Thank you so much for adding such personal experience of having hero ideology thrust upon you. You are absolutely right to suspect that such superheroism functions in a way to avoid social responsibility for the differently abled, or every other vulnerable segment of the population for that matter. That is why superheroism coincides with the hyper-individualism that fuels the global engine of capitalistic culture, an ideology designed to skew social responsibility to fatten the pockets of private enterprise. It is certainly a scam. Like the brainwashing that society wants to impose upon us, as you write so powerfully:
“It would be easier to drink the cool-aide, and bow to society’s need for me to be a superhero. Believe me. But to do so would mean denying my own, very real needs and the truth of my life. In fact, the reason, I think, society needs the disabled to be superheroes is so they can feel okay when they turn their backs and walk away. There is no onus upon them to help, participate, to take time from their life, or pay taxes to support us. We are superheroes, we have no need of them, they convince themselves.”
That is so well put and I thank you for sharing it with us. You speak truth here. And the truth is we cannot divorce politics from myth, nor suppress the virtual identity of myth and ideology on the collective ground of our individual existence.
Ideology allows one to live mythically, in an unconscious way, as it holds within itself a sublime core of archetypal truth, a truth which is continually falsified by the ideological consciousness that takes over.
This is why it is very important to me that what you describe this thrusting of superhero ideology upon the disabled as a kind of scapegoating mechanism. The scapegoat banishes social responsibility into the wilderness before it is chased down and “sacrificed” in the form of disabled people (or other vulnerable minorities), who are thus expected to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.”
The other point you make about the pure narcissist vs the tyrant is a subtle one and requires some clarification on my part. So when you write:
“I agree, it is hard to be full of one’s self with out an audience. But then again a true narcissist sees mirrors all around reflecting back to them, human or not. It is not so much the reflections that are important, but the perspective that one is the center of the universe, and all of reality.”
We are still working within the dialectical relationship between One and the Other or others. You are right, it is not so much the objects that may serve as mirrors of my reflection but about the perspective that one is the center of it all. That is why the complete image of Narcissus comes together with Echo, a human mirror, and his reflection upon a pond, a non-human ‘cosmic’ mirror. For without mirrors the One cannot be at all.
Take the example of the movie Cast Away, where you have someone in complete isolation who cannot sustain the reality of being so entirely alone, without any mirrors. Such a state drives Tom Hank’s character to the brink of suicidal despair. It is only until a non-human human mirror comes into his field of vision that he can regain his sense of being in the world, being the One and Only human on the island. Of course, I am talking about Wilson, a Soccer ball that has been “humanized” by an act of mythic imagination. Wilson is not just a fake little other, another person like him, like an inflatable doll to keep him company. Somehow Wilson has the power to reconstitute the entire web of the symbolic order that gives a role and meaning to the existence of this lonely One. Thus Wilson becomes a symbol of the Big Other that stands for the entire web of meaning and language that constitutes a human consciousness.
This is what I love about that movie. Remember that Tom Hanks had others on the island he could have “reflected” himself in—other animals, the sky and sea—as indeed the center of that little universe of the island. But having little others is not enough. It is the Big Other that Tom hanks needs in order to survive. For without the Big Other, there is no One worth living—so the movie seems to say.