Quantum Superman and Quantum Othello
|Rajesh Kasturirangan||Oct 19, 2006|
I realized that my blog was getting too serious for my own comfort, so here is a completely frivolous post. I was thinking about Superman and Clark Kent (CK) and how each time Clark Kent has to become Superman, he has to go into a telephone booth and change. With the advent of cellphones there are no telephone booths anymore, so what is CK gonna do? I think that Superman has to change with the times. In other words, he has to become Quantum Supeman, who is in a superposition state, being both Superman and not Superman simultaneously. Just think about how terrific a slogan quantum Superman has waiting for him:
“He is a Bird AND he is a Plane AND he is Superman!”
But Houston, there is a problem. If Superman is quantum while Lois Lane (LL) is still classical, then with whom does she fall in love? Is it with Clark Kent or is it with Superman? A good classical girl (as all DC comics heroines are, none of this postmodern hedonism for them) wouldnt be caught dead performing quantum bigamy. We could solve the problem by making LL quantum as well but then the audience gets distracted from the main theme of the movie, which is Superman’s superpositional double identity. Making LL a quantum heroine violates the cardinal rule for hit quantum movies:
Only the central character should be quantum. Everyone else should be classical.
So what is one to do? I have a solution: make quantum Superman into a tragic hero, a la Othello. In quantum Othello, Clark Kent, playing Iago (and not knowing about his quantum alter ego) is jealous of Superman and scuppers S’mans chances with LL. However, the discerning reader will realize that casting Clark Kent as quantum Othello poses a real problem, for quantum mechanics says that only one of the infinite superposition states (of which CK and Superman are only two: one wonders what the others are) are manifested at a given point in time. So either Superman exists or Clark Kent does but not both at the same time. So how does CK take his revenge?
So far, I have Clark Kent fooling Superman into going back in time to see him, i.e., Clark Kent kissing LL. Superman being jealous in the Othello mould but honorable in the superhero mould kills himself instead of Lois and Clark gets the girl. And here is the kicker — combine the tragedy with the fact that quantum superman is BOTH DEAD AND ALIVE now, and we have a ghost story in the makings. And since Superman is not really dead and in reality, he is also Clark Kent, we have the makings of a sequel where Superman and Clark Kent discover their true identities, make up and live forever in a combination of reality and limbo. So we have in one movie:
A love story
A ghost story
A coming of age story
Four for the price of one! What a genre busting movie this is gonna be!