Eliminating weedy brush everywhere? Perhaps. Sounds like guerrilla gardening. But what I really wanted to talk about today is Superheros Anonymous (because what real superhero isn’t anonymous, anyway?). I found out about this lovely little group through this CNN article, and it sounds fabulous, as it combines two of my favorite things – dressing up and doing good. I mean, who wouldn’t work with the homeless or children when they could do it IN COSTUME?!?
But there are pertient questions that go along with this type of activism, particularly along the lines of vigilante justice. I think most of us would be against individual masked figures taking the law into their own hands. But there are steps that each of us could take, and don’t. We are too often voiceless witnesses, or onconcerned passers-by. Crimes should be reported – that’s the only way the system works. If a costume is a barrier between our private lives and the possible consequences of being active citizens, so be it. If there are specific laws regarding citizens arrests and the actions we can take as individuals, we need to be respectful of state laws. Being respectful of the law does not excuse us, however, from being active participants in the community. It’s not just about jury duty and maintaining your lawn.
As for the comments issued about “Where these people are out in public, and there’s children around and everything, and these people are not revealing their identities, it’s not a safe thing,” it strikes me as a little ridiculous. When is the last time you went to a public park and could identify everyone there? Ok, never? What about the last time you could ID everyone in such a place on physical characteristics alone? This is why witnesses aren’t good evidence – our memories are shady. So while we may not know what the man behind the mask really looks like, there’s a good chance we wouldn’t have remembered him if we’d seen him clearly. Do-gooder with a cape and no mask? Well, that might stick in our mind a little. Isn’t that the point?