Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

One giant leap for nerdery

So I'm about to get real nerdy. I'll be getting nerdy in 2 ways. 1) I'll be getting nerdy because I'll be discussing the idea of villains and even super villains. And 2) I'll be getting nerdy in that I'll by analyzing a hypothetical question inside of an already hypothetical universes like Middle Earth and Hogwarts.

So you know how just about every fantasy type movie has that ultimate villain? Lord of the Rings had Sauron, a once very big person (at least that's how he looked) who then later was re-born as a giant eyeball mounted on top of a tower. How a turns into b ... well, I don't think anyone knows that.

Voldemort is Harry Potter's version of the super villain. He looks a lot like Ralph Fiennes with a weird nose.

And my favorite Superman super villain is a guy named Zod that wore a badass patent leather jump suit and was awarded the title of General based on nothing at all. I like people that grant themselves titles.

He was also a big fan of the V neck. Huge fan.

Okay, anyway, enough examples. What all super villains have in common is that they want to win. Sauron wants his ring back. Voldemort wants to kill Harry Potter. Zod wants everyone to kneel before him. This makes sense to me. The desire for victory makes sense to me. Most good guys in movies and books have the same desire to win. But their idea of victory is usually a little more one-sided. They just want to beat the bad guy so they can go about their business. If the bad guys weren't around, the heroes would just be doing their thing. If Sauron never existed, The hobbits would be getting drunk in the shire. If Voldemort wasn't around, Harry'd be going to school and living with his parents. And if Zod didn't come down from his planet, Superman would be bumbling around as Clark Kent trying to score with Lois.

So this brings me to my question. What if the heroes weren't around and the villains were? What if the villains won? What exactly would they do?

Let's assume Sauron gets his ring back and then kills off all the humans and dwarves and elves. And then he gets his human form back. And then what? It's just him and a whole load of orcs hanging out at Mount Doom with lava flowing everywhere. Does he take up architecture and build moderately priced housing for all the orcs where Minas Tirath and Rivendale used to be? Weekly poker game with a few lucky chosen orcs?

Or let's imagine that Voldemort kills Harry and then blows up all the wizarding schools and kills off all the muggles. Then what? Does he start up a space program in order to attempt to dominate other planets? Or maye he takes up re-building old cars?

And what happens if Zod kills Superman and then everyone kneels before him? Does he and what's her face start up a family? Do they use their heat vision to become expert arc welders?

None of the above scenarios seem likely to me. I just can't imagine any of these villains knowing how to mind their own business once their lifelong objective (complete global domination) has been achieved. If they were to win, it seems like they'd just pull a Conan.

They'd just sit on their throne til they died of boredom. Maybe that, in the end is what drove them to be super villains. Maybe it wasn't being picked on as a kid or insecurity which led to bullying. Maybe they just sucked at entertaining themselves and made sure to pick an objective that would either take their whole lives to achieve or it would kill them in the process. With that objective in hand, Zod can say "well, it doesn't seem likely that I'll ever be able to defeat Kal-El with his super strength and flying ability and all, but at least I'll never be bored again."

The moral of the story as always is that idle hands are the devil's tools. Oh man, we never even considered what Beelzebub would do if we won out. Let's just be happy that us good guys developed Tivo and the Internet in order to stave off boredom.

(Of course the other moral is that I have way too much time on my hands ... which is a given.)