I've spent a long time trying to work out exactly how to start today's blog. This isn't going to be a collection of loosely related dick jokes nor is it going to a one of my highly entertaining rants. If you've never read this blog before then you should know that I'm a geek. I am also a Batman fan. As such I cannot let the recent tragic events in Aurora, Colorado without comment. Chris Nolan has stated that all we know for sure is that these people were there to watch a film. I disagree. This was a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. These people were Batman fans. If this had been Dark Knight then I would concede that some people were there for the Joker but with this film they were there for Batman. That means that at the very least these people were fans of a certain type of dark and complex storytelling but also in all probability they believed in what Batman stands for.
You see it's easy to dismiss comic-books and super-heroes as a bit of silly fun but it is also fundamentally wrong. Each of the characters within this medium has something to teach us. Spider-man teaches us that with great-power comes great responsibility. Iron Man is about overcoming your inner demons to become something better than you once were. Wolverine is about redemption. All of these stories have endured so long because the core of them they are about important things. Batman is one of the most influential, iconic and loved of these stories because it's core concept is the strongest. It is a story about what is right, what is wrong, having the strength to make a choice between the two and making a stand to defend that choice. The people in that cinema loved Batman because they believed in what the story had to say.
I've avoided scouring the internet for details of this story because it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I cannot say with certainty but I believe I am feeling something akin to what people of certain religious groups feel about the sectarian attacks in the middle-east. This was an attack on what I hold sacred. The people there were people I, happily, identify with. People who booked a day off of work months ago so they could be there to see the end of a journey they had loved. Instead of them having the simple pleasure of seeing a cinematic master-piece they instead were struck down by someone who represented the exact opposite of the hero they had come to see. It is utterly impossible for me to imagine the pain that the families of the victims have gone and my heart and, for want of a better word, soul go out to those who have been effected by this horrifying event.
There will now be a huge investigation into exactly what the motivations of the killer were, as there rightly should be. Normally under these situations the media attempts to link the details to the event. I hope that this event is not used to tarnish the good name of a medium that whilst filled with criminals, murder and evil is fundamentally fixated on those who put their lives on the line to defend the weak and innocent. I'm not saying that these stories haven't influenced people. I'm certain that through-out the years a fair number of people have made huge decisions based upon these characters. However I am completely certain that most of the influence that these stories have had on the world have been incredibly positive. All of this though is a discussion for another day.
What I really want to say is that the victims of this horrible event were part of a community. We are not a community that was forced together by geography or genealogy. We found each other. We were pulled together by shared loves and our shared beliefs. If I'd met these people the foundations of friendship would have already existed. So today I would ask that we take a small moment to lament the long geeky conversations that we will never have, the silly jokes that will never be laughed at but mostly the friendships that must now forever remain unmade.
eddie <peace and love>