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The Joker– Super Sane? July 21, 2008

Posted by joshuachayne in Culture, media, Uncategorized.
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Heath Ledger portrays a chilling Joker in the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight. This Joker is a homicidal sociopathic anarchist. He has no empathy and obeys no rules. Although he may add some whimsical and ironic elements into his schemes he is still a brutal terrorist who enjoys causing mass chaos and killing and maiming enemies, pawns, and innocents. He wants to turn society upside down and relishes putting otherwise moral people into moral dilemmas with disastrous consequences.

Is the Joker insane or so sane that he sees through the social controls and the social construction of social reality? I have read that in some of the Batman comics written by Grant Morrison that the idea was presented that the Joker may actually be “super-sane”. Even in The Dark Knight, the Joker insists that he is not insane.

Whether he is insane or super-sane, the Joker continues to be Batman’s greatest foe and one of the most recognizable comic book villains of all time. The Joker represents anarchy and absolute freedom from rules and compassion. He is an agent of chaos and thus the polar opposite of Batman who wishes to restore order to Gotham. The Joker captures our fears and imagination because he is the quintessential terrorist in the guise of an archetype that is suppose to represent happiness and joy– a clown.