Friday, April 13, 2012

How to Fix Gotham City, pt 1

Gotham City is constantly in peril. Constantly. Gotham City is the DC Comics version of Camden, Newark, and Jersey City all rolled into one. It's fraught with Gothic Architecture, multilevel crime syndicates, evil corporations and their evil executives, and of course, supervillains. Lots and lots of supervillains. Costumed villains, non-costumed villains, business casual villains, Gotham has them all. And whose job is it to protect Gotham City from all of these madmen? ...and madwomen? Madpeople? Why Gotham Special Crimes Unit of course! Gotham City has so many fanatical crazies that they need a police unit above the usual S.W.A.T. Team. But what happens when S.W.A.T. and the GSCU can't handle a case? Yes yes, Batman. I know you were wondering when I would get to Batman, and here we are. But I'm not here to talk about Batman, I'm here to talk about the 3 people who can permanently fix Gotham City without the use of Superpowers, Gadgets, millions of dollars, or even violence.

What I will do here is propose a method by which Gotham City can be saved without Batman, and all it will take is a Psychiatrist, a Psychologist, and a Plastic Surgeon. Now, these three individuals will have to be at the top of their fields, but I am confident that they could greatly reduce the number and frequency of villain-related crime in the City. I will demonstrate my hypothesis using some of Gotham's most notorious infamous villains. This is what the good people at Arkham Asylum should be doing, instead of... well whatever it is they are doing.

12 - Baby Doll – Mary Dahl

Case History - Baby Doll is not one of the more famous Batman villains, but she is definitely one of the more tragically violent cases, and so definitely belongs on this list. Her name is Ms. Dahl, and she found fame as a child actor on a popular sitcom 20 years ago. Unfortunately she has a condition known as systemic hypoplasia, which caused her to stop physically aging during the show's initial run. Now as an adult she still has the body of her Baby Doll character. If you were 30 years old and everyone treated you as if you were 5, you'd snap, which is exactly what she did. She experienced a psychotic break in which she assumed the persona of Baby Doll, an emotionally regressed and volatile personality. Imagine a person who knew how to drive and use guns, but had the impulse control of, well, a 5 year old. Dangerous right? She attempted to kill the entire cast of her old sitcom, as well as several other people who have gotten in the way of her Id-driven alter ego. She developed a near fatal crush on Killer Croc, and has a lethal bodyguard named Miriam, whose martial fighting skills are on par with Batman's.

Treatment Plan – Ms. Dahl would first be best served by seeing a psychiatrist to deal with her mood instability and frequent breaks with reality. Suggested Meds; Risperdal, Seroquel, Abilify.

Suggested Therapy - Cognitive Behavioral therapy is recommended to help Ms. Dahl deal with the realities of her existence, identify faulty cognitions (shooting people is not an effective way to get what you want), and return to her efforts at living an adult life despite her condition. And there you have it; no more Baby Doll and no more Batman getting pistol-whipped by a 5 year old.

11 - Killer Croc - Morgan

Case History – He is a very large, very angry, reptilian man. That's about it. Due to his deformity, Mr. Morgan (his only known name) likes to rob, steal, grift, lie, extort, and basically commit all manner of crimes throughout Gotham City. He exhibits extremely hedonistic behavior, and has little regard for the lives or interests of others. Naturally a person of this stature is bound to run into Batman again and again, and Mr Morgan often comes out on the losing side of these confrontations.

Treatment Plan – Mr. Morgan shows several symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder. To explain it in layman's terms, Mr. Morgan simply does not give a f***. There are few effective treatments for such a personality outside of incarceration, but mood-stabilizing medication could help him control his aggressive impulses. Mr. Morgan could also suffer from depression which can manifest itself in aggression and substance abuse. Self-medicating depressed feelings could also explain his endless need for alcohol and women. Or he could just be a normal male. Either way, Prozac or Wellbutrin are recommended.

Suggested Therapy - Therapy often is not effective for APD, but Mr Morgan does seem to have a fondness for raw chickens and shallow pools, so perhaps offering him some combination of the above in exchange for not being a public menace would help.

Surgery - Mr. Morgan's condition seems to be beyond the abilities of even the most talented surgeons, but anything that would help him to look less like a Sleestak would probably be beneficial.

10 - Mad Hatter – Jervis Tetch

Case History
– The trouble with Jervis Tetch began when he was told by a woman that he loved, suspiciously enough a woman named Alice, that she only liked him as a friend. As most of us do when confronted with such a troublesome reality, Mr. Tetch lost his s*** and proclaimed himself to be the Mad Hatter, of “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” fame. Here is a good lesson for all the ladies out there; if you plan on telling a seemingly loosely-grounded guy that he's just a friend, make sure that he's not also an incredibly talented neuroscientist. Mr. Tetch used his expertise to develop mind-control headbands, and brainwashed normal people into doing his bidding. In one instance he even attempted to trap Batman in his dreams just so Mr. Tetch could date freely, according to his point of view. In general, he does not take rejection well.

Treatment Plan – Mr Tetch did not just have a psychotic break, he jumped from a very high diving board into a swimming pool full of crazy. Crazy and brilliant often do not result in a happy and quiet existence. Mr. Tetch does not deal well with nor understand the reality of interpersonal relationships, which is why he retreated to the world of Lewis Carroll's books. His mind took him to a place where nothing makes sense, putting everyone on a level playing field. His obsession with mind control shows his overall feeling of powerlessness which fuels his need for personal and mental control. Mr. Tetch shows classic symptoms of Erotomania, a delusion that he is “meant” to be with people who have no interest in him. He should also be screened for signs of autism.

Then again, maybe he just likes large hats...

Suggested Therapy - Anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications have been show to work well on people experiencing delusions and obsessive compulsions. It may also help with his fashion sense. In terms of psychotherapy, a Humanistic approach may help Mr. Tetch develop himself to his fullest potential, which would help make him more attractive to others based on his own merits instead of mind control. In this case, however, a Mad Hatter with high self esteem may become an even bigger threat, but that's what Batman is for.

09 – Catwoman – Selina Kyle

Case History
– Catwoman is often seen wearing a skintight leather catsuit and carrying a whip. As of the most current version of the DSM, these are no longer signs of pathology in and of themselves. She does however have an obsession with cats, and a dangerous compulsion to steal. She's stolen millions of dollars of merchandise from countless people, and caused untold property damage during her skirmishes with Batman. Not so much a villain, she rarely threatens the lives of others. Her death-defying antics, however, risk both her life and indirectly the lives of others. We will not mention the dangerous erections she causes running around in that getup.

Treatment Plan - The most troubling of Ms. Kyle's actions is her seeming obliviousness to her own mortality. We are unsure if she really believes she has 9 lives, or if she simply does not care whether she lives or dies. Diving headlong off of 40 story buildings qualifies as maladaptive behavior no matter how you look at it. How she has lived this long is a scientific miracle. How she does so in stiletto heels is nigh supernatural. The most likely explanation for Ms. Kyle's behavior is an addiction to the adrenaline rush that comes from high-stakes theft and dueling with Batman. If this is indeed the case, she merely needs to be redirected to more pro-social behavior.

Suggested Therapy – Ms. Kyle's behavior could be a sign of a hoarding personality, and could lead to her one day being featured on a basic cable reality show. This is, of course, the cruelest fate possible. Behavioral Therapy works best for changing troublesome activities and addictions. The goals of such therapy would be to A. get her to stop leaping from tall buildings, B. look at LOLCats on her computer instead of attempting to steal priceless Jade cat statues from the Museum of Natural History, and C. providing her with less fetishistic clothing options. Maybe something from Talbot's for instance.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fight on, NJ

Let me know if you see anyone familiar in this: Garden State Variety Presents: The Adventures of @DonCoyote

Click the link silly.

I should update this more often.