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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Becoming Batman

Anyone who knows me understands that I have had a lifelong fascination with the Dark Knight.  Recently, I read Dr. E. Paul Zehr's amazing work - Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero.  I have enclosed my review for your consideration - I hope you like it.
-Steve
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Available at Amazon


Every child who has donned a cape and ran around the backyard has been asking the question, “Could I be a superhero?” Dr. Zehr answers this question with his detailed analysis of the possibility of becoming a superhero in Becoming Batman.

One of my earliest memories involving Batman occurred when I transformed into the Dark Knight for a kindergarten Halloween party. As I ran around in that “Adam West” style costume, one of the teachers remarked that my eyes were “perfect” for the mask.  That level of authentication began a lifelong fascination with everything related to the Dark Knight.

Becoming Batman, however, requires more than simply donning the right type of suit.

Zehr, whose academic credentials trace from an undergraduate emphasis in kinesiology through a PhD in Neuroscience, brilliantly discusses the potential for someone to actually become a superhero. His writing is witty and informative, striking an appropriate balance between a pure scientific discourse and ample explanations to keep lesser trained readers intrigued.  In addition to the neuroscientific development, Zehr infuses the text with historical reference to Batman by comic book and year. Such references are sure to satiate any collector of Batman memorabilia.

The narrative includes salient points about the requisite genetics, training, and realities which would accompany the life of one aspiring to be Batman. Zehr’s development of the appropriateness of martial arts training stems from his own lifelong fascination with the martial arts and is a compelling analysis of the rigors which Bruce Wayne would have necessarily been exposed to perform as the Batman. A glance at the author’s webpage reveals that his research interests revolve around how the nervous system controls movement – a fact that makes his analysis of the probability of becoming Batman seem plausible.

We see ourselves in the characterization of Batman because he is human, not an alien from another planet or someone who received his prowess by the bite of a radioactive insect.  When Batman dons the bat suit the archetypal conquest of good over evil becomes possible.  Maybe, such an aspiration is possible for any one of us.

Is there hope for those of us who have donned a costume to actually become Batman? The answer might surprise you - if you have the proper genetics; passionately seek your goal; and have enough time and money.

See more about Dr. E. Paul Zehr at http://www.zehr.ca/

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