Joke’s on You

Joker (comics)

Joker (comics) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next one is one most people will recognize: The Joker.

The Joker is a villain that took some time to grow on me. I never thought of him as a criminal mastermind until I got a little bit older. I can see now that he is truly one of the greatest villains around.

I never collected comic books as a kid. My father was more interested in model trains and computers than comic books and baseball cards. Most of my experiences with heroes and villains came from television shows and movies.

The first Joker I have any recollection of was the one voiced by Mark Hamill on Batman: The Animated Series. This incarnation of the joker was acted incredibly well. The trouble comes from the fact that it was a daytime cartoon for children. All the crimes that The Joker committed were harmless. They were covered in a film of clown jokes and everything always seemed to go wrong for him in the end. He was frequently victim to his own traps and jokes.

This kind of made him feel like he was more jester than villain. He was just there for comic relief. He wasn’t to be taken seriously as a dangerous villain for Batman to deal with.

As I have gotten older, I have been exposed to many different versions of The Joker. The most familiar to people that I know is the incredible version in The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger portrayed an amazing version and I think it would have fallen flat with anyone else. This version really brings the core of The Joker into sharp contrast. He is truly insane.

The Joker has no special powers. He is very intelligent, but he isn’t superpowered. His real advantage is his insanity. It makes him unpredictable, and it removes most of the social constraints that the rest of us possess.

What all this creates is a man who is willing to do anything that suits his purposes. Anything that crosses his mind is in play. He is also actually capable of pulling most of it off. He is a true wild card.

This makes him so incredibly frightening because he is the antithesis of what we work every day to build. People work to build predictability and structure. We rail against our very nature to create a safe and predictable environment to live in. The Joker threatens all of that with his very existence.

We’re also drawn to this. He does things with no moral compass. There are a lot of us who wonder what that would be like. To have true freedom to do whatever you want. It’s unknown, unexpected and scary.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

 

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Series!

Ok, I’m here.

I had an idea. I want to do a series on Villains. Comic books, movies, television, villains from all over. I have some favorites.

I want to tell you why some of my favorite villains are so compelling. I want to introduce them to you if you haven’t ever had a chance to experience them.

I’m going to do a post on each of my favorites. I might find more favorites later, but these will be a good place to start. I need to do a little research and planning first.¬†

So no villain tonight, but I assure you, There will be villains in the days to come!

Escape

It’s spelled just like escape. Es cop ay…

Books, movies, stories, and video games all transport us somewhere. We all have certain ones we enjoy, and we all enjoy certain types. Our reasons are different and they are the same. Escape.

Whether it’s escape from the sadness and frustration of the everyday, or whether it’s just the only place you can be yourself. We all like to escape sometimes.

I feel out of place almost everywhere. There’s a lot of different reasons, but the important part is that I’m always ¬†just a little off. Stories of all type let me have a place to be.

Sometimes I just get involved in those people’s world. Sometimes that’s enough. Other times I want to be involved and play a part in the story. That’s when I like to play games.

Never do I feel as at home as I do when reading a fantasy story. One of the great epics like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The world is so alive and vibrant and I can’t help but be spellbound. That’s where I feel at home. When I’m spellbound by the tales of wonder and bravery.

Tolkien's Cover Designs for the First Edition ...

Tolkien’s Cover Designs for the First Edition of The Lord of the Rings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not scared to admit that I wish I were as strong as they are. I wish I were as upright and brave. I wish I were as steadfast, honorable and daring.

Most days I’m just a person. Moving through this modern world trying to keep from failing. People are built to push and strive, not avoid consequences. It’s a sad reality that these days, there are no great quests. Just trips to the coffee shop and saving money for a retirement that may never come.

One day I hope to have a real adventure. Maybe it will be when I’m Eleventy-One. Maybe it will be tomorrow. All I can do is wake up, get ready for the day, and open my door to the world.

Mr. Fix it.

I recently discovered something about my own personality.

I am a Fixer.

Let me explain, because I’m not using a standardized system here. I’m just basing this on some of my own observations.

There are different types of people. I’m not saying these are all of them by any means, but there are some definite categories.

There are Thinkers. The ‘Thinker’ group includes theoretical scientists and philosophers, people who are most at home pondering and considering big things.

There are Doer. The ‘Doer’ group is full of people who take action and are comfortable doing it. Construction workers, mechanics and farmers are all ‘Doers’

Every ones knows about Heroes. Firefighters, Police officers, and members of the military. The Heroes are all most comfortable doing what the rest of us are aren’t willing or able to do.

Then there’s my group. I’m a Fixer. We’re most comfortable when we’re solving problems.

Now more about me as a ‘Fixer’. I am happiest when I’m ‘The Guy’. You know when they say in the movies ‘I know a guy’? I love being that guy. I am most at home when I am solving problem. I love being the guy people go to to get or fix something no one else can.

This manifests in my love of puzzles, and why I manage to teach myself obscure things that may or not be useful. It makes me excited to be presented with something that everyone else was clueless about, and come out on top.

This is both a good thing and a bad thing for me. Being a fixer means that sometimes I can get a natural high just from fixing a small problem, just because nobody else knew how to fix it. The downside here is that sometimes I have to count on people stressing me out by needing my help, just to get that feeling of accomplishment. It isn’t good to have the bulk of your affirmation come from an outside source, no matter who you are.

For all the pros and cons involved, it’s invigorating to be able to identify such a specific part of my own personality. It leads me to believe that I can use this information to make positive changes in my life. I can embrace the fact that I relish the challenge of a puzzle. I can search out positions where I can make the best use of my desire to be a ‘go to guy’.

I think it’s something I can continue to explore.

What kind of person are you?

-Christopher