Advances in transportation technology have changed our world in many ways. Plane travel allows us to see parts of the world that previous generations could experience only in primitive sketches. The evolution of banking have made mortgage rates so competitive that nearly anyone can afford to own property.
Take these two circumstances together, and what’s the practical result? Very few innocent but poverty-stricken maidens face eviction from their humble family homes — and even if tons of them did, tying them to train tracks to extort payment from their loved ones is almost an empty threat when so few trains even operate anymore.
The classic villain of yesteryear, therefore, has become obsolete. Oh, sure, you might still see him walking down the thoroughfare, with his stovepipe hat, his enormous handlebar moustache, and (of course) his cape, but there’s no reason for him to strike fear into your heart; you’re probably more likely just to feel sorry for him.
You know what might make his day? The next time you run into him, make sure you’re wearing the t-shirt that honours his signature look. And hey, maybe give him a Barbie he can tie to the subway tracks, for olde tymes’ sake.