While heating up a Lean Pocket (I swear, so addictive!), I was listening to what I believe was the latest podcast episode of This American Life. For those who haven't heard it before: one, it's a weekly radio show that features different stories, one theme at a time; two, shame on you, go download it now!
This week superpowers were the subject to be analyzed. It was the first act that caught my attention. John Hodgman mused on the ultimate battle of the superpowers: flight or invisibility, which is better? He asked random people, and explored not only what we would do with a lone power, but what out choice says about us.
Aside from instantly thinking, 'This would make an awesome Sarah Lawrence conference paper!' (because I am who I am and I can't help it), I of course made my own choice of superpower.
I would undoubtedly choose flight. To me, it's a positive power, where invisibility is a negative power. I don't mean that as a judgement, but that it's a power of taking something away. When you fly, you get to go places and see things that others never get the chance to. When you're invisible, you're eliminating yourself. Sure, you still get to see things others never get the chance to, but it's all stuff you probably don't want to see, like what people think of you when you're not around.
And think about it: if you could suddenly fly, you could tell all your friends and they'd probably think it was super-cool. They'd be jealous, sure, but they wouldn't suddenly be paranoid that you were spying on them when they least suspected it. Also, flying is a much less perverted power.
Now, I don't want to alienate the invisibility-choosers out there. I can see the temptation of being able to hear those dirty little secrets and sneak into movies for free. I just can't help it, the idea of touching a cloud is still totally more awesome in my geeky little mind. I would also seriously consider accepting the ability to breathe under water and fulfill my Little Mermaid dreams.
So if anyone finds a two-pack of superpowers and wants to be the creepy invisible dude, give me a call and I'll take that flying power off your hands.