribute unhealthily to the stigma people with these issues have to confront in our society.

Talking about mental illness is always hard for me. Anxiety and depression specifically are problems I have fought with for almost my entire life, it seems. I was depressed to the point of having thoughts of suicide in high school, and received therapy and medication as a result. All the while I was ashamed that I appeared to need this when so many of my peers did not. I saw it as a sign of weakness, and I am confident others did as well.

And then I thought I would somehow be “cured” after a time. But that did not really happen either, not is that a realistic picture of how this works. I stopped taking my medicine because I was convinced I should not need it and it was not making me better. It is some small miracle I came out of that situation alive, given my choices.

It is not weakness to acknowledge your problems. It takes courage and strength to do so. And it takes even more than that to seek help from others when you need it, and to accept that help when it is given. I urge anyone struggling similarly to not feel shame in your problems.

 

You can listen to the episode by clicking above or by right clicking and hitting save as. Thank you all for your support.

 

 

 

 

Addendum and Apology for Who is your Hero Episode

On our recent episode about real life heroes, we got into a discussion of what happens if we find out the people who we see as heroes do terrible things. As part of that conversation I (Matthew) brought up the example of what would happen if we found out that someone we saw as a hero had hit his wife.  In the resulting conversation we were not at all clear in how terrible an act we would both see that as, and we made it sound as though someone could so something that awful and still be seen as a hero.  That was a mistake, and never what we intended to say or imply.

We are posting this addendum and apology that will also be added to the real life heroes podcast itself.  Thank you to all of our listeners and please continue to call us out when we are wrong.

Lastly, the sound quality on this one has some issues, because I wanted to get this up as soon as possible, rather than waiting until I could record under our normal circumstances.

You can download the addendum with a right click  and clicking “save link as.”

You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

 

Heroes on the Couch: Mental Illness Stigma and Awareness in Superheroes and Villains

SuperheroTherapyFor some time, we have been given villains whose actions need no explanation– they’re just “crazy.” The aftermath of the Vegas shooting reminds us how strong the stigma against mental illness still is in this country, and how much it is misunderstood. This week, Jacob and Matthew explore the issue of mental illness in superhero stories, examining the long history of problematic portrayals, and how more recent stories have strived to be more accurate.

You can download the episode with a right click and clicking “save link as” or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

 

Heroes

Cap n Kap (2)What can Captain America teach us about Colin Kapernick, and vice versa? Are heroes just on the screen, or can we have real life heroes? Do heroes need to be perfect, or can we see someone as heroic in spite of their flaws? And what happens when our heroes fall from grace?

 

 

We had some technical difficulties this week. Could it be the NSA doesn’t want you to hear our ideas? More likely I just screwed up a few things, but either way, next week will be better!

You can download the episode with a right click, or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

Ethics of our Robot Overlords

 

Data-Aida (2)

Is Data a person? Should we feel bad about Han Solo kicking C -3PO around? And whose fault is it that Ultron and Aida turned out so bad?

On this episode, Jacob and Matthew dive into the ethics of artificial life.

 

 

You can download the episode with a right click, or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

 

A Wonderful Conversation: A Review of Wonder Woman and Philosophy

WW Book

Ever since she appeared in All Star Comics #8 in October of 1941, Wonder Woman has raised questions about issues such as gender, power, violence, and truth. Yet, in all her different iterations and with all her different writers, Wonder Woman has never provided simple answers to these questions. Instead, her legacy is that of a conversation spanning 70 years, with each new version of Princess Diana a commentary on the last ones.  I was excited to read Wonder Woman and Philosophy: The Amazonian Mystique because it promised the chance to dive neck deep into that conversations. It did not disappoint.

 

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Daredevil, Captain Mal, & Charlottesville

Mal NaziWould Daredevil share information about Nazis? Would Superman or Captain Mal? How would our heroes react to Charlottesville and what can that teach us? What questions would they ask, and which should we?

Starting this week, recent guest Jacob Milicic joins us as co-host! Be sure to welcome him to the conversation.

 

You can download the episode with a right click, or subscribe by searching for Superhero Ethics on Itunes or on Stitcher.

Which heroes do you think would get on board with sharing information on those who go to Nazi marches, and who would object? Agree or disagree with what we talked about, or want to add your own thoughts? Let us know! You can find us on TwitterFacebook, or email us at superheroethics@gmail.com

Hero in a Wheelchair- The Defenders Spoke for me as a disabled person

Matt Chair 210 minutes into Defenders ep 1, and Matt just became the disabled superhero I’ve been waiting for.

-very mild spoilers ahead-

This is Matthew, founder and host of this site. If you’ve been listening or reading for a while, you know that representation in superheroes is an issue I care about deeply.  Yet, as a disabled person, I rarely see myself on screen in superhero stories.  Instead I’ve been frustrated as we get character after character who has a disability, but also has some superpower or tech or other way of making their disability irrelevant.  Daredevil can ‘see’ through his other senses better than most sighted characters, Felicity has tech that makes her as mobile as anyone else on Arrow- heck even Yoda turns out to be a total badass when he throws away his cane and starts fighting.

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