“The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius
Dear patient reader,
…moving and new assignments and goodbyes.
Over the last two months, I moved from my home of nearly 13 years to a new home in Warrensburg, Missouri. Meg and I had been casually seeking out new homes for the last six months, yet we had really planned to wait until my retirement to move. But we got lucky (through Meg’s watchful eye) and were able to find, purchase, and begin moving into our new home in late June/early July.
Also, in early June, Caleb discovered he was going to be reassigned to Whiteman Air Force Base in late June. So, my dad and Meg traveled to Texas to pick him up from Sheppard Air Force Base. He has been readjusting to his new assignment and we have been enjoying our time together.
Kylie visited for nearly a week in early July since she will be starting her undergraduate degree at Temple University in Philadelphia. We are excited for her next adventure!
It has been a whirlwind.
Side note: Full web links are toward the bottom of this update for some of the subjects I discuss.
Inspiration: Comic books
I recently visited the Spider-Man exhibit at Kansas City’s Union Station, and I was blown away by the detail that was put into the exhibition. Comic book heroes are now part the human experience or mythos. Most of us watch movies based on comic books, read comics or graphic novels, or even play video games based on comic books. Realistically, comic book heroes and villains play out some of the same oral stories our ancestors told around campfires for millennia.
Many of us love stories about down-on-your-luck characters who gain superpowers and save the day, such as Spider-Man. Many enjoy witnessing the raw power of characters like the Hulk, a being who gains immense power the angrier he gets. When at his most angry, he is one of the most powerful beings in one fictional universe (some argue ALL fictional universes). We also love watching characters like Captain America, Wonder Woman, and Superman save the day by using their powers for acts of kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness. We are fascinated by stories about the fall of civilization in stories like The Walking Dead. We watch those shows wondering how we would react if civilization fell. And we even enjoy stories about larger-than-life “normal” humans like The Punisher, a person capable of great violence against evil people. Finally, characters like Spawn—an assassin killed by those who trained him—offer a unique glimpse of what happens to a fallen person able to gain redemption. Then, of course you have Batman. Few words are needed to describe his exploits to help humanity despite his own demons.
Superheroes primarily reflect the best of humanity. They evoke our greatest desires to be better humans, and they are shown in vibrant colors and actions to pull our eyes along the pages.
The best villains evoke a passion for the good guys to stop them. But the villains show the darker side of humanity, things that we want to hide from or ignore. Super villains, of course, rarely believe they are the bad guys, which is exceedingly similar to reality. Most super villains think they are doing the “right” thing. Thanos, in the Marvel Universe, is a case study about this phenomenon.
I have been reading comic books off and on through my entire life, and they offer a respite insofar that I can help learn more about humanity itself – the good, the bad, and the everyday. If you’ve not read a comic in a while (or ever), I encourage you to try one out. Even a movie about comics, such as Unbreakable, can lure you in. You never know, a new passion may blossom.
What I am reading:
Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity by Peter Attia
What a fascinating book so far (I’m about 25% finished). Dr. Attia is a strong proponent of helping prevent health concerns before they become full-blown health emergencies. Once I finish, I’ll let you know what my final verdict is.
What I am watching:
Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny — I am a huge Indiana Jones fan, and I think it is in the top two of the five-movie series. If you enjoy adventure films that offer an exciting story and an excellent wrap-up of a forty-year franchise, I encourage you to check this out.
Oppenheimer — This film offered a biographical view of one of the most famous scientists in human history. I went into the movie with relatively high expectations for a story solely about atomic-bomb development, yet this film showed me a view of the man behind the myth. It has piqued my curiosity about his background, and I will check out a biography soon.
The Witcher (Season 3) — An excellent fantasy show set in a world of awesome magic, mutants, and ethical dilemmas rarely seen in other fantasy series.
Challenge for August and September:
Visit a park or other natural setting, if you haven't been to one in a while. Take a walk, if possible, or a drive; you'll be amazed at the stress relief even a short visit can provide. Also, try out a comic book, movie, or show, if you haven't done so already.
Please be sure to check out my website for continuous updates on my progress. If you have questions for future newsletters/updates, please be sure to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are numerous media links for your convenience: on Facebook at Dan Brigman, Author, or on my website, www.danbrigman.com. I'd really appreciate you passing on my newsletter to those who you think would be interested.
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Until next time, take care of yourselves. May the next month bring you solace.
A place to ponder the world of writing, among other things.