Super #SJW Man Chapter 1
FROM MARSHALL B. RICH, III TO SUPER #SJW MAN
[Previous Entry: Introduction and Table of Contents.]
One day, while Marshall B. Rich, III was reading The Huffington Post and listening to an Ezra Klein podcast, he went completely insane.
Marshall leaped to his feet, raised both fists in the air, and yelled, “I’m going to save the world!”
He imagined himself in a movie, standing in the center of the screen like Superman, with anthemic music being trumpeted in the background. His theme song would be something big and dramatic! Something inspiring and full of feeling! Something like the theme song for the movie Rocky – no, not Rocky! Rocky was a cisgender straight white male, the very type of person who was destroying the world. He needed a minority superhero … someone like … Shaft! Yes! The theme song for Shaft would be his anthem!
Now, Marshall was a cisgender straight white American male, a fact for which he was always apologizing. “I am so sorry!” he would say, with real sorrow and as much empathy as he could pretend to have, whenever he talked to a non-gender-conforming, non-heterosexual, non-white, non-American, non-male, or other such non-privileged person.
Marshall imagined the Shaft fanfare blaring behind him, and he tried to add a dash of street swagger to his posture. He imagined all the cool-looking black dudes he saw in the movies or on rap videos, and he tried to stand just like they would.
He nodded confidently. He sneered. He threw up what he thought looked like gang signs with his hands. He thought about how cool he must look, and he grinned with self-satisfaction.
He walked over to his desk and sat down. “I’m going to save the world!” he announced again, to the empty room. “I need a catchy name and a superhero costume!”
He thought about it. He picked up a pencil and started sketching action figures.
Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, inspiration struck! He quickly drew a scrawny man sporting a hipster beard, beatnik-looking glasses, skinny jeans, canvas shoes, and a pastel-pink v-neck t-shirt. Not surprisingly, he drew the man to look exactly like himself. On the front of the t-shirt, Marshall drew a dramatic crest emblazoned with the logo “#SJW!”
He was on a roll now! He sketched in the details of the superhero’s face: soft eyes, a sarcastic smile, a sunken chin, and a small upturned nose. Underneath the cartoonish figure he wrote the words, “Super #SJW Man!”
He jumped to his feet again, struck a superhero-style pose, and yelled, “I’m super Social Justice Warrior Man! I love LP records and craft beer! I hate fossil fuels and animal products! I strike fear into the hearts of bullies! I stand with the oppressed in the endless fight for equality! I am … Super Social Justice Warrior Man!”
He tore off his pastel pink v-neck t-shirt, ran to the closet, and grabbed two cans of spray paint, one white and one red. He lay the shirt down carefully on the floor and began to paint. A moment later, he held up the shirt proudly and inspected his handiwork: the front of the shirt now contained a white crest on which was emblazoned, in red, the title “Super #SJW Man!”
He frowned briefly as he thought about the possibly offensive term “man.” He raised an eyebrow and looked skeptically at his slogan. “Should I change it to ‘person?’” he wondered aloud. But “person” contained the masculine word “son.” What about “human?” No, that contained the dreadful term “man.” He could change it to “Super #SJW People,” since “people” did not contain any masculine term; but that would be awkward. “Hi, I’m Super Social Justice Warrior People,” he imagined himself saying. That wouldn’t work either.
After a couple minutes of tortured deliberation, he had an idea. He would use the term “man” to refer to himself, but he would add a clarifying footnote to the shirt. With a permanent marker, he added an asterisk to the word “man,” and at the bottom of the shirt, he wrote the following explanation: “The term ‘man’ is not meant to exclude or denote any semblance of superiority, but is used solely to identify this particular social justice warrior, who fights for social justice alongside and in full partnership with progressive individuals of every gender and sexual orientation.”
“That should do it!” he yelled. He tossed the marker onto his desk and slipped the t-shirt over his head. He grabbed a red blanket from his bed and a safety pin and draped the blanket around himself like a cape. He walked to the bathroom, carefully posed in front of the mirror, and admired his new superhero uniform from every possible angle.
“Time to save the world!” he announced, to no one in particular. He marched over to his desk and picked up his trendy new iPhone. He opened up Twitter and announced to the world: “Dear world, I am #WOKE now! With love, Super #SJW Man!”
[Up next: Super #SJW Man Chapter Two, in which Super #SJW Man comes out of the closet, sort of...; or go to the Table of Contents.]
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