Monday, September 13, 2010

The Most Depressing Thought Exercise I Have Ever Embarked Upon

Do you ever get stuck on a train of thought...

... that you know you shouldn't follow to its end because you know what that end will be and you know it won't be anything good but you follow that train all the way to the last god damned stop and everything is exactly what you expected it would be and you are not any better of a person because of your obsessing but instead you end up just feeling kinda shitty? Yeah, I do that.

It's not like I don't realize what I'm doing. I'm perfectly aware. I even guess sometimes exactly how the whole act of sitting down and just thinking about whatever thing it happens to be will make me feel. I'm not really sure why I do it, maybe I hate myself. Maybe I subconsciously enjoy it all. Maybe I have several personalities that are at war with several other, especially sensitive personalities and this is all part of that mental battlefield.

Where there can be no real 'why' behind it, I suppose that 'what' and 'how' will have to suffice in its place.

This all got started from a comic I like. I have talked about Kate Beaton and her Hark! A Vagrant comics before. I really enjoy them. Some of my favorite comics of hers portray her interacting with a younger version of herself. They go pretty much how you'd expect, Younger Self complains to Kate that Mom is making her learn how to swim, Kate tells her that swimming is important, and then Younger Self asks Kate to then teach her instead of going to the pool where everyone will see her. Kate goes all the way there and then sees the swimsuit she's expected to wear and then agrees with Younger Self about how its stupid.

Funny stuff.

One of these comics that Beaton made has brought me down this very path to painful self-awareness:

Funny right? Indeed it is. It also got me thinking: What did I want to be when I was younger and how would my younger self treat me knowing the path that I'm on now?

This has given me the idea for a new series (which is great because you won't have to wait so long for me to think up ideas anymore)! Presented in Technicolor would like to present (in technicolor):

Careers I've Considered: Sky Piracy

The Low Down
Never heard of sky piracy? Imagine regular pirates:

Now, imagine those pirates in the sky:

It's actually a lot like this

Yep, that image comes from the inspiration for my childhood aspirations: TaleSpin. In the series, the protagonists all work for a shipping company "Higher for Hire" and they transport various cargoes to and from Cape Suzette. The conflict brought about in most of the episodes is that, in transit, they are waylaid by buccaneers of the airborne variety and their cargo is stolen and quite possibly even our heroes are captured.

How it relates to me
When I was younger, my brother and I used to play around with action figures.

They were NOT dolls...

And for some reason, I always got stuck playing as the bad guy. It kinda sucked at first (God knows how bad I wanted to play as Han Solo), but after a while I started looking for the positives of being the bad guy. One thing I realized then was that the good guys were pretty boring.

Think about it, why are good guys good? Oh, is it because they just are and you shouldn't ask stupid questions? Yeah, I was told that too. That didn't sit right with me. Most good guys suffer from what I like to call Shining Armor Syndrome (remember this, you will be tested on it later). That means that if a movie is made about a good guy where there's no bad guy you would just watch the good guy sit around being good. The conflict comes from the introduction of the bad guy. It doesn't matter if a movie has a specific good guy or not, if there's a bad guy there will always be conflict. The bad guy seeks conflict and creates it all on his own. This means they will always be more interesting to watch on screen than the Dudley Do-Rights which, in turn, made them more interesting to play as.

Think about it: The bad guys have more interesting motivations, they get to do things that one would never normally do (lie, cheat, steal), and they always look so bad ass.

I submit to you: evidence

Who can claim that they are more romantically bad than pirates? Pirates are awesome and I love swashbuckler movies. You know what else I love? Heavier-than-air flight. This resulted in my wanting to be a sky pirate more than anything in the world.

The let down
Which came first, shipping or piracy? Shipping, obviously. Without mass transit of goodies on the ocean there would be no need for pirates to exist. I mean, what would they steal?

Similarly, in the world of TaleSpin, the Sky Pirates, led by Don Karnage, surely didn't become sky pirates until goods started getting shipped en masse through the air. Well then, if they earn money by stealing it from cargo planes, how did they get the cash to pay for not only their planes, but for supplies needed for their voyages, upkeep on their planes, and the building of their massive airship, The Iron Vulture?

See, I'm not stupid, I think about these things. If they stole those things, how did they steal it? Don Karnage wouldn't have gotten himself a crew together with just the promise of eventual riches without the capital to pay for the things they would obviously need in order to start gaining those eventual riches. Immense amounts of money would have been needed even before they raided their first vessel. Have you seen The Iron Vulture? The thing is huge. Just fueling the thing would have cost enough money to make the whole venture outlandish.

Just think about it, a Boeing 747-400 costs some $250 million abouts. It has near enough measurements to the Vulture. If you're going to spend that much on something that you plan on using to steal things from others, why do it at all? Don't spend that money and instead live life comfortably with all your already acquired riches.

Cost effectiveness isn't the only reason that my hopes for this potential career path were dashed against the rocks of reality and the pieces then washed back out to the sea of depression. The other reason is quite simple: the US Armed Forces.

This is a surface-to-air missile. Turns out we have a lot of these.

Yes, as soon as it was discovered that I had become a pirate that was raiding planes and kidnapping their passengers and holding them for ransom, the United States government would shoot me down. Simple as that. There would be no adventure to it, no romance. Just death and a lot of fire. I'm sure it would have been an incredible show. Not for me however. As I would be dead.

Where does this leave us?
Well, frankly, it leaves me feeling pretty damn sad. I was set on doing this when I was a kid. I wanted so bad for it to happen. Sadly, reality never works out the way you want it to and now I have to wake up and face the facts that I'm a twenty-one year old with no prospects, no marketable skills, and a crippling addiction to realities set up in cartoons which means that I'll never be able to do what I wanted to do when I was a child. And now I'm stuck thinking wistfully about what could have been. SIGH.

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