I’m very thankful for the fact that no one has ever told me to grow up. I’m a college graduate who reads comic books and watches cartoons, so I’ve been expecting a cold dose of adult reality for awhile. It hasn’t come, and that’s fine with me.
Adulthood made more sense when I was in kindergarten. Adults worked, worried, and generally put their own happiness aside for the betterment of their families and society in general. Now, things seem more complicated. Many supposed adults act like selfish children, while others work hard and get nothing but scorn and misery in return.
I guess real life can be pretty unsatisfying and unfair, which is why I want to hang on to immaturity as long as possible. I’m not trying to shirk responsibilities; I’d welcome the opportunity to get out there, get my career going, and make even a microscopic impact. I just wish real life was more like science fiction.
Being the captain of the USS Enterprise sounds tough; how do Kirk and Piccard stay so cool while facing down Romulans with no shields and a warp core ready to explode? Yet their lives are much easier than the average American’s. They may be going up against hostile aliens, but at least they know what to do: attack! defend! whatever! There is no relativity in Star Trek, which makes every decision obvious.
The nerd world is also a world of idealism. Most superheroes do what they do with only slight justification. They have superpowers. They are good people. They do good things. Done. It’s only in the real world that people need a reason to be good.
These characters, with their brightly colored costumes and corny dialogue, have always been paragons of good, and I’ve tried to follow their example as best I can. I known that we’ll probably never live up to our own myths, or build a future like the one in Star Trek, but it’s nice to dream.
Reality isn’t black-and-white, but people seem to use that as an excuse for gratuitously selfish and callous behavior. When I need a break from that, I open a comic book. After all, maybe it’s maturity that sucks.