Oh come on! This is just ridiculous.  According to a study by – you guessed it – Americans, superheroes are bad role models for kids.  I’m not one to use the phrase ‘no shit Sherlock’ very often, but I feel it’s necessary in this case, if only because they’re fucking fictional!

The study conducted by psychologists from the University of Massachusetts suggests that the superheroes of yesteryear were much better for kids than the thuggish bullies we have now.  I tell you, back when the Nazis were around, there was no violence anywhere and fascists and superheroes alike helped old ladies across the street.

Apparently, the researchers identified two distinct types of role model for kids today.  First of all, there’s the brutish, hedonistic hard man ‘action hero’ and secondly, there’s the perennially underachieving ‘slacker’.  I must ask, where do they get theses ideas?  It’s almost as if people like this actually exist in the real world and are simply mirrored by the media, but that can’t be right, otherwise society would have crumbled by now.

Professor Sharon Lamb who is responsible for the work, claimed that “when not in superhero costume, these men, like Ironman, exploit women, flaunt bling and convey their manhood with high-powered guns”, you sure you’re not thinking of rappers?

Modern superheroes were described by Professor Lamb as: “aggressive, sarcastic and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity”.  Which is true, but I’d suggest that it’s probably because that’s what people want and the market for Super Cliff Richard is pretty slight, although an Al Gore saving the world with Powerpoint comic might find and audience.

Professor Lamb also mentions the ‘Slacker’ as follows: “Slackers are funny, but slackers are not what boys should strive to be; slackers don’t like school and they shirk responsibility”  Well, thank fuck there were no slackers when I was at school, I remember every single child in the world ever loving every minute of compulsory education.

The good professor goes on to ask: “We wonder if the messages boys get about saving face through glorified slacking could be affecting their performance in school.”  No! No no no!  Kids often fail to try hard at school because they understandably hate it and they’d rather be out having fun.  How detached from reality are these people?

Another one of these cretins, Dr Carlos Santos from Arizona State University presented a study about how macho imagery influences young boys.  He claimed that resistance to macho images breaks down as a male develops into a teenager, putting their mental health at risk.

Dr Santos seems to be suggesting that children should be taught/forced to resist any macho tendencies, “helping boys resist these behaviours early on seems to be a critical step toward improving their health and the quality of their social relationships.”  Seems a bit fucking daft to me as I was under the impression that this kind of behaviour is hard-wired into the male brain as an evolutionary trait and has more to do with testosterone than with macho imagery.

Why can’t these overpaid idiots wake up to the fact that art tends to imitate life and it’s unusual for the reverse.  There have always been underachievers and bullies and that’s not likely to change any time soon.  Let’s look at the world around us and observe every McDonald’s, hip-hop video and gym and see if we can’t find at least a handful of slackers and/or pituitary blockheads, because I have a funny feeling they’re out there.  Won’t somebody please think of the children?

Special thanks to Niall Hartshorn, I stole one of your jokes!