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Confessions of a Closet Vigilante: The Psychology of a Wannabe Batman.( Utility Belt Not Included).
Batman is a registered trademark of DC
The Dark Knight is in all of us.
Some days I want to be Batman. It is not that I want to be a millionaire or have cool gadgets (okay, I do want those things). I definitely would not look good in the suite (but the abs built into the costume would be nice), and I would need an Icy Hot dispenser on my utility belt. It is just that sometimes, I want to take the law into my own hands. I am not advocating violence, and I would never do such a thing but the temptation is there.
There was a boy whose heart was located outside of his body, he was very small for his age, had Crones Disease, and he went to an acquaintance of mine’s school. The child would go to school with cigarette burns all over his body and once, his mom slid him into the classroom like a bowling ball. One day, I saw this child being pulled by one arm by a man (I use the word loosely), he called daddy. The dog (sorry, I am having a Conan the Barbarian, nerd moment) ignored the child, lifted him up by one arm, and threw him into the backseat of the car. I started to unbuckle my seatbelt and get out of the car. At that time, the phrase sometimes violence is a viable option was racing through my head and I …stopped. I knew that social services was working on the case and that my friend could lose her job if I made a scene. I remained in my car and felt angry and ashamed. A few minutes later, my acquaintance came into the car and I told her the story. She told me that it was a good thing that I did not interfere, because the father was just released on bail for stabbing a guy in the neck with a broken beer bottle. We never found out what ultimately happened to the child, because the family just disappeared one day. I know from experience, it seems to happen a lot in these cases. I know the system works, but it is very hard to watch someone suffer.
I know of two women who are in abusive relationships, and they go to work with bruises all over their bodies. Many of their friends have offered them a place to stay, rent free, and safety, but the beaten women are afraid. Putting a little fear (or a lot) into a batterer is tempting, but I do not have the suit, the gadgets, or the lawyers to protect me if I was caught. As an aside, not all men that are batters were abused themselves. The statistics that I have seen are around 50% of men abused turn into abusers. Again, knowing that these women suffer on almost daily bases is sickening.
Interestingly, the need to be Batman seems to be genetically based (maybe morally driven?). I was driving with my twelve year old son one day a we passed a disturbing scene. I know that bragging about your kid is corny, but I believe that being corny is a good thing. Anyway, two kids were laughing as they ran away from a third kid who was crying. The crying kid had a red mark the size of a basketball on his face, and the kids running away, coincidentally, had a basketball. My son yelled stop the car in a deep voice that actually scared me. I stopped the car and the two kids ran away as fast as they could. I stopped my son from following them, and we made sure the crying kid was okay. You do not let you’re your rather big son go about beating up bullies,I do not want him to become a monster, but the urge to let him do so runs deep. One day in Junior High a bully, knocked a kids book out of his hand. The bully turned around and bumped into my son, and my son said to the bully, “Pick his books up.” The bully quickly picked up the books and ran. If the event had escalated to violence, which would have been a bad idea since my son played football as a defensive tackle until he hurt his knee, I would have had to act as Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent in the principal’s office. However, deep in my heart, a dark knight might have smiled.
In closing, I never will be a literal vigilante, but if I use my computer to write enough Hub pages, maybe, I can help dish out some justice (I already told you I am corny).