First, Mitt Romney declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. Okay, he’s behind Israel. He also is going on about Iranian nuclear ambitions. I’m starting to think he’d love a war in the Middle East. He could nuke Iran, possibly inflict permanant damage to any and all fringe Islamic groups and put us one scary step closer to Armegeddon. Somebody should take him aside and have a chat with him. Just to tell him the majority of America doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Middle East except for the oil, which would be radioactive if war broke out and that most of America doesn’t subscribe to right-wing ideology but rather are centrist.

I love the Shadow. It’s a radio program derived from Shadow Magazine which carried stories by Lester Dent. Listening to them has got me thinking. How would he fare in the Twenty First Century. He’d be over a hundred years old. So I extrapolated. Let’s look at Lamont Cranston. He’s a wealthy man about town. He’s accompanied by the lovely Margo Lane. Where does he get his money? Is he a war profiteer? Did he trade on the stock market and with inside information bail out before the Crash? How come everyplace he shows up there’s some villian terrorizing the populace? Why do the police let a dilletante like Cranston insert himself into police investigations? And what about Margo Lane? Let’s take a look.

Cranston’s late father made the money in smokestack industries. He died of a heart attack after leading an exemplary life. He worried about leaving the money to Lamont. He loved his son, but the boy had no direction. Lamont dabbled in criminology and was a regular at crime scenes. Somewhere along the line he took off on a world cruise that was supposerd to last a year, but didn’t show up until five years later. He was secretive about what happened. He began seeing Margo Lane and took her everywhere he went. They shared a secret. When Lamont was in his late thirties he secretly married Margo and they had a son Lamont Cranston Jr.

Lamont Jr. was a studious boy and his parents held out great hopes for him. He could possibly go into the family business. Along the way he began showing an inordinate interest in crime. Senior took him aside and offered some fatherly advice. The young man was a bit of a party animal. His business skills were suspect. Senior suggested a world cruise, with a stop in the Far East. Junior saw the trip as an opportunity to expand his horizons and senior made sure he visited some old friends of his. Junior returned, envigorated and with a purpose. Senior put some finishing touches on his son’s training. Lamont Jr., like his father could cloud men’s minds. The problem was he didn’t pay attention during his lessons. He kept up the  facade as a man about town and was soon seen escorting Ashley Prentiss. A lovely girl, but not the sharpest tool in the shed. Lamont Jr. fought crime, but more often he was getting Ashley out of scrapes she got into. He fought organized crime and tha Red Menace. After a short engagement they married and delivered into the world Lamont Cranston III.

Lamont Sr. was in his dotage and spent his final years in seclusion in his manor house. Lamont Jr. knew that criminals were becoming smarter and his arcane knowledge was weak after he’d slipped and was seen. This resulted in minor gunshot wounds and the necessity to dispatch those who saw him. His father could only babble about the “power”. When Lamont III was of age, eighteen, he was sent abroad. He stopped in the Far East. He was taught by the monks who taught his father. Only now they were more interested in living in harmony with nature and peacful resolution of conflict. When he returned he was a spiritual man. He found romance with Susannah Feldman, an activist lawyer who loved him despite the fact he had no marketable skills except how to cloud men’s minds. He became a crime figher of sorts, cornering criminals and guilting them into surrendering to the authorities. As a rule, street criminals laughed at him and shot at the source of the mysterious voice. White collar criminals were more likely to turn themselves in ev en if the threats Lamont III made were mostly hollow.

This is where I want to step in. The Shadow as a crime fighting scourge in the twenty first century. A flawed individual, trying to live up to the family legacy. The original Shadow is dead. His son is old and can only offer advice. His woman friend, Susannah is trying to convince him he can do good but prowling around and scaring people with a disembodied voice might not be that good of an idea. I’ll try to find out if I can get permission to use the name “Shadow”.

Do you sometimes wish you could explain yourself to the World? Not that anyone really wants to know, but just to set the record straight. In your own mind at least.

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