Friday, July 20, 2012

Dark Days


I'll make this quick.

In the first movie in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight series, Batman Begins, a determined Bruce Wayne finds that there are those who take a much more scorched earth approach when it comes to their desire to fight crime. He comes up against R'as Al Ghul, who believes that Gotham has become so irredeemably corrupt that it must be completely destroyed, that the slate must be wiped clean and the clock reset. This, he says, is the natural order of things. Wayne, however, feels differently; he believes that one man, living by the courage of his convictions, can turn things around and show the good people still left out there that justice can triumph. He believes he can act as an example to inspire the noble and a symbol to terrify the evil.

Batman's very reason for existence, his statement of purpose, is the first layer of sickening irony to last night's shooting in Aurora, Colorado at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. But I can't help thinking that it's not the only one.

We know now what will follow. We know the politicization of this tragedy that's to come and the ghoulishly vulturine media feeding frenzy. We know the bitter debate over guns in our society that will infuriate and sadden anyone with a conscience but will ultimately be futile thanks to a select group of very powerful zealots for whom guns are nothing short of a necessary extension of their own flaccid masculinity. We know the almost certain picketing of the funerals of the victims by a handful of monsters for whom any violent death, even that of a kid who simply wanted to see a movie he or she was looking forward to, represents God's entirely deserved wrath upon our society. We know all of this -- and more.

And as we watch, I won't be able to stop thinking about my very first reaction to this heartbreaking atrocity: What the hell is wrong with us?

I want to believe in what the fictional Dark Knight stands for. But I see something like this and I can't help but feel that maybe R'as Al Ghul was the one who was right.

9 comments:

LK3 said...

I believe we are losing our soul.
I said that exact sentence this morning - what the hell is wrong with us. I still hold out hope but I find myself more sad about humanity lately.

The RedHeaded Stepchild said...

Very well said, Chez, very well said indeed. It is hard not to look at this and have the same thoughts, and feelings.

Amy said...

I am aware that your "kill them all an start over" comment is one made out of despair and frustration, however my question is..

kill WHO?

The problem, in my opinion, is that we have completely isolated ourselves, to the point that no one knows what the hell is going on with anyone else anymore. WHY that is.. well, there are a lot of theories as to why.

And no, I have no idea how to fix this.

Gabrielle said...

The youngest was 3 months old... Jesus. All I have to say is that if it turns out that the messed-up piece of shit gunman who did this was motivated by Rush Limbaugh's latest rant about the Obama / Batman / Bain-Bane "conspiracy," I think I may throw up.

Anonymous said...

Your comment just kind of tied together lines of thinking that I've been mulling over. The Tea Party is basically R'as Al Ghul. At this point, I've come to the conclusion that I think that I want them to win so people get the thing that they really didn't want. They don't really understand the future that the TP is promoting. Once they get it they'll realize how fucked they are.

C.L.J. said...

R'as doesn't want there to be any more gunmen - and since anyone can have a gun, he has to eliminate everyone. Batman doesn't want there to be any more injustice; he only has to bring the gunman in.

jrm78 said...

Perhaps one way to start getting us out of this mess is to increase funding for mental health initiatives and bring back the Sanitarium system for the dangerously unstable? Otherwise, we'll probably do the knee-jerk response and put in place a scheme that further restricts our freedoms (no, the mentally unstable should not be allowed to own guns) and adds a stupid layer of security theater on top of it. TSA pat-downs at movie theaters anyone?

Tuba Terry said...

The Onion called it too, though with painfully potent satire:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/sadly-nation-knows-exactly-how-colorado-shootings,28857/

Anonymous said...

Following Nolan's Batman movies themes, I'd say what is wrong with us is that we idolize the Joker for his selfish, amoral actions and we see Batman as a sucker for sacrificing himself for the common good.