Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Day in the Life - Bad Guys

"I'm looking for a bad guy book!"

Kids say the darnedest things, and Shelby said this to one of our friends at the library last week. She settled for Spider-Man and Ironman. She's too young for the concept of an antihero, but I think/hope/pray that's really what she means when she says "bad guy."



She's obsessed with bad guys, but it seems to me in her innocence they are heroes who don't always do the right thing. Maybe they even spend some time as a full-on bad guy before converting or returning to the light.

Darth Vader started it. No, she hasn't seen the Star Wars movies. I think Disney is partly to blame ... since they bought the franchise he's been showing up in the strangest places. Like on yogurt. Darth Vader yogurt ... not something I ever really thought about arguing with the girls over in the grocery store ("No mommy is too cheap to get the yogurt with Darth Vader on it! We're getting our normal vat of cheap but good yogurt and you can look at a Darth Vader toy while you eat it").

I know, he's decapitated. I couldn't find his head. Everyone shrugs when I ask.
I know I'm partly to blame. I'm a closet geek. I love the Star Wars movies. I'm excited about Rebel One. Generally I despise the science fiction genre ... but I have a weakness for Star Wars. Lucas is a genius. They got lucky. Lucky casting. Lucky costume design. Great story, great music, everything was groundbreaking and unconventional (for its time). And they hit the jackpot somehow with Darth Vader's seemingly frightening yet appealing persona.

It started when the new Star Wars movie was coming out. There was a doll (action figure?) in the grocery store. It was actually Rylo Ken ... but I mistakenly told Shelby it was Darth Vader when she asked, in a voice filled with wonder, "Who is THAT?"

Her response to this scary dark figure in the mask? "Dark Mater? [think Tow Mater] He's my best friend!!!" Sweetheart. Darth Vader is not your best friend. He's a bad guy. A fictional bad guy at that.

Since that day she has had a mysterious fascination with this bad guy, who used-to-be-good-and-ends-up-good-in-the-end. Recently we were looking for a new "good to grow" cup because her cup had gotten moldy. "I want a bad guy. How about Darth Mater? Yeah that's a good one."

Seriously, the child picked Darth Vader soap. Over Elsa. Over Olaf. Over pink.
There was not a Darth Vader cup. The best we could do was The Hulk, because he was angry. He must be a bad guy because he is very mad. And we had checked out his book from the library before and he is a little on the careless side. And the antihero fascination continues. Spider-Man abuses his powers. Ironman is egotistical and a bit selfish.

He glares at me disapprovingly from her nightstand, in the car, and from tangles of tulle as he rests on a princess hat
Really Jesus Christ is the only perfect superhero. Perhaps we're fascinated with antiheroes because, like us, no matter how much good we do we're still trapped in sinful fleshly bodies and we long for something more.

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