‘The Lie of the Conservative Batman’

Via Mutiny Radio:

One pundit has taken to task the cultural appropriation of Batman as a conservative figure, particularly in the context of The Dark Knight Rises:

But even if the movie were a direct allegory to our failed structure, it could hardly be seen as a conservative endorsement, as bloggers on both sides have contended. More likely, the chilling dystopian vision of a city torn into a No Man’s Land reads as a warning against radical demagoguery and institutional deception. And though some may not agree with the aims of the Occupy movement, it takes a willfully ignorant or forcefully disingenuous mindset to equate them with the insane philosophy of either a chaotically sadistic Joker or a frighteningly focused and cold-blooded Bane (portrayed by Tom Hardy).

Read more at Mutiny Radio.

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  • MadHierophant
  • guest

    Uh, What?

  • Anarchy Pony

    Please, Batman is one more Joker rampage away from going all Galt’s Gulch on Gotham. I’ve never liked batman and now that I’m more observant I understand why.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      The message in Batman is that we just need to trust the billionaire Batmans of the world to save us from ourself.

      • David Howe

         that’s the problem.  It’s also the problem with Ayn Rand and all of the other juvenille econ theoretics that endorse the most brutal exploitation of the many by the few

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      Batman was never my favorite growing up and ever since that Frank Miller Anti-OWS rant, has fallen even further from my favor.

  • HandsomeDan

    Batman is only a conservative figure if you want him to be. You can read into the story any way you want. The author even states: “We humans will ascribe our own meaning and see what we want in film and comic book escapism, no matter how earnest the telling.” How typical though of anarchists to explode into some sort of long winded allegorical explanation of a movie based around a comic book character. People aren’t afraid of anarchists blowing up bridges, they’re afraid of them sucking all the fun in life (as much as I sympathize with a LOT of their political views). 

    • Anarchy Pony

      No, the average person is in fact afraid of anarchists blowing things up, because in general that’s the way they are portrayed, as maniacs and bomb throwers and so forth, just as they were back at the turn of the last century. As for sucking fun out of life, I have no idea where you got that, the anarchists I know, while being capable of being serious and long winded, are very fun.

      • HandsomeDan

        Serious and long winded =/= fun. And yeah the average person is afraid of whatever “flash in the pan” threat that modern newscasting services hastily cooks up with little to no research, so that I can agree with. However I was using a hyperbole in my previous statement.

        • Anarchy Pony

          They aren’t serious and long winded and fun at the same time. People have more than one mode of operation.

          • HandsomeDan

            And stories have more than one mode of operation as well ;)

          • Jin The Ninja

            mainstream comic publishing in the US, tends toward a singular, self-contained narrative, with little nuance- if any.

            superhero stories are notoriously one dimensional, with a moderate social conservatism at their core. there are notable exceptions, but those characters exist outside of the popular superhero canon.

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            I have recently been enjoying the “Irredeemable” and “Incorruptible” titles.

            Can’t really say if those are nuanced or just twisted.

            Definitely outside of the popular canon, as you point out.

          • Jin The Ninja

            personally, anything that subverts genre conventions, mainstream morality, or narratives generally, makes for better reading.

          • Calypso_1

            I wish they would just skip the pretense of any social message and take the franchise straight to Batman vs. Predators.

      • Really?

        No, the average person doesn’t know what an anarchist is.

    • David Howe

       I don’t agree that you can read Batman anyway you want. A billionaire who does what he wants who helps people whenever he feels like it…..makes quite a statement and it ain’t anarchism.  More like Monarchy….the modern version of which is Fascism.

      • HandsomeDan

        Sure that IS one way of reading Batman, but why let that ruin the fun of a movie? I didn’t go into TDKR with any political mindset, trying to dissect the “hidden meaning”. I often feel like most people on the far-right and the far-left are goading people into paying attention to them by highlighting the “ominous political undertones” found in popular media. I’d be more into this discussion if there was more talk about the politics in other movies released this year. Unfortunately, because of the scale of this movie, it’s taken a forefront for political show-off analysis on both sides. 

        • Jin The Ninja

           “but why let that ruin the fun of a movie?”

          so you’re unwilling to read cinema, as art, as mass-media, as an expression of the human condition, as text and narrative- simply because it interferes with your enjoyment of it? maybe i’m simply a product of my education, but for the life of me, i can’t find enjoyment in culture, unless i fully understand it’s context and derive meaning from it.

          • Really?

            Then you, my friend are unlikely to Fully enjoy anything. ;)

          • Jin The Ninja

            nah, i am just particular. i can’t enjoy something that promotes oppressive ideas about others. nor as someone of colour, of 3rd culture, queer, a thinking person, a progressive person do i have that particular privilege on which to rest.

          • HandsomeDan

            I’m willing but I also like to relax sometimes. Have you ever relaxed?

          • Jin The Ninja

            you seem to equate relaxation with mindlessness, whereas i equate relaxation with mindfulness.

          • HandsomeDan

            Yes that must be it, u r so smart.

          • Jin The Ninja

            smart AND relaxed.

  • Utah R Harker

    Batman’s a funny thing because you can read him a few different ways. You can take his personal crusade as evidence of him being a radical right-winger or a radical left-winger. He could be a fascist  working outside the law as a way of upholding tradition against progress; or an anarchist, working outside the law for the sake of defending progress. It’s largely up to the writers’ interpretation, but I’ve always found it telling that one of the most influential versions of Batman was the middle-aged, vaguely fascist one from Dark Knight Returns. 

  • David Howe

    The Dark Knight Returns makes itself revoltingly clear. The world really needs some nice, altruistic billionaires – for whom we should have deep sympathy – in order to fend off the 99% who will fall for anything and are too stupid to resist the advances of a criminal like Bane.  The only victims of Bane’s terrorism are the rich (tsk tsk), who are abused, humiliated, and killed while the crowds – um – stay home and be quiet apparently, unless they venture out to litter the streets that those nice billionaires built for them.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      But didn’t you hear? It’s just a superhero movie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

      I was sorta holding out hope for the day more millionaires decide to start doing awesome drugs and become ninjas having been driven mad by grief.

  • Liquidsix

    Why the hell would any of you even bother to equate a work of fiction with anything that’s happening in the real world? The key word being “fiction”…

    • Calypso_1

      Other keywords are metaphor, allegory & symbolism.

    • Anarchy Pony

      Are you for real? 

      • Andrew

        He probably thinks so.

    • Jin The Ninja

      “Why the hell would any of you even bother to equate a work of fiction with anything that’s happening in the real world?”

      anyone who passed 9th grade english knows that literature (or art generally) is not produced in a vaccuum and even unintentionally contains socio-political, cultural and stylistic context.

      • Calypso_1

        Come on, Animal Farm was just a prequel to Charlotte’s Web.

        • Anarchy Pony

          Some, More Equal, Pig.

          • Calypso_1

            “Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They’ll believe anything they see in print.”

          • Anarchy Pony

            Needs more Benjamin the donkey.

          • Calypso_1

            I see your Benyamin and raise you al Buraq the Magic Donkey.

          • Anarchy Pony

            ???!

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    anybody who paid money to see Holywood/NWO propaganda
    slap yourself hard right now
    and then go watch ralph’s weekend Disinfo posts
    that should wake you up

    I don’t give a flying-phuck what Hollywood’s take is on society
    I already know what it thinks
    their lawyers & their propaganda make it perfectly clear
    they serve the elites

    • Jin The Ninja

      exactly. pirate bay that sh*t.

      • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

        I would take it a step further
        don’t watch it & if you must
        wait ten years

        it’s MKUltra at its finest
        why subject yourself to that?
        even for free?
        even if they paid you?

        Hollywood/TV is brain numbing swill
        but betcha can’t just watch just one

      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        Nah, be smart about it and use a private torrent site. Pirate Bay will get you a nastygram from  your ISP.

        • Jin The Ninja

           true. and i do. but i thought ‘pirate bay that sh*t* read better onscreen.

    • HandsomeDan

      i paid $17.99 to see it in IMAX. I’ll pay to see it again for less! i’ll buy it on DVD, maybe even when i get a Blu-Ray player. I’m a firm advocate of the NWO! Gonna hang out with some space lizards and Commu-Hitler Obama later, wanna join? It’s not as bad as you might think. They make good appetizers.

      • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

        you passed the test
        it does sound like you really have a handle on things
        don’t forget to watch TV regularly
        especially the news
        keep-up the good work
        your NWO order merit badge is in the mail

        • HandsomeDan

          I got that badge when I bought an iPhone, DUH what kind of conspiracy nut are you? weak 2/10

  • Brad Ward

    Maybe this movie was meant to be a warning for the 1%?

    http://amazingspideyrumors.com
     

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