While I would not recommend “The Dark Knight Arises” for a romantic first date, it still appeals to many for the nostalgia the Batman character brings; that and the hype that the two well produced prequels before it. Sure, I appreciate the cinematography of the movie, and not to mention the note-worthy portrayal of the internal conflict of good in Bruce Wayne and the darkness of his past. But honestly, at the back of my mind, while I sat in my cinema chair, next to my strong and buff boyfriend, I could not get the uneasy feeling off my back. What if something bad happened? Like those things we see in movies?
I blame him for showing me the article the night before we watched the movie, but definitely the shootout during a showing of “The Dark Knight Arises” in Colorado, where a 24 year old, calling himself ‘the Joker’ at his arrest decided to go on a killing spree, taking the lives of 12 and injuring many others. It is not the first incident I’ve heard of. One was the shootout in Virginia Tech which killed around 31 in 2007, and only last year a massacre in Utoya Island, killing 77, and bringing Norway down from its pedestal for being one of the most peaceful and secure places on earth. I think with prevalence of violence and media, I would not be surprised of how many other countries’ state of peace can possibly be shattered.
Many studies have been conducted regarding the relation of media violent and behavior of viewers in the past, and despite the obvious connection, we continue to still ignore it, thinking that it won’t affect us and that we know absolutely well what we are doing. But the truth is, the continuous exposure to violence may it be on television, film or video games is not doing much for us as human beings. In fact, we have become emotional and morally desensitized. Repetitive acts of violence out in the open for us to see, have molded our minds into thinking that violence is normal. Our moral radars do not even go off when we witness violence, which can also be categorized with insulting other people verbally or making a point come across physically, in our everyday interactions. Acts of violence which would have normally triggered a strong emotional response, does not make the same impact on an average person today. The standard of what should be censored have been drastically moved leaving more immoral acts to be seen by the naked eye. We have come to live in a society where we are so numb to violence that ordinary people, like the killers of the aforementioned shootouts and massacres, think they can claim lives to fulfill their distorted fantasies because they can get away without dealing with the consequences. (note that some killers of such take their life in the end, the others do not show hints of regret or guilt).
Alarming is it not? We can continue to pass some of the things I have mentioned as entertainment, and that we are on our guard anyway, but I can’t help recall an anecdote after having read numerous articles and studies to back this up. Even a drop of water can be strong enough to make a hole in a stone; all it needs is the drop to fall on the same place, repeatedly, consistently, over and over again. Call me paranoid but who knows who else can break with little doses of violence everyday, everywhere, anywhere. Well, that’s just a thought; and a scary one at that.