Our words and actions have power

I’ve been thinking about something and I figure that it’s a pretty good time to talk about it since there aren’t any recent incidents and it’s unlikely that anyone will think I’m singling them out and trying to lay blame when I’m truly not. I don’t like to blame. I like to overlook unfortunate choices and, at worst, forgive mistakes.
Okay, here’s what I wanted to say: We are more powerful than we often realize. I mean, what is power? It’s influence. And whether we like it or not, people often listen to us. Why? Because they look up to us and they sometimes think we know something that they don’t or mistakenly believe we’re better people than them. We call ourselves Real-Life Superheroes and while I’m not saying it’s a lie, it is a term with a bit of exaggeration at times.  But our optimistic civilian friends believe it. The media at times believes it. And I believe it of most of you.
So when we speak and act, it’s important that we do it well and wisely. When I represent myself as Geist,  I know that I’m no longer the schlep who drags his butt out of bed and goes into work with too little sleep and sweats under pressure and screws up royally sometimes.
No, when I’m Geist, whether online or on the streets, I need to be a whole lot better than that. I have to be kind, polite and at the top of my game. Because people look to me, for whatever reason and I no longer just represent me, but what I say or do could reflect on all of the other RLSHs and terribly damage their reputations as a group as their choices could terribly damage mine.
So when we assume the identity of our individual and unique heroic counterparts, consider that to a degree, we represent each other as well as ourselves. I’ve screwed up on the streets and made every effort not to repeat any incident that had poor results. I’ve said things online in both public and private forums that I later regretted and found to be less than worthy of the voice of a Real-Life Superhero.
But over the years, as I continue doing this, I think I’m also learning little by little what not to say, what comment to delete, what argument not to participate in, and when not to disappoint those who believe I’m a better person than maybe I really am without the mask.
I know the media is watching us, waiting for us to falter, our civilian fans are looking to us with hope and our RLSH brothers and sisters are expecting us to be as solid and worthy of respect as they are.
As a Real-Life Superhero, we don’t just represent ourselves. We represent each other.
And if it’s never crossed your mind before, a lot of RLSHs have wondered aloud if as a group, we might be a paragraph in a history book someday. How do you want to be remembered?

Christmas patrol 12/22/11

It’s been a busy season. And a pretty meager one. My “Geist” bank account has been pretty low for awhile and I hadn’t done a great job of gradually building it up with small deposits. But I figured I could swing a hundred bucks or so. At least it’s something. But between work and some personal stuff keeping me busy, I also hadn’t gotten around to buying toys for charities yet.
Lately though, I have been thinking a lot about the concepts of random acts of kindness and paying it forward to a complete stranger. It seems a lot more people have lately. I mean, look at the video that Thanatos linked to recently if you haven’t seen it already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc8ZbVcdHpg&feature=youtu.be
Plus, people across the country have been going into stores like Kmart that have layaway plans and paying on the accounts of complete strangers. According to newspapers, the internet and tv, it’s a nation-wide phenomena and it’s also happened in my city a couple of times. The store tries to choose someone deserving to whom to allocate the funds. This is the sort of positivity that a lot of us have been wanting to encourage for a long time. And it’s happening! This is the sort of thing that I also wanted to do.
I started out the morning swinging through Burger King before work. I paid for my breakfast with exact change, but still had money in my pocket. I took out a $10 and handed it to the cashier after I paid. I said, “I’d like you to put this toward whoever comes up after me. This Christmas, I’m paying it forward. Use it until it’s gone.” I figured it might brighten someone’s morning. Maybe a couple of people.
After work, I made a withdrawl from my account and gotten a crisp $100 bill. geared up in a “Geist-lite” mode. Black jeans instead of cargo pants. A pair of cowboy boots instead of the urban ones. No gauntlets. I was trying to seem non-threatening. And I loaded the vehicle with food and supplies I’d been building up for the homeless. Industrial-size cans of corn, beans and some other things.
I went to Kmart and stood in line as people stared at me. A clerk became available and said that she could help me. I made a point of having the $100 in my hand even before I entered the store. I realize I appear weird and I didn’t want anyone to think I was there to rob the place. I handed her the bill and asked if she could put it toward someone’s layaway account. It took her a few seconds for her to understand and I had to repeat myself, but she eventually recognized what I was doing and said that I’d have to talk to the store manager. I was getting uncomfortable because, like a ghost (Geist), I really don’t like to hang around in public longer than necessary. I asked her if she would please do that for me and went for the exit. She went toward the manager and yelled above all of the chaotic noise, “Thank you!!” I said “You’re welcome.” and left.
Then I was on my way to our local homeless shelter, the Dorothy Day House. As I was unloading my goods, I saw a proper and well-dressed lady walking to the door carrying a crate of peaches. I said, “It looks like we have similar ideas.” She smiled and knocked on the door and stood there. When I got to the door I said, “In my experiences here, you can just go right in.” and we did. The guy at the front desk ushered us to another room and a lady asked if we were together, to which we said, “No.” I waited for her to speak to the familiar lady and tell her who she was and where she got her donations (there were more boxes to come from her). Then it was my turn and I gave my spiel. “I’m Geist and I’m a Real-Life Superhero.” to which the Proper Lady laughed. The familiar lady said, “Yes, I know. We’ve met here before, haven’t we?” I said yes and she showed me where I could put my donations.
On my way out, I saw the Proper Lady with another box and asked if she needed any help. She said, “No, but thank you, Geist.”
I drove away smiling and onto a short meandering street patrol before heading home without further incident. It was a fun and rewarding day.
-Now I’ve got to work on that “Geist account.”

Real Life Superheroes

Originally posted: http://blogzilla2010.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/real-life-superheroes/?like=1  on November 15, 2011 by

Jolie Lassen
Do you think superheroes exist? No?
But in America a real subculture of so called heroes do exist. There are men and women wearing costumes, adopting pseudonyms and doing good deeds. The Real Life Superheroes. They act anonymous and selfless and try to make Americas streets a bit more secure and the world a bit better.
They bridge the gap between the fantastic and the practical.
They combat crime, hand out supplies to the homeless, comforting the sick or just cleaning up their neighborhood.
Of course The Real Life Superheroes have no supernatural power. They have tear gas, taser, a bit of self-defense and the will to change something.
But who are these modern heroes? Everyone could be one of them. They are every kind of people – clerical assistants, doctors, streetworker, politicians or ex-junkies. It is irrespective of the sex, the profession, the status or what ever.
Their actions serve as reminders. People have blinded themselves to simple principles and goodwill. They lost their readiness to help others.
The different Superheroes focus on different actions and locations.
Terrifica for example is roaming the streets, clubs and bars of New York. She got her tear gas, mobile phone and camera with her and. The thirty year old woman with blond hair and red battle dress wants to defend young woman against violation of men. In case of doubt she uses her camera to be able to proof the criminal act.
Geist acts in Minnesota. He is there where the police just no longer get. He appears out of the blue, doing good deeds and disappears again. He helps the homeless, victims of violence and homeless animals.
Thantos is a sixty two years old Superhero helping drug addicted people in the streets of Vancouver. He shares out blankets, clothes and food wearing a green mask, a black trench coat and a tie with skulls.
The Real Life Superhero Project first should make people recognize this new breed of activism and altruism. But more and more people get interested and the scope and purpose expanded very fast.
Due to the financial crisis many people lost a lot of money, their jobs and even their homes. Their desire for security increases.
In the middle of instability and political uncertainty those heroes offer a bit stability to the people. There are those benefactors in disguise who dispread optimism and confidence through their brave. That is – as it seems – what America needs right now.
It started as a gallery exhibit but it became the base of something much greater. The Real Life Superhero Project is a living community which inspires the general public to be part of the positive flow to change something in the world we all have to live in.
Thereby they could become more active, more involved, stronger and a little bit more “super”.
Their gain is to help the poor and underdogs and to make other people help too.
The Real Life Superheroes have a website where they explain the world who they are, what they do and what they want. At the end there is that one sentence we all should keep in mind. “And hopefully, you will come to realize that it doesn’t take a cape to go out and help someone, just the desire to become an active force in your own life, and see how that can affect others.”
So, do you think superheroes really exist? It doesn’t matter how we call them it’s about what they do. We all are able to be a kind of superhero. So why don’t we start?
Today there are twenty nine of those Real Life Superheroes in America. Maybe even tomorrow there will be more.
Let’s find the hero in all of us.


Great Lakes Alliance

Real Life Superheroes

Originally posted: http://www.booksie.com/editorial_and_opinion/essay/mrsunshine/real-life-superheroes
Originally posted By MrSunshine
Published: Jun 18, 2011
The world is need of superheroes. It is easy to get a sense of hopelessness as we hear about the terrible
things happening around the world. We all watched the tragedy in Japan; we all remember the attacks on 9/11.
I cannot help but imagine how much different things would be if the world was stuck between the pages of a
comic book. Superman could have saved the towers. Aquaman could have prevented to Tsunamis in Japan.
While it is obvious that Superman doesn’t exist, and that no one in this world has powers like him, there
are real life superheroes.
Nadine Bells, a columnist for Yahoo! News, says that real life superheroes are becoming fairly popular in
New York. Several vigilantes have banded together to form the New York Initiative (NYI.) They patrol the
streets of New York at night, mostly to prevent drug deals from happening.
The NYI is a branch of Real Life Superheroes (RLSH), a superhero agency that operates in many different
countries. There are countless other superheroes that are not part of RLSH, ranging from the Crimson
Fist in Atlanta to Menganno in Argentina. Almost every country has their own masked crusader, and some,
like Norway’s Geist, have become national heroes.
This celebrity that some heroes have found has sparked some controversy. People have accused Geist and
others of being glory seekers, and getting the way of the real heroes, policemen.
Andrea Kuszewski, a neurologist for The Institution for Emerging Ethics and Technologies, says that
heroes may not be as good as we think. “As crazy as it sounds, there may be a closer link than than most
people would think between the extreme-altruistic personality and sociopathic personality. Would it shock
you to know that two people, one with the traits of extreme-altruism (X-altruism) and the other the traits of a
sociopath, could be related? Even siblings?” She goes on to point out that people trying to stop law breakers
often end up breaking laws themselves. That brings up another interesting point. How do policemen
and other authorities feel about real life superheroes? They’re not necessarily fans, but they’re not
condemning it.
Police in Seattle, Washington don’t really take the men in tights seriously. In fact, they released an office
memo making fun of them. They also say that being a vigilante is very dangerous, but nothing wrong with itif
rules are followed. “There’s nothing wrong with citizens getting involved with the criminal justice process — as long as they
follow it all the way through [by calling 911 and attending court],” said Jeff Keppel, spokesman for the Seattle
Police Department.
There have been in incidents where a member of RLSH has been sentenced to prison time. In 2008 a hero
(not named) shot a man trying to break into a car. The man didn’t survive the shot, and the hero served nine
months in a Washington prison for manslaughter. Questioning someone’s motives for doing something
is easy, but if what they are doing is good, should there be any question at all? Does it matter why someone is
doing something, if they’re doing the right thing, or helping others? I guess it comes down to what you would
want for yourself.
If you were being robbed or beaten, and a super hero came to your rescue, would you accuse them of
being a glory seeker, or would you thank them for their services?

Costumed superheroes visit Granite Falls, Willmar to commit anonymous good deeds

Originally posted: http://www.wctrib.com/event/article/id/81136/

Real-Life Superheroes, from left, Geist, Arctic Knight and Blue, paying a visit to the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar. The trio also visited the Granite Falls Manor in Granite Falls and brought supplies to hand out to the homeless in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Anne Polta)

Real-Life Superheroes, from left, Geist, Arctic Knight and Blue, paying a visit to the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar. The trio also visited the Granite Falls Manor in Granite Falls and brought supplies to hand out to the homeless in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Anne Polta)

By Anne Polta, West Central Tribune
WILLMAR — There was a slight commotion as three costumed men strode into the lobby of the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter Wednesday morning.
“Hi, I’m Geist,” said one of them, shaking hands with a family visiting the Willmar shelter to see the dogs.
The trio left an assortment of gifts at the front counter — cat food, dog food, food and water bowls, a litter pan and some cash. “Keep up the good work,” Geist called out as they departed in an unmarked car for their next stop.
Who were those masked crusaders?
Don’t ask for their real names because they aren’t telling. The three belong to Real-Life Superheroes, an international organization of citizen volunteers who don make-believe superhero personas to commit good deeds.
This much they’ll reveal: Geist is from Rochester and has been a Real-Life Superhero since 2007. Blue, from Granite Falls, and Arctic Knight, from Burnsville, joined Real-Life Superheroes about a year ago.
“We come from all different walks of life,” Geist said. “We all have our various reasons for doing this.”
Action, not talk, is one of the motivators, said Blue. “Apathy is our main enemy.”
The superheroes, who don’t share their identity with anyone other than a few trusted individuals, were traveling Wednesday as they usually do — on their own time and their own dime.
Their first stop was at the Granite Falls Manor in Granite Falls, where they left cookies, crayons, paints and other craft supplies. Their next stop was the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar, after which they planned to patrol the town in search of homeless people, handing out socks and candy bars.
Their superhero activities are many and varied.
They spend time with terminally ill children, work with the homeless and help out with community causes. When heavy rain flooded towns in southeastern Minnesota last fall, Geist loaded a truck with supplies and delivered them to the stricken communities. Blue promotes safe driving awareness, putting up posters during the holiday season festooned with red ribbons that can be torn off and placed as a reminder on someone’s car.
Some of their actions are more risky. One of the things they do is paint over gang graffiti, a move that’s not welcomed by gang members. Real-Life Superheroes in the U.S. and abroad also have aligned themselves with law enforcement as citizen patrols for preventing and reporting crimes.
Don’t some people think the Superhero costumes are goofy? “If they do, that’s fine,” Geist said. “If we can bring a smile to someone’s face, how good is that? When we go out and find homeless people, when we hand them food and supplies, it doesn’t matter.”
It’s attention-getting for a cause, Arctic Knight said. “People are going to be inspired.”
Tari Evenson, manager of the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter, said she and the shelter staff didn’t know about the Real Life Superheroes’ visit until that morning.
“They called us and said they were going to stop by with some donations,” she said. “I wish we had more superheroes.”

"Superhéroes" de barrio

Originally posted: http://atalanta77.blogspot.com/2011/04/superheroes-de-barrio.html
nyi01Me gusta leer periódicos antiguos. Cuando hojeas un artículo de hace tres, cuatro, cinco años, eres consciente de que estás leyendo mejor libro de historia. Es sumamente sorprendente en qué derivaron ciertos personajes o acontecimientos. Por no hablar de las noticias de índole económica anteriores a la crisis. La perspectiva del tiempo hace que ciertos artículos hoy asusten.
Dedicándome a este menester, encontré un reportaje que daba cuenta de un fenómeno para mí por completo sorprendente, el de los “superhéroes de la vida real”. Ya os imagináis el percal. Siguiendo la tradición más ortodoxa de los cánones de tebeo, repartidos por el mundo viven unos tipos “normales” que, a tiempo parcial, se han creado otra identidad a la que acompaña el pertinente disfraz y tras la cual, se dedican a combatir el mal en las calles de su ciudad.

Los tipos tienen su propia página con el registro correspondiente en el que aparecen más de doscientos fenómenos con nombres como Master Legend, Green Scorpion, Superhero, Geist, Citizen Prime, Captain Jackson, Captain Prospect o Thanatos.

Sus funciones son las siguientes:
  • Patrullas de lucha contra el crimen.
  • Notificar delitos a los agente del orden
  • Colocar carteles pidiendo ayuda para solucionar casos no resueltos.
  • Buscar personas desaparecidas.
  • Promover la concienciación medioambiental.
  • Ayudar a la gente sin hogar proporcionándoles agua, alimentos y mantas.
  • Donar sangre.
Hombre, estas cosas se pueden hacer sin disfrazarse pero hay que reconocer que es mucho más molón afrontarlas cada jornada oculto tras un antifaz. Además, para ellos su traje es como una declaración de principios de lucha contra el mal.
Ahora que estamos al borde de los cinco millones de parados, es otra opción. Más gente con tiempo libre, más gente con problemas, más gente empujada a la delincuencia. Más malos y más buenos a los que proteger. ¿Por qué no? Lo que está claro es que hay “gente pa tó”.
Claro, de música iba a poner “Superhéroes de barrio” de Kiko Veneno pero me decido por una canción de Veneno, el mítico disco formado por Kiko además de por Raimundo y Rafael Amador. Ese disco que siempre está a la cabeza de cualquier lista de lo mejor del pop o rock español pero que realmente pocos han escuchado.

English Translation
I like reading old newspapers. When you scan an item for three, four, five years, you know you’re reading the best book of history. It is very surprising as it derives certain characters or events. Not to mention the news of an economic nature prior to the crisis. The time perspective makes certain items today scared.
Dedicated to this need, I found an article giving an account of a phenomenon to me entirely surprising, that of “real life superhero.” And you imagine the calico. Following the orthodox tradition of the canons of comics, spread across the world live rates “normal” part-time, have created another identity that accompanies the appropriate costume and after which, dedicated to fighting evil on the streets of their city.
The guys have their own page with the corresponding record in the displayed more than two hundred events with names like Master Legend, Green Scorpion, Superhero, Geist, Citizen Prime, Captain Jackson, Captain Prospect and Thanatos.
Its functions are:
* Patrols to fight crime.
* Report crimes to law enforcement
* Put up posters asking for help to solve unsolved cases.
* Searching for missing persons.
* Promote environmental awareness.
* Helping homeless people by providing water, food and blankets.
* Donate blood.
Man, these things can be done without disguise but recognize that it is much more groovy address them each day hidden behind a mask. Moreover, to suit them is like a declaration of principles to combat evil.
Now we’re on the edge of the five million unemployed, is another option. More people with free time, more people with problems, more people pushed into crime. More bad and more good to be protected. What is clear is that there are “people for everything.”
Sure, the music was going to put “Superheroes neighborhood” of Kiko Veneno but I decided for a song by Poison, the legendary album well composed by Kiko and Rafael Raimundo Amador l. That record is always at the top of any list of the best Spanish pop or rock but few have actually heard.

Russian News Article

Originally posted: http://akzia.ru/subtext/616.html
English Translation
The Real Life Superhero Project – a project of the American photographer Peter Tangen about ordinary people, donning a superhero costume to correct deficiencies in our society. Peter Tangen did photography for such films as “Spider-Man” and “Batman” with Christian Bale, so the phenomenon of “real superheroes” it is very inspired. The photographer wants to create a full series of posters of conventional superheroes in North America, to draw public attention to the fact that these people do. Perhaps it is because of these pictures people will discover the heroes within themselves. From the works of Peter Tangen can be found at reallifesuperheroes.com .
Photo: Peter Tangen
Name: Zimmer (Zimmer)
City: Austin, Texas, then New York
Occupation: patrol the streets without a mask and does not hide his real name, worked in the ambulance.  After a serious accident, was left with partial paralysis of his hands, but did not leave his job.
Zimmer supports MagicCamp ( magiccamp.reachlocal.com ).
Name: Knight owl (Knight Owl)
City: Vancouver, Washington
Occupation: daytime running paramedics, night patrolling the streets, distributing medicine, began writing a guide for the superhero.
Knight Owl supports the organization Heifer ( heifer.org ).
Photo: Peter Tangen
Name: Guyst (Geist)
City: Rochester, Minnesota
Occupation: calling himself a “green space cowboy” patrolling the streets, punishing illegal graffiti and helps the hungry and homeless, armed with slingshots, and baton.
Guyst supports Ronald McDonald Charitable Foundation in Rochester ( mhmn.org ).
Photo: Peter Tangen
Name: Super Hero (Superhero)
City: Clearwater, Florida
Occupation: former wrestler, now owner of online store gym equipment, founded the “Team Justice” – the first non-profit organization for the “real superheroes” in the U.S..
Superhero support charities metromin.org and christopherreeve.org .
Photo: Peter Tangen
Name: Nyx (Nyx)
City: New York, NY
Occupation: helping homeless and drug addicts, in his first patrol went to 16 years.
Nix supports the National Association of the Deaf ( nad.org ).

Milwaukee GLA Toy Drive

Date: December 17, 2010
Where: People Serving People.
614 South Third Street  Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
From Razorhawk:

The GLA toy drive is taking monetary donations at our site www.glhg.info there is a donation button on the left side of the screen. All donations recieved will be split between the Minnesota and Wisconsin branches of the team. We are accepting donations up until Dec. 10th as the Minnesota group consisting of Geist and I, hopefully Legacy and Celtic Viking as well will need to deliver the toys to People Serving People on December 17th.