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Thread: Joker: Champion of the precariat or alt-right incel?

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Joker: Champion of the precariat or alt-right incel?



    (Chile protest photo)

    This thread will be full of spoilers, but I'm going to put my thoughts in spoiler tags anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

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    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Joker: fictional character.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    Joker: fictional character.
    Yes but I mean its latest incarnation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

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    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    I saw it, and I find it interesting that there's a debate about it because I just think that speaks to the good writing.

    To me, the answer is that he's neither.

    The way he rose to "success" was ironically through the very same means that enraged his followers about the people they were against: unfair happenstance.

    His big "heroic" moment came from a primitive place of fear and anger, and not the calculated righteousness that his followers projected on to him afterwards (it seemed obvious to me that his character wasn't remotely sophisticated enough to consciously consider people's social class, never mind use that to weigh the likelihood of shooting them in that moment, the point was that they were assholes, but they were asshole that happened to be wearing suits and that mattered to other people after the fact). The movie beat us over the head with how low functioning and literally delusional he was as a person, and it was clear that he was also completely unable to fully understand what his appeal was to the people that liked him, he concluded it was for other way off reasons.

    In my mind to either be a champion or an incel of something, you need to consciously decide your position about something first. Otherwise you just Being There'd your way into it, and that's meaningless. Interesting, but meaningless.

    I find the photo posted in the op to be interesting because the Joker is (and has always been known as) a quintessential villain that capitalizes on existing chaos and *intentionally* works to continue to rip society apart for the sake of ripping it apart. Change and chaos are not the same thing, but I think people get the two mixed up because change can often be chaotic.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Ok so I wont use spoilers.

    Will reply soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    I find the photo posted in the op to be interesting because the Joker is (and has always been known as) a quintessential villain that capitalizes on existing chaos and *intentionally* works to continue to rip society apart for the sake of ripping it apart. Change and chaos are not the same thing, but I think people get the two mixed up because change can often be chaotic.
    This is actually why I think that this movie subverts an important premise of the Batman franchise, perhaps more than even intended.

    Evil exists just because. No explanation needed. I think that view basically sustains a lot of right-wing ideology in the field of criminology and but also in the restriction of human freedoms in general. Batman is a cop. He fights inherent evil. This movie alters that.

    His big "heroic" moment came from a primitive place of fear and anger, and not the calculated righteousness that his followers projected on to him afterwards (it seemed obvious to me that his character wasn't remotely sophisticated enough to consciously consider people's social class, never mind use that to weigh the likelihood of shooting them in that moment, the point was that they were assholes, but they were asshole that happened to be wearing suits and that mattered to other people after the fact).
    I agree he's an apolitical character, but he doesn't have to be political for the movie to be political in itself.

    There's a left-wing discomfort with the film. I've even heard this movie referred to as a depiction of "the rise of fascism". I don't even begin to see it. But something that really gets under the skin of left-leaning liberals is the mirror that this holds up to the popular rebellions that we're seeing more and more of these days. It's the visceral, unsavory components of hate, resentment, class revenge and violence. This is offensive to those who only want to see rebellions that are clean, just and beautiful. This rebellion isn't sanitized. But these components always exist, and the same people who want things that are good and fair may also harbor a lot of hate, which is totally understandable. Rage has its own role in social transformation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

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    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    I haven't seen the movie or kept up with popular culture, so I'm currently clueless.
    If Biden is the answer... what the fuck was the question?!




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    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    This is actually why I think that this movie subverts an important premise of the Batman franchise, perhaps more than even intended.
    Could you elaborate? I'm 75% sure I get the point you're making, but I don't want to go on an indirect tangent.

    Evil exists just because. No explanation needed. I think that view basically sustains a lot of right-wing ideology in the field of criminology and but also in the restriction of human freedoms in general. Batman is a cop. He fights inherent evil. This movie alters that.
    I've never heard anyone attribute that to being politically on the right (or really politically oriented to anything). Whenever I've seen a mythos present the concept you're describing (the whole "evil seems to appear out of nowhere" thing) to me it corresponds to the universal human experience of "The world is very big, and bad things I had nothing to do with will impact my life, how do I reconcile with that?"

    I'm aware that I have a very western interpretation of stories, but to me hero myths are about inspiring people to persevere in the face of unavoidable adversity rather than advocating authority figures destroy anything even ambiguously evil (though I'll acknowledge in the history of humans there's been some shitty story telling and the latter has been produced, but the ideal is deeper than that though).

    he doesn't have to be political for the movie to be political in itself.
    I agree with this statement, but a movie also doesn't have to be partisan to be political either. The more I think about it, the more I want to compare the movie to Being There like I did in my first post.

    Both of them harp on themes about how society is so comically on the breaking point that people will unwittingly latch on to incredibly unrelated events to corroborate their narrative about the world. I think that's something people on all sides of the political spectrum do, and I think that's part of why the political message of Joker is difficult to pinpoint.

    So yes perhaps it's a political film, but I think it's making a broad commentary about how all of us are so delusional and detached about reality that we're frighteningly easily swayed by someone who is unequivocally those things.

    He's not exactly a figure either side should be clamoring to claim imho. I mean, he's literally a villain.

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    Senior Member Limes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinny View Post
    I haven't seen the movie or kept up with popular culture, so I'm currently clueless.
    This should be your sig.

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    Senior Member Thoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    There's a left-wing discomfort with the film. I've even heard this movie referred to as a depiction of "the rise of fascism". I don't even begin to see it. But something that really gets under the skin of left-leaning liberals is the mirror that this holds up to the popular rebellions that we're seeing more and more of these days. It's the visceral, unsavory components of hate, resentment, class revenge and violence. This is offensive to those who only want to see rebellions that are clean, just and beautiful. This rebellion isn't sanitized. But these components always exist, and the same people who want things that are good and fair may also harbor a lot of hate, which is totally understandable. Rage has its own role in social transformation.
    Nailed it. Although, you weaksuaced the landing a bit. Hate and rage are always "understandable" to the side who thinks their opinion is just, but that doesn't make them any less of a monster when they act violently out of that hate and rage. That is your mirror.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    Both of them harp on themes about how society is so comically on the breaking point that people will unwittingly latch on to incredibly unrelated events to corroborate their narrative about the world. I think that's something people on all sides of the political spectrum do, and I think that's part of why the political message of Joker is difficult to pinpoint.

    So yes perhaps it's a political film, but I think it's making a broad commentary about how all of us are so delusional and detached about reality that we're frighteningly easily swayed by someone who is unequivocally those things.

    He's not exactly a figure either side should be clamoring to claim imho. I mean, he's literally a villain.
    I agree. The irony is that the ignorant and misguided are making icons out of him failing to grasp the dark, violently, satirical message of the movie. You are not a hero for being a violent, hateful rebel, you are a villain. The politically inclined want to read into that message claiming that it's calling for a Batman (i.e. some "authoritarian right wing"), no... It's calling for everyone to be a hero, to be better than what society is currently driving toward.

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