Okay, so apparently, I am not as connected to the world of super-heroics as a comic book nut should be. This is because I am just now learning about a large group of people across North America who dress up in costumes and, well, fight crime.
Here's the story from a recent news broadcast that clued me in on one Phoenix Jones, a crime fighter in Lynwood, Washington:
Now my first thought after viewing this was that Mr. Jones was soon to be the subject of a major fucking beat-down. But I also thought that this was sort of cool, albeit in a completely deranged and misguided way.
But a little research revealed that not only is Phoenix Jones not the only person to do this, he isn't even the only person in the Seattle area. There's a blog called Heroes in the Night that actually follows the activities of some of these people. And it's a little unsettling.
Look, most of these people seem to be motivated by some pretty noble intentions; a sense of civic duty and concern for their community, a deep moral conviction, a proactive response to apathy. But they are using a set of guidelines that are based wholly in a fantasy world, and that may not be entirely healthy. I don't mean that they're mentally unwell, though some may certainly be. I mean that intervening in criminal activity with nothing more that a mask, some martial arts classes and a taser will probably get you fucked up. This is why cops have guns, body armor and training, because a crack addict breaking into a car will absolutely slash your face with a razor.
Anyway, here's an interview with Phoenix Jones that is both insane and strangely inspiring.