Monday, July 21, 2008

The Joker Must Have Graduated AB SocSci

Pauna: ito ang unang post ko sa Ingles na lilitaw sa Blogspot. Iminumungkahi kong puntahan ninyo.

Usually, when you are anticipating a superhero film, it's the protagonist you are waiting to see. After all, the movie is made for him and it's him you paid for to see.

And then the Crow-ish Joker of the now-dead-yet-bloody-awesome Heath Ledger
appeared... do you actually think that it's all part of the plan? It's actually possible, given the late guy's performance, that Christopher Nolan could have made a purely Joker movie, with Batman as the second fiddle. But then it would be sacrilegious to Hollywood.

No, I am not ranting "fanboyistically" again. I intend to make a serious entry on the Joker based from his quotes available to me now and what I can remember basically from my viewing of The Dark Knight yesterday at Gateway as a means of loosening up (or should I say warming up) before the real crunch time wherein I have to finish up an overdue article and start up stocking on secondary sources, insights and other essentials for my projected 25-page paper in Political Theory. Gosh, you just have to retain sanity some time.

Now, to the parallels I can't stop drawing. Eric Draven ("the one and THE REAL Crow avatar") is an undead basically, wearing up a harlequin face makeup to intimidate the people who killed him and exact vengeance from. Well who wouldn't? A dead man risen from the dead granted invulnerability and driven by a burning vengeance and being sheerly twisted? Not bad for me.

Now the Joker of Nolan's TDK here is, based from the moniker itself, going up as a real clown, albeit the dastardly evil one. But compared to the original of Jack Nicholson more close to the comic origins, this Joker is somewhat edgier, scarier, more profound and more anarchic. And worse, his smile is actually a Glasgow smile. Go to the Wiki and learn what it is to scare the wits out of you.

I think what made these performances more profound (and unfortunately much more preyed upon by geddang Hollywood) is that their actors, Brandon Lee and Heath Ledger, died tragic deaths at a young
age and while still identified with the particular film they worked in. That Brandon's death elevated the first "The Crow" to cult status, and that this next-generation Joker is now close to getting its late actor a posthumous Oscar is proof that thespians whose lives ended as theatrically as their roles (or in general people who die theatrically) are likely to be remembered, honored or even deified figuratively by society if not now then later.

It's not new. As what was said of Morpheus and possibly applicable to Elvis: The King is dead... Long live the King!


Now, on a more serious note... let me give my comments on this particular Joker's passing comments which drew the attention of this virulent vermin, as well as those I got from others. Almost every long line that came out of Ledger during the voracious fellow's scenes reflect social truths worthy of note, making Bale's Batman (who in fairness did a wonderful portrayal of the Dark Knight yet again) surprisingly pale in comparison to it.

It's as if Batman is simply a much more handsome, muscular, acrobatic and tech-savvy Fernando Poe Jr. to the Joker's being a twisted yet disturbingly funny Socrates. With these I suppose it's not hard to understand why I entitled my post as such.

The only sensible way to live your life is without rules. And tonight, you're gonna break your one rule.

Introduce a little anarchy...upset the established order...and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos.

I suppose I want to throw this out to the posers who
supposedly became enlightened to advocate anarchy after watching a movie that supposedly upholds it (with me almost becoming one of them). What movie? Well, well, well. Remember, remember, the fifth of November...

This is basically what anarchy really is. Without rules. Without mores. Without consideration. Saying that anarchy is basically a return to the primitive society makes sense worth of bull droppings. Anarchy is the relentless release of human wrath against each other. To expect a society wherein one can sleep soundly from an anarchic setting is highly idiotic dreaming in the sense that both the essence of man, good and bad, will likely be released.

Of course, some may argue quoting Lao Tzu (and even Star Wars) that the struggle of good and evil is never-ending. I do agree, but then this is highly unlikely if given the nature of man: more fickle and unstable than fate, as Machiavelli would proclaim. I hesitate to say the absence of peace, because peace, as we have learned from this semester, is never the absence of conflict but the harmonization of conflict. There is indeed a possibility of a shred of room for peace much like the selflessness portrayed by the criminal Gambol and the civilian in the bomb-planted ships for the Joker's social experiment, but (however idiotic it may sound to my mentor in Political Theory, Mr. RR Raneses) Heywood noted that people almost always use the rational choice, and the rational choice sometimes turns out for the worst. This problem of our conscience and priorities probably led the Joker to one of his maxims which, horribly, is very true:

When the chips are down, these civilized people will eat each other.

The most profound part however, is quite interesting that it's so profound that, paraphrasing RR again, it sounds so gay, as witness Aristotle when he said that the state affairs is "divine", that the state is like a diva:

I don't want to kill you. What would I do without you? You complete me... So you really are incorruptible. I get the feeling that you and I are destined to do this forever!

And as much as I would want to rant about how I laughed on this out-of-context adaptation of the cheesy Jerry Maguire while the entire house whined in disgust, I should concede that I am merely worthy of reposting the meritorious and sublime annotations of my SA 21 mentor, Ms. Czarina Medina
from Calculated Risks :

It is being humble enough to say, “You complete me,” and respond, “So must I complete you”. The Joker made his social commentary. We are bound to prove that there is much more to us than succumbing to selfishness and fear.

Nooo, I am not sarcastic about that. Nooo. WHY SO SERIOUS?! Let's put a smile on that face.... muwahheheahahahaehaahaehahaha....

Now we're going back to work. And this blog will once more experience some sort of stagnation I suppose for the next months.

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