NEAL CONAN, host:
It's Tuesday, the day we read from your e-mails.
Last week we previewed a new series from Marvel Comics about a superhero civil war, the likes of Iron Man and Captain America are required by the government to unmask and register. Some refuse and the split turns hero against hero.
That brought this observation from Samantha Wells from Boca Raton, in Florida.
Comic heroes are no longer the superficial white hats against the bad guys. They often include complex characters with varied pasts and backgrounds. They have distinct personalities. They are people haunted by their mistakes and taking joy in their successes. They also provide a wonderful metaphor for our lives, be it political, social, economic, or personal.
We also talked last week about all the personal information that's available online about most of us. Just type your name into Google and see what comes up.
Linda Mitchell is a professor in Alfred, New York. She found herself and her colleagues online at rateyourprofessor.com.
As you can imagine, she wrote, the information on this site is pretty awful. My conversations with students suggest that the vast majority of postings come from disgruntled students. Fortunately, comments from the site are not yet fodder for tenure discussions. But, I admit, that I worry about things like that.
CONAN: Another listener Googled himself and had a different kind of story.
I found some things I had written, he wrote. But what I really found was an incredible wealth of family history. My grandfather's first-hand account of his World War II experience is online. I'd heard bits and pieces of my grandfather's experience, but never the whole account.
In our TALK OF THE NATION Opinion Page this week, writer Ariel Dorfman(ph) talked about the debate over singing the National Anthem in Spanish. He says, “Get used to it. America's becoming a bi-lingual country.
That notion did not sit well with Amy Jorgensen(ph).
Even multi-language countries have an official language, she wrote. We have to find something, somewhere, somehow, that all citizens can have in common, culturally. It seems like the National Anthem is a reasonable place to start. We are enriched by immigrants and their culture, but I don't see the basic human right associated with having an alternative National Anthem.
Dave Sharamey(ph), in Louisiana, doesn't understand what all the fuss is about.
What's the big deal about another version of the Star Spangled Banner? In French-speaking south Louisiana, not only do we have a Cajun version of the National Anthem, we even have a French version of the Pledge of Allegiance.
(Soundbite of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Jimi Hendrix)
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