The Joker's On Us
So, you are thinking about going to watch the Warner Brother's highly anticipated yet controversial movie Joker?
Let me save you nine bucks. Take about four hits of acid, drink a half a bottle of vodka with six ounces of Clorox bleach, put on some head phones with AC/DC's Highway To Hell playing on a continuous loop broken up every ten minutes or so by ninety seconds of Roxy Music, put your dick or any comparable body part into a blender, and turn it on, but only after you have opened every window in the house so that the neighborhood's feline population can climb in and snack on your scabrous, putrefying flesh.
You'll not only get something fairly equivalent to the movie going experience and save time and nine dollars, you'll also save yourself from that unholy moment in the future when you will be dying and forced to look into the mirror and see yourself as you truly are and sadly recognize the fact that the positive side of your life's ledger has very few entries compared to the debit side. People might want to argue this, but I'm basing my assessment on the belief that there will ultimately be a price we have to pay for this letting stuff like this be catalogued as entertainment and worthy of the hundreds of millions that it will make.
This is not a movie per see, it is a mangled myth, created, I suppose, to satisfy America's increasingly bloodthirsty addiction to violence and mayhem. What other excuse could there be? Myths are not to be messed with, we have forgotten this in our headlong rush to destroy what vestige of morality and goodness we still possess.
What else do we have to look forward to, reality shows where the contestants are armed with razors and machetes? Sports where the failure to win results in the death of the athlete. We have been there already, and we've done this already. The idea that we can sanitize the experience by seeing it in a theater with popcorn and a Big Gulp where the blood don't get on us and we can't smell the odor of the urine and the shit is wrong. The blood still gets on us; we just can't see it.
There was a time when we use to know that the Roman Games depicted a civilization driven mad by its excesses, now we can't even tell the difference between us and them.
Coming out of the theater, a man walking behind me told his wife, "That was pretty good, huh?"
I resisted the urge of turning around and telling him something in my best Tommy Lee Jone's voice. It would've caused a stir and not changed anything. Nobody likes the one who rats out the sinner or the sin.
Joker is a movie that cannot be judged for its cinematic features, its acting, or its direction because to do so would involve detachment from the experience, and it is a movie about our ability to detach ourselves from life in the first place.
At one time, the term myth was considered as more of a verb referring to the unfolding of existence via the experience of existing. The later advent of philosophy changed it into a noun that could be analyzed from an objective distance. Even today existentialists argue that the distance between the object and one who analyzes often leads to errors in a truthful understanding the world.
Trying to break this movie down into its parts in order to determine whether it is a good movie or not misses the point; it's not that kind of movie. Joker is a highly visceral experience, the viewers are not there to analyze it, they are there to experience the nightmare world that surrounds us behind the endless facades that we erect in order to deflect the ever present knowledge of our own mortality.
The movie holds up a mirror and forces us to look at ourselves. while, at the same time, calling us out for being in the theater in the first place. It correctly points out that we are all complicit in creating the madness of our times, some more than others, but all guilty of the neglect of truth in favor of diversion.
This message rings somewhat false in that the myth has been turned inside out and upside down and ordered to do things that myth is not supposed to do. The movie points an accusing finger at the rest of us, yet, seems to ignore the fact that it has been the entertainment industry, more than any other entity, that has led us to this point in time.
The only consistent theme presented in all the chaos is that the father is absent, ergo God is dead, or at least nonexistent, and life has no real meaning. My answer to Hollywood on that point would be, "Just how the fuck would you know? Maybe he just don't like you."
Joker is more than a warning. It is like a road sign where the sign has been placed after the exit you needed to take. The line where the neighbor lady calls him a hero because he killed rich kids is very disturbing considering our current political climate. Maybe, we are supposed to believe that its just good wholesome entertainment.
The only place this movie should ever play is at the El Capitan Theater in a quarantined Hollywood with lots of trained psychiatric staff and cleaning crews on hand.