I’ve probably mentioned this here before, but if I were a billionaire, beyond doing a lot of the standard things that people say they would do if they were to suddenly find themselves among the world’s richest – quitting my job, giving to charity, etc. – I would invest a significant amount of money into funding research designed for the sole purpose of giving me super powers.
I’m not joking when I say that.
I don’t really believe that it’s possible to develop super powers, but with that much money, why not pursue even the slimmest hope? Besides, I’m sure that other benefits would arise from such research, so why not?
Of course, I’m not a billionaire, and it’s unlikely that I’ll ever be even a millionaire, so it’s all irrelevant anyway.
However, if I had somewhat more money than I have now, I would consider hiring someone to come in and catalogue and archive my comics for me.
When Scott came over on Wednesday, we whiled away the time while watching movies by bagging and boarding all of the comics I’ve bought since I last bagged, boarded, and archived my collection. Based on the number of bags and boards left over, the total was somewhat less than 100 comics, but trying to organize even that number and squeeze them into the drawer boxes with the other comics was a hassle, one which I didn’t complete, and which I would happily pay someone else to do for me.
Speaking of not becoming a millionaire or billionaire, my new year at work got off to a pretty bumpy start.
From April up until a few months ago, the bane of my existence was this piece of busywork known as the Flash Report, a report that I – and one other person – had to put together every week and present to our executive leadership. When they finally hired someone solely for the purpose of doing the Flash Report and I had transitioned out of the role, I breathed a happy sigh.
Unfortunately, that person has been moved onto another project, and I’ve been roped back into working on the Flash Report.
In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t mind doing the Flash Report so much – even though it is a lot of work – if I wasn’t also expected to keep performing my actual job (whatever that is).
I keep being told that “at least it’s good visibility for you.” I guess that’s true, but so far I haven’t seen any benefit from that visibility, and, really, what good does it do me to be “visible” to our Senior Vice President when he seems to be convinced that he’s seeing someone named Jim?
Also on the work front, starting tomorrow my boss is no longer my boss, as she’s been moved to another position (along with one of my co-workers). We don’t have a new boss yet, and we don’t really know if we’re just going to get a different boss and continue doing what we’ve been doing, get merged with another group and continue doing what we’ve been doing, or if we will continue doing what we’ve been doing.
In any case, I like my boss a lot, and our team has really “clicked” over the last several months, so I’m going to miss her and the cohesiveness of our team.
While I’ve seen a couple of the sequels, I’d never watched the original Death Wish until I recorded it off of Cinemax the other night.
It was…interesting, and sort of thought-provoking.
And quip-provoking. (Spoilers, I guess, for a movie that’s nearly as old as I am) When Bronson decided to stick with the vigilante thing even after the cops had figured out who he was and basically told him they’d give him a pass on the killings provided that he put his gun away, I said, to no one, since there was no one else here, “I guess murder is like eating Pringles; once you pop you can’t stop.”
The movie raised a lot of questions about the nature of civilized society, all sorts of “slippery slope” problems, and I was kind of disappointed in its failure to really explore those themes.
Really, it was just an extended version of that joke that states that “a Liberal is just a Conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet.”
One thing that stood out about the movie, though – apart from a young Jeff Goldblum wearing a Jughead hat – was that even though it was made nearly 40 years ago, it had a scene focusing on that old Conservative chestnut about the Liberals taking away our guns, making it seem as though it was a foregone conclusion and was going to happen any minute now (kind of like The Rapture).
Nearly forty years later, guns are still plentiful and readily available, yet people are still…err…shooting off about this.
Okay, sure, there are waiting periods and other restrictions, but it’s still possible to purchase and own firearms.
And really, can anyone point me to any real, concerted effort to take away your guns that’s ever had widespread support? Almost a year after he was sworn in, has Obama made any sort of move towards your guns? At all? Like so many people said he was going to?
I’m not really trying to get political here, but I guess I just want to say that, sure, maybe you feel that you need to keep a watchful eye on your Constitutional rights, and, you know, that’s all well and good, but maybe you shouldn’t get quite so…*Sigh*…up in arms about it unless and until someone actually legitimately does try to infringe on your rights.
Just a thought.
For the record, while I don’t own a gun myself, I do support the rights of citizens to own guns because a. it’s in the Constitution and b. Sweeping gun control laws would never work.
Personally, I’ve never really seen the appeal of guns.
When we were in line at the concession stand when we were seeing Avatar, Scott and Casey were talking about guns and the shooting range, and Scott turned to me and said, “Have you ever shot a gun? I’m sure you have, growing up in Michigan.”
I nodded and said, “I’ve killed things.”
“Oh, right, hunting.”
And I thought, “Yeah…hunting. Sure, that’s the ticket.”
I kid, I kid.
But yeah, I grew up in a house with guns, took a hunter’s safety class, and hunted.
In going hunting I learned something: I have no interest in hunting.
Or, more specifically, I have no interest in killing things for fun. And as for shooting guns…meh.
It just doesn’t do anything for me.
And, again, not really faulting anyone who is into guns or hunting or whatever, I’m just talking about my own experiences.
I suppose a lot of that is my dad’s influence. He’d been a hunter most of his life, but one day when I was still relatively young he went out into the woods, spotted a deer, had the shot lined up in his sights, looked at the deer, decided he just didn't have the heart for it, and never hunted again.
So for me, hunting was never any sort of father-son bonding experience, and honestly, the first time I ever heard him tell someone that story about not taking the shot when he had it – and was greeted with an uncomprehending stare in response – it made me respect him.
So why did I bother trying hunting when I came of age? Well, it’s sort of expected where I grew up, and there have been random times in my life when I’ve attempted – without success, obviously – to be normal.
Hell, there was even a period when I tried watching football in an effort to force myself to learn to like it.
It didn’t take.
I actually attribute a lot of my lack of interest in sports to my dad as well. I mean, he was into sports – basketball was his game – but again, it wasn’t a father-son bonding thing for us, in large part because watching sports was something my dad only did if he had the time for it, and usually he didn't.
Of course, I suppose it all boils down to the fact that my dad wasn't the kind of person who would try to force his kids to follow a specific path.
I suppose you might wonder, then, “Well, what did you and your dad bond over? Did you bond?”
In answer to the second question, yes. As to what we bonded over, it’s hard to say, but I think having a similar sense of humor played a big part in it. And we did spend a fair amount of time together working.
Anyway, back to Death Wish. One of the things that made the movie such a hit, and inspired so many terrible sequels, is that it plugged directly into an idea that is at the core of a lot of people, which is the belief that, when all else fails, they will stand up and be heroes and do what needs to be done, the rules of society be damned.
It’s obviously a powerful belief, and is one that causes movies like Death Wish to resonate.
How much bearing that belief has on reality is another question entirely, and I’m sure there are as many answers to it as there are people.
Still, a while ago, while thinking about this subject, I came up with the following, which I think may be my finest comedic construction : Most men like to think that, below the surface veneer of civilized behavior, at their core, they’re just like Charles Bronson in Death Wish, but the reality is that most of them, underneath it all, are more like Charles Nelson Reilly on The Match Game.