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What Superhero Would You Be? (The Funny Side)

What superhero are you? Pixabay

Sep 16, 2017: As humanity teeters on the edge of annihilation, take comfort that some people are staying focused on the really important questions of life, such as: What Superhero Would You Be?

A discussion of that exact question in this column caused a massive flood of emails, which included a link to astonishing recent findings about the naked mole rat, a phrase I am not using as a metaphor for a certain type of politician, although I do understand how suitable it is for that purpose. No, I am referring to an actual rodent of that name with real “awe-inspiring super-powers”, according to reader Janvi Shah.

This columnist was not totally convinced about its suitability to give its attributes to a superhero, but you decide.

First, naked mole rats don’t feel most types of pain and so you cannot hurt them. Tell them they have a stupid haircut or you don’t like their cooking and they go on smiling. Cool.

Second, naked mole rats are creepily age-proof, like Cher or Jennifer Lopez. After a year or so, the average mouse is using a Zimmer frame and dropping its dentures into its soup. But naked mole rats live for decades, equivalent to a human living for 20 or 30 generations. These critters are the immortals of the rodent world and must be mightily annoying at woodland dinner parties: “Seems like yesterday I was chatting with your great great great great great great great great…” (All guests exit.)

Third, naked mole rats have special cells that eat cancer cells, so save a fortune on health insurance. However, getting dread diseases is one of long list of human characteristics that superheroes don’t share. Superfolk also don’t go to toilets, get anxiety-induced bloating, or faint at the sight of a blackhead being popped (readers, don’t pretend I’m the only one), etc.

Fourth, naked mole rats can alter their metabolisms in emergencies, surviving for up to 18 minutes without oxygen by “effectively becoming plants”, researchers say. Not sure that’s all that amazing, as every Friday night at the bar I find myself surrounded by humans who are effectively becoming vegetables, aided by the consumption of certain popular amber-coloured beverages.

So all in all, naked mole rat abilities get a mixed review as the basis for super-powers. The longevity thing is nice but honestly not much use for a person in tights and a cape who fights bad guys: “You evil super-villains may have used your powers to destroy the city, but I have a longer life expectancy, so there.” Lacks drama.

But the one thing that ultimately disqualifies it as part of a superhero origin story is that it looks horrible. Sorry, Janvi. Pictures show creatures with pale, flabby, unhealthy-looking bodies, horrible skin and bad teeth, reminding me of beach days spent with my middle-aged male friends.

A colleague raised another issue: “People might refuse to go to the eventual superhero movie, because you can read the name as (Naked Mole Rat) (Man) or as naked (Mole Rat Man),” she said.

I decided it was time to avoid that unpleasant thought by “effectively becoming a vegetable”. Cheers!

(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and suggestions via his Facebook page)


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Dinkoism: The New Religion that Worships a Superhero Mouse in Kerala

With over 9000 Facebook followers, Dinkoism has spread around the world.

Dinkoism, India's brand new religion which worships mouse messiah. Image source:
  • Dinkan, a fictional mouse is a native of a fictional Pankila forest from a children’s magazine
  • The core principle of Dinkoists is to make satire of all other religious groups
  • With over 9000 Facebook followers, Dinkoism has become popular around the globe

Established by a group of rationalists in Kerala in 2008, Dinkoism, the newest religion worships a superhero mouse.

Dinkan, the superhero mouse, is a native of a fictional Pankila forest from a children’s magazine. The holy book of Dinkoism  is the comic Balamangalam  which was featured in a children’s magazine series from 1983 to 2012.

According to the Dinkoists, time and space was created by Lord Dinkan. Lord Dinkan was eating a Cassava and he let out a laugh out of boredom which caused the formation of time of space. Thus,Lord Dinkan’s Big Laughter concept replaces the current Big Bang Theory.

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Dinkoism is mainly inspired by a mock religious faith called Pastafarianism, which also has a flying spaghetti monster as a God. They have their own holy book, symbols, priest and parodies of devotional songs, said the report.

The core principle of the Dinkoists is to make satire of all other religious groups though they deny that they are a spoof religion.

Image Source: Facebook

“In our belief, Dinkan is the God who created this world. He is also the one who keeps the world as it is now. And, we believe Dinkoism is the most suitable religion for the modern age. This is the belief part, “says Sukesh Vadavil, spokesperson for the Mooshikasena (meaning mouse army) to Sputnik.

The Sputnik report also states that Dinkoists value human rights and all the modern-day values that a religion should have. Values such as animal rights, gender equality and freedom of speech are the nucleus of the belief.

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Image Source: Facebook

The followers of Dinkoism had celebrated Akshaya Jetteeya on the 8th and 9th of May. They sold undergarments to the public as anyone who buys the undergarments would be blessed by Dinkan and would be prosperous in life, according to Dinkoists’ belief.  Akshaya Jetteeya is a parody on Akshaya Tritiya. Akshaya Tritiya is a holy day for Hindus and Jains. People generally buy gold on the auspicious day, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity.

The event was inaugurated at the historic Mithai Theru in Kozhikode by exchanging brief packets stuck with stickers of Dinkan among themselves. They told the curious crowd that gathered there that buying ‘Jetties’ (briefs) on the auspicious Akshaya Jetteeya day will bring good luck.

‘Akshaya Jetteeya’ and ‘Konaka Tritiya’ was celebrated in Kochi by selling ” undies that can cover the shame of corruption and communalism.”

With over 9000 Facebook followers, Dinkoism has spread around the world.

-This report is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.