Has the Dark Night Risen in You?

The recent massacre of innocent lives at the movie theatre should shock everyone back into reality.  Sadly, I doubt this will happen. Entertainment violence must go on for the sake of masses.  Liberal causes must be funded with the proceeds.

 As a kid I paid 25 cents for a Batman or Superman comic. I understood these illustrated ‘funny’ papers as fantasy narratives. The bad guys appeared as a weird assortment of surreal characters that seemed to be annoyances more than anything. I stopped buying comic books when I grew up.

 The Batman cult has evolved from fantasy comic books to serial spoofs (TV’s Adam West) to abstracted violence (Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher) to evil and chaos personified – Heath Ledger’s Joker (Christopher Nolan).  None of this is lost on the ravenous crowds who lust for more bloody entertainment.

 Teens, adults, even parents with young children come to the theatre to watch the gladiator sport of murder on the big screen. No age is immune to an addiction to violence. And the addiction is gladly reinforced by the profiteers of Hollywood.

 The Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan. Auteurial vision. I see nothing but decadence from the bottom up. I will not go to see this movie out of respect for the victims. I don’t need Batman.

 Something to think about:  you know how a TV jingle or ad gets in your head and stays there?  What is lurking in your head, crouching, waiting to come out?  Will a psychotic break push you to unload the burned-in images of your anger, discontent, loneliness and rage onto others in the form of a cold-calculated bullet?

You are responsible for what you load into your heart, mind and soul. And, for what comes out.

Added:  https://sallyparadise.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/the-trajectory-of-jared-lee-loughner/

In memoriam, from Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony #3 “Sorrowful Songs”:

4 Responses to Has the Dark Night Risen in You?

  1. Christopher Grant says:

    “Gladiator sport of murder” has nothing to do with my reasons for wanting to see the movie. I grew up watching Batman, both the series and movies, and enjoy the wide assortment of characters, both good and bad, simply because they are interesting. As a kid I may have watched the show for the action, but I mostly remember the stories and how the villains had such severe personal issues that it brought them to crime. It wasn’t just “I’m a bad guy, I’m going to shoot you now.” It was a dramatic, animated observation of the human psyche. They were misguided or demented for various reasons, often outside their own control. The violence was necessary to show us how bad they’ve become, and Batman was there as their foil to show us that good people can still come out of horrible circumstances (which is why Batman was perfect for the job; he could understand them better).
    When The Dark Knight came out, people were completely mystified by Heath Ledger’s Joker; not because he killed people, but because there appeared no reason for his sense of anarchy. We wanted to understand WHY. His twisted humor was shocking, and his bouts of ruthless violence gave us chills. We didn’t watch the movie drooling from the displays of aggression; we sat there, completely engaged in a perplexing, intense, emotionally jarring crime drama that encouraged us (whether we realized it or not) to look at ourselves and understand where our values come from. If what you get from that movie is “The Joker is awesome,” meaning anything other than Heath Ledger’s performance, you must have had issues before the opening credits. I like the movie for the excellent writing and performances, not for the parts where Batman beats the crap out of people.
    I will go to see the new movie, and it will have nothing to do with disrespect for the victims. It was a terrible incident caused by someone who snapped. I don’t know the reasons for his crime, and I feel for the people who were caught in the middle, but I won’t ignore what will certainly be another magnificent piece of film because one tragedy happened in another town to people I have never met. Worse things have happened.
    Maybe this movie will shock people into reality, but one person’s reality may be different from yours.

    • Sally Paradise says:

      “…but I won’t ignore what will certainly be another magnificent piece of film because one tragedy happened in another town to people I have never met. Worse things have happened.”
      Your comment says a lot about you and the culture we live in: a constant seeking to be detached from reality, dehumanizing people with indifference, to wit “people I have never met. Worse things have happened;” replacing beauty and transcendence with the acceptance of the perverse and the banality of evil.

      “The battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  2. Christopher Grant says:

    I don’t want to be detached from the situation at all. I have run the scenario through my head several times, imagining how terrible it would be in that situation. For those involved, this has to be the worst time of their lives. I don’t mean to dehumanize it one bit.
    Nor do I intend to dehumanize 9/11 because it was in a city far away from me. Nor do I intend to discredit the holocaust because I wasn’t alive to witness it. I don’t try to distance myself from Vietnam because it was a horrifying war; the stories only serve to make it more real to me. But because I was not there to experience these events, how am I supposed to understand the full impact of what has happened? The best I can do is learn about it, try putting myself in their shoes, and–should I find myself in a similar situation–hope to put a stop to it before anyone gets hurt. It’s horrible, yes, but should I feel perpetually connected to every soul across the planet, as if they are all relatives? This has nothing to do with beauty, transcendence, or evil. I have seen enough tragedies on the news over the years, not to mention personally, to know that there is little I can do about it.
    My family was friends with another family. We were all part of the same church (in case religion will bias your impression of me). Their baby drowned in the pool, and although I personally wasn’t close to them, the tragedy hit me harder than anything else at the time. I saw them in the hospital and witnessed their grief. But I was just a spectator; I was not involved, and there was nothing I could do to help. I had to accept that.
    When it comes to people I don’t know, my moral support won’t reach them. My random thoughts on WordPress won’t reach them. I can feel terrible for them and hope for justice and pray for them, but from where I stand, I know nobody involved, I have no influence over anything that’s happening, and avoiding the movie because of somebody else’s tragedy would have no point. It’s not heartless. It’s just what it is.

    I would never seek detachment from the events around me, and I DO feel sorry for those people. What I don’t do is preach to others how they should react to the world.

  3. Christopher Grant says:

    I want to make it clear that I don’t hate you, and I am not even that angry. I read through a little more of your blog, and I see a bit of a trend: you’re very political, opinionated, and religious. I can respect your politics and opinions; people don’t seem to care enough these days. To a point I can even respect your beliefs. I agree with you on some things; for example, your post on Ray Bradbury. I do think technology has taken over our lives, and despite the benefits it has cut us off from reality to some degree. And with this post, I do agree that too many people like to numb themselves to any problems that don’t immediately affect them. This is a scary development, and knowing it has happened most in just the past few generations worries me. So I do agree with you, and I’m not looking for a fight. But what I have said above remains true; since this did not happen to me or my family or friends, all I can do is extend sympathy and move on with my life. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

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