Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Knight, Secret Diary, and holy shit - Greek Yogurt

Alright everyone, I've given a lot of thought to The Dark Knight, and what I'd like to tell you about it. I'm going to start with this quote as a jumping-off point:

"Do I really look like a man with a plan, Harvey? I don't have a plan. The mob has plans, the cops have plans. You know what I am, Harvey? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do if I caught one. I just do things. I'm a wrench in the gears. I hate plans. Yours, theirs, everyone's. Maroni has plans. Gordon has plans. Schemers trying to control their worlds. I am not a schemer. I show schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are."

-The Joker, The Dark Knight

The Joker is explaining here to Gotham City's "white knight," district attorney Harvey Dent, why he is so maniacal. His whole aversion to "plans" - or "rules," as he soapboxes elsewhere in the movie - reminded me of something deeply philosophical. And I've been thinking. Could The Joker be a Taoist?

Consider this, from Taoist collection Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu -

"So who can be still and watch the chess game of the world? The foolish are always making impulsive moves, but the wise know that victory and defeat are decided by something more subtle. They see that something perfect exists before any move is made."

I was intrigued by the idea of The Joker as a sloppy, animalistic drunk before I saw the movie - his messy make-up and unsteady swagger humanize him to a degree we never saw with Jack Nicholson's cartoony, showy (but also haunting) Joker. Now, I've shifted views somewhat, and it's largely due to this (perhaps BS) Taoist hypothesis. Does The Joker see something perfect, as Lao Tzu says? If so, is that why he "just wants to watch the world burn" - to quote another memorable line - because he envisions perfect destruction? Even before the rest of us make our moves?

I don't know how willing I am to pursue this theory - just putting it on the table. Thoughts?

In another Batman news - Christian Bale was arrested for assault on his mother and sister today? WTF?

Shifting gears violently - ok, let's talk about BBC's Secret Diary guys!!

I'm obsessed with this show, and make R. watch it with me whenever new ones come through on Showtime. It's about a London call-girl, and it's a little more cheesy than it is sexy. Don't get me wrong - there's plenty of sex - but for every bare nipple, there's 50 lines of self-affirming, my-name-is-Woman monologue. Let's take tonight's episode.

So the main character - Hannah, or "Belle" as her "clients" call her - gets a bad internet review regarding her, eh, services. Work suffers. Her clients drop off. But it's all resolved in the end, when her best guy friend/boy she's secretly in love with - a cute Adrian Brodyesque chap named Ben - writes a glowing anonymous report on the same website. I don't remember it verbatim, but it was something like, "Men looking for tramps need not apply. Men looking for a real lady: welcome. Belle is the best a man can get." This, read over a sassy Motown soundtrack, and Belle winking adorably into the camera.

R., needless to say, was silent. His glowering stare, however, had this to say: "s-e-r-i-o-u-s-l-y can we please watch Deadliest Catch??"

Lastly. Does anyone here eat Greek yogurt? Here's a picture:

This shit robs me of speech. Seriously. They sell it at Le Heb (Hancock Center H-E-B), Whole Foods, and Central Market - probably at Sun Harvest and Wheatsville too. If you get it, get the honey flavor, and try not to moan or shed a single tear of joy or do anything else embarrassing. I'm just saying, it's really really REALLY good.


athens said...

I'm a fan of Fage yogurt.


David said...

I agree with you on the depth of The Joker in The Dark Knight. There is a strong Yin & Yang element here. Without the darkness that is the Joker both as Nicholson played him and and Ledger did, then The Batman fails to become light, which leaves us rooting for a psychotic, cape-wearing vigilante who is only on 'this' side of the law by a hair, on a whim.