Thursday, August 07, 2008

Why is Batman Making So Much Money?

C Michael Patton @ reflects on the interesting phenomenon that is Batman: The Dark Knight. The facts:

not only had the largest grossing opening weekend of all time (just over $158 million) but had also been the fastest movie to $300 million (beating out Pirates of the Caribean: Dead Man’s Chest)
With this, he asks: "Why is Batman making so much money?"

Part of his analysis:

In the character of The Joker, our culture looks into the mirror and sees what it is becoming. Nihilism is what it is sometimes called. Nihilism is the anti-philosophy of a world that has no hope, no motives, no standards, and no values. The Joker is the Nihilist who believes in nothing, cares for nothing, and pursues nothing. At one point The Jokers says, “I have no plans. I am like a dog chasing a car. I would not know what to do if I caught it.” There is no rationalism because there is no such thing as order, reason, or ends that create purpose. It is just the moment, and the moment is ruled by randomness.

Our postmodern culture may see itself in the character of The Joker. Like a person who has not seen his face in many years, we are going to the mirror to take a look.

Is our culture nihilistic like The Joker? This is a good question that I cannot answer. What I can say is that we have been heading in that direction for quite some time. John Hannah calls this age the “age of despair.” The Joker is the next step. It is when the despair turns to apathy and we are what we are and we don’t care what we become. With the deconstruction of morals, truth, knowledge, revelation, and the like, is it any surprise that so many people are going to look in the mirror?

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