As The Avengers movie hits the big screen, you will have a chance to be a real, live hero. Are you ready?
First, meet the villain: Torrent and his evil henchmen Piracy and Complacency.
If you haven’t met Torrent before, you probably will when this movie hits the screen. At some point, someone will introduce you to this true villainy. Evil, unspeakable.
Here’s how Torrent works. You can pay for the overpriced movie ticket (and it IS overpriced!) or you can succumb to Torrent’s siren call.
You will read about the unfathomable salaries of the actors in the film. And, of course, the giddy box office reports of the millions the movie makes. With all this money, why should you pay? Torrent’s henchman Piracy have copies for your 1080p home theater. For free!
It’s a victimless crime. Who gets hurt? Those celebrity millionaires? They don’t need your $12 (or $16 in 3D). So burn a digital copy. What about the collateral damage of this battle between the evil studios and the everyman? Movie theaters are closing. They can’t compete with your pirated copy. Oh well, tough luck. Adapt or die, as they say.
The marquee actor isn’t feeling the pinch, but the people who work “below the line” do. They’re the people trying to make an honest living in special effects, stunts, and costuming. Well, adapt or die.
Go find something that isn’t so easy for you to steal. Steal. Yeah, I said it. Stealing. Doesn’t that make you an inadvertent henchmen? That’s Complacency’s super power. He makes you think stealing is fine.
Temptation is sooooo easy, especially when you will almost certainly never get caught. And, let’s just state for the record, you can steal this movie and not get caught.
Be the Hero Or…or you may be moved by the unselfish nature of heroes. That’s what we cheer for, isn’t it? We love the everyman hero who chooses to do the right thing. That’s cool.
We have real-life heroes all around us. Heck, Newark’s mayor Corey Booker ran into a burning building to save a neighbor. That’s heroic. Soldiers who enlist. EMT volunteers who rush to your house in the middle of the night when you dial 911. These are big heroes.
Then there’s the working-class hero. The person who goes to work every day to support their families. They’re heroes too, and some of them make movies. Some make comic books that become movies. Steal from them too. Hmm. Doesn’t feel as good, does it?
Here’s how you defeat Complacency. If someone offers you a free copy of The Avengers movie or torrents of the comic books, don’t take them. “No thanks,” is a good start.
Next, you can defeat Piracy. Watch what happens when you don’t connect the torrent stream. The stolen goods stop coming to your house. You, my friend and ally, are becoming a hero.
Defeating the henchmen is easy compared to taking down the real villain. The genie is out of the bottle and far too many people enjoy his magic. There’s a great old quote (not sure who said it), “character is who you are when nobody else is looking.”
Would Captain America be a consistent hero if he was portrayed as a guy stealing things from people? No, that would be inconsistent with the image of what we expect from a hero. Stealing from hard-working Americans — especially when you can easily afford the stolen goods — would be inconsistent characterization of Captain America.
Without choice, there is no conflict. Without conflict, there is no story. Choose to be a hero.
If you can afford the 1080p television, you can afford the movie you’ll watch on that system. Again, make the right choice.
Fight for right, even when other people tell you that “sharing” isn’t stealing. It’s stealing and you know it. Don’t do it.
Be. The. Hero. Now raise your fist high in the air, and say it with me…