“Haven’t you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?”
–The Joker, “Batman” (1989)
Hey…remember when I said that this whole mess in the U.S. felt like comic book villain hijinks?
“Superhero motifs have been a driving force in the collective ideological and political psyche since at least 2008, when Heath Ledger died and The Dark Knight came out.
Trump has found himself as a comic book-styled character within a comic book-styled narrative. As I can tell you from personal experience, it is indeed very strange when you wake up to yourself as a character inside an actual comic book; it is much better to enjoy the adventure and not be aware of the truth.
Trump was styled as the classic “big boss,” as the villain, to play out the comic book narrative. Within that narrative was another narrative in which he was the Hero—but the larger narrative was the most crucial, was being created in the Frankenstein labs way before all this drama.”
Well, fresh on the heels of #PenguinAwarenessDay comes this meme of the recently arrested Roger Stone as one of Batman’s most formidable foes:
Of course, this contextualization of the current political Troubles as a comic book narrative is shaped, to no small extent, by the Media itself—though the current episodes of the FOX TV series Gotham pretty much echo what’s going on now (especially with the government shutdown).
In further strangeness, let us remember that President Donald J. Trump decided to keep close to him a man so inextricably connected to former President Richard M. Nixon that he actually had a Nixon head tattoo inscribed in the middle of his back:
Even if you are Trump fan, you do have to question the ultimately self-defeating mojo here. Which is why I feel Trump stepped into a “subconsciously purposeful” re-cycle of the 1968-1974 energy of the Nixon/Manson years and the end of the Sixties.
But it all also feels like an episode of the old 1960s “Batman” TV show, which I’m currently gleefully burning through on the Roku Channel in all its yummy digitally remastered glory.
I wasn’t planning to blog today—but, you know, when I see blatant comic-book themed political memes in Twitter Trending, I must spring into action.
Other articles of interest I’ve run into lately and/or suggested by my dear readers:
Douglas Rushkoff has penned an op-ed for CNN about that recent “MAGA Hat Kid” viral video I mentioned earlier, in which he suggests our “reptile brains” (read my post on “reptilians” to learn more about the Reptile Brain) were automatically triggered by the video:
“Bad actors hoping to stoke our fear or rage by using these platforms, which are specifically designed to bypass our higher faculties — our common sense or empathy — and reach right down into our brainstem so that we click on ads and stay glued to the screen. They use Las Vegas slot machine algorithms in our feeds. That’s what we’re up against, here.
The “reptile brain” these platforms trigger doesn’t engage in prosocial behaviors. Instead, in an environment of weaponized memes and isolated by social media, human beings become more entrenched in their positions and driven by a fear for their personal survival.”
Sort of like…old fashioned comic book stories.
And Loren Coleman on Twilight Language has moved from Joker copycat crimes to “Incels Bring On Apocalypse,” complete with a handy Comprehensive Copycat Crimes list of recent so-called “incel” criminal incidents. In which you learn that the person who originated the incel “label” was actually a woman describing her own sexual frustration:
The first online community to use the term “incel” was started in 1993 when a Canadian college student known only by her first name, Alana, created a website in order to discuss her sexual inactivity with others. The website, titled “Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project”, was used by people of all genders to share their thoughts and experiences. In 1997, she started a mailing list on the topic that used the abbreviation INVCEL, which was later shortened to “incel”, where it was defined as “anybody of any gender who was lonely, had never had sex or who hadn’t had a relationship in a long time.”
In which we learn: never create anything for any reason because it will turn bad.
As for this new Weezer cover album…meh?
Though I will listen to any cover of “Paranoid.”
Have a good Friday, and remember: