View Single Post
Old 07-25-2012, 12:49 AM
horatio's Avatar
horatio horatio is offline
Fleet Admiral
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,282

I totally agree. Batman is often promoted via a comparison with Superman, "this is not an alien with superpowers but an ordinary man, we all could be Batman" and so on. Obviously this ignores that the guy doesn't have to work from 9 to 5 and that he owns an enterprise in which he accidentally finds a tank in the basement.

You could say that Tony Stark (referring to the movie, I don't know the comic originals) is better than Bruce Wayne as he changes his company after he learns about its crimes.
But it is just a half-as*ed effort, he feels guilty so he plays this redemption game for a little bit but he doesn't make any significant changes. Like Bruce Wayne he enjoys his playboy life thoroughly and doesn't really want it to change. You could go one step further and claim that the purpose of superheroes is precisely this false activity which clouds that no actual change, be it about the crime and poverty of Gotham or the weapons and wars in the case of Ironman, occurs. Much ado about nothing such that everything can continue as it has.

Fight Club, at least in its first half before the protagonist sets up his fascist organization, shows that you have to first beat yourself before you can change anything "out there". In Ironman and Batman there is a bit of that, Stark works like crazy and Wayne physically exhausts himself, but neither of them is willing to go to the end, neither of them undoes his old life like the protagonist from Fight Club does when he burns his flat.
And isn't that precisely how the upper middle class left-liberal who drives a Prius or the upper middle-class conservative who gives money to charity tick? They are narcissists who wanna feel good about themselves and do not really want anything to change.

Your charity, toys, wave-flagging for politicians triangle captures everything which is wrong about Wayne or superheroes in general or in the end about ourselves.
The commonality of the three is that they are all individualistic. You just need a good guy in office, you just gotta take out your gun or your wallet to fight the evils of this world.
That's not how the world functions. Take Nixon, he was a crook but socially forced to be a good president. It's great that we folks in the West cherish the individual so much but this shouldn't make us idolize individual heroes, he it Hamlet, Rambo or Batman, as structural problems are impossible to solve like this.
Reply With Quote