When “The Dark Knight” came out in 2008, I saw in its dialogue and cinematography a reflection of the fears and concerns of America.
The depth of our vulnerability was exemplified in the movie through the drama of the hostages and the senseless killings by a mentally deranged person in white grease paint. Had the Joker dressed in a keffiyeh, there would have been no doubt that this was a metaphor for the atrocities of September 11 and some of the monstrous acts that came out of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
After viewing “The Dark Knight Rises,” a similar familiarity returns as a metaphor for the economic situation facing America and the decisions on its future that we will make come November.
In “The Dark Knight Rises,” Bane and his thugs set out to destroy the current economic system and redistribute the wealth of Gotham, with an underlying goal of literally destroying the city. The propaganda tools he uses are intimidation, deceit, disinformation and ultimately betrayal — tools that remind you of our President’s promises that the stimulus would keep the unemployment rate below eight percent, that it would have a large and immediate impact, and it would lift two million Americans from poverty. There was also the promise that a green economy would create millions of jobs, followed by one million electric cars.
The nonviolent aspect of Bane’s goals in “The Dark Knight Rises” also resonate with the sentiments of this Administration and its support of Occupy Wall Street – the efforts to foment class warfare by its minions in Congress, and the ritual of blaming everyone else for everything that is wrong but taking the credit for the accomplishments of others. However one of the remarkable elements of democracy is that, like in “Dark Knight,” you can’t hide the truth forever. Some truths, finally, are coming to light.
The most recent shocking and arguably important truth was recently expressed by the President: “If you have a business, you didn’t build that. Someone else made that happen.” What the President and Democrats like Elizabeth Warren would have us believe is that, in the words of one pundit:
“If so much as a sewer line passes before your house and you hook up to it, we (controllers of the state) own you. Private activity exists only at our (the state’s) sufferance. No personal risk, no creative insight, no dogged exertion, no right of property, nothing overcomes the primacy of the state’s claim on you and all you produce.”
If the absurdity of the President and Democrats’ position on business creation isn’t moving enough, consider that as a result of the tragedy in Aurora, Democrats are calling for more gun control legislation on assault weapons. This is in spite of the fact that the high-capacity magazine used in the assault rifle by this particular lunatic jammed, the assault rifle was abandoned, and it was instead a shotgun that caused the carnage.
There can be little doubt that the Batman screenwriters never intended for their scripts to be metaphors for the tragedies of the day. The adage of “a cigar is just a cigar” depends on who’s observing, though, and can be a window into the mind of the smoker.
Whether Aristotle was correct that art imitates life or Oscar Wilde was correct that life imitates art, we can never know, but it is becoming clear that Bane and the Democrats see life and art as a reflection of one another.