Saturday, April 25, 2020

Movie Review: Joker

(This is an essay from

First off, let me just clarify that this movie should not be watched by anybody under the age of at least 45, preferably with some serious active duty military experience to emotionally ground them and let them differentiate reality from fiction. When I watched this movie, I quickly got swept up in the thrill and thought that I was living in Gotham city, that I was Joker. Of course, neither of these things are accurate, I’m just a loser schizophrenic in New York in 2019 with a criminal record who lives at home with his mom and was probably adopted. With that warning out of the way, let’s get to the nuts and bolts as to why I rate this film ZERO stars out of five and insist that it is a culturally degrading and mental illness subliminal trainer for young adults.

The Joker wears makeup. What sort of healthy male individual have you ever known in your life that has worn makeup? None. No guy who wears makeup should ever be normalized in this way. I’m talking full on gaudy face-paint and disturbing fanciful clothes. The idea in the movie is that he is dressing up like a “clown”, whatever that is, but then you pair his appearance with his love of dance and you start getting a different picture. Sure, there is a whole subplot of romance with a women, but we all know how the mentally ill like to fantasize. Was that woman he fantasizes about really a woman, or actually a man? Was he really a clown, or just a cross-dressing homosexual? What type of parent in their right mind would allow their kids under 45 years old watch this movie? The kind of parent that should have their kids taken away and be investigated for sexual abuse. I’m not saying that all parents who let their kids under 45 watch this movie are sexual perverts, some are just unhealthy and stupid, but I would bet good money that the people who let their kids under 45 watch this movie have higher rates of family abuse than the parents who don’t let their kids under 45 watch this movie.

What else can be said about this unwholesome and disturbing tour de force of evil? Well, this may come as a shock, but there is a bit of murder and brutality in this film. While the gore is lacking and the murders don’t seem to be glorified explicitly, there are clear undertones that make murder look cool and justified in cases of self defense, when in reality murder is never cool. It’s just not right to murder. If I murdered somebody in real life then I would be right to be thrown in prison. It’s not moral to murder somebody. This Joker guy kills a bunch of people as he spirals out of control, and this sort of stuff is not stuff that should be encouraged in the youth. Do you want to be inspired to murder millionaires and talk show hosts? Do you want to turn your city into an unstable warzone where police officers of the law are being attacked? No, none of these things are good. None of these things are healthy. None of these things should be normalized or justified.

This whole movie was weird. When I go to the cinema, I want to be inspired. I want to see the best of humanity. I want Jack holding Rose on the deck of the Titanic. I want to laugh, to smile, to have hope for my fellow man. I want to feel good and at ease. The Joker movie did the opposite. I was forced to consider the mentally ill, to be uncomfortable and sad about how this man seemed to be suffering with severe problems that were exasperated by his environment and life circumstances to the point of catastrophe, both personal and environmental. That’s not what good stories are about. There is no reason that somebody who does anything bad should ever have any sort of empathetic or understood light shown on them. They must remain monsters if we are to have a functioning society. The poor and weak are poor and weak for reasons of their own making, not because they get put in conditions that remove any possibility for success. The super rich and famous deserve to be super rich and famous, not because they were born into situations that removed any possibility for failure. Everybody gets what they deserve and the people suffering deserve to suffer, not this fever dream of Joker where the downtrodden upon rise up and revolt against their cruel masters.

This Joker guy was mentally ill. He portrayed a sort of character that deserved to be put down many years before when this film took place. He was a loser and unhappy his whole life. Once he got fired from his minimum wage job and was rejected by society repeatedly, he only found joy in destruction of anything that he felt did him wrong. None of that is admirable or good. None of that is something that should be praised. Is it realistic and logical? Yes, and that’s a problem. The world shouldn’t work like that. People should never be forced to face the outcomes that they generate through collective actions. Imagine a world in which we have to suffer for all the nice things we have that came from suffering people? Imagine a world where the poor and mentally ill get a voice and get some control over our lives? Imagine a world where you can’t clock in to a white collar job a personal connection got you and collect a comfortable paycheck and ignore the growing chaos that’s all around you? Is that a world you want to live in, where there are consequences for everybody instead of just normal people? That’s not the world I want to live in. I want to be comfortable, damn the mentally ill.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Little Games

            There is a certain need for danger that cannot be escaped, even though it is suppressed violently in today’s hyper-safe as well as hyper-monitored age. Without the feeling that an improper action can cause a negative result, there is barely any incentive to pay attention to what one is doing or how we are doing it. This desire for constant risk is something that pathological gamblers allow themselves to be destroyed for. It is not the victory that compels them to gamble, but rather the thrill of avoidance of disaster.

            In the modern world, what are some ways besides gambling that can scratch this natural itch? There are no real wars to be fought, no new territories to be explored. All that really exists is creating risk by playing games with interpersonal or social dynamics. What this means is taking risks such as being flirtatious in situations that may result in rejection, behaving rudely towards others just to see how far you can push them before they snap, and saying offensive things that you may not even believe in order to tempt fate to give us negative social repercussions. This precarious balancing act of social tensions is great fun, even though may come with times of reprisal and “social shame”, of which any truly adventurous person is not unfamiliar with.

            Behaving badly is the only way to really feel alive; the only way in which to feel one’s sense of space. There are no explicitly negative outcomes from following the rules and being a “good person”, but there are also no explicitly positive outcomes from that same behavior, unless of course you consider the bare minimum of living (a steady income, a small friend group, and a boring uneventful life) to be a positive outcome. I do not see the bare minimum of living as something that is agreeable to me, let alone bearable, so I cannot restrain myself from playing little games constantly.

            When I was younger, the little games I would play would be neglecting to do my schoolwork and throwing out my food instead of eating it. These sorts of behaviors would introduce stress and tension into my interpersonal relationships, but this would be the only times in which I would ever feel alive. This later progressed to stealing small things like snacks or pocket change from family members, not because I wanted those things, but because there was a risk that I would get caught. This sort of behavior is not conducive towards respecting others or finding them particularly bright, because after a very short time you begin to realize that most people are unable to comprehend the idea of a person doing bad things out of boredom rather than some strange compulsion.

            Little games are what keep us alive. Without constant risks and secrets, one quickly becomes a dullard who falls into all sorts of unhealthy, mediocre patterns. There is no room for truly adventurous pro-social behavior, since all established systems have become rotten and foul, so one must invent their own sorts of adventurous habits that might be considered “anti-social” if they wish to remain people with souls. It is in the moments of playful danger that we can really ascertain what we care about and don’t care about, and remain grounded in a sense of mortality that most normal individuals seem to have forgotten.

            One game that I’m playing now is the habit of smoking. I don’t really need to smoke or feel a great desire to, but I have decided to actively take up smoking while around certain people in order to play a trick on them. To them, I appear as if I’m an addict. To everybody else, I am not somebody who smokes. This sort of split personality is something that doesn’t really mean anything other than an expression of boredom, but it will confound anybody who is talking about me behind my back, much like how I have gone out of my way to have different types of personalities depending on the individuals that I am around.

            Is this manner of serial social and psychological experimentation particularly useful or beneficial to society as a whole? No, in fact it is probably more “harmful” to the greater good than not, as it will result in the post-mortem of my existence being confused and contradictory to the point of nonsensicalness, but it is useful to me. This is how I stay sane, how I do not go out of my mind in boredom, how I do not entertain much darker thoughts and behaviors that I wish to banish from my being.

            Speaking of behaving in completely different manners depending on who one is surrounded with, this is a very useful sort of game that allows one to see how different types of behaviors generate different types of outcomes. Most people spend their life being completely “themselves”, forming some brittle and shallow existence and character that is devoid of depth or nuance. They can be read like books, and not quality books but rather poorly written books. The worst part about these people who do not play little games is that they do not know what they are missing.

            People who do not play little games do not have the perspective that game players have. The person who has been many people or messed with many people will understand external motivations and fears much better than somebody who is constantly stuck in a non-performative, non-protagonist role. Without playing little games, you get stuck in loops of behavior that are the loops of behavior that everybody gets stuck in. When you are stuck in the same sorts of loops that everybody else is stuck in, what is interesting about you? What sort of perspective do you have that everybody else doesn’t already have? Nobody is interested in people who don’t play little games, because everybody intuitively knows that if you don’t play little games you become a boring automaton of whatever society you were born into.

            Live a life that is interesting. Do things that are not out of insecurity or rage but rather curiosity. Act in a manner where you do things because you wonder if you can do them rather than trying to get something out of them. Can you lie to somebody to their face and get away with it? Can you steal something and get away with it? Can you order drugs off the internet and get them without running into legal trouble? There is only one way to find out, and if it turns out that things go wrong and you get in trouble, who really cares? You’re not doing things out of a pathological need, but rather out of boredom. This means that you can just switch up your little games as needed in order to avoid repeated mistakes that might have serious repercussions. There are an almost infinite amount of little games that you can play, and life is very short, so what are you waiting for?

Anticipation and Experience in the Age of Corona

            With the arrival of the Coronavirus or “Covid-19”, a respiratory bug that sometimes results in death for old people as well as those with pre-existing conditions like lung problems or diabetes, I have noticed a few stark dichotomies of individuals emerge. One group is people who don’t believe that this is a big deal or will kill all that many people. These are the individuals who tend to be older and live in a delusion that life should be like a constant vacation for them, that they are invulnerable to bad things happening, that bad things don’t happen anymore. These people are essentially mental invalids, having grown up in the world’s best economy, never having to deal with any sort of economic or social realities that people younger than them have been thrust into, and thus are incapable of imagining a world where there is a genuine threat to their health and safety. Combine their Pollyannaish worldview with their worship of the stock market and property values, and you get people who are overly eager to discount any caution and insist that everybody keep the party going –even if that party has the chance to kill them.

            The majority of individuals who aren’t mentally addled boomers are those who now understand Coronavirus to be a highly contagious and deadly (for older and sickly people) problem. In this grouping there is a dichotomy, and this is where things start to get interesting. While everybody with a sound mind is admitting that this is going to kill hundreds of thousands of people, some people are saying that this is the end of the world, and some others are saying that it’s not a pleasant reality but it won’t cause the collapse of civilization in any meaningful way.
            What is the reason for this “end of the world” vs “things suck but we’ll get over it” difference in mentality? Simply put, life experience. Very few people have ever had traumatic or truly painful things happen to them. By traumatic or truly painful things, I do not mean death of a pet or loved one, or getting in a car accident, or getting taken advantage of, but rather something that consists of genuine suffering and pain to a level where it feels that life itself can’t possibly go on, that the universe is tearing apart at the seams, that there is no way that anything will ever get better. What ends up happening, as anybody who has gone through this and come out the other side will tell you, is that of course things get better, the world keeps on turning, the distress that was felt strongly is gradually realized to be foolish and shortsighted, and a new perspective that puts things in their proper limited context is reached.

            Most people don’t have the unpleasant luxury of the aforementioned life experience, haven’t ever been pushed past their personal limits and really felt what it means to suffer, and so most people don’t have the knowledge of what actually bad things entail. Another thing they do not have the knowledge of is that the anticipation of something bad is almost always worse than the bad thing itself, and the terror of prediction is what is causing emotional problems.

This anticipatory distress is what is going on with Coronavirus, where people are imagining that once bodies start piling up, the negative emotions they feel now will get even worse and things will start to break apart. This is not the case. If/when bodies pile up and death is in the air and everywhere everybody looks, people will realize that it’s not that big a deal. It’s unpleasant, but what can you do? There’s no way to change reality and make it better by feeling sad or upset, so there’s no reason to be sad or upset. Tears won’t bring back the dead from the mass graves, so to cry is weak emotionalism that should be reserved for women and children who can’t be expected to know any better.

As anybody who has dealt with truly bad things knows, bad things aren’t half as bad as the anticipation of bad things. People will suffer, people will die, businesses will go bankrupt, houses will be foreclosed on, certain people will kill themselves or get addicted to drugs to cope with their emotions, but life will eventually return to normal. Everything always returns to the manner in which it is structurally organized to behave, even though there are temporary disruptions and problems that cause abnormalities. Being locked down and unable to go shopping or whatever it is that people want to do is the “new normal” for a temporary amount of time, and people with life experience will see it as the temporary thing that it is, whether it is temporary for one month, one year, or five years. Bad things are manageable and able to be dealt with. Hysterical mania and emotional discomforts aren’t logical or reasonable or useful, and so these things need to be completely discarded and recognized as useless and foolish.