I read a really interesting article the other day all about how the whole world is kind of in this psychological fight or flight mode because we’re trapped in a situation full of the ‘unknown.’ A LOT of people are in fight and are clinging to control – whether to mask or not, whether to social distance or not – as their preferred arena for battle. This explanation of why the world feels so combative actually helps me a ton. I have that oh so righteous “I’m right and you’re all wrong” feeling in my gut and understanding where this is coming from helps me step back and understand, if not agree with, the other side. They aren’t the bad guys, they’re scared and posturing in the same way that I’m scared and posturing.
Note: I AM right, wear a damn mask and socially distance – even when you have to be a little bit social for your mental health.
I recently binged the Kdrama My Holo Love (loving every second of it) which actually carried some of these same themes. It played with the idea of questionable heroes and grey villains – people standing firmly for what they think is right even when it’s not really clear at all. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the big bad was really big and really bad and our heroine was good and pure as the driven snow. But the B villain wasn’t really a villain at all, he grew – he was growing from the moment we first caught a glimpse of him. The hero used questionable tactics and was definitely a ‘means justify the ends’ kind of decision-maker which can make it hard to support him sometimes. Most obvious of all was the potential for our perfect love, our hologram built to be the absolute best partner in life, programmed to do whatever it takes to make and keep his master happy, to go rogue. He was imbued with all the knowledge and the ability to access basically everything hooked up to the internet in order to do what he decided needed to happen. That sounds like a supervillain in the making to me. Nobody should have that much power.
After I read the article and picked apart the themes in Holo, I was pondering what it meant and how I could incorporate all of that into my approach at work and with people in my life as they continue to take hard stands and rail against the man – and let’s be clear here, in this case, I am the man. They are railing against me. I am their villain. I don’t have clear answers or strategies to soothe this societal ache, but the first step is recognition, so I’m hoping this train of thought leads somewhere or at least helps me be a more understanding person. The one firm conclusion I have reached, however, is that we have the perfect song to serve as the soundtrack to this personal line of thinking.
Stella Jang is a singer-songwriter that debuted on Grandline Entertainment in 2014. She speaks six languages and built a world of experiences and memories before choosing to pursue a career in music. Her songs are quirky and interesting and the lyrics are based squarely in real life making them easy to identify with and to incorporate into your own story. Earlier this year she put out a single call Villain. The song is all about how we all assume that we are the good guy in every situation when in fact, by the law of superhero rules, someone has to be the villain. We might be the villain. We are probably the villain.
It’s a hard thing to face, but it’s made easier just knowing that some other superhero is our villain.
Plus, we get a great song out of it.
Second Note: Stephanie, this is your midyear reminder to put this song on your top 50 in December. You asked me to remind you so…
Villain, Stella Jang