Monday, September 30, 2013

Growing Up Sucks

The Affordable Care Act, the potential shutdown, and the debt ceiling are pretty much the only things in the news today. Well, the only things I heard, at any rate. But we're not going to talk about them directly, kiddies. Because quite frankly, the ACA is going through tomorrow, and polls show that the GOP will take the worst hit on a shutdown. Your standard disclaimer: that's two polls and two news stories, not four polls.

Instead of railing at the people who are probably going to eat political crow digging themselves in any deeper, let's take a moment to reflect on how badly it sucks to be an adult. And no, this isn't the "I have to be responsible" talk. This is a rant on what's missing from my adult life that my kid self always secretly hoped would be possible.

I really want to be able to resolve problems. Serious, flat solutions that don't involve weaseling, that don't involve concessions made so idiots won't fuck things over. I mean, I've always understood that compromise and diplomacy were part of life, but I always kinda hoped I'd be able to take options my childhood companions did.

What childhood companions? Books.

I wasn't raised reading Harry Potter, but let's have a look at Harry first. Mostly because I'll be stunned if more than a few of you catch all the references from my childhood.

Harry is bullied. Harry (accidentally, of course) unleashes a snake on said bully. He then gets whisked away to a world that's full of awesome stuff, except for this one megalomaniac who wants to rule it all. Whom he then has to fight. Cue six years of Harry blasting shit with wands, magical weapons, and Hermione's brain to solve problems. No really:

Sorcerer's Stone: The power of love sits in for Kill It With Fire to take down Quirrell.

Chamber of Secrets: Kills a basilisk with a magic sword, which was couriered to him by a phoenix, then kills Riddle's proxy with a venomous fang.

Prisoner of Azkaban: Time travel. Which Hermione was given to get to class on time. For the record, my advisors just tell me not to take so many classes.

Goblet of Fire: Makes it through the whole book because Crouch, Jr. is feeding him tips and aid, then blows up Voldemort's wand due to a rare interaction. Frankly, HP4 was one of the strongest on deus ex.

Order of the Phoenix: Hermione takes out the book's main antagonist using centaurs and a giant. Harry and his friends fight a guerrilla battle in the government capital building, blow up a bunch of crap, destroy a bunch of irreplaceable stuff, and then duck and cover while the most powerful wizard on the planet does his best to kill Voldy.

Half-Blood Prince: Nothing gets fixed, everything goes wrong, etc. This book is why it's only six years.

Deathly Hallows: KILL ALL THE THINGS! Seriously, Harry runs around blasting crap with Hermione and Ron, killing horcruxes, smashing a bank...the solution to the whole mess is blowing up most of the school. Oh, and using the exact same technique that blew up Voldy's wand before to (accidentally?) rebound his murder spell and kill the main antagonist of the series.

Yep. All lasting solutions involved things blowing up. For all my HP fan-friends, I love the books. I love the movies. I love it all. I'm just saying.

But HP was evulz so I didn't read that until I grew up. My childhood? The Scarlet Pimpernel; The Count of Monte Cristo; The Three Musketeers; The Oz Series.

In brief:

The Scarlet Pimpernel: James Bond, but in the French Revolution. He lies, tricks, or kills people to smuggle aristocrats to England and safety.

The Count of Monte Cristo: And not the "Wishbone" version. I read the unabridged English translation. Anywho, guy gets betrayed and sent to prison. Escapes, finds a fortune, and uses said fortune to economically, emotionally, and physically destroy everyone involved. Four people walk away from the carnage, and two of them are the count and his lover.

The Three Musketeers: D'Artagnan swashbuckles and sword fights his way all over France, before straight up blustering his way past the antagonist to a promotion and eventual lush retirement. Yeah. He charms or kills his way through pretty much the whole book.

The Oz series: Now there's a lot to cover here, but the one that really stuck with me was book two, Marvelous Land of Oz. Boy takes a journey after escaping from a witch. Hijinks ensue. Boy turns out to be a lost princess. Yep, princess. Turning back into a girl and taking over the kingdom of Oz is the happy ending.

But hey, let's skip past books and look at comics. Superman solves things largely by punching them. Batman is Batman and rightly feared by any problem causing person. The list goes on, but at the end of the day most comic heroes solve their problems by punching them really hard.

The continued operation of the government is being held hostage by people who genuinely believe that they are doing this for the right reasons. You remember all those stories growing up, about kid heroes and superheros fighting people doing something wrong or stupid for the right reasons?

Those are the people who got a free slap sandwich.

I'm frustrated, in short, because the option of viciously visiting violent slaps upon those who annoy and frustrate me through obfuscation, stupidity, and the need for political capital is an option that comes with legal penalties. Talking, diplomacy, and making nice with the people that create problems in my life. This is what I can do. These are the options I have if I don't want to go to jail.

So yes. I'm a bit frustrated by being an adult in a world where those who have it coming rarely take five across the face.

Would that I could be the hero this world so desperately needs...

No comments:

Post a Comment