There is something I need to get off my chest.
Three days ago, I came across a post from someone that I don't like very much. Consequently, the things this person said I did not like very much, either. I will call this person "Dick" for obvious even if sophomoric reasons.
Dick was ranting and railing about the tragic movie theater shootings in Colorado during the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. No, he was not projecting this bitter burst of bile at the shooter, but...seemingly...at everyone else. He said, in a point that I will grant is not without its merits, that the media generates interest in occurrences such as these and maintains the interest to feed its own beast. Not his words. Dick is incapable of articulating that much even on a base level. But he did bring up that old chestnut of the media doing things to death. No argument there.
He then went on to assert, while abhorrently captializing every third word, that the shooter in Colorado wanted "immortality," just as Oswald, Ray, Chapman, and McVeigh did. First of all, the motives of this shooter, who shall remain nameless, have not been established. Secondly, the examples Dick cited did nothing for the sake of immortality. In fact, there is ample evidence to suggest that a few of the cited examples did nothing at all. Fallacious and nubilous reasoning at its worst.
In closing, Dick expressed his prayers and condolences to anyone "PERSONALLY IMPACTED" (sic) by the shooting and then implied that the rest of us located elsewhere from Colorado should just forget it and move on.
Well, it did affect me personally. No, I was not in that theater last Friday at midnight. I wasn't even in Aurora, Colorado. I was home asleep. But I have been to any number of midnight premieres. I also love Batman.
Therefore, I share something...even if on simply a very basic level...with the people who were there. This affects me. Why wasn't it me? Why didn't it happen in the Chicago area when I was at a midnight showing for another film? No reason. Just luck of the draw.
My thoughts and opinions on this matter run deeper, however. The shooter...whom I shall continue to remain nameless...took 12 lives that night. That is horrific in and of itself. He also smeared blood on something that I love dearly. The character of Batman.
Laugh if you want. Think it silly. Call it all emotional or maudlin. I don't much care. I love the character of Batman. From now on, when anyone historically refers to this shooting, the event will be inextricably linked to The Dark Knight Rises. This saddens me so yes, Dick...it affects me "personally."
Unlike Dick's myopic view of the event, this tragedy need not paint the character forever. The fictional character of Batman watched his parents die as victims to gun violence. A terrifying and traumatic thing to go through, watching someone you love get gunned down as several in Colorado can no doubt attest to in fact. Terrifying, yes. But Batman did not suffer from this fear for long. He embraced it. He turned it into an anger and a hatred that fueled him. It became a catalyst that drove him to ensure that no one would ever suffer such a fate again.
To hell with the media hype and I must express a punkish "fuck off and die" to Dick and his tunnel-visioned and reactionary blitherings. This affected a great many people "personally"...and we weren't even in Colorado.
It affected us because...among other reasons...we need a Batman. We need that sigil, that symbol. That icon of survival and growing past a horrible tragedy. Of crawling hand over hand out of a dark pit and into the light. Of taking the hit and then walking on. Of...even if in fantasy...the comforting notion of a dark and brooding bat that will guard the innocent and set all of the wrong things right (if I may steal a line from James O'Barr.)
I suspect that at least a few, perhaps even many, of those in the Aurora, Colorado theater that night love and loved Batman as much as I do and share this view of him. That makes them kindred to me. Therefore, I mourn each of them as a friend.
So...yeah. Sorry, Dick. It affected me "personally."
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