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I just watched The Dark Knight again and the only adjective I have is, epic. Actually that might not be true: I think it might be the most brilliant piece of cinema I have seen since No Country for Old Men. It certainly carries the violence torch, but if you look at some of the lines these people drop, I have a hard time believing they’re from a summer action movie. Epic.

Some of the things were so brilliant, so completely true, it got me scared this time around. For example, The Joker says some things during the hospital scene that are simply brilliant. I mean, that whole scene, for me, is clearly the crux of the movie and I still can’t believe it happened after what they portrayed as the climax in the trailers. He says, “Do I really look like a guy with a plan? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. I just…do things.” And that makes me sincerely worried.

As a man who improvises all the time, a man writes cover letters for a living, it kind of scares me that the most evil person I have ever seen portrayed in a movie summarized my life. I can improvise, I can chase cars but I like to think I have a sense of where I’m going. Then again, I’m split between my desires of a life in publishing and a life fighting fires. I’ve wanted to be a HAZMAT firefighter since I was like 15 or something. It’s scary that I’ve looked into both and that firefighting is at least two years off. In the mean time, my hand is being forced so I have to settle for reading and writing really well.

I mean, I’m kind of out of shape right now, but I might never see the day that I can’t stop a lacrosse ball from getting past me. At least one. A certain part of me wants not to tax my brain for the rest of my life–just tax my body for a living and tax my brain in my spare time. I have enough library cards to read outside the job.

The “social experiment” scene also got me thinking a lot too. Do you ever think about how you’re going to die? Recently, I thought it would be cool to get shot in the head in the middle of gang warfare. I was talking about my part of Brooklyn with the only female roommate I have and she basically told me that I was being completely irrational. She’s right and I also saw the “social experiment” as an endorsement of human nature–the criminals, just as the citizens, know it’s not okay to kill each other. That reminded me of a conversation I had with one of my other roommates.

When I told him I was looking into being a firefighter, he told me, “You’re too smart to be a firefighter. You’re just gonna get killed.” I tried to tell him I was fine with that. If I got killed fighting fires, I would have done something completely altruistic and thus have a completely valid reason to die. Spending my life on the brink of death would pretty much be okay with me. Waking up to another day would be that much more rewarding because I would know there would be another opportunity to save lives that day. I could also just freelance copyedit or something in my freetime.

Then there’s the laughter thing. That Joker character does seem to do it a lot and it makes me worry that I don’t take anything seriously enough. I will admit, one of my other death-fantasies is to die by laughing too much. I read The Clean House and was totally inspired to laugh myself to death as well as not get married unless I can find a girl who is funnier than I am. I don’t mean to be immodest, but I think that’s another reason I’ve had such a terrible dating record. It’s hard to find funny girls these days. At least, that’s what I’ve found.

I have this other problem after watching the movie too: I can no longer decide whether I want to grow up to be Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Paul Rudd, or Craig Finn. So many levels of awesomeness have completely blown my mind.

The point here is, if I could die with a girl in my arms who just told me the greatest joke the world has ever heard right after I saved her from a fire, I would die a happy man. And I would feel a lot less like The Joker.

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2 Comments

  1. “It’s hard to find funny girls these days. At least, that’s what I’ve found.”

    True.

  2. What a punchline. Really a good joke?..


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