It was just another summer. School was out, and for a while, as I had stepped out of 4 years of FSM and 4 years of the night watch, going hard to say the least. Sleeping fine. My first summer working with ATC. The night was young. Hot steaming hot July and the movie that had all the right anticipation. Everyone was enthralled by Batman Begins in 2005. I remember being blindsided by how great this new installment of Batman had become. It had been done with such goofy slapstickness( if that’s a word). The time had come for a new super hero. Except when Bob Kane created Batman he did certainly travel down the rocky dark, somewhat horrific path. Taking this intuition from Mememto Christopher Nolan certainly stepped into something else and something of deep, grave darkness at the same time. 3 years after we got the launch pad to shoot go for a sequel everyone excpected the same amount of greatness in the Dark Knight. There was however, life with consequences that took place as well. I don’t want to get into conspiracy theory over the death of Heath Ledger and I don’t really want to give much space for this but it is a fact that there was a connection between taking the sadistic neurotic phyco of Joker into the already warped demented drug filled life of Heath Ledger. To say Heath had a problem with drugs before this film would be true but to say the role took him down an even darker path would be true to. All we know is 6 months before the release, Jan. 2008, Heath is dead. And so fast forward 6 months. And 6 months of America. The Oscars rant and rave over this film. Heath gets recognized even for such a indelible role and what a way to go down too; the role of your life before you die. David Goyer and Christopher Nolan must be so proud of themselves for writing such a twisted character that destroys such inspidid writing as the past in these characters. Yes Jack was scary in 1989 but he certainly has managed to be fine in real life. All this build up to this great movie and I am standing in line at Midnight July 16, 2008 with my friends scratching my head and laughing all sort of ironically. I am a deep person. I am a feeler. I am intuitive. I write and something was certainly writing worthy of my experience this night. Scratched out somewhere in some shoddy notebook in my drawer is probably this story but after watching the trailer for the newest Batman Dark Knight Rises I am up late carving out this one for ya.
What struck me in my pondering was all the vital signs for success and hype. I love hype. I live for hype. I live for culture. Pop culture. To be a Christian and to have this desire is well reluctantly true. I wish it were not the case sometimes. I wish I just read books more and never saw anything but every time I go down that path I feel I am trying to live in denial. My mom says I am the most excited when movies are on. Well that’s just prophetic isn’t it, record that and mail that word to me. But truth be known I am looking around at how clueless and spineless everyone was being. Kids dressed as Joker himself kind of laughing at such a twisted representation. People in line at 12am for a MOVIE, a 2 hour film! This is very normal for our culture so I feel I can just say that and you have that image in your mind. But there I am, feeling sort of sick at myself for gawking over such grave darkness. I am there with all my IHOP friends. This is no slam on IHOP but I really did see it with my friends and that’s the world we were in. these two worlds certainly collided and collusion filled me, mostly days later after this. I kept chugging on and watched the movie. I watched it. I saw it. I took it in. It ended 2 hours later and there I was walking out of the parking lot in Kansas, in Leawood; at the end of my 4 year stint of bible learning, not that it ever comes to and end, and out of my deceived frame I say: man, I thought it was going to be worse. To my left: O, man, it was so cool how he told a different story about the scars! And blababagagabaabbababab….and there I am at home staring at the ceiling with the same ache and pit and ever sicker then ever pit in my stomach. All the hype and all the American build up with all my friends and I had seen how much my mind was deceived by what took place. I love movies. I always have. This is not about loving movies; it’s the darkness I fell for. The next day I saw it again. And it was just as cool. 4 days later I saw it again and I walked out after 10 minutes and there it hit me in the very same deceived lot: that really was bad. And all the feelings that had been building all came crashing down on me. Here’s the thing. We highly underestimate how much we hear God and see the world while He is speaking ever so humbly to us.
I saw the crowd and I partook with the crowd. I am the guilty one here joking about the Joker and speaking lies to myself that what I could handle was fine but what I was really endorsing was deception. Now, this happens in most films and most things that we see because darkness is everywhere. We don’t need to wield a sword at church and freak capricoulsy on people but we need to listen. I simply saw some ironies and flaws in myself that night. First, I was deceived and very blind to it. Now, I did eventually see it but it took a little while. Second, I really chose to look and watch. I had all the vital signs that I should’ve turned away. I even felt sick that night but I went anyway. Third, I agreed with what was dark and false. I let my emotions be so fascinated that I blocked out hearing the Lord. Now because the Lord is never intimidated by me and my pride He presses past all of that stuff and speak anyway. But what I should have said was: this is disgusting and demonic and gross. The guy died because he has problems like all of us but Heath got so curious in the darkness that he stopped sleeping. I am not the investigator but it should mean something when death happens in connection with a film; its rare these days.
Darkness will always be present in what we look at. Is not to say we stop seeing films but we need to be careful what we do put before us. The challenge is to live above reproach and to have clean hands and pure hearts. And for the power to resist that which everyone deems to be fine and okay. Deception will always be lurking and will always flaunt itself as acceptable and almost without consequence.
This night taught me most about myself and my own fallen tendencies. Hope this helps. More to come on this.