Tag Archives | Batman

Torture Okayed Through Pop Culture

Diverse torture instruments.

Diverse torture instruments.

Noah Berlatsky analyzes how pop culture (movies, comic books, television) makes torture “ok.” He writes that “Torture, pop culture says, is effective, fun, and even funny.”

Noah Berlatsky writes at Splice Today:

In Frank Miller’s influential 1986 series The Dark Knight Returns, Batman drags an unconscious perpetrator up to a rooftop, and hangs him upside down with his eyes covered. When the bad guy wakes up, Batman begins to question him, and then uncovers the guy’s eyes. Hundreds of feet above the city, the bad guy starts to scream in terror, prompting our hero to ruminate smugly about how much fun he’s having.

Last year, in the film Olympus Has Fallen, the American agent played by Gerard Butler stabbed a North Korean bad guy in the knee to get him to talk. The audience at the preview I attended cheered enthusiastically.

Last weekend at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Sarah Palin declared to an enthusiastic audience that the current administration is too nice to jihadists.

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The Pop Culture Edition – What Had Happened Was Ep. 27

What Had Happened Was Logo

by Susan M Omand, Omand Original, All Rights Reserved

From ModernMythology:

What Had Happened Was is a grumpyhawk collective podcast co-hosted by grumpyhawk (that would be me) and Benjamin Combs. In this “week-in-review style” show, we cover and comment on stories with a tech, science, weird, or strange sort of angle. Visit grumpyhawk.com to see and hear more from the collective. 

Hello people of the internet! Today grumpyhawk and Benjamin Combs are talking about China collecting body parts from prisoners and how that will now be optional, Snowden denies giving sensitive information to the Guardian, Arkansas bill limiting body modification goes to the State House of Representatives, Time Warner Cable offering antennae to their customers as a way to alleviate the CBS situation, Marvel to bring superhero-themed road show to the US next year, and Ben Affleck as the new Batman. All on today’s episode, The pop culture edition.

Show Notes:

  1. China says it will stop harvesting organs from prisoners
  2. Snowden denies being source of The Independent’s “NSA leak” story exposing UK base
  3. Senate Passes Bill That Bans Certain Tattoos, Body Markings
  4. Time Warner Cable offers free antennas, Best Buy credit to customers caught in CBS blackout
  5. Marvel to bring superhero-themed road show to the US next year
  6. Ben Affleck is the next Batman

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Grant Morrison on the Death of Robin

Morrison at disinfo.con New York

Long-term friend of disinformation Bryan Young interviews comics legend Grant Morrison for Huffington Post:

Grant Morrison killed Batman and Robin.

Batman came back, but it seems as though this Robin is dead for good. There have been a few different deaths of Batman’s greatest ally, but none have been as meaningful to one single writer as this one has. For those not following along, comics superstar Grant Morrison created Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al’Ghul, who took to the role of Robin with arrogance and, in the end, humbly sacrificed himself as a hero.

By fans, he was hated at first, then loved, and now the tears over his death are many.

In honor of the passing of this most recent Robin, I was given the opportunity to talk to Grant Morrison about his landmark run with Batman and Robin.

Bryan Young: I’ve read that your original plan was to kill Damian after just four issues?

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‘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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Colorado Gun Sales Shoot Upwards Following Batman Massacre

The lesson seemingly being drawn from the Aurora shooting is that it occurred because the public was not sufficiently armed. The Denver Post reports:

Background checks for people wanting to buy guns in Colorado jumped more than 41 percent after Friday morning’s shooting at an Aurora movie theater, and firearms instructors say they’re also seeing increased interest in the training required for a concealed-carry permit.

“It’s been insane,” Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, said Monday. When he arrived at work Friday morning — just hours after a gunman killed 12 and injured 58 others at the Century Aurora 16 theater — there already were 15 to 20 people waiting outside the store, Meyers said.

Between Friday and Sunday, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved background checks for 2,887 people who wanted to purchase a firearm — a 43 percent increase over the previous Friday through Sunday.

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(Un)Holy Impostors, Batman: Maine Police Arrest Wannabe Copycat

(Photo Courtesy of Maine State Police)

Via the Bangor Daily News:

Scarcely days after James Holmes’ horrific movie theater massacre, the Maine State Police have arrested a man who they claim is a wannabe copycat killer.

Forty-nine year-old Timothy Courtois of Biddeford, ME was stopped and arrested at 10 AM Sunday morning when police clocked him driving at 112 MPH on the Maine turnpike. Courtois’ vehicle contained an arsenal of firearms and clippings about the Aurora, CO massacre. The man volunteered that he had attended a screening of the Dark Knight Rises the previous night and was on the way to New Hampshire to murder a former employer when he was arrested. Courtois also stated that he had carried his pistol into the theater, but according to authorities, he did not say he had planned on harming his fellow patrons:

“He didn’t speak to any intent to harm people [at the theater], but I’m sure a lot of this is going to continue to come out” as agencies including the state police, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives continue their investigations, Maine State Police Lt.

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Questioning the Conspiracy: The Aurora Shootings

The bodies in Aurora, Colorado weren’t even cold before the inevitable conspiracy theories began to propagate in the bacterial petri dish that is the internet. While most people are content to let the investigation into the Dark Knight Rises murder spree evolve under the auspices of local and federal law enforcement, there exists a fringe for whom no amount of physical distance from, or baseless conjecture about, a national tragedy is too far to not support unlikely theories of United Nations false-flag attacks and other tinfoil cap speculations. The current conspiracy du jour is that James Holmes’ attack on a packed audience watching a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises was in actuality an atrocity planned in advance by elements within the federal government and/or the United Nations. Those advocating this claim are pointing to several shaky bits of “evidence” that are in actuality nothing of the sort. This isn’t surprising, though: it costs practically nothing to make baseless accusations under the guise of “just asking questions”, and there’s much to be gained by doing so in terms of attention and notoriety. (Just ask Glenn Beck.)
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Batman and Shamanism

BatmanSascha Idakaar gives us an unusual perspective on Batman over at Modern Mythology:

The mask is an idea, a symbol, we could look at from a million angles. It is, even at first glance, our double, a close relative of the mirror — but it is something other than the mirror. The mirror shows us our double. A mask creates a second double atop us. It transforms rather than reveals.

At the same time, a lot of psych pop lit has been written about Batman. But I’d like to use Batman as the pop culture model of the role of the mask.

Who is Batman, really?

Is is a story about how an emotionally disturbed, very rich young adult deals with psychological trauma that he cannot let go of. Some ideas, some emotions, are things that we hold onto, and they are done with us the moment we are done with them.

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Bird Flu, Pig Flu, Now Bat Flu? This Man is Stunned

Adam West's BatmanReports the AP via Newsday:

For the first time, scientists have found evidence of flu in bats, reporting a never-before-seen virus whose risk to humans is unclear. The surprising discovery of genetic fragments of a flu virus is the first well-documented report of it in the winged mammals. So far, scientists haven’t been able to grow it, and it’s not clear if — or how well — it spreads.

Flu bugs are common in humans, birds and pigs and have even been seen in dogs, horses, seals and whales, among others. About five years ago, Russian virologists claimed finding flu in bats, but they never offered evidence.

“Most people are fairly convinced we had already discovered flu in all the possible” animals, said Ruben Donis, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist who co-authored the new study.

Scientists suspect that some bats caught flu centuries ago and that the virus mutated within the bat population into this new variety.

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