Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

Another Thought on "The Batman Massacre"

Saturday, July 21, 2012

this entry brought to you by radiohead, "lotus flower"

Can I be selfish for just a bit? I promise that it's not my intention to trivialize yesterday's massacre, or for me to be insensitive. In fact, my initial thoughts and the things that went through my mind at the beginning of the day were almost all documented here. Please know that my heart and thoughts are with the victims of yesterday, and they always are whenever these things happen. I don't know how the rest of us manage to go outside anymore, and I wouldn't blame any of the victims if they never did again. It's not rational, but doesn't it seem reasonable?

Anyway, I want to be selfish for a bit. As a fan of Batman. Can I do that without being insensitive? Just for a moment?

As the day went by, I started to feel frustrated, as a fan of Batman. This person probably didn't care anything about Batman, but he specifically chose Batman to prove a point: He wanted to show that little ol' him could be bigger than the biggest thing in the world that day. It couldn't be about this beloved culture phenomenon that we all just wanted to enjoy-- fucking Christ, there was just one of these shootings last month-- and the reason we all go to the theater to watch Batman is to try and get our minds off of this exact type of thing. We're an unhappy culture, at least compared to every other culture. We're a stressed culture. We're an over-worked culture. We're a culture that lives with a percentage of violent crime way higher than every other country.

And Batman is awesome. And watching Batman is awesome. And thinking about Batman is awesome.

This asshole, James Holmes, specifically picked the opening of Batman to kill as many people as he could at a single point in time, which he knew would be at the opening of a huge movie. But he didn't pick the Food Court at Christmas time. He didn't pick a football game. He didn't pick anything else. He picked the thing that was the biggest cultural phenomenon in the world because he wanted to be bigger than the biggest thing. Superbowls are every year. Christmas always comes. This is the end of one of the biggest trilogies, a movie that we all are hyped about and know will be awesome, that we're all positive could not possibly fail us. He wanted to make sure that it did.

I'm not even exaggerating at all in the above paragraph. There are a lot of cynical, jaded movie goers that I know, and when you ask them about even the most highly anticipated movies will say, at best, "I'm optimistic. I hope it's good." But when you ask them how excited about The Dark Knight Rises they were, their answer across the board was "It's going to be awesome." There was no way it wouldn't be awesome. At the very worst it would not be quite as high as our expectations, or possibly end on too much of a downer. But it was impossible that it would be a bad movie. Leading up to this movie, there is no one who planned on watching it on its opening weekend who didn't feel that way. This wasn't about just killing as many people as possible, this was a message to people: you cannot dream of good things. If this wasn't his message, why wouldn't he have chosen literally any other time or place to do it? Why not the parking lot? Why not the mall? Why not his neighborhood? If his message wasn't to specifically deflate the idea itself of anticipation, why would be specifically pick the follow-up to what was, at the time, the second highest grossing film ever?

It's also disturbing that if you wanted to take the metaphor for Batman, that he represents justice and vengeance and herosim, and that this monster wanted to triumph over that as well, that philosophical argument works too. But it's also besides the point. He didn't just want notoriety. He didn't just want to be the biggest. He wanted to be bigger than that.

Warner Bros. announced that it would be pulling ads for The Dark Knight Rises from television programming, which makes sense. The movie doesn't need more publicity. People will come if they want. Also, if I were a victim of this massacre, if I lived through this, I wouldn't want to see Bane blowing up stuff when I turned on my television. So this is a smart, respectful thing to do. But I wish they wouldn't. I wish they would show more commercials. They could all use somber music and show images of Batman looking introspective. And they could end with Batman doing a heroic pose and looking like he's right about to jump on evil and beat it to a pulp. Because fuck you, you can't be bigger than the biggest thing ever. You can't be bigger than our imagination, you can't be bigger than our love of our heroes. Yes, this one's fictional-- but he represents real people who are really heroes. And you can't be above that.

with love from CRS @ 1:58 PM 


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