Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Thinking About Real And Fake Villains

Dr. DrakkenDrew Lipsky dropped out of college after the failure of his prototype Bebe robots and the consequent, lengthy ridicule he suffered at the hands of his “posse,” which included Dr. James Timothy Possible. It was an undetermined time afterwards that Drew’s skin turned blue-presumably in a tragic laboratory accident-and he began calling himself “Dr. Drakken.” Although in possession of a genius intellect and well-versed in numerous fields such as robotics, physics, computers and to a lesser degree, genetics, it is unclear whether Drakken has actually received doctoral accreditation from an educational institution or if it is merely something to which he feels entitled.

Drakken has dedicated himself to taking over the world--unfortunately for Drakken, his dastardly and nefarious plots have been constantly foiled by either his archfoe Kim Possible or by failures in his plans’ design and implementation. Drakken’s endless pursuit of world domination is an amalgamation of various desires, including a lust for power and a need have his genius proven and acknowledged by the world, and in extension by his old college “posse.”

Professor DementorNo known affiliation with an established university; he could easily have been kicked out due to his exciteable temperment. Professor Dementor can converse in a cultured and considerate manner, but any sort of opposition or mischance and the Professor lapses into a foaming, gestulating rage. Likewise, impending success or failure launches him into paroxysms of maniacal gloating, coupled with wild gestulations of glee, or else groans and shouts of grotesque gloom, and concomitant gestures of despair, such as hands to the face.

Ethnic origin is indeterminate, but possibly South German, due to accent, placement of one of his lairs in Bavaria, and his choice in genetically modified dogs: Dachshunds. An obviously brilliant man, Professor Dementor's exact areas of expertise are difficult to pinpoint. He has shown great talent in manipulating form and behavior of both plant and animal life. Likewise, the Professor has shown his abilities in understanding and manipulating divergent forms of energy, ranging from his adaptation of an existant (and stolen) Kinetic Modulator into the new Counter Electro-Dynamic Concentrator, to the creation of the new and effective Transportulator.

Something occurred to me late Wednesday evening that I’d never thought of before. It’s just a little thing, but it is interesting to me, so interesting (just to me, I mean) that I’m going to do this post about the thought and how I got to thinking it.


This business about not doing stop-motion videos for a while isn’t working out too well for me. I really enjoy doing those things and Wednesday evening I found myself thinking about doing another little stop-motion video. Before I caught myself and made myself think about other things, I spent a lot of time thinking about doing some kind of espionage stop-motion video. I’ve never really done anything with Little Plastic Doll and Rubber Lizard as spies. And that got me thinking about villains and supervillains.

That is something I have given a lot of thought to. For instance:

The World And The Supervillain’s Nightclub

Love Sonnet With Piano Wreckage And Worms

Lost In The Astrophysics

So then I spent some time thinking about supervillains. Of the two typical “kinds” of supervillains—those obsessed with their own interests and those specifically obsessed with attacking the world in some way—I’m pretty sure I’d be the first kind. I’d be very happy in some hidden-away lair, doing this-or-that kind of fringe science, ranting away to Skye Sweetnam or someone like her, and doing supervillain evil indirectly, by using my evil genius (I mean, of course, if I were a genius and evil) just for my own pursuits rather than for the good of humanity. You know, if I were a supervillain.

In the spectrum of Dr. Drakken through Professor Dementor, I would be a Professor Dementor kind of supervillain.

But I asked myself, what about that other kind of supervillain, the kind obsessed with attacking the world directly?

In modern entertainment, these supervillains are usually pretty boring and predictable. So you get things like Elektra King trying to reshape world politics or Miranda Tate trying to destroy Gotham City or some such political nonsense.

It seems to me a real supervillain trying to attack the world would be much more interesting than that.

So I asked myself, if I were going to do some kind of stop-motion video with Little Plastic Doll and Rubber Lizard in some story involving a really bad supervillain, what would that bad supervillain be trying to do?

I recognize in this regard I have a basic problem: I am by my nature a very naive guy. It is hard for me to imagine really bad thinking. (I mean, when I think of villains, my first thoughts—“Good Little Naked Mole Rat”—are about the Kim Possible animated series.) I’ve posted about this before. For instance:

Heaven From Hell

The Opposite Of Washing Machine

In my post Shanghai In The Epipelagic Layer I imagined really bad villains might try to destroy the epipelagic layer of the ocean. That would certainly be a bad thing, but it is such a large scale thing that, at the time, I was imaging some kind of large group, like the League of Shadows or something, dedicating themselves to that as a long-term, large-scale endeavor.

So I still asked myself, what might one really evil supervillain try to do to attack the world itself?

Then I had a two-part thought: First, it occurred to me that the most large-scale nice thing I’d ever written about here at the blog was in my post The Best Reason To Study Astrophysics when I thought about a man using extreme astrophysics to reshape a constellation to look like a woman he was in love with. Secondly, I thought that could be a really evil thing, too, a supervillain using some bizarre extreme astrophysics alchemical mechanism to manipulate the fabric of space itself and cause nearby stars either to go nova or to just snuff out, gradually taking away the stars themselves from the sky, taking the stars themselves away from humanity.

That would be a very evil thing to do.

I thought that was a pretty good large-scale very evil scheme for some bad supervillain—taking the stars out of the sky. But then, all by itself, the realization came to me: It is already happening! The stars—in effect, for all practical purposes—are being taken away from the human race.

I even did a post where a real astronomer talked about it. In Pumpkin Mars In The New Myth Sky I included an account Terence Dickinson published about how after an earthquake in California knocked out lights for many miles, people were shocked to see a sky full of stars and to see the Milky Way and, later, when astronomers assured people all those stars really are there all the time just invisible because of light pollution, many people didn’t believe the astronomers.

And I found myself wondering if it is just random activity of “normal” human progress (if that’s the right word) causing light pollution to become so intense that it changes human consciousness of the sky itself, or could there be villainous forethought behind something like this happening?

And once I thought that I immediately remembered that one of my all time favorite nonfiction books is called, “Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, And Survival,” which I posted a quote from in Real Life Shapeshifting, and which elaborates on many, many seemingly unforeseen unpleasant consequences of lights being turned on all the time.


So I started by trying to make up a fictitious evil scheme, something that would be the most large-scale evil thing I could imagine a really bad person doing, and I ended up by realizing that—in effect—that very thing was already happening.

Having thought this, it is now occupying my thinking.

I don’t believe there is some single supervillain behind the whole light pollution phenomenon. I don’t even believe there is some organization like the League of Shadows driving light pollution.

But isn’t it interesting that something is really happening around us that would be an appropriate evil goal for such a person or group?

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