Archive - Aug 6, 2008

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Why So Stupid?

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Memo to the Wall Street Journal, the entertainment media, Mark White, and Robert Arp: SAME DUMB TIME, SAME DUMB CHANNEL.

How does he get such wonderful quotes? Well, it's all the product of an extensive research and development budget that allows me to manipulate cellphone signals and instantly locate stupidity on a global scale. "The Dark Knight" is a huge success, and like any huge success, will inevitably cause IDIOTS to SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS about it. Here we go.

"Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past. And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell. - Andrew Klavant, in the Wall Street Journal.

Now, in the week or two since his ridiculous fucking article got posted, Klavant has been, quite justly, mocked along the entire length of the Internet for saying it. But I couldn't do a Batman column without mentioning it, because it's so goddamned stupid. it's not just stupid, it's stupid circa 2003. Even the majority of wingnuts these days don't use the "Dubya as bold leader doing unpopular things to fight the Evil Hordes" framing much anymore.

Klavant, on the other hand, is so delusional he thinks Bush is somehow going to restore civil liberties in the next six months, that he's even bothering to pretend to "confront terrorists" anymore, and that "cherished in moments of folly" isn't just "Love it or leave it, hippie" in a rented suit and a comb-over. Here's a hint, dipfuck. When 78% of the country doesn't even think W's a hero, much less a superhero, it's NOT a parallel to a vigilante unfairly becoming the focus of public scorn. It's just a long line of people slowly coming to their senses, while you march in the other direction hoping against hope that the slag heap they're marching away from has a free buffet.

"...curse..." - IGN, The Telegraph, the LA Times, and countless others.

Look, fuckers, THERE IS NO CURSE. Yes, a camera guy died. Yes, Heath Ledger died. Yes, Christian Bale allegedly beat up his family. And yes, Morgan Freeman got in a car crash. You know what all these things have in common, besides the individuals involved all being in "The Dark Knight"? NOTHING. Stunts go wrong all the time. Actors OD all the time. Car crashes happen all the time. And Bale's alleged domestic abuse isn't some externally-imposed accident, he's just an alleged dickhead.

Maybe the Dawkinsian school of atheism has it wrong by going after the big guns of organized religion. Maybe we should instead start a campaign to eradicate the casual mysticism that permeates every aspect of society we live in. Three bad things happen to three actors from the same movie, and it's a CURSE. Three very bad things happpen to three actors who were never in a movie together, and it's "they always die in threes". The Huffington Fucking Post is running the daily horoscopes of McCain and Obama. Maybe this is the shit we should be eradicating. Maybe we can stop slowly indoctrinating people with the existence of supernatural banality. Of course, try taking the horoscopes out of the daily paper and you'll probably get burned in effigy. Or effigy ascendant, depending on what part of the month it is.

"But if we say that Batman should kill the Joker, doesn't that imply that we should torture terrorism suspects if there's a chance of getting information that could save innocent lives? Of course, terrorism is all too present in the real world, and Batman only exists in the comics and movies. So maybe we're just too detached from the Dark Knight and the problems of Gotham City, so we can say 'go ahead, kill him.' But, if anything, that detachment implies that there's more at stake in the real world - so why aren't we tougher on actual terrorists than we are on the make-believe Joker?" - Mark White and Robert Arp, in the International Herald-Tribune.

Before I delve into some specifics, I'd just like to point out that the above is not logic. It's not reasoning. It bears no resemblance to any of the verbal and mental constructs humans have developed to forge a path between ideas and conclusions. It's just the clumsy juxtaposition of Something People Like and Something I Want. It's the semantic equivalent to "Pie is delicious, so why hasn't anyone given me a Playstation 3?"

Clearly, White and Arp like hurting people and are desperate for a way to feel good about it. How else can you explain their rhetorical backflip from a fictional obsessive vigilante unwilling to violate his own ethical codes even when it would make his life much, much simpler, to a nation deliberately abandoning its moral compass for the illusion of greater safety? It is, as I believe Sigmund Freud put it, "fucked inn der kopf".

These two, by the way, are the authors of "The Philosophy Of Batman: The Dark Knight Of The Soul", which is one more point in my Unified Shit Theory, specifically, the corollary that any book entitled The Blank Of Blank, where the first blank is some intellectual discipline, and the second blank is some nerdy pop culture thing, IS SHIT. The Genetics Of The X-Men? SHIT. The Physics Of Stargate: Atlantis? SHIT. The Epidemiology of Halo 3? SHIT. Stop writing these books, and stop excerpting them in major publications as if they weren't desperate cries for help.