As I said the other day, there's a lot going on with me right now...attempting to turn pro writing, the epic struggle between AJ North and South during the Great Depression of the past 8 months, unplanned parenthood, trying to get a new job sooner than possible...it's a lot to manage at once, but multitasking helps.
To 2 of those ends, in the last few weeks, I've been watching a lot of my childhood favorites both as an attempt to find suitable programming for a young child whose birthing hath been at my charge and an childlike escape from the pressures of the same. It's like having your inner child and adult forced to hang out together in a manner reminiscent of a bad sitcom.
Of course, one of my all-time favorite shows is "Power Rangers" (even wrote a post about it a while ago), those colorfully jumpsuited defenders of intergalactic justice, and I've been spending a lot of time watching the same stock footage over and over again woven into different episodes.
You already know I came to the conclusion that a program featuring a team of teenagers beating the living hell out of anything that crossed their path looking ugly was suitable programming for any child old enough to focus both eyes on a target, but what you may not know is my secret dream: to actually become a member of the Fab Five (or 6 in the later half of seasons).
Go ahead, laugh. It's cool...everybody has to have a dream. At least I held on to mine...even went as far as to find out what college major would be best to start my career as a Ranger (it was a combination of Criminal Justice, Phys. Ed, and the ROTC that wasn't offered at Morgan...it's why I dropped out).
Well...until recently. Now that I have a kid (well, once the results come back), I can't be going around beating on Zedd's endless horde of monsters at all hours of the afternoon. I can now never become a Power Ranger. I felt kind of bad that my dream deferred had finally dried up like a Putty in the eternal Angel Grove sun.
Then I really thought about it from a realisitc standpoint for possibly the first time. Looked past the cool-looking unis, the gas-saving teleportation ability, the cool communicator watch, the opportunity to pilot a huge dinosaur robot, and the general experience of being a fuckin' Power Ranger to the real-world utility of the career field.
What I discovered is that being a Ranger ain't all it's cracked up to be...in fact, it's actually a pretty sucky job. (For one thing, I'd have to commit to a single color choice every day, that which corresponds to the color Ranger I'd be...not a bad thing by itself, but since I'm African-American the odds are that I'd be stuck wearing black or Kente cloth every fuckin' day.)
I mean sure...the affirmative action program is second to none (how many superteams do you know that are consistently between 33 and 40 percent minority?) it only requires a high-school education, limited hand-to-hand combat skills (lookin' at you, Billy) and "attitude", all qualifications which I meet or exceed. However, things start to look south when you look at the pay, which is never mentioned at any point in the series, implying that the important work of saving the world before dark is volunteer work.
Call me selfish, but if Zordon thinks I'm risking my life in giant monster battles for college credit and the satisfaction of a job well done, his tube must be squeezing his huge ghostly head too damn tight.
Another problem is the lack of job security. Rangers can be fired (or "have their powers transferred" as they put it) for seemingly no reason, to be quickly replaced on the field of today's battle for human survival by some rookie who probably just transferred into your high school last week. Replacing effective veterans with eager, mistake prone youngins destroys the camraderie of any team and is the hallmark of a poorly run organization. (Even highly esteemed Rangers ain't safe...before longtime leader Jason was let go by MMPR, Inc., he was demoted in front of the entire team then possibly replaced by immigrant labor in the form of new suspiciously Mexican Red Ranger Rocky.) Not a work environment I'd like to be a part of.
When you consider all this, the fact that there's no real advancement opportunity (for anyone but Tommy), and the total deal-breaker, NO off days (you think doctors are always on call? Try being Earth's last line of defense preventing total annihilation), you start to see that Earth's mightiest transforming heroes just might need a union.
I actually feel kind of sorry for them...they can't even tell anyone what they do for a living on a date ("What do I do? Oh, I'm a...I'm...uh...I...--damn, is that my watch beeping? Gotta go! *walks away talking into watch*) and they have to deal with Alpha 5. I thought my work computer got on my nerves when it blocked Facebook, but that damn droid is the most annoying piece of technology since polyphonic ringtones.
Honestly, after thinking about it, having that dream die wasn't the worst thing in the world. Being a Power Ranger ain't exactly a great job.
Hey, it could be worse...at least I had that realization before I found myself running around in a brightly colored spandex outfit for charity and not afterward (at least last time I did that, I won a bottle of alcohol at a Halloween party costume contest).