Nov 23, 2022

It’s Time for Mortal Heroes to Light Up the Cinema

Some suggested pre-fallen idols to choose from on this day after Thanksgiving

By Ed Goldman

Between the Marvel and D.C. universes of all-gender 24/7 super-heroes, you’d think the human race would finally be out of trouble. And yet we still have wars, pandemics, climate change and Alex Jones.

It may be time to drop the “super” and develop some down-to-earth heroes whose powers are within the realm of possibility. Here are six:

ACTUARIAL-MAN: He won’t give you eternal life but he’ll accurately pinpoint when you can reasonably expect to shuttle off this mortal coil, with only a two- to three percent margin of error. (This means he may give you the year, month and day but may be a tad iffy on the specific hour, depending on your locale’s time zone.)

While A-M’s power may sound off-putting, most of us will find it a relief to know we can start skipping those pesky credit card payments, bracing hikes and projected reunion concert of Dion and the Belmonts.

Edgy Cartoon


BLUNDER-WOMAN: She announces her basic motif by pointing out that even though she’s heterosexual (and interested in meeting a guy with whom to share walks on the beach, poetry festivals and the occasional light-opera revival), she wants to be referred to as a hero, not a heroine. “I’d rather be thought a sandwich than a drug,” she says, not caring what anyone thinks. She also thinks women who act should be called actors, funny women are comedians, (not comediennes) and Whoopi Goldberg hasn’t had “work” but “perhaps should consider it.”

Blunder-Woman’s crusade is, she says, is to “make perfect sense when those around you sound like imbeciles.” She makes it a point to show up at buildings when a man is about to open a door for a woman and the woman says, “What a stupid throwback.” At this point, Blunder-Woman grabs the woman by her shoulder pads and says, “Look, the guy was just being polite! He knows you’re capable of opening the door yourself, you cretin!” If at this point the man tries to intervene, explaining to Blunder-Woman that the woman with the shoulder-pads has every right to be indignant, Blunder-Woman will turn on him and yell, “Stop ‘mansplaining’ and being such a wuss!” As Blunder-Woman leaves the scene, the man and shoulder-padded woman decide to have a drink together.  “And if it makes you feel better, you can treat!” the man says jocularly. “What a cheap bastard!” the woman says, storming off.

IRONY-MAN: With the paucity of genuinely witty lines in most superhero movies, here’s a character who does nothing else but stand around spouting them, while wearing a costume and props consisting of a smoking jacket, ascot, dry martini, Cohiba cigar and—in deference to super-hero fashion requirements—underpants worn on the outside. 

Asked if he has a secret identity, Irony-Man says things like, “If it’s an identity, how secret can it be?”, after which he arches an eyebrow, sips his martini and takes a long drag on his Cohiba. The person he says this to queries, “Am I supposed to find that witty?” “No,” says Irony-Man. “Ironic, isn’t it?”

ANTI-MAN: This mortal hero can be portrayed by a man, woman or person in transition (by which I don’t mean “between jobs”). He/she/they would battle the flaccid forces of machismo wherever he/she/they find it, such as in:

(a) Reverse-mortgage promotions featuring Tom Selleck, which seem less like ads for a home refinancing product than an endorsement for Grecian Formula hair dye and jet-black mustache mascara;

(b) Blake Shelton Facebook posts in which he urges anyone who doesn’t like guns to smooch his rural rear-end; and

(c) Alex Jones.

CATTY-WOMAN: Wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the legend “Dis Is Your Life,” Catty-Woman interviews people just off the red carpet at film and fashion-show openings, urging them, regardless of gender(s) to say bitchy things about the people on the red carpet, especially Ryan Seacrest.

Catty-Woman: When will we know Ryan is over-exposed? 

Edna from Billings, Montana: When he starts attending the opening of envelopes. 

Catty-Woman: Did you like Jennifer Lopez better when she was J-Lo, Jenny from the Block or one half of Bennifer?

Dale from Bellflower, California: I liked her better when she was one-half of J-Rod and J-Marc. But I still nurture the hope of her one day becoming part of J-Dale.

THE INEDIBLE BULK: At long last, instead of superheroes appearing on cereal boxes, the cereal box will become the hero itself. The box will still need to make public appearances and the manufacturer is looking to hire an avatar for what’s essentially, a non-thinking lumpy box with zero nutritional value.  Alex Jones is said to be a leading contender.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President, Golden Pacific Bank, a Division of SoFi Bank, Inc.

photo by Phoebe Verkouw


Last week I had the fortune of introducing Dr. Matthew Walker, a prestigious medical doctor who specializes in sleep, at the Sacramento Speaker series that Golden Pacific Bank, a division of SoFi Bank, proudly sponsors.

Dr. Walker is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the founder/director of the Center for Human Sleep Science. His research examines the impact of sleep on human health and disease.

According to Dr. Walker, almost 35 percent of the U.S. population fail to obtain the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep a night. (In the United Kingdom and Japan, up that figure to 39 and 66 percent, respectively.)

Do you fall into that percent of our population who sleep six hours or less? If so, you may be surprised to find that by routinely sleeping this amount, you may be weakening your immune system—and substantially increasing your risk of certain forms of cancer. Getting less sleep also appears to be a key lifestyle factor linked to your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and congestive heart failure.

Sound alarming? It did to me.

How does this all translate to the workplace? Have you, as a manager, ever recommended to an employee to get more sleep? Maybe you should.

Sleep is a sensible approach to employee health, safety and conduct. Per Dr. Walker, “a study across four large US companies found that insufficient sleep cost almost $2,000 or more per employee per year in lost productivity.” That’s measured in lost creativity, intelligence, motivation, effort, efficiency, effectiveness, safety and a darn lousy demeanor (last part was my unscientific observation).

Please consider this wake-up call: Get some sleep!

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