Everyone is talking about the Joker, the new comic book movie from Todd Phillips who set out to shake up the world and lured the very good actor, Joaquin Phenix out of retirement to perform the role. Critics are crazy about it, and conservatives understandably are very concerned as the direction of the film is clearly justification for the type of violence that we are seeing currently out of Antifa. I have not yet seen the film, but know enough, especially after watching the review from a person I respect in Grace Randolph seen below to get a clear picture of what’s going on. The allegory is clear, the Joker was a victim of a cruel society who decided that he’d either kill himself or kill other people. And the main perpetrators of his victimization was the father of Batman himself Thomas Wayne. There are many other contributing factors but ultimately, it was Thomas Wayne who serves very much as the Trump-like villain from the perspective of the Joker and without question there are many millennials who are reacting to the film the way Grace has in her review, feeling quite a lot of sympathy for Arthur Fleck—the character who eventually becomes the Joker.
I think movies like this are always good to play with and I admire all the ambition. On the business side the movie is a brilliant strategy, they kept the cost down, but they have all the quality, and obviously they have great buzz. I’m sure when I do see it that I’ll like it. However, the tragedy is that it obviously is a story that is intent to explain away evil from the perspective of victimhood and will undoubtably inspire others to yield to their sorrows and behave poorly in real life becoming maybe not so much the Joker, but the parasites who follow him in the fictional context and who do eventually kill Thomas Wayne and his wife in the film, which gives birth to Batman through the son Bruce. From there we all know the story, but how it mimics real life is what has everyone talking and that is the concern of our topic here.
In yet another Hollywood example the story telling perspective coming from within their view of the world is that the rich should be taxed and are ultimately evil. As members of the top 1% of society if is people like Thomas Wayne who are ultimately out there hurting everyone with their greed and climbs for power with a ruthless view of the world they control, and in the wake of their existence creatures like the Joker are born. To interview any Antifa member or really any Democrat today—especially the writers of Saturday Night Live, this Joker film is the Hollywood protest to the Trump administration and what they perceive is created by wealthy billionaires who look down their noses at battered personalities like Arthur Fleck and eventually get what they have coming to them for their lack of compassion, therefor becoming the murderous thugs of terrorism.
And I have no doubt that was what drove actors like Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro to this relatively small budget drama, was the political activism that would cascade off it. Todd Phillips as the director knew what he was doing, he has stated that he made the Joker film because this modern woke culture has spoiled comedy, and he’s not happy about it. As the maker of the Hangover films which I can’t stand, he feels he needs to address the situation and from his perspective within the Hollywood bubble he came at this subject with some interesting diatribes. However for many others working in and around the film, this is clearly and anti-Trump character study and a call out to what they are calling “the resistance” to put an end to his administration and to all those of us who elected him.
In the Batman mythology I have always liked the Wayne family and wanted to know more about Bruce Wayne’s parents. This version of the Joker villain from that mythology obviously turns that perspective on its head. Thomas Wayne is alluded to be the actual father of the Joker due to an illicit affair leaving the mother of Arthur to go insane with grief. And of course there is further evidence that money corrupts and has driven both Thomas Wayne and his wife to sheer evil due to their love of wealth sneering down their noses at the downtrodden. Given what Todd Phillips has said in public it is clear that what he is really feeling was illustrated in the film’s ending where it wasn’t the Joker who killed Thomas Wayne and his wife, it was the mob that he had inspired who did, and that is the dangerous message of this film.
Rich 1% types are all bad and need to be eradicated is the message. Thomas Wayne was originally supposed to be played by Alec Baldwin who has been playing a parody to Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live and Phillips wanted more of that in his film. Supposedly due to scheduling conflicts Baldwin didn’t make it, but the intention cannot be overlooked. Todd Phillips made a movie using the Joker as a character to inspire his own mob of anti-Trump troops and Hollywood quickly got behind the effort for the activism projected. They hope to do just as the Joker did, inspire the downtrodden to rise up and lash out against the corrupt politicians and their rich double lives, and to bring villainy to the American way of life using the excuse of victimization to drive their lust for revenge.
However, these kinds of stories never do the wealthy justice or truly grapple with the actual reality of these interactions. It is all too easy for those who are lazy in life to blame their circumstances for their predicament rather than overcome those oppositions with hard work and prudence. And that should be the story with the Joker, but as we all know, that character is the supervillain of Batman, so he was never supposed to be a good guy. But Hollywood is using that excuse to make an anti-capitalism film aimed squarely at the millennial generation and to put them into the streets as Antifia members, or whatever the latest version will be for the purpose of changing the political landscape. So people have a right to be angry at this film. But I would say that rather than be angry, make films of your own. The message can go both ways. Nobody should embrace their victimhood. They should instead seek to overcome that status for the benefit of all. Without question the new Joker film is an attack on the way of life that Trump voters support. But don’t do as they do and claim that it isn’t fair. Stories are perspectives and it doesn’t take much to tell a story that criticizes productions like this Joker. Who cares that Arthur Fleck was molded by a society that treated him poorly? The real story and the one that often doesn’t get told is that the 1% are in the extreme minority because they don’t accept their victimhood and that is how they get rich, because they don’t sit around crying about it. And they aren’t bad people as portrayed in the embodiment of Thomas Wayne but are elements that people should and could easily try to live up to. Because ultimately, the difference between Bruce Wayne and the Joker is that Batman sought to use his position to do good, and to be just, and to overcome his sorrow, not to yield to it. That is what makes him a member of the 1%, and that isn’t a bad thing, everyone should aspire to be thus.
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