Mar 20, 2010

How quickly would you become a supervillain? NOW

If you had superpowers--you and only you--what would you do with them?  How soon after you were gifted the power of invisibility (or super strength; or flight; or mental telepathy; etc.) would you find yourself abusing the power you were given for selfish reasons?

This is not a rhetorical question.  The answer is "Almost immediately."  Don't even pretend you wouldn't sneak into an opposite sexed locker room, or surprise everyone and win an arm wrestling contest, or help your beloved football team end the waffling and answer the eternal question ("Are you coming back?!") by just reading Brett Favre's damn mind.

I was at dinner with Garrett and Claire, and this question of superpower use (and abuse) came up.  (FYI, Garrett is a total supervillain.)  It would be sooooo easy to take advantage of your new sitch (short for 'situation') without the possibility of any real consequence; you could do almost anything without repercussion.

But this brings up a plethora of follow-up questions:
  • Which celebrity would you most want to see naked?
  • How much money is too much money?
  • Can I trust Hung Truong enough to let him in on my secret? (No.)
  • What is the best way to wreak havoc on Bryan Costilla's miserable life? (that is a question we all must answer)
The most intriguing follow-up question, though, has got to be: What superpower would you want?

Good thing we've already got the answer!  According to a very scientific Facebook poll (brought to you by the movie Kick-Ass), a majority of you would choose "Time control."  Okay.  Duh.  But it is far from unanimous.  Facebook user Joseph SquadUp Johnson writes, "damm i put fly i wanna fly shit fuck time control i live life to the fullest anyway."  But it clearly is a difficult choice; Brandyn Grabowski comments, "i picked fly cuz thats just bad ass but then i thought about it. id pick time control cuz id go back and invent all those crazy things like shamwow! and snuggies. and snuggies for dogs lmao!. and microsoft. AND apple. and then once i got like a billion bucks id go further back and put it in a bank then come back to present day and be like a qudrillianare lmao."  Dilemma!  I think the existential quandary this elicits can be summed up by Fertile, Iowa's own Zach Hermanson, who says (quite poetically), "time control. so I can pause time go behind your back stab you with a pencil. walk back to my seat and then start time again. 'WHAT HAPPEND??!??!' zach hermanson."  Preach it, zach hermanson.

But really, this mostly just reminded me of an episode of This American Life, based around the idea of superpowers, which featured Mr. "and I'm a PC" himself, John Hodgman.  He wanted to know: Which is better: The power of flight or the power of invisibility?  Look at how curious he is!

The Hodg's respondents are a lot more interesting (Going-to-Paris Man!) than the Facebook dredge.  In the audio link below, "Act One: Invisible Man vs. Hawkman" starts about 6 minutes in, and lasts about 13 minutes.  But, seriously, you might want to just listen to the whole show.  What is the opposite of a waste of your time?  Whatever it is, this is it.



(Click anywhere above to listen--for free!--to the complete Superpowers show. Read the episode guide or listen to a 30 second promo here--all for free!  Donate $ to TAL here--not free!)

Answer any and all of the above questions in the COMMENTS below, as well as in the poll above.  If I could be invisible, I would most want to see Jonah Hill nekkid, obvs (short for 'obviously') ...NOT!

Are you a fearful, crouching masturbator like I am?  Also, re: "Act Two: Wonder Woman"--would you marry Zora?  I would.