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Traumafessions :: Reader bdwilcox on Penguin’s Kamikaze Henchmen

March 4th, 2012 by unkle lancifer · 7 Comments

Browsing over RedBox’s offerings, I noticed that they had the original Batman movie on offer. This is the campy 1966 Batman movie with Adam West and Burt Ward (Baaaaaaaby on booooooard…something…something…Burt Wards…this song writes itself!) I innocently rented it to relive the fun, campy atmosphere of that crazy, tilted, pastel world Batman inhabited at one time. Little did I know that a KinderTrauma was around the bend.

Not having seen this movie since I was a kid when it was shown on ABC’s 4:30 Movie (anyone else remember the 4:30 movie? I completely forgot about a scene that totally freaked me out as a kid. The kicker is that upon seeing it, my mind allowed me to peer inside and see why it was so traumatic. I’m sure, since we’re all here, that we’re equally fascinated with the mysteries of what scares us as children, so to have my mind reveal itself in regards to a trauma was a wild experience.

(As an aside, it seems KinderTraumas are part of the human experience through all cultures and ages. The Indians of South America developed a whole religion around KinderTraumas wherein they believe that traumas from childhood burden us with negative energy and emotions. To free people from such traumas, they developed cleansing ceremonies called “limpias” to first detect traumas and then cleanse them. You can see such a limpia HERE.

Nevertheless, when I was watching the Batman movie there was one part where the Penguin (Burgess Meredith) uses a dehydrator to turn his minions into powder. The minions line up and are turned into powder one by one without flinching. The utter lack of emotion or fear in the minions as they’re powderized (mixed with the weird, detached feeling the special effect added) completely freaked me out when I was a kid and that angst came roaring back when viewing it as an adult.You can see the scene HERE.

I started to wonder what creeped me out so much concerning that scene and it was like a trap door opened in my mind and the Architect said, “Step inside so we can talk awhile.” So I sat down with Mr. Subconscious, sipped some tea and chatted for a while. He told me that what creeped me out was the fact that these men so willingly let themselves be turned into powder (killed is what I thought as kid) without fighting back or protesting or resisting, happily standing there waiting to be disintegrated. Nor did they flinch when they saw the others around them atomized. What made it completely traumatizing was that they were giving their lives up for evil, happily marching to their own destruction. And then Mr. Subconscious held up flash cards of suicide bombers, Nazi SS officers, kamikazes, and others who were so intoxicated with evil that they would happily sacrifice their life for their mad overlords. Talk about epiphany.

It was a cathartic experience if nothing else. And it was one KinderTrauma I could put to sleep in a warm, comfy bed where it wouldn’t slowly tug at the back of my mind anymore. But in the end, seeing Lee Meriwether in the Catwoman suit again made it all better.


Tags: Traumafessions

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    While looking for images for this post I came across the Batman trading cards created by Norman Saunders the guy who painted the “Mars Attacks” cards…

    They are really cool and I remember the card of Robin getting put in the well by Joker from somewhere.

    Thanks BDWilcox!

  • 2 David FullamNo Gravatar // Mar 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    The good old days of the afternoon movie!

  • 3 El BorakNo Gravatar // Mar 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    the scariest thing was the riddler’s package.

  • 4 Dylan Donnie-DukeNo Gravatar // Mar 5, 2012 at 8:29 am

    All I had to do was read the first sentence of this ‘fession and I broke out in a cold sweat. I knew right where you were heading and I knew that I was affected the same way. The only difference is that it was when they dehydrated the UN that got me. One by one they are all turned to dust, but the ones left behind continue to argue and not notice. I was too young when I saw this at my grandparents house, on their giant old TV with poor reception, to realize that this was satire. To me it was a bunch of people completely oblivious to the danger that they were in. Sleepless night after sleepless night thanks to that. Thanks for dredging it back up, bd.
    Unk, aren’t those Saunders cards the best? Someday I am going to make a t-shirt of that one with the Riddler prepping to brand the Boy Wonder as his own personal Gimp. I have no doubt that after BW is marked he will be forced to don Catwoman’s leather suit before being locked in the dungeon.

  • 5 Jami JoAnne RussellNo Gravatar // Mar 5, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Hey now, The Riddler was my 2nd crush after Mr. Spock.

    Frank Gorshin’s Riddler, not John Astin’s, of course.

    In fact, while you’re all having Traumafessions involving Batman, I have a Romantafession.

    Remember that episode where the Riddler leaves a box with a flashing question mark on top? He at one point grabs a young blonde woman who’s just an innocent bystander. Bending her backwards at he talks to her. As a kid I was sure he was going to kiss her. He didn’t, just put her on her feet and ran off, leaving her alone and afraid that he left her in a room with a bomb. But every time I saw that scene I thought it would change and he would kiss her.

    In my imagination I changed that girl to me. And to this day I long for a man to grab me Riddler-style and plant a long kiss on my lips.

  • 6 El BorakNo Gravatar // Mar 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm


  • 7 Jami JoAnne RussellNo Gravatar // Mar 7, 2012 at 10:34 am

    There’s a reason while for many years my favorite color was green.

    Until I realized I looked much better in purple.

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