Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I probably should stick to the comments since this is Chaka's blog, but no one took away my ability to post yet so I'll post, hehe. While I wish I'd been reading Nietzsche lately and could toss in some sort of quote here, all I can offer are my own words. I don't consider myself a philosopher, but I do have philosophies.

I'll have to admit, I'm disappointed in the post about the movie being a waste of $6.25. My tickets cost $10 when I went to see it... where are movies only $6.25 these days? But anyway, did I like the movie? Yes. Was it worth the $10? Positively. Did I enjoy it all three times I saw it in the theatre? Of course. So I guess I'll have to join the group of folks who thinks it was _not_ a complete waste of time. And having read about as much of the bible as I've read works by Nietzsche in the past few months I'm going to blindly place Jesus as someone who agrees with me. Is that blasphemy? Perhaps. Am I already directing too many rhetorical questions towards myself? Definitely. Will I stop? No. So will I share my barbaric analysis of the movie? I suppose.

I'm pretty sure Jesus liked to do shit with folks, though chances are they weren't ALL "bible-worthy" events. In that respect, I think it's alright to do shit with folks, just don't expect it to be recorded in the bible. Though maybe taking your friendly neighborhood pastor to a movie like The Dark Knight WOULD indeed be a "bible-worthy" event. Maybe it's just the rebel in me, but I like the whole idea of offending people's sensibilities, that's certainly my favourite part about Jesus. Jesus was kind of a badass, he offended a lot of people's sensibilities in his day. Do you happen to remember that statement I made a while back? "The search for truth is beset on all sides by pleasant lies?" I think one of those pleasant lies might be the strange idea that sheltering yourself from seeing evil makes you a better person. I don't think hiding from all outside influences helps you grow as an individual or as a christian. Maybe I'm wrong and it's my belief right there that's truly the pleasant lie, but what if I'm right?

But that's really beside the point of actually examining the movie. I honestly just enjoyed the movie because it kept to the spirit of the cartoon I grew up watching, while making it entirely real. I did find a message in it as well, it was about doing the right thing without needing a reason. The Joker used the faults of humanity (that are undeniably everywhere) to justify being an agent of chaos. Batman saw the faults of humanity to justify being an agent of good. Both did so with no want of reward, and little regard for personal safety. They truly are polar opposites, arch-nemeses, and theirs is an undying rivalry.


Chaka said...

Thanks for the post! The blog doesn't belong to me.

Chaka said...

Technically, I think that fashioning Jesus in your own image is more like idolatry, not blasphemy.

It's also nearly universal. :)

Regarding whether you should shelter yourself from seeing evil, it's an old argument. I wouldn't lay down a rule about it one way or another. The wise person will know when to avert his or her gaze from evil. I'll take Ray Ortlund's word for it that it was wise for him to avert his gaze from sex on the movie screen.

Pirate Jimmy said...

Yeah, but to avert your eyes from a movie (or rather, wish you had) because it doesn't contain a bible-beating message?

Chaka said...

Well, he says he learned nothing from the movie, and it's clearly important to him to learn something. He also seems to disagree with the message of the movie--the implication, as he sees it, that people are better off believing a lie.

(Here's something I find interesting, by the way. Would Nietzsche like the message of the movie? Would he applaud the decision of Gordon and Batman to keep Dent's image clean and sully Batman's? Or would he regard it as one of those pleasant lies blocking the road to truth?)

You and I both seem to feel like the movie did enrich us--it was worth the $20-$30 we spent on it. And the "message" of the movie--the bit about the lie--doesn't bother me at all. For one thing, the series isn't over, so we don't know what Nolan's "message" is yet. We don't know that Gordon and Batman are making the right decision. In fact, the Dark Knight calls into question whether their decisions in Batman Begins were right. Welcome to good storytelling.

I am confident, though, that having Gordon and Batman make the decision they do at the end of the movie was the right artistic decision.

Pirate Jimmy said...

My gut says that Nietzche would despise the message for exactly what you said, it's merely a pleasant lie.

Pirate Jimmy said...

I think Nietzsche might be anti-batman all around, as batman decides to use his strength to serve, instead of to lead.