Archives June 2010

Gulf Oil Clean Up Fundraiser

From All-Star-

Hey Everyone!
As we all know the crisis in the Gulf Coast has been downplayed by BP, and just recently was found out that the oil is DOUBLE if not MORE than what was previously reported!
Team Justice is using their non-profit status to help raise money to be used in the oil cleanup effort.
So here are the details:
WHEN: August 7th and 8th (a weekend) 2010
WHERE: Your local community shop!
(Preferred Locations: Kroger Brand Stores – Kroger, City market, Ralphs, King Soopers, Dillons, etc the whole list is here:
If those are unavailable default back to Wal-Mart! Unity and Similarity in location will help!
WHAT: We are accepting donations for oil cleanup in the Gulf Region! The money donated will be split between the National Wildlife Foundation and the International Bird Rescue Research Center
WHAT CAN YOU DO: Its easy!
Contact All-Star ([email protected]) or Superhero ([email protected]) by June 30th, All you need to do is go to the store you want to stand in front of and ask! Typically they will say they need a letter from a Non-Profit, and that’s where Superhero and Team Justice comes in!
We are hoping to reach as many states as possible for this nationwide event and we need as many organizers as possible!
If you have any questions, please send All-Star or Superhero an email! Thanks guys for all your help! Let’s make a difference in the gravest natural disaster our country has ever seen!

From Superhero-

Folks please remember that Team Justice is representing you when you use our DR14 (paperwork) to stand in front of a Wal-Mart or something. Smile….act accordingly….and don’t use the opportunity to raise funds to build a A-Bomb or something.

Colorado Springs, CO
Salt Lake City, UT
Ocala, FL
Chattanooga, TN
Houston, TX
Saskatoon, SK, CA

RLSH Project Patrol

Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Mainers?

L-A's Real Life Superheroes
Originally Posted:
By Al_Diamon
One of the things Maine doesn’t have that other states do – besides oil washing up on our beaches, casinos wasting our money, and Rod Blagojevich – is super-heroes. I’m not sure why this is, although I suspect newly chosen Republican gubernatorial nominee Paul LePage would blame high taxes, government regulations, and a poor business climate, while the Democrats’ choice, Libby Mitchell, would cite our failure to reform our tax code, lack of universal health care, and declining support for higher education.
Whatever the reason, the fact remains that Superman’s rocket from Krypton didn’t land in Mattawamkeag, Tony Stark’s factory isn’t located in Westbrook, and Mighty Mouse prefers Wisconsin cheese.
There have been sporadic attempts in the past to create a costumed character that fit Maine’s character. Alas, Super-Lobster was destroyed in a cataclysmic clash with the evil Steamer Pot and Drawn-Butter Girl. Johnny Chainsaw got cut to pieces by Kaptain Kickback and his demonic sidekick, Tree Spike. And Bed-And-Breakfast Man lost his epic financial battle with The Recession.
But just when the Pine Tree State had seemingly resigned itself to always playing second fiddle to the likes of Gotham City and Smallville, along comes a report in the Lewiston Sun Journal that two costumed crime fighters have been spotted working the mean streets of Lewiston and Auburn. “Dreizehn” (it’s the German word for “thirteen”) and “Slapjack” (it’s the English word for a stupid card game) are not the products of a gamma-ray experiment gone wrong like the Hulk, or a lightning strike like the Flash or super energy pills like Underdog.
They seem to be ordinary people, who – like Batman – suffer from some sort of psychological disorder that causes them to abandon all fashion sense. Or as Dreizehn put it in the Sun Journal, “Going out at 2 a.m. with a mask on and thinking you’re going to save the world, it says a lot about you.”
Both Dreizehn and Slapjack are in their twenties and, in the best super-hero tradition, keep their real identities secret, lest they become targets of such super-villains as Snide Down East Blogger Guy, with his evil Scepter of Ridicule. While Lewiston’s dynamic duo possess no extraordinary powers or mysterious abilities, the two masked vigilantes do carry batons, night-vision goggles, protective vests, and Taser-equipped brass knuckles. They also have cell phones to call the cops if they spot a drunk driver or somebody bigger than they are doing something bad.
They told the paper they’re going public with their crusade because of recent publicity relating to the movie “Kick-Ass,” about some – What? A message from my editor? I can’t use the words “Kick-Ass” on this site because it might offend the sensibilities of Down East’s refined readership? Has he seen the words Mike Tipping is getting away with over in the politics section? Oh, all right – I apologize. I meant to refer to that movie as either “K*ck-*ss” or “Kick-Butt” or possibly “Kick-Bottom.” Anyway, it’s about regular people who decide to be super-heroes, and one of them calls himself something like “Kick-Patootie,” which is how the movie got its name that I can’t use.
Slapjack and Dreizehn are also part of a group called Real Life Superheroes.
According to Slapjack, there are two other members in Maine, “The Beetle” and “Mrs. The Beetle.”
Well, I suppose The Tick and The Fly were already taken, and The Black Fly would be more of a bad guy. Still, Maine is severely deficient in caped crusaders, which may be why we have so many black flies. To correct that problem, I suggest some of you get busy creating masks, gloves, and boots, as well as wearing your underwear on the outside of your longjohns. Because it’s time for this state to take its rightful place in the pantheon of super-hero-approved locations.
You’ve heard of the Justice League.
You’ve heard of the Teen Titans.
You’ve heard of the Avengers.
But you’ve never heard of anything like the Society to Terminate Evil-doers And Maine’s Emergency Response Society (S.T.E.A.M.E.R.S.).
OK, the name needs work.
The members of S.T.E.A.M.E.R.S. are:
Toad Man: Eats black flies. With fava beans and a nice Chianti. A little on the creepy side, but then toads generally are.
Black Ice. He’s actually a white guy (we don’t have too many minorities), who can turn any surface into a slippery hell. In real life, he’s the mild-mannered driver of a Department of Transportation sand truck. He has a lot of trouble dealing with the contradiction.
Skidoo. Using mystic powers he learned from an ancient order of monks based in Livermore Falls, he discovered how to cloud men’s minds (and, after several shots of Allen’s coffee brandy and milk, women’s minds, as well), making them believe there’s some recreational value to riding around on snowmobiles in sub-freezing temperatures. His nemesis is Trademark Lawyer, who isn’t about to let him steal that name without paying dearly.
Snowblower. After his defeat in the Republican gubernatorial primary, former ski mogul Les Otten set to work on his next project: combining human DNA with the mechanical parts of a snow gun. He injects himself with his experimental serum, only to discover he can’t control the huge piles of white stuff that spew from his mouth.
Ms. Matinicus. Bitten by the island-living bug, she finds herself possessed of the power to smash stereotypes about inhabitants of communities well out to sea. Which also happens to be the name of her forthcoming book. Order a copy or she’ll kick your *ss.
Pier Fry. Based in a secret cave beneath his namesake landmark in Old Orchard Beach, this deep-fried defender of the innocent can raise an opponent’s cholesterol by as much as thirty points. He also attracts seagulls. Which means seagull poop. That’s not healthy, either.
Captain Cape Elizabeth. A wealthy playboy by day, but once the sun goes down, he becomes … a wealthy super-hero. Together with his partners, Foreside Boy and Gold-Coast Girl, he lures criminals into Ponzi schemes, heavily leveraged hedge funds, worthless stock options, and investments in Kevin Costner’s “Waterworld 2.”
Red Tide. He’s actually a white guy, too. It’s pretty much all we’ve got. Bitten by a radioactive shellfish, he suddenly finds himself inclined to lecture others on the many benefits of communism. It softens them up for the other heroes.
Blueberry Woman. Also Caucasian. If any oxidants come around, she can destroy them by beaming antioxidant rays from her eyes. Makes a nice muffin, too.
Winning University of Maine Women’s Basketball Coach. Perhaps because of the low pay, a mere $110,000 per year, this super-hero is probably a myth.
Strangely enough, Al Diamon and the masked avenger known as The Beer Tap have never been seen together. E-mail him at [email protected] and ask why.

Milwaukee Meet Up July 30/31

the-watchmanFrom Tea Krulos
I’m glad to extend an open invitation to all RLSH (and associated personnel) to join myself and the Milwaukee RLSH for a meet up July 30/31.
The purpose for the meet up is the Riverwest 24 bicycle race. The RW24 is a grass roots community event organized by a small group of people. it is a 24 hour long race (7PM July 30- 7PM July 31) for people in a few different categories (solo bikers, groups sharing one bike, groups that each have their own bike) last year had 400 some bicyclists from Milwaukee and all over the midwest.
The Watchman patrolled during the race last year, by foot and car. The race organizers invited him back this year. They also asked if RLSH would like to participate in a “bonus checkpoint.”
RW24 has asked the RLSH to do one, so we’re trying to think of something that will be fun but that people might take something away from. In any case, it’ll be good for the local guys because they’ll get to meet several hundred people who will at least know who they are when they see them in the neighborhood.
When Watchman, Blackbird, and myself talked about it we agreed we should invite other RLSH to join us, if they wish, in presenting this bonus checkpoint and then walking (or possibly bicycling) during the RW24 race, keeping an eye out for bicyclists that may need our assistance. In addition, we’ll have some down time and may develop other ideas on what to do.
Further Details
-Going to start patrol at nightfall. Not sure on method of patrol yet.
– At the stroke of Midnight, RLSHs have been invited to host a “bonus checkpoint” which will take place on Reservoir Hill. This is large hill with a great view of the Milwaukee skyline. The bonus checkpoint lasts two hours, and probably a couple hundred people (minimum) will be cycling through. We’re probably going to have them participate in a video project having them dress up and declare heroic things. Should be a chance to introduce a lot of people to the RLSH concept in a fun way. Also will be handing out water to the cyclists (this is actually really helpful; there were a few cases of dehydration last year).
– Afterward, will continue to patrol the course at least until sunrise.
– French journalist Pierre-Elie de Pibrac will be on hand taking photos.
-Anyone from the RLSH community is welcome to attend and participate. I think this will be a great event. The organizers are very into it, and I think you’ll find the neighborhood open to what you guys are doing.
More Details can be found at:

The 12 Greatest Real-Life Superheroes of All Time

Originally Posted:
By DaveHoward
The LAPD has performed a bltizkreig assault on Superheroeson Hollywood Blvd ( ). True, just in front of the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater, dozens of Real-Life people who dress as superheroes on a daily basis were rounded up in a raid. In a sinister government plot not seen since “Heroes., Police jailed members of the” X-Men,” Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Bumblebee, Mr. Incredible and Catwoman. The Incredible Hulk and Superman were just two of the iconic loiterers who outsmarted the fuzz and returned to panhandle another day. Unlike these classic, renowned panhandlers, here are 12 people who really make a difference with their superhero costumes.
httpv:// God Thor Stops A Home Invasion/Robbery
This annoying man in the video to your left lets us all know exactly what happened (for a written version of the story, click the link at the bottom of this item).
During a home invasion, a robber was stunned to find a man dressed as the Norse God Thor inside, defending the home. The intruder was chased off from the flat in Edinburgh and left his shoes, and a pitchfork behind. The man jumped out of a window, landing on a roof and was not heard from again after he escaped the Norse God’s wrath.
Local resident Torvald Alexander was dressed up as Thor for a New Year’s Eve Party. The man is 40 years old, and still completely and irrevocably awesome.
httpv:// Prevents Comic Book Robbery
In this absolutely heartwarming story, a local comic book store owner dressed as Spider-Man to commemorate International Free Comic Book Day. He stood around his store dressed as the masked hero all day, greeting customers and enjoying the day. That is, until a man tried to steal a comic book worth well over $100.
The owner, dressed as Spidey the whole time, noticed the shoplifter, took the book out of his bag and brought him to justice.
The best quote from the video is the shop-owner himself getting quite cheeky and letting people know about the crew who helped him out (a couple dressed as Jedi Knights and a man dressed as The Flash): “The Jedis watched the door, while The Flash kept things running…”. Well played, sir. Well played.
httpv:// Hare Actually Cleans Up Cincinnati Crime
As the movie/comic book “Kick-Ass” asked, “why does nobody actually dress up and try to be a superhero?”… this leader of an Avengers-style (kind of) crew in Cincinnati who calls himself “Shadow Hare” proves that question wrong.
He and his team of “heroes” patrol the streets of Cincinnati, OH, and solve crimes, help the homeless and walk around in broad daylight like it was Halloween at your local high school and nobody had enough money for a real costume.
It’s great to see people legitimately helping out the general public while asking for nothing in return; but it’s funnier to see them dressed up like comic book heroes and handing certified police men business cards in case they “ever need help”.
Their persistence, at least, is nothing to be laughed at — despite Shadow Hare himself talking like the narration in a badly written comic book.
Batman and Robin Catch Drug Suspect
Two police men dressed up as Batman and Robin captured a suspected drug offender in a weird sting operation. Once they approached the door, their intent (to confuse/disorient/distract the offenders) worked to their advantage, as the offenders would not answer the door for some crazy, costumed strangers knocking loudly on their door.
When one of the suspects decided to run out to the back of the house to try and escape, Batman and Robin were there waiting for him. Batman chased the man, hopped over a fence and arrested him. According to fellow officers, PC Eames said: “The bad thing about the operation is that we had to endure hours of terrible puns from PC Holman.”
httpv:// Holy Trinity: Dark Guardian, Life and Phantom Zero
DARK GUARDIAN is the leader of a Holy Trinity, followed by LIFE and PHANTOM ZERO. Trained in martial arts, DARK GUARDIAN prides himself on patrolling the inner cesspools of New York City. Knowing that safety comes first, he is one of the few superheroes that actually dons a bullet proof vest (he’s the red one in the video). While he hasn’t been shot, guns have been drawn on him… scary as he only arms himself with pepper spray. According to his MySpace ( there is a meeting of the heroes this upcoming Sunday (6/8/2010). His powers include: – Bullet-proof vest – Human strength and (obviously) Persistence.
LIFE is one of the few Hassidic Jewish Superheros, and can be found in the video to your left. Born of meager means, he followed the tenants of his faith. This includes leaving the world in a better place than he found it. From “This moral code, underscored with a powerful sense of social justice, led him to his work with the homeless and disenfranchised that he found all around him, dispensing those seemingly small amenities that vitally fill in the gaps left by the NYC Department of Homeless Services.”
His powers include: – Giving toiletries to the homeless – Helping confused/needy homeless find shelter – Giving out food to the homeless. L’chaim! He can be found at
PHANTOM ZERO is one of the first bridge and tunnel superheroes. Based in New Jersey, he’s often found on the streets of New York. While in most media appearances, he seems like an earnest enough bloke, do not cross him. In this video, he responds to detractors.
From his MySpace page: “The most important aspect of being a Real Life Super Hero is as simple as this: You selflessly serve a pro social mission. It’s not about conquering groups of people to display your physical or martial prowess. It’s not about having scads of cutting edge technology at your disposal. It’s not about training one’s mind to the limits of human perfection so they can out think everyone and everything that comes their way.”
You’re nobody until Fox News mocks you as a misguided “do-gooder” (and then outs your secret identity).
Razorhawk, a former gas station employee, patrols the evil confines of Minneapolis. While crime is not the most important thing in the City of Lakes, he still helps out. He spends his time volunteering helping seniors and a very successful Toys For Tots program.
He doesn’t care for the term “Superhero” but prefers “the title Masked Adventurer as I do not have any special abilities or powers. I am just a guy who wears a uniform and promotes safety and crime awareness. I perform safety patrols in my town and in Minneapolis, as well as help out with many charities that help kids.”
He can be found at
Previously known as Hellcat, Felinity, and Sphynx; NYX is an ever-evolving superhero. Also a bridge and tunneler, she is one of the few female superheroes, filling the boots of such retired greats as Terrifica (who patrolled NYC bars saving cosmo’d women from bad decisions).
Usually donned in lingerie, she stands for diversity.
From her MySpace ( “I respect all RLSHs (Real Life Superheroes) of every sort, it’s not an easy life we’ve chosen but we’ve chosen it nonetheless.”
Here she explains what the platform of the Real Life Superhero Project should be… just pretend it makes sense.
httpv:// Prime – Utah Crime Fighter Extraordinaire
Citizen Prime hails from Utah and has recently announced his retirement. It’s too bad because his costume is great, even if it’s really really loud (after this fascinating video, see his interview at about 2:35).
This is, in part, due to his house being burgled and some key elements of his persona being taken from him.
Formerly calling Arizona his home, he has appeared at the Phoenix Comic-Con and tralled the mean streets of the Super Bowl parking lot.
– His real passion is working with kids, helping them find the hero within. He appears in the video around the 2:30 mark. He works with kids in a program that is built for people to defend themselves, as well as discover their inner hero. A kind of a Tony Robbins for kids.
His MySpace page can be found at
Enigma, a pro-green superhero that hails from San Antonio, home of the Alamo.
His philosophy is simple: “Pride, Integrity and Honor.”
From his MySpace, ( ):
“I was put on this earth gifted from the lord, gifted to accomplish goals both mentally and physically challenging. I am here to help others and defend ones in need. I’m here to help clean up society and make the world feel and be a safe once again! I made the decision to dedicate my life to protect and help anyone in need, even if it means sacrificing my own to accomplish this goal.”
Enigma is more than a treehugger. According to his blog, he recently fought off two guys breaking into a car, using only an acid tinged tongue and a palm strike to the head. He then zip-tied them and used their phone to call 911.”
Bad. Freaking. Ass.
httpv:// Man, Captain Xavier Obvious
Squeegee Man and his partner, Captain Xavier Obvious, have embraced the West/Ward concept of Superherodom.
Often seen promoting social causes such as the AIDS Walk, they are currently living in a “secret” rooftop lair somewhere in New York.
From Squeegee Man’s My Space ( ) announcement for his failed 2008 presidential campaign, where he had a platform that included “I promise to make America Squeegeetasting again!”
A bit of a rogue he is not currently a member of The Real Life Superhero Project. Here is a bit ABC did on them.
httpv:// Fist
While he will not give out his secret identity, he also refuses to wear a mask.
Crimson Fist hails from Atlanta, GA and spends a few days a month working with folks who may need a granola bar and a bottle of water.
After a tumultuous trial of drugs and booze, he discovered his alter ego and hits the streets before he could hit the skids.
His MySpace claims that he is now undercover.
Just like everyone else who has still a MySpace page!
httpv:// Mr. Silent
Despite the misnomer of Mr. Silent, he took some time out to speak with Fox News.
He came across his alter-ego during a drunken moment of clarity, while watching Superheroes flix at a friend’s place. Steering away from the vigilante image of crime fighter, he recently helped the police locate the owner of a discarded purse.
In 2009 he went underground, but we know we will hear from his soon. Oh, wait…
13. Everyone Else
BONUS: If you are salivating for more, here is a clip from the not so secret society . This is a broader overview of some of the previously mentioned heroes.

Weird, Wicked Weird: Maine's Real Life Superheroes. Yup, for real.

L-A's Real Life Superheroes
Originally posted:
By Kathryn Skelton, Staff Writer
Her mom thought she was doing drugs, slipping out at night, wandering the streets.
Mom didn’t realize her little girl was actually busy atoning and avenging.
As the self-styled superhero “Dreizehn” (that’s the number 13 in German), she’d slip out and look for trouble, interrupting drug deals and vehicle break-ins. Think “Kick-Ass,” but in real life. Sometimes it worked, sometimes the teenager got beaten up, badly.
Dreizehn moved to Maine from a big city outside New England a few months ago to join her similarly self-styled superhero boyfriend, “Slapjack.” Several nights a week they walk Lewiston-Auburn for hours on end as roving Good Samaritans, looking for trouble.

""Slapjack," left, and "Dreizehn" walk past the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston on a quiet Tuesday night in May, looking for anyone in need. They will call for police or tow trucks if needed. Dreizehn has broken up a drug deal, for which she took "a pretty severe beating," she said.

“”Slapjack,” left, and “Dreizehn” walk past the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston on a quiet Tuesday night in May, looking for anyone in need. They will call for police or tow trucks if needed. Dreizehn has broken up a drug deal, for which she took “a pretty severe beating,” she said.

The streets here? Much less mean, in her limited experience.
Most nights their foot patrol means giving bottled water and granola bars to the homeless and maybe yelling at a graffiti artist, all the while costumed and armed with batons, knife-proof protective wear and brass knuckles electrified with Tasers.
Dreizehn and Slapjack are in their 20s. Their parents? They still have no clue.
“You kind of have to be a little unstable to do it,” Dreizehn said. “Going out at 2 a.m. with a mask on and thinking you’re going to save the world, it says a lot about you.”
Origin stories
They got started for different reasons. About four years ago, Slapjack said he read an article in VIBE magazine on the Real Life Superheroes movement, a worldwide community, to which they now belong, of people who dress up, assume names and do varying degrees of charity work and criminal deterrence.
Close friends of Slapjack had their home broken into. Another was hit by a drunk driver, part of Slapjack’s motivation now to hang outside bars. He calls police to report plate numbers when he sees people that he suspects have had too much to drink get behind the wheel.
“I believe in civilian patrols. The police can only be so many places at once, especially at night,” Slapjack said. “I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep an eye on their communities.”
He picked his code name from a favorite card game played with his grandmother.
The younger Dreizehn has been going out longer, since 2003.
Self-proclaimed Real Life Superhero "Dreizehn" walks down a quiet Lewiston street in May. The RLS website has members worldwide.

Self-proclaimed Real Life Superhero “Dreizehn” walks down a quiet Lewiston street in May. The RLS website has members worldwide.

“I started out, really, just bored, and didn’t want to cause trouble,” she said.
In looking to thwart mischief, there was also an element of making amends for her brother.
“He was robbing and completely destroying our family through his actions,” Dreizehn said. “It made me want to do something so nobody had to go through the pain I had to.”
She dresses to add bulk to her frame — a compressed chest, a man’s trench, men’s boots. Sometimes, in her experience, just walking up to someone is enough to make them stop whatever it is they’re doing, mainly because she appears to be a 200-plus-pound man wearing a full black and red mask with sheer white fabric eye holes.
Once on patrol, Slapjack found an unconscious man collapsed in the middle of the street and dragged him to the side of the road, potentially saving him from being run over.
But it doesn’t always go swimmingly.
“I got hit by a car,” Dreizehn said. And once, in what she believed was a meth buy, “I got ahold of what they were dealing. I ended up really taking a beating. I had my mask taken off. I managed to crawl and bite my way out of it. I had a death grip on (the meth).”
She picked her code name as a nod to her German heritage.
Why the names at all if everything’s on the up and up?
Their reasons are threefold. First, they say they don’t want their workplaces or families finding out, then worrying, questioning or demanding they give it up. Second, the couple doesn’t want to be harassed; they are, occasionally, snitches. A superhero named “Shadow Hare” began showing his face around Cincinnati too much and “the city completely turned on him,” Dreizehn said.
Lastly, putting on the costume, and wearing the name, is like becoming someone else.
“Your fear goes away,” Slapjack said.
Added his girlfriend, Dreizehn: “I wanted to be able to put a mask on so I could be somebody greater and better.”
They met through the Real Life Superheroes group. There aren’t too many others in Maine. He can name two, “The Beetle” and “Mrs. The Beetle.”
Taking it to the street
They go out on foot patrol two or three nights a week, often between roughly 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. She likes walking both cities. He prefers Lewiston.
Dreizehn and Slapjack cover about 5 miles at a stretch, carrying food, water, note pads, flashlights, cameras, night-vision goggles and cell phones. Ninety to 95 percent of the time, they’re just two people out for a walk. Two costumed, very prepared people.
If and when it comes to it, she’s clearly the scrapper. He’s never gotten in a physical confrontation.
“You’re McGruff; I’m the Punisher,” Dreizehn teased, walking through Kennedy Park on a Tuesday night in May.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday tend to be busiest, with more people on the street.
“But you never know; crime never takes a day off,” Slapjack said.
He keeps a map at home synced up to the local police crime bulletins, looking for neighborhoods or streets with patterns and familiarizing himself with people wanted on warrants.
Lewiston police Lt. Mark Cornelio checked around the station — no one he spoke with was aware of a pair of costumes on the street.
“Without knowing what their crime-fighting (is), it would be tough to say whether we agree with it or disagree with it,” Cornelio said. “My thing, I would rather have people be good witnesses.”
There’s also a reason for official police training and the lessons that come with it, he said.
Dreizehn and Slapjack said they were inspired to make themselves known now because of the “Kick-Ass” movie.
It’s not as easy as it looks on the screen.
“It was a funny little movie,” Dreizehn said. “But it’s completely disillusioned. It’s nothing like we do.”

Appearances May Be Deceiving

Originally posted:
By Silver Sentinel
Have you ever seen Geist? In his photographs, and his videos, he’s flashy, he’s impeccable, and he looks just damned cool! He has spent a lot of time, and effort, crafting his appearance, and his public persona. But what message would he be sending people if he smelled like he hadn’t bathed in two weeks? Yeah, that would definitely detract from his carefully crafted image. (Fortunately, I’ve been told, he does not have an odor problem. I merely use him as an example here.)
Whatever our appearance may be when in our dramatis personæ, we should always maintain ourselves in a clean and presentable manner. Our costumes should be clean, and well maintained. The parts of us that are exposed should be well groomed, and clean. And we should be free of offensive odors. This not only adds to our public image, but to our self confidence as well.. which in turn adds to our public image even more.
If you expect to remain active on a long patrol, or perhaps participate in a day long event in the hot sun, carefully consider the use of deodorant, or even carry an extra uniform to change into should the need arise. For myself, my body seems to react badly to spandex, making me smell like a funky monkey after a few hours, so I have to take extra precautions, such as talcum powder, and changeable under layers.
Your image is part of your command presence. When you appear presentable and confident, you automatically command a certain degree of respect. If you suddenly needed to give emergency directions, such as, “Everyone please proceed calmly to the nearest exit”, or, “Remain calm. The ambulance is on the way”, people are more likely to respond favorably to you.
Waving your arms like a lunatic, looking like a crackhead, and shrieking on the edge of hysteria, will most likely make people think you’re nuts, and fail to obey you, even if it’s in their best self interest. You do not want to distract people from the seriousness of a situation. You want to carefully guide them to safety, and rational behavior.
A positive and confident appearance will automatically attract attention in a good way. Swaggering, boisterous behavior, and general bossiness will attract attention in a bad way. Carefully maintain your appearance in public, and amongst your peers. Let your composure and behavior reflect your message, and your beliefs. Let people know that what they see is what they get. That you can be trusted, that you can be taken seriously, and that you act professionally in this thing you do.

RLSH: Soaking Up The Oil Spill

The Gulf Oil Spill is yet another potential call to action for the real life superhero ( RLSH ) Movement.
Our inspirational input could help break a frustrated mindset unhappy with British Petroleum and the federal government. Generational poverty; Katrina and the Recession haven’t broken New Orleans spirit.
Losing their worldclass seafood could push things over the tipping point.
That said, colorful spokespersons for blame-free team work could help mobilize a mass volunteer response beneficial to all concerned. The Spill threatens the local and national economy in a highly visible way. Degrees in economics are unnecessary to grasp its impact.
The learning curve is as simple as starvation or self-sufficiency for all effected.
RLSH can call attention to the already discussed volunteer option.
Deploying properly trained and equipped citizens can eventually turn the tide on this mother of all eco-disasters. America is financially ruined and civic action can help pave the road to distant recovery. The Depression was ended by such a public/private partnership.
Todays question is whether the current government, corporate culture and public can rise to this particularly ugly occasion?
It’s not a simple matter of can a handful of costumed activists really save the day? Looming over this consideration is yet another epic setback that will punish millions who can ill afford another colossal failure.
That scraping sound in the near future is the bottom of the imaginary well holding ” limitless ”
play money. That’s a sound few want America to hear.
With stakes like these can anyone say using costumed activists might not speed soaking up this oil spill?
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT. BLACK promotes crime prevention and self-development.

New Self-Defense Training

By Jonny Lupash.
Fowarded to this site by Geist
Author’s Notes:  I have not experienced all the scenarios mentioned in this piece and I mean no offense to the RLSH involved in the ones I have.  I’m not a critic nor a naysayer, and I only use the terms “Real-Life Super Hero,” “movement” and “community” as basic blanket terms to avoid long-winded definitions of the undercovers, the vigilantes, the charity workers, the groups vs. the individuals and so on.  Thanks for understanding.  If you have any doubts of my sincerity or purpose with this piece, please go look up anything I claim here about journalism.  I actually encourage it; I have nothing to hide and gain nothing by lying.
I’ve conducted four interviews for my project on the Real-Life Super Hero movement.  In my research I came across several news articles and televised segments featuring the RLSH, and all of them have had at least an undertone if not open slander against the subject in question.  I’ve watched news anchors unable to keep a straight face discussing an RLSH; I’ve heard insults slipped into context as happenstance.
So when I started my interviews, I was amazed anyone would speak with me.  The TV had done enough damage, completely ignoring the degree of privacy and anonymity that comes with the job.  I expected to be met with shut doors, folded arms, unreturned phone calls and no luck.  My result was so far the opposite that part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to fall.
As a token of appreciation for the candor, open-mindedness, time and patience the Real-Life Super Hero community has given me, and for the superhuman bravery, goodwill and selflessness it exhibits in each of its members’ nightly endeavors, I offer this.
I received a BA in journalism in December of 2006.  I finished with a 3.9 GPA, having spent a full two years of my life devoted very specifically and very solely to every aspect of print journalism.  I learned all the tools necessary to guide and shape an interview to my liking, and the deaths of journalism and trust that accompany their misuse.  All journalists can do is ask questions; the difference between a good reporter and a bad one is what questions they ask and how.  So by way of thanks, and of apology, here are some of the pitfalls and how to avoid them.
1.  The Leading Question.  When someone asks a question that, from the outset, sounds like “Don’t you think that…” or “Wouldn’t you agree…” they’re doing so very purposefully.  This is a cheap device used to twist words from sources and get quotes before the source has time to think about their answer.   A reporter will do his or her best to paint you into a corner this way.  Here’s a perfect example.
Reporter:  “Wouldn’t you agree that people don’t necessarily have to wear a costume to go support a charity?”
RLSH:  “Well, sure.”
This will run in the papers as you saying there’s no reason to do what you do.  If a reporter wants more information about your charity work specifically as an RLSH, they’ll ask you the following.
Reporter:  What benefits do you find working with charities as an RLSH that you may not in civilian dress?
The main difference is that reporter #2 is asking an unbiased question to get facts about the subject and not leading you into saying what they want.  Here’s why this is the best practice.  If they don’t agree with costumed charity work and they ask you this, there are two outcomes: You’ll either tell them about drawing more attention to (and rallying more people around) a cause as an anonymous Good Samaritan than as a casual civilian, or you won’t tell them any benefits and they’ll get their answer anyway – but they’ll do it honestly, and without being sneaky and making you the bad guy.  On the other hand, if they support you but have to stay objective, this is your chance and theirs to explain what you do in a positive light without them leading you into showboating by asking “Isn’t being an RLSH just the best?!
2.  Body Language.  I recognize that many interviews are done over the phone or via e-mail or an instant messaging service.  For those done in person, beware journalists who interrupt, speak aggressively with their hands, fold their arms, cross their legs or let you see what notes they’re taking.  Ideally, newspersons will sit with both feet flat on the floor, arms at their sides, taking notes on a pad whose back faces you the whole discussion, and let you finish speaking and wait three to five seconds before asking another question.  Gesturing and speaking passively with hands is no problem, but pointing and cutting motions are always a red flag.
3.  Closed-Ended Questions.  Probably the quickest way to determine whether a reporter is even worth your time is to listen for “closed-ended” or “closed” questions.  These are questions that are answered with one or two words.  Some questions have to be closed, like “Where did you say you live again?” or “How old are you?” but any question that can be answered openly should be asked openly.  Here’s another example, since the closed- vs. open-ended discussion gets a bit jargony.
Reporter #1:  I read on your MySpace that you often visit outreach centers and orphanages to bring food, clothes and toys to the less fortunate; is that accurate?
RLSH:  Yes.
Sure, it’s nice that they care enough to do their research, but this is no way to engage a source in a conversation.  If the reporter asks this question the right way, it will sound very different – in fact, odds are there are at least two questions there if not a whole new line of discussion.
Reporter #2:  I’m interested in your work with charities; can you please tell me how and why you got started with that?
RLSH:  [Answer.]
Reporter #2:  Which charities do you currently work with?
RLSH:  [Answer.]
Reporter #2:  What have been some of your highlights or best achievements with those charities?
4.  Baiting.  This is similar to my notes on body language.  Since about 2005, when a lot of the 10-year contracts on the first reality shows like The Real World and Survivor have been running out, the fantasy of reality shows has reared its ugly head.  In 2007, a special aired on VH1 detailing added sound effects, re-shot footage, re-edited dialogue and interviewers asking bait questions on these and other programs.  A scathing criticism of The Real World appeared on an episode of Mission Hill in 1999, featuring hidden cameramen directing the actors to act and react certain ways.
Perhaps the most dismaying example of this in television was when several cast members of Big Brother started surfacing on news programs after their contracts expired to discuss the hostess and interviewers making up things that other cast members said and asking them to react.  Relationships were made and broken on-air from one such reporter saying, “Did you hear that so-and-so wants to sleep with you?  He brought it up with us in his last interview,” when the man in question had never said anything of the sort.  This caused the woman being interviewed to believe a bond was forming, which caused the man to believe he was just flirting with her, and they ended up dating for the remainder of the season.
Any time a question feels like it may be asked of you to elicit an emotional response, it probably is.  The most obvious sign is when an interviewer presents you with a “fact” and is unable to tell you its origin.  Finally, no good question is blunt.  Keep this in mind at all times.  “So why do you wear a mask?” is not a good question.
5.  Intuition.  For some reason I’ve always been able to read people like a book.  Five seconds into a conversation I can tell you if they’re going to be my friend or not, and ten seconds in I can determine the course of the rest of the interview.   My final red flag in Yellow Journalism is built on hunches, colloquialisms and, most importantly, intuition.  If you get even the slightest idea in the corner of your mind that someone’s making fun of you, they are.  If they’re not, they’re too stupid to realize how to phrase a question, in which case I guarantee this is not an interview you wish to give.  Remember, these are people who, like me, have devoted two years bare minimum learning how to phrase a question.  If you find yourself being asked “So, do you live with your parents?” or “How many comic books do you own?” it’s time to check out.
I can’t guarantee that every bad interview will be set in stone to these guidelines, but no proper reporter worth his or her salt will behave in the ways mentioned above.  Occasionally we all have our flubs – I think I had to call one subject back four times due to bad reception in my apartment and put another on hold to calm down my newborn – but by and large, there are some mistakes that the press just can’t afford to make these days.
So now that we’ve covered some passive resistance and warning signs, there’s still something to be said for active – yet respectful – defense.
1.  The “No Comment” Comment.  Never say “no comment.”  Never.  Erase it from your vocabulary.  Regardless of circumstance or topic, don’t say it.  This is seen and heard by the public as “I’m guilty” or “I have something bad to hide.”
Now this is not to say you have to comment or divulge every secret in your vault just because some busybody asks you.  Let’s look at another scenario with our bad reporter and how you can turn the tables on them.
Reporter #1:  How do you feel about the criminals you haven’t stopped yet – the pedophiles, the murderers?
RLSH:  No comment.
Of course everyone can recognize that some things are out of your control, but saying “No comment” is always a bad idea.  They teach in colleges to go in for the kill on a topic when someone says “No comment.”  In that scenario, the RLSH sounds ashamed and self-deprecating – like he (or she) can’t even bring himself (or herself) to talk about their inability to be everywhere at once.  Let’s try that again with just a bit more optimistic frankness.
Reporter #1:  How do you feel about the criminals you haven’t stopped yet – the pedophiles, the murderers?
RLSH:  Obviously there’s no way for me to be everywhere at once, but one can only hope the crimes I have stopped – the muggings, the rapes, the drug deals – are inspiring other civilians to stand up for one another and inspiring the criminals who hear about my interventions to stay home.
May sound a bit cliché, but you’ve avoided that horrid “No comment” comment.  The hardest judgment call to make, from my perspective, sounds like this from the RLSH.
Reporter #1:  How do you feel about the criminals you haven’t stopped yet – the pedophiles, the murderers?
RLSH:  I’ve done a lot of anonymous investigative work that’s led the police to X amount of arrests in the last 5 years.
A couple of my interview subjects have said this, and of course I believe them and will vouch for them in my own writing, but that bad reporter will ask you to prove it.  If you can’t go into it specifically (which you obviously can’t due to compromising a pending investigation), the reporter may become defensive and feel stonewalled, which will only convince them to make you sound less than credible.  I wouldn’t say never to say a comment like that, nor do I feel fazed when I receive that answer, but please be careful regarding to whom you say it, and if any cases are closed, try to provide as many specifics and details as are permitted by your work as an RLSH.  It will go a great length in solidifying your credibility and maturity for the rest of the interview.
2.  Keeping it “Off the Record” for real.   Since I’ve started this project, I’ve heard maybe a half-dozen jaw-dropping stories that have been requested as staying off the record.  I’m happy to oblige; I’m not a paparazzi or a gossip writer, I’m trying to bring a modicum of dignity back to investigative journalism and I can’t afford to burn any bridges besides the fact.  I’d much rather compromise and use non-specific examples to illustrate a sensitive subject, or drop the matter entirely, than to betray a source’s trust and lose that contact and risk being ousted from the story itself.
But not everyone is like me.  When giving an off-the-record story to another reporter, never say the following (keeping in mind I’m making this up and nobody actually told me this).
Reporter #2:  So how did you first decide to become an RLSH?
RLSH:  Well, my house was robbed while I was in it and I was hogtied to my bed and saw them take everything I own…oh, but that’s off-the-record.
Please, please lead off with that off-the-record remark.  It’s way too easy for the tape recorder to run out of batteries or tape (or for it to be stopped by the reporter).  If that off-the-record comment goes on-the-record because you said it was off the record too late, that comment is admissible in court.  If you take that reporter or paper to court for slander, they will win.
Let’s look at it the other way around.
Reporter #2:  So how did you first decide to become an RLSH?
RLSH:  Well, off-the-record, my house was robbed while I was in it and I was hogtied to my bed and saw them take everything I own.  On the record, I guess I’d just seen enough crime and was sick of it.
There are audio experts who can hear the difference in background noise when a portion of a tape has been edited or cut and they can and will bring that to a judge’s attention if your accord has been compromised.
3. Question for Question.  Nothing raises a red flag to a reporter higher than answering their question with a question.  Don’t fire their question back at them and don’t answer their question by asking them another one in return.  It sounds suspicious and evasive to them, and they’ll magnify that effect to the public.  Here’s an example.
Reporter #2:  How do you feel the Real-Life Super Hero movement has affected the public since its inception?
RLSH:  How do you feel we’ve affected the public?
RLSH:  Well do you feel safer walking the streets at night, knowing we’re out there?
Ideally, reporters aren’t supposed to take sides, but whether or not they’re good enough to stay objective, I guarantee you don’t want their answers.  If you have to answer a question like that and want to retain some humility, here’s a perfect answer I received (which you can only give if applicable, of course).
Reporter #2:  How do you feel the RLSH movement has affected the public since its inception?
RLSH:  Well I hope they’re inspired to go out and make a positive difference in their communities, and I’ve seen the crime rates in my area drop since my patrolling began.  If I had something to do with that, I’m not sure, but I believe and can only hope that I have.
4.  Stupid Questions Can Be Your Best Friend.  Just because someone asks you a dumb question doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t care or hasn’t researched.  Reporters are required to get some of the most basic information straight from the horse’s mouth, so don’t take offense.  Simultaneously, we have to ask some of the questions we know for a fact you can’t or won’t answer, or our paper/syndicate/etc will have our jobs, so bear with us, and keep in mind this is your chance to shine.
In the world of journalism, brevity and uniqueness are keys to quotes going in articles and on segments.  If, hypothetically, I interview Batman and I ask “What’s your secret identity?” the best answer on Earth he can give me is “Batman.”  This puts things into an amazing perspective for the reader and is a short and sweet answer to a played-out question.  I can see that exchange blown up in a different color in a magazine; it’s exactly what we’re looking for as reporters.
One final note: it goes so far, psychologically speaking, that human beings are so protective over their own identities that it’s almost a rule in journalism that no matter how flattering or how honest you are in regards to a subject, their perception of your coverage will be very negative.  The first day of many classes the professor will tell the students that never, under any circumstance, is a reporter to allow a subject to see what the reporter has written about him or her before the article goes to publication.  It’s the worst mistake you can make as a reporter, second only to not verifying a claim.  So again, take reporters with a grain of salt – even if we’re trying to help, it may not always seem as such.
So be careful on the streets, be careful in front of a camera, and with luck, these nine tactics can help flourish the relationship between the RLSH and the journalist.

May I See Your ID?

I could have made Capt. Black a separate identity.
Given the flak previous activism stirred that would have been bright. But I LIKE BEING CAPT. BLACK ALL THE TIME: in the supermarket; at the drug store; walking down the street. Cap is me and I am ” he.”
This isn’t another self- it’s my best self with a flashy name tied on like a bow. Comic book, pulp novel and many real life super heroes hide who they are for very good reaons, retaliation being the main one.
Despite my philosophical bent and love of RLSH writing, I’m also a fighter who refuses to run from anyone, anywhere, anytime. Anybody who doesn’t like what I do has a personal problem, one he’s well advised to keep to himself. I’m big on de-escalation and threat management so if you ever read I had to touch an opponent, rest assured it’ll be justified.
That said, secret IDs make alot of sense.
Most people take pains to avoid potential 24/7 confrontation. Another identity, where you’re not sticking your nose in others business, is a smart move.
Strategically, some RLSH need to have public identities simply to avoid hassles with law enforcement and others likely to have problems with masked citizens.
California’s Mr. Extreme encountered this barrier when trying to attend a community meeting inside a police station. While I think they over reacted, government has that tendency when we don’t march in lock step.
My reasons for not wearing a mask are myriad: eye sight ( I’d need prescription lenses; shades or goggles to make it work! lol ); being Black and masked in my hometown of Savannah, GA- not a good idea; Fictional inspirations like Doc Savage; Mr. Fantastic; Luke Cage, Powerman and Buckaroo Banzai bare their faces to the world and last but not least, real life inspirations from the civil rights Movement went unmasked.
It’s my way of telling society’s bullies someone isn’t afraid to stand up and show who he really is.
I’m not knocking secret ID RLSH. If you have kids I understand. Why bring all this heat down because some percentage of RLSH will have stalkers or violent opposition to our do gooding.
That should be factored into everyones game plan.
Our web presence plus movies like Kick Ass and being featured on 20/20 means more attention, good and otherwise. Keeping a safe, seperate other life is worth the trouble when weighing the odds of harassment.
I’m used to being hated. It means I’m doing my job right.
Comes with being big, Black and vocal. Look at the warm receptions Bill Clinton or Karl Rive get from varied factions and you don’t always have to be big and Black to be hated! lol.
Hatred is someone else problem, not mine. If the hater attempts to make his problem mine then I respond with all appropriate measures. Most haters are cowards and wouldn’t attempt harm even if they stood before you.
The violent minority amongst haters have to be dealt with decisively. Anyone making the quantum leap from jealosy to assault needs some sense knocked into him.
Whether pre-RLSH or RLSH, I’ve known that standing up and being vocal invited more hostility than sitting down and shutting up.
When or if some hater gets worked up enough to attack me then I’ll answer this article’s question, ” May I see your ID? ” with a reply that’ll make headlines!
Obviously other RLSH are to deal with this in their own manner. My task was to outline some of the unlikely consequences being creatively good to create.
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT. BLACK promotes crime prevention and self-development.