The new 5Cs

A minister has publicly denounced a “clever and funny”—and by now famous—podcast of a dispute between a bak chor mee vendor and his customer, commenting that such humor could detract from serious political issues. In response, the creators of the podcast clarify that they “were just having fun,” and that their podcast was not intended to replace genuine political discussion.It never ceases to amaze us how life imitates entertainment.In the excellent movie X-men III: The Last Stand, there is a secretary of state dedicated to handling the mutant “problem.” His approach is to cure the mutants. By great good fortune, the government discovers a genetic antidote for the mutant “disease,” and offers it to all willing mutants. But this is only one of several strategies depicted in the movie.Professor Charles Xavier, a telepath, believes in teaching mutants how to control their powers—even though the effort could cause schizophrenia in the said mutant (telepath Jean Grey / Dark Phoenix). The professor’s nemesis, Magneto (who controls magnetism), forms a Brotherhood of mutants—to resist the frightened homo sapiens and to champion homo superior. Inevitably, a showdown between the species occurs. When Dark Phoenix unleashes her terrible Level Five powers against the humans, Wolverine staggers to get close enough to fatally stab (and cull) her with his metal claws. When the dust settles, humans and mutants learn to peacefully co-exist.Mutants are merely a metaphor—for any deviation from normalcy. People who are normal do normal things. They go to school, graduate, get a job, acquire a spouse, produce future worker ants, grow old, expire. Any deviant from this is a mutant—one who has an ability and a soul different from those of normal people. The mutants who walk among us are: comedians, musicians, poets, artists, sculptors, writers, designers, explorers, inventors, philosophers, stargazers, dancers. Individuals.Perhaps we can just contain our mutants.