Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Will to Power

I have developed a serious and quite debilitating addiction. I know it will run its course and in a little while I'll be free of it but for now it is ruling my life. This happens to me occasionally: I have, in the past, been addicted to – amongst other things - chocolate brownies made by a company called the red house; tables; shoes; Riesling; sunshine; Mossyard beach and going out for cocktails. I often get addicted to a particular author and read everything I can get my hands on written by that person. I also have a tendency to become addicted to certain music or musicians: at the moment I'm a bit partial to the Kings of Leon. But this latest serious addiction is to to the American TV series Heroes. My son has the whole first (and, so far, only) series on his computer and I can't stop watching it. Last night, alone, I watched four episodes. It's great, about a load of disparate people who are discovering that they are different from what might be considered normal: they can do things.

There's the girl who can't be hurt: any injuries heal immediately; the artist who paints the future; the chap who can bend time; a politician who can fly and whose brother can adopt the power of whoever he is with. So when he's with the artist he can paint the future, when he's with his brother he can fly etc. There's also a policeman who can read people's thoughts and a woman who has a lethal alter-ego and is very confused. There is also 'the baddie' who we haven't yet seen properly. He also has super-powers and is going around killing anyone he suspects of having them too. Then there's the chap who might be good, might be bad. It's all so riveting.

The premise of the plot seems to be that we, humans, are entering the next stage of our evolution. With all the evil in the world we need people who have certain skills in order to enable survival of the species. And these people are beginning to discover that they have such skills, but they don't know why yet. Luckily there is a very handsome young Indian professor whose father, a geneticist like him, had a theory. This theory got the father killed and now his son is agonizing over whether daddy was bonkers or right. This is where I've got to so far.

It's quite an interesting premise don't you think? Extrapolating Darwinism out to the world of the comic book. The reason why humans have been so successful is because we are so adaptable. Whatever the conditions we have found ourselves in we have managed to, not only survive, but multiply to the point of being a danger to the rest of the planet. So, running with this one, in order to continue to survive we need to start trying to adapt our way of life into a less competitive and more co-operative one. We need to begin to stop thinking only of ourselves and think of the rest of the world. If we continue to plunder for our own short term goals we will wipe ourselves, and everything else, out.

So, going back to Heroes, could there be a new evolutionary type that has the power needed to take the species to the next stage and could this type be what we might call the super-hero? A type that has the extraordinary power needed to bring the rest of us greedy, selfish bastards into line? Who knows, but it's fun to imagine it especially if one tries to imagine what type of super-power one might have oneself.

So, of course, I have been trying to decide what super-power I might develop if conditions were ripe. Firstly by trying to pin down and identify any talents I might have. Secondly by trying to imagine how they could become enhanced and lastly by asking how such enhanced talents could save the world.

The first thing that came to mind that I certainly seem to have a talent for is procrastination. I mull, turn things over in my mind, analyse, ignore, worry and eventually, when all hope of action has evaporated... act. I'm not sure, though, how this 'talent' could develop any further. Perhaps the process could be speeded up: if I could mull and analyse in the blink of an eye, omitting the ignoring bit, it might become a power that could save the world. Someone who could look at a situation, see it for what it is and then act on it could, I'm sure, be of use. But, it has to be said, the part where I ignore is crucial as this is where my subconscious takes over and the solution, or answer, grows. It is then presented back to my conscious self enabling me to act. So I'm not quite sure about that one as a super-power, however if I mull it over for a while I may be able to draw out its potential.

The second thing I think I'm quite good at is nurturing. This is probably a second nature talent that has developed over years of experience. When I first started I was pretty hopeless at it. I've cooked some disgustingly inedible meals in my time, but now I pretty much turn out something delicious and nutritious every time without much effort or thought at all. I can usually tell if someone, or some other life form, is not quite in the peak of health and do a bit of nursing. I have, for example, nursed two puppies back from the brink of death. I have saved ailing plants and of course brought my son up into a healthy, strong adult. What use might this be in saving the world however?. A few intuitive nurturers might be necessary if all else has failed perhaps.

I'm sure I will continue to ponder this one for a while. Maybe by the end of the series I will have worked out what I might be capable of in the hero department.

But what about you chaps out there in blogland, do any of you have a skill or talent that could help save the world? Or, if you could choose a super-hero talent what would it be and why?


Kim Ayres said...

"Hold it right there, Procrastination Woman! I, Option Paralysis Man, will need to spend a while figuring out the best course of action. If only there weren't so damn many..."

Mary Witzl said...

Hmmm. Personally, I am glad that I can't read minds (though it would come in handy when I try to find out who has neglected to replace the toilet paper roll or greedily polished off the last slice of cake), and I don't want to be invisible. I would love to be able to fly, or to heal people, but in a clandestine way. I think that would be marvelous.

As for procrastinating, I am sure that I could procrastinate rings around you and Kim. Some day let's have a contest. But no...we'll all just keep putting it off...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Liking-To-Eat-Liquorice-Woman at your service, ma'am.

Eryl Shields said...

Take your time OPM, you'll know when the time comes.

Mary ~ Having seen your house I know that I beat you hands down in the procrastination stakes. I've been in mine for ten years and still have the much hated carpet and fire place in the sitting room because I can't decide on replacements. The kitchen still doesn't have flooring and the bathroom still doesn't have a bath; the list is endless.

I quite like the idea of being invisible, though I often feel it anyway.

Sam ~ you could floor people with your liquorice breath!

Kanani said...

My blog is on hiatus so that I come visit all of YOU!

I haven't watched "heroes." But I did get addicted to "24" and Jack Bauer. Pure fantasy. Fell in love with the idea of someone never having his telephone network go down.

Let's see. We have a liquorice eater, a paralysis man, procrastinators...

Well, I'll be the writer for whom words appear out of nowhere and I position them on walls of public places to mean something.

On the other hand, that does sound like a billboard maker!

PI said...

I recognise the mulling. I shall be mulling daily 'til the deadline on the 19th when I have to decide whether to renew Norton anti- virus or download a freebie. I'm a nurturer also.

Eryl Shields said...

Kanani ~ No, you sound more like a situationist from the 1960s. You know those revolutionaries who used to put huge slogans on beautiful, establishment buildings in Paris such as 'Act of Random Beauty'. It's about time they were resurected.

PI ~ I think the best people mull. We humans have the type of brain we have for a reason: any animal can make a snap decision on impulse or instinct.

I had Norton and hated it as it kept stopping me from doing things I wanted to do. My son downloaded me a freebie and it was great.

Kanani said...

Murals,situationist, yes, I can do all that!

I mull as well. Sometimes I get crabby when life descends on me and I don't have enough time to mull! Like today. I have to volunteer at my daughter's school, conduct a phone interview with a writer in Hawaii, and take me son back to school tonite for a dance. Oh... and I have to go to my regular job as well. Really,I don't know how it's all going to be squeezed in.

Anyway, back to the superhero strengths....

I could be Miss caffeine. Give me a cuppa and I can do anything.

Eryl Shields said...

K ~ Miss caffeine you are. Get that woman a cup of coffee!

As for mulling there's no substitute.

Dr Maroon said...

I couldn't nurture myself out a paper bag. This programme sounds a bit like the Tomorrow People, only infinitely better.

Like Kim, I have no skills or accomplishments which is why I drink too much at parties. I think you used to be able to buy licorice panties or something. They were definitely edible. I have know idea why I remember that.
I could be Trivia Man!
I've got tons more.

Carole said...

I really like Heroes. It is a great show. Much fun. And it is wonderful to think of a superpower that would help the world. My boys all said if they could have a super power they would like to be self-cleaning so they don't have to shower. Weird.

I am very good at a couple of things, but neither would help the world. I am a good listener. I can listen to anyone and ask questions about their interests and find out more about a stranger in ten minutes than most people know about someone they've known in 2 YEARS. I am also good at easing tension when people are angry with each other. I can make silly remarks that make people laugh and feel a little foolish and their own indignant responses to others. Mostly I can make fun of myself and that seems to crack people up, hence ending tension.

Here she comes to save the day...CalmListener Girl. You feel tense, want to kill your mate...call Calmlistener now. Or perhaps you have bored everyone you know to standstill and need another set of ears. Call Calmlistener. Nope neither of these skills will help when the world is in dire straits.