Dark Knight of the Soul
Before talking about the Con itself, a few words on that little heard of comic book movie, THE DARK KNIGHT.
So much has already been said, I don’t have a lot to contribute. Which, of course, isn’t going to stop me.
Why so successful? Because it is a movie that succeeds in its genre, but also exceeds its genre.
Y’all know that I like movies that are about more than their type – thrillers that dig deeper than just scary; romances that speak beyond finding “the one;” action movies where the action means something.
Without changing topics (but seeming to), let me tell you one of the things I like about Jesus.
The notion of WWJD is more complex than the movement ever allowed, because the choice of what He “would do” was usually devoted to an either/or.
Would Jesus give this money to the homeless guy, or would he spend it on himself?
Would Jesus let this driver in, or would he block him out?
Would Jesus order the chicken or the steak?
The thing is, virtually every time that Jesus was offered a choice between two things, he always chose a third one that wasn’t on the menu. (Jesus ordered the fish, by the way.)
This, of course, drove those around the guy crazy.
Stone the woman or let her go? Let the sinless guy stone her.
Honor the Sabbath or heal the guy? Honor the Sabbath by healing the guy.
Fight or flight? Neither.
Attack or defend? Love.
Being so attuned to the notion of “the third way,” (and feeling strongly that Christians will not make a difference in this culture until they start finding “third ways” in their stories), I was sharply drawn by the trios in THE DARK KNIGHT.
(Now I am not equating Batman to Jesus – and I’m not even sure if I think that BW and friends came up with the best “third way” – I’m just noting the process…)
You see, Nolans/Goyer are being tricky, pretending that the world of Gotham offers this or that – ala Two-Face and his coin. But they really are seeking the third way – represented in a myriad of triangular choices.
The love triangle – Rachel, Bruce, Harvey.
The justice triangle – Gordon, Harvey, Batman.
The injustice triangle – Joker, mob or money launderer.
Even Batman’s personal counselors come in threes – Wayne (the physical), Alfred (the emotional), Lucius (the moral).
The Joker’s one fatal mistake is in thinking that there is only this or that – anarchy or totalitarianism; egocentricity or loss of self; good or evil. He believes that once he proves that Gotham is not good (“there is none righteous, no not one!”), then he has proven that the citizens are irredeemably evil.
(And please notice where the convict goes immediately upon taking action.)
There is a classic Batman comic book, where he defeats Two-Face by tricking out the villian’s coin so that it lands neither on the scarred nor the good side – but rather lands always on its edge.
Two-Face can’t handle the notion that there is a third way, and thus is immobilized in indecision.
In the movie, the Joker falls victim to the same flawed belief system.
He thinks Gotham can have either a dark chaos (himself) or a white knight (Harvey Dent).
Not counting on the third choice.
A Dark Knight.
Just my thoughts,