Tag Archives: human mind

Vandal Savage: A Super-Villain Forged By Boredom?

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Boredom can sometimes drive you to do crazy things. Give someone a bunch of paperclips, some sticky notes, and too much free time and wonderful things will happen. It can also inspire some truly horrible acts. I’ve already mentioned the horrific murder of Christopher Lane, who was murdered by three bored teenagers. That’s an extreme rarity, for the most part, but it’s an egregious act that helps highlight the power of boredom.

As is often the case with various human quirks, some of our most iconic characters of fiction are built around the extremes of these innate human traits. Heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman embody the noblest ideals for men and women alike. They set the highest of standards for the best of what humanity can be in terms of heart, compassion, love, strength, and charity.

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Conversely, the villains that heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman face highlight the worst of the worst when it comes to human depravity. These characters are manifestations of the darkest parts of the human psyche. They show us just how bad humans can get if you give them enough incentive, hatred, and clown makeup.

That’s what makes characters like the Joker, Lex Luthor, and Apocalypse so terrifying. They are personifications of blood-lust, chaos, narcissism, and pretty much every personality disorder associated with Kanye West. They bring out the worst in people. Their conflict with other heroes mirrors the inner conflict many of us deal with.

I’ve talked about the varying differences between the classic hero’s journey and the more nuanced villain’s journey. Thanks to the success of characters like Walter White, Dexter Morgan, and the cast of “Suicide Squad,” there’s been a surge of interest in super-villains and what makes them tick.

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Being a noted comic book fan, I can talk for hours about various villains, how they came to be, and what makes them so evil. I’ve already talked extensively about Walter White and comic book villains like Magneto. These characters embody a certain type of villainy, each driven by a set of motivations that highlight a villainous aspect of our human mind.

Most people are familiar with the villains driven by greed, narcissism, vengeance, or hatred. They’re usually the characters getting punched, shot, or blasted on lunch boxes or posters. Some of them often get compared to real-life politicians. So if villains can embody so many of these defining traits, can one embody the dark side of boredom?

Well, I can say as someone whose love of comics is only matched by his love of nudity that there is. There is actually a character, a major villain no less, whose motivations and evil is very much a product of boredom. Granted, it’s an indirect kind of boredom, but it’s every bit as devious. Ladies, gentlemen, and those of unspecified gender, I give you Vandal Savage, the poster boy for the evils of boredom.

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Some may be confused. I imagine that even some of my fellow comic book fans are confused. Bear with me, though. There is some twisted logic behind this and boredom is a big part of it.

Vandal Savage is one of the most notorious villains in DC Comics. He’s not as well-known as Lex Luthor or the Joker, but then again, very few villains are. While he may not be an evil all-star, he does show up a lot whenever DC’s heroes need a daunting villain to face.

If you’ve watched shows like “Arrow,” “Flash,” or “Legends of Tomorrow,” then you’ve probably seen him show up in both minor and major roles. He’s also been a major villain in the old “Justice League” cartoon. In terms of sheer reach, Savage’s resume is pretty impressive, but his notoriety is not. There are many reasons for this, but some of it has to do with his origin.

Vandal Savage is not exactly on par with Walter White in terms of the journey he took to become a villain. In fact, it’s kind of mundane in terms of substance. He’s actually a real caveman who lived way back in the hunter/gatherer days of 50,000 BC. He would’ve been nothing more than a fossil sample to frustrate creationists had he not encountered an exotic meteor that crashed near his home.

That meteor, which is basically one of DC’s many mystical McGuffins, transformed Savage from a simple knuckle-dragging caveman to an immortal, super-intelligent being. He’s been running around, causing problems for humanity ever since. That means he’s been in the super-villain business for over 50,000 years. He has a lot of experience being an asshole.

There are a great many events throughout the history of DC Comics that highlight just how big an asshole Savage is. He has such a low regard for human life that even Lex Luthor finds him crass. Most of the time, he’s either trying to conquer humanity or destroy it. It’s basically typical super-villain antics.

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However, what sets him apart and what makes him a potential warning sign for us, as a species, is what motivates him. Throughout his history, he’s given any number of typical excuses. He’s a big, mean bully who thinks he deserves to rule the world because he’s smart and immortal. There’s nothing about that to really set him apart from every other Biff Tannen wannabe.

Like many villains, though, writers have given him other motivations. One of the most recent and, by far, the most relevant occurred in major DC Comics event called “Final Crisis.” It came out in 2008 and it had Savage join an army of super-villains in a plot that would’ve essentially undid creation and remake it. Many villains had their share of reasons for joining this plot, but Savage had one that set him apart.

He joined this universe-ending plot for with simple purpose, to end his boredom. That wasn’t an indirect, off-the-cuff comment. That’s what he actually said to Lex Luthor when they talked about it. He wasn’t trying to conquer humanity this time. He just wanted his boredom to end.

Regardless of how Savage’s motivations and presence affected the plot, it’s an idea worth contemplating. Just think about it from his perspective, if you can, and try to get around all that wanting-to-conquer-humanity crap. Vandal Savage is over 50,000 years old. He’s seen, done, and mastered so much that what else can he do with himself?

He doesn’t age. He doesn’t decline, mentally or physically, in any way. As far as he or anyone else knows, he can’t die. He can be shot, stabbed, punched, buried, and everything else that David Blaine pretends to do to himself and he just brushes it off. Nothing about his condition ever changes.

On top of that, he’s super-intelligent. It’s been documented to some extent that very smart people are often prone to crippling boredom. Being so smart, it’s easy for a genius to master a task. Once they’ve mastered it, they get bored with it and look for another challenge. In a sense, idiots have an edge when it comes to killing time. If they’re always struggling with something, they have something to focus on.

It creates a perfect storm of boredom for Vandal Savage because not only is he a genius, he has unlimited time to kill. Being a genius, he can master pretty much any task. In the comics, he’s described some of the jobs he’s had. He’s been a poet, a priest, a laborer, a scholar, a king, a warrior, and pretty much anything a man could’ve been before 1850.

No matter what he does, he’s mastered every single skill and overcome every challenge he’s ever faced. Even if it’s not through sheer genius, the fact he has unlimited time ensures he’ll always figure it out. Given enough time, he could’ve built the pyramids by himself. He could’ve painted every great masterwork in history on his own. He could’ve done all this multiple times, but it the outcome is the same. He still gets bored.

It’s hard to imagine for anybody who still struggles to use a microwave. No matter what Vandal Savage does, be it advanced calculus or conquering a planet, he still has too much time to kill. He can read every book. He can watch every movie. He can solve every crossword puzzle. He can even do it all multiple times and it still wouldn’t matter. He’d still get bored with it. At what point does he get bored with everything?

In a sense, it’s easy to understand why he keeps clashing with DC’s mightiest heroes. That’s one challenge he’s yet to overcome. He still tries to fight them, but they keep beating him. That’s just one of those skills he hasn’t mastered yet. It leads to pain and frustration, but it also leads to intense awareness, arousal, and exhilaration. When you’re that bored, you’ll get it however you can.

The fact that Savage is still a man, an actual caveman no less, also highlights the painfully human component of his struggle. He’s not some advanced machine or alien that has no concept of boredom. He’s still a man. He still feels all the things other humans feel, including boredom. The problem is, after 50,000 years, he’s got nothing left but boredom.

He can’t create meaningful relationships with other people because other people get old and die. He can’t have a family or fall in love because they’ll get old and die too. At a certain point, everybody around him just becomes another corpse-in-the-making. The fact he has such a low regard for human life is not surprising. If anything, it’s remarkable that he shows as much humanity as he does.

It’s impossible for anyone to truly relate to Vandal Savage and that’s part of what makes him a great villain. At the same time, his circumstances and motivations can act as a warning of sorts. Give a caveman unlimited time and unlimited brilliance and what will happen to him? What does a man do when he’s done pretty much everything a man can do to a point where everything seems boring?

As our medical technology improves at fighting disease and enhancing our bodies, more people will be able to live longer, healthier lives. At a certain point, we may be able to live so long that our only real challenge is filling the hours. Living that long turned Vandal Savage into a cold-hearted super-villain. What will that mean for us? Ironically enough, only time will tell.

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Sex And Hypnosis: A Prelude To Telepathy?

How many times have you wished you could hypnotize your significant other into putting on that sexy costume they refuse to wear? Hell, how many times have you wished you could hypnotize the clerk at the DMV just to make them think you’re next in line? My point is there are all times when we wish we could manipulate the minds of others.

There are some out there who think it’s already happening. They’re mainly Alex Jones fans who think that fluoride in drinking water is a secret plot by the Illuminati to make us dumb, submissive, and gullible enough to listen to men like Alex Jones. Those kinds of people probably aren’t going care much about this post, but those with functional frontal lobes should be able to get something out of this.

Why do I bring up hypnosis? Well, it sort of builds on what I discussed before about the future brain-to-brain communication, or techno-telepathy if you want to call it that. That technology is underway and it is progressing. It’s very likely that within my lifetime, people will be able to share their most intimate thoughts with somebody and that probably includes their deepest sexual fantasies, including those that involve clowns.

Before we get to that point, though, there are other ways to tap into the vast and perverse abyss that is the human mind. Granted, it’s not as scientific, nor is it as effective as we wish it were, but it still has some merit. It’s called hypnosis. It is a real thing. It’s just not as effective as cartoons, movies, and bad pornos would have us believe.

As such, I’m not talking about the kind of stage hypnosis you see in Las Vegas that involve bikini models for assistants. That’s not real hypnosis. That’s a stage act. That’s Hamilton with more partial nudity. Real hypnosis has some basis in psychological phenomena. According to Psychology Today, real hypnosis is defined as:

A state of highly focused attention or concentration, often associated with relaxation, and heightened suggestibility.

That makes sense on some levels. When you’re so focused and relaxed, you’ll basically admit you stole the Mona Lisa. You’re relaxed. You don’t care. It’s more a brain hack than it is mental manipulation.

In a sense, it’s an indirect form of brain-to-brain communication. It doesn’t involve actually hearing thoughts. It doesn’t even involve manipulating them. It just involves putting people into a state where they actually share the thoughts they don’t usually share.

Naturally, this can get sexually charged and not in the way a bad porno would suggest. Most everyone concedes that we live in cultures with some pretty mixed up or repressed views about sexuality. As such, it’s going to really mess up our thoughts and attitudes about sexuality. Just look at Texas.

Being able to share those thoughts, either through hypnosis or techno-teleapthy, will go a long way towards refining sexual attitudes. It gives people with anxieties and uncertainties a chance to share these feelings in ways that don’t involve using exceedingly uncomfortable words. We can, in turn, leave those words to aspiring erotica/romance writers like myself.

With hypnosis, there’s a way to tap into those messed-up, exceedingly repressed thoughts. I’m not talking about the kind of thoughts that reveal some uptight Texas pastor is having sex with gay prostitutes on the side either. I’m talking about the kind of thoughts that would make registered republicans gasp in horror.

The fact that hypnosis is necessary to reveal these thoughts is somewhat troubling. Being more open about sex has been shown on many occasions to be much healthier than repressive alternatives. The future of techno-telepathy may help effectively circumvent that awkwardness down the line.

For now, hypnosis is the closest we have to work with. It has shortcomings, but it’s better than expensive therapy. It can also make for some pretty sexy manifestations. As it just so happened, the fine folks at Cracked.com did a whole article on it. If you’re wearing dry panties, it’s definitely worth a read if only for three words: hands free orgasm.

The Sexy Things I Learned Working As An Erotic Hypnotist

Yes, by the way, being an erotic hypnotist is a thing. I only wish I could punch my old high school guidance counselor in the jaw for not letting me know that was an option. Granted, it’s an occupation that can get creepy, as revealed in the article, but I think you can say that about any job that deals with peoples’ inner-most fantasies.

I don’t know for sure how brain-to-brain communication will affect this process. I imagine it will build on what erotic hypnotherapists have been doing for years. I still look forward to the day when we can give each other orgasms with our thoughts alone. When our brains and genitals have that kind of synergy, the world will be a better place.

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Sharing Thoughts: The Ultimate Intimacy?

What would you do if you could share your most intimate thoughts directly with your lover? That’s not a rhetorical question. That’s not another one of my sexy thought experiments either. It’s a real, honest question that may end up having major implications in the real world.

I like to keep up with technology. I’ve always been interested in what the future holds. However, I’m one of those guys who likes to contemplate how this future technology will impact our sex lives. It’s not just because it makes for some crazy sexy thoughts. As an aspiring erotica/romance writer, it helps give me new ideas. Some have already found their way into my novels, namely “Skin Deep.”

So why does something like sharing thoughts seem so relevant? It’s not like it’s a new idea. Sharing thoughts, or telepathy as some call it, is already a major part of popular culture. From movies like “Inception” to iconic superheroes like Charles Xavier from the X-men, it’s just one of those fun concepts that makes for interesting plots, but doesn’t exactly surprise anyone anymore.

That could change one day though. In fact, that day may come sooner than you think. Brain-to-brain communication, or techno-telepathy if you want to call it that, has been under development for a long time now. It’s not just so we can share our dirtiest fantasies, including those that involve clowns and steel dildos. There are major medical applications to this concept.

Earlier this year, the first major tests in brain-to-brain communication allowed two humans to exchange thoughts, albeit in a very limited fashion, to answer a series of yes-or-no questions. This isn’t David Blaine playing mind games with card tricks. These are ordinary people using extraordinary technology to share thoughts. For those trapped in comas or paralyzed by strokes, this technology is critical.

While I’m all for helping those in comas or those who are paralyzed communicate, I think the larger implications of techno-telepathy are more enticing, especially when applied to our love lives. All technology starts out bulky, expensive, and limited at first. Then, once it matures and people realize it has profitable, non-medical uses, it gets more compact and efficient. It happened with smartphones. It can happen with techno-telepathy.

This technology may still be a ways towards maturing, but it’s no longer something that’s just on the drawing board. This technology has already come out of the womb and is starting to grow. All the incentives are there. It’s just a matter of time and energy.

So going back to my original question, what would you do if it were possible to share your intimate thoughts with another? What kind of thoughts would you share? Would it make you and your partner closer? Would it make them run away in disgust, traumatized that anyone could think about their old history teacher in that sort of way?

Granted, there may be some awkward moments. The entire first half of the movie “What Women Want” explores those moments. However, we humans are capable of overcoming awkwardness. If we can overcome puberty, we can overcome pretty much very kind of awkwardness that doesn’t involve our mothers and the delivery guy.

There’s also a pragmatic element to sharing thoughts with someone. Poor communication is one of the quickest ways to kill a romance that doesn’t involve bankruptcy. Poor communication, or a failure to understand the context of someone’s words, isn’t just damaging to our love lives. It’s basically the plot to half of every episode of every sitcom and romance movie ever made.

It happens so often that we think it’s normal. Two people are in love. They want to build a relationship. They struggle because someone says something that gets taken the wrong way. They can’t be sure what they meant or how they meant it so they get all upset and agitated about it. Hilarity, heartache, and entertainment follow, usually culminating in some big romantic speech by Hugh Grant at the end.

Pretty much all of that crap could be avoided if those involved could just share their thoughts. There would be no ambiguity. There would be no doubt, uncertainty, or reservation.

Imagine a relationship where you knew your partner really loved you. They weren’t trying to get your money. They weren’t trying to impress their parents. They weren’t secretly gay or bisexual. They just really love you and you didn’t have to doubt that. What would that mean for your relationship and others like you?

If we live in a world where we can share our most intimate thoughts, then would that strengthen our romantic bonds? Would that reduce the amount of stagnant, passionless relationships? Would it also necessarily undermine the privacy of our thoughts?

These are all important questions to contemplate, especially for those of the coming generation who already share so much of themselves on social media. Is this the natural evolution of intimacy and romance? Only time will tell. I just hope I can turn it into some sexy stories before then.

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