I’ve returned after an unscheduled absence from the Heroes & Villains column due to circumstances beyond my control. Full disclosure…I hate it when people say “full disclosure.” But full disclosure, my basement was flooded with an inch or two of water and I had to deal with it. Luckily, I’m still capable of learning things and after the great flood of 2014 that wiped out my comic collection, nothing of value was kept on the floor this time and nothing was lost.
As much as I would like to write that I’m coming in hot this week with all sorts of comic goodness to write about…I can’t. My mind is elsewhere right now and I think that may be the case with many of you. I’ve long wrote about how I’m a habitual early riser but this last week I’ve been waking up a good couple of hours before my “normal” wake up time which places me solidly in the dead of night. I make it a point to not look at my phone for fear of more bad news and I visit the bathroom as if that was the thing that’s been waking me up.
This past weekend I finally was able to pick up my new nighttime bite guard from my dentist and given current events it was just in time. It’s a clear polycarbonate bastard that clicks right over my upper teeth and it even has my last name etched on it. For about the last year I’ve been using over-the-counter bite guards since I’ve taken to clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth at night which was a stopgap measure at best. Now I have a more permanent solution that I get to use EVERY NIGHT until I’m magically not stressed anymore. I don’t really need to take a step back to appreciate what a ridiculous person I am but this is one more thing in the tapestry of me that must make laying in bed with me even more absurd than it already is.
This column has several reoccurring themes, chief among them is the belief that escapism is important, but it’s not a solution. Get to the comic shop today, play a video game, crack open a cold root beer with the boys and/or girls. Whatever gets you through the day as long as you’re not hurting yourself, anyone else, or being grossly negligent. I briefly had a whole riff about drowning one’s sorrows in the last bit but that’s not a healthy kind of escapism, now is it? Now that you’re feeling somewhat okay, get to fucking work.
To me, it’s high comedy that I’m on my soapbox ranting to a group of readers that’s probably somehow much smaller than I could imagine about what they should and should not do. I’m a white guy of a certain age and I am of the belief that no one should listen to me and I’m mostly doing this column to keep myself from starting another podcast. Since you’re still reading this I guess I’ll ask you not to engage in any of the performative online bullshit that we all tend to seek out to make ourselves feel better. Remember back a couple of years ago when America collectively solved racism by blacking out our Instagram posts and Twitter avatars? Great times. I would strongly encourage you to not engage in any of the online discourse over something that you don’t know shit about fuck about. We all know it’s beyond bad but you didn’t become a master of geopolitics overnight so spare us your ill-informed hot take. Instead, donate to a worthy cause and get others to do it.
In the next couple of days I intend on gathering with a small group of vaccinated friends (which is STILL important, both the friends and vaccination part) to watch the new MST3K premier. Laughing about bad movies always helps me cope. Heck, since this is supposed to be a column about comics there’s a new Batman movie coming out this week. Early reports indicate that it’s actually a good DC movie for a change and I’ll certainly see it but I haven’t been this disinterested in a new Bat-film since Batman Begins (which, historically, washed away the stink of Batman & Robin).
Ranting about the world: Check. Squeezed in some comics talk at the end: Check.
Hang in there and I’ll be back next week.