8/11/08

Dark Anti-Marxist Knight

Greg, a Media Services student employee, hates Batman.

"No one with that wealth would bother fighting crime," he argues.

Especially, I would maintain, by doing anything other than spending that wealth. I've never, to date, seen Bill Gates do anything other than write checks and talk to people.

My larger issue, however, is that Bruce Wayne as Batman perpetuates this idea that the wealthy are the only ones willing and able to solve the larger issues that face society. We cannot rely on ourselves because we do not have the means by which to fight the "ills of society": rather, we must wait for a probable billionaire to leap off a building and glide gently down and save the day. Call it "trickle-down heroism."

The Wayne's believe strongly that the wealthy must save society because only they can. But like Reagan's Voodoo Economics of the 80s, the wealthy, despite their means, don't seem to be terribly interested in the day to day issues that plague people. Curing AIDS, Cancer, providing computers in schools: these seem to be the issues they can write a check for and solve, hopefully. Crime generally is something that must be dealt with from the bottom rung on up.

Batman forces us into believing an Anti-Marxist stance because it's hard to think he's completely not cool. Hell, I adore Batman because I certainly like the idea of a real human versus some sort of alien who just happened to show up. However, I do understand that this is a serious fault of the character. In his attempt at heroic realism, Batman perpetuates a false sense of security that does not and probabaly cannot exist. It's like the esemplastic inevitable: it's possible, it's just not probable.

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