Originally posted January 14, 2013
The movie concludes by emphasizing that Batman must become the villain, but as usual it never stops to notice that the Joker is actually the hero.
—Aaron Swartz’s last blog post
I haven’t even been able to pull together coherent thoughts about the recent suicide of this Internet activist who was literally harassed by the Feds to death, but I was shocked to find that the last post on his blog was a review of The Dark Knight.
Here are the last two paragraphs of “What Happens In The Dark Knight” (emphasis mine):
The movie concludes by emphasizing that Batman must become the villain, but as usual it never stops to notice that the Joker is actually the hero. But even though his various games only have one innocent casualty, he’s much too crazy to be a viable role model for Batman. His inspired chaos destroys the criminals, but it also terrorizes the population. Thanks to Batman, society doesn’t devolve into a self-interested war of all-against-all, as he apparently expects it to, but that doesn’t mean anyone enjoys the trials.
Thus Master Wayne is left without solutions. Out of options, it’s no wonder the series ends with his staged suicide.
It is always quite interesting to me how iconic and primal this Christopher Nolan trilogy of Batman films are—how they impact people in such a deeply profound way, and have captured the zeitgeist of our world in such an uncanny fashion.