Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Why So Serious?

The so-called "outrage" on the Internet over the posters casting President Obama as "The Joker" is probably a bit overstated.

To be fair, characetures of Bush showed him as Hitler...

...and on little flags meant to be stuck into dog shit (my personal favorite).

You can tell it's getting silly when columnist Robert Dougherty deconstructs The Dark Knight to demonstrate that the "socialism" tag is inappropriate for The Joker.

If President Obama isn't called a socialist once every day, then it is a day on which his opponents must be busy taking a nap. The Obama Joker poster is a new tactic, however, albeit small time. But using the Joker to paint Obama as a socialist isn't really that accurate at all.

The Joker was many things, but he was hardly a socialist. In fact, the Joker is the polar opposite of a socialist, and anyone who watched The Dark Knight would know that. Socialism is the result of an all-powerful central government that runs every aspect of life -- but the Joker subscribes to anarchy, one of socialism's polar opposites.

If the Joker was a socialist, he would be destroying Gotham in the name of an all-powerful state. Instead, the self-described "agent of chaos" nearly brought down the state itself, and all of its most cherished institutions, so that nothing could bring order to Gotham.

Pardon me if I split hairs to point out that an "anarchist" and a "socialist" need not be polar opposites by definition. According to The Free Dictionary, an anarchist is simply "a person who causes disorder or upheaval." In fact, one could believe in "socialist anarchism." Furthermore, if Gotham City, with its ubiquitous troops of SWAT Teams, resembles ANY sort of "ism" in The Dark Knight, it would be fascism. And Batman, by tapping everybody's cell phones, is certainly engaged in fascist activities.

So, for The Joker (who burns a mountain of money at one point) to be opposed to Gotham/Batman doesn't mean the he can't also be a socialist. After all, the Socialist government of the Soviet Union fought a war against Nazi Germany in World War II.

I hate to dance with the devil in the pale moon light. I'm just saying...

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