riIssue 181 – Mister Sinister
Anthony: Hello and welcome to Capes on the Couch, where comics get counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko.
Doc Issues: And I’m Dr. Issues.
Anthony: This is issue 181 and we are getting Sinister. We are talking Nathaniel Essex, Mr. Sinister, arch nemesis of the X Men and mutant kind and fabulous dresser. This is going to be a really fun one.
I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. I have been doing a lot more reading. Of the X books as of late, particularly since Hox Pox. And I’ve said many times on the show that I was never really a big mutant slash X Men fan, but I have to say with the age of Krakow and everything that’s happened since then, it’s definitely brought me, and I’m still not buying a lot of stuff on my pull list.
I tend to wait for it to come out on Marvel Unlimited, but I’m reading way more mutant books. Over the past year and change than I had in my prior 40 years before that. So it’s just been been really interesting.
So with all that being said, let’s get into the background, Mr. Sinister, Nathaniel Essex created by Chris Claremont and uncanny X Men number 212 in December of 1986. He’s first seen in number 221, September, 1987, drawn by Mark Silvestri. So there was this long period of time where Sinister was spoken about.
He was known to be the mastermind behind the mutant massacre and Morlocks and the whole.
And then a lot of his background and everything was filled in. So Nathaniel Essex was born in Victorian London. He is intrigued by Darwin’s theories of evolution and survival of the fittest, but believes that mankind can go further. After his four year old son dies, he comes to believe that science can perfect the human race.
To that end, he hires a gang to kidnap homeless people to serve as test subjects and he allies As they share a common goal.
Doc Issues: Yes, to eliminate homelessness.
Except not. So his wife discovers his imprisoned test subjects as well as their dead son that Essex had dug up to experiment on. She goes into premature birth and dies from blood loss, but not before calling him truly sinister.
Which he then takes on as his new nom de plume, if you will after En Sabah Nur apocalypse transforms him with celestial technology, giving him the powers of immortality and telekinesis. So sinister tries. Yeah, as you do, as totally one does sinister tries to kill apocalypse, but fails. He commits himself to creating a mutant who can kill him.
This leads to the eventual creation of cable who I’m sure we’ll get around to one of these days on the show. Boy. That episode, the background on that is going to take a whole 20 minutes to get through Cable.
Doc Issues: That just made me realize we might need an episode for the episode on that one.
Anthony: Oh yeah, yeah, we’re going to need. Just to explain cable, just like we’re probably going to need one to also explain Madelyne prior, who I’m going to get to in just a moment. So sinister collaborates with many villains and characters throughout the decades, including being responsible for setting up the high evolutionary and having his research be the basis for the weapon X project he keys in on the summer’s line, because.
He secretly established an orphanage to keep track of children of his experiments. It is here he meets a young boy named Scott Summers, who is the descendant of one of his earliest test subjects. And Sinister pretends to be Nate, another orphan, and tries to manipulate Scott to become an ally to Sinister until Scott is rescued by Xavier and Nate can see because of his precognition and everything that he’s said, he has foreseen that Scott will grow up to become a very powerful dick.
Doc Issues: I, I forgot that. Oh my.
Anthony: I was wondering if you were going to clue in on where I was going. I had to, I had to. So he creates a clone of Jean Grey after determining that a child of Scott and Jean would be capable of killing Apocalypse. And after the Phoenix saga, Scott meets Madelyne Pryor at a summer’s family reunion, leading to a whole bunch of messiness that we’re not going to get into for this episode.
Suffice to say, you know what, if you want to hear more about what some people think about Madelyne Pryor and that whole situation, if you’re a patron. Go back and listen to the conversation I had with Chris Claremont, because Chris Claremont has a lot of thoughts about Madelyne Fryer and X Factor and Gene and everything that came out of that.
And he is not shy at all about telling you about them. The man has thoughts and he will force them upon you at the slightest provocation, but I digress. So he encounters the X Men for the first time during Mutant Massacre. Basically Gambit gets convinced to Lead a team into the sewers against the Morlocks.
A lot of people die. Gambit goes, Oh, dang, I shouldn’t have done that. And you can go back and listen to the Gambit episode. We really don’t talk too much about the mutant massacre in the Gambit episode, cause there’s a lot of other stuff that we touched upon, but it is one of the key parts of Gambit’s kind of like introduction to comics as well as it does.
color his character for many, many years moving forward. So Sinister dies during Messiah Complex when he attempts to kidnap the newborn baby, Hope, and then a drastically overpowered rogue touches him and essentially burns him alive. Due to earlier experimentations, though, his consciousness transfers first into Xavier before transferring then into Claudine Renko, a former test subject, and she calls herself Miss sinister hashtag because he’s later restored to a male form and creates an entire sin.
He’s later restored to a male presenting form and creates an entire civilization of sinister clones in San Francisco, including animals in an attempt to get celestials to wipe out the planet so he can start a new. Now this is 2011. I want to say, I think it’s uncanny X Men volume two. It’s the Kieran Gillen run.
Kieran Gillen reboots the character and all subsequent versions, all subsequent stories work off of this version of the character prior to this. And that’s not a Madelyne joke prior to this, his focus was. On the summer’s line and trying to kill apocalypse. Although that is one of his goals. He has much grander ambitions than that.
And it’s not just his ambitions to change. It’s his entire personality and presentation. And we’ll get into that in the issues and in the skit. So he creates five Madelyne clones in an effort to house the Phoenix force during AVX. But the Phoenix five destroy everything that sinister built. That sinister then gets killed by another clone with an X gene.
And this is kind of like another retcon that we see during the Hickman hox pox that Magneto and Xavier approach sinister to say, we know you have a catalog of mutant DNA. We would like access to that database and in exchange we can get you some samples that you wouldn’t otherwise have and Sinister goes, No, I’m good.
Then he dies. He’s killed by this clone with an X gene who goes, No, actually, I’m interested. Forget what he said. Let’s talk. So Sinister now is a mutant. And it is this clone that works with Xavier and Magneto to compile the database for the Krakoan Society, and he joins the Quiet Council. He also creates several clones of Moira McTaggart.
You can go back to listen to the Moira episode we did to find out why that’s important. Suffice to say, her dying and resetting the timeline ability works very much in Sinister’s favor. So he creates several clones because he says 10 is not enough times for me to do these experiments. I need a lot more.
When he, when we meet him and when we find out that he’s been running this, he’s on his 26th try. So he exploits her timeline reset ability to his benefit, which leads to sins of sinister where he successfully kills Xavier, Hope, Emma Frost, Exodus, creating a dystopian future for mutants and mankind. That crossover event just wrapped up not that long ago, started at the beginning of the year.
It was one of the bigger mutant events that we’ve seen recently. I haven’t gotten through the whole thing because it’s not all available on Marvel Unlimited yet. But I like what I’ve read so far because I think it’s very interesting in the planning and forethought and execution attempts that Sinister comes up with.
Doc Issues: When you think of timelines… I’m not so much thinking from a comics perspective. I’m more, once again, random hobby, thinking from the economics standpoint. So yes, you could say time is our greatest commodity. This is the first time I think I’ve heard of time scalability. That’s that’s pretty fascinating.
I, I, I really wonder how, how that would go because it’s the one dimension that we can’t change any way that we know in real life and yet. You can do something like that, like, Ooh, boy, I mean, forget being a billionaire. Forget, you know, all the other things that we do to assess value that, that would, Ooh, that, that, that creates so much greater opportunity for things.
That’s so cool.
Anthony: Yeah. He basically goes, all right, I’m going to enact this plan. And right before I do, he basically saves scums. It’s essentially safe scumming and that is referenced, by the way, I’m not the person who kind of came up with that term. There is a lengthy but wonderful episode of the Cerebro podcast, and I’m going to put a link to it in the show notes, on Sinister.
And… Connor, the host interviews Kieran Gillen and they discuss that and they talk about sinister save scumming to start over again. If you’ve ever played on an emulator or you’ve ever kind of done that, you don’t even necessarily need an emulator. It is a lot easier to do on an emulator, but if you’ve ever done that where you create a save point and then, okay, I’m going to try this strategy on the boss.
Oh, no, that didn’t work. Okay. Revert to the safe point. I’m going to try this. Nope. Revert to the safe point. I’m going to try this. Save scumming was the only way I was able to beat the original Ninja Turtles NES game when I got the Cowabunga collection, but that’s a story for another time. So all of that being said, and again, I glossed over a lot of stuff with Sinister, but I wanted to get to the issues.
The theme is the show must go on, but when does it stop? So this episode had originally been requested by Matt P., one of our present level patrons, and he Said in his message that he was operating kind of in the pre Gillen reboot version of Sinister because he hadn’t read the X books in quite some time until recently.
And he goes, I remember Sinister is constantly being obsessed with Scott and wanting to kill apocalypse and, and focusing on cable and all of that stuff. And he goes, now I’m reading this and I’m like, what version of the character is this? Cause this isn’t anything I recognize. One thing that is. Started in the, that version, the early version and exacerbated or expanded upon is this constant experimentation on others and himself in pursuit of perfection.
This is, like I said, one of the things that Gillen took to the nth degree. Originally, he just said, I want to perfect this mutant to go and kill apocalypse. Then Gillen tweaked it and said, I’m going to perfect myself. Because I am going to be the ultimate mutant.
Doc Issues: Yep. And either way, this definitely pertains to real life.
Let’s start with the parts that can be acknowledged in each of us. You will not be the same person that you were just a little while ago. You will change because your experiences allow you to change because your emotional responses allow you to change because your knowledge base. Becomes much wider as you learn things.
Now, the rate at which that happens, when we talk about children to adult, that is a much different scale, but it still happens every single day. And whether you’re aware of it or not can make the difference in how much you get value out of life, how much you control the things that you can control. And so looking at it from that standpoint, it’s wonderful.
And what happens if you aren’t satisfied with the results? I know you just mentioned save scumming, but what if the files corrupted? What if for whatever reason, every time you try and go back, you think that something is inherently wrong. And so it goes from, I think I can do a little better than I did last time to, I’m not good enough compared to what I think I should be.
And so my point of trying to get better is I want to eliminate this thing that I think is wrong, but you’re the only person that notices it is something wrong or heaven forbid, you notice it in somebody else. And you say to yourself, Hmm, that person would be absolutely perfect. If they only change this one thing and I’m going to help them do it.
That’s right. You’re going to save them. Now there’s an obvious. Parody here where you could say, well, isn’t that what therapy is? Ha ha ha. That’s not what I’m talking about. If you are that person in the relationship. That constantly criticizes the other person saying they don’t look quite right, or they’re not doing this the right way, or oh, I just wish you would do this, or I don’t think that we need to continue doing this activity even if it’s what we bonded over because I’m past that, or all these other things where you are neglecting parts of yourself or parts of others Because for whatever reason, you simply are, some people say it’s boredom.
Some people say it’s adaptation or even evolution. Let’s go there. But the point is, how are you going about it? If you’re just saying it because you view the world as negative and you’re just trying to cull out pieces, you’re going to end up with nothing left. That’s not the way I think I would want to live.
And so when you get this type of people around or you’re doing it to yourself, you’re going to notice that you’re not creating an environment of healthy adaptation and growth. You’re creating an environment of constant pruning and neglect. And if you’re not careful. You’re going to end up alone and worse off than where you started, even though you think for the time period that you’ve been thinking and acting this way, you were doing yourself a favor.
Anthony: And mild spoiler for the skit, we’re definitely going to get into some of the pruning aspects of that, but. Yeah. Oh, man.
I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist. I’m punchy. I’m punchy tonight. I’m, I’m in a certain way about something. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because I got a week left in my job. So the second issue and again, this is one of the things that Gillen really amplified about the character presentation and theatricality often doom his efforts.
Because he’s so focused on being flashy and making sure that everyone knows that it’s him. Some of the actual planning parts of the plan don’t work as well as they could or should. And this is a man who’s no slouch mentally, but he overlooks things sometimes because the focus is not on the, the substance.
It’s on the sizzle.
Doc Issues: Oh, man, you said it. I was going to say he, he puts so much effort into the sizzle. Sometimes he forgets what happens to the steak. So, oh boy, I have to be careful with this because I think that a person’s ability to express their individuality is amazing and we wouldn’t have a podcast if it weren’t for the fact that both of us do that.
So I want to make sure anybody out there, I’m not trying to downplay the idea that, you know, you can’t have some pizazz, can’t have something that makes you stand out. That’s wonderful. The thing is, make sure you know what your process is in whatever it is that you’re doing, know your why, like, what is the reason that you are, let’s say, still going to work?
Why are you interacting with your family? Why are you looking for this new opportunity? Why are you reading these series of books? Whatever it is that you’re doing, intentionality is really important. And especially now more than ever, there are so many things that can be distractions to your original point.
And you can lose it really quickly. We’ve all gone down Facebook rabbit holes where we just wanted to research something. We just wanted this one piece of information and guess what? Most of the time you get it along with 15 other things that are completely irrelevant, but because they had the same, let’s say subject point, you ended up watching.
You know, whatever on Tik Tok for, you know, way longer than you anticipated. And you just lost an hour that you’re not going to get back. Of course, I’m exaggerating. I’m not, of course, I’m saying no one does this. Everyone does. I’m just pointing out that in general, the more you put on the idea that there’s going to be a quick and simple way to get people to feel the way you want to about something.
You’re going to think that that is truly the old saying, the medium is the message. Well, sometimes the message is the message and don’t get lost with that. Make sure that you always remember what it was originally that you were really trying to accomplish, whether that’s at work, whether that’s at home, whether that’s.
Once again, you’re looking to improve. Okay, great. Make sure that rather than saying, Hey, I’m the guy that read five different books on how to be in better shape. And I worked out exactly twice in the past. Three weeks. That’s, that’s the exact opposite of what you need to be doing. Nobody cares about what you read about it.
What did you do? What did you actually sit down and do once you had all these different plans? Sometimes even let’s say this sometimes to go back to the first point, it’s the idea that, oh, I wanted to make sure I took the best from every individual thing that I read and put them all together and make the ultimate plan.
Wonderful. When are you going to do it? Please get to the point of action, get to the point of actual, you know, of progress rather than this idea of creating all the bells and whistles around it. And making it look good.
Anthony: Just use my name, man. All right. If you’re going to talk about me like this,
Doc Issues: I thought I was talking about myself. Okay.
Anthony: Just say my fucking name. Okay.
Doc Issues: I really thought I was talking more about myself. All right. All right. Whatever.
Anthony: Goddamn. Call me out. Just. Read me for filth like this, you know, look at me in the eye and do it.
Come on, man,
Doc Issues: this one. I think it’s good. Seriously. I think that last point, I think that’s going to hit home with if we did a poll, I think that’s going to hit like we’re talking 97 percent at least.
Anthony: Yeah, I’d say it’s going to hit home with a lot of people. Goddamn, man, you’re looking at me right while you’re saying it.
I’m just like, Okay, like I got the job. You know, I’m working on the stuff. I’m doing all the things I need to do. Like, come on, man. Get off my ass. What do you want from me? Let me live my life. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Jeez, man, pierce me right in the heart. Goddamn.
So, so that actually, cause I brought up, this is the third point, which is related to the second one. So I want to continue the conversation on that and I don’t want to derail too much. He wants everyone to underestimate him. And that’s part of the theatricality of it is he wants to be seen as this diva and everything that he wants everyone to say, oh, he’s all talk, no action.
The problem with that is that he overestimates himself. He wants people to think that he’s not the smartest man in the room, but he thinks that he is, but he’s not. So there’s like, there’s three levels of sinister. It’s where he thinks he is, where he actually is, and where he wants people to think that he is.
And that two in the three can flip sometimes. And I think we’ve all been in that situation at some point. Yeah. Getting back to that, getting back to that, that presentation point and saying, you know, making it bigger than it is.
Doc Issues: Yeah. It’s a Venn diagram. And for people that don’t know what that means, if you’ve ever seen concentric circles with some level of overlap, but not complete overlap, usually, or in this case, what we’re trying to say is there may or may not be overlap with those circles, what you think of yourself, what others.
think of you and what you’re presenting, you know, and what the, and what the quote unquote real result is. Another variation in a different way for different purposes is there’s three sides to a story, not two. It’s yours, mine, and the truth. So if all of that is the case, then I think we can all do a better job of trying to blend those so that it’s all one circle.
Meaning it’s okay for people to genuinely know what you think of yourself. And it’s okay for you to have positive view of yourself. But it doesn’t have to be inflated either way to get the result that you want that’s reality. That is a scary premise and some people never… Agree with that premise, and I’m sure there are some people listening that may not agree with what I’m saying right now, and that’s okay.
We can have a healthy debate about it. I’m not saying it has to be that way all the time. There are times, for obvious reasons, that you have to make sure, Anthony just went through this, where you have to put your best foot forward. When you’re doing interviews, things like that, now’s not the time to go through every single embarrassment and flaw that you’ve had in your entire life.
That is not the point. You know, make sure that people know your strengths. When they ask for a weakness, make sure that you know that it’s something that even though it’s something you’re working on, it’s something that still fits in with the entire presentation that you’re giving to say, and this will still work in your favor if you hire me.
That’s just the random example. It’s okay to move those circles around a bit. If you know what you’re doing, danger to this is and sinister is a great example. What happens when you are so used to putting on that show, as we got talking about in the previous topic, you get so used to that, that you don’t know how to tone it down and you don’t know when to reevaluate yourself in comparison to others so that you have an accurate gauge of how things are going.
That means your data is corrupted. That means you’re not going to know what you think, you know, and other people, depending on how perceptive they are, may be able to call you out on it, exploit it, manipulate it, or even if you do have the people that aren’t really paying attention and going for the I know it’s called the dog and pony show, but you get my point.
They’re going for all that other stuff that you’re doing that’s inflating all of it. Let’s say they actually follow that 100%. What happens when you don’t deliver the way that you were originally anticipating? Even if it’s no fault of your own. Now you have people that are haters, that are doubters, that are now going to look to say, Well, if that one thing went wrong, what else is wrong?
And they’re just going to look to constantly tear you down. You created your own vice and your own enemies. Because you didn’t take that into consideration. So this is one of those things where we all have to do this. Nobody gets a pass. The way that you handle it doesn’t have to be, pun intended, as dramatic as you originally made it out to be.
Anthony: It takes many years of self analysis and being honest with yourself, and that’s kind of really what it comes down to is knowing your own limitations and being honest about them, knowing your own strengths and being honest about them and working with as honest a self assessment as you can fathom and putting in the work is going to suck.
It’s going to suck because you’re going to realize that in many ways you’re not as good as you think you are, but it’s also going to be fun because you’re going to realize, Hey, I’m actually better at this than I anticipated because we have a tendency to fixate on the positive and the negative about ourselves.
Most of the time they’re inverted from where they should be. We focus on the negatives about our strengths and we focus on the positives about our weaknesses. And that needs to be flipped on its head. The sooner you can do that, honestly, the better off you will be because you will have a realistic perception of yourself.
It’s like spending your life only ever looking in a funhouse mirror and then seeing what it really looks like with no warping whatsoever. It’s a shock to the system. No question about it. But the sooner you can make it happen and accept it. The better off you’ll be moving forward. We’re going to take a break, plug a couple of shows.
When we get back, we’ll get into the treatment. Stick around.
And we’re back. So treatment in universe treatment for Nathaniel Essex.
Doc Issues: So we’ve established that he’s made time a great commodity, save scumming, et cetera, et cetera. Let’s have the ultimate family meeting. There are many, many, many people that this gentleman has Encountered. And there must be something about him that allows everyone to connect one way or another, because he does have a lot of allies at his best, although he also has a lot of enemies.
So that tells me other people see his worth and that’s a, that’s a good thing. I’m not saying that sarcastically, but we know where this started. We know where this started. I understand that there’s a current different trend, but. You’re telling me that when the most important person in your life at that time
gives you your name and you run with it, you literally just go down that path and you don’t explore anything else about it because you embraced it that hard. That was the ultimate missed opportunity. And here’s the point. I don’t think there’s. One different way to handle it. I think there are many different ways to handle that point, and I think they can be explored.
So when I say the ultimate family meeting, I don’t mean multiple family members. I mean just his wife. And I mean just his wife, whatever number of times it takes to find an alternative that doesn’t lead to such pain and regret. I’m not talking about whether or not she survives. I’m not talking about bringing back Their lost child and the miscarriage, all those things.
I’m not talking to say those things need to change or reverse. I’m saying that when an event as powerful as that happens, and for once you actually have the ability to respond differently, go ahead and take it and take it for the better, please. And if I could be the person to give feedback on that.
Let’s do it.
That event really crystallized who he was moving forward. He had those experimentation desires. He had a lot of those Darwinian fanboy survival of the fittest thoughts prior to the loss of his son. But after that, he said, I’m not going to go through this again, and I’m not going to let anyone else go through this again.
Anthony: Noble intentions, but if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, he did a mill and pave job on that sucker. That’s a frickin superhighway. Yeah, I work in transportation. I know a thing or two about mill and pave, and boy, let me tell you, he goes off and blazes his own path. That’s out of universe grieving man who chooses to experiment on himself.
Obviously, we can’t deal so much with the time resets and the cloning and the things of that nature, but someone who very much maybe perhaps overindulges in cosmetic surgery is constantly. Reinventing themselves, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally and presentation wise, that there’s constant creations of personas all in this effort to find the perfect version of themselves.
There’s a lot of pain there. A lot of, a lot of things rooted in that pain.
Doc Issues: Yeah.
And, and to be honest, it doesn’t even have to be that far. For example, when I have patients who come in, let’s say they’re on whatever, a certain medication regimen. I have some patients that every single encounter, they’ll say, Oh, well, can we increase this?
Or, Oh, can we change that? Or, Oh, I heard, I just read about this new medication that, that I think would help me and all that. And, and the point is slow down. And that takes a lot for a psychiatrist. I know our stereotypes. Okay. I know that we’re the ones that are considered pill pushers and experimenters and all of that.
That’s fine. I’m not even saying I shirk that. idea because yes, we do make adjustments, especially I’m hospital based. So yes, I definitely make adjustments with medications, but that’s just as an example, let’s, let’s not even go with that. Let’s just say for whatever reason, there is something that. You’re having difficulty accepting about yourself or something that you want to change.
Self experimentation can be a very good thing when done a healthy way. We talked about working out. I gave that example. Okay, fine. What is it that you’re looking for? If you tell me that you weigh one, as a male, you weigh 140 pounds soaking wet, do not come to me and then say, I want to look like… One of those bodybuilders that weighs over 200 pounds and is totally shredded without an ounce of fat.
Don’t get me wrong. You can have that goal. I didn’t say don’t have the goal. My point is what is the next increment that you’re willing to do? That’s not going to damage you. Because if you tell me you want to know what steroid you need to take so that you get immediately swole, I’ll tell you the negative effects of it.
If you tell me that you want to eat 4, 000 calories a day, I’ll point out that, okay, but you’re going to have to deal with the gut that comes along with it because that’s not an automatic thing. And if you’re telling me that you’re going to exercise, but you’re only going to lift weights, Three minutes a day, because that’s all you can tolerate.
That’s wonderful. I’m glad you have that limitation for yourself, but then don’t measure yourself to somebody on YouTube that is posing in the mirror, muscles upon muscles. Recognize that parts of those were very healthy. Yes, limiting your exercise time. I might even be the one to challenge and say, Okay, do more than that.
But maybe five minutes instead of three minutes and ultimately build up to 15 minutes a day because that’s recommended. Okay, now we have a decent realistic goal for how much effort you’re going to put in on that front. What are you looking for? How are you going to measure it? Don’t measure it every day.
That’s going to create obsessivity. How about we do once a week? Okay, and check with your primary doctor to see what your original blood work was so that you know what you’re going to be looking for a month from now. Oh, now we’re changing the timeline so that your expectation is not what happens tomorrow.
It’s what happens in a month. Great. What happens when you’re five months down the road, you had an idea of what you wanted to be, and it’s different than what you anticipated. For some people, it may be more than you anticipated and you’re feeling better. But then maybe once again, that obsessivity kicks in because you just checked again and you noticed it’s not quite what I thought.
Sometimes having someone, and it doesn’t have to be a therapist, but having someone else that’s, I like to call on the realistic path rather than the Instagram path might be the most beneficial thing to work on that little bit of just checking less often than you think you need to. But more often than you would do if you were left to your own devices, because we all have those rabbit holes.
Sometimes that is a personal trainer. Since we were talking about fitness as an example, if it’s self discovery, maybe that’s a, you know, maybe that’s a life coach if it’s, you know, education. Okay. Take, you know, one of the. online classes that you can. I’m not trying to advertise one over the other, you know, whatever it is, or if it’s just simple going to books, okay, whatever, I’m just giving examples of things that you can do in a potentially healthy way, podcasts included, that allow for incremental changes.
on your timeline. Remember, you’re not going to get the results by comparing yourself to everybody else. You’re going to get the results by comparing yourself to what you value.
Anthony: I love that closing line. I think a lot of what you said really hits home with hopefully a lot of our listeners because I do think we tend to focus on everybody else’s highlight reel. We’ve said this before that we, we see everybody else’s highlight reel. And we, we only focus on our behind the scenes work in our day to day.
So we don’t know the work that it took, you know, we see somebody like, I’m just going to throw an example, like the rock, we see him, you know, Oh yeah, he’s all sweaty and stuff like that. And he’s talking about, I put in work, you know, 4 a. m. I’m in my iron paradise and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And, go ahead and buy this Brahma bull, hoodie or shirt, whatever. And, you know, we don’t see all of the stuff and obviously the. You know, 25 years that he’s been working on that and everything else that he’s done to his body over those 25 years to get that physique.
You can’t compare yourself to Dwayne Johnson. Don’t try. Don’t compare yourself to anybody on Instagram ever unless you’ve posted your own progress pics and say, this is where I was a month ago. This is where I was a year ago. This is what I want to be. And. Take those numbers. This is where it’s a fine line, I would say, you know, because I’ll use the context of exercise and hopefully you can extrapolate the lesson from there.
Log your workouts, log your calorie intake for a little while, log your sleep, check your numbers, and use them as a way to keep track. The fine line comes from saying, okay, I did all this and I logged the exercise, I logged my weight to then turn around and obsess over it and constantly focus on it and constantly weighing yourself.
You eat a meal, you weigh yourself. You Go to the bathroom, you weigh yourself, you wake up in the morning, you weigh yourself, you go to sleep, you weigh yourself, that can get overly obsessive and that is certainly unhealthy. So that’s why I say there’s a fine line to walk there. And I’m using that as an example because I think it’s one of the more crystal clear examples that I can think of, but you can take a lot of those lessons and extrapolate them to whatever situation is in your own life.
Use some sort of a system to keep yourself accountable, but also don’t enslave yourself to the system. And assume that is the only way because then you’re going to lose sight of everything else. So it’s a lot I’m throwing out here. It’s true, though. It’s it’s absolutely true. I’m just saying that I hope that somewhere in the midst of this rambling that there’s information there that people can take and hold on to.
Doc Issues: Right. And one other part to this, because relevant to everything we talked about with the issues, and I don’t want to let it go for treatment as well. Don’t also become that person that becomes. Paralyzed by the analysis, paralysis by analysis, meaning you keep researching over and over again, the things that you’re supposed to do about whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish that you never actually do anything, you know, if you want to, if you want to become a writer, then write.
Don’t worry about if it’s a sentence or a paragraph or whatever. Don’t worry about if you’re following the exact style of your favorite author. It just, just do something at some point after you’ve done some research related to it, is it going to be perfect? No, as a matter of fact, I’ll go ahead and say it, it might be bad, but the point is putting in that actual rep, putting in that time to do that is going to make it better each time you do it.
So. It’s that old saying, you know experimentation without theory is blind, but theory without experimentation is lame. You gotta have both.
Anthony: I said it before, I’ll say it again. Take my name out of your mouth the last time. Stop it. Oh, man. I’m gonna hit you with a rolled up newspaper. No, no, don’t do it. Oh, man. We’re having fun here, if nothing else. So with all that being said, let’s see what happens when we get the fabulous Mr. Sinister on Dr. Issues couch.
Doc Issues: Hello Mr. Sinister, I’m dr. Issues.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Hello. Doctor, you know, that doesn’t quite fit what we should be going for here.
Doc Issues: I don’t follow.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Oh, while I prefer my choice of moniker and the assonance that it brings, I don’t want any mistake in how all of this works. I am also a doctor, but that’s not all I am at this point. If you catch my drift.
Doc Issues: So we’re colleagues? And I have every intention of giving you the respect you deserve.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Oh, but see, that’s where you’re quite wrong. Colleague denotes equals, peers. There is no such thing with me.
Doc Issues: Are you trying to intimidate me, or…
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Oh my goodness, no! I mean, if I wanted to have you cowering in fear, I would simply tear your mind asunder, then replace it backwards just for the hell of it. No, no, no, this is all very trivial to me, but I’m bored, so let’s see where this goes, now that I’ve established dominance.
Doc Issues: I… I don’t think I’ve been so eloquently insulted in all of my life.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): You’re quite welcome.
Doc Issues: I don’t want to be rude back, but if you have no interest in changing anything about yourself, then this is going to be fruitless.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Oh, nonsense, dear doctor. I am all about change for the better. That is why I’m here. I, I sought you out.
Doc Issues: Oh, that’s refreshing. Wait, then why did you demean me?
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Well, is it demeaning to say that an insect is expendable or a seed only has value once it’s been planted?
Doc Issues: That haughty… You sound like someone I met once.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): I know. I learned from the best.
Doc Issues: So what do you want to change?
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Why, you, my dear Dr. Issues.
Doc Issues: I’m always looking to improve, but that’s not how therapy works.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Do you doubt that the transference and counter transference phenomenon that were known when I was a much younger lad are true? Every therapist changes the moment they speak with a patient, but that’s a bit too slow for my tastes. I need to see my results in real time.
Doc Issues: As a doctor, you know that consensus very important to any changes that will be proposed and I don’t give you that.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): This is not a review board or an ethics panel. What I say goes. Understand?
Doc Issues: Is it too late to say that you’re falling back on past patterns of aggression for the sake of comfort in a new environment?
Mister Sinister (Anthony): If this were truly a new environment, then you wouldn’t be in such dire straits right now. Oh, the torment you may feel for a short while will be worth my efforts. I will admit, though, I’m not very gentle.
Doc Issues: I I would like your anger back, please. Creepy is much worse.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Who said anything about being creepy? I’m not hidden about my intentions. My name says enough.
Doc Issues: Perhaps I could interest you in the meaning behind that word that also refers to Left handed orientation?
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Now you’re just stalling. Oh, you’re coming off as pathetic as well
Doc Issues: So you’re not trying to scare me You’re not interested in what I have to say and you want to do something And I don’t know what are are you trying to build anticipation? I’m really confused right now Perhaps, okay. I’ve had it. I’ve had it. Just do it. Kill me or torture me, or whatever it is you plan to do. Because it takes a lot for me to lose my patience nowadays. Just know that each time I try to start a conversation that may be insightful, therapeutic even. You’ve ignored it, or mocked it, or intimidated me about it.
You’re trying to play me like a fool, and I am not having it. I can tell you’re cunning, but nobody’s really that catty about mental wellness treatment.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Is that so? Well then, let’s see how well your sessions go without this oh so beautiful couch to sit on.
Doc Issues: What? Seriously? It’s in the whole I mean, who messes up a couch?
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Oh, please, you need someone like me to make this whole room over. Your office is in shambles. Have you never heard of feng shui?
Doc Issues: Don’t care.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Oh, that’s obvious that you don’t. And these clothes. A button down shirt with stripes? I mean, seriously, how tacky are you?
Doc Issues: Is this what you consider changing me for the better? A mastermind doesn’t waste their time focusing on minutiae to criticize.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): You think this is beneath me? Forget about Lizzo, darling. I engineered my DNA to be 100 percent that bitch.
Doc Issues: So then what are your plans for my dNA?
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Oh ho, you simple, simple man. Oh, you have to learn how to put a comb through your hair, wear a decent suit, learn how to tie your shoes properly, and find a decent non offensive cologne before I ever do any gene work on you.
For once, I must focus on the outside instead of what’s inside. I’ll be here every week until you’re worthy of being my next great experiment.
Doc Issues: Then I’ll keep trying to be an example of a regular person who’s willing to accept imperfections. I hope that sinks in.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): Nonsense. Until then, consider this my parting gift.
Doc Issues: It is… Did you just… Laser shave? But, my clothes are still on. You know what? I don’t want to talk about it. That was without my consent.
Mister Sinister (Anthony): You’re quite welcome. This time it was hair. Next time, it will be a little more than that if you’re not careful. Toodles, Doctor.
Hee hee hee hee hee hee!
Doc Issues: Oh man. Wow. Okay.
I didn’t know if I was, I, I realized with the laser thing, I realized, yeah, I got to jazz. I got to say something. So yeah, just like,
Anthony: yeah, the shutters worked. That Lizzo line, I had that one kind of locked and loaded for a while. I was like, Oh, this works. Oh, this absolutely works.
That is, this is such a sinister thing to say, like, nevermind having my DNA tested. I engineered my DNA. So recommended reading is the, the Uncanny X Men by Kieran Gillen and the Immortal X Men also by Gillen. And if you have. Three hours of time, maybe not necessarily all at once, although if you do kudos to you, I’m going to put a link in the notes to the Cerebro episode on Sinister, the interview with Kieran Gillen.
It’s wonderfully fascinating because first off, Connor is one of the most well read podcast hosts I’ve ever listened to in terms of understanding the subject matter. Connor knows the X Men. He understands them. He has probably read Everything X related multiple times. And so when he interviews people like Kieran Gillen, Jonathan Hickman, he’s interviewed so many people that have worked on the X books, that knowledge comes across.
In not just the background and the explanation of the character, but just in the questioning and the discussions that he has with the creators. It’s that whole thing about how if you’re truly smart, you don’t have to tell people they will know when you open your mouth. That’s how Connor is with X Men.
I’ve never met him, but I would love to just sit and pick his brain, which he kind of does with the podcast. You can sit and listen to him expound on characters for copious amounts of time. But he can do that because he knows them that well. I don’t even know if I could talk Moon Knight for three hours with the various creators that have worked on Moon Knight over the years or talk about Moon Knight for three hours with anyone.
So I tip my hat to Connor. Anyway, link is in the show notes. Give it a listen. Break it up. Take a, you know, maybe listen a little bit here, a little bit there. That’s what I did. Upcoming episodes. Ventriloquist. Bigby Wolf and Abarth Thawne. So again, I said this last week with the, with the Vash thing, we’re kind of all over the place.
And this being the first Vash was, was the first episode back, but this is the first full recorded episode that we’re doing. We did the, the intro and the outro special for the panel, but otherwise it was previously recorded. This is the first full one that we’re back. So we’re really just kind of getting our legs back underneath us and it’s fun.
So. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Threads at Capes on the Couch. Go and check us out. As I said, one of the bonuses to doing the show bi weekly now is the focus on the additional content. So there’s going to be some TikTok videos, some Instagram stuff, some Facebook, there’ll be a blog post.
All about sinister over the next two weeks before we get into ventriloquist very much looking forward to it. As always, you can also find all of our episodes on the gonna geek network website, gonna geek network. com. We’re proud members. So go and check out some of the other fantastic shows on the network.
And with that
Doc Issues: doc. If you find yourself turning sinister, please reach out and find someone or do the things necessary for you to rectify it, because otherwise you’re going to end up with nothing left and you’ll realize I was right.
Anthony: Goodness knows you can’t have that. The left hand and the right hand need to know what’s going on. For Doc Issues, I’m Anthony Sytko. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.