‘Alita: Battle Angel’ fans are like ‘Goblin Slayers’ for the movie industry

‘Batman: The Killing Joke’: First 30 minutes, odd sex scene overshadow Joker’s tale

Joker glass

Fans of Batman: The Killing Joke waited since 1988 to get their hands on an animated version of their beloved tale, but it has finally arrived. Is it possible for the product to be anything less than amazing with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill providing the voiceover work to a big-budget production of Alan Moore’s tale? The short answer: Yes.

Before we move on, let me first stay that I find central premise of The Killing Joke — we are all just “one bad day” away from becoming the Joker — rather intriguing.

The Joker says:

“Let me ask you something. What does it matter if you send me back to the asylum if it doesn’t matter to me? I’ve proven my point — Gordon’s been driven mad. I’ve demonstrated there’s no difference between me and everyone else. All it takes is one bad day. That’s how far the world is from where I am — just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? Oh, I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Dressing up like a flying rat doesn’t hide it. It screams it!

You had a bad day and it drove you as crazy as everybody else, only you won’t admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there’s some point to all this struggling. You make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are?

Without getting into too many spoilers, I must say that specific scenes are incredibly thought-provoking, particularly when it comes to exploring the rule of law in a world populated with vigilante superheroes. The Joker conjures up a scheme to prove to his rival once and for all that moral relativism reigns supreme, and he certainly makes the case to those who are not eagle-eyed when it comes to spotting spurious arguments.

Joker Batman book

Where The Killing Joke fails, however, is its well-intentioned attempt to add extra depth and dramatic tension to the script.

Two words come to mind: Batman sex.

Batgirl kiss

Longtime DC readers can correct this Marvel fan if he is wrong, but has Batman ever appeared as anything other than a father figure and mentor to Barbara Gordon? This version of The Killing Joke turns Ms. Gordon into a smitten girl with impulse-control problems and Batman into a caped crusader who robs the cradle.

One can almost hear the internal monologue of screenwriter Brian Azzarello: “If Batman sleeps with Barbara Gordon, then it will sting him even more when he finds out that she was shot by his arch enemy. Then, when he realizes that the Joker raped her — yes, they have both been with the same woman — the audience will understand why Bruce might go over ‘the abyss’ in the end…”

The problem, however, is that a self-contained 30-minute tale simply cannot set the stage for a relationship between the two to grow. It comes across as forced and, quite frankly, creepy. Perhaps this reviewer is in the minority, but the bizarre nature of the scene lingered with me for the entire movie — so much so that I would recommend fans of the comic book consider skipping the first 28 minutes all together.

If you are a fan of DC’s animated movies, then I would suggest watching Batman: The Killing Joke when it comes out on Netflix. It is not worth the $14.99 YouTube charges if you are by yourself, although a fun night can be had if you split the cost three ways with a couple of friends.

Did you see Batman: The Killing Joke? If so, then let me know what you thought in the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Editor’s Note: I always thought that the story behind “The Red Hood” was rather dumb. Moore’s attempt to humanize the Joker by turning him into a failed comedian always seemed lame to me, but I would like to hear a hard-core Batman fan’s take on the subject.

Superman vs. The Elite explores the big dilemma: Christ or Patton? To kill or not to kill?

DC’s animated original movies have a strong track record, and in 2012 they added to an impressive library with Superman vs. The Elite. In short, the movie explores the modern superhero’s dilemma: To kill or not to kill? More specifically related to Superman, perhaps we can ask: Should he be more like Christ or Gen. George S. Patton?

Is it a moral failing for superheroes to repeatedly capture super-powered villains who exist completely outside the rule of law? How much blood, if any, does Superman have on his hands due to his refusal to kill evil incarnate?

At the start of Superman vs. The Elite, a monster known as Atomic Skull kills two people on the city streets of Metropolis — infusing his victims with radioactive energy that turns them into volcanic ash or Pompeii-like sculptures. Superman asks why. The answer: they serve as Superman bait. That’s it.

The Atomic Skull Superman The Elite

Atomic Skull exists to kill, and he kills to draw out Superman.

Superman The Elite Skull victimSuperman refuses to end the monster’s life, and after a battle tears up half the city Atomic Skull is sent to a holding facility. Will it restrain him for long? First comes an exchange between Superman and Professor Baxter ensues at the United Nations:

Professor Baxter: “So was this justice, Superman? Millions in property damage. Helpless bystanders killed by a repeat meta-human felon who is now enjoying three square meals a day as a guest of the state. You had the power to end Atomic Skull’s criminal career — permanently. Why didn’t you?”

Superman: “I’m not anyone’s judge and jury, professor Baxter — definitely not an executioner. My powers do not put me above the law.”

Professor Baxter: “A noble sentiment, but are you the Superman that the 21st century needs? Why not use your power to fix the world? Let me reiterate that I am playing devil’s advocate. I’m a huge fan [of yours].”

Superman: “First, I don’t believe the world is broken — because when we say ‘the world,’ we’re really talking about is people. It’s always been my belief that people, at their core, are good. The grace of mankind is everywhere. You just have to open your eyes. Humanity has a limitless potential for good. My purpose it to help people reach that potential.”

Indeed, we can talk about the nature of man all day. Are people at their core all good? It’s a tough question — it depends on how you define “good.” They certainly have the potential for either great good or great evil — but Superman dodges the initial question: “Was this justice?”

Perhaps the right answer is that in a world with Atomic Skulls roaming around, the death penalty would need to be applied much more liberally. If humanity in the DC Universe can’t get its justice system right, why should Superman have to be the one to play judge, jury and executioner? As it stands, Atomic Skull escapes soon after his apprehension and kills Professor Baxter in the middle of the street.

Superman The Elite Death
Superman is super grumpy right now, because a guy who he apprehended only days earlier has escaped — and killed — again. Should he be mad at the citizens of Metropolis for having such a rotten justice system or at himself for allowing such madness to continue?

Manchester Black steps in and does what Superman won’t — he blows Atomic Skull’s head into a million pieces. Superman predictably flips out, but the citizens of Metropolis do not. One “woman on the street” interview sums up the mood of the city:

Citizen: “I’ve lived in Metropolis all my life. Superman has always been there for us, but so have those criminals he’s put away so many times. Maybe his way doesn’t work.”

Manchester Black Superman The Elite
My name is Manchester Black, and I can blow up your skull just by pointing my finger at you. I’ve got an itchy trigger finger, so don’t get on my bad side.

Or maybe Metropolis’ justice system doesn’t work?

The Elite, led by Manchester Black, are a shady group of anti-heroes whose tactics go too far. They wantonly kill anyone who doesn’t fit their definition of “good,” even going so far as to slaughter the entire political leadership of two warring countries. (Oddly enough, the media in the DC Universe give The Elite a pass on the execution, essentially saying: “Well, they did end the war…”.) Regardless, Black does have a point.

Manchester Black: “You probably won’t believe this, but I used to love superheroes. But masks are for hiding. Capes are for playing. You were the first. The best. But now you’re a cliche and you don’t fit in anymore. Mad scientists, idiots in underwear, bank robbers — knock yourself out with that lot. But the real work — fixing the world — is ours.

The rules of engagement in a war zone are different than the rules of engagement for a local cop, and the vast majority of villains in comics are walking war zones. They should be dealt with like an enemy on the battlefield, particularly since they’ve erased any lines between civilian and military targets.

In many respects Superman is his very own deus ex machina, but writers would weave better tales if they didn’t always have that escape hatch at the ready. That is, unless … we see Superman as a Christ-like figure. If the writers would openly admit to giving him that role, I would be willing to accept that.

The following exchange between Lois and Clark is telling:

Lois: “Why do you have to do this? Why can’t you call someone else? …

Clark: They have to be stopped.

Lois: “I think they can beat you. I’m sorry, but they’re willing to go places you won’t — and they are so damn strong.”

Clark: “I heard a child say that he wanted to be in the elite when he grows up because it would be fun to kill bad guys. Fun to kill? People have to know that there’s another way. They have to see that someone believes in humanity strongly enough to…

Lois: “…to die for them?”

Is Superman a Christ-like hero, or is he just one heck of a superhero? If he’s just an “elite” superhero, then I will now quote Patton:

“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

Regardless of what you think, you should give DC’s creative teams for their original animated films a thumbs up. They’re doing great work. Now, if they could only get those movies in order…

Related: David Goyer is right: The ‘Superman doesn’t kill’ rule hurts the character

Related: Man of Steel Trailer: Harbinger of an epic film

Related: Snyder’s ‘Man of Steel’ hits audiences with big ideas, soars over small-minded critics

Related: Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Lessons for Dealing With Jihadist Jokers

Related: Spider-Man: War Zone liability thinks small in big situations

Liberalism and the weird fascination with getting naked to protest or defiling oneself


What do you do if you’re a Catholic priest and a gaggle of insane topless women start to assault you? If you’re Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, you close your eyes and quietly pray, which only highlights the hatred in the hearts of those on the attack:

A group of naked women bum-rushed Belgian Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard while he was speaking in Brussels and doused him with water from bottles shaped like the Virgin Mary on Tuesday.

The women were reportedly feminist protesters from the Ukranian-based FEMEN group, which is known for organizing topless protests against the Catholic Church and others.

According to AFP, the four protesters charged the archbishop during “a debate on blasphemy and freedom of expression held at the Brussels’ Free University (ULB) campus Tuesday evening, baring their breasts and squirting water at Archbishop Andre Leonard as they accused him of homophobia.”

Photos of the event show Leonard patiently sitting quietly with his eyes closed and hands folded in prayer as the women empty bottles of water on his head and clothes.

At a forum geared towards honest and open dialogue, FEMEN decided to act like screeching harpies. Telling.

What is perhaps more entertaining about this episode is the liberal fascination with getting naked and defiling oneself as a form of protest. They seem to believe there is a positive correlation between how little they have on and the validity of their arguments.

Here we have a PETA ad. Like pork? It's somehow the equivalent of shoving a pregnant lady in a cage and putting her on display for your children to blankly stare at.
Here we have a PETA ad. Like pork? It’s somehow the equivalent of shoving a pregnant lady in a cage and putting her on display for your children to blankly stare at.
Here we have an undated anti-war picture. Anyone who has lived around a large city over the past decade has probably seen one of these. I did in Los Angeles, although when I lived in DC it was usually fully clothed (but obese) members of Code Pink who were out and about. They have gone into hibernation since President Obama was elected in 2008.
Here we have an undated anti-war event. Anyone who has lived around a large city over the past decade has probably seen one of these. I did in Los Angeles, although when I lived in DC it was usually fully clothed (but obese) members of Code Pink who were out and about. They have gone into hibernation since President Obama was elected in 2008.
Here we have a video by Campus Progress, which protested health care. These kids wanted to be on their parent's health care plan until at least 26. To do otherwise would cut into their pre-game alcohol budget and Starbucks breakfast.
Here we have a video still by Campus Progress, which protested health care reform that would put the onus on recent college graduates to get coverage. These kids wanted to be on their parent’s health care plan until at least 26. To do otherwise would cut into their pre-game alcohol budget and Starbucks breakfast.
Here we have a still from the "unfair campaign." Apparently, white people have "unearned privileges," which can only be addressed by scribbling on your face and saying you're really, really sorry for being white.
Here we have a still from the “Unfair Campaign.” Apparently, white people have “unearned privileges,” which can only be addressed by scribbling on your face and saying you’re really, really sorry for being white. It is unclear what symbolism lies in cutting the nose hairs out of one nostril, but leaving them to grow untamed in the other.

Even more fascinating about the liberal who protests naked is that you never seem to see one without clothes who could get paid to do it for a living. They are hairy, angry, sloppy, floppy men and women full of rage and excess adipose tissue. They will tell you that they are about “love” and “tolerance,” but it is always apparent that they are seething with hate and anger and sadness.

To the conservative, it seems readily apparent that if you have to get naked or scribble on your face to draw attention to your argument, then you probably don’t have a persuasive one. The only thing that getting naked indicates is the desire to influence those who are primarily moved by arousal — raw emotions. People who are tasked with crafting public policy that affects hundreds of millions of people should probably not be primarily guided by raw emotions.

Many people think that Hell is a place that God sends sinners. I believe that Hell is a place that one chooses to enter by his or her own volition. Every day we have a choice to walk closer to God or away from Him. Do we hate or do we love? Do we act rashly or prudently? Are we humble or full of pride? Do we look for truth, or do we live with lies? Do we search for wisdom, or do we wallow in ignorance?

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard’s stance on gay people would likely be that he loves them, even while disapproving of their behavior. He chose to attend an academic forum to discuss his views like a rational adult, which one could agree or disagree with. Meanwhile, his feminist protesters decided that not only were they incapable of having a discussion on the subject, but they had to act like raving naked loons in his presence. Their behavior interestingly conjures up any number of movies, where the demons writhe and convulse before a man of the cloth. I can’t imagine that sane advocates in the gay community are very happy with FEMEN at the moment.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some other work to get to. I will be fully clothed while doing so.

My Little Pony: Conservatism is Magic

The reason why such a large number of men are drawn to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is because the themes and values presented in the show aren’t readily available elsewhere.

Bronies. Perhaps you know one of them. If you don’t … you will. It’s really only a matter of time. Long story short: Hasbro went back to its once-popular “My Little Pony” line and relaunched it a few years ago as a new cartoon called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Kids liked it. Girls liked it. And before too long, teenage guys and grown men liked it. And thus, the “Brony” was born.

Your friendly neighborhood conservative was challenged to write on the phenomenon, and I accepted. Last night I watched the first two episodes of “MLPFIM.” And yes, I perused Equestria Daily.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an intelligent show. The animation is fantastic. The messages and themes are commendable. The episodes I watched centered around a character named Twilight Sparkle and her friends. Each pony embodied a trait or value that ultimately prevented their home world from becoming shrouded in eternal darkness.

Apple Jack: Honesty. Fluttershy: Kindness. Pinkie Pie: Laughter. Rarity: Generosity. Rainbow Dash: Loyalty.

To me, it isn’t the Brony we should be concerned about, but the culture that produced them. The traditional means of instilling values into young men have broken down so much that they turn to a cartoon geared (generally) for young girls to acquire them. Despite being raised in the moral relativist morass produced by Hollywood, media, and academia, these young men have rejected it. And in that sense, I’m glad.

As I’ve stated before, the Seven Army Values are: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. The world would be a much better place if teenage boys were taught these values, but they’re not. Modern American culture does not offer much of a moral compass — and it certainly doesn’t encourage young men to look to the U.S. military for one. And so, needing someone to give them direction and meaning, Hasbro has inadvertently stepped in with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

Faced between having to watch reruns of Captain Planet (and his brainwashed planeteers) and MLPFIM, I pick the ponies any day of the week. As regular readers know, I’m more of a fan of The Avengers. And Frank Miller. And The Watchmen. And The Dark Knight. But just because I like traditional “masculine” fare, I can’t help but think that only a meat head would go out of his way to mock Bronies without at least doing a little research first.

I look at a Brony and see someone who has, at least on a cursory level, rejected the liberal moral relativist/multi-cultural worldview. Once I can establish that with someone, I know I at least have a shot of dispelling a few conservative stereotypes.

It’s important to not always judge a book by its cover, or a guy by … the title of the television show he watches. Concentrate on changing the culture instead of mocking the individual and you’ll get better results.

Update: Hotair covers BronyCon

Super Saiyans Are Real Kid: He’ll Go Far…If He Keeps His Shirt On.

You can't go full on Super Saiyan on the first try, my friend! It takes years of training...

I’m going to break ranks and talk about the latest viral video, Super Saiyans are real. If you haven’t seen it, all you need to know is that a young man who’s been a fan of Dragon Ball Z cartoons makes a video. Long story short, he wants to be like the main hero, who appears to be inspired by Shaolin monks. Instead of going through the years of mental and physical training it would take to actually become a Shaolin monk, the young man hopes that by believing with all his heart and soul he can “go Super Saiyan” on his first try. He says:

This is something that’s been in my heart for a long time. All I ever wanted to be in life with a Super Saiyan…I just feel like when I see superheroes—why can’t we be that exciting and awesome? Why can’t I I wake up and if I’m late for school just teleport there and be on time? During that time of meditation and thinking about it I realized something: all of that is possible and more. It’s all in here. It’s all in your mind.

Think about anything you ever tried to do. You thought to yourself, “Man, I could never do that.” But then when you practiced, guess what? You got better at it and you actually achieved it, didn’t you? It’s the same thing when you look at super powers. Of course it sounds absurd when you first look at it, but if you actually set your mind to it and believe, you can achieve it. I saw a Chinese man set a piece of paper on fire with just the power of his hands. You’re going to tell me that was fake? No, it wasn’t fake! He channeled that energy from within. He channeled that energy through the creation of his mind…

I feel like anything you set your mind to, your mind can create that force. Your mind is just a powerful machine. Whatever you set it to and you believe and work towards achieving, you can do it. You can do it. And I believe I can be a Super Saiyan. This is my first time exposing this side of me to the world, and I know a lot of you are laughing…I’m going to attempt to go Super Saiyan on film.

All joking aside, the kid is onto something. What you think and what you believe will ultimately determine who you are. If you want something really badly and you put your mind to it, in many cases your preparation and persistence can mold reality to your will. Over the course of a lifetime, those pictures you create in your mind can become a physical reality. If this young man applies that very same mindset to his schooling and professional life, he’ll go rather far. Taking off his shirt and screaming in the workplace wouldn’t be a good idea, but overall he has a very inspiring message.

Where our young Super Saiyan erred was in thinking that he could take a short cut to success. There are no short cuts. In many ways the reality he sought to create DID happen—he now IS “Super Saiyan” to well over 475,000 people! Unfortunately, it’s not quite the reality he imagined because he didn’t put the time and effort into going about it the right way. Just as I wouldn’t walk into a gym and try and bench 300 lbs. without proper training, one shouldn’t delve into realms more closely associated with Shaolin monks and Buddhist masters without doing their homework.

Looking at the “likes” and “dislikes” on Youtube, it doesn’t take long to figure out why so many people enjoy the video. Deep down, you can’t help but like a guy who believes something with every fiber of his being. He wants to believe in Super Saiyans, but others want to believe in love, the ideology that guides their life, religion or any number of things. As we get older we tend to get more cynical, and it’s nice to see someone with youthful innocence in a society that seeks to strip it from children at an earlier and earlier age. I’d be willing to bet the meanest comments left on the young man’s Youtube page are left by people who have given up on themselves. The nicest comments probably come from people who know that the kid’s mindset won’t allow him to break the laws of physics anytime soon, but that it will come in handy when he graduates from college and enters the real world.

Keep practicing, kid. Keep your shirt on and tone it down a bit and you’re going to go far.

Seth MacFarlane’s Limbaugh Episode: Rush Gets It.

If Seth MacFarlane keeps getting hate mail from liberals, perhaps he too will have a conservative conversion. Remember, Seth: The guys who claim to be “tolerant” and “open minded” only seem that way until you disagree with them.

Anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about Seth MacFarlane.  I think he’s a witty liberal guy who sometimes bites off more than he can chew because progressive media sets him up for failure.  They massage the egos of their ideological allies with a blatant disregard for the consequences that sane people see coming a mile away.  It’s one thing to criticize immigration policy when the interviewer isn’t going to ask you about your drug-smugglerless mansion. It’s another thing to spout off when Andrew Breitbart is sitting across the table from you.

Those who are not so blinded by ideology that they can still refuse to defend the losers and nincompoops on their own side of the aisle tend to improve their ability to predict the opposition’s moves. Seth seems to be slowly learning that lesson:

RUSH: I’d seen the whole script. I’d seen my part and everybody else’s part. I had not seen any of the animation other than, you know, what they released last week, and Seth sent me this note. He was getting hate mail like he has never received before from people who thought he had screwed up by making me look human. He had made a drastic error by making conservatism look funny and nice and reasonable, and they are accusing him of being a sellout. And what he said to me in the e-mail is, “Rush, I have to tell you. My people, my side of the aisle are supposedly all these tolerant, open-minded, willing to accept all points of view. You’re more progressive than they are. These people have absolutely no sense of humor about anything on this show last night.” He was getting more beat up than I am.

Welcome to the club, Seth! I learned the same thing too when I went to college years ago. You didn’t think I was always a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, did you?

The great thing about Rush is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He knows that by going on Family Guy and showing he has a sense of humor, countless young people will now tune into his show out of sheer curiosity. Like me years ago, they’ll realize that he isn’t the monster media makes him out to be. Like me they’ll hear him out and come to the conclusion that a lot of what he says makes sense. They’ll listen to his calls to read economists like Thomas Sowell, or books like The Road to Serfdom…and some of those kids will become the next generation of conservative leaders.

My current job affords me the opportunity to run across a wide range of conservatives, and some of them would rather throw in the towel than enter the pop culture arena. They think it’s a fight that’s beneath them or one not worth taking part in to begin with. They’re wrong. Rush is right. And that’s why he’s a continuing success story. The seeds of conservatism can be planted in the minds of young people in a variety of ways, and I implore some of my social conservative friends to follow Rush’s example.

See you on the other side, Seth.

Breitbart No Spider Rico. Seth Macfarlane to be TKO’d at Bill Maher Fight Night.

Bill Maher will try to come to Seth's aid by performing the Rhetorical Heimlich Maneuver, but Breitbart will likely be shoving razor-sharp retorts down both of their throats.

I rarely make predictions, but I will do so now. Intellectual light weight Seth Macfarlane (the guy who rails against immigration laws before going to his drug-smugglerless mansion), is going to be on Real Time with Bill Maher again.  However, this time he’s going to have Andrew Breitbart sitting across from him.  One of two things will happen:

  • Seth will clam up and look like the back of Stewie’s head in the face of a quick-witted conservative who’s well-versed in public policy issues AND pop culture references.
  • Seth’s time spent around sycophantic fools like Bill Maher, who feed his ego simply because he’s a liberal entertainer with a popular cartoon microphone, will bite off more than he can chew.  Breitbart will refuse to give him a rhetorical Heimlich Maneuver and instead finish the job by shoving razor sharp retorts down his throat.

Deep down Seth knows that all he has to do is dance around the ring and not look like a complete fool for an hour, and then he’ll be set up with chump opponents for the foreseeable future. The rule of thumb on most shows that gang up on conservatives is that every blue moon a shark like Breitbart is allowed into the pool in order to impress less astute observers. However, the liberal glitterati only stick their toes in the water! Afterward, they’re back to inviting conservatives with goldfish-sized brains, or the big fish who are harmless because they only eat plankton…

Here’s another analogy for you: Liberals like to fight conservative versions of Spider Rico, while trying to pass them off to viewers as Rocky in his prime. They do so on cable news shows all the time. However, whenever they go up against conservative contenders for the heavyweight title they’re the ones who feel like they’ve been on the receiving end of Balboa’s blows.

Our liberal friends and Socialist/Commie apologists never step into the ring with the best and brightest conservatives because almost every time they do they get floored. (Or, when they do, it’s often 3 on 1.)  With emerging technologies, more people know how they try to rig the match to their benefit. Game over, mainstream media.

When conservatism is given a fair shake, liberalism gets knocked around the ring.

Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Lessons for Dealing With Jihadist Jokers

Jason Todd (the second Robin) makes a great point: How many graveyards has The Joker filled? How many people have to die before Batman does what needs to be done? At some point, isn’t it the morally correct thing to snap The Joker’s neck?

The Dark Knight was a great movie.  Even without viewing it through a political prism, it’s one of the best superhero flicks of all time.  However, its direct metaphors to The War on Terror were timely, and the way that it treated conservatism with intellectual respect was a pleasant surprise.  When conservatism is given a fair shake on the big screen it’s always a winner.  The debate as to why it’s not seen more often is fodder for many other blogs, but today I’d like to talk about Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Like The Dark Knight, it’s not afraid to tackle tough issues.  It’s made for a completely different audience, and the dialogue isn’t as polished as something Christopher Nolan would dish up, but it’s worth a watch.

For those unfamiliar with the story line, Jason Todd, the second Robin, died at the hands of The Joker.  In this story, Jason has returned from the dead under the moniker The Red Hood (one previously held by The Joker).  While it’s clear as the story unfolds that the process by which Jason was brought back to life has warped his mind, the climatic scene between Jason and Bruce is another springboard for discussing how we deal with a world filled with terrorists, dictators, and despots—men with no fear of reprisal and a complete disregard for the pillars of Western Civilization:

Jason Todd: Bruce, I forgive you for not saving me.  But why…why on God’s earth is he still alive?…Ignoring what he’s done in the past. Blindly, stupidly, disregarding the entire graveyards he’s filled, the thousands who have suffered, the friends he’s crippled.  You know, I thought I’d be the last person you’d ever let him hurt. If it had been you he had beaten to a bloody pulp, if he had taken you from this world, I would have done nothing but search the plant for this pathetic pile of evil, death-worshipping garbage and sent him off to hell!

Batman: You don’t understand. I don’t think you ever understood.

Jason Todd: What? What, your moral code won’t allow for that? It’s too hard to cross that line?

Batman: No. God Almighty, no! It would be too damn easy. All I ever wanted to do is kill him. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about subjecting him to every horrendous torture he’s dealt out to others—and then end him.  But if I do that. If I allow myself to go down into that place…I’ll never come back.

Jason Todd: Why? I’m not talking about killing Penguin, or Scarecrow, or Dent. I’m talking about him.

Jason makes an incredibly lucid point, here. There is a distinct difference between your average criminal—even super criminal—who still is connected by a few thin threads of decency towards his fellow man, and someone completely detached from reality. There’s a chivalry amongst liars with many of Batman’s villains. But The Joker is, essentially, evil incarnate. His loyalty is only to whatever madness his mind cooks up in the moment. Even worse, when The Joker is locked behind bars he’s still often able to plot and plan and execute (figuratively and literally) his twisted machinations. He exists completely outside the Rule of Law. And yet Batman still can not bring himself to pull the trigger, which, in this case, is a moral failing.

As Jason points out, The Joker has filled graveyards. He will continue to do so. And, just like the “death-worshipping garbage” operating around the world in lawless regions of Pakistan, Somalia and Afghanistan…and just like the “death-worshipping garbage” that plots and plans from inside the borders of civilized nations—using free societies to raise money and recruit foot soldiers for their cause—they are different. And should be treated as such. Not every illiterate, gun toting member of the Taliban is akin the The Joker. I’m not saying that. But when we’re having a debate about how to confront our nation’s enemies, we should accurately define them—and that’s a process that the moral relativism of today’s liberalism has muddied. We need clarity as we move forward, and we need politicians who aren’t afraid to articulate hard truths.

How sad is it that today’s liberal politicians would be better off if they just watched more animated Batman movies instead of listening to their handlers…

I love Batman, but I can’t help but think that ultimately he’s going to die at the hands of The Joker. Sort of like…countries that adopt moral relativism when it comes to jihadist ambitions around the globe.

We Are All South Park Creators.

Sadness. The woman who instinctually knew that jihadi scum were indeed just that when they tried to threaten the creators of South Park now has buckled in response to fear and intimidation by thugs like Anwar al-Awlaki:

If this guy puts you on his "hit list" it means you're doing your part to stand up for Western Civilization and the well being of future generations. It's understandable to be scared for your life, but it's also honorable to die if you did so standing up for God-given rights.

The creator of a now-defunct “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” page on Facebook fears she may be targeted for death now that the cartoonist who launched the online campaign has been placed on an execution list by a radical Yemeni-American cleric…

“I’m scared,” she said. “I’m scared that somebody might kill me.”

The woman created her version of “Everybody Draw Muhammad” in late April, days after a Seattle cartoonist launched the online campaign to protest Comedy Central’s censoring of an episode of “South Park,” in which the Prophet Muhammad was depicted wearing a bear costume. The Canadian woman said she will no longer act as the administrator of such a page.

“I just want to be quiet now,” she continued. “I wish I didn’t do this.”

There’s a lot of things that I wish, and one of them is that radical islamic clerics didn’t try to intimidate free people with “hit lists” and head chopping and exploding burka-clad women at outdoor cafes. But they do. And I’m glad that this young woman shined light on how utterly ridiculous (and downright serious) the threat of Islamic radicalism is to Western Civilization.

The answer is not to shut up. The answer is not to wish it will go away (because it won’t). The answer is to talk louder. The answer is to confront them head on, in vast numbers of freedom and liberty loving citizens who will make the intellectual case against these loons without being afraid to use force to protect themselves when necessary.

I would much rather die defending my fellow countrymen’s 1st Amendment rights, than live in a world run by Ottoman Empire Redux Thugs. I would much rather have my head chopped off and displayed over the internet because I stood up to the dregs of society, than to stay quiet because I allowed a big lump of dhimmitude to grow where my vocal chords and testicles once resided.

If our European and Canadian friends want to encourage their citizenry to sit back and shut up as Islamic bullies on the international stage literally beat them into submission—fine. But Americans should be better than that. They are better than that. And while it’s perfectly understandable that this young woman is scared for her life, someone hasn’t done their job teaching her that some things are worth dying for—such as your God-given rights.

In a sane world the media would do its job, and people would know what we’re up against. In a sane world entire communities would be on the same page, and a woman like this could walk down the street in her hometown because she would know that her neighbors are looking out for her—and gunning to take out visiting terrorist barnacles that hitch a ride into a free country looking cause trouble.

But we’re not in a sane world, and like I said before, I sometimes think I’m living in the Twilight Zone. Given that, the best we can do is to continue speaking out and doing the job media outlets won’t do because they too are “scared.” And when it’s over and the West has been won we can look back at all the media outlets that shirked their duty to define direct threats to the nation and say, “Screw them. We did it without them.”