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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises--Real-Life Villains

Flags in Utah at half-mast for
victims of Colorado shooting
By now most of the world has heard the tragic news of the Colorado shooting spree during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Our hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to the families, victims, and would-be victims of this tragedy.

Much and more will and has been written about this event all across the blogosphere and the internet in general. I don't know that I have much to add, but having seen the film on opening night, and having listened to the coverage all weekend, and personally being in the midst of some ginormous, family-centered events this week, I've found myself thinking about it a lot.

A few hours after the news hit the air waves, I was at work on Friday morning. While sitting down for a break and speaking with a co-worker, I had an interesting conversation. John is a fifty-something cowboy farmer with several grown children, a few younger teenagers, a mortgage, and a somewhat John Wayne-ish outlook on life. I asked him if he'd heard the news out of Colorado.

"Yes," he replied, his brow creasing. "What is that, that makes people do such things? Is is just selfishness? Is that what it is?"

When asked point blank, I didn't have an answer and initially replied, "I don't know." But as I sat and thought about it a few minutes, I found myself nodding. "Yes. It must be. It's about power and attention and making a statement. They either want to be famous, or have a grievance, or just want to make a point, and obviously that's more important to them than human life or innocence."

John nodded thoughtfully. "It's too bad they can't just stop reporting it."

Of course such news will always be reported, and for myself I think that it always should be, but I understood his point. He meant that things like this are always sensationalized and that, even though he'll have to deal with the consequences of his actions, the shooter will also get his fifteen minutes of fame. That, in and of itself, is a tragedy. The arrogance of the shooter makes me angry, but mostly I feel sorrow for those being affected by his actions.

I think news like this should be shared with the masses for two reasons:

1) So we can send those in need our thoughts, prayers, and assistance. They are more in need of it after such a traumatic experience than perhaps even they know.

2) So that we can learn from things of this nature. It's important for us and our children to know that mentalities such as this do still exist in the world and that they're wrong. If we don't know they exist, how can we know how to stand up to them?

I did a review of the movie on my other blog (which is much more light-hearted than this post) and the major themes of this film include hope, endurance, and fighting against that which would put down, stifle, or enslave us. It's ironic, then (or maybe just on-the-nose) that the shooter would choose this film to try and carry out his evil plan. (Emphasis on 'try.')

While of course Batman is the Dark Knight that pushes back the tide of blackness in Gotham City, I think we can all learn from Joseph Gordan-Levitt's character as well. He was the every-man who simply couldn't stand to hide behind closed doors while injustice lurked outside. He smuggled food and messages to the trapped, put together preventative actions for the rebellion, and never gave into despair, always thinking instead, what do we do next? And when all hope was gone, and there was simply no escape left, he told the priest to put the kids on the bus anyway.

If you're going down, why not go fighting? And if you're going to die, why not do it with hope? What do you think?

The Huffington Post has an article that details ways you can help the victims. There are donations, charities, etc. that will go to helping the those affected by this tragedy. Even little contributions add up, so I'd encourage you to visit the site here.

What do you think of the events that transpired in Colorado this past weekend?


  1. The movie is a testimony to hope in the light of recent events. I was watching the news last night. They said people are asking news agencies to stop using the killer's name. They said they're still going to use it. Sad, but I think he got what he was looking for.

  2. It is sad, but I agree the movie represents hope. Thanks for the input.

  3. well-documented and interesting take on the tragedy

  4. Thanks, Luke. I appreciate the comment. Thanks for taking the time!