Why We Rise (A Meditation on Humanity)
by Adam Kenichi Wekarski
The time has come for me to write about Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy (and why it is the most important cinematic franchise of our time). *Please purchase & view the franchise in it’s entirety prior to reading this independent essay. Spoilers are No Fun for Anyone. SUPPORT The STORYTELLERS*
Although it’s a story derived from a comic book, this is not a movie franchise to be taken lightly (or for granted for that matter). Christopher Nolan’s film, “Memento” was the first work he had accomplished that I had ever seen (back in the Blockbuster days - ahem, VHS RULES!) and it is still spinnin’ my mind after all this time. Christopher Nolan ALWAYS delivers some form of ground-breaking excellence in his work - his ‘Dark Knight’ Franchise is no exception.
When one thinks of Batman, it’s very easy to consider the various forms (literature, animation, cinema, video games, etc) of said character (God Bless You, Adam West! R.I.P., Good Sir!). SO many INCREDIBLE & [BEYOND] TALENTED folks have, not only performed as the character, but have helped in shaping this character’s Monumental & Positive Imprint on contemporary society (worldwide).
I still believe Christian Bale is one of the most under-appreciated performers of our time. I first saw him in the Dark Comedy, “American Psycho” (DUDE! Holy Smack-a-RONi! Totally Bonkers & Viciously frightening). I still can’t believe he did not receive an Academy Award nomination for that performance (for shame, HollyWould). As much as I love Tim Robbins (SHAWSHANK, BaBY!), Christian Bale is one of the greatest actors of all time (100% WITHOUT A DOUBT). He plays Bruce Wayne PERFECTLY (TOTALLY the BEST Bruce Wayne OF ALL TIME! DONE! NO ARGUMENT! END-ALL-BE-ALL..”..Been there, Done that - got the album, Bought the Tee-shirt..NEXT” (Ricky Gervais, The Office [UK]). CHRISTIAN BALE DESERVED AN ACADEMY AWARD FOR “The Dark Knight Rises” - I’M SAYING IT - HE DID SUCH A PERFECT PERFORMANCE in (Yeah ALL Caps) this entire franchise. I need to address that because so many folks seemed to be swept-up in their own distractions as viewers (Yeah we get it, he disguised his voice with a growl - get over it, ya’ll). He seems to be a good person (‘seems’ being the operative word) & I’ve read about his efforts in his life off-screen (You are a Good Man, Sir) when the cameras are not around. I have a belief that it’s good for people to appreciate those ‘moments-of-truth’ more often (just one person’s opinion, take it or leave it).
Speaking of ‘moments-of-truth’ - This story (spanning across three EPIC films) is the ultimate moment-of-truth for Sir Christopher Nolan (Why Not?; He actually is CBE apparently; Respect) and his AMAZING Production TEAM’s collective efforts. So many people put their well-being on the line to make these stories happen (some even, their lives, Rest in Peace) and I believe this franchise deserves ALL of the Success & Recognition & Praise (and honestly, Time) for the awe-inspiring efforts put forth (in regards to cinematic storytelling). This is a franchise for the fans (due to how well it honors the source material & simultaneously manages to elevate the art-form).
Bruce Wayne is one of the most important modern characters of our time. Not since the days of Jesus Christ, himself, has there even been someone who sparked a universal impact (sorry ‘Supes’ - You & Ol’ ‘Batsy’ are Tied in my book) upon average people worldwide. Granted - Bruce Wayne is NO Jesus (there can only be one), however, his life’s journey is a true Test of Faith, which is a universal lesson that I firmly believe Jesus Christ was attempting to spread in his message of good faith towards one another.
Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale & Gus Lewis, respectively), as it is now [mostly known], was born an heir to The Wayne Family, an age-old empire in modern society (Gotham City, U.S.A.). In Christopher Nolan’s particular take on this (now-classic) SuperHero story - Reality is the cinematic setting.
“Batman Begins” is Nolan’s homage to Richard Donner’s “Superman”, having been THE standard for comic book movies (since the late 1970’s if I’m not mistaken). Having obviously been a fan of Donner’s work (Gee, who isn’t?) - it’s an obvious source-of-influence for the first installment in Christopher Nolan’s Perfect Epic.
When I had first discovered the news that Christopher Nolan was Warner Bros. Studios’ choice for a brand new Batman reboot - I have to admit I was VERY optimistic. After having seen “Memento”, and his work with that incredible team - I was very, very optimistic that for ONCE the Batman universe was going to be actually depicted like it is in the comic books (at least the ‘80s Batman Comics - Hello Dark & Gritty Vibes). Considering the mental intensity of “Memento” (and how linear-storytelling-need-not-apply) - I was absolutely curious to see how well the story would finally be done on-screen (with all due respect to Tim Burton & Joel Schumacher & All previous efforts achieved in the known story-telling community). After all is said and done, this franchise is a ‘Grand Slam’.
Christopher Nolan’s version of Milton “Bill” Finger’s (Bob Kane took all of the credit for Bill’s work; for shame) story of Bruce Wayne/Batman is the most inspiring work I’ve seen achieved on the concept (and characters) to this day. With the initial tone set in the first film - we find a young Bruce Wayne as a child - simply playing in the Wayne family’s garden with his best (& childhood) friend (and one of the most important characters in the franchise): Rachel Dawes (played by Katie Holmes, Emma Lockhart, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, respectively). Bruce & Rachel establish the innocence of childhood (and of our main protagonist) with the playful phrase, “Finders Keepers” which is followed by young Bruce falling into an old dried-out well (which then traps him into a slight crevice, filled with Bats).
As we discover in this story, the symbol of Batman has a rather deeper meaning to Bruce Wayne than what had been initially expected (unless if you’re a fan of the comics). When the first film starts to take form, we find Bruce Wayne lost in the depths of ‘hell’ as an adult man. Having been an heir to a Family’s Kingdom (so-to-speak), Bruce Wayne had lost his Mother & Father; Martha & Thomas Wayne (SUCH Good People) at a tragically-early age, having their lives taken by a lost soul in the dark of night (a reality known, all-too-well, by our own collective experiences as a contemporary society).
Martha & Thomas Wayne establish the core values that help shape Bruce Wayne as an Individual. Their Leadership, their knowledge, their wisdom, their love (their faith). All of their finest attributes shine a light on how the community - the city of Gotham (and their actions as people) help shape said community. Without their Faith, Bruce Wayne’s immediate world probably wouldn’t have even been established for him (perhaps). It is that faith that is the driving force of this franchise, and the greatest tragedy of this film is, indeed, the blatant & cold-blooded murder of Martha & Thomas Wayne. Ya know, they were really good people in terms of their contributions to their household & community & their lives, and they truly cared about their impact on the world (in a greater sense).
With such care, they made important choices (that had an effect on everyone in Gotham, regardless of outlook). Choices that made a necessary difference in, not only their home, but in their overall world. Gotham may be fictional, but I will let the fantasy play and I will acknowledge the tremendous amount of detail put into these stories that went unnoticed in the initial ‘life’ of this franchise’s release. Having said that - Unless if memory serves inaccurate, this film received a lot of unwarranted criticism for the realistic depiction of modern violence (due to the UNGodly public shooting(s) that have been taking place in our country; I acknowledge the real-life tragedies, but also acknowledge the importance of artistic vision). I say unwarranted due to the fact that Christopher Nolan managed to hold up a mirror and we need to pay close attention (and look beyond the glamour & simulated violence), and this was accomplished well-before Todd Phillips’ incredible film “Joker” had been produced (which drew plenty of inspiration from Nolan’s signature style and Heath Ledger’s actual development of said character; Joker’s Journal).
At the core of this story is Faith.
Faith is what was instilled in Martha & Thomas Wayne (and their lessons with Bruce as a boy). Alfred Pennyworth (played Beautifully by Sir Michael Caine in a Nomination-worthy performance for Best Supporting Actor in my humble opinion) is the reinforcement to protect the Wayne Family’s Honor & Good Name. On the surface, Mr. Pennyworth is Bruce Wayne’s Butler, however, when he’s not maintaining the Wayne fortune, he is ‘the guiding light’ (no pun intended) in Bruce Wayne’s Journey (despite the efforts of various opposition). While Rutger Hauer (rest his soul; “BLIND FURY”!!! YES!) had set the tone for what was to come later in young Bruce Wayne’s life (at the funeral for Martha & Thomas Wayne) - it becomes abundantly clear that Bruce Wayne has quite the journey ahead of him in his life (with plenty of whom have pre-developed plans & agendas to seize Wayne Enterprises for their own gain).
Bruce Wayne, born of a Mother & Father, heir to “the throne” (as it were), and thriving billionaire, one day decides to leave it all behind. It’s a moment of internal crisis for our protagonist due to the severely traumatic act of witnessing the death of his own parents (while almost being murdered himself). I know a lot of people think Kal-El (aka ‘Superman’, aka ‘Clark Kent’) is the end-all be-all of Superheroes (myself included), however, after a retrospective look back at Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy it becomes abundantly clear just how much credit this franchise did NOT receive from the critics & the artistic community (Hi, Academy. I’m lookin’ at ya’ll). Despite the worldwide acclaim, I believe this franchise was well ahead of it’s time in terms of the most important aspect of the entire achievement - The Story.
This is a franchise fully-devoted to the story and that is a significant contributor to the success of this version of Batman. I grew up watching old reruns on TV of Adam West & Burt Ward going around and ‘CLEANING-SOME-CLOCKS’ as it were (POW! ZAM! KLAM! CHOWDAH!), and I always hold that version near-and-dear to my heart because I still think the early 1960’s version of Batman was really fun & really awesome & an absolute delight. Plain & simple. ..Granted - as time continued and the characterization of Bruce Wayne (and his alter-ego “Batman”; His Armor; His Protective Shield) had advanced & developed into a new ground (conceptually-speaking). The core values of who Bruce Wayne is, where he comes from, and Why he does [what he does] did not truly become profoundly-realized for me until I’d say when the Animated series (1990’s! DUDE still one of the best Animated Series I’ve ever seen; like ‘a fine wine of cartoons’). “The Mask of The Phantasm” is still one of the best Batman stories I’ve ever seen - Such an incredible origin story for Bruce Wayne - and definitely one of the best animated, full-length features I had ever seen as a kid (Not to discount Tim Burton’s gothic-induced-dream-like version of the knight’s tale).
With Christopher Nolan’s contribution to the overall storyline of Batman - we truly have a Masterpiece Trilogy before us (as audience members). Nolan’s take on Batman is truly like no other (even surpassing efforts that preceded the franchise) in that he actually provides a glimpse into what it would look like if the fantasy actually became a reality. Christopher Nolan achieves that goal (Ten-fold) with this trilogy.
In the first film - what we know about Batman becomes hyper-realized with the emphasis on Bruce Wayne’s life in modern-day America (Gotham City being the quintessential metropolitan All-American city). An America that has succumbed to an overall tone of darkness & hopelessness (with the reality of tangible corruption & streets of truly deadly conditions) which has reached a pinnacle-of-suffering for the good people of Gotham (and perhaps, rippled outward into the rest of the world).
Jim Gordon (played PERFECTLY by Gary Oldman, one of the finest performing actors ever to be on screen), a symbol of Gotham’s defeated Law Enforcement, patrols the streets of Gotham City each night. Jim Gordon is one of the key individuals that Bruce Wayne reaches out towards (in his pre-Knight regalia) in the first stages of ‘Batman Begins’. Jim Gordon was the person who wrapped the coat around (a young) Bruce Wayne’s shoulders after his parents had been needlessly-murdered right before his very eyes. Jim Gordon was the one who kneeled to Bruce’s level, acknowledged his loss, and gave him that moment of kindness & warmth & honest-to-God decency. He acknowledged Bruce’s sorrow & loss with grace. He gave him a moment of simple human decency & kindness for the sake of kindness itself.
Jim Gordon’s kind gesture is merely a moment in time, which made all the difference for a young kid who just needed someone to simply be there for him. A moment that showed Bruce Wayne that Goodness & Human Decency can & does still exist in the world despite a traumatically-life-changing tragedy. Jim Gordon’s simple, nearly effortless act, is a sign that people Do honor good faith (and people who truly deserve it) and the good Do get rewarded.
I really like the character Bruce Wayne. I think he’s a better character than most that I’ve ever seen, especially since he actually has character. It’s a shame that people can not see beyond the surface to find the deeper meaning of this story. Bruce Wayne’s [incredible] journey takes place all over the world. When we find him in ‘..Begins’, he is locked up in the ominous mountains of Bhutan. His home now a desolate wasteland of an existence due to his loss. His tragedy (despite Jim Gordon’s act of kindness) had lead him astray and brought him across the other part of the world (only to discover what it truly means to suffer in poverty & hunger & pain & strife & darkness without any means of comfort). As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Bruce’s path is the ‘path-of-most-resistance.’ Rather than succumb to a frivolous, meaningless, and hollow existence - Bruce Wayne took the path rarely taken. He chose his own path, to earn his own personal truth, his own story to be lived & known (and eventually discovered by Gotham City).
When Bruce meets an unusual individual by the name of ‘Ducard’ (aka Ra’s al Ghul; aka Liam Neeson; Also played simultaneously by the honorable Ken Watanabe, respectively) in his own ‘personal hell’, Ducard feeds into Bruce’s fall from the path of grace (and his spiritual confusion). Ra’s al Ghul/Ducard is only interested in one thing: controlling Bruce Wayne. As Ra’s al Ghul is the quintessential ‘Handler’, or ‘Hypnotist’ of Bruce Wayne in the training period for Bruce Wayne’s spiritual journey - it becomes evident with each effort from Wayne that Ra’s al Ghul represents The Devil (aka ‘The Prince of Darkness’, ‘Satan’, ‘Lucifer’; The ‘Shadow Side’ of Saturn; See “Yikes!”; See “YOWZA”; See “Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife”; No Disrespect To The Coven; See Not My Lord; See God Protect Me).
From the moment we first-see Ra’s al Ghul - he is shrouded in darkness - lurking in the shadows within each unseen corner of the world - the proverbial serpent of the shadows (so-to-say). In a manner of speaking, Ra’s al Ghul is merely one of many faces throughout the story that showcase the forces of darkness in this particular cinematic legacy (from the depths of darkness, here to possess the living). Ra’s al Ghul attempts to indoctrinate Bruce Wayne (in Bad Faith) in the Bhutanese abyss; a wasteland for the damned (and where the death of hope thrives amidst the stone-prison-walls). Despite Ra’s al Ghul’s efforts - Bruce Wayne not only proves to be the most-prominent under-study of the cult (while being initiated into a secret society; a clandestine fraternity; a subversive order of assassins following an ancient practice (unknown & unseen by the blissful light of day).
Bruce Wayne’s prominence during his training cycle with ‘The League of Shadows’ (an appropriate title) shows us that he surpasses even Ra’s al Ghul’s expectations: showing how the student becomes the teacher (by upholding an authentic approach to having a Personal Moral Code & Justice & Ethical Values). Bruce Wayne is not only faster, stronger, and smarter than Ra’s al Ghul - Bruce Wayne is also wiser. Due to Wayne’s parents (and his friendships) he truly is ‘the shining example’ of true justice that Ra’s al Ghul has yet to achieve in life (due to his obsessive wrath).
Having destroyed the League of Shadows’ initiation grounds & temple of darkness - Bruce Wayne LITERALLY SAVES RA’S AL GHUL’S LIFE. ‘True Colors’ does not even begin to define such a moment for our protagonist (that’s a true sign of Mercy).
Despite Bruce Wayne saving Ra’s al Ghul’s life, afterwards the dude STILL tries to come back and kill Bruce AND Gotham City (Showing how The Devil has No Mercy for Anything, Anyone, or Anywhere and is just flat-out unwilling to acknowledge when something good actually does happen). Granted, at the end of “Batman Begins” we discover how Martha and Thomas Wayne were murdered as a direct result of Ra’s al Ghul & The League of Shadows (and their hatred for all things Gotham City & Western Civilization). It’s a diabolical reveal that the devil holds nothing sacred in the sanctity of human life. The devil will literally kill an angel after having been saved by said angel. In fact, Bruce Wayne’s own personal brush with death is (tragically) a common concern of not only Alfred, but Lucius Fox (played exquisitely by one Morgan Freeman), a former Board-Member & former colleague of Thomas Wayne (prior to his passing).
Bruce shows us that good people typically make a lot of good friends and have good people looking out for one’s best interest (no matter their walk of life). The most awe-inspiring truth of Bruce Wayne/Batman is that his ‘best interest’ is preserving & honoring the good faith of his community and the people in his life (including his ancestors, mind-you, as well as the herculean guidance of one Alfred Pennyworth). Without friends - life goes nowhere - that’s a universal truth. Bruce Wayne nearly died so many times in this trilogy and I don’t think people appreciate that aspect of these movies. This is an individual who literally put his life on the line to save the soul of the city he loves (wanting nothing other than a good, normal, & happy life). I know people only fixate on ‘the How’, but I think ‘the Why’ is the most important element of Bruce Wayne’s fictional example.
Bruce Wayne (as all of us) exists for a reason. His life (albeit fictional) does have an important purpose in the grand scheme of things (as one puts it).
Of course, this reason is emphasized (more & more) by his best friend, Rachel Dawes (among others). It’s a shame that Katie Holmes did not portray Rachel Dawes in both of the first two films, however, I found it to be very impressive [just] how smoothly Maggie Gyllenhaal performed as the character. It’s one of the rare instances in which a character is portrayed by two different performers who both managed to bring an equal amount of dignity & respect to said character. Katie Holmes & Maggie Gyllenhaal should both be applauded for their contributions & performance(s) as the grown-up portrayal of Rachel Dawes.
Rachel Dawes is the positive-female-influence in Bruce Wayne’s life (complimentary to that of Alfred Pennyworth’s positive-male-influence; or non-gender-specific-neutral-influence? Sure, why not) that is necessary to develop his respect & honor towards women (which is a necessary element of chivalry). Chivalry is not dead in America: The examples set before us can be found within our own real-life society (I shall go into that more later..).
More important than Rachel Dawes’ positive influence on Bruce Wayne is her genuine friendship (since their childhood). Rachel is not interested in taking advantage of Bruce or using him for her own personal gain. Rachel Dawes genuinely cares about Bruce Wayne and how well the quality of his life (as well as the life of the community) have grown. Rachel Dawes shows Bruce what is occurring in the streets of Gotham on a daily basis. Rachel is living, breathing, working, and seeing what has become of Gotham City - a limping giant of a once-prominent-city (Modern-Day America in a nutshell). Rachel Dawes reminds Bruce Wayne of the importance of Good People Taking Ownership of One’s Community. She reminds him that life is not only about one’s own personal pain, but alas, the collective pain of which a community must endure & resolve (as a said community) with good faith; “It’s not about who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”
In the second act of Nolan’s Cinematic Epic, “The Dark Knight” - Bruce Wayne encounters the tangible result of Newton’s Third Law: for every action there is an equal (or greater) reaction; hence ‘The Joker’ (played enormously by the late Heath Ledger; Rest in Peace).
The Joker is the response to Bruce Wayne’s actions in the first act, and in every way, he is Bruce Wayne’s exact opposite (albeit opposites, their life paths are balancing on the same proverbial axis of existence). Bruce Wayne is a reflection of light while The Joker is a product of darkness (Negative Energy, Pessimism, Hate, Evil, Unhappiness, Pain, Suffering, Misery, Torment, Violence, & Trauma). While Batman is the answer to corrupt forces in Gotham City - The Joker is the reaction to The Bat-Man.
The Joker is the continuation of opposing forces attempting to infiltrate Bruce Wayne’s life & community (as would a specter in the shadows, a spider in the darkest reaches of lunacy; a.k.a. the absence of faith, the inversion of angels; i.e. Demons, Demonic Entities, Dark Deities, etc). The Joker represents everything evil in society - everything sick, everything sad, everything hurt. To The Joker (and the fools before him) - society is an infestation, a plague, a result of toxicity & corruption (especially the light of which darkness cannot fathom). Batman is the antithesis to Joker’s Chaos. Batman is the collective honor & balance of civility & justice & good faith quantified into one symbolic rogue.
Heath Ledger’s performance of Joker was nothing short of awe-inspiring artistry & workmanship (WorkPERSONship?). His passing was a needless tragedy and although his performance garnered him numerous accolades - I wish he did not have to die in order to attain it (It should have been him accepting the award - it should have been him). Without a doubt, an equal to Joaquin Phoenix’s performance (if not Superior) - I still acknowledge Heath Ledger’s ground-breaking performance as a perfect triumph of Acting (although I think the character is absolutely distorted on all accounts; despite Joker’s persuasive wit).
Many people like to compare Joaquin Phoenix & Heath Ledger’s performance(s) as The Joker (folks compare everything in life), and I think both performances stand strongly on equal ground. Total Perfection. No doubt about it - and one kinda goes with the other if you were to align the vision side-by-side. Of course I love me some Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s “Batman” - I think he gave an undeniably frightening & charismatic performance just as Ledger & Phoenix (proof of the character’s universal & artistic appeal). Although Heath Ledger’s performance shall always be praised as a definitive milestone in Acting on Film - I still think the character is a twisted f**k (pardon my American).
Not only does Joker attempt to destroy Bruce Wayne’s personal Faith, but also everyone he cares about in his life, and everyone in the entire city of Gotham, USA. The pitiful tragedy of Joker’s existence is the sad truth that he lacks good faith in not only himself, but the people of Gotham, and the one individual who is genuinely trying to make a good difference in the world: Bruce Wayne.
It is a tragedy & a disgrace to humankind that Rachel Dawes & Harvey Dent (played by the Always-Excellent Aaron Eckhart) died in vain (as Thomas & Martha before them). It’s a sin that the Joker did what he did to everyone in Gotham City. It’s unGodly that so many human beings had to lose their lives, needlessly, just because of one individual’s own loss of innocence, and more specific, his loss of personal faith in his life (and in the world, of which, we live). The reason why Joker is dangerous is because he is the quintessential ‘mass shooter.’ He is the terrorist. He is the result of a society that has forgotten him. He is the reason why so many people struggle & suffer in contemporary society - not because he caused it, but because he fed into it - preying on the life force of humanity & destroying the efforts of truly good people who kept striving to save the soul of humanity (within the framework of a struggling eco-system).
If Bruce Wayne did not have friends he would have been dead in the first act of the story - that is a fact. When Dr. Jonathan (Not ‘Frasier’) Crane (aka ‘The Scarecrow’) had attacked Batman (in ‘Begins’) with the weaponized hallucinogens, Bruce Wayne was almost killed. If it was not for Alfred Pennyworth & Lucius Fox, Bruce would have been dead in the streets of Gotham. The consistent importance of Friendship is quite evident when thinking of Bruce Wayne’s network of acquaintances (both in ‘high’ & ‘low’ places) in the city of Gotham. This also applies in the opposite, with Bruce becoming an important (and powerful) friend to certain individuals of Gotham City (in return).
Friendship is a universal quality of humanity that should be cherished & honored. Friendship, like everything, requires effort. Bruce Wayne’s life requires effort even though he is a “billionaire playboy” - he still has struggles just like anyone else, and he shares the struggle with his friends (since they became a sort of surrogate family; more like extended-family; legal & spiritual guardians). Bruce Wayne is a fictional example that no one is free from life’s struggle and life’s personal challenges & lessons (no matter the ‘advantages’ or ‘upbringing’). It’s a sign of brilliance on behalf of the conceptual team behind the vision of The Dark Knight Trilogy. I know a lot of people focus on the action sequences and the drama of the theatrical dance of Light & Dark play out on screen in the form of the Batman & the Joker, but beneath the surface is a sincere sociological & political commentary (and spiritual message).
The Light & The Dark (i.e. Positive & Negative, God & Lucifer, Heaven & Hell, Angels & Demons, the Good & the Bad vibes, The Upward Infinity & The Downward Spiral, etc, etc, etc): it is at the fundamental core of our collective balance of existence; Life as we know it to be. It is my humble understanding that the eternal balance is a necessary process, it requires effort on both sides. Both Light & Dark must cooperate to preserve the equinox-of-existence (just one person’s opinion based off of observation & objective analysis, take it or leave it).
The death of Bruce Wayne’s best friend, Rachel Dawes, was not only a tragedy in Bruce’s life, it was a tragedy for innocence. She was so angelic & kind & giving & honorable & brave - her Faith is what helped Bruce remember his childhood innocence (before he was robbed of said innocence), and her last words (which were concealed from Bruce due to desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures; see Alfred Pennyworth), she continued to spread the message of Good Faith in Humanity despite the fact that she was needlessly murdered. A defining attribute of Rachel Dawes’ character is one-in-the-same as Martha and Thomas Wayne - the Belief & Faith in Humanity despite the monumental heartache & loss (and yes, trauma & death).
If one recalls the time in the first act when Alfred was bringing Bruce Wayne back from the mountains of Bhutan - Alfred briefly mentions how Bruce Wayne’s ancestors’ tireless efforts to keep their community alive (even at the worst of times) nearly made them bankrupt. It was their tireless dedication (their faith) that paved the way to set a foundation for future generations to prosper (while honoring the efforts of said ancestors). Although their example did not improve Gotham’s economic prosperity overnight, the murder of Martha & Thomas Wayne set the wealthy of Gotham into action (as the story goes).
Bruce Wayne comes from a long lineage of helpers. Helpful People who are Good. People who want to see the best results out of humanity’s efforts (as a whole). People who believe in the power of the individual, and the social end-result of one individual’s tireless faith (and life choices).
Although Bruce Wayne’s ancestors are not the focal point of Batman, they are his bloodline & family’s history which in it’s own right deserves to be honored & respected (I know this is a fictional character, but roll with me here, people HahaHA).
Yes, “The Dark Knight” consists of nothing short of complete Mayhem, and YES, The Joker may make ya pee a little bit (just a little), and maybe even laugh (the writing is pretty damn genius in my humble opinion). I acknowledge that “The Dark Knight” should have been nominated for Best Picture (Double that for “The Dark Knight Rises”), and I acknowledge that Christian Bale should have been nominated for Best Actor his final performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman (I think he was snubbed, but hey I’m not in the Academy, so what do I know, right? HahaHA).
Speaking of “The Dark Knight Rises”, I still believe it’s the best Batman movie of all time. I understand (and have heard) many folks say “The Dark Knight” was a better movie, however, I believe (on the contrary) that not only is the third act of Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece a testament of cinematic storytelling - it is a testament to just how AWESOME we are when we perform at our best. When we work together, we are at our best (as a country, and as a people).
“The Dark Knight Rises”, at it’s core, is a cyclical nod to everything that was established in the first act of the trilogy (a perfect Full Circle), and of course, is the conclusion of Batman. Every lesson in Bruce Wayne’s life, every struggle, every enemy, every friend - every aspect of Bruce Wayne’s life is interwoven with Gotham City (and the people of Gotham) as he & his friends defend Gotham City (and everyone in it). In “The Dark Knight Rises”, Bruce Wayne has become a Hermit; locked away, half man, half mythos, in an air of mystery & fascination (among the ones who still speak of the elusive figure; a fading memory of a silent guardian). And as a hermit, Bruce has become deeply reclusive due to the Joker’s killing spree in Gotham City nearly a decade prior (while exploiting the sick minds & lost souls who stand for nothing [and truly fall for anything]).
While an average person would possibly accept Bruce Wayne’s physically-defeated, emotionally-scarred, and spiritually-damaged condition - Alfred Pennyworth (God Bless ‘em) does what any individual of Good Faith would do - he encourages Bruce. He sees Bruce as a human being, not as a symbol. He cares about Bruce Wayne’s life, his well-being, his overall fulfillment, and Bruce’s personal happiness. He chose to honor the pact he made with Thomas Wayne to protect the family fortune (most importantly, Bruce). Alfred Pennyworth has his own fascinating & rich history from his own backstory (having been a soldier in his younger years). Fact of the matter is, Alfred never stopped being a soldier at heart. He is True Blue; a true man of the cause; a true Englishman, a true American, and overall a true HUMAN BEING. He is a True Believer of preserving all that is sacred & righteous in our world. He is a Saint and he is a blessing (in contrast to Ra’s al Ghul’s curse-like presence; working in Bad Faith; a destructive force; almost the polar opposite of Alfred).
One thing I love about the final film in Nolan’s titanic, artistic, commercial, & cinematic effort is just how well the Production had managed to pull off the third act (having so many characters and SO much exposition) especially considering the factors that most wouldn’t even consider (i.e. Budget, Lights, Sound, Wardrobe, Set Design, making sure everyone’s hitting their marks, making sure all the stunt-work is safe, making sure it’s all coordinated to the “T” - the amount of brain-storming, conceptualization, the marketing, the pre-production, the principal photography, the post-production, etc etc etc). Movies that require so much of the cast & crew do not always work well, but Warner Bros. & Nolan’s Team somehow managed to actually pull it off. They did what no one else could do - they made Batman real. Christian Bale made Bruce Wayne real. He made Bruce Wayne truly Human (even if just for a moment).
In this day & age (with everything that just happened very recently in our very own United States of America) - one could find a jaw-dropping parallel to what happened when ‘Bane’ came to Gotham City (played ferociously by the envelope-pushing Tom Hardy; see “Bronson”, so gnarly) to what had happened to our own U.S. Capitol.
Bane is the darkness (cloaked with brute force) that feeds off of the fear of humanity. Bane is a product of The League of Shadows (with Hardy’s vocal performance being a nod to UK & Ireland Bare-Knuckle-Boxing Champion, Bartley “King of The Gypsies” Gorman), and was actually ex-communicated from the league (so the story goes) by Ra’s al Ghul (himself). Word around the campfire is that Bane is a force of nature (more destructive than known before) and will stop at nothing to ‘fulfill the destiny of Ra’s al Ghul.’ Bane is a result of fringe-Cult-Mind-Control-Indoctrination (a life devoid of pure faith & free-will entirely; typically due to some possible form of sincere trauma and/or loss and governing authority; aka The Darkness).
The legend of Bane is more rumor than fact. He is just as elusive as Batman, and just as evil as Joker (if not more). Bane’s physicality brings Bruce Wayne to his knees in the third act of Nolan’s 3-piece work-of-art, while also providing all of the intellectually-driven rationale (totally psychotic) behind his Madness & Apocalyptic ambitions. Bane is a real-life-threat to Bruce Wayne & Gotham City (and The American Way). Bane represents the overall threat to our way of life (as a humanity). Bane is everything wrong with world leaders & corrupt forces (cultivated into the most toxic physical form); like a deranged & disfigured Churchill who lumbers about (as a lion in a den) in the underground infrastructure of Gotham City’s sewage system (almost as a warped, drug-induced, Shakespearean Emperor). Bane is a deadly force of nature, fueled entirely by the sickness of bad faith; coerced into his own psychosis by probably the most complex & frightening character of the entire series - Talia al Ghul (a.k.a. ‘Miranda Tate’, played unnervingly-well by one Marion Cotillard [the child played by Joey King, respectively]; her performance sends chills up the spine upon numerous viewings).
While introducing Batman & Gotham’s new enemies, some of Bruce’s new friends in the final (and most epic) installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman storyline are Officer [Robin] John Blake (played exceptionally by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and a Wild-Card-Femme-Fatale character by the name of Selina Kyle (a.k.a. ‘Catwoman’, performed very well by Anne Hathaway). Joseph Gordon-Levitt shines as young Patrol Officer Blake - also having been an orphan, like Bruce Wayne, and a true believer in the purpose of Bruce Wayne (Batman) in Gotham City. Unlike Bruce, however, Robin is not a billionaire & Robin was not born into a life of privilege. Despite his brief backstory, Robin Blake, like Bruce Wayne, has Faith in Humanity. It’s why he puts on the uniform (speculative subtext). He does not have the luxury to become Batman, so just as Jim Gordon does - He works with what is given to him. He applies himself within the structure already established within Gotham (despite the restrictions & limitations of said structures of society). He, like ‘Serpico’ before him (see Al Pacino) is a regular Cop who just wants to do what the Law is supposed to do: To Protect & To Serve the good people of Gotham City.
Selina Kyle, on the other hand, is on a path between The Light & The Dark (on a sort of ‘spiritual tight-rope’ between the two paths). Selina’s life path is one of constant survival and constant running. As a ‘Cat Burglar’, Selina Kyle is a flat-out Crook. Her tough exterior conceals what truly is underneath her mask - a person who, too, has faith in humanity (proof that the ones who wander are not lost). Unfortunately for Bruce Wayne, as previously-mentioned, ‘Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures’ - and Selina Kyle’s desperation put Bruce directly into the hands of Bane & The League of Shadows (at a truly disturbing moment in the film). While forces of The League of Shadows’ (combined with a few of Wayne Enterprises’ own ‘bad seeds’, i.e. Daggett, Stryver, etc) disseminate chaos throughout the plot of “The Dark Knight Rises” (by destroying the city of Gotham and exiling Bruce Wayne across the world into a pit of hell) - all of the friends Bruce Wayne has made start to band together to organize a resistance with the surviving members of local (and once-established) authorities. The honor, the people, the community of Gotham City, and the overall driving spirit - the collective faith of the city (as a whole) had been damn-near destroyed entirely in this film. The resistance was born from those of whom are still faithful to their city and the rights of every individual who resides within.
Between the clandestine operations of Robin & his fellow law enforcement officers (all trapped underneath Gotham due to The League’s devastating terrorist attack), the United States Federal Government (and necessary agencies) & Wayne Enterprises (with ‘Miranda Tate’, Lucius Fox, etc), and the awe-inspiring action-sequences in this grand finale - there is no denial that the final installment of The Dark Knight Trilogy is the most realistic & visceral revolutionary epic set in modern-day America. It’s funny when one stops to think that this was all originally based off of a comic book character published by Detective Comics in the late 1930’s. It’s astonishing to think of just how far this fantasy story has evolved throughout the years.
Bruce Wayne is more than a comic book character. Bruce Wayne is a symbol of humanity. That is his ‘superpower’ - his Humanity. He is more than just a person fighting crime to honor his family’s faith & heritage - he is honoring the faith of humanity as it stands today. After all of the corruption & loss & trauma - Bruce Wayne never lost faith in what we have in life (even after losing so many loved ones and frequently having his own life in harm’s way). As he strives to defeat the darkness of Gotham (by striking fear into the hearts of those who prey upon the fearful), the force of darkness continues to rise to attempt to destroy & defeat The Light (Futility at it’s finest).
The greatest villain of all, Batman’s most incredible threat throughout the entire trilogy is actually Talia Al Ghul (Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter & heir to The League of Shadows; the true leader of the cult). She is the one who almost destroys Gotham City (if it wasn’t for Bruce Wayne and everyone who stepped up to do what was right to defend the city).
Although Talia does not fight Batman physically - she is the only villain who ever slept with Batman & exploited him with complete intimacy (seducing Bruce Wayne in a seemingly romantic moment in the film). Talia (still known as “Miranda” by this point in the story), appears innocent & sweet upon first glance, however with multiple viewings of the film, one begins to understand the disturbing nature of what Miranda/Talia is and is Not saying in Bruce Wayne’s presence (a brief glimmer of her spiritual void). Talia al Ghul truly is Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter and her light has been completely stamped out by the fact that she, not Bane, was the one who came out from the pit of hell (as it is revealed in the climax of this epic conclusion). The Devil lurks in many forms - in this particular case, Talia al Ghul displays the darkness as it exists in feminine form. Marion Cotillard was the most over-looked performance of the series (in my personal opinion) and I think as much as Tom Hardy does not get enough credit for his, at times, somewhat Macbethian performance (albeit not as flamboyant as Joker, but even more deadly) - I believe Talia al Ghul is the greatest threat to Gotham City in this trilogy (sorry, fellas).
While magnifying the character of Talia al Ghul, one must acknowledge her natural ability to be a ‘Wolf-in-Sheep’s-Clothing.’ She is the deadliest threat to Humanity due to her belief in a necessary demise of Gotham (seeing Gotham City as a hotbed of hypocrisy & imperialism). Talia al Ghul has no problem burning the barrel over a few bad apples (if that makes sense). While Talia is the CEO of Wayne Enterprises, she was also simultaneously dictating every strategy for The League of Shadows behind closed doors. She is the ‘Queen’, ‘The Head of The Serpent’, The Leader of ‘The Hive.’ She is the quintessential ‘Wicked Witch’, The ‘Bad Girl’, the ‘Goddess’, Kali, Baphomet, etc etc etc). She is an individual, born into a pit of darkness, and exposed to a potentially-life-shattering amount of trauma (based off of the staggering display of complete psychosis; albeit tremendously stealthy & downplayed under her facade of congeniality).
Talia al Ghul is the mastermind who inherited the crown from Ra’s al Ghul’s ‘throne’ (if that makes sense). She is a product of trauma, suffering, & loneliness, but more importantly, a severely sick individual who needs some serious mental & emotional help (more than Joker & Harley Quinn combined) and is the deadliest foe of all (due to her intellect & internalized rage & female fury & her knowledge of all things Gotham & Bruce Wayne/Batman). Talia al Ghul, like Batman, is a force of nature; especially due to her complete cutthroat tactics and inversion of personal Faith in Humanity. Talia al Ghul initially comes across as a meek & angelic person, responsible for the credibility & success of Wayne Enterprises. Her entire life, however, has been dedicated towards the infiltration of Gotham City, USA, and she is the only character in the film who is truly superior to Bruce Wayne in terms of sheer will-power (He caught up to her in the end though). What saves Bruce Wayne is his network of friends (Alfred, Jim Gordon, Lucius, Robin, Selina, etc), in addition to his mind, body, & spirit (once they attain alignment).
I don’t know what others have said, but I think Robin & Catwoman were actually done brilliantly in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Robin was a pleasant surprise for me as a viewer (truth be told; although I thought Ryan Gosling (GOS!) would have made an amazing Robin in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’; much respect for Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Selina Kyle/Catwoman is fascinating due to her being the wild card of the last film (that truly helped level the playing-field; Girl-Power).
Catwoman, unlike Batman & Robin, is a big question mark throughout the majority of the last film. Her presence is just as elusive & threatening as Talia’s, however, Catwoman (unlike Talia al Ghul), underneath it all, is a Good Person trapped in a bad situation. That is a common thread in this storyline - Good people being in bad places (i.e. Jim Gordon, Lucius Fox, Rachel Dawes, Harvey Dent, etc). On the flip side of the coin - there are plenty of bad folks in good places amidst Gotham’s corrupt forces (i.e. Dr. Crane/Scarecrow, Carmine Falcone, Judge Faden, Detective Ramirez, Detective Wuertz, etc). It’s a reality known all too well in our modern society.
When one observes the overall arc of Bruce Wayne’s transformational life experiences in Nolan’s Comic Book Epic - I have to reiterate the notion of duality consistently interwoven within each one of these films. Light & Dark - Good & Evil - Positive & Negative - the eternal dance - it is the driving force of this franchise (as Bruce is the quintessential “Light Worker” - not that I’m soliciting ‘New Age’ [or ‘Old Age’ for that matter] ideologies, just a matter-of-saying). Bruce Wayne symbolizes The Light of God found in human form (at the very core and most-primary form of what Natives call, “The Great Spirit”, respectively), of which must seize the day to tame the night. Bruce is the epitome of a Capricorn/Aquarius cusp (Western Astrology/Zodiac) - in full force - bringing the water to those who are thirsty, bringing food to those who are starving, and healing the suffering of a people by means of very serious mental, physical, and Yes, Spiritual Work & Seriously Visionary Goals. Bruce Wayne is the Light while Bane is the Darkness of Humanity (the brute force, the inversion of light); the absence of faith. Although he does indeed have an inherent belief within his bones (and muscles reminiscent of mountains), Bane is still dependent on man-made ideologies & approaches (entirely based in the material world). The League of Shadows are attempting to summon the fires from hell in order to bring the dark prince into Heaven to seize the light (again, futility) to fulfill the devil’s ultimate lie (talk about a God-Complex..Oh me, Oh my) of Superiority (‘Can’t we all just get along?’).
When examining Talia al Ghul’s presence as a double-agent mastermind - her reveal is one of the most important plot twists of the series. Talia being a hidden “mole” within the resistance of Gotham City during The League of Shadows’ Hostile Takeover sets off Martial Law in Gotham - which sparks an uprising in the city that eventually saves Gotham (due to the efforts of a network of people who utilized adaptability & effective methods of coordination & action). Bane is to Batman as Talia is to Catwoman (just as Harvey is to Rachel; Duality; Gemini, Twins). What’s so incredible about Selina Kyle is her purpose in the story as a symbol that people CAN & DO redeem themselves despite having a checkered past (something a good amount of folks have in this day-and-age, myself included). Although the clandestine efforts of Gotham’s resistance had been futile due to the fact that Talia al Ghul was hiding in plain sight (a stroke of genius on the writing), Selina Kyle was the defining individual that tipped the scale in favor for Gotham City (and more importantly, Humanity as a Whole). She had an opportunity to leave Gotham and have a clean slate, but she had a personal moment-of-crisis... That’s because she has a soul, and in her soul, she knows, by faith & intuition, that humanity needed her help (one could speculate). She went back & risked her life (God bless her), which was a full circle nod, of which, echoed the sentiment originally planted within the first film: The moment when Rachel Dawes asked a younger Bruce Wayne, “..What chance does Gotham have if the good people do nothing?” (Edmund Burke; ‘Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents’ , regarding the nepotism of a monarchy).
Talia al Ghul is a highly-complex character (next to Bruce Wayne) in the series due to the potential life she may have lead as an orphan born in the pit of hell (shot in the jaw-dropping landscape of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India). She is also the most tragic due to the fact that she literally has an opportunity to leave her life of pain & suffering behind to be with Bruce Wayne, but succumbs to the ‘Shadow Side.’ ...You know something is ‘rotten in the state of Denmark’ when she would rather destroy the world than have a ‘happily ever after’ with Bruce Wayne. Her spirit fell back into the proverbial pit of despair & darkness (without ‘The Light’) that she had escaped from (in a metaphoric sense). Bane, like Scarecrow before him, is merely a pawn in the worldwide game of Chess (‘all the world is a stage...’). The tragedy of Talia is that she is someone who was born into darkness and literally had to pay for the sins of her father (as her mother did, tragically).
Talia al Ghul is the most heart-breaking villain of the trilogy simply due to her life being a complete tragedy. One begins to ponder if she had a romantic evening with Bruce Wayne simply because she had felt the cold winter of loneliness for too long, or if she desperately (just for a moment) wanted to be one with God’s Light & a person’s gentle embrace (although I don’t know I might be wrong - she was probably like “Hey, it’s either Scary-Ass Bane or six-pack abs Bruce Wayne. HMMM. Let’s tip the scale on that one - HAhaHa, I digress). Regardless of reasoning - Talia al Ghul’s complexity is probably no match for the intense unhappiness she carries with her. It’s no surprise due to the fact that her mother’s absolutely unGodly demise (so sad) was the catalyst that sparked her mission from Hell (with her hound-of-hell on a leash, aka Bane). As much as I may condemn Talia al Ghul & Bane - I want to reason with them. I want to listen to them and I want to let them know that America is not a bad place, and we are not a bad people. I want to find a common ground, and extend the olive branch (as the saying goes) in order to help heal their pain & misconceptions of Americans and Humanity (as a whole), without having to give my (or anyone else’s) life in the process.
I have a belief that if Talia al Ghul was given a fair & ample opportunity to have a better life in America - she would have taken it (if she had not been so deeply-programmed with hate). I have the understanding & more concrete belief that it is due to her life-long journey of trauma-based-indoctrination as the main culprit as to why she simply won’t cease & desist from committing further acts of wrath upon Humanity. Talia al Ghul could have put just as much effort into the healing as the killing (but she fell back into that spiritual pit). I know why she hates. She hates because she weeps, deep down inside in her soul at night (when no one is around), for her trauma & her unbearable internal pain. She hates because she is repeating the pattern of trauma that may or may not have been applied to her mind, body, and worst of all - her soul. She hates because she had hatred put into her (since being a small, innocent child) and she put that hatred out into the world (a severe lack of comfort, love, care, family, and yes - Faith). Although symbols of lightness, darkness, duality, and representations of sins & faith are all spread across this monumental achievement in film (without having to shove a Cross in someone’s face) - at the very core of this film is, again, the importance of faith in humanity despite our individual & collective tragedies (and shared injustice). The importance of striving, no matter the odds, no matter the pain, no matter how dark the night.
I believe the BEST moment in the entire story was the moment Bruce Wayne climbed out of the pit to save his people. He could have easily died a painful & shameful death in that ancient prison (while watching his city & country being destroyed by an insane fringe cult; a militia of madness; a false liberation). A lot of people seem to overlook just how incredible & truly powerful that moment is in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Tom Conti (a perfect performance of an apathetic mentor-like figure; complimented brilliantly by one Uri Gavriel as the exiled Medical Doctor of a Monarch) & Christian Bale’s overall dynamic in the entire pit sequence was a masterful stroke of storytelling (tying back to the first film, putting Bruce Wayne back where he first began). It’s fascinating to find Bruce Wayne, with a severely-injured body, having to rebuild himself and strengthening his spirit to rise out of the pit of despair - the pit of personal hell, the unforgiving pit of Time (Capricorn; Saturn; Kronos; “The Task-Master”, “The Reaper”; Reward or Punishment; Karma; The Lord of The Rings). The moment of truth comes when Bruce Wayne discovers (through numerous attempts) that it is his spirit that must rise to seize the light - without vanity, without any fancy gadgets, technology, tricks up his sleeve, or any clever contraption (or vehicle) to assist him in the process. This was a moment for Bruce Wayne and Bruce Wayne alone. This is what we call our moment to “Shine” as an individual being... our independent spirit. Bruce Wayne had to learn what it meant to climb out of the pit of hell and abandon his fear (as the child in the legend had done; Talia al Ghul).
The pit can represent many things to many different people. The eye of the beholder truly does apply to this (as well as any) story. For the individual to think & feel for one’s self - and to also believe in one’s self. The pit can be a literal prison - or it could be a wealthy kingdom. I know (from personal experience) the feeling of being at the pit of one’s own existence. I know what it means to be a prisoner trapped in one’s own body (due to unwanted pain & suffering & hidden trauma). I’ve learned the plight of humanity and the experience of suffering in the night (I’m just like everybody else). I have been there. I have known the darkness. I have known what it means to “dance with the devil under the pale moonlight” (as the expression goes). I’ve known what it means to defend the innocent from evil, thrusting myself into danger to save family members from toxic masculinity & extreme violence (since being a little boy). I have known the darkness, which is why I kept searching for my own personal truths & answers (which ended the day I had a near-death experience & literally saw The Light of God; 100% Serious). I have known all of these things, but I also know that the people who put that hurt into me had that same hurt (if not worse) put into them... That’s the paradox of trauma. The original source goes so far back it’s pointless to trace - which is why I look FORWARD in Life. I no longer dwell in the weight of one’s misery & spiritual darkness - I seize the light by choosing a good life (to fulfill my own purpose).
At the risk of my own humiliation & embarrassment (and at the delight of those of whom feel actual glee out of my personal struggles & suffering; God knows who you are), I can acknowledge that I am someone who has lived “in the darkness” before. I have known what it means to suffer and toil without the light of God in my life. I have abandoned my own belief in God before, and my own personal Faith before... it’s not something I am particularly proud of, and although I have survived various life experiences that made me plunge into the pessimistic side of life (having been mentally, physically, and yes - Sexually-Abused in my early childhood) - I reach out (in spirit) to anyone who may be reading my words, who has possibly fallen from the good grace of God (especially due to what has happened in our country). I, too, know what it is to lose faith in God & The True Light (as opposed to the Man-Made light). I know what it’s like to suffer & hate “The Believers” (my trauma came from a so-called “believer”).
You know, stories are more powerful than one may ever think (as well as Family, Friendship, Fun, and Faith). I have lived in my own personal hell before - I have ‘had it all’ and then lost EVERYTHING the following year. I have rebuilt my life SO many times (too many damn times), and I’ve learned one ultimate truth that I MUST share with everyone who is (and will be) alive to read these words...
..There IS A GOD. THERE IS A LIGHT. It may not be visible because we cannot see what lies beyond the veil of existence, but I assure you - Everyone is Alive for a REASON (and Individual Purpose). Women may have the divine gift of giving Life (RESPECT!), but we ALL have the gift of giving LIGHT (each in our own unique way). We all have a way to help heal and put something good into the world, despite our shared pain & trauma, as a people. We all deserve to be happy and have a decent opportunity for a healthy & happy existence (ESPECIALLY with our modern-day world; unless if folks start committing crimes and harming others and whatnot). I believe we are all at our best when we cooperate & coexist with one another (despite our individual differences). The Light does not need to shine out The Darkness just as The Darkness shall never overthrow The Light. We can live in a spiritual Harmony. We do not have to walk the same path. We do not have to share the same spiritual beliefs. I just think we CAN share this world (as I believe we are truly alive in what is known as the Garden of Eden).
We do not have to destroy ourselves to prosper. We can live among one another (with dignity & respect & honor). I’m not always happy to see that people willingly practice certain principles & “values”, but who am I to judge? That’s why God is here... It’s a tough lesson to accept, but it’s true. I should not judge someone just because they worship darkness - because at the end of the day that’s between them and their purpose in life - not mine. I have walked the line, but I never learned from others shouting in my face - I learned from listening & civility & patience & yes - Faith. That’s the purpose of the light - not to drown out the dark, but to work together (as Santa Clause & Krampus do), as a balance of necessary elements that will always be present in our own reality. We, as a contemporary society, have lost touch with the natural way of the world (well, a good amount of folks anyhow). We, as a humanity, have become so vain that we do not even know which way is Up & Down anymore - which way is truly Left & Right. We, as the soul of humanity, have suffered in the darkness for far too long (due to those who wish to control our individual light). We, as a country, MUST help one another climb out of our collective pit of despair - our sociological prison (cultivated through the last aeon), our ‘darkness.’ It has happened before and it can happen again - and to all of my fellow beings of whom shall always carry within us, The Light of Goodness, the love of God, and the wisdom of The Light - I say to thee: RISE.
I give Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy a PERFECT 10 out of 10! The most inspiring superhero franchise of all time (in my opinion). Bruce Wayne & Gotham City show us that Chivalry is NOT dead in The United States of America (despite our challenges). Christopher Nolan’s Cinematic Achievement is victorious in it’s final conclusion: Gotham City IS worth Saving, as our very own Humanity - and Yes - We can all have a better way of life without having to sacrifice our own lives in the process. We can rise to fulfill our individual & collective destiny (as decent human beings) and have, not the life we need, but the one we DESERVE.
*This is dedicated in loving memory to everyone who has lived & died in service of The Light..✝️
“I see a beautiful city... and a brilliant people, rising from this abyss... I see the lives, for which I lay down my life: peaceful, useful, prosperous, and happy... I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendents (generations hence)... It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known...”
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