This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God…
– 2 Timothy 3:1-4
As an internet writer seeking common ground, or, rather, a mutual base frame of reference with the readers, I’ll often use widely disseminated resources in order to inspire contemplation and conversation. Obviously, these sources would include movies and books. So, with that in mind, I recently took advantage of $5 Tuesdays at a theater near me and saw “Joker”. The antagonist of the film, of course, is Batman’s old arch nemesis, “The Joker”.
The movie was epic comic book fare – but also realistically familiar at the same time. And this is understandable given the renowned infamy of the DC Comics super-villain. But there were also more current, and grounded, correlations too.
The actor Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker’s descent from mental illness to evil was sublime, and he’ll very likely be nominated for an Oscar. I, personally, found the socially awkward scenes to be more cringe-worthy than the blood and guts; and both, seemingly, have appeared right on schedule for the congressional debate on red flag legislation.
In any event, Joker was a disturbing film. And I was riveted.
(NOTE: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS)
As stated heretofore, there were many parallels in “Joker” corresponding to our current times. In fact, other than the time-stamped set design and props, the chaos in the streets of Gotham City looked like they could have been filmed in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
Phoenix’s artistic rendering of the Joker agonizingly revealed the suffering of someone mentally ill and lost to the system. What was actually lost, however, was the main character’s normal view of reality. Due to a disturbed mind and horrifically abusive experiences, the Joker’s worldview was warped to the extent that his sense of humor was not considered funny by those in the mainstream. It was an unusual film because the main character was, simultaneously, both the protagonist and antagonist in the story. Ironically, in other ways, the film also divides the audience in two as well – except with one side seeing light refraction causing scenes to flip upside down; and with both sides listening to separate laugh tracks.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
– Isaiah 5:20
And isn’t that what’s happening in America today?
There are those who laugh at Trump’s tweets while others, like Antifa, riot in the streets.
In the film, Joker appears as an anti-hero of sorts, standing in contrast to a cold-hearted billionaire campaigning to be the Mayor of Gotham and one who believes he can save the city by bringing jobs back.
Accordingly, there are some who might see the billionaire as Donald Trump trying to restore order and making the city great again, while others may see Trump as the Joker tearing down the established order.
Depending upon which movie is being seen, it means Joker’s mindless followers in the story will be viewed by some as disaffected deplorables dancing while Rome burns and others as collectivist clowns wearing masks and spreading anarchy.
What is interesting, however, is that both groups would oppose what they each perceive as the establishment; and both camps seemingly lament the worldview breach between the dispossessed and the wealthy elite.
Either way, as anarchist art or comic book fodder, the Joker film illustrates death to establishment via the ideology of Destructionism:
Destructionism is stage two of any unachievable vision of what society should be like against a reality that refuses to conform. Destructionism also proves to be strangely compelling to populist movements that are anxious to externalize their enemies and smite the forces that stand in the way of their reassertion of power. Finally they discover satisfaction in destruction – as an end in itself – because it makes them feel alive and gives their life meaning.
But who are actually the disaffected and who is, in reality, the establishment?
That is the question, isn’t it?
Like so much of entertainment and politics today – the movie Joker is being seen by two separate audiences. And the reaction to the movie has been similar to comedian Dave Chappelle’s recently-released Netflix comedy special entitled “Sticks and Stones”.
Just as Chappelle’s show was panned by critics but enjoyed by audiences, so, too, is Joker. Just as those on the left and in the mainstream media consider Chappelle’s “Sticks and Stones” as no laughing matter, we are now seeing the same treatment for Joker by those so suddenly serious :
– From VigilantCitizen.com
Why? Because, to the Political Left, optics are everything. And this means if the illusion does not fit, then it must be sh*t.
Notice how some of the headlines have reported on Joker as being “boring” or as “numbing emptiness”. This is because, just like Chappelle’s show, art has mocked life and the leftist gestapo has been revealed as the allegorical emperor standing naked. They have no defense against truth; and common sense is truth.
Anything debated, created, manufactured or produced, is derived from a certain tension of thought. It is sewn from threads of chaos and formulated with, and for, a purpose. In Dave Chappelle’s “Sticks and Stones” hour-long routine on Netflix, he is very, very careful – almost akin to a surgeon methodically suppurating a wound. Or a serial killer teasing and torturing victims.
Like a Joker.
Chappelle opened his routine by playfully excoriating singer Michael Jackson’s alleged pedophilia. Then the comedian boldly proclaimed that Jackson didn’t do it. So the pedophilia is addressed in a way that Michael Jackson fans can’t hold against Chappelle. The viewers are disturbed and disgusted and laughing, but nothing can be stuck on the messenger.
Chappelle did the same thing when he ridiculed the LGBTQ crowd as the “alphabet people” – the problem isn’t that they’re gay, it’s that they’re so seriously, and stupidly, self-concerned.
On the topic of abortion, Chappelle said he supported a woman’s right to choose. This, of course, would endear the comedian to those supporting “my body, my choice”. But then Chappelle added a new angle: He argued if the woman decided to have her baby, then men shouldn’t be forced to be involved. Because if the mother has a right to kill her baby then the father should have the right to abandon it. Said he: “My money, my choice”.
And regarding guns, Chappelle said he really, really hates them…. but… that he owns several; and followed by an entire humorous bit as to why he owns them.
One wonders if the same sort of subterfuge was incorporated into the movie Joker by its director, Todd Phillips, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Because there is a scene in the film where Joker’s alter-ego, Arthur Fleck, legitimately used a hand-gun in self-defense against three bad guys on a subway train. Later, a common office (and school) supply item was used to massacre someone, but you’ll never hear the Political Left demanding Red-Flag legislation for the particular item in question. Why? Because it would not represent a threat to the collectivists should they regain power in the U.S. 2020 elections.
Therefore, if the narrative doesn’t fit, it must be sh*t.
Just as Trump supporters don’t find late-night comedy shows like Saturday Night Live or Jimmy Kimmel funny anymore, liberals have also stopped laughing.
It’s because things are getting serious.
In the movie Joker, Gotham also resembles Democrat run New York City in the 1970s as well as many other Democrat Party run sh*t-holes all over America today. Yet the sad-eyed clowns performing as the Democrat Presidential Candidates are all out on the campaign trail promising utopia while endorsing lies, and promoting lawlessness and tumult – and all wanting to mow down a billionaire making Gotham great again; as other mask-wearing clowns riot in the street and raise hell under the guise of “resistance”.
Before anarchy and chaos takes to the streets, a desire to turn society upside down must first take hold. Before that, however, those creating the bedlam must be driven into a rage; or, rather, an insane rage.
In an article I once wrote about Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, I claimed it could be viewed as more than a fictional story and more than an allegory because it had been proven prophetic. Towards that end, I wrote the following:
It is the story of the Divided States of America; an asylum imprisoning subjects suffering under the final stages of Cultural Marxist Dementia and secured by a police state enforcing a twisted type of morality designed to make the inmates progressively and increasingly loony. In a deranged world turned inside-out, the sane ones are labeled insane.
Indeed. Life has imitated art.
In the same article I mentioned how Kesey’s novel delineated “the epic contest between individual autonomy versus the Feminine Authoritarianism of Matriarchal Tyranny”.
And isn’t that way of the collectivists currently? Because we never see any negative headlines telling people not to watch shows like Netflix’s recent “In the Shadow of the Moon” where fictional time-travelers retroactively murder American patriots in order to advance the cause of globalism.
Why isn’t that considered boring?
Indeed, the hypocrisy resembles a feminist-type double-standard whereby what is good for the goose is not for the gander – in the same way many modern women condescendingly, and even snottily, lecture men on the perils of “Mansplaining”.
Honestly, who do these people think they are for telling me what shows I should watch? And why is it they can hate Trump, but I’m not allowed to laugh at his tweets?
It was also interesting to watch Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker showing the character transition from hapless schmuck, to imagined virility, to actual evil that manifested in sort of a twisted femininity; pure narcissism demonstrated onscreen to the tune of graceful little dances in the wake of brutal acts.
It is no surprise, therefore, that many have tied Joker to what has become known as “Inceldom”, or “the online subculture of men (mostly young, white, and heterosexual)” who have become violent as a result of being involuntarily celibate. Many past mass-shooters have been identified as Incels (i.e. the portmanteau of “involuntary celibates”) including Elliot Rodger who killed six people in 2014 at the University of California Santa Barbara and Nikolas Cruz who killed seventeen at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida on Valentine’s Day 2018.
In fact, the U.S. Army has warned of possible shootings at Joker film screenings because of the tendency of violent Incels to imitate each other – or, actually, very similar to what happens in the narrative of the Joker film.
People are also on edge because of the December 2012 mass-shooting in Aurora, Colorado where the killer, James Holmes, killed twelve people in a movie theater at a Batman screening. What was especially strange is that the killer, Holmes, even looked like the Joker.
But it was while reading Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger’s online manifesto, two years after the Batman massacre, that marked my first exploration into Inceldom – although I didn’t become aware of the term Incel until several years later. Rodger, like the Joker, over time developed a desire for revenge upon those whom he perceived had treated him unjustly – a classic example of resentment magnified into full-blown rage.
In this embedded link there is a six-minute video of Elliot Rodger discussing his forthcoming “day of retribution” where he absolutely comes across as a comic book villain, complete with an unsettling evil chuckle.
To be sure, life does, indeed, imitate art.
Rodger’s disturbing manifesto made it very clear his pre-teen psyche was formulated by television, video games and porn. Perhaps all of these modern-day manifestations have led to a sort of neo-Gnosticism in modern youth; or, rather, the intellect seeking salvation while divorced from reality. Comic books, movies, gaming, and porn all provide immediate gratification but without any of the fleshly aggravations like body-fluids, bad breath, sweat, and stench. Is it any wonder, then, why self-concerned spoiled Incels believe they are programmed for pleasure without travail and, then, become hostile when the world operates beyond the range of their remote controls?
Another component of Incel rage is suppressed hostility against masculinity. Because, after all, it is the more attractive real boys and men who get the girls, thus robbing Incels of their fair share. In Rodger’s YouTube videos and manifesto, his rage and envy was obvious: He despised the knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who the girls had chosen over him – the true gentleman.
Accordingly, an ex-girlfriend of the Aurora Batman shooter, James Holmes, ended a two-month relationship with him “following an encounter between Holmes and another man who talked to her during a date on Saint Patrick’s Day”.
In the Joker movie, the old-school masculinity of the future Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne, is displayed in stark contrast to Joker’s pathetic, even effeminate, frailty. Surely any Incel or Antifa snowflake seeing Joker would judge Thomas Wayne as a knuckle-dragging rich prick in the same vein as… say… Donald J. Trump; and, later in life, perhaps even the crime-fighting Batman himself.
Remember when kids idolized the heroes over the villains? Times have changed.
Certainly, Joker offers legendary comic book plotlines and rising action, but also with a “Taxi Driver” patina of reality at the same time. Adding to the angst, the soundtrack’s stringed instruments correspond to the main character’s nervous tension , which remains ever-present throughout the film – even as the Joker deftly dances down the stairs toward hell to the drumbeat and instrumentation of convicted pedophile Gary Glitter’s 1972 “Rock and Roll Part 2”.
And if there’s any question in anyone’s mind whether Joker’s controversy is the result of a middle-finger-flip to Woke Culture, just know Todd Phillips, who also directed the Hangover series and other comedies, has unequivocally answered that question. In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Phillips stated the following:
"Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” he [Phillips] says.
“There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore - I’ll tell you why, because all the f*cking funny guys are like, ‘F*ck this sh*t, because I don’t want to offend you.’ It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies - I think that what comedies in general all have in common - is they’re irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but f*ck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”
Yes, liberals, it does appear the joke is on you. Again. This time. And that’s why some in the media have claimed comedian Dave Chappelle and director Todd Phillips have lashed out at Cancel Culture, which the urban dictionary defines as follows:
A modern internet phenomenon where a person is ejected from influence or fame by questionable actions. It is caused by a critical mass of people who are quick to judge and slow to question. It is commonly caused by an accusation, whether that accusation has merit or not. It is a direct result of the ignorance of people caused communication technologies outpacing the growth in available knowledge of a person.
And is that not the modus operandi of the mob?
Surely, if the collectivists had their way, they would cancel Joker in the same way the Democrats in congress now wish to cancel Donald Trump. Because both the movie and the president have revealed the mob as being mad like the Joker; and with the same lack of identity and accountability.
Hence, the grand confrontation of our time: How do crime fighters battle against those not moored to civilized society and who don’t believe in anything except their own will to power?
That was the question I was contemplating as I left the theater. On the way out, I noticed two police officers in full uniform in the lobby. They were different than the other two I saw while entering, before the movie started. Did they have a shift change during the movie? Or were there now more cops on location?
As I walked by the armed officers, who were dutifully standing guard against any potentially devastating Incel violence, I looked around at the others leaving the theater and noticed something else. No one was laughing.