Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Three to the third

Snitched from Tracey, also done by Sheila. Name three characters:

1. you wish were real so you could meet them:
....Ebenezer Scrooge, from A Christmas Carol - mostly to see the the before-and-after contrast, to see the pinching, grasping miser suddenly made into as good a master as the old town had known.

....Sherlock Holmes - just because, dammit. It would be worth feeling like a dolt to see him glance up, distracted, from a chemical experiment to tell me that I play hockey, eat too much junk food, work as a secretary, and prefer cats to dogs based entirely on my hat and shirt cuffs. And then ignore me until my problem proved sufficiently unusual for him to actually solve.

....Mr. Spock - that would be cool. I'd love to be in the crew (red uniform? oh crap). For that matter, I'd dig being on any of the ships, except for Voyager. My nerdiness cannot be sated.

Oh, what the heck - bonus dudes - the Weasley Twins. They're a hoot, and they wouldn't scorn a couple of beers with a muggle. I'll explain the Lord's Own Hockey to them (a more violent Quidditch - they'll be hooked).

2. you would like to be:
....Indiana Jones - you need to be told why? The man is INDIANA JONES. He's smart, tough, and as he himself says when asked his next move, "I don't know. I'm making this up as I go." One of the most human of action heroes, as was discussed once on Sheila's blog. When the big German hits him, we see him from the waist down... and then the knees wobble and he goes right down on his butt. Even World Adventurers hurt when they take one on the chops. There's no Crouching Archaologist, Hidden Superpowers.

....a Jedi knight - not that superpowers don't come in handy. I mean, what's so great about the Jedi? Well, besides the telekinesis.
--And the inhuman reflexes.
--And that mind trick dealio.
So, yeah, moving things with your mind - including other people's minds.
--And the fighting skills (with reflexes).
--Limited clairvoyance!
[sigh] OK, OK: telekinesis, reflexes, fighting, mind tricks, clairvoyance...
--and, uhm, that light-sword or other.
FINE. So, besides the saber, the martial arts, the reflexes, and the mental crapola - what's so great about the Jedi?

....Puddleglum, from The Silver Chair - in fact, I think that I'll start campaigning for this role right now. I'll kidnap Alan Rickman, tie up David Thewlis with a bunch of projects that don't exist, and arrange for Paul Bettany to be temporarily deported to Algiers.

3. who scare you:
....Iago, from Othello - remorseless and calculating; somewhat like Shylock from "The Merchant of Venice," save that he holds his mask in place so well that he succeeds. Shylock's no treat, but he's more out in the open: "If I but once can catch him on the hip/ I shall feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him." The guys in Venice know what's up with him, but only turn his way when out of options; then Portia rules his world and that's that. He becomes a sympathetic figure, not only undone but painfully aware of it. Iago works from within disguised as a friend, and that's serious business.

....Mrs. Iselin, from The Manchurian Candidate - Holy crap, is Angela Lansbury scary; the moreso because up until I'd seen this movie, I only knew her from stuff like "Murder, She Wrote" and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks." I couldn't play solitaire for weeks.

Surprisingly, I'm having trouble coming up with a third. A lot of the characters who spook me are not normally the villains. They could kill me or whatever, but not scare me. And then there are those who are small, priggish, cramped souls who are more pitiable than frightening. OK, this is as good as I've got:

....Batman - if you are his target, he will bring you down; if you are his enemy, he will deal with you. In one sense, it's nothing personal, just the thing he does. In another, it's the ONLY thing he does, because it is intensely personal. We just get mad if we hear of some criminal outrage, but Bats, from his childhood, swore vengeance on every such act, and worked to make it possible. So, if you beat on a 90-year-old lady for her Social Security check, here's what you're dealing with: a brilliant detective/chemist/engineer, relentlessly motivated and disciplined, trained to the ultimate in physical performance, with access to vast technological resources. This is a guy who regularly holds his own against super-villians - and he is freakishly compelled to come down the same way on garden-variety punks and carjackers. And really, how often does he really fight the Joker, Two-Face, Ras-al-Guhl, etc? All of that maybe takes up three or four weeks of his year. Then he pals around with the Justice League part-time say, another four weeks - and they fight inter-dimensional badasses, and he handles his end of things. Supes, Wonder Woman, the Lantern? All of them are godlike creatures who are ALSO scared of Batman.

So: that leaves 309 other days for him to smoosh YOU. If you're in Gotham and you feel like pulling a gun on some payroll guy, think twice - there's an 84.6% chance that one of the shadows is going to come to life and wreck your face.

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