WSJ op-ed claims “The Dark Night” is actually a homage to George W. Bush.

The Wall Street Journal has always been a conservative rag and I expected to get even more so once it was bought out by Rupert Murdoch, but I didn’t expect him to start hiring editorial writers that are smoking crack:

There seems to me no question that the Batman film “The Dark Knight,” currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society—in which people sometimes make the wrong choices—and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.

“The Dark Knight,” then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year’s “300,” “The Dark Knight” is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.

Give me a fucking break. Not being content with ruining every geek’s image of Batman by putting President Bush behind the mask, our esteemed author even manages to work in a Jesus reference:

Doing what’s right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified.

Because, you see, sometimes you gotta do wrong to protect what’s right. At least that what he appears to be saying:

The true complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them—when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend tolerance, or unkind in order to defend kindness, or hateful in order to defend what we love.

When heroes arise who take on those difficult duties themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness. We prosecute and execrate the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve. As Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon says of the hated and hunted Batman, “He has to run away—because we have to chase him.”

That’s real moral complexity. And when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes men must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and that while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be heroes, true heroes often must slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised—then and only then will we be able to pay President Bush his due and make good and true films about the war on terror.

So it’s not that we want to lock all you furriners up indefinitely and torture you—we honestly hate having to do that—but we’re at that place where such actions are necessary in order to preserve your freedom and not torture you in the future. Or something. It’s hard to tell because I don’t smoke crack myself.

12 thoughts on “WSJ op-ed claims “The Dark Night” is actually a homage to George W. Bush.

  1. I suspect the writer of the piece will be upset to hear that Frank Miller’s planned Batman vs. Osama comic miniseries will no longer feature Batman, but a character Miller created instead.  Miller claims the change is a result of the way the plotline has unfolded as he wrote the initial drafts, but I suspect DC got cold feet after the general negative reaction to the idea.

  2. Well, on some level I have to agree with this article.

    Batman is, after all, insane. Batman isn´t in any way, shape or form a ¨role model.¨

    If it were up to Batman, Gotham would be under survallance 24-7, the people of Gotham would abide by his rule of law and ¨free people¨ would live in fear of the Bat (as depicted in may Batman stories such as ¨Kingdom Come¨ and ¨Justice Lords¨ on JLU).

    Batman consistantly borders on fascism and ultimately presides over a Gotham city under his totalitarian rule.

    Who does that remind you of?

  3. When I came out of that movie yesterday, still a bit shell-shocked (I knew I would hate it on some levels as soon as I saw the trailer where the Joker’s people make the hostages hold handgrenades with the pins removed), I had this thought:

    Does the ending (where they decide to cover up the crimes of the DA) have a connection with the Bush government’s covering up of its own evil activities / defending them as being in the name of good?

    And does the movie criticise or celebrate that?

    I think that editorial may closer to the truth about this movie than you might think, Les.

  4. I think that editorial may closer to the truth about this movie than you might think, Les.

    Meaning that the movie DOES seem to espouse some of those despicable “might makes right” and “the end justifies all means” subtexts, not that I agree with the editorial.

  5. I’d love if political satirist/impressionist Rory Bremner saw this- GW as Batman.  “The joker has declared a war on Gotham- so have I” (Bremner once observed Bush walks like a man carrying a sheep under each arm)

    BTW- what does George have against visitor to the US- he declared a war on tourism, tourists.

  6. (I knew I would hate it on some levels as soon as I saw the trailer where the Joker’s people make the hostages hold handgrenades with the pins removed)

    They were gas grenades. We know this, because one goes off.

    A perfectly Joker thing to do.

  7. After contemplating it, Batman really is a fascist, and in the comics he gets accused of this a bit by other heroes like Superman.  In any event, I think this:

    Damn You Batman!

    might be a better “Bush is really Batman” video than the Dark Knight.

  8. (I knew I would hate it on some levels as soon as I saw the trailer where the Joker’s people make the hostages hold handgrenades with the pins removed)

    They were gas grenades. We know this, because one goes off.

    A perfectly Joker thing to do.

    ONE of them is a gas grenade, and the joker seems perfectly willing to kill bystanders or force others to kill them. My point was that there’s an awful lot of hostages being taken in that movie. Not light-hearted fare at all.

  9. My point was that there’s an awful lot of hostages being taken in that movie. Not light-hearted fare at all.

    You’re kidding, right?

    Joker kills people. That’s what he does.

    Joker kills people with Joker gas, he kills them with crowbars, he kills them with bombs, he shoots people in the face, it’s even implied that he raped Barbara Gordon.

    These are all examples of Joker stories you’ll find in the mainstream comics.

    The modern incarnation of the Joker has never been a “light hearted” villain.

  10. The modern incarnation of the Joker has never been a “light hearted” villain.

    You are missing the point. I am saying that the movie (not only the Joker) enjoys its cruelty, physically and psychologically. I didn’t like that. And the “lets sweep it all under the carpet” moral at the end, I liked even less.

    What does that have to do with whether its true to some comics or not?

  11. No wait the WSJ is right guys. W’s policy and that of Batman and the 300 are all one in the same. . . beacuse the only time they work is in a FUCKING FANTASY.

    who ever wrote that article, and who ever agree’s with it, is the canidate for being the new ProChoice poster child.

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