[No, I don’t necessarily mean the 2004 album by Anthrax, although that’s not a bad idea, if it’s your thing.]
A Villainpunk problem:
We’re often told to choose between the lesser of two evils. This is frequently used to reference politics, especially in a two-party system, but really, we see this kind of binary in our life all the time. Which horrifying feed should we check next – Facebook or Twitter? How do you want to get your horrible news – live radio, or pre-recorded podcast?
(Personally, I think this is a good time to invest in audiobooks. And I don’t even mean my own. I mean that you eventually get to a point where knowing the latest happenings may not be as useful in your life as knowing whether Lord Dastardly gets away with the murder. [She does.])
But it can be quite hard these days. Everyone’s trying tell you that their Evil is lesser.
So, as a better algorithm: Go with the greater Evil.
Come on. The world is in a complicated and chaotic place. People appear to be making wildly illogical decisions all over the place – perhaps not everyone, all the time—but often enough that YOU are missing out if you’re trying to just make reasonable, wise, rational decision.
No, no. This is the time to make the WORST POSSIBLE DECISIONS.
Trust us. Would we write satire? NEVER.
“But, Dark Lord,” I can hear you say, because I am telepathic, and also, I’m the one writing the dialogue here, “Dark Lord, I’m worried. WHICH is the greater of two evils? When I’m confronted with evils, how do I know which ones to choose?”
That’s where that whole Free Will thing comes in.
Unsure which Evil is greater? Don’t just stand there guessing – TAKE ACTION!
Get out there and MAKE one of those Evils worse!
Unsure which food is worse for you? Quick, recite a couple of incantations from “The Mysteries of the Worm” over one of them. Now it’s DEFINITELY worse for you!
Unsure which video is going to give you the least accurate news? Hack your own feed and show yourself re-runs of CNN from 1987. Not only will it give you a terrible idea of what’s happening NOW, it’ll also be significantly more relaxing.
Not sure which game is more violent or bloodthirsty? (Wait, are those things evil, in a video game? Probably not, but we’re pretty sure that at least SOME parent groups disagree, so we’ll roll with it.) Easy… go out there, buy your OWN game company, and insist on nothing BUT a screen that’s full of high-resolution blood, penetrated by laser beams and the occasional death.
Remember, you don’t ALWAYS have a choice, and when you DO, it’s not always a GOOD choice. But you are NOT helpless.
You can ALWAYS make a difference: you can ALWAYS make things WORSE.
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. I also tweet a lot over @darklordjournal.