The Watchman and Blackbird at the Superhero Dance Party
I hosted a Superhero Dance Party last night to tie in with the Kickstarter campaign. I'll be writing more about that and posting some pictures tomorrow. I was quite honored to have The Watchman and Blackbird make an appearance at the party to meet some of the people there. Many people recognized them from a huge amount of media over the previous week. There was a full orchestra of media on the RLSHs, a lot of focusing on The Watchman in particular- there was a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report, which was picked up by the local A.V. Club section of The Onion, as well as neatorama.com, and upi.com. Later in the week Third Coast Digest ran a story and podcast interview. I've also heard reports of it being talked about on atleast three local radio stations.
Although there has been a lot of positive response, there also has been some negativity to it- the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comments section is pretty harsh and at times gruesome. The A.V. Club definitely aren't true believers, either- they called for The Watchman to be unmasked. After waiting for the comments sections to cool down, The Watchman has crafted this response to all of the attention, which I am sharing here in full:
I understand how odd or even crazy this can seem. We can't just rely on others to take care of the world's problems though. Think of the world, or even just your neighborhood as your house. If you have a leaking roof, a broken pipe in your basement, or faulty wiring, you would likely hire roofers, plumbers, or electricians to take care of those problems. Hopefully the problems get fixed and you can stop worrying about them. Often though, the problem doesn't get taken care of. The problem was bigger than they realized, the company took longer then they should, they were under staffed, the needed supplies were too scarce, they were inexperienced, they just didn't care or tried to rip you off....whatever.
Now you still have these problems going on. You can have the person(s) come back and try to get it right, you can get someone else and hope they do it better, or you may just have to grab some tools and supplies and work on the problem yourself. (OK, maybe not the best idea with the wiring.) The world works a lot like this. We have problems, so we hire other people and expect them to take care of it. It doesn't always work though, and so we have to try something else. That may just mean getting off our butts and doing something about it.
That's what I'm doing. I'm trying a new approach to solving some problems. Maybe it won't work. So what? At least I tried to do something rather than telling myself it was somebody else's problem and waiting for the roof to cave in on me.
The Watchman is just a name. The mask and the rest of my getup is advertisement. It is my way of letting people know there is someone out there who does give a damn. It gets people asking questions and starting discussions. It gives me the opportunity to explain what I'm doing and why. It allows for a chance to inspire in others the desire and feeling of empowerment to stand up and do something themselves.
Some people say they worry I’ll be injured or killed doing this. Others say they wish me harm. I assure you, I have no death wish. I have no desire to leave my wife without a husband, nor my children without a father. But what would be worse, to be killed trying to better the world, or to live as a lazy coward and eventually die anyway but for nothing? I would rather my children know their father was a man who stood for something rather than grow to know me as a little sheep who cowered his days away behind closed doors, tucked in an imagined freedom from the shared responsibilities of mankind that are casually shirked by so many of us.
I will continue on, and when I am gone, whether soon or a great many years from now, I will look down and smile, knowing that so long as hope remains within a few of you, there is yet a chance for all of us.