The joker philosophy in a loveless world – Times of India

Posted: October 9, 2019 at 9:44 am

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By Ayushman Jamwal

What is it like, to wade in your darkness and ride the violent chain reactions of your actions? The latest attempt to understand the iconic villain of the Batman Universe, The Joker, has once again endowed the character with gritty realism, mirroring the horror and liberation of our own personal demons on the movie screen.

Beyond the legendary iconography of the Joker, Todd Phillips beautiful direction and Joaquin Phoenixs masterful performance show the origin of evil in a loveless world, how the underbelly of society can create its own monstrous avatar.

Emotional tether

The emotional tether philosophy states that people can bear the cruelty, unfairness, isolation and indifference of their social and professional lives, if they are tethered to an emotional constant. For many of us, the tether is our parents, siblings, spouse and/or other relatives and friends, who help us nurse the wounds from the slings and arrows of the world. Every superhero possesses that tether to reconnect with sanity as they wade through their and the worlds darkness.

Batman has Alfred who repeatedly reminds him that the Caped Crusader is Bruce Waynes attempt to conquer the chaos of his world. Superman has his mother Martha Kent, Spiderman has his aunt May, Iron Man has his wife Pepper, and there is a universe of characters who play the voices of reason and are the sources of love which keep heroes on the side of order, justice and humanity.

In the poverty-stricken projects of Gotham city, with no handle on a job and a fleeting aspiration to be famous, Arthur Fleck struggles on, caring for his sick mother, creating phantoms of relationships to fill the voids in his life, taking whatever help he can from the city governments fledgling mental healthcare program. The Joker emerges when he loses that one tether, the mother-son bond that turns out to be a fraud, a trauma that eviscerates his identity, his real and delusional ties to others, and most importantly, his fear of cause, consequence, order and death.

Apostles of chaos

The father of Nihilist philosophy Friedrich Nietzsche once said, if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. The Joker represents the perfect symbol of Nihilism, highlighting that civilisation can create its own agents of destruction the forgotten, nameless, faceless class of the urbanised world, who find no fairness or empowerment in society, and who choose to seek purpose as apostles of chaos.

Humanity, time and again, moves from one social order to the next, terming God, state and philosophy as the ultimate social arbiters, but the Joker is the emperor of nothing and unburdened by dogma, becoming the ultimate agent of disorder.

There is no search for a greater mystery, only pursuit of power, by tearing down socio-political institutions of human administration, as they seem meaningless. Power in futility is the ethos of the Joker where Nietzsches God is Dead meets the Bhagwad Gitas Destroyer of Worlds philosophy. The acceptance of the meaninglessness of existence and the rejection of the fear of authority or code is his enlightenment and inspiration. The more comprehensible and mechanical his universe, the more pointless it becomes, and the more powerful his resolve to upend it.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

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The joker philosophy in a loveless world - Times of India

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October 9th, 2019 at 9:44 am

Posted in Enlightenment