Real-Life 'Heroes' Bravely Call Attention To Selves

Columbia Student and "independent filmmaker" Chaim Lazaros founded "Superheroes Anonymous" in order to collect and exploit a disparate group of costumed do-gooders from across the country. Unlike "real" superheroes, who often have extraordinary powers and act as violent vigilantes, flying in the face of the law, these people mostly put on funny capes, meet one another on MySpace, and then go pick up trash in Times Square.

Well, except "Street Hero," a professed former prostitute, whose civilian justice efforts seem to involve nebulous nighttime trips "to the city's underbelly to protect women who work the streets." Neat! Also she knows martial arts! Which all seems much more superheroic than handing out maps to tourists. Though we would certainly welcome a visit from The Super, who apparently roams the streets of New York fixing faucets and doing electrical work. And for answering that noble calling (and also for wearing "green tights under black soccer shorts" in Crown Heights), he has been set upon by tribulations of all kinds.

He said he had been laughed at, stared at, egged and stoned. Once, he said, someone in a high-rise apartment building threw a frozen piece of meat at him.

"I don't have many friends," he said. "A lot of real-life superheroes stumble along the way. And part of it can definitely make you feel isolated, like nobody understands you."
It's true. No one really understands what drives a person to supplement a selfless desire to help the community with annoying "Improv Everywhere" whimsy and narcissistic showboating for some film schooler's camera.

Dressed for Halloween? No, to Clean Up Times Sq. [NYT]