being super

I wondered if I could be a superhero. That really is how this starts, but that’s only the start.

Seriously, I am actually taking the time to ponder this stray thought and the ramifications if I ever come across a glowing green ring or radioactive spiders, perhaps even some gamma ray spewing machine. If there is someone reading this that is super smart and rich, I’d be willing to test drive any new power suits you may happen to design that would fit me. But call my AI Alex, just in case I want to change from a male to a female voice. (Note to Amazon, I want to be able to call my Echo Alex.) (PS: look up ways that supervillains have been made.) Moving on.

Villain or Hero. I can take out the super prefix and this still works.

How would I really decide if I wanted to do good or evil? Now I didn’t say BE good or evil. That would require brainwashing, chemicals, perhaps even mystical powers to change the personality or soul to be BE good or evil. I’m also choosing not to say good and bad. Bad would be putting a flaming bag of poo in front of someone’s door. This pondering requires a higher level of wrongdoing, hence, evil.

While there might be pure souls out there, I’d hazard a guess that most of us float around inside. By that I mean we are capable of doing both good and evil things. I can be humming a merry tune walking down the road and help that little ole lady across the street. Most people would consider that good. I could also choose not to help her. I would put that in the not good but not evil section. Maybe 49% good, 51% evil. If I didn’t see her I’d call it fair at 50/50. And pushing her into street would be an evil thing. I think these distinctions are clear. I do admit that trying to define the boundaries between hero/superhero and villain/supervillain is not so easy. I’m guessing it’s a status thing like being a star vs a superstar. Don’t forget to wash your hands if you found yourself grabbing your armpits.

If I use ‘classic’ ideas on this, the hero is usually self sacrificing and in general what would be called a ‘dogooder’. (Thor)

The villain on the other hand is the one who likes to cause mischief because they take pleasure in it. (Loki)

Setting ants on fire with the magnifying glass as a child may be misguided but seeking out another child to burn slips into the evil side. Think The Good Child. Creepy and good movie by the way. (Note to self, try and watch 7 again, even if it was uber creepy and nightmare inducing.)

The majority of those who walk down one of these paths will continue down that chosen path. The hero will continue to save the cat in the tree and the villain will continue to scare the cat right back up. There may be those rare few out there that switch sides. The hero’s beloved is killed because she was too trusting and shared her secret identity to someone that wasn’t as good about keeping it and now she’s on a murderous rampage. The villain might have had an epiphany and a single seed of rainbow juice crept into them to start them on the path into righteousness. Either could have also been in the closet about their true nature and just went with it. Peer pressure sucks in any situation.

I don’t think I have what it takes to be a villain let alone a super villain. The constant evildoing just seems like an awful amount of work but what do you really get out of it. I’d really need to attend an evil job fair to talk to some folk about this. Yeah the money is probably good but are there secret evil dance clubs or lounges? Where would I get my groceries? I assume the quality would be superb since I would just take whatever I want. Skipping the checkout lane would be a major bonus. Waiting in the 15 items and under lane with a full cart and just walking through  once it’s my turn… priceless evil.

Are there many villains that carry secret identities? I can’t imagine that a supervillain would want a secret identity unless it was part of a plan. They would want to flaunt their evilness. The superhero is probably getting sent gifts and invited to cool places and getting into the popular clubs, and getting laid. I almost left that last part out. At first I was thinking that would be an abuse of the position and would relegate said person to hero status instead but on reflection, that would be vilifying sex. (Why does vilifying only have one l?) If two people consensually decide to go for it, that’s an ok thing, even if it might be from ‘hero worship’. Looking up to someone is a gradation and hard for me to define the lower and upper limit. As well, two (or more) people have their own reasons, perhaps dare say, love. Using superpowers to attract the other person would be the no-no and abuse. It would be enough to knock someone right out of hero status. That’s not to say that the villains are being left out. There are assuredly evildoer groupies out there as well for the villain to get some action. Whether or not they need to, they are probably using their powers if they have them, it’s just more evil that way.

As I was pondering on this possible career change a problem occurred. Neither category works for me. Where my thinking went on this was that I would head down a third path. Including the evildoing above (who really wants to change identities just to pick up some milk?), I don’t get announcing myself before appearing to save the day. Doesn’t that just give the evildoers a chance to get away or set something up to harm me? What’s the point in that? Hmm… as I’m writing I’m seeing batman as a possible mentor. (Note to self, find the bat cave.) (PS: Without superpowers this would require me to be in naturally shape. Restart eating better and exercising tonight.) Just to make things clear, I’m NOT looking to be a sidekick. (What the hell is a sidekick, a kick to the side? Note to self, look up what kick might have meant. ?partner?). I’m also not looking to wear spandex. Too many people already wear it.

So where does this leave me? I already have one job. It’s keeps me busy and there is always more to learn within it. I’m tabling this job change for now, until/unless one of the prescribed methods of power acquisition occurs. There would be much more pondering needed should this happen. As well, what if I was given supervillain powers. I would then have to start pondering the intrinsic nature of said powers as to whether it is the power or the user of the power that would define one as hero or villain.

Anyone with superpowers please feel free to comment on this. It would be helpful research.


money money money

It started with rolling eyes that a family decided to go through the 15 items or less line with a big cart while I had two items. Who doesn’t get that feeling that you just want to get through the ‘quick’ line. They met the criteria by spreading the purchases 15 items at a time over each family member. What progressed next is something that sits with disquiet inside of me from different angles and for different reasons.

These items were bought using EBT cards. I have nothing negative to say about the intent. At one point in life I was on medicaid when I was making enough. I chose not to apply for the food stamps but that was based on my economics as I felt I had enough to buy what I needed and didn’t need the extra. The health insurance was more than enough to help me at the time until I was making enough to get off medicaid.

But tonight I had that glimpse into the concerns of state and federal officials around the country that are trying to limit the types of purchases that are made. When I did some cursory web research into the food stamp/EBT program, the initial reasons for the program are not where we are at now in a direct manor. Part of the food stamps were for surplus foods. As the government does heavily subsidize farms, an argument could be made that all that corn and the things that are made from it like corn chips and fructose corn syrup could be surplus items and go right along with the idea of being bought as surplus food.

The problem I had tonight was more social in nature. One of the women appeared to call someone to get the pin that she couldn’t remember as it locks out after three wrong attempts. As well about 3 out of 4 of the items appeared to be what people would classically define as junk food. More than that were the two overweight preteen girls which nice smiles that would be even better if wasn’t for all the caps on the their teeth, presumably from a history of cavities. It was for this that I could see why there are those out there wanting the public funds spent on quality food. It does become an elitist idea though that the junk food and sugary sodas should be there for the rich(er) folks that can afford to eat unhealthily but actually, we probably shouldn’t have it to buy to begin with. I still don’t understand why cigarettes are even legal. I can see how it would be difficult for governments to regulate items they think are better or worse. I haven’t researched yet into seeing if there are standard definitions for things like junk food and soda. Should people have to show they are buying a certain amount of nutritious foods? Since the EBT is electronic I’d bet that the information on what is being purchased it being collected, even if anonymously. Some people’s health plan will not reward you if you have worse labs or smoke or such. Perhaps something similar here. A reduced overall amount on the EBT but you get a ‘bonus’ when you buy nutritious things? It’s complicated I get it. I am thankful that there are farmer’s markets that do take EBT cards. I wonder how many people use them there.

From a short term perspective, who cares. Let everyone just do what they want. But then why did we get rid of the trans fats or why even regulate what goes into foods if the customer is the one that gets to decide if they should have access to anything and everything they want, an argument from some that those with EBT cards should not be restricted from ANY purchases.

From the long term view, we are killing ourselves. I’m lump myself in the short term category today. While I was buying fresh fruit tonight, I can’t say the cereal with sugar I had for breakfast was a good choice. I still need to exercise more and take better care of myself. It’s a process that has its ups and downs as I slip in and out of good choices. More of the choices are better these days but it’s still a continual work in progress and one that I don’t think I can ever really relax on or I’ll slide right back down into the easier but worse choices.

I am caught in that dilemma of choices on the EBT cards but I probably would have to say that I’d sway more into the side of saying buy what you want with the public money but with restrictions. For the time being ‘luxury’ items are called that for a reason. In a similar idea, if you’re getting unemployment, should you be able to spend that money on anything you want or should it be just for ‘living’ expenses and work related. For me living is also about traveling and experiencing new things, even if it’s a trip down a local road I haven’t been down in a few years.

A head scratcher to be sure. But I can’t scratch my head too much. There isn’t that much hair left.