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Why Be The Villain?

Magic beans are not, strictly speaking, real.Why do we need villains?

A villain’s not just someone who’s there to slow down the Hero’s Journey. A villain is the instigator, the disruptor, the change agent. Without the villain, there would be many fewer stories.

I thought about the idea of a villain’s professional association–not some comic book superteam whose primary goal is out-punching the protagonists (though I’ll admit: I’ve read about a thousand comic books with that premise, and loved them all. I think it’s a fine reason to gather like-minded miscreants together)–but the same thing that lawyers, or hotel concierges, have–an organization full of people who know the many difficulties of a challenging, yet important, profession.

But someone, too, must sell the magic beans
Must sing a doom glissando when the Banshee calls in sick,
Must know the wire to pluck
when a time machine needs breaking,
and how to osmose secrets
into a dreamer’s head
It’s not so easy
to crouch in flame
and crackle visions
of never cities, not so simple
to wait beyond the sky
carrying a bag full of legends.

But we do it because
If we did not
You would be boring
And we would be bored.

(no, whispers the ink-lit night,
it’s the other way around.)

-Jeff Mach
on Twitter

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