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I walked out of the movie with a great feeling having watched a great movie and cheering with everyone at the end of it.  I love midnight shows, because you get to watch the movie with the people who are just as excited to see it as you.  The ending of the movie was so full of hope and I was so pleasantly surprised by how happy I was feeling about it.  I wrote how awesome the movie is on Facebook and then drove home with my brother who watched it with me.  

When got home I hurried to my computer to get on my favorite geek movie website to say how much I liked it to find out that 14 people had been killed while watching the movie tonight.  Like all of you, I am horrified and shocked and just sick to my stomach about it.  I was just having a wonderful time and now I find out that people like me in a theater in Colorado were running for their lives from a cold blooded murderer.  I am overcome by sorrow for the victims.  Fury at the monster who killed and injured them.  

I said goodnight to my wife before going to the midnight show with my brother tonight.  What if she woke up to find out that I was shot to death in the theater?  What if I saw my brother shot to death in front of me at the theater?  I can't bear those thoughts.  But tonight, there are dozens of people who have found out that their loved one is dead.  Who watched a love one die.  Why?  Why do some people choose to be evil?

I was so excited to tell everyone what a great movie this is, but now I just feel sick thinking about telling people to go enjoy something that people were just murdered trying to enjoy.  But goddamn it, I am sick and tired of evil people ruining life for everyone else because they hate it.   This was a great movie and the people who died trying to watch it would have had a great time.  If they... fuck... goddamn that monster who killed them.  Goddamn him.

Originally posted to Anton Bursch on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 05:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Did the new film continue (10+ / 0-)

    in the fascist vein of the previous film?  There were some great moments in the previous one, but the overall fascist sentiment of it (and that can be traced back to the dark knight reboot comic) offended me.

    •  Can you elaborate more ... (6+ / 0-)

      ... on the fascism in The Dark Knight?

      We all know and "love" Frank Miller, yes, but I confess, I didn't get so much of that feel in the movie.

      "A good president does what's possible and a great president changes what's possible." --sterno

      by sk4p on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 06:37:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fascist? (9+ / 0-)

      Please explain.  

      not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

      by Lilith on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 06:45:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A quick google of "dark knight fascist" (12+ / 0-)

        reveals a number of hits.  I didn't need to read any reviews to get the same feeling, though, when watching it.

        Here's one review that came up with those keywords:

        The Dark Knight and Other Fascist Movie Heroes Embraced by Americans
        Yahoo! Contributor Network
        By Timothy Sexton | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Wed, Jul 18, 2012 10:13 AM EDT

        America's current favorite fascist authoritarian figure is currently poised to take up where he left off a few years ago. People hear the word fascist and they immediately think of Hitler, but you don't have to be a psychotic despot to be a fascist just like you don't have to be a psychotic despot to be a communist. Batman does fit the role of fascistic authoritarian who is embraced by a community of moviegoers you hope would not be so willing to accept him in real life. But recent events prove that Americans by the tens of millions are much more primed for fascist leadership than you ever thought possible. But why the surprise when tens of millions have made Hollywood's fascist figures such popular heroes over the decades?

        Here's another review that made a more detailed argument.  With some liberal snipping on my part:
        Saturday, July 26, 2008
        The unhappy fascism of The Dark Knight

        Down we go with The Dark Knight.

        Jeez. I knew the Bush administration had shredded the Constitution, let our greatest enemy go free, left a great American city underwater, embroiled us in an endless, pointless foreign conflict, and led us like libertarian lemmings to the brink of financial catastrophe.

        But I never thought they'd ruin the movies, too.

        And yet they have - how else to read the stunning success of The Dark Knight, the viciously discombobulated Batman sequel that seems to want to ponder the moral consequences of Bush-like vigilantism, all while secretly feeding it?

        [...] This is because, we're told baldly, he's [the Joker is] the spirit of chaos, a kind of evil entropy eating away at everything and everyone. Only somehow at the same time this anarchist brings off feats of logistics that would put the best meeting planners to shame - he manages the abduction of the D.A. and his girlfriend from prison, then overnight wires an entire hospital to explode, followed by two passenger ferries. If you can sense from this contradiction that the Nolans' windy dialectic feels like a tour of Dick Cheney's brain pasted over a nasty amplification of comic book convention, then you're definitely on the right track to decoding The Dark Knight.

        [...]

        But you can't pretend our terrorists appeared from nowhere, like the Joker, with no back story or history, and no formal grievances, and are simply maniacally bent on destroying "our way of life." Or, for that matter, that responding to terrorism forces any sort of moral dilemma on us. We're not being led to "the dark side" by anything other than our own propensity to go there, and the vigilantism of "Batman" has nothing to do, really, with Guantánamo, or our timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, or anything else. The whole muddled metaphor the Nolans are conjuring here, with its many renditions and interrogations, is idiotic; their pop Götterdämmerung is preposterously dumb. And while the Nolans seem to see the public sphere as utterly compromised, they give the corporate sphere practically a free walk - after all, what is Bruce Wayne but a capitalist avatar, swooping down from his penthouse to circumvent the law and restore economic order to a land he rules via technology?

        The message that I took from the previous film (I haven't seen the new one and probably won't) is that there are some people in this world SO intensely and irretrievably evil that the normal rules of law and civil liberty protections only get in the way of combating them.  

        The fact that Batman works outside of law enforcement and the courts didn't bother me one iota.  That's comic book tradition.  However, the film takes the whole ticking time bomb scenario thing (and guess what, there were THREE OR MORE ticking time bomb scenarios in that film) to new extremes.  

        At one point, he uses his super-rich technology holdings with Wayne Incorporated or whatever it's called to spy on the electronic traffic of everybody in Gotham City.  Why?  Well, there was a ticking time bomb.  No time for this civil liberties horse shit.  It's the Joker and he's got a bomb!  Morgan Freeman as his sidekick is so disgusted that Batman would consider doing this that he threatens to walk out on him.  Batman does it, he walks out.  

        I think this is how a lot of people really did see "The War on Terror": as some kind of mythic battle of good and evil where the enemy was so inhuman that all other considerations of law and tradition became null and void.  

        •  There are a number of reasons (5+ / 0-)

          why Batman as a franchise is so successful in the United States, and most of them do not have to do with fascism, although I appreciate that perspective.

          It gives a lovely light.

          by CayceP on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:29:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry been a Batman fangirl since I was (6+ / 0-)

          10 and first read Year One.  

          That's sort of who Batman is, at least most of the incarnations from Miller to present day.  It's kind of what makes him fascinating to quite a few folks like myself.  

          I understand why you think that way, but I hope you'll understand that I still enjoy my Batman guilty pleasure even though I don't believe for a second that the War on Terror is a mythic battle of good and evil.  But rather, has endless levels of shades of gray, much like my favorite comic book hero.  

          not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

          by Lilith on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:35:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  this is silly. Batman is a fictional story of (6+ / 0-)

          a conflicted and imperfect hero fighting a bad guy.  It follows literary conventions for a good hero story & common blockbuster thriller movie archtypes.  Ticking time bombs are nothing new -- it sets the tone for a fast paced story.

          Perhaps instead of trying to read politics and fascism into it & identifying some conspiracy to say that the movie perpetuates Cheney's brand of politics, we could just say that Cheney knows how to push emotional buttons to consolidate power just like a movie producer knows how to push emotional buttons in a story to sell tickets.

          I look forward to watching the new Batman movie because I expect it will be entertaining...not because I want Batman to actually exist.

          •  I agree with most of the responses here. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlueDragon, chipmo, joynow, ColoTim

            It's all fun.  It's comic books. There's always been an element of that in Batman and in comics in general, the whole vigilante in spandex thing.  And I was a batman fan when I was a kid, too.  Even made my own "Batman Utility Belt" by gluing matchboxes onto the side of a belt.

            However, the previous film took that to a new extreme.  I didn't feel that uncomfortable watching the 80s Keaton version of Batman.  (And didn't feel that way at all watching the old 60s Adam West Batman, or reading the old children-safe comics-code DC comics of the period).  The Dark Knight film, though, made me uncomfortable, because it extracted that underlying fascist corporate rules-are-for-the-weak mythos which may have always been there, under the surface, and made it prominent with extra added philosophical rationalizations.  It came off -- TO ME -- as more right-wing propaganda and less entertainment.

            Hey... I loved it when Angel Eyes tortured Tuco in The Good Bad and the Ugly.  That was brutal and sadistic and funny and good entertainment.  But I never felt like it was part of an ideology I've heard too much of lately.  I never felt like Angel Eyes torturing Tuco was meant to remind us how dangerous it is in America post 9/11 with people like Tuco running free.

            •  I can see your point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dumbo

              I like the new Batman movies ... but I also remember how right-wingers jumped in and claimed the Dark Knight as a validation of the Bush administration's illegal policies -- claiming Batman as one of their own.

              To them it's not "just a comic book movie".  As we know, right-wingers and the GOP have a very simplistic "comic book" view of reality anyway.  I can completely see future Republican administrations saying, "let's do what Batman did."

        •  Yeah, that ruined it for me also. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dumbo, chipmo, joynow

          Also that the parts of the last movie that Heath Ledger wasn't in were a complete incomprehensible wreck.

          "You should put signs on places. All it takes is a sign to turn an RNC office into a Sexeteria." -Danny Willis

          by Geiiga on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 08:15:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The angry hero (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CayceP, trumpeter, ColoTim

          who does what rule bound, bureaucratic law enforcement is unable to do has a long history in American movies.
          The 1971 Clint Eastwood flick "Dirty Harry," was a major early example.

          •  Interesting to find two references to Clint (0+ / 0-)

            Eastwood characters within a couple of comments of each other, referring to very different time periods and characters.  Yes, they were both loners and self-reliant people, but one was out for law and order, the other for himself, having seen that law and order can be just as "Bad" as everyone else.

        •  As always, (0+ / 0-)

          the critics who wrote those were illiterate, and blind, and just plain fucking stupid.

          I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

          by trumpeter on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:34:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Dark Knight follows the conventions of noir (0+ / 0-)

          in pointing to the ethical and moral ambiguity of our era. It's like saying "The Maltese Falcon" is fascist because it reflects many of these same elements as they began to emerge in the 1940's. Films reflect our era. If this film is, in fact, a portrayal of fascism, then wouldn't that be, while neither good nor bad, something useful because it would allow us to both articulate and critique that? Did people respond to it because it portrayed that reality? And not because they are cheerleaders for fascism?

          Frank Miller is an ass. But I don't think the film the DK is as bad as his vision and it contains enough ambiguity to call the simple equation of the film with fascism (in a representational sense, which is problematic to begin with) into question. Probably all films from our era are fascist because we are in a nascent fascist state. You need to do a bit more work than what you do here (and those crappy blogs you link to) to make this into an actual argument. Right now it's an assertion without any actual analysis.

    •  Been a Batman fan since I was a little kid (5+ / 0-)

      and never heard this one. I went Googling and found this article and found it...interesting. I never got this kind of a message from Batman. I think it might be reaching a tad.

      Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

      by Chrislove on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:17:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't get that message from it (0+ / 0-)

        before Dark Knight, either.  Dark Knight, I think, seized on the potential of the underlying right-wing mythos and ran with it.  If it had been done with a little more satire, it might have been bearable, but it was so serious about it.  In this film, the filmmaker seized on post 9/11 rightwing sentiment regarding the abolition of all limits on force.

        Thinking back...  In the old days, DC comics always put limits on their heroes behavior.  It made them a bit juvenile, which might have been appropriate for their intended audience, but it made them seem stupid post Vietnam.  After Vietnam, we started to see a gradual morphing of the comics industry, especially with "reboots," like the Dark Knight, that gave it a more sinister and violent edge.  It was an artistic evolution and improvement and a maturing of the form.  So I give them credit for that.

        But the Dark Knight reboot was inked back in the 80s, as I can recall, and there wasn't all of the post 9/11 FISA, dark sites, Yoo Bybee memos, Abu Ghraib, "We must turn to the dark side," baggage associated with it.

        It seems to me the filmmaker decided to go there and use that baggage.  Good for him if it increased ticket sales, but I can't bear it.

        •  I don't take to sinister and violent edges in (0+ / 0-)

          comic themes

          I am all for artistic evolution
          but... if Archie started beating and/or raping Betty and Veronica that wouldn't seem so artistically evolved either

          •  I've said it before ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Free Jazz at High Noon, joynow

            ... but I think Frank Miller and Alan Moore are the worst things that ever happened to comics.

            (I can at least respect Alan Moore, however, who seems to have some core of decency and creativity.)

            I particularly hate this "obsessed, psychotic" take on Batman.  It's too cheap and easy.  

            I much prefer the view of the great artist Neal Adams, who said that, to him, Batman is much more interesting when interpreted as someone who has worked on developing himself to such a degree that he is more like a samurai or martial artist -- very in touch with himself, and very grounded and centered.

      •  A tad? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chrislove

        How about "light years"

        talk about ovverreaction.

        I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

        by trumpeter on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:36:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You were offended? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JohnnySacks, cyberpuggy, CayceP, trumpeter

      Really?

      Were you offended at the sometimes dark glory that the anarchist Joker received as well?

      What the hell is fascist about a rich guy who acts as a benevolent vigilante in the stead of an incompetent police force and criminals running rampant?

    •  What do you expect? (7+ / 0-)

      Batman is a vigilante. He goes out at night dressed like a bat and beats criminals half to death with his bare hands. He breaks into people's homes with no legal authority to do so, invades their privacy and destroys their property. Sometimes he kidnaps people and violently interrogates them. He often enjoys doing it.

      Superman flies over Metropolis, spying on folks with his super hearing and vision. Wonder Woman interrogates people with her lasso of truth. Iron Man starts military conflicts around the world using illegal ordinance. Spiderman traumatizes people by wrapping them in webbing.

      Comic book heroes are always authoritarian. That's part of what makes them interesting. If this offends you, I'd suggest staying away from Batman in particular and anything related to comics in general.

      Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

      by JHestand on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:59:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Authoritarian" and "fascist" have no meaning here (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trumpeter, Dirtandiron, Chrislove

        How can an individual that takes orders from nobody, and occassionally finds someone to beat up, be an "authoritarian" or "fascist"?    Fascism is a form of government or governing ideology; "authoritarian" is contrary to the concept of the lone gunman.

        It makes as much sense to call Batman a fascist or authoritarian as it does to call The Joker a fascist or authoritarian.  

        "My taxes are of the legally correct height, and the core reason for my campaign is to make them a different, lower height, and it is none of your business what precisely either of those heights might be." Mitt, as channelled by Hunter.

        by Inland on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:16:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you want semantics (0+ / 0-)

          Fascist

          Please note the third definition offered:

          a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views
          Dictatorial

          Again, please note the thid definition:

          inclined to dictate or command; imperious; overbearing: a dictatorial attitude
          Batman believes that he is justified in violating the civil liberties of others as part of his one-man crusade against crime. He abducts and tortures people. I'm not saying it isn't good entertainment, or that he doesn't have good reasons for doing it. I'm only saying that it is "extreme," "right-wing," "imperious," "overbearing" and "dictatorial."

          I am not suggesting that Batman's travels in fascist political circles. I am suggesting that he exhibits fascist and authoritarian tendencies in his behavior. If you prefer to call those tendencies by another name, have at it, but I think you understand the point I have made.

          Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

          by JHestand on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:31:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, that's not what I meant (0+ / 0-)

            by using the word fascist, although I can see that applying as well.

            The problem with the film was that it transformed the traditional parts of the Batman vigilante-in-tights mythos and turned it into a right-wing fantasy with a new emphasis on "anything is permissible in the battle against the terrorists."  Channeling the Bush-Cheney ethos into Batman.  "We were the guys willing to do whatever it takes, not like those namby-pamby liberals."  No wonder they love it.

          •  And you'd be wrong again. (0+ / 0-)

            Regardless of what someone can say about what Batman does,  it's not the same as being "a dictator".  It isn't even the same as being right wing. It's certainly not fascism.

             Trying to water it down with the word "tendencies" just makes it all the more meaningless.

            That's why I brought up The Joker.  Everything you said about Batman applies equally, being a person who feels justified in violating civil liberties in a one man crusade, only for crime.   One could say he's also a fascist, or one could say, since he fights Batman, that he's a liberal.  But one shouldn't, because it's all silly.

            In sum, these are real words with real meanings that I'd like to use someday, in a discussion deeper than comix.  Leave them alone.

            "My taxes are of the legally correct height, and the core reason for my campaign is to make them a different, lower height, and it is none of your business what precisely either of those heights might be." Mitt, as channelled by Hunter.

            by Inland on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:46:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Take it up with the dictionary... (0+ / 0-)

              if you dispute the definitions I have provided.

              If you want a discussion deeper than comics, go find one.

              Sometimes words have more than one meaning. A person does not need to practice any particular ideology to behave like a fascist at times.

              Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

              by JHestand on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 05:21:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The meaning of things is (0+ / 0-)

                not "in" the dictionary.

                Where did those meanings come from? What practices gave rise to that usage of language?

                I am sorry, I do understand your "intention" here, but it has nothing to do with how language actually functions (i.e. works).

                You would be closer to the meaning you seek if you evoked the genealogy of words, but you don't even go that far (into the origins of their usage). You are treating these definitions as if they were the "truth," "real," and were not invented by someone for some purpose (a purpose bound-up with relations of power) in the first place.

      •  Tipped, but I don't recall incidents where he (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JHestand

        really "enjoyed" his interrogations.  

        •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

          If you haven't already, try reading Year One or The Dark Knight Returns. Over the last 25 years or so, Batman has taken on a more sadistic persona. There are times when you can clearly tell that he enjoys hurting people.

          Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

          by JHestand on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 06:12:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Man, did you waste the price of a ticket. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton, trumpeter

      Anyone who couldn't figure out that the perspective of the movie is "deeply conflicted" missed out on everything but the bang-bang.   Isn't there a Mission Impossible 4 you should be seeing?

      "My taxes are of the legally correct height, and the core reason for my campaign is to make them a different, lower height, and it is none of your business what precisely either of those heights might be." Mitt, as channelled by Hunter.

      by Inland on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:02:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This exactly what we were talking about (17+ / 0-)

    My sons made a date to go see the movie some months ago but decided on a Saturday showing because they both have to be at work early today. They live in the Dallas area ...

    Still, when we heard this, my daughter's first comment was "That could've been us. My brothers and I used to love going to the midnight showings. It was so much fun. I don't think they willever be fun in the same way. F$&king SOB. Those poor people, I bet most of them were fairly young."

    "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

    by CorinaR on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 06:40:08 AM PDT

  •  I know you are talking about (11+ / 0-)

    the senseless tragedy in the movie theater. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.

    But this is a big statement, a "versatile" one. It directly applies to a lot of discussion in this venue:

    But goddamn it, I am sick and tired of evil people ruining life for everyone else because they hate it.
    Applies to what goes down in big politics--the pure spite and envy on-display these days in decision-making about social policy. Applies to dysfunctional baggage prejudiced people carry around in their heads, in the way they feel justified of curtailing the lives of others. It describes the cynical pandering by politicians to the worst in their constituents.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 06:52:09 AM PDT

  •  A link to the story.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    for those that have no idea what we're talking about...
    9news

  •  my thoughts go out to those involved (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio, chipmo, rb608

    I am just amazed this doesnt happen more often.  I mean look at the film in question, it glorifies violence (As does much of our entertainment), and yet as we see in real life there is nothing redeeming about violence in the least.

    Maybe one day we can get away from all this violence is fun and entertaining and evolve as a culture and society.

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:05:05 AM PDT

  •  (((((Anton))))) (8+ / 0-)

    You said everything that's in my heart and I can't articulate with words. My 12 year old little girl is sleeping right now. I know she's gonna ask me about taking her to see the new Batman film today. She's a comic book geek like her dad. Her case for her eyeglasses is black with a Bat Symbol on it.

    Should I tell her about what happened in Colorado or not? I'm not really asking anyone, I'm just wondering to myself....

    I keep seeing her shot. Dying. Bleeding out. Maybe instantly dead. Maybe paralyzed for life. Ruined. Dead. Right in front of me. Maybe I would be the one she would see dying and bleeding. Maybe it's her father. She and her dad go to midnight movies together all the time. School nights and all. Geeks. Dead for being geeks watching a movie at midnight like they always do.

    I'm sorry. I went into other diaries and tried to laugh but I actually just called off work because other things are going bad for me right now and this is just.....

    "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

    by GenXangster on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:07:34 AM PDT

    •  Ugh, Just Don't Go There (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GenXangster

      Tough not to, I'll admit, but we all have a fate in one form or another in store for us, and from a statistical perspective, there's more risk in many other daily activities than some random fucking asshole taking pot shots at us.  I don't know if you can or should hide the news from your daughter, but you can certainly temper it with with some rationality.   Collectively, we are going to be under a non-stop media bombardment for the next couple months, resulting in an overflow of irrational behavior.  Time to avoid the news I guess...

      I can't even imagine being one of those parents...  and then to have my private misery and despair aired out for the nation to view as entertainment to generate media ratings...

  •  Maybe now (8+ / 0-)

    We can have real discussions about gun control, access to mental healthcare, race, terrorism, etc., without hysterical squealing from some corners.

    Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, Content, and sufficient champagne. --Dorothy Parker

    by M Sullivan on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:11:56 AM PDT

  •  The American Soul has a dark side (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    It always has. We are the Land of Opportunity. Yet that myth implies its opposite. If anyone can succeed, then how come some individuals don't. This spawns all the dark conspiracy theories that say that some outside force keeps individuals from success.

    Art helps explain the soul to us; in its good and bad aspects. My own piece of art that I cannot help thinking off is a song from the Stephen Sondheim musical, "Assassins."  This song gives musical voice to the lost souls who resolve to claim a piece of fame through murderous actions when other, positive avenues appear blocked to them.

      Another National Anthem

    Backstory:  This is a surrealist musical about Presidential assassins and would-be assassins. This scene deals with a group of those assassins reacting to the outside forces that say if you only worked in and believed in "the system" that bountiful things would happen. This is the answer of the extremely disaffected.

    •  If U.S. culture was a client in therapy ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TayTay

      ... (looking at its behavior as a whole, as if it was a single entity) -- I could only conclude that it is deeply mentally and emotionally disturbed.

      Seeing the disfunctionality of our governmental system;  the willingness of the American people to ignore that disfunctionality and the extreme denial about the deterioration of our culture and country;  the nonstop torrents of "cool, edgy" cynical, ugly, sarcastic "humor" that floods through movies and TV shows;  the obsession with "reality" shows about ugly disfunctional people;  the obsessions with trivia and illusional show-biz and celebrities ...

      I am reminded of hearing of the very, very poor, very oppressed Mayan people in southern Mexico -- who every night pray for us "crazy" people up north, praying that we will find some inner peace.

      •  We also have an obsession with crime stories (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        niemann

        and murder stories.  We live in one of the statistically safest time periods in American history, yet we are obsessed with crime show who-dunnits and crime scene forensics and murder as entertainment.  

        This is an unhealthy obsession with fear.  Walter Mosely, the great writer, wrote about this in 2009 in an article in Newsweek.

        "Get them before they get you" might just be one of the great American expressions.  Obviously, this may have been carried to its horrifying end-game in this case, but I agree that this might be an American expression of mind.

        •  And fear, of course ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... is intimately related to anger and shame/low self-esteem.

          And low self-esteem is, of course, related to compensatory illusional feelings of superiority, grandiosity and entitlement -- with a corresponding lack of personal responsibility.

          And that about sums up the modern Republican party right there.

          How did the Tea Party -- which can practically be defined as fear/anger/low self-esteem -- ever become a major political force in the U.S., instead of just the fringe nutcase group it should be, and traditionally has been?  

          They can only be a manifestation of this growing strain of mental sickness in U.S. culture.

          •  I am uncomfortable assigning political blame (0+ / 0-)

            to this shooting without hard supporting evidence.

            I have read as much as I can about the Tea Party and it's adherents and have formulated some theories about what drives them.  I think that the Tea Party accurately reflects some good and bad about the American character.

            The shooting in Aurora is a horrifying event and I don't care, at this time, to label it as indicative of a political mindset without supporting evidence.

            Ted Kaczynski, the Unibomber, had what can be described as a "leftist" agenda in his manifesto.  The Unibomber had nothing to do with the politcal leanings of myself or my associates.  It was abnormal and dangerous behavior indicative of mental illness. It could be the same in the case of the Aurora shooter.  I cannot even speculate about that because of a lack of evidence.

            Agreed, there is something twisted and awful in the American character that often manifests in terrible acts.  We do need to look at all the causes of that.

  •  My first question was what is it about this movie (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    T Maysle, sagesource, Dirtandiron

    that would cause someone to commit such a heinous crime?  Then, I was shocked to see the NY TIMES suggesting the presidential campaigning be suspended because of this tragedy.  Then, my mind jumped to who would benefit from calling off the campaign while Rmoney was being thrashed with Bain and tax evasion and Obama was speaking in front of vast, cheering crowds all over the country.  Then, I remembered Druggie Rush going on a rant about the leftist propaganda of DARK KNIGHT RISES, and I realized I wouldn't be even slightly surprised if the shooter turned out to be a Rush lover who would not only change the discourse from Bain to lone shooter, helping Rmoney, but would open up gun control anxiety, keep audiences from experiencing this movie and serve the purposes of the right much more than the left in the upcoming election.  Of course it really means a lifetime of pain and suffering for the victims, which is really all that matters.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 08:02:14 AM PDT

    •  As much as I detest Rush... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inland

      I don't think it's at all helpful to speculate like this at the moment.  The situation is horrific and volatile enough, with huge implications around gun control and mental health care.

      Please, let's not turn it into yet more poisonous political discourse.  I completely understand that this sort of discourse is a horrible undercurrent in our country and that on some level it can certainly influence events like this....but please...really specific accusations at this moment, when we really don't know anything about the shooter, just make things worse.

    •  Could just be the date of the opening (0+ / 0-)

      coinciding with someone snapping.   As far as we know, he was planning on going to the spiderman opening and got stuck in traffic.

      "My taxes are of the legally correct height, and the core reason for my campaign is to make them a different, lower height, and it is none of your business what precisely either of those heights might be." Mitt, as channelled by Hunter.

      by Inland on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:05:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  some I know in the entertainment industry wrote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, Dirtandiron

    this a few minutes ago on Facebook

    Working in 'live entertainment' or in an industry where audiences congregate, many of us worried about something like this happening one day. It's so sad, not in terms of affecting business, but taking away the refuge of a theatre being a place to relax / reflect, etc...

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 08:25:09 AM PDT

  •  as of midday Eastern, (0+ / 0-)

    they've released the shooter's name but no other details.

    I'm wondering if he'll turn out to be a recent vet with PTSD. It's possible, and so is a rightwing gun nut, a Tea Party they-can't-take-my-guns type, or simply someone so overwhelmed by the constant barrage of violence in American media that it tipped him over the edge.

    Extremely sad, whatever the answer.

    Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. -- James Dean

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 08:34:32 AM PDT

  •  Oklahoma meets Columbine and begets Aurora (0+ / 0-)

    This is the script coming to my horrified mind right now.

    This is terrorism.

    Like the Norway massacre.

    These terrorists are the tips of very sick but very large icebergs.

    We need to melt them.

    With love?

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 08:48:18 AM PDT

  •  The day feels so dark ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Shockwave

    My brother woke me this morning with the news of the shooting ... I turned on MSNBC .. what was supposed to be a wonderful day looking forward to a gathering of friends tonight to sample summer salads ... I just want to crawl into a hole ..
      It was worse when I looked at the morning papers, the local and the USA Today, both had gone to press before this tragedy happened... looking thru the newspapers, particularly the local one with its pictures of our young people standing in line for the movie last night.. it seemed every section had some news story about the movie..about the fun, the excitement, the director, the films ..all now being read in light of this horrible tragedy...

    And this tragedy makes me think of the others ..Columbine, VA Tech, Ft Hood, Gabby Gifford... so many of them going back to UT Austin tower sniper ... except now there seems to be more of them ..
    Why do we allow people to buy assault weapons?  Assault weapons are not for hunting deer or ducks .. and they are not for personal protection... they are for killing as many people as possible in the shortest time ... and I don't believe the Constitution says that's okay....

    And I will confess that as I heard the description of the gunman being given, Rush's tirades about Bain and Bane came to mind.. I am not going to make an accusation that Rush is to blame but I do say that currently this country has too many guns and way too much hate speech ... and the combination of the two is creating an environment in which these tragedies are becoming more and more common.  

    My heart and prayers go out to all those who lost someone or who were injured in this attack ...

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:22:51 AM PDT

    •  I am sorry, but what world do you live in? (0+ / 0-)

      worse forms of violence happen every day!!!

      Are you sure this is about the violence and not the spectacle of it?

      Based on your description, this is about spectacle (i.e. news papers and media coverage) and not the actual violence.

      Why didn't you feel this way everyday of the Iraq war? The genocide in Syria?

      I am sorry, but you are not in reality.

      Horrific, yes. But ... "summer salads"? I am sorry, but you sound like a very privileged person. Someone who does not have to confront violence on a daily basis. And who is unconscious of the violence perpetrated against people every single day. Only mediated violence, it seems, moves you.

      I am not saying this to be a jerk. I am saying it because I think you are capable of more.

      •  yes, I am privileged ...not in wealth or power (0+ / 0-)

        but because I live in a decent neighborhood, and have a wonderful church which sponsors 'girls' night out' once a month ...so we gather for food and fun .. tonight was salads because we live in a hot desert and salads sounded like 'cool' food...

        However, I live less than fifteen minutes from Juarez MX... I have been to countless prayer vigils praying for peace in that city and country.. I have helped organize efforts to do something about the violence ....to help the victims of it
        I am aware that there are many countries in which there nothing but violence
        I work with some organizations that are trying to eliminate violence against women and children ....

        However, here in the United States.. this has not been the case .. that we have these mass murders taking place ... they are becoming common place ...somone on one of the news shows was discussing how many such mass murders have happened since Columbine ... the rate is increasing ..

        and the man accused of committing today's crimes seemed to be a privileged person...not some refuge from the ghetto .. someone who had the brains and money to get to go to fine schools .. and to buy lots of weapons ...

        I don't know what drove this man to do what he did ... but I do think fewer people would have died had he not had such easy access to high power assault weapons
        and I think the polarization of this country with the no-compromise attitudes are creating a violence prone environment

        Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

        by moonbatlulu on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:37:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Going to watch the movie tomorrow night. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 10:20:18 AM PDT

  •  Perhaps tragedies like this happens precisely (0+ / 0-)

    because of movies like Batman that revel in violence. How ironic that when violence breaks out at a movie glorifying violence no one seems to fault the violence depicted in the movie itself.

  •  Occupy Seattle posted on Facebook that (0+ / 0-)

    the villain in the movie is identified with the 99%. Is that true?

  •  i'm sorry that this event has sullied your movie (0+ / 0-)

    experience and memories. I know what you mean though. I was watching "The Accidental Tourist", which is a fantastic movie btw, the morning of September 11, 2001. I paused it to get dressed as I had to go to the hospital for my father's lung cancer surgery (which is why I was watching something strangely funny). Because I took so long, the player turned off and the tv was already on cnn so when I walked back into the room, I saw that the one of the towers was burning. Then everything else happened. And I haven't been able to watch The Accidental Tourist since. Obviously one has greater consequence as opposed to the other but the point is when I think about that movie, my mind immediately thinks about that day, like a trigger. And it brings pain. So I get what you saying. You had a pleasant evening stolen by a mad man. You had a good memory tied now for the rest of your life with an awful event for the country. You have been psychologically scared. It could have happened to you. And that is really what that connection means.

    I like to go to midnight movies myself. I didn't go last night because I don't have the entertainment funds right now. But i'm glad because i won't have to live with that thought in my head. But I have to tell you, it bothers me that these events are occurring in more public places.

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 10:54:09 AM PDT

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