media, movies

Lego Batman and the Offer of Satan

Finally got around to this follow up to a previous article I wrote some time ago. This is a short article. For another take and slightly more in-depth look, see my next article.

Let’s have a “relationship”. What an ambiguous term. Everything has a relationship. Neptune has a relationship with the price of tea in China… albeit a very distant relationship but a relationship nonetheless. (For example: The price of tea in China affects the spending power of the people, which in turn affects the costs of other commodities – locally and abroad – such as iron, which is used for making telescopes, spacecraft, and artificial satellites responsible for analyzing the surface of Neptune.)

Nana Nana Nana Nana

From the get-go of the Lego Batman movie, the Joker character is the villain but is, in an odd way, trying to have a “relationship” of sorts with the “hero” (or rather, anti-hero) Batman. Unlike traditional villains that outright hate the person who stops them, the Joker wants some sort of affiliation.

And that’s about all the relationship entails: affiliation. It’s a rather shallow goal surrounded by the cozy feeling associated with human relationships, as if somehow people forgot that bad relationships are also considered relationships.

Other than this desire for affiliation, the Joker doesn’t differ from the usual villain: he unleashes fury and chaos to destroy the world of other people. He doesn’t use “hate” as an emotion, but he does use malice, fear, deceit, and manipulation, preying on the emotions of Batman all the while causing everyone else bodily harm.

In the end, you’re supposed to feel bad for the Joker for nearly losing his precious relationship with Batman, but Batman rewards the devil with a relationship anyways despite all the Joker did to ruin everyone else’s lives.

In short, the Joker is a manipulative ass that got everything he wanted despite meriting a one-way trip to hell.

Putting it in a spiritual perspective…

Batman is “us”, the modern man. He wants to be alone, be solo, but like all humans, he needs someone in his life. Consequently, the hole in his life left by having no family leaves him open prey to being taken advantage of by anyone pushing hard enough to fill that hole.

The Joker is the Devil himself, the author of chaos that appeals to our emotions in order to get us to overlook all the headaches and problems he’s causing. To make matters worse, he gets us to be part of that havoc, just as the Joker got Batman to help him release all the most dangerous criminals. The real Satan doesn’t come out and proclaim his existence. Instead, he gets you to have an intimate relationship with… your pride. Think about you. Think about what YOU want. Ignore everyone else, it (he) says. Pursue an ideal, nevermind the actual physical consequences. These are the thoughts Satan gets you to have.

If we take Satan out of the equation, then we have to come up with some other reason to account for how people can be so incredibly blind to how their “good intentions” are messing up everyone else’s lives. Pride is incredibly blinding. To be prideful leads to thinking you have the truth, that you’re in the right and others in the wrong, and thus you miss out on learning if and why you may be wrong and how to fix it. To be prideful leads to blindness, blindness to ignorance, ignorance to frustration (“Why won’t it WORK?!”), frustration to anger, anger to hatred, hatred to malice, malice to fighting, fighting to war, and war is hell. A world of war is chaotic. Satan loves chaos because it is the complete opposite of God, and that’s a fascinating theological and philosophical bunny trail on its own (of which is not limited to Christianity, I might add).

And this leads to a key point I want to highlight: In life, we have a choice between a relationship with order (God) or disorder (chaos, represented by Satan). If you choose the latter, you’re life will be unfulfilled and empty, a collage of broken items just like the alledged “family” of Batman. But if you choose the former, you will find your life leading towards a complete fulfillment… not a temporal (temporary) fulfillment (as you might initially desire), but an eternal one.

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