Tuesday, October 18, 2011 This Week's Loose Ends

OM freaking G, I am never going to get through Z is for Zombie at this rate. I am watching the films at a fairly decent pace, but it's taking me forever to write up the entries and my schedule is a mess as it is.  Work has slowed down a little, but I'm worried that it's because it's not because I am caught up but because I am forgetting something really important. 


Speaking of work, I had a fairly weird morning yesterday. As I was pulling out of the garage, I again spotted the woman who lurks in my alley. She's out there day and night, not smoking or texting or anything but just standing around.  It's getting pretty danged obvious that she's a lookout and there's a meth lab or something across the way from me.  Joy.

Once I was on the expressway, I was almost in an accident when some douche in a Scion cut me off right before the car now in front of him slams on the brakes. It was a very close call, followed almost immediately by another near miss when the pick-up truck behind me swerved around and across several lanes to cut-off the Scion in an apparent act of retaliation.

When I got to the parking lot, I was flagged down by a couple of guys who thought I worked there. It took some effort to convince them I didn't.

Finally, a couple of blocks from my office, I saw this:

A futile gesture from an aggrieved commuter, or a sign of some shadowy internecine struggle?


My buddy Garz passed on a blog entry about supposed Mothman sightings in my own fair metropolis. The behavior of the critter in the first report seems less like that of John Keel's harbinger of doom and more like that of the Mad Gasser of Matoon.  Flying around in broad daylight, as in the second reported sighting, doesn't match up with the Mothman M.O. either.  Maybe it isn't an ultraterrestrial but an honest-to-gosh superhero or villain making the scene?  A geek can dream.


While on the topic of superheroes (segues, kids - they're not just geek transport), I have been following the case of Phoenix Jones, self-styled superheroic defender of Seattle.  The links below have all the details, but essentially a member of the Real Life Superhero Movement was arrested for assault after using pepper spray on a small crowd.  Jones' claims he was breaking up a fight; the victims claim they were just dancing.  Luckily, Jones had a camera crew with him and the recording backed up his side of the story.  No charges were filed.

I'm glad nobody was seriously hurt, but I am convinced it's only a matter of time before someone is.  Take a look at Phoenix Jones' Wikipedia page.  It mentions a couple of incidents where Jones was attacked with a gun or knife, and a quick perusal of the linked articles turns up a couple more.  Crime-fighting is dangerous work even for police officers with their training and equipment and training and backup and, you know, training.  An enthusiastic amateur is looking for trouble in more ways than one. 

And even if these reports are just Jones puffing up his own reputation, it's still a worrying sign.  A central part of the superhero fantasy is putting  foot up evildoer ass.  At some point escorting old ladies through dark parking lots is not going to be satisfying enough.

I love comics and I had superheroic dreams of my own while growing up.  Part of me is thrilled that people are trying to bring those stories to life.  But the Real Life Superheros are walking a razor line.  They are trying to live out a fantasy that revolves around violent conflict, and their activities bring them into contact with people who are more than willing to indulge them in that violence.  Sooner or later, some would-be hero is going to get carried away and commit an actual assault.  Sooner rather than later, some would-be hero is going to get killed.

Links: Seattle's self-styled superhero arrested (CNN)
          Unmasked Seattle superhero vows to keep fighting crime (MSNBC)