Tag Archives: storytelling

Batman and other cultural stories (1 of 2)

The horrible, horrible shooting at the recent Batman movie made me decide to delay sending this out, since times of tragedy aren’t appropriate for semi-flippant ruminations. In light of our southern cousins’ gun culture (and US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia’s suggestion that Americans’ right to bear arms might extend all the way up to shoulder-mounted weapons like anti-aircraft missiles) one wonders whether the satirists at The Colbert Report will announce a PR blitz built around the phrase “nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people”…

But back to our subject line.

With the acclaimed completion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie trilogy, we’ve gone through three live-action incarnations of the franchise in the past forty or so years. As a contemporary mythology deeply imprinted in the modern North American psyche, Batman is an excellent springboard for us post-religious secularists to understand the cultural stories of our spiritual siblings.

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So let’s start by cycling through the incarnations of the caped crusader, whose basic character biography can be summarized as:

1) boy from rich family watches his parents get shot dead,

2) by a low-level gangster

3) and grows up wanting to avenge their deaths

4) so he dresses up like a bat and fights crime, using weapons and gadgets his money gives him access to,

5)  sometimes accompanied by a teenaged sidekick named Robin.

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More after the jump!

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