The first thing most Americans will protect when freedoms are threatened is our right to free speech. No one likes to be silenced. All of us want the freedom to express ourselves. It is strange, then, to see the uproar over the new film "Joker" with Juoquin Phoenix.
First and foremost, this was a masterpiece of cinematic genius. Well shot. Well written. Well directed. There was a time when that was all that mattered. If you have not seen the movie, I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that it is indeed dark. It in no way glorifies the demonic character that is portrayed, just as Saving Private Ryan didn't glorify WW2 but rather showed the horrors of war in a gritty and terribly sad way. The difference here is that no one wants to talk about Mental Health or, especially, Mental Illness. It's a rough subject and it isn't well understood. That does not, however, make this a bad movie. If this is too disturbing then don't watch it. Who can blame you for that, but why must we vilify works of art for being something we are unable to handle or do not wish to see.
It is an easy thing to have an opinion, and in this world of two second tweets, millions of people can have their opinions validated in this insane race for public acknowledgment. At what cost, though? In our effort to eradicate evil and purge the world of vile and hurtful behavior have we not begun to police people's artistic expression? Worse, have we begun to police people's thoughts?
Perhaps we didn't know how grim and dirty the world was until just about anybody could tell us what they thought about their Golden Retrievers in pink booties, yet this is a part of who we are. This also happens to be what Joker is about. When we live in a world where the ugly side to life is swept underneath a rug, that unseen mess becomes a massive cloud of dirt waiting to puff out into all of our faces.