THE JOKER

177

by Sarawakian

The latest movie, ‘The Joker’ is really a disturbing movie. It is unlike any movie shown for quite a while. The character played by Joaquin Phoenix is so believable that you could feel the very anguish society belts him with. It also shows you how mental illness is real. Desperation, depression, social judgment and envy all rolled in one. Never have I seen a movie so deeply ingrained in the various facets of the mind other than the movie, ‘Seven’ which Brad Pitt starred. ‘The Joker’ beats this.

In that same movie, Gotham city is consumed by crime and unemployment. The would be mayor standing for election, Thomas Wayne created the character. He did this when he called those responsible for the murders ie the ‘The Joker’ in a subway train as those who are envious of successful people. He labeled them as ‘Clowns’. This sparked a huge dissenting crowd which descended onto the streets and eventually got Thomas Wayne killed. This in turn, created ‘Batman’ the answer to the chaos created by crime. It seems that every north has a south, much like every hero has a villain. But, when you watch this movie, and really absorb yourself in it, you would ask yourself this question, is there really such a thing as a villain and a hero? Or is this a creation of perception.

The current play of race, religion and status in Malaysia is not new. It seems to be a bane for as long as one remembers. The talk of social contract again creates more divisive politics when efforts should be made to improving the overall economy and social well being. It is dangerous when campaigns after campaigns and even worse, wanton freedom of denigrating speeches being allowed to happen without acceptable retort being equally allowed.

In that movie, Gotham city is besieged due to an economic reason. This reason unites the ideology of equal treatment rather than one that is divisive. The mass requires meritocracy while the few want to lord over you with status and power. They enslave you with threats of money and connections.

We all know it does not take much to spark a public show of defiance. Look at how Bersih was conceived and how huge it became. It was even supported by the greedy politicians so much so that today, when the dust has settled, the realization of Bersih being used by them to sweep them to power. You only have to go back into history within the last 12 years to understand why.

Yet again, change is always good but impatience would again be the stimulus of discontent. Learning and strategically maneuvering the people who believed in simple justice, they got the push to become the government. There is no less than 10 years of solid watch and understanding as an opposition. Is that not enough to quickly make changes which the public yearns for? The very least are those which could be easily done and swiftly done. No excuses.

Being restless due to unemployment and negative social judgments would always lead to crime. No one is born with a criminal mind. The maturing mind is the result what the environment provides. The family, the school, the work place, the industry and the government. These provide the moulding of minds and thinking.

Yet again, we again hear and see the same Malaysia we wanted to improve due to the leaders we have put in. As mentioned before and many times over; it is the same movie with different actors. Tweaks are done to suit the times but more or less the same. Ironic, don’t you think?

The current chaos in Hong Kong is hard to comment on. In the beginning it was about justice and yet today, it seems to have taken a turn for a different agenda. Catalonia seeking for independence, with an overwhelming 92% saying yes and another 8% saying no. Turnout was 43%. Even if the balance 57% came out to vote, it is improbable that all would say no. Yet again despite a referendum and the choice of the people made known, the government rose to criminalise this.

Something is wrong today. It seems that the very problem the society has is with the chase of money and enrichment. The seeking of connections, status and power are equally guilty. These are sparks igniting chaos if not dealt with. The reason why disenchantment happens is due to our own ease of beliefs. We believe the slightest of sensations. Those who aim to remain in power and hide behind the models of success would read this and further use this.

The divide and conquer strategy is an age old and very potent strategy. What makes one fall for this. Easy. Read about Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride. Match them with those personalities and you would easily be able to tick the boxes. Yet, time and time again the people are played by masters of puppets. Abuse and control. You would then feel helpless, powerless, oppressed and even alienated.

We need to know and acknowledge that the human mind is a powerful weapon. We cannot create ‘Jokers’. Otherwise there would be a ‘Batman’. There is no winner as the hero and villain would require followers and then you see, the chaos as a never ending circle. The trick is to not start when it is obvious.

The disturbing nature of the mind is as equal as the beautiful mind. The choice is there but the society is key to its tangent and movement. Think. Everyone has a story. Just like ‘The Joker’ and ‘Maleficent’.