Monday, October 10, 2011

Signs You're Giving Superheroes A Bad Name

A) Your name is Dan Didio. (That's a joke. Mostly.)

B) You're this guy:

That, in an image I pulled from the Huffington Post, is Phoenix Jones; one of the real-life "superhero" protectors of Seattle, Washington. This past weekend, he was arrested for assault outside of a nightclub. More details after the jump.

According to local Seattle site Publicola, he was taken into custody after having used pepper spray on a nightclub patron, who says he did so with no cause. According to Jones, there was a fight going on, and he was only trying to break it up.

Aaaaand...even while I've been writing this bit of "news", a video of the whole affair has been posted. It's 13 minutes long and marked as "not to be used without permission", which I don't have, so I'm just going to link to Bleeding Cool, who I'm assuming has permission because they've got it on their site (and is where I read about it in the first place). The video can be viewed here: ineffective superheroing

It certainly seems to paint a slightly different picture of what was going on than some of the news stories do. It really does appear that Phoenix was breaking up a fight, and pepper sprayed a girl who got hostile about it. They were then chased and assaulted, and there was definitely a hit-and-run in the process. It's a good thing Phoenix had that camera crew with him.

This goes back to what I was originally going to say: "Don't be a superhero". I get that he's trying to be helpful, I do. Believe me, if there's anyone that you'd imagine would be behind the idea of "real-life" superheroes, it'd be me. But I'm also a realist. The way the real world works, the idea of superheroes doesn't. Phoenix Jones, according to the wiki page about him, has a total of 22 violations on his own criminal record. I'd say 23, but I'm betting there won't be any charges on this one. Most of his stuff apparently involves driving, and his inability to do so legally. Doing your part for your community doesn't mean putting on a mask. It doesn't mean you can use pepper spray on moronic douchebags. Stupid people do stupid crap. I'm all for stepping in and helping somebody out when they're in need, but if drunken idiots want to beat on each other, I'm kinda all for it.

There's also the fact that while there was, in fact, a hit-and-run, it looks to be someone who was trying to get away from the fracas that Jones inserted himself into and only seems to have made worse. And let's look at that camera crew, shall we? They seem to be following him around as if they're filming a documentary, and they might be, but that doesn't exactly seem very super-heroic. A true hero does things that need to be done, that no one else is willing or able to do. Phoenix Jones seems to be all about making sure that everybody knows who Phoenix Jones is. He's going to get himself or someone else killed if he's not careful, and he certainly doesn't seem to be all that careful. He's got some body armor, and reportedly is an MMA fighter, but he still just reminds me of the guys in the hockey gear in Dark Knight.

It's only going to end in tears and blood, and it may not even be his. Sorry to be a bummer.

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