“Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”
I’m only mildly anxious that my teenager is heading out to The Dark Knight. Colorado is 2,000 miles away and security is heightened–everywhere. Even as far away as Morocco, Facebook friends are talking about it.
Some say they’ll keep their kids home from the theaters. Others say that gun laws must be tightened. Warner Brothers cancelled their red carpet Paris Premier.
I get to wondering about Christian Bale. How do all those working on the film feel? Their efforts marred; their celebration stolen.
My heart goes out to the community of Aurora (a place I lived as a kid) and to all those whose loved ones were hurt, terrorized or stolen.
The newspaper explains that scenes of public mayhem are the hallmark of Superhero movies which begs the classic question: Does art reflect reality or does reality reflect art?
Ever since the first Colorado massacre in 1999, I began to examine violence in my own life. I gave up shoot’em up films, and redirected violent play among my boys–explaining that we didn’t have toy guns, not because they were “bad,” but because make-believe had become real.
Tragedies such as these are complex beasts. There are gun issues and mental health issues and all kinds of responsibilities to explore. The Director of “The Dark Knight Rises” expressed sorrow on behalf of the cast and crew for such a “senseless tragedy.”
But is it truly senseless? Aren’t we beginning to “sense” a larger pattern? Or will we continue to call these acts of violence random?
Kelly Salasin, July 2012
For more writing on guns, violence & culture, click the links below:
Death as Entertainment (murder in schools)