It is said that where we have been makes us who we are. I am not sure if that is the exact quote, but it is the exact quote from me. My world was shaped by all kinds of things, actions, and memories. Good decisions, bad decisions, stupid ideas and brilliant ideas. Most of the brilliant ideas are only brilliant to me. In that case, maybe brilliant ideas are not as much of a shaper as the rest.
*I’m an idea man* http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084412/quotes
Of course, my school years shaped my perspectives and some of my ideology after my commencement, for a brief period. I was conflicted. I wanted to have fond memories of the years I was in training and preparation for the world, but I also was so done with all the tests, the rules and the fickle emotionality of youth. I left it all behind, and thought I would never look back. As I age, I realize that it was my life and it happened, so deal with it…I was wrong, it was not so bad…
However, the time I was not in school after the school day ended, and the summers had a greater impact on my life as it is today. When I was not in school I was doing all manner of kid stuff. Much of the things I impulsively acted upon were incredibly stupid, or irresponsible. Some of the things I did when I was young, looking back as a parent now, I would probably ground my kids for life for attempting the same acts. Yeah, or at least threaten the *life grounding*.
Thankfully, we all learn from our mistakes. I will never put my eye out with a BB gun, catch myself on fire with lighter fluid (or ether), or play with gasoline, or WD-40 as napalm on the plastic army men or GI Joe. Fun is sometimes dangerous and dangerous is not always fun.
One thing I know shaped my world when I was young and not practicing what not to let my kids do was comic books and the superheroes in the pages I read. I mowed a ton of lawns to but these monthly magazines of imagination. I read many different titles. Probably a metric ton of lawn mowing!!! I will not bore you with all the titles. That would be ubergeeky. Oh and the super heroines were all HOT and well, HOT!!!
The best thing about the comic book world was the line between good and evil was sharp and clear, whereas the real world is much greyer and skewed. Yes, there are examples and more than I want to even think about, of pure evil in this world today (read: Dick Cheney….seriously? Your name is Dick? Go figure…) Suffice it to say, there are a few piranhas in the gene pool. Jus’ sayin’.
As I think back most of my favorite heroes were conflicted. As many of the readers of this blog know I am conflicted. Or affected. Or crazy, but I digress. But through it all they kept on going. They fought with both real and imagined enemies. I know all the enemies in comics were imagined, because comics are not real, but I think you get what I am saying. Fighting through the conflicts is what they do. It is what we all do. Every day.
And most superheroes had a secret identity. We all have a secret identity. (SI) “The sky is blue, water is wet and women have secrets.” (The Last Boy Scout (1991) I will correct that quote by saying, we all have secrets. Some of them are dark and embarrassing some of them are not so bad, but hey, why dredge up the past. I am not a psychologist so I do not want to analyze this. Suffice it to say that we all need a bit of privacy. In today’s world we are closer to knowing *everything* about *everybody* than ever before. I am not sure how much I like that. But then again, I do like to be the center of attention…
The epiphany ball has struck, I call it the interweb thingy and it has a secret identity. We all know the epiphany ball’s SI as Face Book. I am not sure if it was striking me for some time now, but as I age, and reconnect with so many people from my youth, largely thru face book, and the impending 30th class reunion, it seems it has been hammering me for some time now. I am at peace with this epiphany. Seriously, has it truly been nearly 30 years? I look like I am 24. Maybe I have been in suspended animation.. Ok… not really, but nearly fifty years old? I am calling bullsh>t on that. I still get carded, but that is thanks to the underage drinkers of this era, not so much cuz I am still young.
I am sure that my secret identity is safe…For now… seeing as how I only have like nine admitted followers of this blog. So I have yet to determine what my superpowers are. . or what super hero I will be…However, I think I have the market cornered on bad decisions, so I could be the *Bad Decider*. Bad decider is kind of an antithetical superpower. But wasn’t that moniker taken by GWB? I guess it depends on if you are right or left. If I am going to be a superhero, I want it to be like some of my favorites from my youth not Bad decider guy…
One of my favorites was Swampthing. The dude was a scientist turned into a plant creature when his laboratory was blown up by his enemies. He was always an outsider from then on. He was always looking for a cure. There is some allegorical connection, but that is for another blog. “And if tears could come they would.” He was Conflicted. And a science geek. That science geek thingy kind of backfired on him a bit though.
Wolverine of the X-MEN suffered from amnesia. He didn’t really know where he came from. He was not tall so he had a napoleon complex as well He really did not want to hang with the X-Men either. He had a mean streak and was suffering from wanderlust. CONFLICTED! On top of all that, he had to hang out with scantily clad women, and they really did not find him date bait, so to speak. I guess I could relate to him. Well not the scantily clad women part we had stricter dress codes when I was young and attending high school.
Captain America, was also conflicted. He was in a state of suspended animation, for a couple decades. While I have never slept for two decades, I once stayed in bed for over 24 hours and was not sick. It was cathartic, however. When he came to, WWII was over. The bad guys he was created to fight were all gone. He was an anachronism. That was his conflict. Steve Rogers was also constantly threatening to throw in the towel. But he did not. He kept on. At least as long as I was reading the Avengers and Captain America, he was still doing the right thing.
And as for Spiderman, well Peter Parker was all messed up. Gwen Stacy, his girlfriend, got killed by the Green Goblin. The Green Goblin was his best friend’s dad. Spidey eventually killed the Green Goblin. Harry, his BFF, then became the Green Goblin…DAMN!! Bad stuff!!!! Not only was that he a “teen age wallflower.” That is like ubergeek times ten. “Nuff said” (Stan Lee, Marvel Comics)
It was not until I had kids of my own that I fully considered how much of a geek I was in high school. Now that I look back, it really did not matter anyway. It shaped my four years during which I was attending high school, and maybe left a tinge of regret in the few years afterwards, but seriously, it did not change the world, nor did I. Yet…I think that is on my agenda for next week. I’ll get back to you.
I guess I could be Bloggerman, (Norman, the spell checker suggested Bogeyman) and my super power is to look at the world though a glass half full. It all comes down to perspective. I could be the lady I saw today moving stuff in an open box of a pick-up truck in the rain. That would suck. But not as much as the guys that had the Thule roof rack decide to detach on the expressway, crumbling the two bikes on the back end of the car. Bummer.
I do not have any *glory days* from high school, but as much as I tried to distance myself over the years from high school, I find that the problem with youth is it is wasted on youth. I wish I had enjoyed my school years more than try to avoid it.
However, during June, July, and August, I relished my school years because summer always kicked ass. Well, at least the first couple days before I got bored with sleeping in and staying up late. I think I could be a super hero called Summer Man. I’d stay up late and get up late, and revel in the sunshine, every day. For at least fifteen minute before I got deep red, cancerous sunburn, which regrettably would be my kryptonite.
Another superhero I liked was the Thing AKA Ben Grimm. Even his name is conflicted. Read it again if you don’t get my meaning. (Hint: been grim) The Thing…Everyone else in the Fantastic Four could pass as a normal person. Not Ben. Bummer dude, you’re a big, moving pile of rocks. He may not look normal, but he was super strong. I fail to see how that really makes up for being the only guy in the group that could not hide his identity. But then, the fantastic four didn’t hide their identities. Except maybe for invisible girl…
All my favorites had secret identities. Well except for Ben. That is kind of cool. But in reality we all have a secret identity as well. We all have secrets. I hope none of you are serial killers, but that is a topic for another date. However, all these heroes were always trying to do the right thing. They had issues, but it did not stop them from doing the job. We are all conflicted at times. We all have to do the right thing. We have to figure it out, for ourselves.
Conflicts are easy to resolve if you are comic book hero. You know that two or three issues from now you will have vanquished your current enemy. However, he or she will be back. Kind of like life. We settle conflicts. They reappear. We make decisions. They are not all good. But we keep on persevering. We keep on keepin’ on. And we keep that secret identity hidden…
I used to say I ain’t anybody’s hero. And then I got a puppy and then I had kids. They may not say it, but you can see it in their eyes, both when you are the hero and the villain. (So mark this date!!!) I was wrong. We all are, in some small way, a super hero…
Just another day in paradise