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The sight of your first-grade teacher in the dock is priceless

IslingtonIn any good hour-long television drama these days, one is likely to encounter some sort of tense courtroom scene, perhaps more than one, precisely because the ritual and trappings of legal proceedings have a way of capturing the popular imagination in a way that nothing else quite matches. You as an evil supervillain can tap into this instinctual depth of feeling by subjecting your unfortunate victims to a public and demeaning show trial with the roles of judge, jury, counsel, bailiff, and executioner filled by members of your organization.

The important thing to realize about show trials is that the more agonizing the back-and-forth, the more monstrous the account of the accused one's misdeeds, the more outlandish the costumes and demeanor of the principals onstage, the better the theater you are presenting. Ordinarily when planning a caper the effective supervillain tries to smooth over the rough edges and present the glossy facade of inevitability from beginning to end. When producing a show where one stars as hanging judge, however, the gritty and baroque elements become the hooks which plunge the criminal proceedings down the throats of those who happen upon it, so it is important to leave this appearance in the final product, stage-managed though it is behind the scenes. Otherwise the whole enterprise can turn into a mockery of your genius as the rabble dares to complain about the boringness and pointlessness of a predictable performance you have cooked up at considerable expense and trouble. And who needs that, after all, since they are going to speak ill of you owing to your fell deeds without all this extra bother?

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