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I have a ton of things to blog about and not near enough time. So please forgive me because I’m about to ramble, but hope to drive a couple of points into a few RLSH people’s heads. Most of you know this already, so I hope it doesn’t apply to you.
I’ve had fantastic patrols in Minneapolis with the Great Lakes Alliance and also in Madison, Wisconsin with the Challengers. There was a photograpy student who was working on her thesis and wanted to build it around Real-Life Superheroes. And she told me much later that she tried to contact every RLSH she knew of.
And then she said that no one other than me responded. I don’t know who else was contacted, but that really disappointed me that she hadn’t even heard back from any other one of us.
Are we that paranoid that you can’t help a student get her Masters Degree in photojournalism?
I look at being a Real Life Superhero as a mission of trying to help people. Anyone. Everyone. And we need to look at that from a lot of perspectives. You don’t just help people who are sitting on a street corner on the cold sidewalk wearing essentially rags. Of course, that’s an easy red flag for anyone of us. But it’s not the end.
You might also need to help someone in business dress-clothes who forgot their keys. You might help a woman who is in fear of walking down the street for the possibility of being raped. Is there an elderly couple you see going down the wrong neighborhood that they’re not familiar with? Just tail them from a distance, without freaking them out, but still watching their safe passage.
And if we can help a college student graduate…

Why I think Privacy in RLSH forums is a necessity

Heya Folks,
Maybe a whole lot of you weren’t aware of this, but RLSH forums used to be different than they tend to be at this particular moment in time. There is a current upheaval.
Some of us have seen the hey-day of years ago and frankly, this ain’t it. I’m not meaning to criticize and believe me, I couldn’t do better and I’m in regret for not living up to my own part as a Moderator in a previous forum when I said I would.
I failed. And here’s what’s happened as a partial result.
We seem to be seeing an evolution of ALL of the RLSH forums at the same exact time.
It’s come to my notice because of some dissatisfaction among some of my elder RLSH friends and now I’m being contacted by newer Real-Life Superheroes asking, “Where are the cool forums?” And I guide them to where I can, including here at www.reallifesuperheroes.org. But this is not a self-promotional rant. Not at all.
Okay, I think I know the reason “the times, they are a’ changing.”
Facebook. That’s how we’re now communicating and networking among RLSHs and also our “civilian” friends. And that’s very incredibly awesome. But not good enough.
Wonderful, but take it for what it’s worth. It doesn’t fill our needs. Not at all, if you’re a Real-Life Superhero. Fine if you “Like” us, but if you’re actually one of us, it leaves us lacking support from our specifically-RLSH friends and even our detractors who we could be on a conversational level with. But we’re not. Not really. Not on facebook. It’s really just sort of throwing comments out there and there’s little, if any discussion.
Some of the forum sites are getting to “No privacy policy,” and while I appreciate the concept, I don’t enjoy it. It’s just not fun.
RLSH forums are also steering to a “this is just information and not conversational” and frankly, I think any kind of exclusiveness if going to kill a forum.
My former favorite forum of Heroes Network was in my opinion, killed by being just a bit more exclusive by membership requirements. Yes, the Admins were INCREDIBLY awesome (Love ya both!), but we never really got the nut-jobs or the whackos to debate with to make the efficiently-run forum truly interesting enough to visit often. I’m truly not criticizing the folks who ran it. I just wonder if it wouldn’t have been more active if it was a bit more loose. I appreciate the dedication, hard work and the concept, regardless.
I loved the idea. It was well-run and we’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Who knew that if you only got the “best and tried and true people” (and that I would be lucky enough to be in that group) into it, that they’d be of little interest and have little to talk about? I was honored to have counted myself among that number. But I know how boring I can be. Go figure.
Back to the “No Privacy” thing…
If you’re a Real-Life Superhero: You’re getting back from a patrol, hot and sweaty, or maybe cold and chilled and you want to talk some things out with someone on your level, who can understand or assume what your night or day might have been like. You want to avoid all the chit-chat BS. Or maybe you need to find some diversion among friends who understand what we do. You don’t want to be confronted by a random fb friend showing all of his friends his favorite Youtube video of a random band.
They don’t know what you did that night. -Or couldn’t prevent being done.
You want to commiserate and relate… make inside jokes and maybe kid around with your best RLSH friend who is also online, but in front of your other friends so that they can see how much mutual respect you have for each other to treat them like you do.
You need an RLSH private area.
No media AT ALL. Few, if any, kind “civilians” (No disrespect intended, My Friends.) Where we can just be among ourselves and sort of let down our guard and be our occasional asshole-selves and enjoy those moments with people who also have done the stupid things we’ve done. -(“Dude, don’t hand the guy an ice-cold Pepsi in a blizzard. Wouldn’t a hot coffee been a better idea? You’re such an A-hole, Geist ;)”)
Facebook is absolutely a wonderful thing. And media-friendly forums ABOUT Real-Life Superheros are a wonderful thing.
But if people with secret identities can’t have a place where, as a somewhat exclusive group can’t talk in privacy, then what’s the point of a forum FOR RLSHs?
I might for instance, want to give Razorhawk a hard time about his white and black costume concept, I might want to kid Superhero about his constant smile, I might want to wonder outloud why Watchman is never actually on the forums, and give a hard time to my Buddy Blue for thinking I’m not thinking of him. These are all dear friends of mine. And yeah, I want to give them some kidding. Can I do that in front of the world without you getting the wrong ideas? Not really.
But also, and more importantly, we need a place where RLSHs can speak of issues out of the media eye. I mean, we need to talk about potential press coverage and whether “this or that” might be a good idea, based partially upon our friends’ opinions. Or whether “this or that” was the right approach on a patrol we just had.
“What would you have done? I’m such an F-up. How can I do better next time?”
Over the years, some incredibly private issues have been brought up from our number of RLSH friends. Some of them even put to group discussions. Granted, I’m thinking back to when there were fifty of us online and not 750 or whatever. But there are still some things that I would like to hear about or talk about that are JUST private and among like-minded friends. No offense…
That’s just my take on the current trends.
All My Best,

I Support Phoenix Jones, America's First Costumed Crime Fighter

Originally posted: http://news.yahoo.com/support-phoenix-jones-americas-first-costumed-crime-fighter-191900549.html
By Donald Pennington
It just goes to show what police consider a priority. A real-world costumed crime fighter breaks up a crowd of people reportedly ganging up on two others, one in the crowd reacts violently by hitting him over the head with a shoe and the police arrest the odd-looking guy? Are the police there to enforce the law or aren’t they? Is hitting someone over the head with a shoe not assault if you’re hot?
America’s first costumed crime fighter goes by the title of “Phoenix Jones,” but his real name is Benjamin Francis Fodor, a 23-year-old husband and father. Apparently, he’s taken up this cause after his own son was a crime victim. Face it. The police are only human too. They can’t be everywhere at all times.
In spite of allegations of spraying folks with pepper spray, not everyone is down on the man. In an interview on Fox News, Jones explains his side of the incident, stating he opted to let the un-named woman assault him with a shoe, rather than exert his physical strength against a woman smaller than himself. He also explains that when he enters the situation, he instructs his cohorts to call 911, then takes action. The more I hear from this man, the more I like him.
Hold it! Did I just say “cohorts?” Why, yes I did. It seems Jones is not only gutsy enough to don a crime fighter’s costume and show troublemakers a bit of vigilante action, he’s not alone. One quick trip to Facebook reveals That Jones is the leader of what’s called the “Rain City Superhero Movement.” On their info page we find the quote “I symbolize that the average person doesn’t have to walk around and see bad things and do nothing.” Odd-looking? Yes. He may even be crazy. Aren’t the greatest people in history always called crazy? His point is valid. As long as nobody’s rights are violated, I’m on his side. Besides, what’s so crazy about encouraging people to report crime?
While I won’t call him a “Superhero” (Superheroes have super-powers and only exist in comic books, after all.) I will agree that it most certainly is time for people to take action when they see bad things happening. We don’t need to dress up, but we all would do well to emulate his courage. Thank you, Phoenix Jones, for reminding us.

Phoenix Jones, real-life Seattle superhero, arrested for pepper-spray assault

Originally posted: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/phoenix-jones-real-life-seattle-superhero-arrested-for-pepper-spray-assault/2011/10/11/gIQAY1oTcL_blog.html
By Elizabeth Flock
Phoenix Jones
Masked crusader Phoenix Jones, who says he often patrols the streets of Seattle in a superhero suit to stop crime, may have accidentally gotten involved in a crime.
In a situation almost straight out of the movie “Kick-Ass,” Jones is fighting an assault charge for allegedly spraying pepper spray on people, who he says were fighting. Seattle police say the people were dancing.
Jones is out of jail after being held Sunday night.
“Just because he’s dressed up in costume, it doesn’t mean he’s in special consideration or above the law,” Seattle police spokesman Det. Mark Jamieson said of the incident. “You can’t go around pepper spraying people because you think they are fighting.”
Jones, who has been unmasked by police as Benjamin Francis, insists he “witnessed a hit-and-run/attempted murder of a man and he responded to stop it,” according to a Facebook post.
Jones has posted this video as proof that a crime had taken place, though the video is shaky and unclear. In the video, it appears Jones and his sidekick, known as Ghost, run toward a group of people and try to break them up. A woman is then seen running after Jones and hitting him with her shoe. A BMW car appears, almost hits an unidentified man, and a person with Jones says to call 911 to report a hit-and-run.
In an interview with local station 97.3 FM, the woman who hits Jones with her shoe says she didn’t need the help.
Jones was wearing a black and gold superhero costume and a bullet-proof vest, and carrying two cans of pepper spray when police arrived at the scene.
Police took the suit, boots and mask from him, but Jones says he has a backup suit.
Jones is married to a woman he calls PurpleReign, another masked vigilante.
He is also the leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement, a group of self-proclaimed superheroes that has previously been credited with preventing a carjacking. Watch the report from that carjacking below:

RLSH Metal Band Laundry Mat Video Interview

JACK [email protected] W METAL ZONE PART 1.mpgJACK [email protected] W METAL ZONE PART 2.mpg                                                                                                                                                                                               Hey this is The Ded Beat from Jack Havoc telling you to Check us out on The N W Metal Zone Radio Show, this is a video of it recorded on the above link by our Roadie  from the 80″s J.A. Lee.



Phoenix Jones says he's sorry

Originally posted: http://www.komonews.com/seattlepulp/blogs/phoenix-jones/126086459.html
By Jennifer Kuglin Jul 24, 2011
Phoenix posted this note on his Facebook page about Hope 2011:
“Hope 2011 is an event run by Razor Hawk that will be taking place in California. At my request, a news publication that recently featured me provided a majority of the funding for Hope 2011. I assumed I would be able to attend the event and be able to help with the homeless outreach but I am the only superhero that has been banned from this event. I’ve never communicated with Razor Hawk directly, but I’ve heard via a third party that I am too controversial because I confront criminals directly and detain when necessary until the police arrive.
When I first became a superhero I was excited about joining the RLSH community and was quickly disappointed when I was banned before I ever even had a chance to make a post. I was notified by email the reason for my exile from the online community is because I lie about my deeds and there was no proof I was actually fighting crime. I would be fine with that if everyone else on the site had to prove their actions as well, but they are taken at their word. In the past few months through news media sources, guest patrols with other RLSHs, video, Phoenix Cam, and police it has been proven I patrol on a regular basis with a purpose to fight crime and stop acts of violence.  I am offended that I am still ridiculed and put down by this community. I have more documentation and actual crime interventions than any other ‘superhero’ other than Master Legend of course.
I have not participated in the online bashing and gossip that consumes a lot of superhero’s lives. But there has been media publications quoting me saying less than favorable things about certain members of the RLSH and of that I am guilty. Most of the comments I have made come from feelings of resentment that have arisen from being so discriminated against by the community. I have identified myself as a Rain City Superhero Movement member as opposed to an RLSH for three reason: 1, Certain members of the RLSH hacked my FB and deleted it and told me not to use the RLSH term because I was not one. 2, Most of the RLSH I know focus on humanitarian work and crime fighting second. 3, RLSH is a broad term and I wanted something more city specific to what we needed in Seattle.
I have always felt that the most effective outreaches are done in safe environments. I know a RLSH in Seattle who was robbed of his handout food during an outreach. If they would target him, I can only imagine what they do to the people receiving the food after I have left. If I am able to take away the violent offenders in these areas our homeless outreaches will be a lot more effective.
The point of this message is that we are all masked human beings trying to better the environment that we live in, each in our own specific areas of expertise. Hating each other, bickering and slandering, and banning people from events is ridiculous (I will enclose links that support my statements). It just minimizes our effectiveness, corrupts the message, and takes up valuable time that we could be using on the streets. I have tried my best to stay out of this drama but from this point on I am not participating in any way, shape, or form. I think its important to live your message, so here it is, I AM SORRY.
I am sorry if I have said bad things to you directly, I am sorry if I have sad bad things behind your back, I am sorry if you haven’t understood or were offended by my crime fighting methods. But most of all, I am sorry that we had to make this public. I forgive anyone who has said anything bad about me. From here on out all slates are clean as far as I am concerned. We are fighting each other when we should be fighting the evil in this world.”

Deserving Heroes Game Show.


-Do you know someone who gave EVERYTHING to their community and then lost their HOUSE, COMMUNITY CENTER, RESTAURANT, etc, LOST EVERYTHING from circumstances out of their control and now needs help getting back on their feet?
-Do you know someone who HELPS EVERYONE THEY CAN and now needs help with their own MEDICAL BILLS/AID?
-We are looking for someone who is a leader in the community, someone who always volunteers, someone who has helped numerous people’s lives change and now is down on their luck and needs their life to change!
-Someone who has giving everything they have to others to help them succeed and NOW is in need of help themselves.
Do you have a friend or a loved one who is a HERO who needs someone to be THEIR hero? Someone in need of a substantial sum of money to turn their life around? Do you want to surprise this person by winning them the cash they need to help make their problems disappear?
If you would like to apply for this brand new trivia game show please email [email protected] with:
-Your full name.
-Your phone number.
-Your current city and state.
-Who you feel deserves this and why?
-Deserving person’s current city and state.
-A photo of yourself and the deserving person.
Please include a short paragraph telling us why you think this person is a HERO and why you would want to play for them.
Please include links to news stories or any newspaper/magazine articles showcasing their good deeds if available.
We appreciate your time and look forward to meeting some amazing individuals!
Submitted by Nadra Enzi aka Capt Black hoping you’ll shed light on someone whose “super” ought to be nationally recognized and rewarded. (504) 214-3082

Crazy? Or a Hero?

Originally posted
By Jennifer Kuglin Published: Jun 15, 2011 at 9:17 PM PDT
Phoenix Jones is a superhero. He has a day job but wears a costume underneath his street clothes in case he encounters crime. He carries a “net gun” and has team of crime fighters.
But this isn’t the plot from a Hollywood movie. There are no special effects. This is real-life and Phoenix patrols Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood every week- stopping fights, feeding the homeless and helping folks who have run out of gas.
Unlike most movie superheroes, Phoenix doesn’t have any super powers and he doesn’t need them. He is made of flesh and blood and has gotten hurt. He deals with real criminals and puts his life in danger nightly.
“Phoenix, some people might ask if you’re crazy. Are you crazy?” I asked during a recent phone interview.
“Have you ever seen something that you thought was wrong or not fair? That you wanted to change? And then you just thought about it for days or weeks?” He said.
“Of course.” I answered.
“Well I haven’t. I don’t stand by and watch things happen that are wrong. When I see it I fix it. Does that make me crazy?”
Phoenix is a part of the Rain City Superhero movement, a group of superheroes that patrols the streets of Seattle.
So is vigilante justice acceptable? Are the superheroes actually helping police fight crime?
Phoenix says police were extremely wary at first, but now accept his help. He says he calls them ahead of time to tell them which neighborhood he’ll be patrolling. He fills out police reports and gives witness testimony.
“Police have been super helpful. I’ll walk down the streets and they’ll get their loudspeaker out and say, ‘Hey, Phoenix! How are you doing?’ They’ll come over and shake my hand. They know that I’m for real.”
A police bulletin was sent to Seattle officers on Wednesday about the group.
Seattle police say there is nothing illegal about dressing up as a superhero, but it is dangerous and they do not encourage it.
They would rather the self-proclaimed superheroes acted as witnesses instead of inserting themselves into fights.
Police also say it can be a drain on resources when they have to field 911 calls about people afraid of “masked men.”
Phoenix Jones says he wanted to become a superhero after a few incidents changed his mind about Seattle.
The first involved a friend getting assaulted outside a bar. The friend was left with permanent facial damage.
“And I thought, why didn’t someone help him? There were seventy people outside that bar and no one did anything,” he said.
The second incident was when someone broke into his car and his son was injured by the broken glass. His son had to spend the night in the ER and get stitches. He was later told that several people saw the break-in happen, but didn’t do anything.
Phoenix said, “Teenagers are running down the street, breaking into cars, and no one does anything? Where’s the personal accountability?”
Phoenix decided he would be different than all of those people who just stood by, not helping.
He began stepping into fights and helping people in need. But soon, he was getting recognized across town as ‘the guy who stops fights.’ He realized he was putting himself in danger.
“They’d recognize me and pick me out. I couldn’t do regular, every-day things anymore. So I started wearing the mask,” he said.
Phoenix says his costume helps him fight crime.
He said, “Most of the time when people see me, they kind-of laugh. The reaction I get is exactly what I wanted when I made the suit. I made it kind-of comical. Because if I can stop a fight by simply showing up in a cape and saying ‘Hey, Stop!’ like a comic-book character, and they actually stop, then the problem is solved. And no one got hurt.”
But not everyone laughs. Phoenix has been injured, but wouldn’t give details.
“I can’t really give specifics of my injuries because there are hospital records and it might be obvious who I am. I can say I’ve been cut several different times. And there was an incident in Tacoma with a gun. I’m not going to say how far it went, but it was bad. Remember, I deal with real criminals.”
It takes a lot of tools to be a good superhero, and Phoenix has a lot of them.
He carries a taser nightstick, a net gun and a grappling hook. (Though he says the net gun and grappling hook are not very effective. The grappling hook was unable to support his body.) But he does not carry a gun or knife.
He drives a regular car, but has a sophisticated communication system. A computer inside his car prints any emails sent to his superhero email address: [email protected].
“Last night a guy emailed me saying he felt unsafe walking to his car. I was able to help him immediately. You know, if he called the police they wouldn’t be able to help him. But I am.”
Phoenix agreed to let KOMO News go out with him for a night of crime-fighting, but not before he got a bulletproof suit.
“After media attention, I might get shot at. I want to feel safe.”
We agreed to wait until he got the bulletproof suit and the story will air on KOMO-TV soon.
Phoenix Jones wants more superheroes to join the Rain City Superhero movement. But he says they must be qualified. And realistic.
Phoenix said, “I think people would find it’s far less romantic than it sounds. The hours aren’t so great. There’s no pay. That’s the reality.”
There were no phone booths involved in my first communication with Phoenix Jones. Phoenix is a modern day superhero, so instead he uses Facebook.
His post on the KOMO News wall read:
We get a lot of tips that don’t pan out, and I thought this was probably one of them. But his profile picture showed a man with a mask, cape and tights standing next to a Seattle police officer.
I was intrigued.
I looked at his Facebook page where all of his posts were about fighting crime. There were a lot of dark and fuzzy pictures of him in various poses around the city donning that same mask, cape and tights.
So I sent him an email saying I’d be interested to find out more about his superhero abilities. We traded emails back and forth and I learned that he was very serious about his job, that he’d been injured and gotten involved in stopping knife fights.
I wanted to talk to him by phone, but he wouldn’t give me his phone number.
“You’re a journalist. You’d find a way to trace me,” he said.
So we agreed to talk on a secret phone line where I had to punch in a secret code. After talking to him I realized this was a real story about a real guy doing really strange and amazing things.

Superheroes Premieres on HBO August 8th!

Originally posted: http://blogs.indiewire.com/spout/archives/2011/06/01/superheroes_hbo/
By Christopher Campbell
Add one more superhero blockbuster to your summer movie schedule.
I had heard a whisper of this a while ago, but now it’s confirmed: HBO Documentary Films bought the TV rights to Michael Barnett’s Slamdance hit “Superheroes,” a doc about those real-life costumed crusaders who are often likened to characters in the films “Kick-Ass” and “Super.” The funny thing is I didn’t realize it was official until I saw a magazine ad today for HBO’s summer doc series, which features a new premiere every Monday from June 6 through August 15. Other titles include such festival hits as “Bobby Fischer Against the World,” “Hot Coffee,” “Koran by Heart” and “A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt” (see the rest of the titles here). The news about “Superheroes” was also confirmed recently on the doc’s Facebook page, where I regrettably missed it earlier.
Of course I’m excited about all 11 films in the series (the only other I’ve seen so far is “A Matter of Taste”), but I’m especially happy for Barnett’s film, because it wasn’t seen by enough people in Park City and I know there’s a significant audience that will find it intriguing. Here’s a snippet of my review:

Often “Superheroes” comes off as also being more about the problems of the world than the costumed crusaders on screen. Through people like “Zetaman,” “Life,” “Mr. Extreme” and the simply named “Super Hero,” we are made to think about the issues of homelessness and violent crime, as well as police corruption and bureaucracy that lead to the necessity for these [Real-Life Superheroes] to pop up in cities across the nation…“Superheroes” will surely be a big hit with the RLSH crowd, of which there are hundreds more than the selected few in the film, as well as the Comic-Con/fanboy types. Plus it’s a well made, albeit fairly standard doc, without many flaws or bumps.

Fortunately, “Superheroes,” which is screening at Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival next week, is also apparently getting a small theatrical run in October and a DVD release in November.
Check out a trailer for HBO’s summer series, including footage of “Superheroes,” after the jump.

Real-Life Superheroes Vow to Protect Women From the Long Island Serial Killer

Originally posted: http://www.themarysue.com/real-life-superheroes-long-island-serial-killer/
By Jamie Frevele

Zero of the NYI[/

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If you’ve been following the news lately (maybe only in the New York area), you might have heard about the Long Island Serial Killer who has been killing sex workers who advertise on Craig’s List. Human remains have been found on Long Island beaches, and up to 10 women appear to have been murdered by this killer. Predictably and sadly, not everyone has a lot of sympathy for these women because of the line of work they’ve chosen, and some believe that the cops aren’t taking the case very seriously. A group of real-life superheroes in New York, calling themselves the New York Initiative, think that’s wrong, and they are out to teach potential victims how to protect themselves and help find this killer.
The New York Initiative is made up of martial arts and weapons experts, none of whom are affiliated with law enforcement. They posted their own advertisement on Craig’s List recently, offering up what they believe the cops won’t: protection from becoming another victim.

The Long Island Killer is out there. He’s a scary bastard, and it’s starting to seem like he is focusing on you pretty ladies because some people are slower to report you missing, and also because apparently the law doesn’t respect your personal choices and that means cops are slower to follow through when it comes to you. Well, I’m here to say F*CK THAT. We respect you as human beings, we believe in personal freedoms and think that you’re doing something that is absolutely your choice to do.
So rock on, ladies…We are on your side. With that said, we are here to help.

In addition to offering martial arts and improvised weapons training for self-defense (free of charge), the NYI also provided advice on how women can better cover their bases when they are on the job. Sort of a “buddy system,” in which they inform a friend of where they’re going, when they’re leaving and expect to be back, and touching base with updates so everyone knows things are going as planned. The NYI also offers their own “log book” as well as a number to call when a date might become violent and/or dangerous. They promise to be on standby if assistance is needed. And despite their opinion of law enforcement, the NYI isn’t blind to what has to be done:

[W]e won’t involve law enforcement unless you are in serious danger. The logs will be kept personal and private, because what do the police need to know about your personal life, right? It’s just a date, for cryin’ out loud.

The NYI is not brand new, and they’ve even been featured in the documentary Superheros by Michael Barnett. Among their aliases are Dark Guardian, Blindside, and Skinner. They’re hoping this message will be spread far and wide so anyone who might need it will have the option for protection and education, and that eventually, this killer will be stopped.
(Top pic via NYI on Facebook, story via Tiny Nibbles, which is NSFW, but ultimately via Cindy)