A villain's lament

Recently, I just came across this post by Doc Paprika, apropos of nothing:

This is getting to be a problem for me. After 35 years I’ve wrecked so many lives, slept with so many wives, destroyed so many orphanages, started so many child labor factories, evicted so many nuns, corrupted so many daughters that I’ve begun to lose track of who’s who.

And nobody follows the proper form any more. When you come after somebody for revenge you’re supposed to remind them who you are and why you hate them.

There are after all, only a relatively few of us that have the intelligence and panache to pull off true villainy. I think we’re a resource and we deserve to be respected for our work.

I mean the last guy who did it right was my former partner Flynn, who I betrayed and left for dead in a festering hellhole of a borneo prison. Of course when he showed up last year to exact his revenge wearing a trenchcoat on a dark streetcorner I did not recognize him as the leprosy had rotted most of his face off.

He said “Hello, Mr. Scylla. Remember me, Flynn, your former business party? If you’r going to try to shoot an irishman in the stomach, you better make sure you finish the job.”

But few posess Flynn’s character. Most of the time they simply scream in incoherent rage as they attack me, their nemesis. Of course, once I’m finished with them they’re hardly able to speak and remind me of what wrong they were trying to avenge, so I have no way of knowing which accounts are settled and which aren’t, and my things have gotten quite confused over the centuries.

Another thing that bothers me is that back in the old days you used to have to kill somebody’s brother, wipe out their village, flense the skin from the bodies of their loved ones, or what have you, in order to earn this kind of hate. When you did, and you earned it, it meant something. I could take pride in a job well done.

Nowadays, there are so few of us quality villains left, and so many wide-eyed crusaders out there, that I find myself overrun with clients.

The business is disapointing me, and I’m thinking of an alternate career. In the old days earning emnity was an accomplishment and a respected trade.

Nowadays it’s all too easy. Drive an SUV, vote Republican, invoke Neville Chamberlain in a great debate, cough too loud, that’s all it takes.

Instead of a rare and cherished commodity hatred has become a worthless weed that grows everywhere, spoiled in it’s reckless profusion just like a dog breed that encounters sudden popularity and is overbred into deformed mediocrity.

My artistry and evil are no longer recognized as quality. When hate is for sale people are content with Walmart quality and will pay the price for whatever you offer them. There is little place left for an artisan such as myself. Hate can be had like a Big Mac Value Meal.

All of this of course leads to the most stunning and disturbing turn of events. Pursued by such furies of naive medicority, in my darkest moments I fear that I have become the good guy.

Wow, so it really is the last guy you’d expect!

“A man may smile, and smile, and yet be a villain.” – Shakespeare

Medicority? Is that the social organization for pre-med students?

Furies of Blind Mediocrity… now I’m fairly new around here, but can I hear a “BAND NAME?”

Nobody knows what it’s like
To be the bad man,
To be the sad man,
Behind blue eyes. . . .

Tomndeb You, sir, are pure evil.
::::::hands over ears::::::::La la la la la la la

Awwww. Buck up, little camper! I still fear and hate you! C’mon, wanna shoot my dog? Just for old times’ sake?

<clears throat>

Mr. Scylla, I see you don’t recognize me. What a pity. My name is Captain Amazing. Does that ring any bells? No? I had throught that it surely must. My parents worked in your factories. It was a hard life, and you treated them like dirt, but still they survived and fed us. Survived, that is, until that tragic day, when my mother refused to satisfy your twisted sheep fantasies. Do I see a glimmer of recognition in your eye? Do you remember her? You certainly did after she turned you down, for you took out your vengence on my father, feeding him to your evil Nazi groundhogs. It was then that my eleven year old heart swore that someday, I would have my revenge. I trained my body and also my mind, studying techniques of investigation and the physical sciences. Now I’m back. I’m watching you, Mr. Scylla. I know that some day you’ll make a mistake, and the instant you make that mistake, that loose thread in the tapestry that is your empire, I will bring you down. This I vow. I will not rest until I see you pay for your crimes.

<slips back into the shadows>


Hello Scylla, my name is Bubba Ray, you took my parking spot, prepare to be towed.

Scylla - do you by any chance happen to have 6 fingers on your right hand?

So? This is just another example of arch-villians being victims of their own greed. If you want to be respected as a connisseur of villiany, you can’t take a couple of every evil hors d’oeuvre that passes near your maw. You have to be selective, tasting only the choicest wickedness and using only the rankest garnish. Good film noir is a thing of the past since most modern filmgoers don’t consider smuggling water or searching for maltese falcons to be particularly malevolent. The appeal is not in the scale of the evil, but the skill. Republicanism, SUVs, Enron and tainted hamburger are like an Extra Value Meal. You get a lot of different things with popular appeal. But the quality is poor, and it degrades the work of art that a properly chargrilled hamburger can be.

Épatez the bourgoisie? No one is shocked by works of art these days. The lack of quality echoes the lack of discretion. Mobsters want their stories told and laundry washed in HBO serials. Evil has to be private to be truly shocking; if everyone is in on the secret than an evil act is easily trumped by the next big thing. Six evil things may seem more evil than the opus of an artistic villian. But, as you say, no one cares about quality these days.

Driving an SUV is an inherently evil act. It’s too popular and too easy to do to be villainous. No one wants to be upstaged, so the idea is to combine several heinous acts: voting Republican, cheating neighbourhood seniors out of retirement money, beating up school bus drivers and giving out tainted Hallowe’en candy. Small potatoes. But to the common brigand, enough small potatoes can still make a pretty good happy meal.

When I went to evil medical school, we had a full curriculum devoted to this sort of thing. Now, its been reduced to a short mini-course. Standards are down everywhere, and people just bitch apropos of nothing.

The problem isn’t being the good guy. The problem is being unappreciated for being bad. But if you are appreciated, you are no longer bad. Or not for long. Someone always seems worse.

I think you’re mistaken here in connecting villainy with hatred. We love our villains. They’re larger than life, symbols of our own secret desire to burn down the village and march away with a beer in one hand and a companion of loose morals in the other. Villainy has rarely engendered hatred. People don’t hate John Dillinger. They don’t hate Billy the Kid, or Edward Teach, or Francis Drake, or Robin Hood. Hatred is something we keep close to ourselves, where it can fill our lives to the fullest. We hate our neighbors, co-workers, or random strangers. It’s kind of a line-of-sight thing. Hatred is never for the right reasons, either, while villainy usually has motives that every human being, however virtuous, understands in a hidden, dark part of themselves.

Ha! Piker! You won’t be a true villain until you become a smoker.


A method of cleansing while flossing.

If you want to follow a different path of true evil on a grand scale, you could get into the insurance business in southern California. :smiley:

*Scene 1: Outside the Safeway, Scylla is loading his huge SUV with Evil Supplies (you know, Twinkies and such). He ignores the blood dripping slowly to the pavement from the twisted metal of his latest victim, a Toyota Tercel, newly crushed against a guard-rail as he made his evil way to the supermarket a short time ago…

A ragged, old dog slowly limps up behind Scylla… un-noticed until it lets out a menacing growl.

Scylla, surprised, spins around. A bottle of katsup flies from the bag in his hands and shatters on the ground; the resulting splatters on Scylla’s Alligator boots and real fur evil cape a poignant testament to a life of pure Evil and SUV driving…

Scylla looks the dog up and down (well, actually mostly down, but you know what I mean…), and speaks:*

Scylla: May I help you?
Dog (still growling): You don’t remember me, do you?
Scylla (puzzled): Noooo… Did I used to own you or something? I’ve had a lot of dogs…

*The dog suddenly notices the katsup splattered across the asphault, and limps closer to lap up the mess. Scylla waits a moment, then becomes impatient and returns to his evil task of loading the SUV.

Scene 2: (The lights come up. Obviously several minutes have passed. Scylla has finished loading his evil SUV, and now leans against the car in the next parking space smoking a cigar and trying to clean the katsup off the lower fringes of his evil cape before it sets in. He is aware that the real fur evil cape is dry-clean only… The dog finishes up the spilled katsup, and returns to its original business. It looks around, and spots Scylla, who is blowing second-hand smoke into the face of a passing infant… Licking its muzzle for any last traces of katsup, the dog slowly limps over to where Scylla waits…*

Dog (growling again): You don’t remember me, do you?
Scylla: (rolling his eyes, and sighing theatrically) No.
Dog (holding up its right front leg for inspection): You’re the varmint what shot my Paw!

I read through that whole long story just to get that hackneyed punchline?

Grr. I hate shaggy-dog stories.


A villain most evil named Scylla
As depraved and as cruel as Attila.
…Treats his friends like a weasel,
…Drives an SUV diesel,
He’s the world’s biggest threat since Godzilla.

Hallo. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

This is why no James Bond villain had a bad memory…

I’m sorry you can’t remember all the people you annoy, Scylla.

The best part? “Fresh Made Daily”