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 Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)

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Agent Null

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Number of posts : 32
Age : 44
Localisation : Portland, Oregon
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Sun May 11, 2008 9:41 am

[NOTE: This is copy of my latest blog entry. I publish it here in hopes that everyone will read and appreciate what is said]

So, as I have already written about, I went out on my first patrol with Zetaman earlier. While we were doing our thing, we were talking (what? You think we did everything in a gallows silence?), and we discussed ideas, plans for the future, and so on.

But it all came back to the same topic: How do we better present ourselves in a way that demonstrates to the public that we are not just doing this as some sort of childish live-action role playing or for the "lulz"? How can we as members of the RLS subculture prove that we can be more than just silly brats in costume acting out wish-fulfillment fantasy?

Well...I have come to find what I believe to be the answer. It was right in front of my face the whole time, as luck would have it:

Look, very few are going to like what I'm going to have to say here, as it flies into the face of what we know as convention. But then all truths begin as blasphemies. And as I am not a stranger to being strung up for the sin of telling the truth (and not making it funny) with regards to this subculture, I've no problems outlining the ways in which this subculture needs to change.

First of all, we need to get away from the comic book mindset that helped create us. As loathe as I am to point this out, comic books are not real. The situations, societies, and attitudes that shape the world of superhero fiction simply does not apply in the real world. Here, in the world where we live, there are very few true heroes just as there are a scarce amount of truly evil villains. In this world, black and white are simply colours; they are not moral absolutes. Calling ourselves ANYTHING other than "Real Life Superheroes" would be a huge step in the right direction.

Second of all, we need to be more transparent. Think about it: you decide to become a costumed crusader. Now, during the course of making this decision, you decide to set up a webpage and forum in an effort to reach out to other like-minded individuals. And then, you make the forum private, with membership upon approval. Sooo...doesn't that defeat your purpose? If you TRULY want to help the public, you would not set up a place for discussion that they cannot read and discourse with you. To even entertain the notion suggests something to hide. And most likely, they will believe that you are hiding that face that you really haven't done anything of note, nor will you ever. Judging from what I've read on those forums, I also believe this to be the case. Also, if you are the type who is sensitive to any flames you may receive from the public you are trying to reach out to (and you will), perhaps this is not the line of work for you after all.

Third, we need to be more exclusive. Look, one of the biggest issues within this subculture stems primarily from an appalling lack of standards. Are we really that desperate for validation that we should accept anybody who comes along with a MySpace profile and a few good (if mainly false) tales of derring-do? I should truly hope not. I hate to go back to this, but in one discussion I had, I pointed out that our subculture would even accept John Wayne Gacy if his icon pic was of him in his clown costume and he claimed to "destroy evil". I still believe this to be the case. On this same topic, if one of us is shown to be less than they claim to be and it can be proven beyond all doubt, then they should be cast out from the subculture altogether if they will not explain or justify themselves. No other society would allow people of this nature to remain with them. Why should we?

Fourth, we need to be honest about ourselves. This goes toward transparency, but it still bears mention nevertheless. Look, I do not believe a majority of those within this group are as active in fighting crime as they would have us believe, if they are at all. If one fights crime in the manner in which these people claim to, and they have not been killed or arrested for vigilantism then fantastic. More power to them. But prove it. Show some documentation, whether it be a police report or a newspaper article or a link to a news broadcast. If one cannot, they should either be silent about it, or they should not be surprised when such claims fall under heavy investigation and scrutiny. The basic rule should apply: proof or it didn't happen.

Fifth, while I understand the affectation towards maintaining a secret identity while on the job, the fact remains- YOU ARE NOT YOUR CODENAME. At the end of my day for example, I'm not Agent Null. I am me. Agent Null is nothing more than a symbol I gave myself. Anyone can be Agent Null.

Sixth, I know goes back to point 4. But here it is: If you actually are fighting crime, busting drug dealers and muggers and the like, and this can be proven; once again I say that's fantastic...But you have changed NOTHING. Zip, Zilch, Zero. How is that, you ask? It, like so many other answers I present here, is quite simple. You change nothing because not once have you managed to combat the REASONS crimes occur. In fact, I have a crisp clean sheet of paper with President Lincoln's mugshot printed on it that says you never once gave that any real thought. You know something guys? The internet is a fantastic place, full of magic, wonder and knowledge. Perhaps if you devoted even a half hour of the time you would normally use to talk about which non-existant spells to use while fighting demons that aren't there or which piece of armour would look cooler on your MySpace profile to looking at the real sociological motivations behind crime, you would be so much more effective at PREVENTING crime from happening in the first place. Now, I am not so naive as to assume that we can prevent future crimes from occuring merely by dint of our efforts in tackling real issues (for once). But you know, in the end, that is a more noble end than simply beating up criminals.

Seventh, we need to be active in the cities we live in. By this, I do not simply mean we need to be constantly patrolling the streets in search of ciminals to thwart. Far from it. Instead, we need to show EVERYONE from the rich to the poor, the old to the young, that we care about them and want to be able to succeed on their own. We need to be present in soup kitchens or other charities. We need to be seen handing out necessary survival items to those who lack them. We need to be the first to lead drives to aid those who have suffered losses. If we have first aid and cpr training, we need to teach others to do the same thing. If we are martial artists, we need to teach others to protect themselves. We need to not selfishly hoard our abilities to sate our own ego. We need to demonstrate and teach those abilities to those who wish to learn them.

And finally, we need to be proactive in the above methods. Sitting here and debating these topics will get us nowhere. What I have stated here is nothing less than the whole truth of the matter. The more we sit here and debate the points to death, the less we are out there, doing what needs doing.

And the less we are out there, the closer we creep to carving our epitath as a punchline in pop culture history.

Toodles!

-AN
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EMidknight

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Mon May 12, 2008 1:03 pm

You have some good points there Null. My favorite of which is the name 'Real-life superheros.' I whole heartedly believe that the title of hero is something someone else gives you. Superhero is a few steps beyond that. Even as bad ass as I think I am, I will never call myself a hero on any level.
On some onther points. If you go about patroling in the correct manner, there is no reason you should be arrested for vigilanteism. There is a law call "Citizen's Detention" which states that private citizens may restrain or hold in custety anyone whom they have evidence to believe they have or are in the process of commiting the crime, and that said citizen can turn them over to the police and the police officer will count that at their arrest. As long as you don't use stronger force than they use on you, Perfectly legal. Feel free to look it up! God I love loop-holes.
I do not nessisarily think that We need to be more transparent. I happen to be a fan of sticking to the shadows. I like the idea of doing what I ahve to do then getting out without making a specticle of myself. I'm not out of public validation. So transparency should be optional.
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Agent Null

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Mon May 12, 2008 1:27 pm

Hey EMidknight! Thanks for the comments! This is really helping sort things out. I'll tackle your points gladly of course.

First, in regards to the title of "superhero": You are 100% right! I somewhat believe that those who would call themselves heroes suffer from rampant ego at the very least, and outright megalomania at the worst. Look at our great heroes throughout history- they never called themselves heroes. They were simply people fulfilling their duties. Other people called them heroes by virtue of their deeds. As for what I am, I have come to really fall in love with the title of  "Costumed Advocate". What do you think?

Now, about transparency: When I say that, I do not mean that we need to be seen doing our tasks in full view of others. But I do feel that, as servants to the people, some degree of accountability and transparency is required. We should open our forums to the general public for example. Civilans should be able to go to certain forums and see what is happening and possibly offer suggestions to help us better fulfill their needs, or hold us accountable when we do not. 

Also, thanks for the tip about the Citizen's Detention law! I had absolutely no idea that even existed. I do know that in my state at least, citizens are allowed to use deadly force on intruders who encroach on their personal property, whether armed or not. I know that we have the Measure 11 law, which means that folks like myself need to be VERY careful with regards to the use of force, due to mandatory minimum sentences (Also known as "The Redneck Justice Law" Very Happy). Seriously, I do not want to go back in the pokey for doing the right thing. Once was more than enough, thank you very much.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

-AN
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Mon May 12, 2008 2:09 pm

I'm just waiting for the day when one of us is revealed to be a serial killer or something. People'll say, "I knew him so well! He seemed like such a nice guy!" And their online buddies will defend 'em to the last.
Another thing that bothers me are the Batman wannabes. "I am the night! I am the terror that flaps in the night!" C'mon, man... someone may train half their life in martial arts, grab a pair of binoculars and a camera, and think that you're better than a cop.. but RLSs aren't any better than the Guardian Angels. That's the bitter truth.
There's former cops who've grown corrupt in their thinking, and people who didn't make it past police academy in the RLS ranks. But there's not a one among us who has that kind of power, the kind of power and respect that a real police officer has.
Police officers train their bodies and brains. We have either one, but not often both. And most of the RLSs, and I'd hate to say it, are childishly naive.
Take for instance, the incident I had with Geist. While I was under the guise of Nightmare, Geist emailed me asking me a question like, "don't you want to be good? Don't you have anything better to do than try your best to be evil, and failing?" In other words, he was trying half-assed reverse psychology on me.
The thing I had working for me at that point, is that Geist is the average just-out-of-high-school RLS. Fresh out of the farm. He had emailed Beach Shadow, who I had been friends with at that point, and he had told B.S. that he would attempt to A) befriend the supervillains (in his logic, all 'supervillains' are desperate gamers that play around in their mother's basements). B) belittle the 'supervillains' in arguments, psychologically breaking them down. C) To use sex as a weapon, by creating a female supervillain (there was no existing female supervillain at that point until I created the persona of Miss Demeanor).
What occurred after that in my email caused Geist to get extremely upset-- enough to notify the FBI. He believed that this "Nightmare" character was leaving Las Vegas (LOL), and heading for Mexico. He even put out an APB for the fictional persona!! Mr. E (who I'm not) notified me, and told me to delete the Nightmare profile on Myspace.
When it was revealed that I was disguised as Nightmare/Miss Demeanor, ol' Geistie emailed me and told me that he had given the FBI my real name, and suspected that I had been participating in criminal activity. It's his own naivete that led me to believe that I was not the target of unmarked helicopters and Flowers By Irene vans following me. Reason #1 is that there is still such thing as Freedom of Speech. Unless someone is specifically threatening the life of another, someone can say pretty much anything online or over the phone.
If the FBI were even REMOTELY interested in what he had to say, they would've told him to "not contact him" and that "they'll handle it."
There are RLSs out there who've told stories of shooting some guy in the gut and walking away-- but there's no proof of such a story. There's stories of an RLS going after drug dealers or muggers, and mugging them... again, most of it is only wishful thinking and tall-tales.
My point in all this is that, as Null said, the RLSs are trying to emulate something taken from a 2 dimensional page. Fictional characters drawn in ink. Fictional characters who fly around on strings with blue-screens in the background.
It's that emulation of a fictional character that makes them feel larger than life. "I am the night!" only lasts until a well-trained police officer shines a Surefire in your face. "Let me see your hands! Up! Hold 'em the fuck up! You got any weapons on ya? (pause) You've got WHAT on ya?! Stun gloves? You're a WHAAAT?? We don't need any superheroes patrolling our city. Go home. (another pause) Tell ya what. You get your dumb ass home to your mama, and I don't arrest you for Disturbing the Peace (or any other charge that WILL in fact fit, because cops can make ANYTHING fit)."
And what do the RLSs say? "I'm a superhero! I'm protecting my city! I'm doing this 'cause (so-and-so) was raped/mugged/killed!"
It's that naivete that festers throughout your "career." Y'see, nobody really makes comic books about cops.. there are some, but mostly comic books are revolving around muscle-bound superhumans with 2% bodyfat, while all the females have DD tits.
There's no way that anyone will ever take the "real-life superhero community" seriously. Police officers go to college to be police officers. They go for 4 year degrees, some stay longer for law degrees. After the rigorous process of trying to be accepted into a police academy, they go through weeks of Boot Camp style training, are accepted into a precinct where they get still MORE training. They do this for about a year, if my info is correct.
Real Life Superheroes, on the other hand, only need a Myspace, and to log onto a forum. They can make up all sorts of shit, like being a master of Shaolin Kung-Fu or being the leader of a "spirit army." They can call themselves a "detective," although it doesn't count for shit unless you either have a badge or a detective license. Believe me, I know.
Being a volunteer detective, as I have experience in, really doesn't do much to help anyone. People most often won't help you. They don't wanna speak to a "volunteer," they wanna speak to a COP. So then there are those who go around in their "uniforms," taking pictures and placing Missing Persons/Wanted posters around their areas. Honestly, what's the point in going to Hero-Gear Jack, spending gobs of money on a spandex suit, posing for Myspace (so everyone'll believe you're "real"), and then walking around in public with your ol' twig n' berries popping out?!
Is it worth it to have people snickering at you as you walk by? Why do you expect to gain respect and seriousness when you're emulating a childish media?
There are such things as childish, even naive, cops. With time, they grow out of it. They grow wise. There's no such thing as a wise Real-Life Superhero. Unless you count those who are retired.
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Agent Null

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Mon May 12, 2008 2:47 pm

But I really DO have a spirit army!

I normally refer to it as a liquor cabinet though. COME GET SOME!

Now to get all serious here: You hit the mark, as usual.That is one thing we will never have over the police. They have the extensive training (which you are correct about the duration of their training). They have the education. And they have the physical conditioning. Some of us have a measure of this. As for myself, I have very little formal education. I was expelled from high school at 15. Hell, I don't even have a diploma. And while I do work out 3-5 times a week, I am not, nor will ever be a rippling mass of muscle. Also, there is that nasty smoking habit I've been trying to wean myself off of since I was 30...

I had considered taking private investigation courses, but in this state, you have to have a clean criminal record to be certified. That knocks me right out of the running there.

Although I have heard about some Costumed Advocates who are certified as independant crimefighters by their local police. I wonder if there is any truth to that, and what such a thing would entail. I should ask Superhero, perhaps.

In truth, Joshua, all of the reasons you have listed are the reasons why I do not believe I will ever be going out of my way to be thwarting criminal deeds. As much as the thought does have a certain appeal, I understand that realistically, such a thing isn't entirely feasible. Also, I would love to say that were I to see a crime in progress I would bust in to stop it from happening. But I have only been in that situation once in my life. So, yes I would love to say that I would go out of my way to stop a crime if I saw one occuring, but I don't really know if I would or not. There are too many variables to consider.

As far as respectability goes, I fully understand that we will not be entirely respected. Respect is something that should be earned. Perhaps I am being overly idealistic here, but I believe that with a lot of time, we can build that. And the steps I outlined would be a step in the right direction.

Oh yeah- Darkwing Duck rules, incidentally.

-AN
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Mon May 12, 2008 4:33 pm

Yeah Darkwing Duck Rules. How I wish I can have a base inside a bridge.
I think when it comes down it; people need to actually walk around in their uniform and all of that before they can get the hang of what they should do. I have always thought it to be like a craft. You start at the basics and work your way from there. The more you are doing your thing, the more avenues of opportunity you will find. I believe patrolling is good because it gets you out there to socialize with the public while in your outfit. It's an evolutionary process.
And it is always good to know self defense. But you’re not going to terrorize the night unless your 6'4" with a build like Schwarzenegger and a face like Samuel L. Jackson. No one cares about your online reputation as a "Bad Ass" nor is there a community of criminals. They don't all hang out in a Brothel or arm wrestle in a bar somewhere.
I've seen Pimps and prostitutes and drug dealers of all sorts. Are you telling me by busting their nose in it would make a difference? I mean if you beat down someone, what makes you think that they will not be back the next day, doing the same thing, but this time with a gun to blow away your pimply ass? And it seems most "criminals" seem to not want to do anything if they are in jail. When you hurt someone, you now are just a liable as they are. In the eyes of the law, you also will be arrested along with those who you "destroyed".
Last month, there were 3 guys who kicked a homeless guy and ran off. While yelling some choice words and threats to the guys, I went to see if he was okay (which he was). I started off after them but I had a few people on the street that knew me and reminded me about the laws in our city. Had I gone after these guys and done something with my weapons, I would be fully prosecuted under the law. The fact that these guys hurt someone else is inconsequence. The simple fact would have been that I had weapons and fought guys who were not armed. And any martial arts’ training is considered having a weapon of sorts. If you are more armed or trained then those you are facing, you are going to be sued or thrown in jail successfully. That is the law. You may claim you do not believe in it and work outside of it, but that doesn't mean a whole gang of police officers that do will not respect your beliefs and shoot you down for brandishing swords.
As far as the term real life superheroes? I think it is important that people find there own labels to work with and a reason why. And when people ask, if you have a totally humble and logical reason why you call yourself a, well lets use costume adventurer, then they will pick up on it. I do not believe I am a superhero at all. The media has stated such (and have not used "Real Life" or "Reals" thank God). But I have to not allow that title to make me feel like I am better then anyone else. I am not. I am no better then anyone at all. And if I self promote that I was a "Real Life Superhero" then I would shatter any trust I have with the public. Then instead of a well meaning guy who is a little crazy but means well, I am an insane fat bastard with no grips of sanity and has self delusions. So if you want to describe what you do, go for it. But demanding that everyone in the world call you a Real Life Superhero, which is utterly wrong and insane.
Quote :
The thing I had working for me at that point, is that Geist is the average just-out-of-high-school RLS. Fresh out of the farm. He had emailed Beach Shadow, who I had been friends with at that point, and he had told B.S. that he would attempt to A) befriend the supervillains (in his logic, all 'supervillains' are desperate gamers that play around in their mother's basements). B) belittle the 'supervillains' in arguments, psychologically breaking them down. C) To use sex as a weapon, by creating a female supervillain (there was no existing female supervillain at that point until I created the persona of Miss Demeanor).

Using sex as a weapon? What the hell? People need to get over the titles they call themselves. This is why I reviled in being called a Supervillain for so long. Come on. You spend so much time battling evil online? So anyone who makes a dig or a bad comment needs to be punished? Then clearly you do not believe in the freedom of Speech. If you force the world to say what you want or act the way you want them too, you are no better then a Nazi. People are going to say crap online. That is the bottom like. You call yourself a real life superhero, expect some crap thrown at you. By trying to fight fire with fire, you demonstrate that basically your methods of communication are no better. Basically the pot calling the kettle black. You call them losers that live in your mother’s basement that do nothing but troll? Then you must be the same way, otherwise how do you know their methods so well? There are no costume supervillains. Get over it. You want a comic book that mirrors real life superheroes? It’s not Watchmen; it’s the first 11 Tick Comics. Especially the one where Tick and Arthur goes to New York. There is your example right there. We are all guys in outfits.
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Agent Null

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Mon May 12, 2008 5:34 pm

Quote :

Quote :
The thing I had working for me at that point, is that Geist is the average just-out-of-high-school RLS. Fresh out of the farm. He had emailed Beach Shadow, who I had been friends with at that point, and he had told B.S. that he would attempt to A) befriend the supervillains (in his logic, all 'supervillains' are desperate gamers that play around in their mother's basements). B) belittle the 'supervillains' in arguments, psychologically breaking them down. C) To use sex as a weapon, by creating a female supervillain (there was no existing female supervillain at that point until I created the persona of Miss Demeanor).

Using sex as a weapon? What the hell? People need to get over the titles they call themselves. This is why I reviled in being called a Supervillain for so long. Come on. You spend so much time battling evil online? So anyone who makes a dig or a bad comment needs to be punished? Then clearly you do not believe in the freedom of Speech. If you force the world to say what you want or act the way you want them too, you are no better then a Nazi. People are going to say crap online. That is the bottom like. You call yourself a real life superhero, expect some crap thrown at you. By trying to fight fire with fire, you demonstrate that basically your methods of communication are no better. Basically the pot calling the kettle black. You call them losers that live in your mother’s basement that do nothing but troll? Then you must be the same way, otherwise how do you know their methods so well? There are no costume supervillains.

I wasn't going to talk about that, actually. I think it just it illustrates my point- We need to establish some standards. Not to put too fine a point on it, but such displays of rigmarole as displayed by our esteemed colleague Geist is exactly the type of thing that brings us all down.

-AN
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Mon May 12, 2008 8:34 pm

Sorry. Venting a little frusteration. Just let the public say what they want. Unless anyone says anything in your face, just leave it alone.
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Tue May 13, 2008 6:15 am

After killing a few brain cells on another forum, I think we all should just let it go. No amount of truth or reason is going to get anyone else's attention. What we need to do now is focus on seeing if there are new people with better ideas out there.
-Z
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Tue May 13, 2008 12:23 pm

You know something?

You are correct, sir. Absolutely correct. I suppose it was a disappointment for me when I entered this subculture only to find that such concepts as truth and freedom were anathema to it. But I should just let it go. I can't force anyone to see anything. And besides, it's asinine to try to impress my peers when I should be working to impress the normal people I am trying to help.

So I'm going to do my best to just let my personal feelings go in regards to certain aspects of the culture. It is better that way. Besides, I've said all I can say about things. My feelings are out there for all to see. I don't need to keep beating them into the dirt. It's time to get to work.

-AN
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Tue May 13, 2008 5:58 pm


Hi Gang,

1st off the term "Super Hero" is under a copyright jointly owned by DC and Marvel. I’d be willing to bet that they have a rather ravenous bunch of lawyers fairly chomping at the bit to litigate anyone who uses the term too much with or without a real life or real in front of it. Maybe the term Costumed Advocate would be more appropriate. I would leave it up to the individual advocate to decide what they whish to advocate. After all if they are going to put themselves on the line it should be something that they believe in it being their happy butt that’s out there. As for me I call them Earth Agents like the name of this board and the site it is a part of. The definition of an Earth Agent is a agent of change living and working on the planet earth. That should cover pretty much anyone in the Ersatz RLSH movement with or without costume. Of course we are going to have many pretenders / wannabes and such bragging about unproven and likely fictional exploits. I do not see how that is any different than those who brag about their military exploits in the war and other such BS. Braggarts will be braggarts and this is just 1 more thing that they will try to twist to their own ends. As far as real life super bad guys go I don’t see them as any more unlikely a group to pop up than real life super good guys. I will state the following statement now and dare anyone to prove me wrong.

" THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA SO OUT THERE THAT THERE ISN’T SOMEONE CRAZY ENOUGH TO TRY IT OUT. THESE DAYS WHEN 1 OR MORE OF THEM DO THEY WILL PROBIBLY HAVE A WEB SITE OF SOME SORT WHERE THEY TRY TO HOOK UP. WHEN THEY DO LIKE AS NOT THERE WILL BE A REPORTER ON A SLOW NEWS DAY OR SOME SORT OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLIGIST LOOKING TO CHECK THEM OUT AND WRITE AN ARTICLE ON IT FOR THEIR OWN ENDS, "

Now there is the statement all in caps go prove me wrong. I dare you!!! L.O.L. Unlike some posting on this subject I do think that you can take concepts directly out of fiction like comic books and directly apply them to the real world successfully. Worked for me anyway. Comic book hero stuff breaks down into 3 basic categories. Public Service, Heroic Rescues and Active Crime Fighting. The first to you can do in relative safety. Zetaman can tell you pretty much all you need to know about setting up for public service. As far as the second "heroic rescues" go it is more dangerous say rescuing someone from a burning building but at least nobody is shooting at you when you do it. In either of these A secret Identity isn’t as important as it is in the third one. Active crime fighting. If you get into active crime fighting you will have one of two choices. Either be held to the constraints within your respective community for citizen crime fighters or be classed as a vigilante. For the first ask the cops in your area and I am sure they will be glad to tell you. As for vigilante action I guess your moral compass if you have one will be your guide. Anyone but the vigilante section should be able to furnish proof of their respective exploits as needed . The vigilante part of the group would be better served at getting real good at hiding their exploits. But any of the above mentioned groups should be less concerned with personal press than with getting the job done. You should be pursuing whatever you are doing because you truly believe it needs to be done. Not scurrying around like some wanton publicity whore saying " Look at me what a nice and wonderful person I must be to be doing this." Those that do are the publicity whores I call them and are probably poor souls as well overcompensating for a weak ego that some psychology major would probably love to do a term paper on.
If you are a vigilante type the best way to remain free and stay one is to avoid needless publicity like the plague. Keeping it out of the papers gives the real authorities legal deniability so they are less likel6y to chase you. Plus the less the bad guys know about how you operate the better it is for you and your continued existence. At least it always worked that way for me.

Superman

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Registration date : 2008-03-27

PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Thu May 15, 2008 12:53 am

Nullify: The very last thing we should ever do is to give people who are not at least consitering being 'costumed advocates' access and free reign to the board we who are exchange ideas on. Perhaps a seond board, but I don't wnat to have to sit through 12 posting of some 14-year old jackasses tell us what dweebs we are or what ever those crazy kids call other people nowadays so they can take time away from hating theriselves (I was picked on alot as a kid, sorry), to get to a relivant posting from one of you fine folks. I am all for a second board for that, and may ever talk to whatever comicbook memorization prodigy decideds to tell us what captain spandex would have done in the situations we are in.

Also I do like the 'costumed advocate' idea, though I am not sure. I'll will likelt just teadiouslty avoid refering to us in third-person collective veiw.

Rippling masses of muscle can't manuver well, don't aim for it.

Zeta: You kick ass!

Supe: Thumbs up on all points except for police officers being happy to share with you what the 'Citizen's detenion' bounderies are. Many don't even know, and I asked one with chevrons all the way down his arm! but codes and law are easy to access at libraries and such. Reseaech projects in school actually do pay off for something.
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Thu May 15, 2008 3:13 am

Nah I agree also. If you do the vigilante stuff, you should keep it quiet or not to get into so much details. I know a few guys who are vigilantes from time to time. It's better for them and myself not to openly discuss their methods.
There are other methods that are legal when you are in a bad situtation.
1. Bounty Licence
2. A concealed Weapons Permit
3. Get a PI licence. The pay sucks at first but if it's your drive, then I guess it would pay off.
4. Some cities offer citizen training for Citizen Patrols. This one I would love to get into if I had time and money and not have to work for a living.
That and simply know the laws in your area and be prepared to take the right actions. You may have to explain them later.
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Number of posts : 32
Age : 44
Localisation : Portland, Oregon
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Wed May 21, 2008 11:26 am

Sorry for the delay in responding. Thought I would let this one percolate a bit Smile

Anyways, here is my response-

Superman: I agree with you on regards to the need for anonymity while crime fighting. I was just wondering though- If those of us in the active crime-fighting game recognise the need to keep a low profile while on the job, why wear a costume at all? Also, if you just run around dispensing vigilante justice don't you run the risk of becoming little more than a more interesting form of thug?

I have given this some very serious thought of late (as always Very Happy) and I am coming more and more to the conclusion that the risks involved with costumed advocates actively using violent vigilante tactics are not even remotely worth the reward. There is the risk of being arrested for one; just try telling the guys you are processed into jail with that you were arrested for beating up a pimp while wearing your costume because you're a superhero. I triple dog-dare ya *lol*

Also, if you are the type who favours beating the crap out then tying whomever you deem to be villainous up, here is what you can expect: Without providing evidence (because you cannot give it in person), the police will most likely take your victim to the hospital, treat him for his injuries, do a cursory search of his home and property...then release him after 24 hours, if that. Remember anyone can refuse to answer questions and be released from questioning if they wish. Add to that the time it takes to start investigating evidence collected, interviewing any alibis, getting warrants, etc. and your prized catch could very well be out on your streets doing the same crap he was before for months...even years. Yes, it may have felt great, but ultimately...you have failed.

Also, what do you think will happen if the subculture is surrounded by "punch first and brag to your buddies later" vigilantes. First of all, if there were as many as people seem to think, the media would be all over that like flies on dung. That was what made the Guardian Angels such a hot topic in the day- they made headlines by beating the piss outta anyone who thought to cross that line. It was only after constant pressure to clean up their act that they settled into what they are today. Had they continued as they had in the late 70s to early 80s, they would have been eventually considered a gang and outlawed. It was only their increased commitment to outreach programs and social activism that saved them. The longer we court the romantic four-coloured ideal of dispensing violent justice, the closer the day may come when we are deemed criminals.

My final point regarding this also comes from the comic books that inspired us: Superman is a vigilante technically. But he doesn't just devote his superhero persona exclusively to beating up whatever threats may come. He also devotes his heroic identity to advancing causes. This began even during his inception, when Big Blue was dropping corrupt union bosses and mafia thugs off buildings.

Even Batman devotes his time to urban renewal and issues of poverty when he is not chasing after his various foes. This is why their cities love them: because they show the people that there is more to them than simply waiting for the next battle.

Now to Midknight-

The problem with not giving your public access to the bulk of any wesite or forum is that it gives the public reason to believe that you are hiding something. And it logically stands that if somebody has something to hide, perhaps their motives are not as genuine as one would have their public believe.

Also, it gives the impression to those who would eventually try the lifestyle for themselves that such a website caters to a "pampered elite" or is representative of a broad and ill-defined status quo.

Though this not to say that I do not sympathise with the lack of privacy. In some regards, privacy is most necessary and desired. But should you wish to do that, why not make the bulk of your website/forum accessible to the public while reserving a few chapters for certains sets of eyes only?

And as far as folks in the public criticising or hurling invectives toward us. I understand how it feels to be picked on. It happened to me a lot too. And I've done my share of picking on others. In that time I learned one thing: ignoring bullies does not work. Bullies and antagonists see ignoring you as a sign of weakness; you are walking away because you have no other defense. This is why a bully will beat you even harder if you ignore them; that's blood in the water to them. The best way to appease a bully without fighting them or having to cough up your milk money is simply to be patient. Answer their jibes plainly. Roll your eyes and say "whatever" when they slap you upside the head or something of that sort. There's really very little they can do about that, since that means that as far as they are concerned, you couldn't be bothered to care. And if they want honest discussion, let them have it.

By opening your website to the public in such a fashion, it shows that you are (Or at least, you bloody damn well should be) capable of being able to handle such insults. As well, if you are patient and non-inflamatory with responses to such people, it shows that while you do not care to discuss their antagonist remarks, you are still willing to speak with them on other levels. If your cyber-detractors are open enough, they will eventually mellow out and become productive memebrs of your community. If not, no matter- they will find another online interest to spam the crap out of.

And think of the respect you would gain from the public if things were handled this way.
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out (Blog Reprint)   Wed May 21, 2008 8:23 pm

Wow, those are amazing points. This forum is definatly the thinking person's forum.

Anyway, Yeah I agree. If there was a way to hid in plain sight, as it were. You can have a public image, but the amount of information (or misinformation) can be handled.
I have a public image, yet a majority details of what I am about are not advertised. For example, my patrol route or when I patrol. People know that it is sometime at night. My name is out there, but all the details are not totally. And if they were, even then the important information is not. What you should do is research your real name fully. Understand that anyone with 25 bucks or more can do a full search on you. Also, if you own property, your information becomes that much more accessible. My wife works for a company that handles home owning. Chances are your house, the value, the taxes, and even a image is public knowledge. Granted, you need to know which sites to go to, but it is public knowledge.
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