Zero, Jonah and D are members of the New York Initiative, a group of ordinary people dedicated to extraordinary change through community activism, education and intervention. The NYI was one of several groups of “real-life superheroes” featured in the HBO documentary “Superheroes”, but they prefer to be labeled – if at all – as “Extreme Altruists”. Note: There was a little echo in this recording. Efforts have been made to remove it, but some still lingers.
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When I was seven, I told my teacher that when I grew up, I wanted to be a comedian like Johnny Carson. What I didn’t tell her was that I also planned on putting on a mask and fighting crime. Of course, like everyone else, my childhood dreams were shoved through the meat grinder of reality, and I hung up my cape along with my fantasy.
I’d forgotten all about it when, twenty years on, I saw a documentary on HBO entitled Superheroes. It followed grown-ass adults, calling themselves “Real-Life Superheroes” (or RLSH), who dress up in spandex and go out “on patrol.” They even have forums hidden in the backwoods of the internet, where they can trade training tips, war stories, and sweet pics of their sweet costumes.
But one of the groups featured in Superheroes wasn’t like the others. They called themselves the New York Initiative.… Read the rest