Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Sunday, October 10, 2004
 
In Memoriam: Christopher Reeve, 1952-2004

When I was a child, my favorite movie was Superman II. I could watch it over and over again. It was really the Clark Kent character I loved, and still do---the last Boy Scout, so endearing and adorable, both sweetly sad and sweetly amused at how unaware his friends are of his real identity. Clark is utterly gentle, yet still capable of pulling a light prank or making a quietly sharp comment. After 9/11, I was tired of watching tape of the WTC Towers collapsing over and over and sad that I would never really see them. I wanted to remember them some other way, and oddly, it was the Superman movies that soothed me. It wasn't just Superman's graceful gliding around them. Logical implications of the script aside, Clark Kent exudes so much earnestness, you just have to believe that good will eventually triumph.

Death Trap, Somewhere In Time, The Bostonians, Remains of the Day, even Anna Karenina. . .I can't really think of another actor who has so consistently made me feel his whole heart was in his performance, and always pulled mine along, even to follow a detestable character or sink into an otherwise bad movie. I can't think of someone who has so consistently made me feel that performance can and should inspire strong feelings and a desire for good even as it entertains, and that an audience should be unashamed of being inspired by art. I'm sure there are other great actors who have lit up celluloid with that fire of the stage, that sense of mission and purpose, but he was the first one who really lit it up for me.

I admire people who are willing to wear their heart on their sleeve, and I've always been inspired by his imperviousness to the cult of irony. He never backed down from trumpeting a cause, including his own, just because others like to make snide commentary. He was never too cool to try and do some good, nor to ask for help when he needed it himself. He wouldn't get beaten into somebody else's idea of what he should be striving for, or what was realistic. He was one of my ideals of determination. Yet neither did he take himself too seriously. Sincerity made the balancing act easy, just like his graceful turns made it easy to believe in flying.

There aren't a whole lot of performers I proudly wear the label of fan for, but I've always been a fan of his. When I decided to become a writer, I'd sometimes daydream I'd eventually be famous enough to get to interview him--or even, one day, write a film for him to be in. I sincerely hoped that one day he would walk again. I still hope that one day others will.

Requiscat in Pacem, and Adieu.
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
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Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
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Dark Days Ahead
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Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
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Finding My Voice
Forsv
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Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



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Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

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Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

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Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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