the joker is not an anarchist

So far, it looks like Chris Nolan and Heath Ledger's take on the Joker is dead-on; a chaotic individual more like a force of nature than a theatrical, yet ultimately common, criminal. Influences cited included Arkham Asylum, a gorgeously drawn book that plays on the twisted-mirror relationship between Batman and Joker. The Joker is no mere antagonist, but a foil that questions where and how Batman draws the line. But in comments to Sci Fi Wire, Nolan makes a rather common but extraordinarily irritating and ignorant mistake:

"This commitment to anarchy," he said. "This commitment to chaos. So he's not just a bank robber or an ordinary criminal who is out for material gain. His chief motivation would be that of an anarchist."


"I talked to Heath a lot about it, even [while] we were finishing the script, and we both agreed that that is the most threatening force, really, in a way, that society faces: ... pure anarchy of someone who wants to do harm purely for its own sake and for his own entertainment," he said.

Anarchism is not chaos, the motivation of someone who wants to do harm purely for its own sake. That's psychopathy. That's chaos. Anarchism is a political philosophy predicated on means of organizing society without government or centralized authority. While some anarchists have resorted to violence to overthrow governments, many more realize the futility of using violence to overcome the violence implicit in government.

To give the Joker any sort of political motivation for his actions gives the character inappropriate rationality. It is precisely the lack of reason, the insanity that may be a sort of warped existential hyper-sanity, the incomprehensible chaos, that makes the Joker so formidable an opponent for a man who, despite dressing as a bat, represents the struggling triumph of morality over evil.

1 comment:

The Joker said...

Hahahahahahaha! Uh-Huh. Ha!

Listen up Batman – if you’re so fucking great, if you’re such a fucking hero - why can’t you forgive the petty criminals who killed your father?

Blinded by rage you wage a restless war on the victims of this sick city - when will you stop treating the symptoms and help ME treat the cause?

Let’s face it – you’re just a stinking-rich, capitalist, bloodsucking aristo, squandering millions on expensive freakish boys-toys – and all for what? Just to satisfy your lust for vengeance dressed up as 'justice'... and for gadgets - of course!

Isn’t it obvious, Batman? YOU’RE the vampire. Let’s face it – you’re the king of the vampires – you’re fucking DRACULA, baby!

Hahahahahahaha! You defend the status quo in a silly blue uniform - what exactly are you a metaphor for?

If you feel the need to make films portraying what I represent as an increasingly dangerous psychopath?

Then it's because you're starting to get REALLY scared that what I represent might actually pose a THREAT.

Well, I gonna take your little plan and turn it in on itself, baby. Introduce a little anarchy, you upset the established order and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. And you know the thing about chaos? It's fair.

You forget - I'm not just a character in a slanderous (though very entertaining)franchise - I am an independently existing archetypal character, a cultural meme - The Free Spirit, The Court Jester (who, precisely because anything he said was by definition ‘a jest’ and ‘the uttering of a fool’, could speak frankly on controversial issues), in the tarot deck I'm the fool, and in a pack of cards 'I'm the card so high and wild you'll never have to deal another.'

You are The Question and I am The Answer,
You are The Thinker and I am The Dancer,
I am The Future and you are The Past,
Mine is the first language and yours is the last.

You are The Hunter and I am The Farmer,
I’m The World Healer and you’re The Self-harmer,
I’m Adam, The Beginning, and I’m Christ, The End,
And you are the bit in the middle, my friend.

You’re Eve, the first woman, you’re my evolution,
You’re The Riddler, The Riddle, and this is The Solution:
I’m The Joker, I’m laughing, for my time has come -
This party’s in your honour, I’m buildin’ a bomb!

You’re Batgirl, you’re beautiful, I love you, forgive me,
Forgive your SELF, forgive the victims, I need you with me.
You grow up to be Catwoman, so proud and so pretty,
OUR anti-matter LOVE-bomb WILL unexplode Gotham City!

I am THE ONE and you are THE OTHER,
I am Joseph, son of Jacob, who forgave his brothers!

...and I love you so much my insides hurt! Hahahahahahaha!

x The Joker