I had a dream that I was a young Batman just starting out his career. I decided to take down some crack dealing in an L.A. neighborhood. This neighborhood was suffering from all this crack that was flowing around it. Many of the young men of the neighborhood would get involved in the business. Social problems resulted.
Well, this isn’t exactly the kind of problem where you can just run in, fists blazing, and take it down. I had to first familiarize myself with the problem, and get community support and stuff. For example, I didn’t know who was ultimately bringing the drugs into the neighborhood.
So I started walking around trying to meet with people and talk to them and make myself known and stuff. I tried to get people to join “The Batman Crime Prevention Society”. I successfully convinced this one elementary school kid to wear my patch on his backpack, but most people thought I was a huge joke. I mean, come on, some white man walking around in a primarily black neighborhood, wearing a dorky costume, talking about crime and stuff? Heck, I don’t even live there. I clearly don’t know what’s going on.
Well, one day, some teenage boys were sick of me, and met me in the parking lot of this shopping center. They had throwing knives and BB guns and stuff. They weren’t trying to kill me, just humiliate and intimidate me. Instead, I easily disarmed them and tied them up and stuff, using my sweet Batman skills.
This earned me a little respect in the neighborhood.
Some of the girls started letting me meet with them and talk about the problems in their neighborhood.
This girl Emily, she had me over for lunch with their family. I suspected that the younger brother was a crack dealer. The mom, I saw, she just smoked a bunch, yelled at them, and then left (she was white, btw). I asked about her. Emily told me that she was a stepmom, and she’d only lived in the house for a couple weeks. Their dad worked the night shift, and the kids never saw him. It was Emily who was the primary caregiver in the house. (I helped with the dishes that night).
More and more, I met these people and they talked about problems like this. Another thing I noticed was that nobody seemed to eat very well in this neighborhood. TV dinners, cans, that kind of stuff. I decided that one of the projects of the Batman Crime Prevention Society would be to start a food co-op, and a food security awareness campaign. Get families eating together. Dinner clubs, fresh food, cooking.
I had some support among the girls, and even the younger boys were starting to look up to me. Things were starting to look good.
Finally, I had talked to people enough to figure out where the crack was coming from. There was this white guy. An adult. Therefore, much older than the teenagers that were involved in most of the drug trade. He ran a “pharmacy”. Usually closed. But the kids would go there, and that’s where they’d buy the crack. That guy had some connections. People would bring it to him by riding it in with their luggage on Amtrak.
Here was my kingpin. Now it was time to see how the REAL Batman Crime Prevention Society operates.
So I stormed in there. Grappling hook and all, I crashed in through the second-floor window, up to the room where the deals go down. A fight ensued. He had plenty of teenage lackies, all armed. It’s sure a good thing that I had bullet-proof gauntlets and body armor! By the time I had taken care of the lackies, the kingpin was out of there, with the drugs AND the money. I chased him down. He boarded a train, which took off. I jumped up on top of the train and ran along till I found a way inside. Once I got in the train, the kingpin saw me there and leaped out of the running train and took off across a field. I had lost him. Crap!
When I came back to the neighborhood, it turned out that I had grossly overestimated the amount of support I had in the neighborhood. Nobody would talk to me anymore. The people I had captured in the “pharmacy”, I got them arrested, but nobody would testify. There was this one guy who had been warm to me, and I thought I could get him to testify. He went into hiding in a mental facility, though, because the disturbance in the social structure had caused big feuds to erupt, over who would be the new kingpin.
What a failure!
It turns out that being a superhero in fake real life is much more difficult than being a superhero in fake fake life!