The movie called The Dark Knight Rises has easily been one of the most highly anticipated movies of all-time, and thanks to the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado it has been one of the most overshadowed movies at the same time—losing some of its cinematic luster to a madman with too many guns, too much time, and not enough human decency. Between the conspiracy theories from Rush Limbaugh, the allegations of a lawsuit from an angry moviegoer in Colorado, and the cold-blooded killings of a Colorado shooter with spontaneously selective amnesia, many have missed the cinematic significance of the actual movie.
First off, this Dark Knight movie does exactly what many, including myself, had some serious doubts about the likelihood that it would be capable of doing, which is following up the previous installment The Dark Knight and especially trying to follow the tough act that Heath Ledger put forth with his Academy Award winning portrayal as the Joker, but The Dark Knight Rises does more than just hold its ground as a legitimate sequel, because not once during the movie did I ever think to myself that the it’s just not that good this time, due to Ledger’s absence.
Now let’s deal with the highly controversial character in the movie called Bane, because there has been a huge brouhaha over the choosing of that name. Radio host Rush Limbaugh put this ball into motion by suggesting that the Bane character, who is the villain in the newest Dark Knight installment, was strategically named through a liberal, Hollywood plot to negatively influence the image of presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital connection, in an attempt to politically sway the huge number of people who will see this movie.
Now Bane the character has little, if any, resemblances to Bain Capital in my opinion, but there definitely was a political element surrounding this character and the movie as a whole, and it speaks volumes about the literary limitations of conservatives like Limbaugh who either haven’t seen the movie or have failed to understand it.
Maybe this is why conservatives and Hollywood don’t mix very well, because movies like The Dark Knight installments refuse to be marginalized through the narrow-minded corridors of the intellectualisms of religiously limited, change fearing conservatism, and this possibility should surprise no one.
If conservatives like Rush Limbaugh were smart enough, less blinded by their political, marching orders, and not totally handcuffed by their evangelical boundaries, they would probably see the character of Bane as liberalism, socialism and communism that has run amuck in democracy’s worst nightmare, because to the simple mind that is what it appears to be.
The movie portrays Bane as the classic, proverbial liberator who rides into town on his big, White horse to free the 99% society from the top 1% powers that be. If anything, Limbaugh should have been trying to semi-compare Bane to the Occupy Movement in theory. Bane even lays it all out there as he directly promises to give the people a socialist utopia. One of the most striking lines from the movie was when the character known as Cat Woman said to her apprentice in crime: this used to be someone’s house, and her apprentice replies by saying: yes, but now it’s everyone’s house! Now that line is enough to send everyone who works at Fox News and all of its viewers into a socialistic coma.
This disingenuous, pseudo attempt at a socialistic utopia by the Bane character is a conservative’s ideological smorgasbord, because it represents every socialistic, communistic, re-distribution of wealth image of President Obama that Fox News, the Republicans, and the Tea Party have so religiously painted. Heck, if conservatives weren’t so simpleton-like, they would also be trying to compare Bane to President Obama instead of Bain Capital, because it fits directly into their misguided, fear mongering narrative.
But here is the kicker! Despite Rush Limbaugh’s claims that fans of the Dark Knight movies and Hollywood overall are ‘brain dead,’ it’s actually the other way around. There are millions of people just like me who not only go to these big, Hollywood movies, but we get it too. We’re not ‘brain dead.’ We understand exactly what’s going on.
We understand that the Bane character is actually the ‘tyranny’ that rapper, actor Ice T was talking about when he supported basic gun ownership, and you will see overwhelming evidence of that if you watch this movie. We understand that Bane was promising a socialist’s utopia on one hand, but he was delivering a bloody, dictating, tyrannical, iron fist with the other hand.
Because whether it’s Bane, Hitler, Jim Jones or any other dictating liberator, which is an oxymoron in itself, there is a huge difference between spreading the wealth around and promising to give people something for nothing. Spreading the wealth around is about creating better and more opportunities to achieve prosperity, while promising something for nothing is about concealing the true motive of the balloon payment that lurks just beneath the surface, and that makes one ideology look like real, progressive capitalism while making the other one look like the conservative’s pseudo utopia of trickle-down economics!
There is a fundamental difference between dictated socialism and socialized opportunities. It’s the availability of opportunities that should be socialized, not the fulfillment of those opportunities. This is why President Obama is not a socialist and neither is the theme of The Dark Knight Rises, because if there is no social justice through opportunity, then the ideology of Bane is what you will likely have—alienated anger that will eventually swell enough to infiltrate the reality of a more fortunate prosperity.
So how is that for some ‘brain dead’ entertainment? And for the record, this movie wasn’t anymore violent than the six o’clock news, the War in Afghanistan or any other action movie. It gets two thumbs up from me.