A razzmatazz of graphics, a deafening background score and full-throated theatrical commentary preludes the appearance of Blabberman.
Every night, for an hour, he unleashes his powers to safeguard the petrified dimwits from the proverbial ‘bogeyman’. Wearing a scowling mask, a shining black jacket and an invisible cape, he looks around with an incriminating gaze. No one can see the superhero underwear worn over his pants because the news desk hides it from plain sight. Blabberman disguises himself as a journalist. It’s a carefully designed ruse to hide his real identity. He is armed with sheaves of supercharged papers which, when waved vigorously, can generate a frenzy of calamitous proportions.
Yet, he doesn’t fancy using his weapon. Instead he relishes deploying his superpower – a deafening scream. His spine chilling, nerve-wracking screams paralyse his opponents. His adversaries can only gasp and cringe, so numb that they can’t even utter a word. Once they’re on the mat, Blabberman utters his quintessential superhero catchphrases, ‘fire-with-fury’; ‘eye-for-an-eye’; ‘no-place-for-cowards’.
As his name would suggest, blabbering is another of his supernatural skills. He has the gift of gab. The sermonising monologue typically goes like this, ‘The most important point is blabber, blabber, blabber, and blabber, yes, and just for your information, blabber, blabber, however, blabber, blabber before you could blabber, blabber, I put before you a question blabber, blabber and some more blabber?’
This superhero has a superego. No one dare offend him while he discharges his sacred duty, for it can trigger a ten-minute blabber, punctuated only with threats. The blabber is in its purest form, cleansed of all human infirmities like humility, neutrality and reason.
In the binary structure of a superhero narrative, truth is always on Blabberman’s side. Whatever the script may be, he is always right. He is indubitable and unblemished. He decides what is good or evil. He draws the distinction between black and white. He certifies intentions. He is a ‘Mr Know-it-all’. He believes in imparting instant justice rather than wasting time on inconsequential fact finding. Mind you, this superhero is no journalist or lawyer. He is the judge, jury and executioner.
He has vowed to rid the nation of the super-villain Bogeyman. The beastly Bogeyman is ubiquitous. Over the years he has degenerated, mutated and multiplied into every nook and cranny of the country as ‘antinatards’, ‘paktards’, ‘terorrtards’ and ‘refugitards’. While the annihilation of the Bogeyman and the other degenerates is a revered objective, Blabberman’s folklore needs a Bogeyman to grow. The more vicious the Bogeyman is made to appear, the more cherished Blabberman’s stature becomes.
Stature is also known as ‘The-Respect-Potential’ or ‘TRP’ in Blabber-world parlance. This TRP has inspired many others to choose the path of self-righteousness. Blabberers of all types and varieties have discovered their blabber strains and have come forth to decimate the heinous dominion of the Bogeyman. Blabberman is now ably aided by a team of garrulous hyperboles and story spinners – blabberbaby, blabberkid, blabbergirl, blabberdog and blabberwoman.
Blabberman dreams of creating a utopian land or ‘Patrioton’. The inhabitants of Patrioton will have no diversity. They will have unidimensional thinking, unanimous opinions and coherent thoughts. There will be no dissent, disagreements or ethnic differences. Nothing to jeopardise unison.
Blabberman’s tribe has gained clout and sanctity. The superhero derives his brawn from the blissful ignorance of humans. Blabberman can tap into this abundant resource and play on human emotions by whipping up some jingoism and hysteria.
Like other superheroes, he too has a weakness. It’s called rationality. Emanating from radioactive ‘Acumen’ crystals, rationality has a debilitating effect on Blabberman. For Blabberman to thrive, it is crucial that these harmful substances be driven into oblivion.
Shadab Rizvi currently works for a renowned financial firm at Mumbai. A finance professional by day and a writer by night, he writes on a variety of topics ranging from finance to politics.