Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Batman is wounded. Scarred and marred. Yes, The Dark Knight Rises hits the top spot at the box office, but is this a foreshadowing to a possible recovery and healing, or a possible breaking of the Batman?

The Dark Knight Rises for the time being has not been synonymous with box office smash; summer blockbuster; thrilling conclusion to the epic Dark Knight trilogy ... yet all these things are true, despite the acclaim my mind lingers on the senseless violence that devastated the State of Colorado, the staggering toll of fifty eight wounded, the twelve slain, in a movie theatre, perpetrated by an agent of chaos who claims to be Batman's arch-nemesis (who I don't think needs any introduction).

I attended an advanced screening of The Dark Knight Rises at Silvercity in Ancaster with nothing but high hopes and the movie didn't disappoint: like the two previous installments it was the high octane superhero film that was to be anticipated, heavily plot and character driven, dynamic elements pushed to such extremes, the very things that have attracted me to the Dark Knight lore for as far back as I can recall.

Having to wait four years for The Dark Knight follow-up, you can only imagine how stoked I was: I did not get dressed up as I had for The Dark Knight, as I had worked till nine thirty and went straight to the theatre afterwards to meet my party. Not to my surprise upon my arrival at the theatre did I encounter dozens of others wearing Batman tees, masks, hats, capes and the like; it is expected to see someone dress up as a Batman villain, and seated a row in front of me, to my left was a guy dressed as the Heath Ledger incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker. I was seated in row I, seat 15. He was in row H, and say seat 10 or 11. Anyhow, he had the part down to a tee, and a guy seated behind me had his photo taken with him. Thought nothing of it, of course. About maybe a few moments before the theatre darkened, did I notice that he had a switchblade. Now I'm thinking: okay, this guy takes his role seriously ... why so serious?

Once the movie started, it slipped my mind for a bit. But I couldn't help but sneak a few glances at Heath Joker, who of course was watching the movie. Never made a peep. Never left his seat. Never so much as fidgeted. Eyes glued to the screen.

When the ending credits rolled, I waited till they finished. Often at times if you wait till the end, you'll be treated to some extra footage, which they did not include to my dismay. By then, Heath Joker had left. So then I got in my car, went home, conversed with my brother about the movie for about an hour and then went to bed.

The next morning, I flipped on CHCH News Now and learned about the Colorado killing spree, which would later be dubbed as The Dark Knight Massacre. The question on everyone's mind is, WHY did this happen? What is the meaning behind all this senseless violence?

Anyone who has already seen the movie, given the circumstances and the details that emerged from the shooting may be thinking: this could have happened to me. In a place that I frequent often. Where one can unwind, or bring a date, a group of friends, or family. A place of escape.

Those of you who frequent this site, by now I'm sure that you are aware of my Batman: Rise of Senryu project: this recent tragedy has prompted some new senryu entries. One focuses primarily on the psyche of Holmes the perpetrator: although he has referred to himself as The Joker, the more I learn about him, his psyche tends to lean more so toward the Harvey Two Face syndrome. Another senryu focuses on the shooting as a whole and how the tragedy has forsaken the sanctity of escapism, as well as put a black mark on the Batman franchise:

              Two Face justice –

                heads spare fifty eight lives
                from Dark Knight Massacre

              Tear gas & bullets
                black mark masked vigilantes &

Again, there is nothing else that I can say that already hasn't been said other than that this act of violence was indeed senseless, and it has ultimately given the Dark Knight a bad rap. It's a shame that one individual had to go and ruin something for everybody else, and this goes beyond spoiler alerts.  What is considered a nerdgasm of high art and prolific storytelling has become somewhat of a dirty secret: I almost feel as if I should renounce my love for Batman after the terrors that have transpired.

I don't know what events will unfold from here on: I pray that justice will prevail. That the surviving victims will recover and heal. That Batman will rise again on a high note, and not be permantly marred because of this tragedy.

My heart and prayers go out to the families of the victims that didn't make it.

I will end on another senryu that I hope will one day be received with high esteem:

              A world without sun

                a world without Batman –
                two contradictions

                a world without darkness
                a world without Batman –
                take your pick


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