This was recorded in New Jersey in 1980. I was 8 years old at the time and didn’t learn about Warren Zevon until much later, so I’m thankful to LilMikeSF for posting it in January. It’s one of my favorite songs, and I scan YouTube for newly-uploaded versions of it every couple of months. Not many songs capture the Cold War psychology the way Zevon does here, and this version is energetic, even by his standards.
I’m going back to writing things now. I’ll have a Tolkien post at the Monster later in the week, along with some things for the other blogs.
Happy new book day, everyone! Building off last last week’s post, I want to lay down a few more of my thoughts on, and interpretations of, the Joker. These may seem a bit more convoluted than the last batch, but dedicating critical thought to the Joker is a deep, dark rabbit hole indeed. Let’s jump right in!
The white-skinned Joker can be seen as a ghost of his opposite number—Bruce Wayne. Though the connection is tenuous, I see it as a source of the animosity between the Joker and Batman. The Joker is the walking death of young Bruce Wayne grown to adulthood and spreading its pain across Gotham. After all, it is a fairly common idea that whatever was Bruce Wayne effectively died in that alleyway with his parents, leaving behind only a shell that wandered the world in search of answers until it finally became Batman. So, even if the Joker did not pull the trigger and kill the Waynes himself, he is a reminder—a ghost—from that night simply because of how well he represents the senselessness and cruelty that govern Batman’s city.
The Joker is the living symbol that Batman will constantly struggle against but never kill, not because of his code against killing, but because he fears what would fill the void left by the Joker’s passing. So long as the Joker is alive and Batman is fighting, there is hope in Bruce Wayne’s broken mind that things can be all right again.