Human Events Blog

The Dark Knight politicized

The Dark Knight politicized

The final film in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises,” won’t even open in theaters for a few more days, but attempts are already being made by liberals to politicize it.  Bizarrely, these efforts are based entirely on the sound of the villain’s name.  In the new film, Batman will face off against a hulking terrorist named Bane, whose name sounds similar to the name of the venture capital firm Mitt Romney used to work for.

Yeah, that’s it.  They’re excited about the sound of the villain’s name.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, here’s Democrat advisor Chris Lehane: “It has been observed that movies can reflect the national mood.  Whether it is spelled Bain and being put out by the Obama campaign or Bane and being out by Hollywood, the narratives are similar: a highly intelligent villain with offshore interests and a past both are seeking to cover up who had a powerful father and is set on pillaging society.”

Thus does the Democrat Party once again present itself to the American people as a party of pinheaded prejudice and superstition.  Vote for us, because we noticed that two names sound vaguely alike, and that’s why you should be happy with double-digit unemployment forever!  Don’t you feel more like paying higher taxes, now that you know an investment capital firm founded in the mid-80s has a name reminiscent of a comic-book super-villain created in the mid-90s?

Say, didn’t Democrats go absolutely ballistic when someone re-painted an Obama poster to make him look like the Heath Ledger version of the Joker?

At any rate, this eager embrace of a savage, muscle-bound, bone-breaking terrorist juggernaut as an avatar for Mitt Romney…

I’m sorry, I was laughing too hard to finish that sentence.  Let me try again.

This eager embrace of Bane and “The Dark Knight Rises” as political propaganda in Obama’s favor is likely to backfire.  The Democrats gleefully pouncing on the new Batman film don’t appear to have been paying close attention to the trailers, which strongly suggest Bane is more like a brutal expression of the Obama-endorsed “Occupy” movement.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, but early reviews seem to bear this out.

I’m eager to see “The Dark Knight Rises,” because I have great faith in Christopher Nolan’s storytelling skills.  I don’t require him to tell a story I find ideologically agreeable.  Any conservative who goes to the movies with that expectation is either setting himself up for a great deal of disappointment, or doesn’t go to the movies very often.  Personally, I love movies, and I also believe it’s important for conservatives to engage with popular culture.  It is, and always has been, part of our language.  It’s difficult to communicate with people when you don’t understand their culture.

Conservatives generally loved Nolan’s previous Batman film, “The Dark Knight,” because it was viewed as a serious exploration of the anxieties and moral conflicts of the post-9/11 era.  If Nolan used the follow-up to somehow embrace class warfare and anti-capitalism, I would be disappointed… but if he weaves his tale with the same narrative and visual skill, I hope to be entertained and intrigued, rather than offended.  I have always gotten the impression this director is interested in exploring deep and provocative themes, rather than playing politics.

Nolan has enough storytelling credit banked with me to inspire optimism.  I’ve seen the man make a theater full of people scream, using nothing more than a spinning top.

Besides, this is Batman we’re talking about: a very rich man who freely chooses to invest his wealth, and risk both his life and soul, for the people he cares about – including millions of innocent people living in his city.  He’s only wearing that armored costume because the government failed to perform its essential duties for the citizens of Gotham City.  He’s friends with the few government officials who have not been infected by the taint of corruption.  I suspect liberals who think the blockbuster film opening this weekend will chronicle Batman’s two-fisted war against private property and venture capitalism will be disappointed.  Bane appears to have very little of the boardroom about him.

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