1. […] 2: You invite me to see Joker with you. Despite my my disinterest, I go along. But unlike you, I end up being dragged down by the movie’s apparent […]

  2. My youngest son (who is 23 by the way) wanted to see it so I went with him. It’s an interesting story, briefly featuring Bruce Wayne as a boy, by the way. Of the sort of story intended to moralize about treating the downtrodden badly, warning doing so will lead to inevitable villains among us.

    However, it at the same time normalizes evil in the vein of if-only-by-the-grace-of-God-go-I. Except it evokes “grace of God” without God, who often is on the lips and minds of the downtrodden but who is never mentioned seriously in the plot of Joker that I can recall. Who provides suffering people real comfort for the souls of them who seek him in the real world, but never in Joker and similar films.

    SO it is not actually acceptable to “go psycho” if you’ve been treated bad and take it out on others. There is another way–faith in the Divine defender of the poor, who equalizes all things, if not in this life, then in the next.

    So the movie casts the Joker as a villain but gives him ample excuses for the way he acted, not really making him seem horrifically bad until towards the end of the film. But the film also goes after those it holds responsible for villainy: the privileged, the wealthy, the selfish, and the casually cruel.

    It is not wrong to point out the potential consequences of cruelty and societal selfishness, but it offers no solid hope. Only “act better”–which falls far short of that the Son of Man can do when it comes to binding up the wounds of the downtrodden.

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