Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I just watched the new Batman finally. At first I was bored and disappointed. Why was Batman acting all good? It had been several years since the last Batman movie, but I seemed to recall it being dark with an antihero protagonist. In the new one, Batman has somehow reformed and become a contributing member of society. Not likely. Batman is a sociopath. He's actually one of the better examples of what i consider "the good sociopath." Being a sociopath doesn't necessarily mean you do bad things, it just means your brain is wired a certain way, and you do things a certain way. Power is power. A sociopath can just as easily satisfy his cravings for power and excitement by fighting alongside local city police as fighting alongside villains. But Batman's girlfriend's note pleads with him to not lose faith in humanity. I guess for the normal moviegoer it's too much to believe that Batman would fight on the side of good for anything other than an undying belief in the decency and equality of mankind. How about because fighting is fun? Or convenient? How about because his natural inclination was to be a fighter, and the best option to him at the time was to fight for "good"? How about because he was trying to impress a girl? There are many reasons why a sociopath like Batman would choose to fight for "good"--reasons that have nothing to do with a vague faith in humankind.

And how about the Joker? His character is a more accurate depiction of a sociopath, although the portrayal here is somewhat heavy-handed. The Joker's view of humanity is jaded in a way that many sociopaths' views are. I mean jaded strictly in the Webster's sense of the word: "Made dull, apathetic, or cynical by experience or by surfeit." "Bad" sociopaths tend to have little respect for the social structure because they have been exposed to it enough to know it's rotten. The Joker makes some typical sociopathic comments about humanity, saying that people are only as "good" as the situation allows them to be. But he quickly learns that people are actually worse: empaths will frequently make irrational decisions based on something other than the exigencies of a particular situation. The Joker is surprised when the criminals and civilians on the ferries did not kill each other because he believes empaths can make the rational decision of blowing up the other ferry before they get blown up themselves. But they can't. The movie portrays the behavior of the passengers as noble, when really it is just irrational. This capacity for irrationality is probably the most disturbing thing about empaths to the sociopath. It's what makes them unpredictable and dangerous. The great thing about sociopaths is that they won't let emotions cloud their rational decision making.


  1. Get real. This is the Joker you're dealing with. You press the button and your OWN ship blows up. The joke's on you!

    1. no if you read some comics i did to learn some types of persona’s and the joker will usually tell the trust when he does is bombs

  2. Do you enjoy these types of movies? I only ask because you have made other references to the X-men. My sociopath was an avid movie-watcher, loved the comic-based movies and terror flicks. He spent hours watching tv, renting videos, and followed the scandals of the stars closely. It was as though he had a constant desire to watch the drama of human interaction...and yet, that in itself was fantasy based. He also had a strange tendency to identify people as various movie stars. An exgirlfriend he dated looked just like Madonna. Another like Marilyn, another Eva Longoria. He compared me to Patricia Arquette. It was unnerving. As if he had to constantly objectify and identify a person with a two-dimensional hollywood personae.

    Is this something that is familiar to you, as well?

  3. "He also had a strange tendency to identify people as various movie stars...It was unnerving. "

    This is strange.

    A month ago, I was talking with a few friends about the things that got under our skin about the other's personality. I started it just to see what would happen. One of them said that what got on their nerves was that I compared myself to movie characters. It bugged him because he didn't understand it, why would I do that.

    I explained that I only identified myself to certain parts of the characters and that more often then not, I was actually told that the characters reminded someone of me and not that I reminded people of the characters. He nodded through out this until I stated that I thought the reason it bugged him was because he was sure of who he is, so the idea of comparing himself to someone else is strange. When I started to go into what I thought he thought of himself, he got uneasy and defensive. A few days later, he called me and told me that I freaked him out because everything I said about him was true. I told him that I was only making an observation and not passing any form of judgment.

    The truth is I've never looked at a movie and said “that's me!” but I have looked at something a character does or says and gone "I would do that." The comparisons always came from other people and I sometimes relayed it. After this little conversation though, I stopped doing it.

  4. I've never been a big movie or television guy. In fact, I haven't owned a television in fifteen years. Not owning one sort of plays into my intellectual pretensions and helps make the argument to victims that I am better and deeper than other people since it is such a cultural oddity. I do like to watch movies now and then and really enjoy a few selected genres like film reinterpretations of Shakespeare (like Titus Andronicus or Richard III), dark mindfuck movies (like most David Lynch or Terry Gilliam movies), and - oddly enough - dark fairy tales (like City of Lost Children or The Company of Wolves). I am also keen on most vampire movies :) How cliche is that?

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  8. Those joker scenes made me want to stand up in the theater and cheer, as does this post.

    One thing that bothers me, however: Why all the focus on sociopathy? Sociopath, sociopath, sociopath... Maybe I'm just being oblivious here, but I don't want to sociopathy has to do with being the goddamn Batman or making right decisions in extreme situations.

  9. Batman is a sociopath for one simple reason. Have you ever seen Batman cry or laugh? Have you ever seen any emotion in batman?

    Batman has basically only two facial expressions, bat-stare and bat-glare. He's etiher a sociopath or 100% rational... which is a sociopath.

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