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RLSH

November 17, 2011

Bella came home from school the other day bursting to show me a sketch.  She pulled out her book and opened it up to a page with a pencil drawing.  It was a drawing that depicted pieces of a costume.  A helmet, boots, and suit with some explanation of the component parts.  I’d say it was inspired, if not somewhat eerily similar, to what a stormtrooper from the Star Wars films would wear.

She explained to me the RLSH phenomenon.  That’s Real Live Superheros.  In her words, it’s basically a bunch of people get dressed up in a costume they design and then set out to help homeless people and stop drug deals.  Yes, you read that right.  You need to wear a costume to help homeless people and stop drug deals.

There was so much wrong with this statement that I stayed silent, mostly because I was stunned into wordlessness, while she excitedly went on and on about how she was going to be a RLSH.

When I finally interjected I asked her why exactly she needed a costume to help homeless people and if she thought intervening in a drug deal was a wise idea.  She paused and looked at me like I was missing the entire point.  Apparently I’m too old to understand why  wearing a costume to be your very own superhero is fun, and it’s not like she was going to stop a drug deal today.  Later.  When she’s a bit older.

Because in two years from now taking down a drug deal in a superhero costume will be so much safer?

I’m not sure how much research she’s completed on the new super-civilian persona she wants to develop, but it seems these RLSH are all over the internet.  And the news.  And even the subject of an HBO documentary.

I suppose there’s much worse things she could be doing as a teenager. It’s much better than her obsessive crush on the Transformers that dominated her pop culture consumption for a six-month period.  I just wish she’d think a little bit more critically about the subcultures she becomes infatuated with before she gives them her whole heart.

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