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Venom is not a good sage’s charge

Venom is a comic book character who started out as an enemy of Spider-Man.

He is singularly bad for Spider-Man to fight:

In short, none of Spidey’s strengths apply at all.

Venom is sensitive to sound and fire, so someone like The Human Torch, Banshee, Siryn, or Firestar would be a good match for him.

Spidey could just ask one of them to “swap villains for a day” and it’d be all sorted quickly and easily.

Another clearcut case is over on the DC side.

Joker is a threat to Batman since Batman is logical, deductive, reasoning, detective, analytical and the Joker is random, orthogonal, cuckoo, weirdorama.

Luthor (I mean the Byrne / Man of Steel version of Luthor) is a threat to Superman since Superman is lawful, justice-minded, caring, thorough while Luthor is corrupt, plausably denying, indirect, hench-abusing, abusing law and money.

If Batman and Superman were to swap villains for a day:

Batman is ruthless, vigilante-oriented, extra-legal, scary, he’d just blow up the wall and be all…

You have eaten well.

And he could use his generational wealth and his connections and his powers of exploiting the working class to get right under Luthor’s skin and his wallet.

He’d stop Luthor in like three seconds. (Maybe Batman is just as bad as Luthor is, now that I think about it…)

And Superman could use his Bizarro and Mxyzptlk alien logic from planet Krypton to figure out how the Joker works and catch him. Also he has superpowers so he could use them too to catch the Joker. (I’ve had it with people thinking Aquaman is the uselessest member of the JLA. Don’t people know that water exists?! The number one useless guy is Batman, whose only superpower is his wallet.)

Anyway. Where am I going with this line of “villain-swapping” reasoning?

There is this passage in the Tao Te Ching that I’ve referred to before. It’s in Chapter 27:

What is a bad man?
A good man’s charge.

When someone is bad, I feel like I need to sort things out. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

Here’s where “the Venom rule” comes in: there are people I am exceptionally poorly suited to try to reason with. We know from Gödel, Escher, Bach, from the incompleteness theorem, that we know for sure that no record-player can play all records. That’s just straight up facts. Mathematical.

“The perfect traveler leaves no trail to be followed.” Thanks, Russell, and that might be true for the most part, but eppur si 1+2=3.

So when “the Venom rule” applies, when you’d be better of leaving the situation to someone else, that’s an exception to “the chapter 27 rule”.

But conversely, when the Venom rule does not apply, then unfortunately chapter 27 applies. And it’s time to roll up those sleeves.

And, you know, thinking from Venom’s perspective, Spider-Man is the perfect foe for him; if Spider-Man turns bad they could send Venom to catch him.

I hope y’all know I think these “rules and formulas” are only worth so much. In the end we are condemned to choose. It’s just nice to try to reason a little bit about these things.