[John Zmirak] Joker: Remarkable appeal of comic-book villain raises disquieting questions about ourselves

[John Zmirak] Joker: Remarkable appeal of comic-book villain raises disquieting questions about ourselves

Opinion
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[Stream.org] I’ll confess, when I saw Joker my first thought was, “How did they know? Was someone secretly recording that period of my childhood, or that one?”

VIDEO: [ABC News] Law enforcement warned of potential violence around release of ‘Joker’ film. [Sep. 26, 2019]


It wasn’t just that Gotham City in the movie was a letter perfect picture of the squalid, toxic New York City I knew. The gift local Democrats gave America from the 70s into the 90s, and Mayor Bill de Blasio seems to be giving again. Subways cars marred with graffiti, platforms that reek of urine, pyramids of garbage, and violent hobos roaming the streets. (Escape From New York, which imagined Manhattan finally becoming one big prison island, struck no one as that far-fetched.) No, Joker hit something personal.

The film seemed to capture the darkest moments in my own adolescence, and our troubled family. At points in the film, I was close to tears.

Even as I left the theater, I felt the strong urge to write about it, in that vein. But after a Tweet or two, I slammed on the brakes. That would be “too much information,” surely. More squalid guts-spilling on the internet, a transparent plea for pity that instead might be met with scorn. So instead of writing about it right away, I read more about the movie. I saw how it’s stoking leftists into incandescent rage. How’s it’s breaking box office records, and provoking passionate arguments.

I knew the film was a real work of art long before I left the theater. But now I realize why: It touches something universal. I bet everyone who saw it had much the same reaction that I did: “How did they know … ?” The rest of that sentence is crucial. “… how I suffered? All that I went through? Poor, poor pitiful me.”

This article continues at [Stream.org] Joker appeals to the young Hitler in all of us

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