Capes on the Couch Transcripts Issue 172 – Penguin Transcript

Issue 172 – Penguin Transcript

[00:00:00] Anthony: Hello and welcome to Capes on the Couch where Comics Get Counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko.

[00:00:25] Doc Issues: And I’m Dr. Issues.

[00:00:27] Anthony: This is Issue 172 and our president level Patron. Ariel has selected a character that has been on the master list for quite some time. One of the most famous members of Batman’s Rogues Gallery, the Penguin, Oswald Cobblepot.

Ozzy’s been a long time coming on this show, but took five years and 170 plus episodes. We’re finally [00:01:00] getting around to a very interesting character, and we’re gonna touch on that a little bit in the background. The development over the course of the 70 years that he’s been in comics, he’s gone through a great deal of twist and turns.

And I would say for me, and full disclosure, as everyone knows, I’m not a giant Batman fan. I’m not a huge DC guy. Penguin is one of the most famous members of Batman’s rogues gallery, but I would argue that’s more due to longevity and I guess maybe a very interesting. Appearance [00:02:00] than any real animosity with Batman, because you think about who some of the villains are that have really tested Batman over the years.

There’s Joker, Bane famously broke the bat. Two-face. There’s that whole personal struggle between the relationship that Bruce had with Harvey and then the, the struggle that Batman has with two-face, and then there’s Penguin. Penguin is there and he’s done a lot of behind the scenes stuff. But I just, I dunno, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about the Penguin as a character and as a member of the Rogues gallery that kind of sets him apart from some of the other, equally famous, but perhaps more.

Successful [00:03:00] members of the Rogues Gallery? I don’t know. I don’t know. Doc, I know you’re more of a DC guy. You’re, you’re more into the mythos than I am. Am I just

[00:03:06] Doc Issues: completely so, so fan boys, please send your hate mail directly to Anthony and, and not to doc issues

[00:03:12] Anthony: capesonthecouch@ Oh, there’s our email address.

[00:03:15] Doc Issues: I’ll do, Lord. Oh.

Yeah that’s a take. I, I would dare say that the whole point of Penguin is not that he is the person that gets the attention of everyone and Gotham City. It’s because everyone knows that he makes sure Gotham City is running. And so while I would gladly agree that he doesn’t stand up to Batman in the sense of.

Being an arched nemesis. I would say that he’s a rival in that [00:04:00] if things go sideways, you would really wanna make sure that you know where he stands in a conflict because it can go smoother or way more tumultuous if y you just leave him as a wild card. So I have an intense level of respect for, for Penguin, and I think a lot of people do, mainly because it’s more like if he shows up, you know, that this has reached the level that everybody should be paying attention.

[00:04:42] Anthony: Fair enough. And we are going to touch on that a bit in the background. So having said that, let’s jump right into the background then. Appropriate that we’ve got the 66 Batman sound effect there, the Penguin Oswald Cobblepot, created by [00:05:00] Bill Finger and Bob Kane in Detective Comics. Number 58 December, 1941.

So the Penguin was one of Batman’s earliest nemeses. He was originally envisioned as a short stout man with a long beak like nose who dressed in a top hat and mole. The black and white attire is what led to, and plus the beak like nose is what led to him being known as the penguin. He started off as a thief who worked with a bird motif in his robberies, but he almost always managed to outsmart Batman and Robin and escape.

His name was finally revealed as Oswalt Cobble Pott in the best of DC number 10, March, 1981. So for 40 years he was just penguin. His backstory was that of a bullied child with an overprotective mother who was obsessed with birds. And after she died, he entered a life of crime to seek vengeance upon the world that that shunned him.

So after repeatedly being beaten by a Batman [00:06:00] and further embarrassed by Jean Paul Valley when he was operating his Batman, while Bruce was recovering from the paralysis, brought upon him by Bain. You can listen to the Bain episode. And we did an episode on, on John Paul as well. Penguin decides to open a restaurant casino called the Iceberg Lounge, which he uses as a front for criminal activity and begins operating as a criminal overlord.

And this is where he, the characterization of penguin starts to shift into more of the, oh, I’m a legitimate businessman. I’m not involved in any of that. Riff raff come, let’s. Let’s have a discussion over a drink and we’ll sort all this out. He still very much keeps his finger on the pulse of what’s going on, but he does it in a very different way.

So in Batman, no Man’s Land, he remains in Gotham after everyone abandons it following the earthquake. And his connections make him one of the most [00:07:00] powerful people in the city. And he occasionally serves as an informant to Batman, who keeps a very close eye on him. Batman feels that the Penguin is a necessary evil, and any power vacuum created by his absence would be worse than he is because Bruce is smart enough to acknowledge that he can’t get rid of all of the evil in Gotham overnight.

And Penguin at least keeps things relatively, I don’t wanna say on the up and up, but relatively smooth ish because. Penguin makes a lot of money off of how things are run. And if there’s too much chaos, then that’s bad for business. Very much that, that mobster mentality of we’re gonna shake you down and we’re gonna make sure we get our vig, but we don’t want to go too [00:08:00] overboard because that’s bad for business.

And it’s interesting that he takes that tactic and he avoids the chaos as much as possible because for so long, one of his allies, so to speak, was the joker who is chaos personified. And yet Penguin very much is like, I’m going to keep things straightforward. We’re gonna be very orderly. You know, it’s the kind of bank robbery.

Like, listen, I’m not here to hurt anybody. Just gimme your money, hand over everything and no one gets hurt. Joker meanwhile is like, I’m gonna blow up the place and not even bother with the money just for the lulls. So it was very much a yin and yang. And I know I glossed over a lot of stories, but again, we’re not the kind of show that’s gonna give you a deep background on all of the character history.

So [00:09:00] let’s just jump right into the issues. So the theme is Overcompensation and Ariel gave us two themes and we came up with the third. So the first one is, Ariel Wonders why someone Born to Wealth would end up as a crime Lord. Now I would venture to say it’s no disrespect to Doc, I could probably answer this question just as a student.

Human history, politics, understanding a little bit of sociology. You don’t need a psych degree to be able to put this one together, but I’m gonna let Doc who does in fact, have an advanced degree in all of this, provide his professional analysis. And then I’ll talk my end. Just as someone who grew up with family members who may or may not have been connected.[00:10:00]

[00:10:01] Doc Issues: All right, I’ll stop laughing. I apologize. The reason why I was laughing so much is because there’s a certain amount of skin in the game that you have to have in life. What does that mean? That means that it’s the old saying we’re all born naked, cold and crying, and it only, you know, goes from there. So you could imagine that.

A person that has certain other things going on with their life. And Anthony did hint on it, but my goodness, if you actually read any of this, or there’s plenty of other media about Oswald’s background, you, you’ll see that there’s, there’s plenty of trouble. And so yeah, that shapes things. But as I’ve said many times before, you don’t get to pick and choose what shapes you.

Whatever gets thrown at you, it’s thrown. It’s done. So let’s just stick [00:11:00] with the wealth angle though. Let’s say that you knew you were set for life from the start. You didn’t have to worry about money, you didn’t have to worry about the idea that you have to fend for yourself and all these other things.

Let’s go even further. Let’s say that you didn’t even know that that was a thing. Not only that, you don’t have that experience, you are not aware that other people have those experiences as well. And let’s say you don’t develop the necessary emotional intelligence to actually start to care about those sorts of things.

And you notice that early on, there are certain people that either get the things they want or are definitely doing things that interest you and create some level of impulsive energy and interest that you seem to [00:12:00] take to, for whatever reason. And I’m saying all of these things haphazardly only because it’s not one of these things that can happen.

All of these things can happen. Any of these things can happen. Any combination of these things can. And what do you think the result of that is going to be? Well, clearly they’re going to be well adjusted. They’re going to ignore all of those factors. They’re going to do absolutely perfectly. They’re going to be upstanding citizens in every way.

They’re going to make sure that they become the ultimate and upholding rules. And, oh, I’m sorry. I, I, wow. I, I ended up in a fantasy world there. What I meant to say is that all of the factors that the person is exposed to usually end up shaping them significantly for how they deal with things in life.

So the idea that you can separate a person’s perception of wealth in whatever realm, and that it just is there and it comes naturally, and therefore, for whatever reason, they put that sense of value in other [00:13:00] spheres of their life towards that, and somehow it creates a distorted sense of morality and therefore it means that, You put yourself in a higher value compared to other people, and therefore, anything that you do to manipulate them is simply for your own benefit.

And the emotional rewards that you get from doing such are wonderful. And the only thing you need to consider, because that goes above and beyond anyone else’s wellbeing, including their own hierarchy of needs. I realize that as I’m saying this, I can go on a really long diatribe That sounds like a pulpit.

So I think I’m gonna just stop there and let Anthony actually talk a little bit because it’s good to have someone else say the things that I’m already saying without sounding so harsh.

[00:13:47] Anthony: Well, it has less to do with sounding harsh per se, from that perspective, and more to do with just an acknowledgement that yes, if [00:14:00] you grow up insulated, And or isolated from putting it just frankly, the struggles of your average person.

I mean, it’s the entire concept behind affluenza. That’s literally what it is, that you have grown up so sheltered, so privileged, so unaware that people can even struggle. That your very moral fabric and understanding of what constitutes right and wrong is skewed. Because if you get everything that you want and you never know that people have to struggle for it or have to fight for it, you are not really gonna have any sense of empathy.

This is something that I think was demonstrated beautifully in the first season of Jessica Jones with Killgrave. [00:15:00] Here’s a, a child who grew up literally able to convince anyone anywhere to give him anything that he wanted. If you reach that point, if you have that power to just be able to snap your fingers and get anything that you want anywhere, anytime you are the definition of spoiled and you are not going to be able to understand, oh yes, I want this, but it’s going to hurt other people.

All you’re going to think is, I want it. I want it now. Why don’t I have it, daddy? I wants an oompa loompah and I wants it now. You’re gonna turn into Veruca salt. It’s just how it is. So the fact that Penguin says, yeah, I’ve got the money, but that’s not enough for me because as we’ve established, first you get the money, then you get the power.

Once you get the power, then you get the respect. It’s so not exactly how little Kim [00:16:00] said it, but Right. I’ll so,

[00:16:01] Doc Issues: so any other censor myself. Right. And, and I’ll censor myself with the one thing that Nipsey Hussle actually said it a little different because first you get the money and respect, then the power and some other things come next, so, so be it.

[00:16:17] Anthony: Exactly. Exactly. Gosh, it’s why we have a system now where we have millionaires running for political office in a country that was originally established and, and a system that was originally established to say, I’m going to do this for a little while and then go back to my regular job.

It has created an entire landed gentry class specifically for people to say, I’m a millionaire, I’m a billionaire, therefore I’m going to run for office. It’s. That’s a topic for another show, another [00:17:00] podcast. I’m going to,

[00:17:00] Doc Issues: I, I said, I said, less harsh, less harsh, less harsh.

[00:17:06] Anthony: Listen, man, reality is harsh . So the second issue that Ariel suggested is his bizarre relationship with women, and she cites a particular issue, I believe this series is called Joker’s Asylum.

And it’s a series of one shots wherein Joker is in Arkham Asylum and he is the narrator. The framing story around the around the main story is that Joker is in Arkham talking about the other members of the rogues gallery, and this one issue in particular about penguin centers around him going to an auction.

A criminal auction, you know, like Sotheby’s for terrible people. [00:18:00] And he comes across a woman in a cage and he’s immediately attracted to her and he buys her and they begin to establish a relationship. And he keeps her from seeing all of the other horrible things that he does. All she knows, she knows very little about him.

She knows, obviously, that he’s not exactly a good guy because he bought her out of a cage, but she doesn’t know the full extent to his depravity until she begins to suspect certain things. And I think Batman gets involved and somehow starts. Squeezing his organization a little bit, and eventually he lets it slip, or she discovers that he is not the [00:19:00] wonderful man that she was falling in love with, et cetera, et cetera, so the issue ends with him wishing her a fond farewell.

And I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I think at one point he, he bought a ring like he was planning on marrying this woman, and he’s saying, I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but I wish you the best. And he’s very visibly heartbroken, but he’s also handling it incredibly maturely. At least the words are, until the frame shifts.

And you see that she is back in the cage where he found her. So his words belie his petty actions. And this is also not the first. Issue that I’ve read where he has a warped relationship with woman. There’s another one where he falls in love with a blind woman. I think that’s in pain and prejudice.

Mm-hmm. , he falls in love with a blind woman and he won’t let her touch him. Right. [00:20:00] Because she just appreciates him for who he is. Yeah. So it’s very much related to his disfigurement that he keeps these women at a distance, but he’s still seeking love and affection and it’s very odd.

[00:20:17] Doc Issues: Well, it’s abuse. Another way to say it is, it’s no, it’s abuse.

That’s the word for it. So the point is he has the same needs that every human being does for attention, for for love, as you said, companionship, friendship, all very admirable things. All necessary things. How do you obtain that? Without some level of vulnerability and more importantly, to cobble pot specifically, how do you obtain that without vulnerability to the parts of yourself that you [00:21:00] wish to scrub from existence and can’t?

So you’ll go to just about any lengths to make sure that a person doesn’t know the parts of you that are not just bad, but are actually something that, while most people would say they’re ashamed of it, it almost is a delusion where Penguin basically doesn’t even wish to have that encounter for anyone to ever discover that if it’s, if it’s possible, women are a clean slate for him.

He doesn’t have to. Develop anything from scratch, he can start wherever he wants to start. He gets to control every aspect of what a person sees, what they hear. And if the reactions are positive to his inputs, then he can keep it going indefinitely. And we know, once again, going [00:22:00] back to it, that’s not how reality works for too long because most people are pretty good at determining some level of reality where you’re going to have those things that come up.

The difference is what you and I see as potential. I don’t even wanna say flaws, cuz it implies that all of them are negative. I mean, if you have something that is not considered within the two standard deviations of what’s considered normal, so be it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a disqualifying.

Factor for all the other things that I mentioned in terms of what a person would want. But he makes it that way. If, if I can give a childish example, it’s the equivalent of if you’re playing a Roguelike game and when the initial options come up, some of which are random, and you don’t determine them, you immediately [00:23:00] quit the game and then restart it to say, no, no, no, no, no, I just wanna start with something better.

No, no, no. Let me do that one more time. No, I’m gonna do this one last time and if I don’t get it, then I’m just shutting the game off completely and I’m not playing. That is great for games. If you decide to do that. I wouldn’t recommend it, cuz I think it’s less fun. But my point is, you can’t do that with your own self.

You really can’t. And you can try that technique with people, but they’ll sense it one way or another. And that’s where all of this abuse comes out because now. It becomes this incredibly twisted sense of control of another person’s emotions. I can make you love me, I can make you understand and I can do it.

And, and some people prefer more like, I can have you enjoy my flaws. And that’s more Stockholm [00:24:00] syndrome. But in this case it’s, it’s, it’s not that. It’s more like I can wall it off permanently.

No, you can’t. You can’t. It, it’s, it’s, that’s the bottom line with it. So it’s unfortunate that once it’s discovered, his clear objections are at least the way they’re presented.

Sometimes it’s, especially towards women, it’s much more of the, I still need to show my dominance as opposed to, I think he does the same thing with men, but that comes out classically with violence. And not that it doesn’t come out with women too, and, and what you described in terms of someone going back into, basically, into slavery and, and that’s a horrible thing, but it’s just as violent, just in a different way.

I I think that speaks loudly to just how far this character goes and, and unfortunately, thankfully uncommonly, but how far some people will go if their whole external view of the world is questioned in any way and a [00:25:00] person tries to be introspective with them because it just leads to a lot more conflict and pain.

[00:25:10] Anthony: Yeah, but see, I know it’s what Oswald wants, but I can’t make you love me if you don’t. You can’t make your heart feel

[00:25:26] Doc Issues: something

[00:25:27] Anthony: that wont. Yep. And Bonnie Raitt is awesome. .

[00:25:32] Doc Issues: See? See? I knew you were gonna say Bonnie Raitt cuz that’s the original I love Tank’s version. All right. I’ll be very interested if people have heard that version.

It’s, it’s great. Who’s version Tank? Oh, you gotta YouTube that, dude.

[00:25:53] Anthony: Hank Williams?

[00:25:54] Doc Issues: No, not Hank Tank. T a n k.

[00:25:57] Anthony: Oh. Oh. I don’t know who Tank [00:26:00] is.

[00:26:00] Doc Issues: He’s an r b artist.

[00:26:03] Anthony: Okay. I will check it out. But

yeah, Oswald, I think it again relates back to the issue of always. Getting what he wants, but he wants it in a very particular way. And I really liked your analogy of re-rolling at the beginning of a roguelike. I think a lot of us have done that at various points with the game. Oh, all right, well now this, this isn’t good.

Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna try again. Or, you know, save spamming or similar things of that nature as you’re constantly trying to work the game to your advantage. I mean, any number of real life [00:27:00] pickup artists will tell you very similarly, that’s what they do. I’d advise you not to listen to them, ask Andrew Tate how well that worked out for ’em.

So following all along, that issue is a related. Separate one for the third and final issue. And this is his relationship with his mother. It’s semi Oedipal, but it’s not sexual. It kind of reminds me of Norman Bates that a penguin’s best friend should be his mother. Yeah.

[00:27:48] Doc Issues: So I, I might expand on this one only because, let’s just go back to it cuz people sometimes think we take for granted what they know and what they don’t [00:28:00] know.

The whole idea of the Oedipus complex, not to get into the actual mythology of it, but the point is in development especially pre-pubescent and during adolescence, post puberty or during puberty, Typically a male has a certain relationship with his mother, where the theory behind it was that they’re trying to develop adulthood, but in order to do that, the obstacle in their way is their father.

And in order to take that role, they have to kill off their father and sleep with their mother. So yeah, don’t take that at face value. That’s not the point. So with Penguin, it’s not a matter of saying kill off the father or anything. It’s like, mom’s, what you got? . So in those circumstances, mom is everything.

And as we’ve discussed in many other episodes, being a parent or being a mother [00:29:00] especially, that already is a pretty big job. And in a case like this, mom is throwing her all into it. She’s definitely putting forth the effort. There’s no question about that. Whether or not it’s what we would call helicopter parenting.

I, I don’t know. I’m not looking to make that type of judgment. My point though, is clearly there is a development of an incredibly strong bond with mother and son that shapes much of what’s to come. So the idea is there should be some modeling for what relationships should be like, and it doesn’t once again, have to be romantic, just simply productive healthy ideal.

So it can be healthy, but here’s the problem. You can’t separate out the notion that all the other things that we’ve mentioned weren’t in a vacuum. [00:30:00] So his development of how he sees the world and his role in it, which is incredibly oversized, as well as his thought of how the world interacts with him, which means to his own whims, doesn’t get split out from the idea that he doesn’t have anybody else that connects as deeply as he had with his mother.

So, What do you do to recreate that? And now I’m not even talking just with women, I’m talking in general. On one hand you can make that aspirational. One of these days, I think that I’m going to meet one or more persons that will meet the criteria that I set forth for myself, and it’ll lead to a greater life [00:31:00] experience that doesn’t sound so bad.

Or it could be a situation where I’m going to create a goalpost higher than Mount Everest so that any person, especially of the female persuasion or whatever persuasion that I’m attracted to, will have to match up at some point. And if they don’t ever do that, I will consider them to be a failure, not because of anything of my own doing, but because all of the circumstances, if I’m paranoid, are conspiring against me.

Or if I am self-confident, not necessarily paranoid because I know I need to try harder, but that doesn’t mean that I have to settle for anything else that’s going on. And in the meantime, I can certainly put everybody through their paces just so that they can match up. And [00:32:00] boy, oh boy, I’m not going to make it easy on anyone Throughout that entire process that comes to getting to know me, that comes to what I want on a daily basis.

That comes to my expectations with all of my interactions. That comes to simply, if I’m having a bad day, well then guess what? You’re gonna have one worse. So it really can, can manifest this idea that, by the way, I’m, I’m pointing out. The person themselves, like Oswald’s mother, I’m not claiming she is actually that person, that personification that he’s created.

She may have developed this in his mind, but the fact that he did that may not be of her own doing either. So I don’t wanna make it sound like, well, you know, it’s his mother that did all of this. It’s like, no, no, no, no, no. It’s just the matter that some people are more prone to actually develop this mindset [00:33:00] and therefore set that standard.

And it can be really awkward if the person that they set this standard with dies prematurely or under negative circumstances, because now there was. Closure to all of it. If a person dies in natural causes, they had several conversations about what their perception was early in life versus later in life and how those things changed over time.

It’s less likely that you’re going to get this severe response. But if that doesn’t happen, even if the person does die later, if you never have the conversation, never talk about it or never even have the metacognition, meaning how your own thoughts process it, even if you don’t speak to the person about it.

If none of those things happen, then yeah, you can go down this very dark and

twisted road.

[00:33:50] Anthony: Yeah. I did wanna mention the one thing because you said something very early on about his father, and at least in [00:34:00] the pain and prejudice storyline, he kills off his father and his brothers so that it’s just. His mother, because his mother’s the only one who treats him with any kind of empathy. His father drops him when he’s born because he’s shocked at how ugly he is.

His brothers harass him and beat him up because he’s the runt and because he’s ugly and he’s not physically endowed. And depending on the writer and depending on how they wanna put focus on this aspect of his life, he grew up very privileged, which we didn’t really talk about in the background because again, depending on the writer, he grew up in a family where he was expected to make something of himself, that they were this, this name, it was the cobble pots.

They were [00:35:00] like, like old money. And then here comes this freak, who obviously can. Carry forth the legacy. So he opts to make his own way.

[00:35:18] Doc Issues: And that is why when we were putting this episode together, talking about a theme and why I think it runs through all of that, you just summed it up perfectly over competence, overcompensation.

It’s not just the idea that you have something that you have to struggle against and he does have that, it’s that it almost becomes an obsession in and of itself and just really changes how a person is going to deal with everything moving forward. [00:36:00] And it’s, it’s this intensity of that that thought that just.

Makes it incredibly difficult for that person to connect with the world. So yes, dude, you’ve got some things that people didn’t like about you, even within your own family, and, and it was traumatic. It was bad. You also had some things that you didn’t have to worry about, and that’s okay.

It was a mixed bag. But for a person that’s looking to overcompensate, basically, it was all bad. And only by that person’s sheer willpower and abilities to overcome all of it, were they able to get where they are. There’s a big difference there. You are now not just the hero of your own story. You basically were the hero of the whole story.

Everything else was an antagonist that you overcame as opposed to the [00:37:00] typical mix of things that led to the


[00:37:05] Anthony: Okay. That’s fair. I, I understand. And I can respect and appreciate that. So we’re gonna take a break. When we get back we will get into treatment, so stay tuned.

And we’re back. So treatment,

oh, and does Mr. Cobblepot have the power at least over the criminal underworld. So in universe with the Penguin?

[00:37:37] Doc Issues: So I need to be adjacent to what he wants to talk about, because I doubt. Trying to get into any of the issues that we mentioned or just coming up with a, a general framework for diagnosis is, is going to work. He has no interest in dealing with someone like [00:38:00] me, so I’m going to put on my other amateur hat.

By the way, don’t ever do this in real life people. Okay? I’m going to put on my other amateur hat. I’m gonna do some financial planning with him because he has some serious things that are going on in his business and I don’t know what books he’s cooking, but there’s gonna be some stuff there that he wouldn’t want me to see.

But it’s very interesting how, if you know how to look for things with regards to taxes, with regards to investments, ownership of things. Legal documents for assets, how they’re licensed codes, permits, lots of different things that are actually really important that if I were to ask him about them and say, well, what was [00:39:00] the point behind those things?

He would give me some sort of very convoluted story. But that’s the beauty of lying, because it just creates this intricate web of partial truths, and my job is just to piece ’em together. And so as he’s trying to point out just how legitimate a businessman he is by showing all of this stuff to me, I know that he’s also revealing more of himself than he really would want to in any other capacity.

So I would really, really like to steal some money. I mean, I’d love to just make sure that he’s on good financial footing in the future. And meantime, just, just know a little bit about why he is such a coldhearted creature.

[00:39:53] Anthony: Yes, I do estate planning and you learn quite a bit [00:40:00] about people when you’re talking to them about end of life planning.

You do have to get into the financial details. You have to know at least, you know, in a ballpark figure what their net worth is, assets and liabilities, how to protect those assets, how to cover the liabilities. It’s a puzzle. And as you said, you learn a lot about the person in a way that they wouldn’t have to reveal to other people who interact with them.

In a different fashion. So I really like that, that appeals to me because I know that if you’re doing his financials, you’re gonna call me and say, Hey, how about you set up his estate plan ?


[00:40:52] Doc Issues: And, and, okay, so, so forget the universe stuff. Just, just saying in general. I love this saying, show me your [00:41:00] calendar and your bank statements, and I’ll show you what your values are.

[00:41:06] Anthony: Neither my calendar nor my bank statements have, have a lot in them. So, , I don’t know what that says about me . Well, that’s a

[00:41:15] Doc Issues: no no, no. What I’m getting at with that, of course is where do you spend your time? Because the whole point of that, it’s meant as a motivational tool and, and it’s the truth, I mean, There are things that you schedule on a regular basis, like actually schedule that you don’t want to be there.

Why are you doing them? And if you’re noticing that your spending is going towards things that you don’t want them to go to, why are they going there? It’s not to say that those things are wrong, but if you’re saying that you don’t have control over them, how do you get control over them so that they can change in the future?

If there are things that you don’t have money left over to do, well then either how do you get more money to do the things you wanna do? Or how do you switch over so that your money is going where [00:42:00] you want it to? And if you have the opportunity to change your calendar in any way, why haven’t you yet?

And by the way, I’m calling myself out. I’m just saying like these are things that we take for granted because we’re all in that daily grind, that daily hustle. But we have way more control than we think we. And if we don’t exercise at least some of the thought of what we’re doing from time to time, then we really do go far away from the things that we consider to be important.

And it’s not what I was going to say for out of universe, but I think it, it can tie in depending on the person’s situation.

[00:42:37] Anthony: All right. Very fair. So then, transitioning to out of universe, you’ve got a spoiled affluenza trust fund orphan who’s really ugly and they’ve, they’ve got screw [00:43:00] you money, so they’re just using it to take things out on the world.

So they’ll buy a social media site and tailor the algorithms to make sure that they, favor themselves. Just, just spitballing, you know, random ideas that pop into my head.

[00:43:21] Doc Issues: Oh, man.

All right. The first thing I’d do is take an inventory of myself just to make sure that I’m in the right head space for that, because this definitely is the type of person that wants to manipulate a a situation.

This is the type of person that often will say, even if you’re not a fee for service provider, they’ll just say, I’ll pay whatever you want me to pay just as the flex. And that really does change your judgment. Don’t think it doesn’t, there’s a reason why people do it, so you have to be careful with that.

You have to set the limits in terms of the time, because this person may want you to be a [00:44:00] true concierge at your at their becking call. Or anything that’s going on in their life. Ironically, people would think that, that this person is difficult to deal with. It’s not necessarily that they, they may want to go ahead and pick your brain about a lot of things, but it’s because they view you as this, as is consultant where they don’t have to give the weight to their own issue, but rather how other people view the issues about them.

It’s, it’s much more of the marketing of it and what they think this is supposed to show to others rather than how it’s supposed to have them adapt to their emotional responses. And unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell the difference if the person is really good at doing that because they’ve been doing it their whole life and you are just dealing with it for however long, be it 30 minutes or an hour, whatever.

So, This [00:45:00] is also the type of person that may just cut you off immediately if they feel like at any point you say something that just doesn’t jive with their worldview. So there’s also the risk of that. And the best way to gang them back actually is usually to maintain that boundary. Just point out similar to what you said with Oswald himself, but you know, I’m, I’m sorry that that there’s some disagreements there and it has nothing to do with, with you personally.

It’s okay for people to have those types of disagreements. So is there anything else that I can do to point out to you that this is still a worthwhile investment in both of us? You know, just making sure that there’s some level of mutual ground and buy-in rather than, the common defense mechanism is more like, okay, I need to just immediately take back control and say like, you know, this is messed up and all that.

Maybe sometimes a person needs that anyway. But depending on how they’re acting, if it is truly like a, [00:46:00] sociopathic kind of behavior, then society at large has already made that determination. Or if they haven’t, they, they’ll know it from how people interact with them. So you don’t always have to go that far, but you do if you need to.

The more common thing is just making sure that they know that this is a dialogue and not a monologue, because these people tend to run their lives as a monologue.

[00:46:30] Anthony: Okay.

And I think the reason that they run their lives as a monologue is because, Again, getting back to that point of insulation that they’re so accustomed to getting what they want, that they either don’t have anyone who says no to them, or they’re so high off of their own money and power that they disregard the no, because they’re, [00:47:00] they’re going to get what they want anyway.

So I think that part of it definitely factors into why it’s a, a monologue and not a dialogue because again, they can’t conceive of, of a back and forth. So yeah, that tracks not surprisingly. So with all of that being said, let’s see what happens when we get the penguin on Dr. Issues’ couch

[00:47:37] Doc Issues: hello, Mr. Cobble Pott. I’m Dr. Issues.

[00:47:41] Penguin (Anthony): And a good day to you too, sir, might I interest you in a glass of champagne while we talk? It’s a 1959 Dom Perignon Rose.

[00:47:50] Doc Issues: I don’t drink while I’m working and I’m not certain you should be drinking during a session either. Wait, how do you even get a bottling glasses past the [00:48:00] security guards?

[00:48:01] Penguin (Anthony): Oh, posh. You need to bother yourself with trifling matters such as that. I certainly don’t. I mean, life is so short, so why not enjoy the fine things were we not put here to take advantage of All life has to offer.

[00:48:16] Doc Issues: Be that as it may. I’ll pass. I must say I’m rather surprised at your cavalier attitude given your current surroundings.

[00:48:26] Penguin (Anthony): No, a temporary snafu doctor. The rest assured this will all be taken care of. Presently, a man of my stature doesn’t stay in prison for very long. Now, I’m assuming you are here to provide an overview of my mental health for the DA’s office.

Will allow me to save you the trouble. I’m entirely compos mentis. So you can go ahead and just copy the report from the last time I was here. Maybe update the dates, perhaps summarize that brief misunderstanding I had with the bat about how I came to acquire the jewelry, and we’ll both be on a merry way. [00:49:00]

[00:49:00] Doc Issues: Nice try. But I’m afraid it won’t be quite so simple.

[00:49:04] Penguin (Anthony): Oh, but it will be. You see, dear Doctor, there are two sets of rules in this world. There’s one set for people like. And rest assured that statement has nothing to do with the amount of melanin in your skin where you remain subject to a dull life. Third of repetition and servitude, hoping to rise above your status like Icarus.

But inevitably, your wings melt and you land with a thd among the common rabble. You spend your entire life trying to escape the box. And then there’s another set of rules for people like me who just to say there are no rules. I don’t have to envision escaping the box because for me, there never was a box

[00:49:47] Doc Issues: And yet here you are

quite literally inside a box. Wow. I sit comfortably outside of it. [00:50:00]

[00:50:00] Penguin (Anthony): As I said, this is a temporary setback.

[00:50:05] Doc Issues: So since you’re temporarily in the box, let’s talk. You could do anything you wanted with your resources. So why did you choose crime?

[00:50:15] Penguin (Anthony): I’m sure you’ve read the report. I came from a lineage of people accustomed to a particular lifestyle and my family had plans for me.

Unfortunately, those plans were incompatible with my appearance. My family was not so understanding or appreciative of my unique nature, and after they all be felt such horrible tragedies and accidents, it was just me and dear mother. She was so lonely and needed someone to take care of her. So I did what any good son did. I established myself and gave her the lifestyle that she deserved .

[00:50:56] Doc Issues: By taking from others who also deserve the same lifestyle. [00:51:00] Because you say so, you can see the slippery slope where I’m taking this.

[00:51:07] Penguin (Anthony): Oh, but my dear doctor, there is no need for imagination when it comes to that level of speculatory relevance. Look around you. To be frank, neither of us need worry ourselves with the dregs of society, and that’s not what I’m about. That’s why my club still has the highest rating in Travel and Leisure Magazine as I abide my time. Legally indisposed.

[00:51:32] Doc Issues: Fascinating. You really do care what people think about you, don’t you?

You know, not, not your looks. You’re, you’re beyond that now, but the glamor of it all, prestigious your love language. That explains why, I don’t know. I guess you don’t really care about Gotham.

[00:51:51] Penguin (Anthony): I beg your pardon.

[00:51:53] Doc Issues: Well, i, I mean, it seems like you’re, you’re willing to gut the essence of a major city and pollute it with crime. At least white collar [00:52:00] types usually try to coat their disdain with, I don’t know, like gentrification and stuff.

[00:52:06] Penguin (Anthony): I would do no such thing.

[00:52:08] Doc Issues: Come on. Arson, theft, assault, terrorist threats. Those are the accusations on your rap sheet. Heck, Al Capone got caught for tax evasion. You know, how is it that unsophisticated thugs can cover their tracks better than you, and you keep up with the facade of this distinguished gentleman?

[00:52:27] Penguin (Anthony): Be careful, doctor. Your tongue is starting to betray the rest of your body. It’d be ashamed to have to excise it from your skull.

[00:52:38] Doc Issues: So you don’t like what I have to say? That’s the type of stress any gentleman would encounter in normal interactions, , that shouldn’t lead to threats of violence.

[00:52:49] Penguin (Anthony): The only correction I must make is that it is not a threat. It is a guarantee. Keep it up and you’ll find out just how fucking gentleman the eye can be, doctor. [00:53:00]

[00:53:01] Doc Issues: All right. If that’s the way you’re going to go about it, then there’s no point in continuing to talk.

[00:53:07] Penguin (Anthony): No, but there is my dear doctor issues. You see, I have no intention of ending this discussion without expanding my sphere of influence and know that is not in reference to my physical form.

[00:53:22] Doc Issues: What sort of influence can I add for you?

[00:53:27] Penguin (Anthony): You know, people, important people, otherwise, you would not be assigned to evaluate someone like me, but I can leverage that to my advantage. Tell me, Dr. Issues, what your career would look like if you were say, named in a named an accomplice to my crimes.

[00:53:46] Doc Issues: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. that’s, that’s not possible.

[00:53:53] Penguin (Anthony): Really Now, even though I have access to my own records and. Can reverse engineer them to say that you knew [00:54:00] about all of them and never reported them. But this is the first time I’ve seen. It doesn’t matter what we say here, doctor, only what is documented. I’m sure you know that I’m not privy to share my ways, but let’s just say that about now, several friends and family of yours will learn of your attempts on their lives, their residences, their places of employment, all because you wanted to be more powerful and wanted my help for shame. A psychiatrist driven, mad with power and my confession with impeccable transcription, the only remaining source of legitimate inquiry I had to stop you, of course, because I am the one who cares for Gotham. You see,

[00:54:49] Doc Issues: wait, wait, wait, wait. You had all of this planned from the start.

[00:54:57] Penguin (Anthony): Certainly now I’d be willing to [00:55:00] trade. None of these events have to continue. If you would be so kind as to give me details on the bat and everyone is come into contact with, oh, I may still kill you, but at least everyone else is spared and you are made to look like some sort of a martyr. It sounds like a bargain to me. Don’t fuck with me.


[00:55:28] Doc Issues: I’m, I’m scared to say no.

[00:55:32] Penguin (Anthony): Splendid . Now if you could just go ahead.

[00:55:37] Doc Issues: Scared not, not unwilling. No deal. The preposterous.

[00:55:48] Penguin (Anthony): You simpleton, you are surely going to throw away your career in everyone you know, just for the sake of righteousness. This is absurd.

[00:55:57] Doc Issues: You’re right, you’re right. I’m way [00:56:00] too practical for that.

Yeah, yeah. It’s a little nervous, but I, I think I did the right thing.

[00:56:10] Penguin (Anthony): Wait, what does that mean?

[00:56:12] Doc Issues: It means that the same people you wanted to hurt are the same people that are being protected and rescued by the same people. You wanted dirt off.

[00:56:23] Penguin (Anthony): Stop saying same people. Someone with an alleged intelligence. You limit your vocabulary too much.

[00:56:30] Doc Issues: Not a priority right now. Cause I’m really scared, but I gotta admit it. Also, I know he pisses you off.

[00:56:40] Penguin (Anthony): You also had all this plan from the start.

[00:56:43] Doc Issues: Me not quite. Someone else did take a guess.

[00:56:50] Penguin (Anthony): You do know him. God, this is too much. You will not play me like a cheap fiddle.

[00:56:58] Doc Issues: Oh, it, it’s clear. You’d be [00:57:00] quite expensive and rare, but I’ll admit we’re probably not a good fit because I don’t follow the collectibles market.

So I think I’ll just sign off your case for now. It sounds like you were giving me the cold shoulder. Anyway.

[00:57:16] Penguin (Anthony): Stop with yours.

[00:57:24] Anthony: So that. S Meredith. It wasn’t Danny DeVito, it wasn’t even, I forget who played him in the animated series. I kind of just did my own thing. Yeah.

[00:57:38] Doc Issues: With it. That was great. Really

[00:57:39] Anthony: enjoyed it. I had to throw in the, I mean, you can’t do the penguin and not do the penguin laugh. Yep.

That’s the one I always do. When , when my son asks me to make penguin noises, he’s like, daddy sound like a penguin.[00:58:00]

They’re cute and they’re cute, funny little creatures. So, anyway, recommended reading is Penguin Pain and Prejudice has nothing to do with Jane Austen, but it is a fantastic. Mini-series four or six issues, forget it’s not terribly long, gives you a good, solid background. It is a, a very focused story, gives a lot of insight into Oswalt cobble pot as a person, as a character, and really helps clarify a lot of the things that we come to know about Penguin and who he is.

So, upcoming episodes Arcade, as selected by president Level Patron Matt. Matt w not to be confused with Matt P, [00:59:00] who’s another patron, and then Jonah Hex, as selected by Janine, given her one last one on her way out. And then Mr. Sinister. So we’ve got we’ve got some good stuff coming. I’m very excited about it.

Not to mention we’ve got some creator interviews we’re working on also scheduling another creator interview slash crossover episode with another podcast. I’m working on scheduling that details to come shortly. As always, you can find all of our episodes on our website, and as always, we are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at capes on the couch. Really trying to put a little more time and energy into increasing the amount of social media content that I put out.

It’s just something’s gotta give. Lately, I’ve just been really burning the candle at both ends and then also setting it a blaze [01:00:00] in the middle. So there’s very little wax or wick left. But I really do wanna start focusing a little more time on the social media stuff, and hopefully that helps bring in some additional people and you all, as devoted fans and listeners of the show can go ahead and share it as you so often do which we definitely appreciate.

Again, that just gets us in front of more people and helps spread the message. And hopefully in the next couple weeks we’ll have good news about a convention appearance as well that we’re working on. So that would be huge. Speaking of conventions, by the way, if you’re going to C2E2, our friends, popcorn psychology have a panel that they will be hosting, so kudos to them.

I will not be going to Chicago, but I am very excited and pleasantly jealous in a, in a good way. For, for the three of them that they’ve managed to to get that [01:01:00] panel submission taken care of. As I said, hopefully one of these days we will get a, a panel at a con. I’m working on it, working on it.

Got some irons in the fire. I’ll just put it that way. And hopefully one of them gets picked. So that’s gonna about wrap it up. For this one. I have to go ice my throat now with with some, some cold beverages. But Doc, before we head out,

[01:01:25] Doc Issues: so if you really are following the penguin, you could think that the world is an incredibly cold place from the day that you’re born and people see you in black and white and there are heights that you’ll never be able to reach.

Or instead you can take a deep dive into what is out there in the. You can end up being incredibly proficient, finding someone or multiple people in a very close-knit group that are going to be lasting bonds for your own enjoyment, and you’re going to end up seeing some places that are so spectacular that you ever even get [01:02:00] experience. The choice is yours,

[01:02:04] Anthony: beautifully stated, for Doc issues, I’m Anthony Sytko. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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