Happy autumn! ??? pic.twitter.com/fIhXWb5CRr— Haunted Rich ?? (@heywildrich) October 3, 2019
We’re going to see Joker tonight.
I’m looking forward to writing a review. I already pretty much know the plot of the movie, but I want to see it myself first. From what I have already seen, this movie is a social satire wrapped up in the origin story of an iconic comic book villain.
Joker is the story of one man’s descent into madness and violence which is caused by our current social order – liberal democracy and free-market capitalism. Arthur Fleck lives in the wreckage of the world that liberalism has created after it has destroyed the social fabric.
A whopping 47 percent of Americans feel alone, left out and lacking meaningful connection with others. 4 in 10 people in the United Kingdom report feelings of chronic, profound loneliness. 20 percent of Millennials report having no friends. Generation Z is the loneliest generation in history. Only 54 percent of Americans report having meaningful social interaction on a daily basis which is a profoundly unnatural way to live as a human being.
What happens to an atomized society where the individual has been liberated from all meaningful relationships, detached from any larger context that connects him to other people and has been cast adrift in the anonymous world of the marketplace and where as a result social capital has crashed to zero for at least a fifth of the population? You would get a world with a suicide and opioid epidemic, a mass shooting epidemic and a depression and a mental illness epidemic.
It’s tragic that our current social order seems to produce winners like Patrick Bateman and losers like Arthur Fleck. Both are nihilistic killers who inhabit a meaningless world and who compensate for the dismal real world by slipping into their fantasy world. A good life and a good society would be the opposite of the world of Bateman and Fleck. Instead of destroying the relationships and context that makes our lives rich and meaningful in the name of “liberty,” we should be trying to restore those things to reintegrate these lost people into a common culture.
Note: I’ve put the Joker up as our banner for the weekend. I think of him as being a kind of avatar for the absurd world we live in. He’s a cautionary tale, not a role model.