I Am Batman

Settle Down, I’m Just Making a Point

This is a blog inspired by yet another conversation I had with fellow Convocation member Jar Jar Hater (an endless fount of countervailance). Without going into details, because those are usually just starting points for discussions that leave people dumbfounded by my opinions (not always in a good way), let’s just say that the eventual statement was made, “I’m Batman.”

Before you run with that one and think that I have some sort of a hero complex (I don’t, it’s a martyr complex) I was speaking metaphorically. I don’t actually put on a costume and beat up criminals. (I turn on the porch light and glower at the young’uns what been wakin’ up the kids.)

But there is a reason I identify with the character so strongly.

Philosophies

Like Batman, I view people as flawed creatures who still make the right choices when they take the time to think about them. When they rush to decide, or they use their emotions and immediate desires as the basis of their decisions, they screw up.

Sometimes, you need to remind them to stop, breathe and think.

So without going into specifics, Jar Jar Hater and I were walking and talking among a loose group of people. Inspired by the surrounding group, we discussed a hypothetical situation that could occur, and in light of that hypothetical I commented that if necessary I’d tackle someone at the knees to stop such a hypothetical from becoming a practical example.

Jar Jar Hater, and another member of the conversation, asked why I’d feel compelled to do that.

It was at that point that I said, with just a hint of ironic self–deprecation, “I’m Batman.”

What That Means

I was asked to clarify. What I laid out at the time, and what I lay out here is: Batman is about prevention.

The response was, as seems to be the increasing case in our relativistic culture, to ask what “business” it would be of me to stop certain things from happening.

I suppose I don’t have a terrific answer for that. Too many of us, myself included, have become too adept at semantics to argue coherently on the subject of self–determination. After all, I suppose it depends on what your definition of the word ‘is’ is.

But the simple fact is, if people are going to “do something bad” then my momentary intrusion on things won’t stop a good decision, or put an end to something people are determined to do, will it?

I ask this sincerely: What’s so wrong about seeing a situation where some thought might make things better, and trying to make people reconsider things for a moment?

Don’t We All Have Moments?

Don’t we all have moments where we look back and think, “If only someone had made me stop and think that one through?”

I cannot possibly be the only one.

I suppose I look out into people’s actions and think about what a positive it can be when someone – anyone – steps up and says, “you need some help with this?” Isn’t that one of the reasons why they ask, during marriage ceremonies, if anyone has something to say that might impact the life–altering decision they’re about to undertake?

I know we view it as a formality now. Maybe that’s a symptom of the problem. Maybe someone should tackle the groom at the knees, hit him in the head and shout, “Dude, really? What the Hell?”

Start with Friendship, Work Backward

We’re all asleep at the wheel with this, and thus we keep sliding toward a more libertine environment. And even speaking as someone who’s a “moderate libertarian“®™, that’s not a good thing.

To tie it in with a discussion I had with Agent Bun a very long time ago, when a friend of hers was making some bad choices, I pontificated that the whole point of a friendship is to stand in the breach and be that voice of reason that simply asks, “Are you sure you want to do this?” You don’t stop being their friend if they make a bad choice, but at least you gave them a reason to stop and think.

So again, it’s not trying to live their life for them. Hawk can tell you without hesitation that one of the cornerstones of our friendship all these years is the simple fact that we can gently call bulls*** on each other. More than he, I’ve pushed on and made some terrible decisions – but he was always sure to say under his breath, “You sure about this?”

I Have to Go There

And to tie it in to Star Wars (because I can) this is a caveat for any argument that Qui–Gon would have made Anakin a better Jedi (more to come on that soon enough).

One of Qui–Gon’s key points of advice was, “feel, don’t think.” What the Hell kind of advice is that outside of a Podrace?

For an even more delicious irony, Obi–Wan specifically tells Anakin to think and stop relying on emotion to make his decisions in Episode III. So in that sense, he’s being a good friend.

After all, if I listened solely to my feelings on things, I’d likely have beaten someone to death by this point in my life.

That’s not an exaggeration.

Logic!

To borrow some wisdom from Spock, logic is the beginning of wisdom; you may not make a purely logical choice (emotion, intuition and logic are the big three important factors) but make sure you know you’re making a thoughtful choice.

And to be thoughtful, you need logic.

And in the end, isn’t Batman a physical manifestation of that logic?

Not really. But it’s part of what he is.

He’s the balance of those big three: emotion, intuition and logic. And the more I think about it, that makes Batman even more super awesome because emotion, intuition and logic are expressed in Bones, Kirk and Spock and they’re super awesome just on their own.

In Conclusion

Batman is more than just a crime fighter, and his motivation is more than just revenge.

Batman is about prevention. He is about holding the line, taking the shots and showing that we can be better than we are; though flawed himself, he never stops trying to be better. Discipline and dedication shape his world, and he learns from each mistake to become better.

And he shares that example with people as best he can. Not in a prideful way, but because he knows that it’s our responsibility to be better. It’s our responsibility to get stronger and find the way to the right choices, and to help others be better when they feel they might falter.

And where he’s divergent with Superman is that he’s about showing each individual how to be better. Instead of a collective reliance on someone else, if you show the example to enough people, eventually it’s going to stick with someone and from there, it can grow and spread from person to person and get better.

So yeah, I’m Batman. Kind of.

35 thoughts on “I Am Batman

    1. CSM? Really?

      Of course this “what makes you” argument is something I tried to circumvent/address in the blog to begin with, around the 11th paragraph.

      When someone’s action could lead to regret, and/or negatively impact themselves or another person – adding in the qualifier that how familiar they are to you is proportionally important to the opportunity for intervention – then what’s wrong with pulling someone to the side and asking if they’re sure about what they’re doing?

      They’ll still make a decision, but at least you can give them a moment to make sure they’re looking at it from every angle. Then, if they make a decision that does lead to a negative situation, you can know at the very least that you tried to help them avoid it.

      Let’s take, for example, smoking a cigarette. I smoked for *years*, three packs a day. I fell off the wagon a couple of times after quitting, too. And while Hawk saw me fall off the wagon, he’d give me a gentle verbal nudge and ask, “You sure you want to go down that road again?” Mike and I are still friends, and I still made a bad call, but at least he gave me the moment to consider the decision.

      What’s unfortunate is that people get so defensive about their decisions that they view any attempt to make them think about them as a “judgment” that they have to rebel against. If you’re sure you want to do something, and that there’s *nothing bad* that might come of it, be it regret or emotional pain or life complications or physical injury, then you’d be able to justify the decision anyway, right?

      So let me bounce the question back:

      If what a person is about to do is not so bad, then why would they be bothered that “I” threw a warning flag up to check them on it?

      They can tell me I don’t understand the situation and to butt out, and I will. They can say they’ve looked at the angles and they’re going to do what they do anyway. OK, I can’t stop that. But at least “I” gave them the opportunity to think about it.

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      1. By your logic, someone should have taken Luke aside and said, “Luke, your aunt and uncle just died. Are you SURE you should be running off with some old guy you just met?”

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        1. FASCINATING hypothetical. The weight of the galaxy hangs in the balance, and Deak or Windy – or even Fixer or Cammie!* – pulls Luke aside and says, “Hey. Are you sure?”

          As I’m arguing, Luke would have gone still. To quote from what he says to Obi-Wan, “There’s nothing for me here now.” Once his Aunt and Uncle are dead, the last tether Luke has to Tatooine is gone. So practically speaking, virtually nothing anyone can say will stop him.

          (This has inspired another blog I will write and post tonight.)

          Now what if Biggs were still on Tatooine? Being a friend, Biggs ostensibly has Luke’s best interests at heart. He likely wouldn’t want to see his friend run off with a strange old dude and two ‘Droids – or would he? From what we know of Biggs, he would’ve jumped into the mix and offered to go, too.

          But you can also go through the litany of decisions in the original Star Wars trilogy and see that most of the time, people are asking others if they’re sure what they’re doing is a good idea. Chewie asks Han if taking the passengers is a good idea. Leia asks Han if a frontal assault on the bunker at Endor is a good idea (and his response is basically, Hell Yeah!) – which even shows that a friendly gut-check won’t stop you from choosing what you feel is right.

          So, basically, great hypothetical but I don’t think it defeats my point: people will do what they do, and there’s no harm in giving them a moment to think about it.

          *Do you even know who Deak, Windy, Fixer and Cammie are? :-p

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          1. Grr… I’m going to assume that Deak, Windy, Fixer and Cammie are book characters, which I have not read nor have any interest reading. Although I vaguely remember a Toshi station cut seen with some friends in it, so maybe that’s it? Am I right?

            And, you’re wrong about your assumption – while Luke *feels* there is nothing left on Tatooine for him, there is – there’s an entire community of people he grew up with. It’s natural to feel this way after a traumatic loss. And it’s therapy 101 that if you’ve suffered a traumatic loss, to not make any drastic changes in your life.

            So – if Deak, Windy, Fixer or Cammie had said, “Luke, hang on, are you SURE?” and he stopped and talked about it, he would have talked about the pain he was feeling, and opened up. He would have paused, and had some doubt and thought, “here is someone that loves me that doesn’t want me to go, maybe I should listen” and likely stayed on Tatooine…. and never met his father, never fulfilled his destiny.

            The reality is, that sometimes our greatest mistakes, or riskiest decisions, lead to our greatest adventures. And so while it’s not going to hurt to gently sanity check someone… it could. You never know what power you might have to influence someone. And you just never know what their destiny is. People have to find that for themselves.

            You just have to have a little faith. 😉

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          2. Oh no, my young apprentice, you will find that it is you who are mistaken…about a great many things.

            *You* made Star Wars a cornerstone of your argument, so…you brought this on yourself.

            Luke *knows* there is nothing left for him on Tatooine. Biggs and Tank left (dialogue from film) and the people left (Deak, Windy, Fixer, Cammie) are actually a bunch of jack holes who never treated him particularly well. They were on the cutting room floor.

            So, that’s why he knows there’s no one left for him after his aunt and uncle, who *were* the ones holding him back.

            But then you have to go and defeat your whole argument with “destiny.” I’m no Calvinist (thank goodness, since I like the idea of Free Will), but I’m happy to turn that argument around and say, “If it’s your destiny, then it will happen regardless of anything else, right?”

            In short, if it’s Luke’s “destiny” to do things, then his choices actually matter *less* than they should. So if it’s his “destiny” then someone whispering in his ear would not be able to prevent it, because planets will align when the time is right.

            And now we’re getting into a second blog entry that this comment thread will unleash upon the world…as soon as my honeymoon with the Kinect comes to an end.

            “And it’s therapy 101 that if you’ve suffered a traumatic loss, to not make any drastic changes in your life.”

            Well, I’d say humans are more of a case-by-case basis. Also, therapeutic theories alter over time as to what is beneficial in a given situation. Dr. Phil and Oprah have Sybock’d the whole thing up. Women get haircuts and buy outfits when relationships end, men expunge historical records of the person’s existence.

            (That really had nothing to do with anything beyond furthering stereotypes about the sexes, really.)

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  1. good point by jar jar. i just wanted to point out that the slippery slope here is what you judge to be a bad decision in the first place. it just sounds arrogant to think that you are qualified to know what is good or bad for another person. i admit, how you approach it does make a difference, i don’t think i would be offended by someone asking me, ‘you sure you want to go down that path?’ because i know they have my best interest at heart, but where do you draw the line? if that were the end of it and it happened occassionally, better yet rarely, i would be ok with it. but personally, that kind of stuff comes off as sanctimonious to me. i know that’s not what you’re aiming for, and knowing you, i know it’s with good intentions. just saying, i think it starts to appear like someone speaking from moral high-ground and that gets old. not to mention, you just start to get muted after a while so you lose your effect.

    i think it’s nice of you to think of what’s in another person’s best interest, but you’re not in their shoes. you did have a good example with smoking because we all know that it’s not good for your health. but that’s a more simplified and obvious example and most aren’t so black and white. actually, even the smoking example has some grey to it. maybe you’ve had the worst day of your life, close to nervous breakdown, on the brink of attacking someone and you think a cigarette is what you need to just calm your nerves for a brief moment. who am i to say that’s not what you need? and why would i assume that one cigarette automatically means you’re too weak-willed to not stop the next day? wouldn’t it be more appropriate to say something after it’s been a week and clearly it’s an issue again?

    and just like jar jar hater said, how do you know it’s going to end exactly how you think it’s going to end?

    that is all.

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    1. Of course I used a simplified example. Reduction is the purest form of debate.

      To pursue that point of that simplified example of smoking, and then fold it into another, since you’re apparently not satisfied with it:

      Would you say something to your friend, an alcoholic, from taking a drink when they’ve been on the wagon? Say they’ve just had the worst day of their life, close to a nervous breakdown. Heck, let’s say they just found out 10 years into sobriety their wife is leaving them, taking the kids and they’re about to lose (at a minimum) 50 cents of every dollar they have made (in addition to the 50 cents on the dollar they lose to the government), and will make in perpetuity. They start walking into a bar. You’ll just shrug your shoulders, because what business is it of anyone else’s? Maybe they *will* stop at one drink — but then again, maybe not. Even if they do, the next day (maybe more) will be very difficult for them.

      “how do you know it’s going to end exactly how you think it’s going to end?”

      I don’t. Neither do you. And there’s the irony of the argument. You’re the one drawing the absolutes, not me. Re-read the blog and you’ll see that I very much speak to the idea of trying to live someone’s life for them. Of course you exercise judgment as to when/how much to get involved in someone’s life.

      As I wrote in my first response to you: “adding in the qualifier that how familiar they are to you is proportionally important to the opportunity for intervention”

      Isn’t it reasonable to exercise some form of concern and care for fellow human beings? Otherwise, what’s the point of being in a relationship of any sort with any other person, or to participate in society at large? (Hint: In that situation, only selfish reasons, and that’s a terrible basis for a relationship.)

      What’s your limit of engagement to stop/start caring? When your neighbor gets shot? When you witness an argument that escalates into a beating at a night club?

      If the ideal world for everyone is one where we don’t give a care about anyone but ourselves, that’s a pretty fantastically sh***y world.

      “i think it’s nice of you to think of what’s in another person’s best interest, but you’re not in their shoes.”

      Like I said, this is all very reflective of the prevalent modern (amoral) attitude: unless you want to take tax money from me to fund things that you consider a moral imperative/important thing, stay out of your business. Because taking your argument on its merit, screw everyone but me and what I want.

      Neither you, nor Jar Jar Hater, have answered the base question I asked: “What’s so wrong about seeing a situation where some thought might make things better, and trying to make people reconsider things for a moment?”

      Which I followed up with in a previous comment: “They can tell me I don’t understand the situation and to butt out, and I will.”

      So if I say to someone, “Hey, you sure about this?” and they say “Leave me alone. I’ll do what I do,” then what harm has been inflicted? I’ve given them a moment to think about it. What’s so wrong with that? Frankly, I’ll say it plain: I don’t want to live in a world where no one cares about anyone else.

      Oh, look at me, the big villain, caring about people. How scandalous.

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      1. good points.

        to answer your question: “What’s so wrong about seeing a situation where some thought might make things better, and trying to make people reconsider things for a moment?”

        answer: because it’s annoying. you’re not my parent. no one i know likes a know-it-all. i’m not labeling you as such, that’s just what it comes off as to me.

        speaking of absolutes.. i’m saying i don’t want my decisions to be constantly questioned by a friend because it’s arrogant (after all, you’re comparing yourself, at least morally, to batman, aren’t you?) of them to assume they know better than me. i’m not saying i wouldn’t save a child from a burning building or even comment when i think they’re walking off a cliff. i’m simply making the argument that my approach, as a friend and not a parent, is to be a little more selective when i choose to say something. and i don’t assume i have some kind of extra insight, and that i’m telling them what they don’t already know. again, if it’s not overdone and done in a way that it’s more of a discussion about ‘have you considered…’ where it’s reasonable to think they haven’t considered certain possibilities, than i think we’re on the same page. otherwise, it’s back to my original post: what makes you so qualified to know what’s better for someone else?

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        1. So once again, we’re not really disagreeing since I’ve said that when/how you intercede depends on factors like familiarity and opportunity.

          Arguing with you is like combing your hair with a salad fork sometimes.

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          1. Which is another way of saying you’re right. As your friend I think it’s my obligation to point out your ego may get in the way of you really getting through to people. But what do I know, I’m only one of those people.

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          2. Actually it was another way of saying we’re both *right* and that we’re arguing about the trees and not the forest. I wasn’t actually going for a “right” or “wrong” so much as defending my stance on things. It’s not like we’re discussing how many moons our planet has or whether fire burns.

            The whole “I Am Batman” thing was a tongue-in-cheek joke at my own expense, considering I had been drinking already by the time I uttered those immortal words on a windy street in Indy. An inside joke made public, so to speak.

            So, I’m just arguing for my position. That’s not ego, it just means I believe what I’m saying.

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          3. The only way to get that sequence of words out of my mouth is to buy me dinner and/or drinks…Then record the entire evening’s conversation and take an editing machine to construct a false record of the sentence, planting a copy in the National Archives to make it look authentic.

            People would still not believe you.

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  2. For such an annoyingly hopeful person, you’re making a pretty big assumption that a choice that looks bad to you will only have bad outcomes. I’m trying to tell you that good things can arise from bad. Good and bad are intrinsically linked.

    And by “destiny” I mean – what you’re meant to do, finding yourself, etc. While the bible talks about free will, it also talks about the will of God. The two are not at odds here.

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    1. “I’m trying to tell you that good things can arise from bad. ”

      Of course they can, and do. That’s the whole point about redemption. But I can also get to New York by driving through California, but if I consider things completely, maybe I can get there a better way.

      Additionally, to presume that “my” decisions will always turn out for the best “no matter what” is arrogant in some way, right? I don’t mean that as a slight against your opinion, I’m legitimately curious as to whether my opinion about that is unique.

      The flip side of my position is the fact that I’m open to people whispering in my own ear. It’s not a one-way street. Conversely, a person convinced that no one besides them has the proper perspective on things tends to view things less openly.

      “While the bible talks about free will, it also talks about the will of God. The two are not at odds here.”

      Again, different blog, coming soon. 🙂

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  3. The thing about this post that bothers me is the fact you said I’m Batman. You just can’t say something like that without defining which Batman you are. Let’s go through the list, because from what I know of you, you are not Batman.

    Are you golden-age Detective Comics Batman? That is possible. The way the original detective comics were written Batman is idealistic even though the worst has happened to him. He sees the best in people but still suspects the worst. More of a detective, than crime fighter, but still fought crime. He believed that even if people were bad, they could change because there was good inside them. I think you still believe there is good inside even the worst of mankind. I give this possibility a ‘maybe’ but your parents were not slaughtered in front of you in a back ally and you did not come out a symbol that strikes fear in the heart of men so that slides you down to the more ‘Not Batman’ category.

    Silver age Batman; the caped crusader version of Batman is a little weird. They started to explore that Bruce Wayne is a little messed up in the head, but still idealistic of the world. The problem is that he was about vengeance. That is great for a story, but a terrible trait for an actual human. If your only driving factor is vengeance, then you have issues. I will say you are NOT this Batman.

    Are you Modern Day Batman that is a detective and has decided that he is the sworn protector not just of Gotham but of the world? This Batman has many battle scars, and doesn’t protect because he thinks people are good, but protects to prevent people from going bad. This Batman will fight, but load the fight always in his favor. He is the only person that Superman fears (see Crisis on Infinite Earths) and that says a lot since Superman is a dummy and fears only Kyrptonians. This says that Batman although a guardian can go off and kill at any moment. A highly unstable Batman, that even Selena Kyle called unstable. If Catwoman thinks you have issues, then you have issues. So my conclusion on this one is that you are not modern day Batman. No human being has that many issues.

    Now lets get into different Batmen:
    Bruce Wayne: He has the best work ethic of anyone on the Earth. He realized over many battles that his with his work, he has no equal. In fact this Batman knows that he can take down (in the DC universe) Earth’s mightiest hero: Superman. Bruce Wayne does not look at the strengths of anyone anymore; he only looks at the weakness. He sizes up everyone to figure out “how can I take this person down?” He doesn’t see the positive in anything and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He believes that he is called to protect people because if he doesn’t; no one will and they are at a point where they will not help themselves. That is a burden no one wants, and a bit of a bleak outlook on life. If you do want that, then you have some serious issues. Bruce Wayne has a bit of a God complex. You are NOT Bruce Wayne.

    The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh: This is the Batman that is the exact opposite of Bruce Wayne but is a creation that Bruce Wayne created in his sub-conscious. He doesn’t care about people; he just cares about getting the task done. If there are causalities, then , so be it. You are clearly not this Batman.

    Jason Todd: if you wanted to be a Batman with no morals, and willing to torture and kill just to show that you have the power to do so, than this would be the Batman you speak of. You wouldn’t do that. Granted he was Batman for a very short time (Battle for the Cowl) but he would take villains and torture them. He would starve them and beat them in his own made up Bat Cave just so villains could see just how bad the suffering they cause feel like. Even at your worst day, there is no way you would make people suffer just because you felt like it. The only thing that separated Jason Todd Batman from the Joker is that the Joker knows he is mentally unstable. Conclusion: you are NOT this Batman.

    Dick Grayson: Now I know you are thinking; the Dick Grayson was Robin not Batman. But he was Batman for a very brief time, and surprisingly different than the Robin you knew. Dick was trying to act like Batman. He took everything that made him Robin and currently Nightwing, and got rid of it. He didn’t follow the same moral code; he didn’t use his superior athleticism as he should have. He pretended to be the great detective that Batman was, and even tried to mimic Batman’s voice. Now is this the type of Batman you claim to be? Do you want to be the person that acts like someone else just so you can gain acceptance? If you do, that is fine, but from what I know of you, I don’t think you would change everything that creates your personality just to make people like you. Now, if you want to take Dick Grayson’s Nightwing persona; a guy that believe there is good in people, they just need to be shown the path, then I can accept that more. But this version of Batman is 100% fake. I say this in the highest regards that you are one of the most genuine people I have met, and nothing about you is fake. Conclusion, you are most certainly NOT this Batman.

    Jean Paul Valley (Azrael): Now here is a guy that is guided by faith. Every action he does is guided by the religion, The Secret Order of Dumas, which was forced onto him as a child. I am not going to get into a religious debate on your blog, but you being a religious man, have been fed a religion since you were a small lad. Azrael’s faith allows him to see right and wrong, and no wavering from that line. He did at one point try to pretend to be like Bruce Wayne as Batman, but realized that he doesn’t need to pretend to be someone to gain acceptance. He became his own man. He made special gauntlets that shot Bat-shurikens, which if the not pretending to gain acceptance, doesn’t work, he can shoot you with an instrument of death at any moment to eliminate you if you don’t accept him. Here is where I see some similarities (not the bat-shurikens, but if you have some, you really need to share) I’m sure you had a point in your life where you didn’t know your identity. Jean Paul Valley had that issue. Are you the guy that helped everyone out, or are you the guy that will leave bodies in your wake just to get the job done? Do you pretend to be the guy that you are replacing, or do you become your own man? I know you have had a couple of jobs in your live, and I am willing to bet that you emulated who you were replacing, but you slowly became your own man. You slowly added special gauntlets, you slowly added a special cape, and you even changed your cowl to become a helmet to finally become your own person. You were Jean Paul Valley. Your faith guided you, and you made changes to be the symbol of hope. The thing is that Jean Paul Valley did something that no other Batman did. He was not able to let it go. It ate him up inside, and him not being about to allow himself to not be Batman created a personality that decided he would punish the ‘wicked’ as harshly as he could. He was unable to take the mask off. Now, you can turn it off. You can be “Work Kesseljunkie”, “Friend Kesseljunkie”, “Dad Kesseljunkie”, and (I’ll just take your word on it, because I have no empirical knowledge) “Husband Kesseljunkie”. All of these show that your life is not just black and white and that you can turn some things off and go into different modes. I like you but if you were “Work Kesseljunkie” or “Dad Kesseljunkie” 100% of the time and unable to turn it off you would be miserable. You would hate the society you live in, (much like Jean Paul when he couldn’t turn off being Batman) and become a disconnected psychopath. I do not see you as a disconnected psychopath, therefore I can say that you sir, are NOT this Batman.

    I went through a couple versions of Batman, and to keep it short, I did not go through all (yes, this is the short version, the original was almost 5 pages) versions of Batman, but each one I come to the same conclusion: you are not any of these Batmen. Sure, you are the hero that this blog needs, but Batman? No you are not. Unless there is something I am missing, and please speak up. Back to my original point, you just can’t say “I’m Batman” when you have to clarify which Batman you are. I know, you have a myriad of other things I need to address in this blog, but before I can even address that, I need to know which Batman you think you are.
    Ironically, my wife said “are you sure you want to post a post that long on someone else’s blog”. My answer, without hesitation, was “yes, because I need clarification before I can begin to address anything else written”.

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    1. I loved this. LOVED this. Especially that “I’m the hero this blog needs” bit. Hard to explain why I’m laughing out loud at work.

      To qualify *everything* with what I wrote before in the responses:

      “The whole “I Am Batman” thing was a tongue-in-cheek joke at my own expense, considering I had been drinking already by the time I uttered those immortal words on a windy street in Indy. An inside joke made public, so to speak.

      “So, I’m just arguing for my position. That’s not ego, it just means I believe what I’m saying.”

      —-

      To boil the blog down to its quintessential point:

      The world could stand to have people giving more of a s*** about each other. That was one of the points of The Dark Knight, one of my favorite films of all time, hence the “connection” to Batman. Again, it was a tongue-in-cheek comparison.

      I do love that it goaded this response from you (I suspected it would). Frankly, I’m apparently nowhere near the Batman Scholar I thought I was, and I need to start studying. 🙂

      —-

      As far as faith: I’m a man of science and a man of faith; I don’t consider them to be mutually exclusive. I will say that I don’t believe what I believe simply because I was “raised to believe it.”

      —-

      To speak to the “many aspects of kesseljunkie” – work, husband, father, friend, etc. – I view the trick as reconciling them all to the point where I don’t have to switch from one to the other, rather just emphasize one aspect for the appropriate situation.

      I don’t hold back from people, and don’t ever intend to hold back – so I guess I’m a new amalgam, “Del Griffith Batman.” Trademark and copyright.

      I think the real distinction is between “unflitered kesseljunkie” (which you receive) and “kesseljunkie lite” (for the more delicate). But that happens with everybody, so I’m not unique there.

      —-

      “Are you the guy that helped everyone out, or are you the guy that will leave bodies in your wake just to get the job done?”

      I try to be the former, and hope I never become the latter, as tempting as it can be. 🙂

      —-

      “I say this in the highest regards that you are one of the most genuine people I have met, and nothing about you is fake. ”

      That actually means a lot. Thank you. I’d give you a compliment too, but that might make The Korean Cigarette Smoking Moriarty Man uncomfortable when he reads it.

      —-

      For my closing point, just to try to communicate what I was trying to communicate in the blog: when I see something brewing that speaks to a pain I have endured myself, I consider it an obligation to offer a gentle nudge to someone I know (note: not complete strangers).

      If I know first-hand what a sh**-storm something might cause for someone, why wouldn’t I offer my experience as one of the possible outcomes of their choices, so they can consider that? I don’t like people to be in pain, or to suffer, either from outside influences or their own.

      So I suppose caring is a weakness in this case, I’m happy being weak. I’m not trying to live people’s lives for them, but I’m also not living like everyone should walk around in a self-interested bubble.

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      1. Clone – I applaud you sir, I applaud you. BUT – I would not be me if I let this stand without an argument. So I will present this:

        Why does Kessel have to be a pre-existing Batman? “Batman-Kesseljunkie”, if you will. The irritating part of asserting this point is that it fits with the spirit of Kessel’s “Del Griffith” Batman, which just won’t do.

        So – the next logical question, if Kessel is not any of the Batmen, and “Conscience-Kessel” needs a persona, then who is he?

        Answer: Jiminy Cricket (original Pinocchio version). See if you agree:
        -both tell stories/narrate
        -both serve as a conscience to friends (he’s not out dispensing advice to strangers where Kessel draws the line, too)
        -both stick by friends when they screw up
        -Jiminy risks his life to save his friend (Kessel promises “The only thing I can offer in return is the promise that no matter when he needs me, I’ll be there.” to Mike)

        I would also assert that:
        -Batman, in all iterations, is wickedly strong and combat-prepared. Jiminy survives on whits, not beating people up. Kessel’s no weakling, but he wouldn’t be my first choice in a fight.

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        1. “Kesseljunkie Batman” could exist, but he would have to battle for the cowl and if you read the history of Batman, it never ends well for whomever tries. Batman is much like the Highlander: there can be only one. If he decides to try to take the mantle of the bat, then go him; but he does have to challenge the one that currently has the cowl. Good luck with that.

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          1. “Batman is much like the Highlander: there can be only one. ”

            And as I’ve said to The Clone off-line: I’m actually content being Commissioner Gordon. 🙂

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        2. I know you’re going for the Jiminy Cricket joke here, but…

          “Kessel’s no weakling, but he wouldn’t be my first choice in a fight.”

          This is because I don’t advertise the fact that I know how (see: any hero with a secret identity) – and why I don’t mind walking streets of strange towns late at night. The fact that I don’t go around getting in fights is a point of honor, not an illustration of the fact that I wouldn’t know how to subdue someone should the need arise.

          But to speak to the larger point: being aware and avoiding trouble is the first key to effective self-defense. The people you don’t want in a fight are the ones that broadcast that they want one, because they attract ’em like stink on poop. Why would you want that?

          —-

          “Jiminy risks his life to save his friend”

          That’s an accurate use of the singular. Remember that. :-p

          —-

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