In the spirit of seeking some laughs, Dan suggested yesterday afternoon that I pick up a copy of Megamind at our nearest Redbox for some after dinner entertainment. (Strategy Four: Make use of media.) Not only did I appreciate the support, but the den is the one warm room in the house these days, as we've pulled out the kerosene heater to help with heating costs. So after dinner, with heater blazing, and snuggled under a fleece, we settled down for some fun.

Megamind is definitely an enjoyable film, although it didn't produce the guffaws I was expecting after having seen Despicable Me. If you've seen the movie, you might have felt similarly. From the begining I was cheering for the underdog, surprisingly on the side of the villain, and hoping that somehow the mistreated and misunderstood child at the core of Megamind would finally get what he'd always wanted: respect and friendship.

The movie did get me thinking, however, about "evil" laughter. In one scene, Megamind fills his lair with a maniacal cackle in hopes of striking fear into the heart of his lovely kidnappee, Roxanne Ritchie. Alas, he meets with little success, as the perky Miss Ritchie ho hums his attempts to intimidate.

Far more powerful and insidious is the laughter unleashed by the juvenile Metroman, the teacher's pet who makes life miserable for the young Megamind. Standing on the moral and "genetic" high ground, Metroman is beyond scrutiny, and the teacher, like many in similar situations, oblivious to the damage inflicted to the odd child out. 

We rarely are in situations where bullies or villains stare at us with half-crazed eyes and try to terrorize us with shrieks of perverted delight. But how many wounds do we carry from those in positions of "authority" who with a little smirk, or "funny story" have managed to shame us? And how many times have we, in thoughtless "humorous" ways, caused real pain?

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