The Wall Street Journal opinion section is truly off its rocker today. In addition to implying that John McCain has no shot of becoming president, it is also running a piece by a mystery writer who believes that the Batman series is part of a long line of fantasy genre movies that bring righteous glory to the conservative movement. Dark Knight, you see, is hugely popular because it allows Americans to embrace their true love for hugely unpopular President George W. Bush: "Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past." But wait, it gets better!
Did you know that 300, Lord Of The Rings, Narnia, and Spiderman 3 are fundamentally conservative films that support the torture of terrorists and the invasion of Iraq against pansy movies like Rendition, Valley of Elah and Redacted? It's true. And liberals are always making pansy movies, because they are cowards:
The moment filmmakers take on the problem of Islamic terrorism in realistic films, suddenly those values vanish. The good guys become indistinguishable from the bad guys, and we end up denigrating the very heroes who defend us. Why should this be?
The answers to these questions seem to me to be embedded in the story of The Dark Knight itself: Doing what's right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified
...when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes men must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and that while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be heroes, true heroes often must slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised — then and only then will we be able to pay President Bush his due and make good and true films about the war on terror.
Until Hollywood filmmakers learn to DO THEIR JOBS, we'll just have to settle for a world in which the Bush administration's "War on Terror" can only be made to look brilliant in cartoonish, oversimplified fantasylands.