John on August 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm
My post arguing that the Dark Knight is about George Bush has received a fair amount of traffic and comments both for and against. I think it’s worth noting that, in addition to the Wall Street Journal writer I linked at the time, other bloggers and columnists have since come to the same conclusion.
Scott at Powerline says:
Seeking a little escapist entertainment last night, I took two of my kids to see the new Batman film “Dark Knight.” Instead of escapist entertainment, we found a Hollywood parable of the war on terrorism. Gotham City has become New York City [Ed. note: later corrected to be Chicago]. The Joker had become a master terrorist (although the Joker, unlike Osama bin Laden, is a frank nihilist). The use of torture for interrogation is debated and enacted, as is comprehensive communications surveillance.
Scott also points out this article by Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun (which I’ll quote at length because it’s good). I highly recommend the whole article:
FINALLY Hollywood makes a film that says President George W Bush was right.
But director Christopher Nolan had to disguise it a little, so journalists wouldn’t freak and the film’s more fashionable stars wouldn’t walk.
So he hides Bush in a cape. He even sticks a mask on him, with pointy ears for some reason.
As this superb Batman retelling, The Dark Knight, makes clear, its subject is a weakness that runs instinctively through us – to hate a hero who, in saving us, exposes our fears, prods our weaknesses, calls from us more than we want to give, or can.
And how we resent a hero who must shake our world in order to save it, or brings alive that maxim of George Orwell that so implicates us in our preening piety: “Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
When Batman doubts the good he had done, Alfred urges strength: “Endure, Master, endure. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that is the point of Batman. He can make the choice that no one else can make – the right choice.”
Batman does not need, and cannot get, the soaring opinion polls and flattering media coverage of a hero.
He must instead be not only the citizens’ savior, but its scapegoat for its anxiety over what it took to save them.
As Commissioner Gordon says, in reluctantly branding Batman an outlaw: “We’ll hunt him because he can take it. Because he’s not a hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector . . . a dark knight.”
It wouldn’t surprise me if Nolan came out denying this at some point. It’s just too politically incorrect, to the point that despite the windfall the film is making he could end up blacklisted in Hollywood. I don’t care what he says from here on out. I saw the film. Batman is George W. Bush.
Category: Movies |