Dh and I saw the Dark Knight on Saturday. All in all it was a fast-paced, well-done film. The performances were good, though I thought Christian Bale was underused. Plus I hated the gruff voice thing he does when he's in costume.
And I left the movie feeling like crap.
You've got Gotham City which seems to be the cesspool of the universe. Scattered amidst the thugs and mobsters you have a mere handful of people who are trying to make things better.
Enter Batman. He's got money. He's got toys. He's got MISSILES! And he's pretty much got NO support. Most of the cops are crooked. The people are intimidated. So, he's got an uphill battle, to say the least.
Enter the Symbol Of Hope, aka Harvey Dent. For a while it looks like he's the man who can galvanize the forces of good, or at least let them think there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Well, without giving too much away, let's just say that hope isn't a Welcome Thing in Gotham.
The message of this movie seems to be that no matter who you are or how good your intentions, you can be corrupted. That it's possible, if not probable, that we will face a future where evil is so prevalent, so pervasive, that the forces of good are unable to bring forth the winds of change.
Here's a movie that made millions and millions of dollars, not all of which can be justified by morbid curiosity over Heath Ledger's death. A movie that got near universal approval and reviews. A movie that seems to shout, "Mankind sucks!"
A movie with a message that seems to resonate deeply with the disaffected populace.
I'd feel worse about all if this...if it wasn't for the unexpected success of something with the exact opposite message: The 2008 Summer Olympics.
All discussion about China and human rights aside, there's something hopeful about the way that the Olympics this year seem to have captured our optimistic side.
I don't think you can chalk it all up to Michael Phelps and his Amazing Medal Collection. I don't think there was anything extraordinary about the way NBC covered the Olympics either.
I just think people wanted to feel good about something. To see and feel excellence. Unity. Sacrifice. Kindness. Persistence. Hope.
Which brings me to the current election.
Sometimes I feel like I'm living in Gotham City. I feel like no one can fix the things that are wrong with our country. That no matter who gets elected, we will have the same problems, the same concerns, and the same fears. I feel like hope is audacious...that promises that are made during elections are hot air and hope and trust built on such promises are as fragile as a soap bubble.
But I still hope.
I hope to see the the strength we saw in the Olympians. The desire for excellence. The completion of the task despite the odds. The unity of the spectators that defied boundaries and cultures.
I hope for a better tomorrow.
Against all odds, I hope.