Anthony: Hello and welcome back to Capes on the Couch where Come get Counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko.
Doc Issues: And I’m Dr. Issues.
Anthony: We are back for season 10. Hope everybody had a wonderful holiday and a happy new Year. I know we did both individually and collectively. It was a good time for us. Appreciated the weeks off. And we are back and we are doing something, as we said during our Raven episode that we’ve kind of never done before, with the exception of the bat march.
This month we are doing the theme and the theme is lanterns, not just green. We’re talking all colors, although primarily two, but we’re covering lanterns. We asked our patrons, give us lanterns, and they responded with some fantastic character selections. So We’ve got some great lanterns coming up.
In addition, the patrons are gonna get an exclusive lantern episode, plus there will be a watch party of the Ryan Reynolds movie. Whatever you decide you wanna say about that, that is going to be on January 21st at 8:30 PM Eastern. So details are in our discord as well as to all of our patrons.
And you can go to patreon.com/capes in the couch and subscribe. Even if you’re just a, a $1 patron, no matter what your level is, you are eligible to join us. So that watch party, we’re gonna have video and we can talk during it and have a good time, sort of like mystery science theater, 3000, but you know, without the money.
And I’d say the movie is. Better than some of the stuff that has been on that show, although not by much. So Doc, how the hell are you?
Doc Issues: Well, I’m definitely feeling good for the season and really just wanna jump right into it. So, you know, I’m glad to have the, new year, new start and what better way than with talking about a Green Lantern, although I don’t know if I wanted this one.
Anthony: Yeah, so Matt is the first one we’re going with and his selection is Guy Gardner. Guy Gardner. The prickliest of the four classic earth lanterns. And one I would say is probably. One of the more clearly defined personalities among the, the four classic earth lanterns, because obviously you’ve got Hal Jordan, he’s the, the cocky flyboy.
You’ve got John Stewart, he’s the methodical marine architect. Kyle is a lantern. And, and you know, there’s that, and I know I pissed off some Kyle fans and they’re gonna go blog on their tumblers about it and probably share some bishonen, and or yaoi artwork about Kyle. And that’s that but Guy ah, yeah, guy is something.
So with that being said and we’ll get into Matt’s writeup as we always do, before we do that, let’s get into the background Guy Gardner, created by John Broom and Gil Cain in Green Lantern number 59, March, 1968. So Guy is the child of an abusive alcoholic who regularly beat him, giving him an aggressive nature and a defiance to authority in college, however, he shifts and becomes engaged in social work and leader becomes a teacher for disabled children. This is after he was a celebrated athlete.
He was a college football player, but he suffered a serious career ending injury. And so that’s when he decided to focus on social work and sort of become the person that he needed when he was growing up. So when ER’s ring sought out a successor guy, Gardner would’ve been chosen had he been closer. But since Hal Jordan was in the vicinity of the crash, he was selected.
Guy does, however, become a reserve lantern and he backs up John Stewart, who is the second earth lantern. So Guy is actually the third of the Earthbound lanterns under the core. If you’re not counting Alan Scott in the whole star heart, et cetera, et cetera. So Hal’s power battery explodes in guy’s face, trapping him in the Phantom Zone when he’s free.
He’s comatose and suffers from brain damage for many, many years. And Guy was out of comics for close to a decade that he just wasn’t doing anything. He was comatose, functionally, brain dead. They really didn’t have much of anything for him. Steve Engelhart brought him back and that’s when he created the quote unquote new version of Guy Gardner, the version of guy that we all kind of come to know and understand.
I don’t wanna say love cuz. He rubs a lot of people the wrong way. But Steve Engelhart essentially created that abrasive personality. But as, as he said at one point, because he didn’t create the character, he doesn’t get royalties, he gets no credit, he doesn’t get anything. But everybody uses his version of Guy Gardner when they’re telling a story.
And he said at one point, like, if I had named him, you know, John Smith or whatever, and made him a brand new character, I’d get a lot of money. But because I took an existing character and completely revamped him, I get who guts. So anyway, the guardians revived guy and give him a new ring and outfit and charged him with assembling a team to battle the anti monitor.
This is, I believe, during crisis on infinite earths. The brain damage during his coma altered his personality, leaving him immature, arrogant, and violent. So he is a founding member of the Justice League International. Although he chases against Batman’s leadership, Batman famously knocks him out with one punch, and when he awakens, he is empathetic and caring until he hits his head again and he reverses to his abrasive self.
And this is kind of a running thing. And I see Doc rolling his eyes that, oh, I hit my head. Oh, I’m a different person. Oh, I hit my head again. Oh, I’m back to the same way that I was. It doesn’t work that way. Never works that way. But you know, unfortunately, hashtag because comics, so he loses a fight with Hal and surrenders his ring, but he later finds one of Sin Astro’s yellow rings.
This is years before the Sinestro core and the whole Geoff John’s situation. So after losing an eye in another fight with Hal, who was operating as parallax at the time, he drinks from the Warrior chalice and unlocks dormant powers that were hidden in his d n A. He then becomes a shapeshifter that can create weapons from his limbs.
And this was again, doc rolling his eyes. This is because power Rangers was a big thing then, and so, oh yeah. We’re gonna make him kind of like Power Ranger. So he’s returned to full human in Green Lantern Rebirth. Thank you Geoff Johns, when the Parallax entity is stripped from the main power battery, and he becomes one of the trainers for the new core, later becoming a member of the honor guard who were essentially like a combination of like trainers slash IA for the core.
So during blackest night and war of the lanterns, he wears a red ring and then a sapphire ring fueling himself with bolt rage over the death of Kyle Rainer. And his love of the Corps guy being apparently one of the four people who cared that Kyle died. . I’m just, I’m firing here. I know I’m gonna be pissing off a lot of the Kyle fans.
And again, you can blog about it on your Tumblr. So in new 52, he gets dismissed from the court after the guardians create the third army to replace all green lanterns. But he regains his ring and along with Simon Baz and other lanterns, they defeat the guardians and restore the court. Then he joins the red lanterns and he is kind of working as an undercover agent.
On behalf of Hal and the Green lanterns, he takes over from atrocities as leader and uses his rage against what he felt as disrespect from Hal, John, Kyle, the guardians, and the rest of the core. And you can find out a little bit more about that when we talk atrocities next week. So that kind of wraps up the background on guy.
Lot of summarizing stuff. Glossing over a lot of his history. But again, this isn’t that kind of show and I really wanted to get into the issues. So the issues and the theme is, God love them because otherwise you’ll hate them. And thank you Doc, for coming up with that succinct explanation of the theme of, of Guy.
I see you laughing over there. Before we jump in, you got some comments.
Doc Issues: I just wanna point out that there are some characters, and I don’t know if people remember this, the first AMA that we did, someone asked a question. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it, it had to do with who’s a character that you don’t like?
And I said, guy Gardner. I, I just wanna make that clear because I don’t wanna make this sound like I’m saying that as a psychiatrist. I’m saying that as a comic book fan, way before I was ever a psychiatrist, whatever I read this character in, I was like, this is the type of character I, I would not want to be around.
And I thought that as I learned more about psychology and mental health and all that stuff, I would learn more. That would change my mind, and it’s just entrenched me further . So keep that in mind as I say these things. If you disagree, that’s totally fine. There is no blueprint for anything specific in terms of who you like and don’t like in the world.
So, so don’t think that that’s totally relevant, but the twinge of that with any person is very important to us. So anyway, I’ll let you, you know, get into Matt’s soliloquies about each issue.
Anthony: Yeah, well, Matt sent me a Discord message and said that his introduction to Guy was in the death of Superman, where.
Guy who was I think Warrior at the time, Uhhuh. , basically kind of just said, at that point, doomsday was still kind of wrapped up in all his stuff and Guy just goes, no, I’m just gonna go ahead and kick his ass and gets obliterated. And Matt said his 10 year old self reaction was he had that coming
Doc Issues: I know exactly what’s Matt’s talking about. I read the same thing. That was not my intro to him. I knew a lot more about him before then, but even then when he showed up, I said, this is the worst possible choice for this. And I know that’s why they wrote. You needed someone like that to, to in comics, you know how to set power levels and guy’s, not a pushover, but it’s also obvious he has no clue how to do that
So, yeah. Yeah. It, it was actually like, yeah, g Good for you buddy.
Anthony: Yeah. He falls victim to the Worf effect. Quite often any Trekkers out there will understand what I’m talking about. Worf was always the guy, oh, Worf is a badass and we need to demonstrate that this character is pretty strong, so we’re gonna send him up against Worf and, or Michael Dorn got his ass handed to him numerous times.
So Matt’s first issue, alright, so Guy Gardner, the friend in the group, no one really likes that much. The really difficult coworker who’s indispensable and you have to try and get along with because, you know, he is not going anywhere. The guy who never really grew out of his high school jock phase, we’ve all known a few guy gardeners in our lives.
Some of us may have even been a guy Gardner at one time and not know it. Guy’s not really that much of a mystery. His issues are right out there in the open in big blinking neon letters. Yeah, I, I know I’ve worked with him, I’ve been friends with him. KL was is, is a perfect example of, and Doc is laughing cuz he knows who I’m talking about.
He, he is a guy Gardner, right down to the red hair.
Doc Issues: Oh my goodness. Okay. Well I’m not gonna get into, into specifics like that, but the main point is sometimes these people are taking advantage of, I know we’ve talked about this many times, the social contract, like there’s only so far that you will go in life, that you won’t go to jail for the sake of what you’re believing in as long as it’s not a total disregard for human life.
And so in theory, you can get away with a lot of things. And I’m not saying this with, reverence. I’m saying this with shame. I’ll admit that sometimes the way I talk and the way I interact with people privately can have a twinge of this. And I’m not even saying that you have to be perfect all the time in how you view the world and how you try and test boundaries with people.
But I am saying that at least be aware that’s what you’re doing. It’s not the fact that not only are you being abrasive to other people, it’s that many times these people are oblivious to it. And you can hear the emotion coming through in my voice because it’s still something that I’m trying to learn, something that I’m trying to understand because I have not been oblivious to it, and I don’t know many people that are oblivious to it.
So when you meet a person like this, you’ve realize that part of the issue is they’re not suffering cognitive dissonance. Everything makes perfect sense to them the way they’re doing it. It, you could say it’s a form of narcissism. It may not be. Some people like this actually don’t have a high sense of self worth, but it doesn’t matter because their own individual actions and interactions with people are so overwhelming that they’re just willing to take everything at face value.
And most of us are trying to be polite instead of calling them out on the carpet for what they’re doing, saying like, wow, this is really terrible and horrible and all of that. Because if every single person did that well, then that person becomes completely isolative. But if they’re not doing something, let’s say that’s illegal or something that’s going to de completely destroy the people around them, you have to temper that.
You have to match pretty much if you wanna say the crime with the punishment. It’s just simply how you deal with them. Do you ignore them? Do you. Confront them, do you correct them? And there is no one way to deal with it, but it creates more and more emotional tension as it goes along if you haven’t found your own way to deal with it, if you haven’t found your own way to cope.
So we all learn more and more from this person because we have to endure this for however long it’s necessary. If it’s work fine, it’s the workday. If it’s a family member, you may have some choices to make If we’re talking adults and you don’t live with them, okay, you could do it occasionally. If this is a person that you live with and you’re not kicking them out, evicting them, or doing something else good luck.
At some point you may have to have a really uncomfortable conversation about how, no, I don’t want you to be my roommate in college anymore, or, no, I don’t need you to be a part of my fantasy league or whatever. I mean, I’m, I’m just giving random examples actually. And, and I specifically used two examples that I never had to do because I got along with my college roommates and I’m not in any fantasy league, so it’s, that’s not relevant to me.
But I do know some people that would fit into this mold. And I’ll admit I don’t have the secret formula, so if you were tuning in for this episode for that, well, nope. .
Anthony: Yeah. It’s not easy when you’re dealing with that type of a situation. It can definitely make things from, at least I can certainly speak from a professional standpoint.
It makes it very difficult and I, I had one such coworker and the problem was, as abrasive as she was. Personality wise, she was incredibly effective at her job. And so it became a situation where I knew that as much as I did not like her personally, I also respected the hell out of her professionally because she was solid.
And I knew that if I had to interact with her, I was gonna have to grit my teeth the entire time. But I also knew that she was going to give me everything that I needed and then some, and she was going to get it done quickly and efficiently, and I wouldn’t have to micromanage or come back and say, Hey, you missed something.
Like she was very thorough. She was damn good at her job. Unfortunately, she was also just a very miserable, self-centered, you know, human being. So, and I shed no tears when she retired, but I also knew that whoever took her place work-wise was gonna have big shoes to fill. So there’s definitely a dichotomy there.
Because to your point, when you’re dealing with them, you have to walk that tightrope because you don’t want to aggravate them so much that you’re not getting what you need from them, especially in a professional setting. But you also don’t wanna become so buddy-buddy that they mistake your kindness or congeniality for any legitimate attempts at friendship.
You’re like, listen, we work together, so I need to be cool with you, but I’m not inviting you over to my house. You’re not coming to my Super Bowl party. Like you know, you’re not getting an invite to the cookout. Like, that’s, that’s not happening. But I’m cool with you and if you do good work, I will say thank you and I’ll let the bosses know that you’re doing great work.
So maybe you can get a promotion and get the hell outta my unit. So, it, it is a fine line to, to walk. And I don’t begrudge anybody that has to do it. Complete side note, I also didn’t realize that was just Matt’s little intro That wasn’t actually an issue. He has three distinct issues.
Doc Issues: I know, I know. We basically tied in the next part, so if you want just read it because we, we co even though that wasn’t the attention and I realized I did that too, but we pretty much covered it.
Anthony: Yeah, so, so he says cockiness and abrasive personality. If you aren’t aware of how great a green lantern superhero or a man guy is, just ask him. He’ll be happy to tell you all about it. If you have a disagreement about guy’s assessment of himself, he’ll also be happy to correct your misconceptions loudly at first violently if loudly doesn’t get the job done, guys got an incredibly big mouth and certainly doesn’t mind telling you exactly what he thinks of you.
This tends to make him more than a little difficult to get along with as a person and much more difficult as a teammate. It’s become a running gag over guy’s time in DC that his fellow core members and Justice League teammates are not shy about expressing enjoyment when bad things befall him. Even people like Superman who’d normally be above such things.
Yeah. That was when Batman knocked him out with the one punch. There was later a comic where Superman had to kind of stifle a laugh when he heard about it and he was like, well, yeah, it’s, it’s a real, real shame. Bruce did that and you shouldn’t go around punching people. I mean, he’s, he is a, just a, a loud mouth jackass.
Yes. And, and the haircut doesn’t help. Oh
boy. Okay. . Okay. Alright. See, well actually that is relevant to what your should talking
about. They, they gave him what they called a bowl cut. Oh boy. That’s where they put a bowl on your head and it cut around it. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Made all the Lanterns look Chinese. Oh, I was, I was the only way you could get a work there at, at a guardian there.
Oh. Oh my gosh. And, and if you go down the O you could see him. Oh, he’s the Green Lan with little tiny feets.
Doc Issues: Oh my. Oh.
Anthony: If there’s a Mount Rushmore of comedy, Richard Pryor is on it. Of course, of course. Rest, rest in peace Richard. That was, that was my terrible mud bone impression. But yeah, I know.
Doc Issues: Oh, I, I don’t know how much the audience got it, but I got it.
Anthony: I know you did,
Doc Issues: but there is some relevance to what you just said and I’m not talking about how haircuts make personalities. What I’m talking about is, even if it’s not something we think about, it is something that we do regularly. We do start attributing certain physical characteristics with a person’s personality, especially if they’re consistent with it.
So there are some people out there, and you know what I’m talking about, where you see the silhouette or the shadow of them coming around the corner and you freeze cuz you’re like, I did not need to deal with this person at this moment. And guy epitomizes that. And it’s unfortunate that when people decide that they’re going to be involved in your lives, cuz it is a decision especially when it comes to work or school or any other fairly interactive public environment.
I’m not talking like public, like outside. I’m talking about just, just not your private setting. You know that the limits that are in place are going to make this 10 times worse because at least in your private setting, you get the last say as opposed to your boss or your coworkers or your peers or anybody else.
So while you may in theory, want to take that step with that person to point out that they’re out of line, Heaven forbid, you are the only one that is willing to do it at that moment, and you don’t have a group with you or solidarity with you because then it’s just literally a, he said, he said, she said, she said, they said, they said whatever.
The point is, when you get one-on-one interactions like that, it’s going to be the more domineering personality that wins out almost every time. And I’m not saying that’s fair. I’m just saying that that’s the nature of the circumstances. And yeah, the loudmouth wins. That’s not the way we want it to be, but unfortunately it means that we start adapting to that.
And it may be maladaptive. We may become more brash and loud ourselves just to make sure that we feel heard. And if enough people think that that’s the only way they can interact in that environment. Then unintentionally you can create just nothing but shouting matches. And you can’t even tell originally why it started in the first place.
So it’s one thing to say that we’re just talking about how one person can be annoying to a group of people. We are talking about how that can really disrupt an entire organization or family or any other construct that involves multiple people. And once again, I think there’s something very clear about this.
Although Guy Garner’s abrasive nature is something that he is aware of in terms of wanting to be heard. And I genuinely believe this. It is not one that is meant to hurt. These people think they are doing the right thing all the time. And with that in mind, It’s very difficult to change a person’s mind once they have made that decision.
When there is no room for ambiguity, then there’s no room for adjustment.
Anthony: I, I love that last line, and I do largely agree with that assessment. I do think that there are certain people out there, and I’m not going with specific cases here, but there definitely are folks out there who are abrasive and do say the stuff because they want that reaction who are doing it because they’re looking to poke the bear because they want to troll, they want to, to bait that response from you.
But I do agree that by and large, it’s not out of malice, it’s out of obliviousness. It’s a combination of. Their heart is in the right place, but the execution is way off, and they just have no clue how to read the room, how to assess interpersonal dynamics. They’re very much constantly the bull and the China shop, and you were talking about this person can be disruptive to dynamics and things like that.
They are the human version of throwing a rock in a still pond. Everything is calm, everything is is going. And then boom, here comes this person. And now there’s waves. Now things are rippling, stuff gets broken, things they’re splashing just all over the place. And then maybe it settles back, maybe it doesn’t, but their impact left effects in its wake.
And you do have to be aware of those kinds of people. I don’t wanna say brace yourself, but you have to be aware that just by virtue of their involvement, things are gonna change. And you have to be prepared to deal with that and either mitigate it as best you can, or hopefully you can reset things. It’s, it’s difficult and it’s on a case by case basis, certainly, but it is the kind of thing where you have to have the awareness about their personality that they don’t have.
You almost kind of have to know them better than they know themselves so that you can prepare yourself and whatever surrounds you for the impact. So the next issue, Matt, brings up no sense of self-preservation. And this next line is one of the greatest, most succinct and accurate character descriptions I’ve ever read about.
Any character ever. You know that phrase, your mouth’s writing checks your ass can’t cash. Guy’s, as has not only stopped payment on the many checks his mouth is written over the years, it’s sent his mouth, several overdraft notices. He sent that to me in a Discord dm and I laughed my ass off for minutes.
I was like, this is, it’s perfect. This is it. It it is so accurate. It is so correct and beautifully set. Matt, you, you’re a poet. It’s the primary requirement of a Green Lantern’s job description to be able to overcome great fear. One of the reasons Guy is such a great lantern is that he seems too thickheaded to even understand the concept of fear at all.
His default mode is you want a piece of me and he frequently charges his head first into a fight without any plan other than letting his willpower gumption, titanium balls carry the day and he will often get slapped around for his trouble. Not only by more powerful opponents like doomsday, but baseline humans, he picked fights with like how Jordan and Batman, it really seems like a little bit of healthy, rational fear would serve him well.
Doc Issues: Yeah. That’s basic survival. That’s human instinct. And to be honest, I have seen this as people may or may not have known, because I’ve mentioned it occasionally, that at some point in my life I, I do want, in theory, at least, the training, if not an actual second career in terms of personal finance being a financial planner.
But one of the best sayings I heard was from Dave Ramsey when it came to real estate investing because he uses so much leverage, a k a debt, they take your risk meter and they break it with a hammer. You simply forget what it means about the downside of things because you only look at the upside.
And with someone like Guy being in a position of power where he can make such a huge difference to society, that is an amazing privilege. That is something that I’m glad that he has that, very specific joy that he gets from it. And yet it overrides just about anything else that any other human being, be it a police officer, firefighter, e m t, any first responder, any person that has ever been in a situation where they thought that they may be in danger, they know the things you’re supposed to do first so that you and others don’t get hurt along with whatever’s already gone wrong.
If you’re an engineer, you know that you have to actually look at the things that may happen first that you can prepare for before you actually construct anything. If you’re a civil engineer, you know what’s going to happen based on previous reactions, if you’re a chemical engineer so that you don’t blow up the laboratory.
It’s not that these things are unimportant to someone like Guy. It’s not that he wouldn’t even know that they, that they’re necessary. It’s that the energy and effort necessary mentally to stop the impulse from happening before he actually goes forward with his own actions has pretty much been broken with a hammer.
It doesn’t happen. Now it may sound like, okay, well that’s just the way he is, but really, All those things are habits. Yes. Some people are more impulsive than others, even naturally as children. And you could talk about delayed gratification, you could talk about hedonic adaptation in terms of if you enjoy something and you just keep doing it until it becomes, just a normal feeling and you don’t even get the endorphin rush from it anymore.
So there’s lots of different other psychological points that can be made with this, but it really is just doing something over and over again in a certain way, in a certain format that is completely automatic. And for whatever reason, maybe it is as, as Matt said, being hardheaded, whatever that means. But you know, on one hand it’s, it’s consistency, but on the other hand it’s, it’s consistency without rationale.
So, You know, it’s like, congratulations, and that’s why he’s, he ended up being for the longest of the runs, being a green lantern, because Yeah, man, you, you literally have taken many of the traits necessary to maintain habits for a long period of time, regardless of how you emotionally feel about them.
That’s a pretty good definition of willpower. Could you have put more of the other parts of human thought into it so that it isn’t as dangerous? ? That would’ve been nice, dude.
Anthony: Yeah. It, it would’ve been nice, but I don’t think Guy would’ve thought it would’ve been as much fun. . Because I, I do believe that for him, there’s a sense of pleasure about this, and I, I don’t get.
The feeling that he particularly enjoys being angry about stuff. I think he doesn’t view it as anger. He views it as being just boisterous and fun-loving. Because, and, and we’ll touch on this a little bit in the, the next issue. Well, I’ll jump right into it then. Because it, it does kind of tie into this exact moment.
Identity wrapped up in being a green lantern of all the lanterns we meet and get to know will guy loves being part of the Corps and being a superhero, maybe more than any of them beneath his rough exterior. The times he’s been on the outs with the rest of the Corps and stripped of his position absolutely kills him inside during the war of the lanterns arc where he has to learn how to power a viol ring off of love.
The only thing that got him working was him proclaiming his love for the Corps and how he had absolutely nothing without them. Guy is a person who loves his job more than anything else in his life and doesn’t really know how to function when it doesn’t love him back. And the other thing was in that moment, he’s got the sapphire ring and he’s got the red ring of rage and he says, I love the Corps. I hate the rage that I feel, I hate being angry. And he had to feel those two things simultaneously and they had to be honest. Because he had been trying to wield the, the love ring, and he was like, what do I love?
I love this, I love that. And it wasn’t sincere. And at that moment, him tapping into his realization that he loves being a lantern and he hates being angry. Those are two very kind of polar opposites, but also very real things for him. And so much of that stems from, not wanting to end up like his father and things of that nature.
And I mean, we didn’t even touch on his, on, again, off again, relationship with Ice and how he tries to commit to ice and it’s just unfortunate that the two of them can’t ever seem to get on the same page. But I’ll, I’ll, I’ll stop there.
Doc Issues: Yeah. So, yeah, I, I have two ideas that I could start with.
I’ll, I’ll just start with the, with the information that was already given, because it’s important to all of us. What is being described here is vocation. And I know that there was an episode, I don’t even remember which one now, where I mentioned the, the concept of ikigai in terms of how you can live your life.
And when I say vocation, it’s the idea that you have a career, you have something that you would consider to be your job while also having something that you love. Now, those are two amazing things, and the fact that those two things go together, that’s wonderful. There are other parts to life, and if you are neglecting those other parts of your life for the sake of those two things, well then I really hope that for some reason the dice has been rolled appropriately and you are therefore going to be able to do that the rest of your life without conflict.
Because if you really think that you’re gonna be able to do especially a job like that for the rest of your existence, And therefore you don’t have to put any energy into other things or thought into what happens when I can’t do this anymore. Then you’re really setting yourself up for a major downfall.
You’re setting yourself up for depression, you’re setting yourself up for anxiety almost automatically. And I’m calling myself out on the carpet with that too, because Physicians, other professionals, yes. Attorneys, yes, veterinarians, yes. Like I’d, I’d say this because we have people, Anthony and I have the type of circle where we all have to be really careful about this because often what we do, because we had to put so much effort into it in the first place, it becomes a major part of our personality.
And we have often substituted it for many other parts of us that could have been developing simultaneously. Not always, and, and I’d like to think that I, I haven’t done that, but my schedule says otherwise. And I have to be honest about that. So at least I’m, I’m trying to make sure I remain cognizant of it so I can still be there for my family.
I can still do things outside of my career that I consider to be enjoyable or find ways to make other parts of what I do as a profession more accessible to me in a way that’s going to keep me motivated so I can do it for longer, like this podcast. So I, I am speaking personally about that sort of thing and Guy clearly has, an intense motivation to, to do what he’s doing.
But as with anybody, I would say, you gotta find something else. That’s one path that I wanted to go with this. The other path actually is an example, and I’m going to make this very clear once again, as I always do, I do not know this person. I am not making any diagnoses. I am not claiming that there is an actual illness or anything of the sort.
What I am saying is based on public knowledge and information, and I’m simply going to bring it back to this issue that we’re talking about. So there is a shock person by the name of Skip Bayless. The reason why this is relevant is because when Skip Bayless got married, he made it clear to his wife, I will not be able to devote the love for you the way that I love my journalism career.
He actually said that upfront and he says that’s what’s kept their marriage going because he didn’t hide the fact that she was never going to be the number one thing in his life. Now there are judgements that can be made on that. I’m not looking to judge, I’m saying that that’s relevant because if you look at how Skip Bayless has developed his career, it has been, as Anthony mentioned, in in many ways if you just take at face value the things that have been said, they may be considered trolling comments.
I don’t know the intention cuz I don’t know the man, but I think it’s a good way to dovetail all of this together to point out that yes, you can be abrasive. Yes, you can have situations where you have incredible success. Maybe because part of what you do is so intense and you have such a passion for what you do, that it seems to override other parts of your life.
But it is an incredibly fine line to walk, and if you’re doing it in a way that becomes oblivious to the people around you, then even if you think you’re doing the right things, You may actually unintentionally not just be having fun, not just creating ripples, you may actually end up unintentionally doing harm.
Guy Gardner has always walked that tightrope, and yes, for the most part, he’s considered a hero, but part of the reason why he ends up getting the flack that he does is because so many people, including directly, physically, trying to let him know that if you do not stay on the right path, then everything that you have done up until this point could be for not, and you have some people that hope about it.
You have some people that talk about it. And then you do get the people that heaven forbid, when it gets to that point, are willing to physically intervene. And I’ve seen this with patients. Hell, I’ve just seen it in society as a whole. It doesn’t have to be that way. And I really hope for those of you that may have needed to hear this, don’t let it happen to you because there is nothing like someone just really, you know, pretty much ha forcing that decision on you where you thought everything was all perfect in your life and you only just had to focus on this one thing.
And when that get pulled and when that get gets pulled away, what do you have left?
Anthony: I was going to make the analogy that we like to speak about people being well-rounded and having a variety of interests and a variety of. Facets to themselves. And we’ve spoken numerous times on the show that people are not one dimensional, people are not singular focused majority of the time.
And that we tend to shift and move about things and, and parts of our personality that we focus on or that we present more depending on the situation. And there’s some fluidity to that. And so if you think of your personality, kind of like a, like a circle, the more facets and the more aspects you have to yourself and to your life, the, the more round the circle guy is essentially one single degree.
He is like one, one degree of a 360 degree circle. Now it’s a long and solid degree cuz he is very clear in who he is. But if it has to shift one way or another, He’s screwed because to your point, he has no idea how to operate. He has a very specific set of tools that he’s developed over, over a very long time.
And they’re going to be to find your daughter and get her back. But, but in all seriousness, if you take him out of that situation, we were just talking about that recently, I forget which character it was, it was one of the titans maybe, or somebody, I forget who, where you drop them in a situation where they’re completely unprepared for it, just to see how they react.
Not that you’re trying to troll them, not that you’re trying to hurt them, but just to say you are so locked in and singular minded in this one idea of what life is and who you are and how you respond. What if I throw you a curve ball? Just completely throw him for a loop? I don’t know how guy would handle that, because he is, So devoted to that idea and to being a member of the Corps that it is, it has become, pun intended, his core.
That the Corps is his core. You take that out. He’s got nothing. So we’re gonna take a break. When we get back, we get into treatment. Stay tuned.
And we’re back. So, treatment
in universe, treatment for Guy Gardner. Doc, you’re up.
Doc Issues: So I need to set this up though. I need to point this out. Anybody that knows me knows that I would not actually want this, but it’s necessary for someone like him. I need either someone in the Justice League or someone in the Lantern Corps to basically pump me up. Meaning they have to advertise me.
They have to, to make it sound like at this point with my experience, I, I would have some word of mouth opportunities. I sound like a really ultimate therapist because that’s the type of thing that guy would potentially be interested in. Not because he wants therapy, but it’s like, Hey, you need to see this guy because he’s the best of the best.
I think that’s something that would appeal to him. And then from there, I would like to think that after I resist the urge to like strangle the guy, I, I simply take a stance that I’m just a regular human being. I am nowhere near the things that have already been described about me. In other words, I am trying to set up the biggest deflation possible about me.
Why is that important to the treatment? Because as Anthony knows, because we’ve done tough Mudders, I’m not trying to be his hype man. I’m his mirror man and I know that whatever he says to me, my job is to reflect it. And my job is just simply to be there in a way as as just the ultimate sounding board.
Because there is something about the idea that someone with a megaphone, if they have a certain type of room, I’m not talking a soundproof room, I’m talking something that just automatically echoes. That starts to hurt your ears. And if you can show someone, and sometimes that’s all it takes really, is to show them not to talk.
Like I’m not the one telling you, Hey, you are really going about everything the wrong way. If you can get the person to realize it for themselves just by being there, then you can often do way better. Than trying to be the same person. Because you don’t want two carpenters with hammers hitting each other over the head like it’s a nail.
In this case, I just need to point out that I’m a screw. Eventually when you’re not getting the result you want, you might just might try something different.
Anthony: So you’re gonna ask guy, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
I want your best. I want your real best. Not just settle best. I want your actual best.
Doc Issues: That’s right.
Anthony: You’re gonna get Sean Corvell on him. I love it. That’s love it. That’s right.
Doc Issues: That’s right. No one’s better than your best, but your best will make you better.
Anthony: Yes, yes. I love that line. He is so good for so many of those quotes, man, God.
Now I’m really hyped up cuz I, I told my wife this year I want to do the the Mudder holy grail. And I gotta sign up for that and start my training. Seriously. Ah, I got chills now and I’m wearing a tough mudder shirt. Cause of course I am . It’s, it’s literally, it’s 95% of my default wardrobe when I’m at home. So out of universe. And this is where Matt Pipes back in. Real world equivalents come on, the world is full of these people. Men, women, rich, poor, they come from all backgrounds, all walks of life. Pigheaded people who think highly of themselves, think they’re always right and have a hard time making anything more than the most superficial connections with others.
People who never really matured as they got older, who love to rag on others way past the point where it stops being funny, who carry jokes way too far and can’t let things go. But for whatever reason, it’s easier to keep them around than the alternative. And I have, I have been this person in some of my.
Worser moments, and I’ve definitely known and been friends with several of these people and you know, at least personally, at least two of the people that I’m talking about. But yeah, if we, we kinda all, we’ve been there.
Doc Issues: So in this case, I’m not even talking about like therapy techniques or anything like that.
I’m just gonna talk a little bit about how the sausage gets made. So I have personally witnessed, at least on the hospital unit, some social workers, some nurses and myself go through this where we have had to just tag out, like literally say, you know what? I’m done. Like I cannot talk to this person right now because they have grated me so much that I can’t be therapeutic.
And we have to acknowledge it in the moment or have someone acknowledge it for us so that we can take a step back. And that’s very important to this because. Yes, it is possible to do one-on-one individual therapy long-term with a patient like this, I wouldn’t immediately advise it. I would, I would point out that it may be best from an interpersonal standpoint to right off the bat, set the limit to the number of sessions that you personally are going to have with this person and reassess.
That can be six sessions, 10 sessions, whatever. But make sure that you actually put a hard stop and reassess. I’m not saying that you can’t continue past that point, but knowing that you have that is just as much for the therapist as it is for the patient. And I’m not saying this to exaggerate, I’m not saying it to be funny or sarcastic.
The motivational factor of, okay, I got through two sessions, I know I have four more. So rationally based on the fact that I have this energy level right now, I can do this. It’s, it’s something that keeps the therapist grounded. Because it can be challenging like that if the person for whatever reason is turning on the therapist, that actually can be one of the more rewarding points because it becomes a situation of saying, well, look, I’m not invested in your family.
I’m not invested in your job. I have nothing to do with those things. I am a complete stranger to you. And yet you’re still coming to the type of conclusion that you have come to with the people that know you even more than I do. What is it about this pattern that keeps happening regardless of the level of the interaction?
Because people make the excuse that, well, it’s because it’s family and you know, you know you have to treat badly a certain way, or it’s my job, or it’s my boss, or it’s my, you know, whatever. It’s certain excuse here. And the point is, if you are pointing the finger at everybody else, if you’re doing the natural pointing that we think of how many fingers are pointing back at you?
So, it’s an opportunity in therapy for the therapist to kind of keep their chill while the other person, because by definition therapy is attention. They can get it in a way that they may not from other people, but they have to recognize while we are not being judgemental in the way that they would expect from others, we still are ultimately being somewhat judgmental.
And our judgment is usually honed on the things that either people haven’t told you or you just didn’t wanna hear. And if you’re still not ready to hear it, then maybe it’ll be a second, third, fourth, whatever number of counselors that you need to hear it from. And I have no guarantee as to who’s gonna be the one that works.
It might be the one that really is abrasive right back. It might be the one that’s the passive. Vessel that simply hears the person out. Maybe a combination of the two. Either way, it’s man, is it draining
Anthony: What’s the old expression? You know, if you encounter one asshole in the course of a day, they’re probably an asshole. If everybody you encountered in the day as an asshole, you’re the asshole. But another way, if you smell shit everywhere you walk, check the bottom of your shoe.
You know, I, I worked with a guy like that. He was an, he’s an attorney. Every attorney he dealt with, every opposing counsel, they were a jackass. They were this, and he would, and in the very beginning working for him, I was like, yeah, they’re kind of being a dick and this and that.
And then I thought what’s the common thread here? What’s the common denominator to all these horrible interactions you’re having? Hi, it’s me. I’m the problem. It’s me. And if, if, you know, if I’m quoting Taylor Swift, you know, I’m serious about this cuz my dislike of Ms. Swift is famous among my circle.
Yeah, it, it does become a situation where, again, you can only do so much to hope that they have that epiphany. And you do see it sometimes, every once in a great while, someone gets that glass shattering moment where it’s, oh, then the key is from there, what do they do about it? If they’re sincere, they’ll, you know, it’s not necessary that they’ll go and kiss everybody’s ass and say, I’m sorry and.
You know, tell everybody, oh, I, I messed up, I did this, that, and the other. But if their behavior changes, if you notice that your interactions with them become less hostile, abrasive, whatever, prickly, then you go, okay, maybe things are working. Not gonna, you know, assume that they’re doing a full 180. But people can change.
It’s not often, but they can. And you do what you, you do what you can and hope for the best. That’s why I would wear a blue ring unabashedly, . So with all that being said, this is one of the more interesting sessions I’m sure we’ve, we’ve ever had on this couch as we get Guy Gardner on Dr. Issues’ couch.
Doc Issues: Hello guy. I’m Drue.
Anthony: What’s up doc?
Doc Issues: Not much .
Anthony: I bet you hear that all the time.
Doc Issues: Hey, you get used to,
Anthony: it must be tough dealing with all these like whack jobs and nasty bastards all day.
Doc Issues: Well, I usually don’t say it that way.
Anthony: I mean, it’s not like patrolling the whole galaxy or nothing, but you know, it’s, it’s a good gig I suppose.
Doc Issues: Well, I do like,
Anthony: I mean it must take like a lot of willpower to face all the stuff you see every day, but bet you could think you’d even will the power ring. Huh?
Doc Issues: To be honest, I hadn’t considered,
Anthony: well let me disabuse you that idea right off the bat. This ring is only for the strongest of will. There are a lot of wannabe ring slingers out there, but the core only takes the best of the best I should know. They picked me, I can see, and I’m so good. They let me weed out all the softies who can’t hack it. Me and Kilowog, we train all them rookies and turn ’em in a solid functioning lanterns. Not just anyone can do that.
Doc Issues: I’m sure,
Anthony: of course if I had full control there, there’d be a few folks I’d never have led in the first place. I mean, Sinestro, come on, you can see from a mile away. He’s one guy who never got a ring. I mean, his name is frigging Sinestro. I mean, what’s next? The Lanter called Evil Mc murder. The Smurfs make a lot of mistakes, but that’s gotta be up there like top five at least.
Doc Issues: Smurfs?
Anthony: Oh, the guardians little blue dudes, they, they created the car. They say they don’t use emotion, but if you ask me, sometimes they throw logic out the window too. And again, they put me in charge of stuff. So what’s that saying? Like blind squirrel finds a nut.
Doc Issues: I have heard that.
Anthony: I mean, I should be the full-time landr for Earth. We don’t even need anyone else. I mean, other guys are alright. Right. But if you can have mignon, why sell for a sloppy Joe?
Doc Issues: Well, different folks have,
Anthony: I mean, John’s okay. He’s a bit too stick in the mud for me sometimes. But he’s definitely thorough when it comes to dealing with stuff. I mean, a marine cop architect and exactly the kind of guy who’s gonna miss a lot of details. And a black guy’s seen enough hateful stuff to give him a lot of perspective on conflict. I mean, I’m sure you get crap all the time.
Doc Issues: I don’t see quite how that’s that.
Anthony: Kyle’s a good kid. I mean, he’s, he’s our, he, he’s gotta stop beating himself up over every little thing though. I mean, he needs better coping skills. You can’t just draw your problems away. I mean, he is a great partner, but to cry in the wine and get old after a while. Oh, I’m a sensitive artist though. My girlfriends die boohoo. If he starts pissing me off, I ask him to get me something outta the fridge from Alex that shuts him up for a while.
Doc Issues: Wow. I don’t even know where.
Anthony: And then there’s Jordan, the hot shot, the Ace pilot, the pretty boy. If I had a nickel every time someone fawning over him, I’d be able to afford a nice little place out in Pango Pango. I mean, he’s gotten us into more scrapes and fights than I can count. Seems like just about every problem the Corps has could be traced back to him. Something he did, someone he pissed off. It’s almost always how. And he knows it too. I mean, what I wouldn’t give to wipe that smug smile off of his mug.
Doc Issues: Sounds like you’ve done.
Anthony: Oh, don’t get me wrong. I mean I’ve tried like more than once actually. Son of a bitch always ends up getting me with some lucky shots. Ridiculous.
Doc Issues: Well, if it’s happened more than once,
Anthony: what? As much as it pains me to say it or every time he is, put some danger, he’s saved our mine. Yours universe. I mean literally the universe. I mean, he and I have gone toe to toe so many times and no matter what, he’s always gonna be the first one to back me up when when it hits the fan. So yeah, I don’t like him half the time, but that don’t mean I don’t respect him. Fact is he needs me to push him.
Doc Issues: Well how do you,
Anthony: because he knows I’m right on his ass, ready to take his spotted feet so much. It sneezes the wrong way.
John, Kyle, the other kids, hell, even the other Lanterns. I mean we’re all waiting for him to mess up. And the beauty of it is you don’t even have to wait that long cuz it’s Hal
Doc Issues: well that kind of pressure
Anthony: makes diamonds. Yeah, that’s what it’s like being in the Corps. We don’t have the luxury of second guessing ourselves.
Can’t be afraid of things. It’s, it’s kind of the whole point. No fear, willpower, all of that. I mean, when you’ve been through everything I’ve been through, fear is a waste of time.
Doc Issues: But fear can,
Anthony: and all those other colors with the, the fruit loop troops, they can suck an egg.
Doc Issues: Other emotions are just as
Anthony: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m sure you’re gonna gimme some spiel about the power of emotions. And I’ll be honest, I felt the power of all them at some point, especially when they’re punching me in the face.
Doc Issues: I’d like to punch you in the face.
Anthony: Yeah. I mean, I’m used to people being too intimidated to say what they really mean. That ain’t me. You know what the world needs more of. People like me to take a stand.
Doc Issues: Are you sure?
Anthony: I knew you’d agree, so I figured I’d give you a shot at bouncing some ideas. I don’t know. I mean, We don’t have someone looking at the big picture. I mean, dare I say, I feel like a gr one on the main event.
Doc Issues: You don’t say
Anthony: the nerve. Right. Some alien overlords treat me like I’m liability when I’m the biggest asset they got.
Doc Issues: Just biggest ass,
Anthony: oh man, I must be going deaf. You say something, you know, doc, you’re all right. You’re not gonna listen. You’re not like all the others that just wanna like talk down to me or beat me to a pulp. I heard about people like you. You got what’d you call
Doc Issues: common sense?
Anthony: No. You actually think about people. I mean, nobody’s really braver stupid enough to do that unless they have like a ginormous heart or they’re a genius or they’re just trying to get their head ripped off or something. You just take it all in waiting for the right time.
The bam, you just say just the right thing and you told me everything I’ll ever need to know. And just like one session, this is awesome. I could do this all day,
Doc Issues: but I didn’t.
Anthony: Oh, I don’t go on with that false modesty stuff. This is worth 10 times what you charge. I’m telling all the guys about you. I’ll be on speed dial all day every day.
Doc Issues: I don’t
Anthony: just wait till the guardians learn. I really am as badass as I said all along, and I got a doctor to prove me. Right.
Doc Issues: I wouldn’t
Anthony: Right. Need to play that car close to the vest. Damn, you’re smart. Well, that’s about all I can take of this. Gonna go down and catch the O’S game. Got a case of Natty Bo’s waiting for me. See you around Doc.
Doc Issues: Oh, why do I even care about jerks like him so much? It’s like I’m a magnet for these hard luck cases. Something’s going on.
Anthony: So that was my attempt at a Baltimore accent. I is a combination of like Baltimore and some Philly stuff. Philly, like South Jersey. I probably got some California in there. Unintentionally.
Doc Issues: Yeah, you got. I’d say Southwestern, not just California, like California, Nevada, Arizona.
Like I’ve, I’ve been around that area enough to hear some of that. It’s all over the place, man. .
Anthony: Yeah. Yeah. I, I tried, I was watching some videos cause I mean, he is from Baltimore and, and they’re not that far from Jersey, but I didn’t wanna just go like with my North jersey slash New York accent. I was trying to get the vowels.
It’s very distinct and frankly, my ear for accents has faded over time. I just, cuz I, it’s not something I keep up with. So I tried, I’m sorry, sorry. Tried . I did my best. The,
Doc Issues: the one thing I will say, regardless of what region you were going with, believe me, it was all asshole accent
Anthony: I mean, I had to throw in like the, the o’s and the Natty bows. I was like, okay, I gotta throw at least that in, you know, I, whatever. Again, I’m, I’m sure I’ll be crucified. I don’t know. You can compare it against some of the other accidents I’ve done. I know that my, my Cajun I did for Gambit wasn’t that great.
I’m working here, people, I’m doing my best I’m trying, I don’t wanna just make ’em all sound the same because there’s no fun in that. So recommended reading. I mean, we’ve got, gosh, so many years of Guy Comics to read. I would recommend some of the more recent stuff. The Geoff Johns run, green Lantern Corps which wasn’t by Geoff John’s, but, but a tied in there.
And then Green Lantern Emerald Warriors, which is I think that was Peter Tamasi, who I think also did Green Lantern Core and that one was very much guy, basically anything Postal Rebirth really kind of gets who Guy is. And yes, you can definitely go back and read some of the old eighties Justice League International stories to get that feel for Guy when he really first.
Became the asshole and the, the scuffles with Batman and the on off thing with ice and et cetera, et cetera. So there there’s no shortage of solid guy gardener stories is, is the takeaway from this. So next episodes we’ve got atrocities and then closing out the lantern month with Jessica Cruz. As I said, there is an extra episode just for patrons.
We’ll be covering Dex Star, the most angry cat in the world, in the universe. And then after Jessica, starting in February, we just recorded an interview with Ted Anderson, who has a graphic novel out called Side Effects, one of the most well done and interesting depictions of mental health that doc and I have seen in comics.
A really fascinating story and a great interview with Ted. So that’ll be coming up in early February. So as we said, this month is lantern month. So if you’re a patron, go ahead and join us on the 21st for the watch party for the Ryan Reynolds movie. If you’re not already patron, go ahead and subscribe.
patreon.com/capes on the couch. We’ll have links in the show notes and you can unlock hours of bonus material and extra stuff and uncensored material, et cetera, et cetera. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at Capes on the couch. All of our episodes are on our website at capes on the couch.com.
And if you listen to us on a platform that allows you to like a rate and subscribe, please do so because that, you know, helps get us seen more and more. I know we just made a list of I think like top 50 comic book podcasts that I saw somebody had tagged around on Twitter. So I shared that it’s nice to be appreciated.
Is is the takeaway from this. And you know, we’re not just gonna sit around here appreciating ourselves like Guy does. So doc, before we head out,
Doc Issues: You know, it’s amazing for someone that identifies as a gardener. He certainly has cultivated a personality of crap.
Anthony: And there you have it. For doc issues, I’m Anthony Sytko. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.