Ready To Laugh: Ghost Rider (2007)—Issue #3
Image by L.E. Wilson from RedBubble based on work by PeachPink, LuisMiranda, and OpenClipart on Pixabay
Will, an academic ne’er-do-well turned successful businessman, has been invited to speak at his former high school’s graduation ceremony.
This is to the faculty, not you students. It’s not all about you, you know. Even if it is your graduation.
I know what certain teachers are thinking right now: “Oh, you again.” I can see it in their beady little eyes from here. Well, yes, that’s right. I’m back.
Right here, again, at the behest of YOUR boss.
You all thought you could get rid of me, didn’t you? Thought you were done, eh?
You thought when you said that I’d never amount to anything and was a slacker who walked funny (shame on you Mrs. Glacé!) that I’d go hide under a rock.
Well, I did!
It turns out that rock was blocking the entrance to an abandoned gold mine and I walked out with a truckload of gold.
Yes, it was a funny walk Mrs. Glacé, but they were very heavy trunks, with no handles and splinters—very spiky, pokey splinters.
And now I’m wealthier than all of you combined.
So what did I learn?
That being rich is fun!
I can have my own school. My school. My old school.
This place. It’s mine now. And there are going to be some changes around here…
PAN TO SHOCKED AUDIENCE MEMBERS.
Inspired By Current Events And Old Films
The act of punishing or harming somebody in return for what they have done to you, your family or friends — Oxford Dictionary
There are moments when in spite of ourselves we relish the thought of sweet, sweet vengeance upon someone, or someones, who may have done us wrong. Oh, how great it would be to have an almighty entity smite our enemies when we need it, while we innocently stand in a corner gently nodding our heads as justice is done on our behalf and our hands remain pure and clean of the deed. For we only humbly asked the universe to avenge us, and the one, or ones, who did us wrong merely got what they deserved from a righteous and just higher power.
What a great fantasy this is! It’s no wonder why so many movies let audiences experience sweet, sweet vengeance, usually in the form of superhero movies, and it’s quite enjoyable. This can’t be denied. Try as we might to be reasonable, forgiving, above-the-fray, morally-advanced people who can turn the other cheek, show love to our enemies, and let people be, it just feels good and right to see the bad guys get a mighty smackdown in the end.
This is perhaps a weakness, but hoping and wishing that we are avenged by some greater force is but one of a (pitifully) few things that victims of horrible, mean people have to self-soothe. At least it seems to come pretty naturally and appears quite universal. Nevertheless, you know it’s wrong. Truthfully, you have to let it go, whatever it is that is making you angry. Let it go and move on. It’s for your own good. Don’t let yourself become bitter and spiteful. There are movies about how that leads to even more disaster, if you need the visuals:
Life Lesson: Don’t go down the path of pettiness and vindictiveness; it just escalates suffering. Instead, accept your losses and find another way — you’ll be better off.
Life Lesson: Even if you think life is meaningless and unfair, be a good person with integrity, because without it things will get even worse.
But for a glorious moment, we can indulge a little teeny tiny bit in the fantasy of being avenged by Truth and Fairness through movies. And why not? This is one of the gifts movies afford us, and it’s wonderful.
Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda): [After Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) defeats the demon, Blackheart (Wes Bentley)] Congratulations, Johnny. You upheld your end of the bargain. It's time I take back the power of the Ghost Rider. You get your life back. The love you've always wanted. You can start a family of your own. There are more deals to be made. More people willing to give their souls for what they desire. Let someone else carry this curse. You're free now. After all, a deal's a deal.
Johnny: [Looks at Roxanne (Eva Mendes), then points at Mephistopheles with a flaming hand] No. I'm going to own this curse. And I'm going use it against you. Whenever innocent blood is spilt, it'll be my father's blood, and you'll find me there. A spirit of vengeance, fighting fire with fire.
Mephistopheles: I will make you pay for this!
Johnny: You can't live in fear.
Do, however, remember what’s at stake, and what Ghost Rider is all about: