Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Supervillain Humor

"It's amazing how many Supervillain's have advanced degrees. Graduate school should do a better job of weeding those out." Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory ("The Codpiece Topology"). 

Think about it. What are these grade school admission committees thinking? What sort of selection process criteria takes in Doctor Doom? Sure, he's both a genius inventor AND a sorcerer, and ranked as the 4th greatest villain by Wizard on its "100 Greatest Villains of All Time" list, but seriously folks, who let's a guy that is essentially all skin and bones, sans the skin, waltz right into a university? 

Lady Unpleasantries, in A Publication of the International Society of Supervillains, wrote that "Basic villainy may be easy, but crossing that line from normal everyday villain to terror-inspiring super villain is a challenge many people are not up for." 

So, how does a Supervillain rise to the occasion when instinctively super villains are focused more on the descent? Looking back to the super villain's childhood, just might reveal a few of the answers. 

Here our super villain wasn't given one of Edmund C. Berkeley's Brainiac Computer Kit's for Christmas, so she switched her attention to Brainiac, following to the letter his Basic Pyrotechnic's Course in Miracle Booms! 

When kids everywhere wanted the Atari CX2600 Video Computer System to be a flying ace, a race car champion, a tennis star and a space pioneer all in one afternoon, mom and pop once again failed to recognize our little super villain's good intentions. 

Naturally, her "mechanical mind" made other plans. Instead of playing the gunner in 27 shooting gallery games, she delved into "tinkering" in the basement and built Lex Luthor, Superman's arch enemy, a sophisticated piece of hardware called a Time-Space Thought Scanner. 

The boatload of money Luthor paid for this device to search for the most powerful mind that has ever existed in the universe, eliminated permanently our little super villain's need for student loans. *Here we encounter the first tangible piece of evidence that financial transactions in the form of university endowments affect university grad committee decisions. In particular, when Lex Luthor sits on the board. 

Being intelligent is mainly about thinking logically and having lots of facts at one's disposal. Clark's "combination logic machine and filing cabinet," translated into super-villainy-speak implies that the standards designed to support discerning university admissions are being run by the underachieving cousins of super villains. In Superman 271, when Superman attacked Brainiac's flying saucer, Brainiac's thought bubble read "He shook my flier with that blow...but my calculations show that in desperation he is beginning to it would be logical for me to go outside and give him a reason to panic!" 

Following this thought train to its lesser conclusion, it would appear as if our university grad committee's generalized sentiment concerning the limitations of their own system, pinpoint the direction to our answer of the above question "who let's a guy that is essentially all skin and bones, sans the skin, waltz right into a university?"  

It is the unending list of possible side effects that they have been trained to imagine that allows them to think that putting candidates through the wringer will weed out logical machines with big filing cabinets to begin with. It is this faulty logic that gives our super villains access to technology that can blow things to smithereens. When we as a species learn the difference between relevant and irrelevant implications, our categorizing side effects, such as allowing Supervillains into grad school, will end. 

The answer lies in not taking ourselves too seriously. Visible intelligent behavior, when extended in length, breadth and depth, does not participate in "facts and logic" alone, but rather... in the humor of it all. 

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