MonkeyMule and I have been having this discussion about which is more important in matters of life and death, style or getting the job done. I’ve seen the James Bond films and I know that when you get the good guy in your clutches, you don’t put him in some wildly elaborate contraption and wait for it to kill him, you shoot the bastard in the head, and then go on about your plans for world domination. MonkeyMule seems to think that bludgening him with a chair and then pouring beer over his unconscious form will somehow psychologically impair the hero enough to let you conquer the planet. I’m not buying it.
Just for clarification, which of those is considered “with style?”
Me, I’m all for the lead lobotomy, and crushing the opposition. It’s hard for someone to claim you don’t have style when your heavily armed minions patrol every street, and you have lackeys and informants in every bar, tavern, and gathering place in the city.
“Style is what I say it is, baby, and don’t you foget it.”
You see Tucker Just has it all wrong. The Chair and Beer are merely tools to add a sense of style to elevate the Super Villain above petty thug. Any idiot with a . 45 can put a hole in somebody’s head, but it takes a man of true imagination and style hog time him in an empty pool that is rapidly filling with hydrochloric acid, and a new bread of acid breathing piranha. And lets face it, who can rule the world if they don’t have that flare? that special something that says “I am in no small way better then you, and deserve to be your leader”
Looked at the other way, though, nothing says, “I am in no small way better than you, and deserve to be your leader,” than being alive, when the other guy, in fact, ain’t, yeah?
[sub]The boards seem to have indigestion. A 13 minute double post? Yikes.[/sub]
Maybe super villains don’t really want to take over the world. They’re just trying to make a statement. The elaborate lair, the hundreds of henchmen, the ridiculously complex evil plan, it’s all to stick it to the good side. It doesn’t matter if they win, they’ve proved that they could take over the world if they wanted to, but they prefer to just keep the good guys in check. After all, without super villains, what’re the good guys gonna do all day?
Man you guys make me sick!! Where is your Flare for the dramatic, you sense of style and FLASH? I mean you need to really kick things up anotch To take over the world. Just surviving is not enough, merely dispatching the protagonist is no where near fullfuilling. You need to send a message, this is what happens to those who cross me. It’s been done for centruires. The huns would sac entire villages to burnning rubble, the romans had an industry built around the sacrafice and torture of their eniemes, and don’t get me started on the chatolics. These are some of the greatest empires in the world, and what did they have? Style, and a unique sense of fasion! So learn from the greats, do it well, but do it in style!
Perhaps Yumblie has it right. Maybe it’s just guerrilla theater. Or maybe it’s guerrilla theatre, which is a little more high-toned. Steal some stuff, kill a few extras, top it off with a big pyrotechnic finish.
Who among us, though, can summarize Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s dramatic statement? Sometimes they get the point across, but they don’t tell you what the point was.
Yeah but you need to make sure you have something to celebrate. Kill first, celebrate later. You can do the dance in the end zone, as long as you get there first, ya know? I’m with the bullet to the head then put the body on display afterwards side. Do what needs done, then enjoy the spoils.
No I have no big plans for the future, why do you ask?
Please, please! Is there no reason why we really have to choose between “flashy” and “pragmatic” methods of dispatching a hero?
Just “rig” the flashy execution so that the hero can’t possibly win…and I don’t mean as in “take away his utility belt,” I mean “surgically sever the nerves controlling his arms, legs, neck, and bowels.”
And, for Crom’s sake, stick around to watch the execution yourself!
Having style is of minimal comfort when you lose to James Bond or Whoever. And in fact, I think it would make your failure that much more embarrassing. “So, you sank millions of dollars into getting the Amazon tribesmen to shoot at him with deadly blowguns, and they missed? Schmuck.”
Listen, the fact is from Bill Gates to Stalin, successful evil overlords have never been above a little plain old brutality and strong-arming. It may not be glamorous, but it’s part of the job. If you crush enough skulls, THEN you can expand your repertoire and go for some flashy, Ming the Merciless-type stuff. Sharks with frickin’ laser beams, moon crashing into the Earth, etc.
What’s that line about Alexander the Great: “… and he wept, for no more worlds remained to conquer”… something like that?
The evil overlord who choses style over brutal efficiency is not merely a poor planner or an ineffectual wanna-be! In fact, he is a man who understands that life (and world domination!) is best seen as a journey, not as a destination.
It’s the CONQUERING that appeals to the forward-thinking evil overlord… the plotting and scheming, the clever thefts of essential resources, the intricate design of immense instruments of doom, the thrilling stand-offs with world leaders and their agents… this is the FUN stuff!
The actual RULING over the conquered world… BORRRRRRing! Nobody to contend against, nothing to pursue, no new horizons, no challenges… you’re just reading prepared speeches and showing up for photo ops, something any half-trained monkey could do. Nothing worth the time of any true evil mastermind!
Only by DELIBERATELY limiting himself can the evil mastermind prolong the thrilling pursuit of ultimate power. This is why such men MUST employ failure-prone deathtraps, half-witted henchmen, traitorous lieutenants, and absurdly elaborate schemes! If his plan of conquest was too efficient, it would succeed… and the fun would END!
The true goal of a genuinely thoughtful evil mastermind is to achieve ultimate power… on the day before his death from old age. Ideally, the victory party should finish him off!
MonkeyMule, shouldn’t it be ‘flair’ instead of ‘flare’? Unless you mean to refer to the well-know fact that Evil Overlords ™ are prone to become suddenly angry.
: thinks :
Say, you’re not an Evil Overlord yet, are you?
Vlad has hit the nail on the head. It’s not about the goal, its about the quest. And No one can dispute that
But why limit yourself to this one small rock? With the world at your command, you can mobilize the entire planet to develop FTL travel, and building giant weapons of interstellar war! You can then spread your empire across the galaxy! See, you folks just ain’t thinking BIG! And that is what seperates the successful evil overlord from the wannabies.
I’ve learned that it’s pretty foolish to say “No one can…” around a cadre of supervillains.
They’ll tend to prove you wrong, even without counting the Mad Scientists.
Sorry but I have to vote for winning over style. There’s plenty of time to show the world just how twisted you are after you’ve secured your position. If nothing else you could arrange some imaginative Caligula-like executions for your many victims (and there will be many, even decades after your victory). Or you could build an imperial capital centered around the mile-high golden statue of yourself.
Granted it’s harder to have fun when dull bureaucratic work takes up most of your day, like signing execution warrents and approving trillion-dollar vanity projects; but rank has it’s privileges and if a third rate bully like Saddam Hussein had a dozen billion dollar palaces, think what the Overlord of Earth could do.
I’d just put a bullet between the poor bastard hero’s eyes, and look damn good doing it, in skin-tight black leather or something. Form and function, baby.
Then I’d probably put my spike heeled boot on his lifeless chest and down a shot of vodka and cranberry juice.
This, of course, is the crucial point. If you the Evil Overlord are going to go to the effort of executing the Hero through a needlessly lengthy and complex death-trap, sit back and enjoy the show!
Starbucks coffee is the preferred snack when you’re watching a prolonged execution. Villains should support each other when reasonable, eh?
The true evil overlord will get the job done with both style and efficiency. Take a look at say a criminal mastermind like Khyzer Soze, now he was undeniably effective and damn did he have style. The whole world was afriad of him, though no one really knew who he was, but he could be anywhere at anytime and you’d never know it until it was too late.
Apply that kind of enigmatic ubiquity to an Evil Overlordship and you’ve got a really stylish, but subtle and effective, groove going. You cultivate a reputation for being able to be anywhere at anytime. No one is safe from your wrath, any would be heroes can be dispatched at your whim. While the actual method of execution should be simple, like a bullet to the head, you can’t let the populace know it was a simple death. You don’t leave the bullet ridden corpse of the hero in a ditch somewhere for all to see, rather you simply disappear your enemies. When Bond doesn’t check in people’s imaginations will run wild. They’ll think of elaborate torture devices, pits filled with evil four assed chimps smothering the hero in feces etc… but no one will really know what happened.
Mystery is very stylish.
Ooooooh! Shoot me, baby! Shoot me!