Batman. A cartoon character come to life on the Big Screen. Michael Keaton played the first Big Screen Incarnation of the iconic cartoon character way back in the 1980’s. Keaton was followed by Val Kilmer, who was followed by George Clooney who was followed by Christian Bale, in the latest trilogy. Bale’s Batman portrays a darker character.
“The Dark Knight Rises” was the most anticipated movie of the summer. People everywhere, including myself, were excited to see this movie. No one cold have possibly foreseen the horror unleashed in a Colorado Movie Theater on a Friday night. In fact, those first few seconds of terror were seen as a publicity stunt. Those gathered in this theater thought that the first actions of unspeakable terror and horror were part of a promotional stunt – until the tear gas hit, and the very real bullets started to rip into people.
No one in this theater asked for this. No one in this theater expected this. One person did expect this. One person meticulously planned for this attack. That person was James Holmes. No one, at this point knows the why? Why did this young man, that, apparently was incredibly bright, plan and carry out this massacre? What event in his life triggered this awful action? No one knows. Frankly, no answer will suffice for me.
Already, the gun control debate has been re-opened. In my opinion, no amount of gun control would have prevented this. This was a meticulously thought out and planned attack. He would have found those weapons one way or another – legally or illegally.
Already, the debate about violence in media – the movies we watch, the video games we play, the TV shows we enjoy – is on. The majority of us can recognize the difference between Hollywood fantasy and reality. Last week, I myself watched a movie on Cable – “Shoot ‘Em Up”. It was ridiculously violent. I was laughing at the absurdity of it. Not for one second did I think it was anything near real. The idea that this movie promoted this act is absurd! This was the act of one seriously deranged young man! Hollywood movie makers cannot be blamed for that.
These people gathered in a theater to enjoy a movie. A movie is made to entertain and provide a time for people to indulge in an escape for a few hours. Whether that movie is a sappy chick flick, or a violent gore fest, we recognize that it is escapist fantasy, and when we leave that theater, we return to our REAL lives in a REAL world.
Our thoughts should be directed to those that lost their lives, and to the injured. I am sue that in the coming days and weeks, more will be learned about James Holmes, and what motivated him to commit this horrendous act. These men, women and children were gathered together to enjoy a movie – a fantasy designed to provide an escape from reality for a few hours. How can we best honor their memories? Do not give in to fear. Recognize that the majority of people are good and decent human beings, as the acts of heroism coming from this tragedy are a testament of. Continue to go to theaters. Go see this movie. Do not allow the darkness overcome all that is good and decent.