I recently asked my kid a question. While I thought it was harmless, it actually turned out to be the catalyst for a great debate.

Why do we celebrate villainy?

Think about it for a minute people: everyone knows the guy pictured above, because he’s just as popular (if not more so) than his anti-hero nemesis—The Batman. People love Spiderman’s nemesis, Venom. Never mind the fact that Eddie Brock’s a roided maniac symbiotically fused to an alien creature, both hell-bent on murdering a teenage boy. Do I even need to mention Darth Vader, and his popularity? Okay, I will. Somehow, the Dark Side of the force is more seductive than the good side. It’s probably the black cape that comes with the Sith mantra.

You know, while I’ve named a few fictitious characters, the examples still shed light on a disturbing fact. People love the bad guy, as long as his form of bad doesn’t invade their personal space. Think of how many kids idolize the neighborhood dope-boy. They think it’s cool to get out into the streets and hustle for illegal gain through genocide, than to actually apply themselves to make an honest living. How many kids aspire to be cops, not for the privilege of upholding the law, but for the right to carry and use a gun? How many people are actually still defending Kwame Kilpatrick despite overwhelming evidence of his wrongdoing while in office, as a major metropolitan mayor?

We love the bad guy! People hate Superman’s boy-scout demeanor. Folks wanted Batman to be rougher, so we have a black-clad Dark Knight. Nerds are shunned until they grow up to become rich men and successful business women. No one respects a pastor until they find themselves in trouble.

I guess…what I’d like to see in my lifetime…is a generation who actually teaches their children to love and respect the good guy. If one good guy inspires two to become good guys…and so on…we might be surprised at what happens to the world we live in. Everything seems so upside down right now.




Light the Fire, Babe

One day, Panic and Mayhem decided to take the day off. Hey, even the chaos-couple need time to recharge their batteries, every once in awhile. After carefully searching for the perfect picnic location, the duo finally settled on a secluded and manicured lawn that just so happened to belong to a church.
“Are we really gonna do our barbeque/cookout right here, P? I thought we were vacationing today?” Mayhem scanned the area, grimacing at the pristine pine shrubs, and the delicately blooming geraniums. “Humph,” she touted, “I don’t want to be here surrounded by all this…this…order, and…yuck…beautification.”
“C’mon May,” Panic said, “Have I ever let you down, babe? Just you wait. Once we get the fire stoked, I believe we’re gonna have one heck of a celebration going on here.”
No sooner had the words been spoken, did luck roll a pair of sevens. Panic and Mayhem glanced toward the parking lot, at the sound of an SUV rolling to a halt. A casually dressed, forty-something year-old man hopped out of the driver’s seat. As the door shut, he gazed into the tinted window to replace an unkempt strand of hair. Next, he grit his teeth, presumably checking for food particles. The man smiled and winked at his reflection before walking toward the fence separating the parking lot from the sanctuary yard. Panic and Mayhem exchanged dastardly grins.
“This may be fun after all, P.”
“Yep, here comes our raw meat. Sick him, May.”
The stranger stepped toward Mayhem with an outstretched hand and a false smile plastered across his face. Mayhem knew deep down, this guy simply wanted to know just who the heck these two trespassers were.
“Well howdy, friends!” The stranger bellowed. “I’m deacon Jameson Johnson. Pleasure to meet you miss…”
“May…Hemister. My friends call me May, deacon. This is my fiancée, Pan.”
“Pan. Well I must say young man, it’s a rather…unusual name,” the deacon said.
“Yes well, my parents came from…the…uh…old country. Pleasure to meet you as well, deacon.” Panic moved in and clasped the deacon’s hand. In a split second, he read the innermost desires, hidden fantasies, and secret fears of the deacon. Panic flashed a wicked grin and winked at Mayhem. The deacon flinched but maintained his smiled.
“Wow, that’s some hand shake you’ve got there, young fella. Sooo…what brings you folks to the church this fine afternoon?”
“Well deacon…” Mayhem started.
As she spoke, Panic mentally ran through his checklist of the deacon’s secret fears, and quickly found the chink in his armor: the SUV. It seemed the good deacon secretly and blatantly disregarded the Old Testament first commandment.
“Got it, May. Light the fire, babe.”
“Excuse me for a moment, deacon.” May stepped to the side and snapped her fingers.
“Fire? Are we having a cookout I was unaware of,” the deacon asked Panic.
“Quite the contrary, deacon. In fact, you’re our guest of…” Panic suddenly mimicked a look of surprised awe. He gazed into the sky above the deacon’s head. “My word! What on earth is that?” He yelled, pointing to the sky above.
Deacon Johnson followed Panic’s bewildered gaze, just in time to see a blazing object falling from the sky toward…
“My new truck!” Deacon John yelped.
A meteorite, the size of a soccer ball, smashed through the roof of the shiny SUV. The bulky truck exploded in a violent flash of twisted metal and burst into flames. Mayhem howled in laughter. Deacon Johnson was frozen in shock, staring at the flaming monstrosity. Panic crept behind the deacon, and gently blew onto his right ear lobe. The elder man screamed in terror.
“My truck! Oh my Lord, my beautiful truck! Ahhh! What was that?! Look at my truck!”
The deacon ran in circles, screaming at the top of his lungs. Mayhem snapped her fingers again, and a bonfire pit materialized out of thin air.
“Fire’s ready, hun,” she whispered to Panic.
“Hey deacon, relax. I’m sure your God has everything well in hand,” Panic chided.
Deacon Johnson spouted obscenities at Panic, before cursing God for destroying his new truck.
“Now that’s exactly what I wanted to hear,” Panic said. He snapped his fingers, and deacon Johnson collapsed onto the lawn; dead of a heart attack.
The bonfire suddenly plumed as the deacon’s wretched soul jumped from his lifeless body and landed in the fire pit. Panic wrapped his arms around Mayhem’s waist as the two watched the fire burn.
“Good meat,” Panic said.
“Yep, didn’t take much to tenderize it,” Mayhem said.
So, what’s the moral of the story, you ask? Simple: be careful what you covet.