Highland Laddie #reflection

Highland Laddie

You may not believe this, but I am going to be a bit wonky in my thoughts today. To start off, I am in the process of figuring out how I test out new music. It used to be, I would hear of a group or songs from someone and I would turn to MEL (that’s the Michigan system of loaning library materials between libraries throughout the entire state. One of my favorite library services) and I would grab some cds to check out the group’s catalog. From there I would pick and choose what I might want to add to my collection (gotta love being able to add singles through all the different music sources now).

But I have encountered a snag in the old way of doing things. See, MEL is based on your home library. Through various things going on before now, I haven’t used my home library for MEL. Since I worked at a library that isn’t my home library, I have been going through work instead. I’m trying to clean all that up now and keep things only with my home library. And this is when an ugly problem arises for me. My home library doesn’t participate in the electronic resource portion of MEL. So I can’t get movies or music from other libraries anymore.

Yeah, I’m scrambling to figure out what I want to do now. At least, I was until I remembered we pay for an Amazon Prime subscription. So now I have to go to the music app and check out what I can through prime. Of course, they changed the app a bit ago so any of the music I load up through iTunes doesn’t load into the amazon app anymore. This means picking and choosing what music I have available on the different devices. It requires a bit more thought than I want to invest sometimes. But I digress…

We still aren’t getting to a specific point in this. More I am going to dip into a bit more of what is going on in my mind. It all relates back to various changes. I have been working through studying and testing and more studying and more testing and none of this has anything to do with medical stuff. I’m still in a vaguely good place medically right now. I do have a follow up towards the last week of August that will see where we take the next steps in that regard (I hope for no more surgeries for a long time).

But either way, all that extra stuff has eaten away at my mental and time focuses. Sometimes it is all I can do to simply get some reading done and ignore the world around me for a few minutes. But on the plus side a good portion of all of that is done now and things are going to calm down again. Some adjustments will still be coming but that is for another day. I will even go into more detail on that at a yet to be named moment in time.

Highland LaddieWhat I want to say is all of this in a roundabout way leads us to some thoughts today. Not about that directly but through the course of comics reading that I have done recently. You may or may not remember a bit of conversation I had about the Garth Ennis series The Boys. This is an offbeat super hero storyline about a watchdog group put in place to keep the power corruption of heroes in check (because we all know, if given the power to do anything you want, human nature very well might take advantage of that).

The stories tend to have a focus on Hughie, a Scotsman who lost his girlfriend in the beginning of the series to the neglect of situational awareness of a hero. Basically, the guy smooshed her to pulp as he ran into her at highspeed chasing down a villain. Moving on…

Hughie is our litmus test for moral dilemmas in these storylines. Even after he is changed to have the power to take on the heroes (all through a drug that gives superhuman abilities) he retains his humanity. He questions the whole situation throughout the stories.

This brings us to the thoughts of the day. Volume 8: Highland Laddie (Dynamite 2011) covers a six-issue side story. Hughie has gone back home to Scotland to think about the whole of work and the world around him. He broke off with his girlfriend after finding out she was part of the most powerful super team (the home of the bloke that killed his other girlfriend). She too had been having misgivings about her lot in life. Yet they both went to great lengths to hide their employer information from each other. Basically, they wanted to approach each other as people and let everything else fade into the background.

Anyway, in this portion of the series, we are giving a view into the world that Hughie no longer fits into. It’s a bit more than just the changes the people he used to know have gone through, but also the changes he has gone through as well. Not trying to sound trite, but it slips back to that saying, “you can never go home again.” You know what I mean right? The home you knew isn’t the home you return to. You have changed more than you realized until you see where you came from with your new eyes.

Aside from that, there was a point I was going for through this. Let me circle through this thought and see if we wind up somewhere interesting. While Hughie is working through his own issues, his girlfriend has followed him to Scotland and joined him there. Their issues still exist, they are both still questioning their loyalties to the worlds they have broken away from, but they are also working through the problems in their relationship to see if they can reach an understanding. Because even that goes back to Hughie being the moral compass for the series.

The biggest issue with their relationship for Hughie isn’t just that she is a “hero” and something he despises but also the things she had done to become a part of the team. Her actions then, placed her in that same category as the rest (you want to talk about wire taps and illegal surveillance, The Boys have slip into some ultra-deep levels of espionage).

So that brings us into the moment where I am looking for the thoughts that will tie this whole mess together. To start with, I maintain that The Boys is one of my all-time favorite series. I may actually make it through to the last collected volume soon. But through the connection to thoughts on life and such. There are always those choices and directions we have to take on a daily basis that don’t always lead to where we want to go. And it isn’t ever as clean a decision as we want it to be. Sometimes we have to make divergent choices that will take us in a roundabout way to where we want to go.

In the end, it is coming to terms with our decisions and our reaction to the world around us that can be the most difficult part of living our lives. Finding those that will stick with us even as we question everything about our lives can be a blessing and a curse. But either way the crap is going to be there whether we want it to be or not.


If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.

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