Thursday, July 30, 2009

Because you can't save the world with your underwear over your pants

So, you want to be a Superhero?
Naturally, the first two things you probably thought about were a) your Superhero name and b) your totally boss outfit.
It really doesn't matter what you call yourself since nobody will probably ever know the name except you, so let's talk about the costume.
You don't get to teleport to where a crime is happening - you have to walk out of your apartment, walk down the street (traveling by rooftop is a great idea until you have to cross a two-lane street [they have those now, y'know]), wander all over the place, wait in different areas for extended periods of time, and then maybe you get to stomp on some crackhead's ribs. So if you're wearing bright primary colored skin tight pajamas with a cape, people will notice. It's hard to blend in with that stuff. And that's what we want. We want to move freely - and this means going unnoticed, by cops and criminals alike.
Also, wearing a cape makes you an idiot. Unless you're a vampire, which is kind of like being an idiot.
But I digress.
The best outfit is one that:
  • either is or can rapidly be converted to look like normal street clothes (or whatever clothing is appropriate for the social/business environment you're working in)
  • has some elements of camouflage (non-solid colors, dark, etc)
  • is easily forgettable
  • is tough (denim is your friend, not to mention the concealed vest and kevlar sleeves under your clothes)
***Quick tip: red is the first color to turn black as the light decreases. So, if you want to wear dark clothing without looking suspicious by wearing all black (say, for instance, if a cop sees you), you can mix it up with some red, which people tend to think of as a color that stands out (a psychological trick).
As for the mask to disguise yourself, I use something small and nondescript (not the one currently featured in my profile picture) that I can replace easily. It should be something that you can stuff in a pocket, that goes on and off quickly and easily, doesn't block your vision (including the vital peripheries) or other senses, and any light protection it can give you is a bonus. It can have some style, but don't overdo it.

Stay Super.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pipe Dreams

Alright, let me tell you a little something about sewers.
Now, in the movies and on TV, sewers are always these places that a) have walkways on the sides so you don't have to walk in someone's toilet water and b) have manhole covers that are wafer-thin and a simple matter to move.
This is wrong.
If you plan on sneaking through a (sanitary) sewer, do not expect anything to walk on. Chances are you will find yourself in the muck. Piece of advice: wear clothes and shoes you won't mind parting with, because once you get back to your apartment and find that there is a small hunk of some New York City stranger's poo on your favorite jeans, you'll never be able to where them again. Or probably anything you wore that night.
And manhole covers? HEAVY. They're giant discs of cast iron, and can weigh up to 350 pounds, if memory serves (though some can be light enough). The first time you have that as your only remotely realistic way out of place you don't wanna be, you're not going to be happy.
A few other things:
  • NEVER NEVER NEVER go into a sewer if it's raining or may rain in the near future. It's a very easy way to drown in a place you really don't want to die.
  • I've managed to avoid rats in all my travels through some miracle, but you should always be wary of them. They're highly territorial and packs of them have been known to take down small cattle.
  • Really, don't go into a sanitary sewer if you can avoid it. It's totally gross. You won't feel anything near clean for at least a week or two. And you have to worry about catching all kinds of nasty diseases.
  • Bring a flashlight (a lighter isn't gonna cut it) with fresh batteries. And a knife.
  • As a general tip, pipes get larger in the direction the "water" is flowing (to accommodate more and more water). So if your pipe is small and you're going against the flow, you should be looking for a way out.

Stay Super.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Heroes in the house (of their own)

To all accepted and prospective students:
The JT Awesomefellow School of Superhero Arts (JASSA) does NOT offer room/board accommodations of any kind. This is an intense, year-long program of study that will meet frequently. If you are coming from out of town/state, you MUST arrange for a place to stay on your own. JASSA recommends staying with family, friends, or even other students.
A word of caution: living in NYC is expensive. Please take this into account when deciding whether or not you can afford to take these classes.

Stay Super.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

To Serve and Protect You From Protecting Each Other

Let me start this off by saying that I have nothing but the utmost respect, admiration, and appreciation for the police, FBI, military, etc.
There is something very strange in our society, and in most others. It is a very strange thing, and yet so commonplace that we take it for granted and never think about it.
The people are protected by the police officers. Fine - good stuff. The people are protected only by the police officers. The people may not protect each other without being a police officer, and if they do, they are subject to punishment by police officers.
We all know that helping people is a good thing - that it's the right thing. We can all understand that not everyone can defend themself against every situation, regardless of how hard they fight. We also understand that the police can't be everywhere and there are some places they aren't even "allowed" to go. That's where the vigilante comes in.
In a world where it's illegal to do what's right, what do you do?
What are you up to, say, tonight, for example?

Stay Super.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Intense, Searing Pain

Saw Public Enemies the other day. There are no spoilers ahead, so don't worry.
At one point, a bad guy has been shot in the head and is in the hospital. He's screaming in pain because the bullet is pushing against his eye and inflaming his brain. One FBI guy is keeping the doctor out while another is pushing on the bad guy's eye, trying to get him to reveal some pressing (no pun intended) information. The main character seems uncomfortable with this, and it seems the intention was that the audience be so as well.
All I have to say is, Why should we be?
Let's look at the setup:
We have a crook, who regularly kills and badly maims people, mostly police officers (who protect the innocent). He deals out incredible damage and pain on a regular basis, pain similar to what he is experiencing now. He chose to do this for his own benefit - he is not a soldier or some fighter of injustice - he is a thief who has grown wealthy and comfortable on a mound of blood and skulls.
We have an FBI agent, who is trying to prevent others like this man from killing and maiming even more innocent people. He is enhancing the crook's pain - the pain being a direct result of his criminal lifestyle choice - to prevent people who have chosen good lives from suffering.
Is it okay to hurt someone who hurts others to keep good people from being hurt? Is it okay to protect and coddle someone bad if it will result in the pain and deaths of the good?
Stupid Hollywood.

Stay Super.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Great Debate

Anyone involved in martial arts, fighting styles, etc. on any level will often find themselves endlessly debating the same thing all other fighters do - what is the best martial art form?
Most people who have only studied one form will be dead sure that the form they are studying is, hands down, the best. For people who have studied more than one form, they'll generally leverage their world of experience to tell you that what they are currently working on is the best (otherwise, why would they be doing it?). Then there's people who just read about fighting and/or watch the Discovery/History/Learning Channel and figure they know all there is to know.
Let me break it down for you, so you don't get sucked into this eternal debate (though it helps pass the time at boring parties):
  1. The flashier, fancier, and/or more air-time involved, the less likely something is to be a good choice in a real life situation
  2. If something is used by a bad-ass military, it's probably worth your time (see Krav Maga, MCMAP)
  3. If you're being taught to kick much above someone's waist, your instructor has no worth as a human being
  4. Straightening an arm or leg invites your opponent to break it
  5. If the only knife defense they teach you is defense against someone bringing the knife down on you from above (as opposed to straight at you), they aren't teaching you a knife defense
  6. If the martial art is used in competition, it's probably not fit for the street
  7. Kicking someone in the winnebago is NOT a good opening move
  8. Don't bother with books about ninjutsu or being a ninja, regardless of what any "actual ninja" reviewer says on Amazon.
  9. Nothing is better than sex with Dr. JT Awesomefellow, D.S. (if you are female and attractive)

Stay Super.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yes, there is a doctor in the house

People sure are sissies about renting out spaces for these classes. There's all this talk of general liability insurance and certification and man, does it give me a headache. Also, renting a space in NYC? Not so cheap.
Why can't it just be, "Oh, you have something wonderful to give the world? We'll be happy to help in any way we can! Also, don't worry about paying for it! Also, here is my daughter!"
But no, it's always "Exactly what kind of classes are these? ...Uh huh, and - the students are going to be doing what?"
But fear not, good citizen, the classes will begin this Fall, regardless of how the so-called civilized world would prefer it.
In other news, I've decided that it is possible to become a Doctor of Superherology (D.S.) through my school, and that I am the first one. My full and proper title is now Dr. JT Awesomefellow, D.S. However, since I am very humble by nature, I will permit my students to address me with shortened titles, such as Dr. Awesomefellow, Professor Awesomefellow, and perhaps some worthwhile nicknames if the student isn't too much of a little punk.

Stay Super.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pet Peeve #574

Okay, so let me tell you about something that makes me want to punch people in the face.
A lot of people. You're probably one of them, so read on and watch out.
  1. Book is published.
  2. People read book.
  3. Movie version of book is made.
  4. People who read book see movie. People who did not read book see movie.
  5. People who read book feel they are qualitatively better than people who did not read book.
So first off, eat a dick. Second off, so what if I didn't read the book? And what puts you in some elite club? You're just pissed because you went through the trouble of reading all that only to have other people get the same thing easier, quicker, and with more fun (because it's a movie, not a book).
You're not smarter than us, you're not on some insider's track, you don't possess sacred knowledge, you probably don't even have very good hygiene. You just read a book that happened to be turned into a movie. Does anyone care if you read a book that wasn't turned into a movie? Did it matter that you'd read that book before they said they were turning it into a movie? NO! It's just a book! Who cares!?

Stay Super. And not a dick.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Crime and Punishment

I'd like to philosophize with you a moment.
As a crime fighter, what is the best way fight crime?
If you see a crime in progress, is it enough to simply stop the crime from occurring? To let the attractive female or diminutive male walk away with their person or goods mostly intact? This is the obvious and primary goal, but what about the thief, crackhead, rapist, murderer, etc. that put this scene into motion? How does one deal with them?
Someone once said something to the tune of:
If someone strikes us, I believe we should strike back. We must - so hard that they never strike us again.
With a lot of criminals, if you stop them from committing one crime, they're just going to go out and commit another - as if they'd gone to one store that didn't have what they needed, so they have to try another.
If we are truly fighters of crime, then what do we do about this? A friend once read a book that took place in a future where criminals had warnings of their past crimes tattooed in large letters across their forehead. While I like this idea, it's not very practical for just one person to do.
How could you prevent someone ever committing a crime again, and maybe even using them as a warning to others?
People get put in prison all the time and when they get out (because they've been in prison) no one will hire them, so they often end up even more likely to commit a crime.
Also, think of the person that they were attacking. Some types of crime really screw up a person, sometimes for life. It results in a feeling of fear and powerlessness.
Is there any way to give them their power (and life) back before it ruins them? Is there any way that you can make sure that the criminal never does anything like that again?
I'll leave it to you to think about.

Stay Super.

PS - Just under a month until the deadline for applications!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


"Most people have the will to win, few people have the will to prepare to win."

-Bobby Knight, American basketball coach

Monday, July 13, 2009

Regarding Chivalry

As you save lives and defend the innocent, you will find that something unique can happen when you save a member of the finer sex. They've just suffered a traumatic event, they're feeling very vulnerable, you've just saved their life, you are their hero - it is the classic situation that they have been taught to crave their entire life, from storybook fairy tales up until adulthood.
This is where being a gentleman comes into play. One should always have a code of chivalry and this is one of the more concrete examples of putting it into play. Always have several condoms on your person at all times. It puts her at ease about womanly matters, it puts you at ease about what malicious creatures might have taken up arms in her nethers and are waiting to pounce upon your noble member.
Always keep several with you - occasions for intercoursing are like the homeless - they're everywhere, and frequently in places you'd never expect.

Stay Super.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pet Peeve #573

Okay - I want to talk to you about something that a) girls often do and b) is stupid.
Callous removal. The removal of callouses. That's what we're talking about.
Now, I've known a lot of females in my day, and get very personal with more all the time, and they almost all share the same misguided opinion:
Callouses are not supposed to be there and should be eliminated. Some even go so far as to say that they're "gross."
FACT: Callouses (which are toughened areas of skin, for the hoes at home) are there because your body (which is apparently smarter than you, by some strange twist) has determined that they need to be.
Callouses are, actually, awesome. Let me tell you a story. There was this guy in China a few decades back. He punched a block of steel 1,000 times every day for many years (along with a martial arts training regimen) - were he to punch anything less than steel, it would shatter. The local authorities were having some trouble with (read: couldn't handle) gangs, so they call in the guy. Using his skill and awesomely hardened fists, he, shall we say, dealt with the matter. Do you think he would have been as effective if he had used a pumice stone daily to remove "unsightly callouses" on his knuckles?
Your body builds callouses because it needs them. If you walk barefoot on rough terrain, you build up callouses to protect your tender little toes. If your hands don't have callouses, people can safely assume you don't work for a living.
I won't get into the callouses I've built in other places, but let's just say that moving parts in contact require lubrication.

Stay Super.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How the story began...

Origin stories.
All Superheroes have them, right? So what's mine?
I was never exposed to radioactivity, found a magical item, suffered some terrible event, or became infused with alien technology (unless you count cologne made by foreigners).
Growing up, I always had an interest in training and preparing myself. Even as a wee grade-schooler, I would study martial arts flicks and practice the moves, jump over and climb on anything I could find, get into little fights, and push myself to the limit. I read about the tactics of ninja and Navy SEALS, assassins (did you know that the word "assassin" comes from the word "hashishin," because assassins were originally paid in hashish?) and thieves, Native Americans and ...there's nothing that pairs well with Native Americans, but you get the idea.
Then one day I turned around and said "What's all this for? What's the point of knowing sword play or knife throwing these days? Have I been wasting my life? What has all this been building towards?"
But I knew the answer. All boys know the answer. I was becoming the ultimate, perfect guerrilla weapon against street crime.
There was nothing dramatic to when I got started. One night, I just went out, almost daring myself. And little by little, like anything else, it just became the thing I did.
I guess that some guys play online poker at night and some beat up criminals and throw them in a dumpster.

Stay Super.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Post-Fourth Post

Fireworks scare the crap out of me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You've got to apply yourself

If you look to your right, you will notice that you can now apply to the school online. The due date is August 15, but admission is on a first-come, first-served basis, so don't dawdle!

Stay Super.