Sunday, 27 January 2013

Of Batman and local elections...

This piece came about from an email of a friend who quoted from the Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, - "Structures can become shackles" and asked for my thoughts. Below is what came about.

Well, Andy, what I understand is that this film is quite different from the previous editions. It can be surmised by the kind of villains in it. The Joker, well, he tries to show that everybody has a weakness... is as demented as he is if provoked enough, pushed hard enough into a tight corner.

In The Dark Knight Rises, the villain is just as driven, only that his goal is a fight about class warfare, of destroying the greed and unholy edifices Man has built in his pursuit of greater wealth, power and control. Whilst the Joker seeks to infuse chaos in order to disturb, Bane creates chaos to decimate/to seek rebirth/to start again from ground zero. What that is, no one knows. Perhaps enlightenment? Like how Batman manages to cure himself of his funk suffered from miseries/self doubt in the previous The Dark Knight.

Are people who seek greater power, wealth, control - all fractured beings? Not the powerful/superior people they seem to be? Could they simply be afraid? Like the king who builds himself a castle to keep out the undesirables?

In a way, the movie is a cliché. Man has to defeat his inner demons to rise above fear to find his courage and purpose.

In the past, Batman might have donned his mask/cape as an obligation. He has to beat down his nemesis because he is Batman - superior in acrobatic skills and with his gadgets. He thought he had the moral authority.

In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman no longer believes that. He does what he has to do because he feels it is the right thing to do. Why if he has to die doing it? He is happy. This is how a true legend is born. A sacrifice that does not come with a prize (I uphold the moral good till the end) but is instead a gift. A
gift of endeavor to do right by others...even if it means giving up one's life.

This moral may well apply to the current elections happening. Why are these people serving? Because they think they should uphold the moral good that has been perpetuated by the incumbents? Or fight against the tyranny of the incumbents? Or simply serve because it is the right thing to do.

If that is the belief, how does that play with the electorate? What arethey expecting? Are they people in HDB apartments or people in their ivory condos? A class warfare? Yes, structures can be shackles. The point is to know how to live within structures and not be shackled. I think the last election had sent signals. This latest election has sent another.

The Dark Knight has indeed risen again to beat down fear, intransigence (more of the same) and renew hope. Heheh... ;-)


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