Your True Self

Damon Lindelof posited in this piece that Bruce Wayne was always Batman even before his parents died and that Walter White was always Heisenberg before he found out he had cancer. These characters in their real identities encountered triggers that allowed their true selves come out.

As Lindelof puts it:

“The conventional thinking is that Bruce Wayne became Batman on the day that his parents were murdered. This is his origin story. We all know it.  We all accept it. We all love it. Because it makes sense. Your parents are gunned down in front of you, so of course you vow an unending vendetta against crime and then dress up like a winged mammal to exact it.”

and

“We know all this because Walt tells us so. The ticking time bomb that is the cancer becomes his rationale for everything that comes next; the lying, the lawbreaking, the child-poisoning.”

The interesting thing is Walter’s cancer went away and yet he was still Heisenberg. If Bruce’s parents turned out to still be alive, he would still be Batman. Even if they stopped putting on their “costumes”, they’d still be those men. They might have to hide them again. They’d still be on the inside fighting to get out. Then again, I’m not sure either genie would fit back in their bottle.

I think he is onto something. I think we all have someone else inside of us. Some of use multiple someones. We keep those other selves locked away for whatever reason. Maybe we are scared society will laugh at us. Or maybe for some, that someone isn’t socially acceptable. Continue reading “Your True Self”

The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe: Stick With Me Here

Since it’s October, October 7th was the 164th anniversary of his death, today is the 164th anniversary of the publishing of his obituary, and I’ll be 40 on my next birthday, I’m proud to present to you Thus Quoth the Poet: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe.

To introduce my story, I’m going to open with a few selections from his Obituary. Stick with me. There is a point.

The Ludwig Obituary

“Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it”

“He walked the streets, in madness or melancholy, with lips moving in indistinct curses, or with eyes upturned in passionate prayers for the happiness of those who at that moment were objects of his idolatry, but never for himself, for he felt, or professed to feel, that he was already damned. He seemed, except when some fitful pursuit subjected his will and engrossed his faculties, always to bear the memory of some controlling sorrow.”

“As a critic, he was more remarkable as a dissector of sentences than as a commenter upon ideas. He was little better than a carping grammarian.”

“In poetry, as in prose, he was most successful in the metaphysical treatment of the passions. His poems are constructed with wonderful ingenuity, and finished with consummate art. They illustrate a morbid sensitiveness of feeling, a shadowy and gloomy imagination, and a taste almost faultless in the apprehension of that sort of beauty most agreeable to his temper.”

– Selected Passages From the Obituary of Edgar Allan Poe signed Ludwing

The full text of the Ludwig Obituary is here, but don’t read it until you finish reading this post. I promise there is a point.

Continue reading “The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe: Stick With Me Here”