Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

What if Clark Kent Were a Drug Smuggler?

June 27, 2013 4:21 pm 0 comments

Superman. Photo: DC Comics.

Looking to duck out of life for a couple of hours, I recently cart wheeled into Jerusalem’s Globus Binyaney HaUma movie theater, where I saw – in delicious 3D – Man of Steel. This latest resurrection of the Superman franchise proved to be a thoroughly entertaining experience – a perfect popcorn movie.

While sucking down my second bottle of Fuze Peach Mango iced tea, my sugar-coated brain began to rummage manically for the secret behind Superman’s enduring appeal. For some, Superman is a great hero, fighting crime and injustice wherever he goes. To others, he embodies all that is great about the United States.

But what would have happened had the baby Kal-El not landed in a field in Smallville, Kansas? How would Kal-El’s worldview, values, super powers and ultimate destiny have been affected had his scientist father plugged in a different set of coordinates into the ship that brought the future Clark Kent to our fair green planet?

A few alternative endings to the Superman saga:

1) The Fifth Beatle: There’s no evidence to suggest that Clark Kent can carry a tune. However, the Superman character came into existence in 1938, making Kal-El a contemporary of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. What if Superman had landed in Strawberry Field – a Salvation Army children’s home in Liverpool, England? His incredible physical prowess could theoretically have been honed into becoming the world’s greatest drummer or guitar player.

Not too sure about the harmonica, though.

2) Dream of Californication: Having been discovered and adopted by a Kansas farmer and his wife, Superman was imbued with a strong moral compass. But what if Krypton’s only survivor had landed behind the famous Hollywood Sign, located in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains? Without strong Midwestern values to ground him, Jor-El’s naive only son may well have wandered into the pornography capital of the world: Chatsworth, California. Clark Kent’s super physique would have been put to good use but that name would have go.

How’s about On Golden Blonde starring… Hank McCrackin?

3) Live from Kabul: Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, is a reporter for the Daily Planet for the convenience of receiving late-breaking news before the general public, hence providing an excuse for being present at crime scenes. Now, had the ship carrying baby Kal-El landed in Kabul, Afghanistan, isn’t it just possible that Khalid Al-Kindi(not too many goat herders named Clark residing around these parts) would have signed up with one of the Al Jazeera Network’s many Middle-Eastern based bureaus?

After all, why should only truth and justice in Metropolis be defended? What about the divine rights and harems of sheikhs and mullahs?

4) Running Drugs at the Speed of Light: If the baby boy from a dying planet had landed in Medellín, Columbia, would he have grown up to be Carlos Quintana, ruthless member of an organized network of drug suppliers and smugglers that operated in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, the United States, as well as Canada and Europe during the 1970s and 1980s? Kal-El’s super-hearing could conceivably have been used to detect tapped phones; X-ray vision may have come in handy in spotting wired government informants and super-speed would have been essential in out running right-wing paramilitary groups and rival cartels seeking to dismantle the Medellín.

Can you just imagine Superman on a cocaine binge?

5) Leap of Faith: Did Kryptonians believe in God? Superman’s religious affiliation is never defined. Having been found in Kansas, he was raised with a solidly Protestant upbringing by his adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent. But what if Kal-El, son of Jor-El and Lara, had reached not Smallville but Tzfat (Safed) – the most mystical city in all of Israel. It’s not clear how Superman’s abilities affect his thought processes. But just as Tzfat marked a turning point in the life of Rabbi Karo, author of the last great codification of Jewish law – the Shulchan Aruch – perhaps the quiet and tranquility the city is known for would have inspired Kolby Kagan to learn and write and think.

Concentrating all his super powers on intellectual pursuits, isn’t it likely that Rabbi Kagan would have been able to leap over all contradictory Halachic interpretations in a single bound?

Well, dear reader, I sincerely thank you for having allowed me the pleasure of emptying the contents of my kaleidoscope mind.

And to all a good night!

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Jewish ‘Scandal’ Star Says He Remains True to Religious Ritual, Despite Scheduling, Dietary Conflicts

    Jewish ‘Scandal’ Star Says He Remains True to Religious Ritual, Despite Scheduling, Dietary Conflicts

    A star of the hit TV show Scandal told the community website Quora.com that, throughout his acting career, he has remained faithful to his Judaism, even when it has caused him to forfeit gigs. Joshua Malina, who plays the character of David Rosen on the ABC political-thriller series, reminisced about his early days in Hollywood, when he had no agent and could only go to open-call auditions. At one of these — a try-out for a commercial — he said he waited on a line that was “maybe a city […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Huffington Post Accused of ‘Jew-Hatred’ After Tweeting ‘Offensive’ Joke About Comedian at Video Music Awards

    Huffington Post Accused of ‘Jew-Hatred’ After Tweeting ‘Offensive’ Joke About Comedian at Video Music Awards

    The Huffington Post is facing backlash after joking about a Jewish comedian’s  appearance at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday night. Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky took part in Nick Jonas’ performance of his song “Bacon,” staged in a New York diner — in a cameo role as a waiter throwing a handful of bacon in the air. Commenting on the show, the Huffington Post tweeted, “not thrilled at the fat jew [he] wasted all that perfectly good bacon!!!!!!” The message angered many Twitter users, who thought the joke […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Fans Mob, Dance With Basketball Player Amar’e Stoudemire at First Jerusalem Team Practice (VIDEO)

    Israeli Fans Mob, Dance With Basketball Player Amar’e Stoudemire at First Jerusalem Team Practice (VIDEO)

    Israeli basketball fans mobbed Hapoel Jerusalem’s newest player, American pro Amar’e Stoudemire, dancing around with him during a practice open to the public. On Friday, the team posted a video on Twitter of the happy romp with fans jumping around Stoudemire, while chanting in Hebrew. Unfamiliar with the lyrics, Stoudemire pumps his fist in the air. The basketball player, who has Jewish roots on his mother’s side, also waved a flag emblazoned with Hapoel Jerusalem’s logo. The former New York Knicks forward retired from the NBA earlier […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    Playboy Columnist Calls Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ Festival ‘Ultimate Revenge on Hitler’

    The Israeli version of the famed American Burning Man music festival is the “ultimate revenge on Hitler,” according to a column in Playboy magazine on Thursday. In his column, Jeff Weiss also took note of the fact that Midburn — a five-day bacchanal in the Negev Desert, self-described as an event celebrating “a communal life style, creativity, art and radical self-expression” — began on June 8, the day of the Sarona Market terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, which left four people dead. Weiss asked rhetorically, “What could needle the mustached […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Some punk rockers integrate their Jewish identity into their music through food, the author of a new book on the topic told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. Michael Croland, author of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, described the way different musicians express this connection. “One band is known for throwing gefilte fish in the mosh pit, and people at its concert slide around on it while dancing,” he recounted. “Another used to drink Manischewitz [sweet kosher] wine out of a shofar [the ram […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    The manager of Scotland’s Celtic soccer club lauded Israel, after his team won a match against the Jewish state’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers said at a post-match press conference: On behalf of the players, the people of Celtic and Scotland, Israel’s been fantastic for us. We came out here on Sunday, [and from] the hotel, the staff, we’ve been very, very warmly received. The atmosphere at the game was amazing and, obviously, one team has to lose, but you have a wonderful team here, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    For the second time, Israel will host the Jaffa Jazz Festival, according to Broadwayworld.com. The festival will unite 43 Israeli musicians and eight international artists for a three-day event. The program will include a special performance by an ensemble of top jazz students studying at Belgium’s Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, the Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia, Israel’s Rimon School of Music and the jazz program of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. There will also be a jazz show for children led by Israeli saxophonist […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    JNS.org – As a young boy growing up in Ashdod, Israel, Alon Day got his first go-kart at age 9. By 15, he was racing them. Less than a decade later, Day has become the first Israeli professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit. He made history by competing in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13. “Driving a race car is not like any other sport,” Day told JNS.org. “You are actually almost flying […]

    Read more →