Posted by: markfender | July 31, 2012

David S. Goyer Hates You

I saw The Dark Knight Rises last week. I’m not here to talk about that.

Instead, I’d like to point the overall themes in David S. Goyer’s work that seem to point to a strange hatred of the public. As the man responsible for the Dark Knight series of stories, this latest one seems to have a very strong anti-99% message. Filmed before the Occupy Wall Street movement, the film doesn’t make explicit its connections but there are certainly some allusions you could make.

In the movie Bane seems to be a pro-99% sort of person. To the cries that he’d been paid a lot of money, he replies “And you think that gives you power over me?” He attacks Wall Street, er Gotham Street, in a bid to bankrupt Wayne Enterprises (Never mind that the whole thing could have been avoided by using his master cat burglar to quietly sneak in and abscond with a key card), sowing terror across the financial world. He reduces Gotham to an anarchist collective by sealing off the city and capturing all the cops in town, letting the people rule for themselves.

And yet, he’s definitely the bad guy. His anarchist city is ruled by kangaroo courts and guys with guns. And, of course, there’s the nuclear bomb that’s going to destroy the city regardless. He stands around tugging on his jacket with the moves of a third-world dictator. He’s Scottish (Okay, I don’t know what that one has to do with anything either). Lawlessness rules the city when he ‘s in charge and it’s pretty obvious that he should probably be destroyed. Thank God the 1% Batman is there to return the city of Gotham to civilization.

Obviously, I’m reading into the situation. The first of Nolan’s Batman films had a similar message, years before Occupy Wall Street was a gleam in some hippie’s eyes. And that Joker fellow wasn’t all that keen on civilization either. But it’s interesting to see that the overall message of these films seems to be that the regular populace needs looking after by those with the wealth and education to oversee their needs. Every villain has some sort of plan to remove the authorities and Batman is able to stop them. This latest film, however, has the villain actually succeed and we’re definitely led to believe that letting the people rule themselves is a bad thing. The fact that Batman is also a wealthy socialite is probably just an amazing coincidence, as he’s the only one able to return the city to normalcy, putting the public back in their place.

But David S. Goyer isn’t done detailing you why you’re a bad person and should accept the rule of your betters. Because he’s also the writer behind the new Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare Black Ops 2. In this game, the villain is Raul Menendez, a Julian Assange-like figure who is described as “the Champion of the 99% percent.” And yet, it turns out he’s a terrorist and whisks everyone into a global thermonuclear meltdown. It’s up to the brave men and women of Black Ops to stop this terrible person from plunging the world into chaos – men and women working for the world’s governments. Again, the majority of the world has been vilified by David S. Goyer, who’s pretty sure you can’t govern yourselves and would fall into the hands of a maniacal dictator.

Which is kinda true. After all, The Dark Knight Rises is going to be one of the biggest movies ever (if not the biggest) and the Call of Duty series will make even more money that it. So, we’re all buying into David S. Goyer’s cynical view of ourselves and gladly paying for the privilege. We can’t govern ourselves. We need our betters to look after our best interests. If you let us rule, we’d probably just demand more American Idol or something.

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