I just watched Joker and it’s everything everyone has said (dark, unsettling, graphic, painful, brilliant) except for one thing, it’s not slow.
There was a time when art was revered. When it was extraordinary. When it was seen as an essential, influential, and crucial part of the culture. A time when we didn’t have access to 30 million songs on our phone. When we couldn’t take any piece of art or literature ever written and steal it for a meme. (When we didn’t know what a meme was.) When we couldn’t just ask any question in the known universe and get the answer in seconds. Now don’t mistake shining a questioning light on technology with being old school. I’m not. But art… it used to matter. We’re a Twitter culture. Everyone is so consumed with their lives they don’t read. We are the generation of too long; didn’t read. Even that’s too much. It has to be abbreviated to TL;DR. Even abbreviation requires abbreviating. Abbr. Wild. So, anyone who tells you the movie is too slow probably doesn’t understand drama or they’re the human equivalent of TL;DR. #whatevs
I wanted to go opening weekend because I want to do my part in helping this film’s success. I bought 5 tickets. Just like voting, people need to use their voice, financially or otherwise to make a difference. Paying for this film helps for art like it to continue to shine in a dwindling medium. Most movies make one-third of their entire box office gross during opening weekend. A bad opening weekend means it will likely be pulled. It will vanish into artistic obscurity. This film deserves better.
Joker is an urgent and timely warning to who we are as a culture. A puncturing look in the mirror. A reflector of the society we’ve already created by allowing the pressure cooker to continue. It’s a glass into our non-recycling ways. Our disposable, coffee cup society. We never think about the wellness of our fellow man. What happens when someone loses their mind? Even momentarily. We make fun of them, posting it everywhere, call them crazy and move on to the next broken piñata with our sticks in the air. We are the mob of the unempathetic. Generally inconsiderate, insensitive, thoughtless, uninterested, unfriendly, unloving, and ruthless. We create this shit, the marginalized and we can’t even see it. We are the reverberators of chaos. But we can do better. We can always do better.
The next time you see someone in need, try to help them. Talk to them. See if they’re hungry. Maybe they just would like to be seen and acknowledged. Maybe they just wanna talk. Smile more. At everyone. Every day. Don’t be afraid to expose yourself as vulnerable. Reach out to others. Be there for them. Especially, people, you don’t know. We’re always so sure we know what’s right. But one day it just might be you on the other side of the laugh. Remember that.