|11-05-2008, 12:16 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Seeker of the Truth
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Time Zone
Here is something interesting that I found. I'm not exactly sure what to think of it myself, but I do believe in the war against terrorists. What do you guys think?
A CPO Movie Review- The Dark Knight
Then Harvey Dent uses a word I never thought I’d hear in this movie in million years. “Do you want to surrender to the whims of a terrorist?” he asks.
I saw The Dark Knight shortly after it came out, but I held off writing my review until I had a chance to see it again, because I had to make sure. I had to watch it again -had to listen to the dialogue and watch the symbolism again- to make sure I wasn’t mishearing something or missing something or just seeing this through the prism glasses of the cold-hearted conservative ******* I am.
And after watching it twice and giving it a lot of thought, I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion: Forget Bruce Wayne- beneath his cowl, Batman is really George W. Bush, and this movie makes a case for the War on Terror better than any Bush press conference ever has.
Since the conclusion of Batman Begins, things have improved in Gotham. Crime is down, the police force is being cleaned up, and citizens have hope. The mob is on the run and pining for the days when they weren’t being squeezed and hammered by a crazy dude in a bat costume. Seemingly bereft of options, in walks another crazy dude, this one in a clown suit, and he offers his help. Then all hell breaks loose.
Policeman die, civilians die, buildings explode, hostages are taken and executed on TV, and The Joker promises more of the same every day until Batman surrenders. As Gotham descends into chaos, Bruce Wayne laments that things are spiraling even out of Batman’s control. “I knew the mob wouldn’t go down without a fight. But they’ve crossed a line” he complains to Alfred, his butler and confidant.
“You crossed the line first, sir” he replies. “You squeezed them. You hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand.” Because organized crime is, well… organized, there were still rules even mob bosses were obliged to follow. Yes, they stole, murdered, and pillaged, but at least there were lines they’d never cross. The Joker is the antithesis of organized crime. He doesn’t follow rules, and he has no lines. He’ll blow up a hospital, shoot a cop, kill unarmed civilians, and wreak as much havoc as he can, to get what he wants.
Back to that press conference for a sec. The Joker’s reign of terror has scared the bejeezus out of Gotham City and now people are calling for Batman’s head, or cowl, or whatever. “No more dead cops!” cries a police officer. “Things are worse than ever!” cries a man who presumably has memory problems, as the Gotham portrayed in Batman Begins wasn’t all that sunny and cheerful either. People have turned on Batman because he bypassed the status quo and took a stand for good, and in so doing created an escalated evil in response. Now it’s a war, and Gothamites can’t stomach the prospect of a long struggle with The Joker. Better to appease him, says the general public, than fight him. Better to compromise with him than trudge through the inevitable conflict it would take to defeat him. Maybe they’ll get some smooth-talking but na√Įve junior senator from Illinois to meet with him and hammer out the details.
Not said but generally assumed, even by those who think surrender is just a dandy idea, is that the only thing appeasement will bring about is a new set of demands. People try to reason with The Joker as if he’s just another gangster looking money or power, but Alfred knows better. “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” And indeed that’s exactly what happens as The Joker loses interest in Batman and sets his sights on taking over all of Gotham. And why shouldn’t he? “Look what I have done to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple bullets” he gloats at one point. “This is my city.”
Replace The Joker with al-Zarqawi or Ahmadinejad and, aside from the costume, is there a difference? “Give me nukes!” cries Ahmadinejad. “Okay!” shouts the peace at any price crowd. “Let’s give him what he wants and maybe he’ll go away.” “Leave Iraq!” cries al-Zarqawi. “Leave the Iraqis to the prospect of mass slaughter and genocide at the hands of Al-Qaeda and other various Islamic Death Cults.” “Sure!” reply the Democrats, “Anything for peace! No more war! Feed the whales!” But Batman says ‚€˜no’. “The Joker cannot win” he matter-of-factly says.
But how to win against an enemy that has no rules? An enemy that strikes anywhere, at any time, and doesn’t care about who dies? This is an enemy that Batman, like America, has never faced before. To achieve victory, to defeat evil, Batman has to compromise a lot of the things he believes in. Batman has rules, and The Joker exploits them. His one rule, that he never kill, is put to the test many times. “I know what I have to become to stop men like him” he laments, and he hates it. What he becomes is even more of a lawless vigilante than ever before. He engages in a litany of activities that would make the ACLUs’ collective head explode in a rush of wussy liberal outrage. He travels to Hong Kong to illegally extradite the mob’s money launderer. He breaks a mobster’s legs to get him to talk. Forget waterboarding- he beats the ever-living dogcrap out of The Joker when lives are in danger and The Joker has information Batman needs. And he creates a surveillance network to spy on 30 million Gothamites.
The Joker believes that he and Batman are the same; two sides of the same coin. And indeed Batman has to become more like The Joker in order to finally defeat him. How many people have said that the measures George W. Bush has taken to win the War on Terror bring us dangerously close to becoming the very thing we’re fighting? Batman has the same problem, but he still draws a line; he still has rules. He knows that becoming just like The Joker, even to defeat him, will result in The Joker winning. So he bends the rules to save them. He takes liberty to preserve it. The moral complexity explored here is cavernously deep, and isn’t answered -it can’t be answered- in the movie. I’m not sure there’s an adequate real-life answer either. Batman’s struggle to decide where he’ll draw the line is a struggle we all face now.
Writer Andrew Klaven wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal expressing a similar sentiment but articulated it far better than I ever could. “Batman,” says Klaven “understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -in which people sometimes make the wrong choices- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.
“Left and right, all Americans know that freedom is better than slavery, that love is better than hate, kindness better than cruelty, tolerance better than bigotry. We don’t always know how we know these things, and yet mysteriously we know them nonetheless” adds Klaven. “The true complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them- when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend tolerance, or unkind in order to defend kindness, or hateful in order to defend what we love.”
Now we are faced with an epic and interminably long struggle with an evil we couldn’t possibly imagine before September 11th, 2001. It’s an evil that doesn’t target soldiers. It instead targets civilians, children, schools, and hospitals. It doesn’t follow rules, or codes, or guidelines, and it doesn’t feel sorry about what it does. It wants its way of life imposed on the world, or it will gladly watch the world burn. And lacking the numbers or strength to win on a battlefield, it will instead seek victory over our hearts and minds. Its weapons are fear, terror, intimidation, and the knowledge that our refusal to stoop to their level greatly handicaps us. They know the world will not acquiesce to their demands all at once, so they take their time. A concession here, a compromise there, until they have what they want.
George W. Bush does not compromise. John McCain will not compromise. Batman did not compromise. Sometimes we hate them for it, as Gotham hated Batman. Sometimes we are tempted by an offer of peace- a respite from this awful conflagration that seemingly has no end. But a compromise with evil is a slow death; a deliberate march to inevitable defeat. Barack Obama will sit at a table with evil and discuss the possibility of happiness and sunshine over tea and crumpets. Gothamites would applaud him; the world will be worse off for it.
Faced with self doubt and unable to bear any more blood on his hands, Bruce Wayne considers surrendering to The Joker’s demands, and Alfred scoffs at him. “People are dying, Alfred. What would you have me do?” Wayne asks. “Endure, Master Wayne. Take it” is the reply. “They’ll hate you for it. But that’s the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”
There is no compromise with evil. There are no negotiations. There is only one right choice- that we must endure. We must fight and we must win. And we can never forget what we’re fighting to protect.
Carolina Politics Online Batman‚??s True Identity- Forget Bruce Wayne, it‚??s George W. Bush
"6 The LORD said, 'If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.'"
|11-05-2008, 02:17 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
I apologize in advance, but I did not read the entire article, as I'm sure most people wont (its a bit long). I did skim over it, and from what I got out of it I would have to agree. When I saw The Dark Knight, I remember thinking to myself a few times that this movie is so scary because it is so similar to some sitiations in reality. I remember thinking that The Joker was sort of like Osama and Batman was Bush or the US in general. Underneath the makeup and show, there are similarities to todays society that were portrayed in The Dark Knight.
Makes the movie easier to relate to (if you can call it that) and adds a realistic fear to the viewer.
You don't need a license to drive a sandwich.