Los Chilitos

I can never remember the name of Los Chilitos, which is on 17th Ave near 14th Street in SW Calgary, but I’ve been obsessed with it since the first day I saw it.  Tequila and Taco House?  That’s awesome!  I usually call it Tequila and Taco House, which is the most awesome name in all of nomenclature.  That’s just unbelievably cool.

Somewhere, Leonard’s metal chin is rusting with drool thinking of this place.  When I was in Japan with her, she needed to eat tacos at least every two days.  Do you know how hard it is to find tacos in Japan?  There’s no Tequila and Taco houses there!  A2 can empathize.  Aparently she did the same thing through all of Europe.  Well, guess what, Leonard?  There’s a Tequilla and Taco house near my house, and you can’t come because you ate too many tacos in Japan, and wouldn’t even try tako.

You may not be able to tell from that picture, but Los Chilitos looks like a house set way back on its lot, with an enormous two story patio.  There’s more space outside than inside.  It’s a really nice patio with a really nice view.  You know how some Mexican restaurants feel like they’re owned by a chain, and some feel like they’re owned by a family?  Los Chilitos just oozes authenticity. 

Tall and I went one sunny afternoon, because he loves to eat and he loves to help.  The drink menu impressed me, and I couldn’t resist the mohito.

I don't think it's a gay drink.

Do you see that?  Real mint leaves crushed in there.  It was frigid and delicous.  It is porbably the best mohito I’ve ever had, and I’ve had over three.

Tall loved that his Coke came in a glass bottle.  He usually hates Coke, being very devouted to Pepsi.  He tastes the difference easily, and for a Coke to do well by him is an amazing feet.  Perfect temperature, and perfect presentation.

Honestly, it didn’t seem like things could get better. 

Then our food came

Those tacos there, they were amazing.  And I got both the red salsa, and the green salsa.  Green salsa is the super spicy salsa.  I love the taste, but it’s too hot for me most of the time.  Having both let me use just a little bit as needed.  This is one of the best tacos I’ve ever had, and I’ve had over 300 tacos.  Most of those are since meeting Leonard.

Tall’s burito was just as good.  Tall couldn’t find anything to complain about with it.  Tall loves to complain about food.  He loves it as much as eating food and helping.  It’s his favourite thing in the world.  He could find no fault in this burito.  That means it was aboslutely perfect.  Nothing was wrong, or he would have brought it up. 

Then it started to rain a little bit.  Our waiter appeared, and told us he had prepared a table for us inside when he saw the clouds forming.  He didn’t want us to have soggy food, and as soon as the first drops hit, he was there to help us.

Waiters have a hard job.  They have to juggle all kinds of tables, and make sure food comes out, and everyone is happy.  There’s a certain amount of forethought the job requires, but usually you do the basics by route and save your energy to solve problems with angry customers.

But this guy, he solved problems before they happened.  He was ready to help us out as soon as he thought there could be a problem.  The rest of the servers were cute girls, with asses like onions; they brought a tear to your eye, and you were in no way sad.  This guy was so good, he was better than that. 

Yeah, this dude was better than cute girls.  He was amazing.  I think he might be the owner, and if he is, this place will do well.  They have a man who not only understands good customer service, but goes above and beyond to provide great customer service.

And inside is pretty cool too:

Smiley faces protect the identities of the innocent

When our bill came, it was really good.  We had eaten amazing meals in a great place, with excellent service.  The prices were what you’d pay in any causual dining restaurant, but this was one of the best meals out in my life. 

I love this place.  If you want to throw me a party, or thank me for something, or impress me, take me to Los Chilitos.  It’ll put me in a great mood, to be sure.

************************************************************************************

Rating: 5 Stars

Food Star: Excellent, a superb taco.

Drink Star: Fresh mint in the mohito!  YES!

Atmosphere Star: Spot on.

Staff Star: Greatest waiter ever.

Price Star: Worth so much more than we were charged for

Tall’s Rating: 5 Stars.  From Tall.  He found nothing to complain about.

The Girl on The Train

I have a weird social anxiety that people who know me don’t realize I have.  I need a set relationship to talk to someone.    If we’re just strangers, I can’t start a conversation.  I know that’s stupid and crazy.  I know that I’m not disturbing people by speaking to them, but if I need to know the time, I’m more likely to go into a store and buy something so I can ask the clerk than to ask a person at a bus stop.  

It’s weird in the ways it doesn’t show up.  I have no problem public speaking.  I’m more comfortable before an audience of hundreds than a single stranger.  I can do my job, which involves speaking with customers I don’t know all day long, because we have a set relationship. 

To meet new people, I generally need to lamprey onto an extrovert. 

It's an unpleasant image, I know.

 

If I have that back up, someone else to say the first word, to start the conversation, I can join in.  That’s why I need Tall or Lina in new social situations.  Once they break the ice, I can plunge into the frozen lack below, but I can’t do it myself. 

Which isn’t helping me right now, as I write this.  I’m on the C-Train with my Black Book.  If you’ve never been on a C-Train, there’s two types of cars.  One has a bunch of seats that all face one direction, like a school bus, where you stare at the head of the person across from you.  Then there’s the ones I call picnic cars.  The benches face each other like this: 

Three sets of these on either side of the train

 

It looks like you’re facing each other, and you’re going to set up a picnic between you.  All that’s missing is the table in the middle and it would be like your grandparents camping trailer.  The awkwardness right now comes from the fact that only a mostly empty train, I’m sitting here: 

I'm brunette, so I'm brown in an overhead view.

 

And this really cute blonde girl came onto the train and looked around.  There were completely empty sets of picnic seats, and she completely ignores them and heads for mine.  This obviously  means she’s into me.  The only problem was I had no extrovert here, no Tall to start up the conversation.  I’m on my way home from work, and I haven’t had a chance to drink yet, and my social anxiety kicks in.  Then it gets worse.  See, normally, when you join someone on a picnic seat, you sit opposite of them. 

Kitty corner, maximum distance from train strangers

 

But this girl doesn’t seem to know the etiquette, or is so into me she doesn’t care.  She sits here. 

As close as she can get.

 

The diagram doesn’t really do it justice.  She was trying to cuddle.  She really wanted to sit in my lap, but I had this book out, so I was writing away.  

How could this happen today!  The one day I don’t drink at work!  How am I supposed to talk to her?  I’m on my own, she came to me, she came right for me!  Does that mean we have a set relationship?  Can I do it?  Can I talk to her, dead sober, on my own? 

Of course I can!  I’m amazing!  I’m such a cool guy!  I’m internet famous, with literally dozens of readers on my blog everyday!  I talk to hundreds of people every week, so why can’t I set a relationship, instead of walking into a predefined one?  In fact, there is one here!  This cute girl defined the relationship as cool writer guy on the train and cute girl who wants him!  There’s no way she thought it would be normal to come sit right next to me!  This is Canada, and we have nothing but open space, so she obviously wanted to get all up in mine so I would get all up in her. 

Then she pulled out this: 

I don't know if it was actually Spanish

 

A foreign language dictionary.  Great, she just doesn’t know our customs. 

Or she’s learning a foreign langauge…. 

Now I’m trying to lean over without her noticing, figuring out what language it is.  I can tell by the type of book what it is, but I can’t see if it’s German, or French, or Japanese.  Those are my ins.  I have enough of those languages that it counts as a set relationship, whether she’s a tourist or a student.  

Fuck, woman, just let me see your book! 

This is getting ridiculous.  Why am I still writing?  Why can’t I talk to her?  For fuck’s sake, it doesn’t matter what language the dictionary is!  Hell, I could just ask her.  Just say “What language is that?”  I’ll be able to tell if she speaks it or if she’s studying it when I ask.  If it’s one of my languages, I’m golden. 

I tried it, just now, but it quickly became a cough. 

Now she seems weirded out.  Why don’t I have a flask on me?  Just a quick shot, just a little buzz that I can blame if I screw up!  Why is this happening to me. 

Fuck, Tall, where are you?  Why aren’t you here?  If I text you, does that count?  Do I have the power to talk to the girl then? 

It’s hard to balance the book and text.  I elbowed her a little.  Not inappropriately.  Now Tall isn’t texting back.  WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I NEED YOU? 

Why is this going so badly?  Why can’t I handle this?  This is a normal thing!  Normal people do it all the time.  We’ve been sitting together for twenty minutes now.  Is it too late?  Why don’t I just talk to her?  Why am I still blogging. 

We’re downtown now.  She’s getting off at the first stop. 

Thank God that’s over. 

Wait a second … 

*************************************************************************************** 

Joey would have you believe he’s suave with women, as he’s surrounded by beautiful girls all the time.  Women constantly fall in love with him on the train.  He’s usually not interested in them.  This girl was special, but that’s not a good thing.

Watchman’s Pub

Watchman’s Pub is just down the street from my apartment.  It’s a rarity on 17th Ave, much like Morgan’s Pub.  Both these places are real. 

By contrast, most of 17th is trying to be ironically classy, and the understanding of irony is about as good as their understanding of classy.  Neither is really all that good.  Classy is usually attempted by setting high prices, acting snobby, and overdoing their ultra modern decorations and menu choices.  They then try too hard to be ironic by acting contemptuous of their self-created surroundings, not worrying about dress codes for staff or customers, and acting like they were forced into a strange, expensive menu.  It blends into an expense poser mess, failing to achieve either goal. 

Watchman’s deserves respect because they just are who they are.  It’s a local pub, with just the right amount of dive bar to be charming without being scary.  They’ve got a great patio for people watching,

and the interior is such a classic pub; wood panel walls and a big central bar. 

When I came in, the crowd was perfect.  Some beer-league team shared pitchers in one corner.  Two old guys argued in a language I couldn’t place.  Some guy sat alone nursing a broken heart and a Budweiser.  Another dud had a scotch and a news paper. 

I knew I had to come here to write.  It’s the sort of place where you can sip a beer and a whiskey and pretend you’re just like Hemingway. 

…if whiskey didn’t make me sick… 

It’s a casual, seat yourself sort of place.  I was barely on my stool when the waitress popped out of nowhere, like an impatient gopher.  Literally, sit, BAM waitress. 

She was either bored or really into me, and couldn’t wait to show me what a great girlfriend she’d make with her beer and food getting skills.  I’m pretty sure it’s the second one, and cute girls who bring me beer are much cuter than those who are too busy already having boyfriends who aren’t me. 

Those girls are jerks. 

I tried the Watchman’s house draft.  It was terrible.  I think maybe some drunk took a bitter pee in a rain barrel.  It was definitely more on the dive bar ascetic than the neighborhood pub, and while it got more drinkable as the glass got emptier, next time I’ll order something I know.  But I drank the whole thing.  And it got better as it went.  I became more and more forgiving.  It wasn’t as bad as I first thought.  It just shouldn’t be your first beer.  You drink it third, when your taste is a little dulled.  It doesn’t sit well with a sober tongue, but it’s not that bad as the night goes on.  I mean, I kept drinking it.

Considering how very pub the place was, I decided to go with the fish and chips.  I almost gave them a full food star, when I realized my meal was just alright.  Sometimes, I forget that Calgary is a long way from the ocean.

A real map. From a map store.

 

I also forget what good fish and chips should taste like.  Honestly, you get Captain Highliner Imitation Fish Paddies at so many of the restaurants in the city I  fool myself into thinking tolerable fish is good. 

This man does not make food.

 These were real fish and chips.  They were good.  They weren’t great, but they were good.  And, I didn’t notice at first, but…

They came on a fish plate!

Then the bill came.  It was a great surprise, in that is was super low.  Like couch change low.  So I tipped the waitress 100 percent and promised myself I’d be back. 

This is really a great place.  Sure, I bitch, but I like Watchman’s a lot.  You really need to check it out.

************************************************************************************ 

Final Ratings: 4 Stars 

1/2 Drink Star: The beer was bad, but I wasn’t offended, because it suited the place.  I just wish I hadn’t tried it. 

1/2 Food Star: 1/2 Because they should make good fish and chips in a cool pub, and these were just … okay. 

Staff Star: Attentive and cute.  She was amazing, and made up for the problems I had with the product. 

Atmosphere Star: So cool.  Exactly what I wanted and needed. 

Price Star: Almost derserves two price stars.  Seriously, you get way more than you pay for here.

England Bound

I recently check myself, pre-wrecking myself, and realized I had come down with a bad case of wanderlust.  While I enjoyed my trip to Portland immensely, I felt the need to go somewhere further, maybe more exotic.  I need somewhere where they don’t speak English, or at least sound funny when they do it. 

England should do the trick.  I mean, have you ever seen Little Britain?  Those accents are wacky! 

What my research shows me average English people are like.

 

So using no small portion of my charm, I convinced Gilly she should put up with me for a week.  She has a poor long-term memory, and hasn’t read this blog where I mock the English yet, so I’m golden.  Hopefully, if she does read this when I’m there, she doesn’t kick me out.  I probably shouldn’t antagonize her, because some longtime readers will remember Gimtmbifhbsic.

It shouldn’t be a problem.  I’ve played a lot of video games.  A large portion of them take place in worlds where everyone fights with swords and a windmill is the height of technology.  In those games, everyone speaks with an English accent.  Based on this wealth of research, I’m forced to conclude that people who speak with English accents are technologically inept, and electricity hasn’t been invented in England yet.

The same research shows that the Scottish are dwarves.

 

The internet doesn’t work well without electricity, and without knowing when I’ll have access, I can’t ensure my blog schedule will be met. 

But you, dear reader, you need me.  You need something to read in a little window on the corner of your desktop when you’re supposed to be filling out TPS reports. 

With cover sheets, of course.

 

WordPress to the rescue!  Using their pre-publish feature, I’ve set it up so it will be like I wasn’t gone.  In fact, if you’re reading this, I’ve already been in England for two days. 

Updates will go up as regular, but it’ll be mostly backlog ideas, and more restaurant reviews than normal. If you leave a comment, I won’t be getting back to with my usual lightening speed, because I’ll be doing English things. 

Research suggests it'll probably be things like this.

 

Then I’ll come back with all kinds of amazing England stories. 

Unless a Dragon eats me. 

… or if Gilly reads this…

Mini Blog: The hardest part

The hardest part of blogging is to keep doing it.  Seriously, I don’t want to write this right now.

I’m not going to be able to write for the next week or so, so I pre-wrote all the blogs I’d need.  But I still need todays.  I’m tired, and I don’t have enough sleep.

But if you’re a new blogger, let me tell you, you should keep going.  This isn’t my first Rodeo.  When you miss an update, people aren’t pleased.  If they haven’t been reading for a long time, you can easily lose them.  A blog without an audience is just a journal, and I’m not a thirteen year old girl, so I don’t keep one of those.

A dependable site keeps it’s traffic up.  Everytime you miss, you’ve made a mistake.  You lost someone, if not a few someones.  Poeple whould rather read this crap than nothing.

Plus, part of why I’m so tired out is the blogs I pre-wrote are good, and I haven’t had time to recharge new ideas.  So don’t worry, Monday will be up on time.  And it’ll be good.

Unlike this.

(Also, always lie about how good future content will be so people come back)

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Miniblog: Ground Zero Mosque

Check out the video here.

I don’t watch TV News, and I hadn’t heard of Keith Olbermann before I started playing around on Reddit.  Then I saw the video linked above.  It’s Keith Olbermann’s commentary on the proposed “Mosque” at the Ground Zero site for 9/11.

The video is everything a good argument should be.  It is informed and impassioned.  He respects the pain and suffering from all sides involved, but calls for understanding and reason.  Muslims shouldn’t suffer because it was a Muslim who flew the plane.  I mean, there are white Anglo-Saxon protestants who have committed murder.  That doesn’t make me a murderer.

Even closer to home, my father has fixed thousands of tractors in his life.  I won’t ever fix a single one.  You shouldn’t condemn or judge a group as a whole by the actions of one.

He goes on to point out that it isn’t a Mosque, it’s a Muslim cultural centre, which is a very different thing.  He points out how it can’t be seen from the Ground Zero site, and it’s going up in a building that isn’t being used, in a neighborhood that has yet to recover.

Honestly, I can’t do the things Olbermann says, or the way he says them justice.  It just makes me angry.  It makes me angry to think that the Puritans, the first Americans, crossed the ocean to escape religious persecution, and there are those among their descendants who think the most American thing to be done is to condemn Muslims for their beliefs. 

It infuriates me that there are so many people in the world who respond with a knee-jerk reaction.  They hate without thinking, condemn without considering, and think themselves in the right.  The video there is what they need to be told.

It’s worth watching to educate yourself.  I learned a lot, and I’m ready to fight anyone who’s against this Muslim cultural centre.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

 

 

I went to see Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World this weekend with Kodie and Shawn.  Because it was opening weekend, we went rather early.  Shawn is now pretty deep in the world of comics these days, and in case you didn’t know: 

 

Scott Pilgrim was a comic first.  Shawn was pretty certain with the limited screens playing the movie, it would be tough to get tickets. 

These fears turned out to be unfounded.  The audience seemed made up of two groups: fans of the indy comic it was based on, and Michael Cera fans.  Michael Cera has a lot more fans than the comic, because who hasn’t seen Juno, or have some friend that constantly bemoans the cancellation of Arrested Development, like it was the holy grail of television programming, and there has never and will never be a better sitcom. 

Didn’t they ever see News Radio? That’s the best sitcom ever.

  

I absolutely loved this movie, but I doubt that will be common.  As we were walking out, people all around us had a great time, but also seemed confused.  I over heard three separate hipsters mutter about how they didn’t get it.  How often do hipsters admit that?  Even Kodie had a little trouble wrapping his head around it. 

While I haven’t read the original comic, I did spend a lot of years at University studying English, so I’m pretty good at understanding how a story works.  I’m not saying I’m smarter than people who didn’t get it, just that I have the training to spot what was going on.  See the movie worked on a conceit, an extended metaphor.  What happened on screen meant something else, and it never explains itself explicitly.  

The basic plot is that Scott, a slacker bass player in a no-name band, starts dating Ramona Flowers, who is the girl of his dreams.  Literally.  The first time he sees her, he’s dreaming and he hasn’t met her yet.  In order to date her, he needs to defeat her seven evil exes, and each one is like a boss battle out of a video game. 

The movie is beautiful, the fight scenes are great, and it’s really funny.  Even if you don’t entirely get what’s going on, it’s a hell of a fun watch.  Kodie’s favourite part is that it’s set in Toronto, and very Canadian, from CBC t-shirts to the self-depreciatory national humour.  They also do a very cool thing with the pacing of the movie.  How Scott feels about things changes the way the cuts are done.  When he’s spaced out and ignoring the world, you’ll suddenly be snapped into a situation, and Scott is more confused than the audience.  When things are great for him, days fly by in seconds.  When things suck, time drags itself out.  I do recommend it to anyone. 

While this is kind of a romantic comedy, it’s great in how human it remains.  See, Scott is kind of a douchebag.  He has major flaws, and the reason he doesn’t have a girl friend is because he fucks things up.  He’s not the standard Michael Cera character who’s a great guy who chicks just don’t notice.  He says and does stupid things, and a lot of his problems are his own fault. 

Now, this next part isn’t really spoilers.  It’s my explanation for that extended metaphor, and if you’d rather watch the movie and try and figure it out for yourself, stop reading here. 

Okay, so here’s how it works; every battle is Scott dealing with his issues.  He’s got to overcome how he stacks up with her first boyfriend, the boyfriend who does all the things he can’t, the boyfriend who does everything he wants to do better, and issues like that.  The magnitude of each fight is based on how much trouble he has overcoming the problem.  Usually, Ramona needs to explain herself for him to move past an issue, but even that isn’t always enough. 

I think I know how I got this, when a lot of people seemed to miss it.  It’s not just the English training.  It’s also the fact that I process emotions in a similar way.  Lina often laughs at the way I apply rules and systems to a chaotic world to make sense of things, as if there’s an underlying order if you can just figure it out through the static.  Scott does the same thing by looking at his problem through the lens of a video game, where there are bosses to beat, points and powerups to collect, and a set end point he believes he can achieve to have beaten the game. 

I’m not saying that I ever imagine fighting my girlfriends exes in my mind’s eye, or craft huge narrative in the back of my head.  I mean, that would be crazy, right?  I certainly don’t do exactly what Scott’s doing in the movie.  At all.  That would be weird.  Right?  Cause I don’t do that. 

And the fights aren’t awesome and epic.  I don’t feel so good when I finally trounce those opponents, usually when I don’t care about who or what they were.  They totally don’t make amazing stories I wish I could represent visually, or even share without a whole bunch of masking so that no one nows. 

…AT ALL.

This Late Late Breakfast Show

The Late Late Breakfast Show

I’ve mentioned the Late Late Breakfast Show before, in this blog.  There’s a show next week, and I really think you should all attend if you happen to be in Calgary.

I mostly think that because I have a couple of sketches in this one.  I’m not sure if I can tell you what they’re called, and I’m not going to damage my relationship with the show by giving away anything.

I mean, I assume you’re here because you like my writing.  Well, see how much better it is when actors read it.  You may not think that’s possible.  I understand how you’d get that impression, buy you, sir, are wrong.

Of course, maybe you’re just here to see me fail.  Well, fuck you.  If you don’t like my sketches, it’s because the actors ruined it.

Or you’re stupid, because the actors are cool and talented and know where I live.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Late Late Breakfast show is a sketch show that’s about an hour to an hour and a half long.  In their own words:

Laughter… The best medicine… You know, other than medicine…
The Late, Late Breakfast Show presents four evenings of sketch comedy filled with a pants-wetting array of sketches, songs, and dancing… Warning: The Late, Late Breakfast Show is not responsible for any injuries sustained during the show whilst chuckling, giggling, or heartily guffawing.
 
It goes up next week.  From Wednesday, August 18th, to Saturday, August 21st, there’s a show each night at 8pm.  Tickets are $14 each, and are sold at the door, cash only.  There’s an extra late show at 10 pm on Friday and Saturday, which is 2 for $15.
 
They’re playing at the Motel theatre in the Epcor Centre for the performing arts at 205 8th Street Southwest.

Miniblog: Abuse by Vancouver Police?

(link)

The above video clip shows a Vancouver Police officer pushing a woman with cerebral palsy to the ground.  He and the two officers with him walk on by without offering any assistance.

S2, one of my co-workers sent this to me.  I’m not sure when it happened, but the Youtube account this is located on had the video uploaded on July 25th of this year, and I believe it’s relatively recent.  It’s also what the media should be doing.  If there’s a problem, we need to be aware of it.  If people are interested in what happened here, and keep the pressure on the Vancouver Police Department, this becomes a lot more difficult to swept under the rug.  Something needs to be done.

One question S2 had for me is “What do you think should happen to the police officers?”  First of all, I think that an investigation is required.  The video, while important evidence, is not conclusive.  We see, but do not hear what happens.  While I doubt there is a good explanation for what happened, the officers still deserve the chance to air their side of the story.

I’m disappointed to learn that the officer who pushed the woman is still on active duty.  I believe he should be suspended without pay, pending the inquiry.  Again, we haven’t got all the facts yet, and there may be a good explanation for what happened that I, with all my brilliant detective skills, have not yet determined.

However, if the video turns out to be exactly what happened, I believe the officer in question should be suspended without pay for a considerably length of time, and the two other officers who allowed this to happen should have shorter unpaid suspensions.

But, there’s a chance that it won’t get that far.  If we let everyone forget that this happened, if we don’t pay attention, then there is a good chance this will go away quietly.  If Vancouver Police Officers regularly push disabled women, and partake in other abuses of authority, it will continue.  A lot of people interviewed in the news story seemed to think this was the status quo.

So pay attention to this.  Send it to your friends.  Mention it on your Facebooks and your Twitters.  If people are talking about it, the Vancouver Police will need to provide answers, and take action.  That’s what we want.

That’s Renegade Folk.  We make them explain themselves, and we don’t let it pass quietly.  We get to the bottom of it, and we make changes.

Superman Without a Job

Chris sent me this article a while back, and every time I try to write it, it starts getting academic.  I love applying everything I learned in university to things like comic books, movies and TV shows, so I have trouble not overwriting about Superman.

Most of you probably won’t read the article attached, so just to summarize, it’s about Superman spending a year exploring American as an unemployed Clark Kent.  Comic books usually have a year long arch, which is usually something like “Batman’s back was broken”, “Scarlet Witch wishes the world was ruled by mutants” or “Superman dies and his replacements fight until he returns.”  What kind of pitch meeting went down where it was “Clark Kent doesn’t have a job.”  They scraped the bottom of the barrel and found a lower place. 

It’s not strange that Superman is about economics.  He always has been.  I mean, you see him stopping bank robbers, and other kinds of thieves.  His main villain is Lex Luthor, a businessman.  This strikes me as strange, considering his power.  The man can stop wars single-handedly, or if his work in Kansas in Kingdom Come is any indication, he could end world hunger.  But all he does is maintain the current economic situation, and stay within America.

Will stop bank robbers but not rapists

That’s what he’s always done.  Superman has always been a symbol of the status quo.  In the thirties, when he first showed up, he believed in a system that had failed.  He came from Smallville to the Metropolis, in the mid 1930s, and he got a job.  That’s what was supposed to happen to good, hardworking Americans, and even if it wasn’t happening to you, the protector of the American way got that.  He followed the standard path, and got the standard rewards.  He made sure your money in the bank was protected, in a time when banks were failing.  He made sure everything worked the way it was supposed to.

Even Lex Luthor, who represents shady business, is allowed to continue as long as he follows enough of the rules.  Superman isn’t allowed to stop him as long as he stays within the letter of the law.  Even though he knows something worse is going on, Superman can’t move outside the system.

Superman is an outside servant of the status quo.  He comes from the stars, and he’s forbidden from interfering with the way people do things, just charged with protecting the way things are.  His Kryptonian name, Kal-el, even follows the angel naming pattern of Gabriel, Michael, Raphael.  He’s the angel of the American way, and he doesn’t step out of his bounds.  He’s what is supposed to be done, and it’s generally a lesson in being a good citizen in a capitalist society.

So now, he’s going to display what it means to be a good unemployed American.  He’s going to travel around and learn, but ultimately stay unchanged and not do anything different than he has always done.  The system will protect him, and we should follow his example.

Superman is in many ways the opposite of renegade folk.  He takes what is given to him, and stays within the boundaries set by his father and his adopted country.  He doesn’t push, doesn’t question, and trusts that something higher is looking after him, just like we should trust he’s looking after us. 

I’m actually really interested to see this arc, and see what it says about unemployment.  Of course, I generally don’t buy comics anymore.  When I do, Superman is usually the bad guy because he’s so anti-renegade folk.