*Joker*

I read so many scathing — forgive me long and thorough and scathing — reviews of this one that I figured something had to be up.  And indeed there is.  However unpleasant and disturbing this movie may be, it is excellent along all major dimensions of cinematic quality, including drama, script, characterization, performances, cinematography, color, music, and more, not to mention embedded cinematic references.

But here is the catch: it is the most anti-Leftist movie I have seen, ever.  It quite explicitly portrays the egalitarian instinct as a kind of barbaric violent atavism, and it is pointedly critical of Antifa and related movements, showing them as representing a literal end of civilization.  Only the wealthy are genteel and urbane and proper.  On crime and law and order, it is right-wing in a 1970s “Death Wish” sort of way, though anti-gun too.

I believe the critics simply could not see straight.  I hesitate to recommend such a non-entertaining and indeed reactionary movie, but I am very glad I saw it.  If you have been put off by the reviews, with this blog post I am adding my dissenting voice of reason.

Comments

I loved The Joker.

Antifa deserves much credit for singlehandedly opposing China so openly in HK. China now attempts to ban their black masks like the fascists they are. Trump is so weak on China because he wants a trade deal and cannot be bothered by democracy or liberty. Antifa wants an end to police violence and justice to those abused by the Beijing-backed police state.

Next you're going to claim The President cares more about deals than human rights!

Trump's record on human rights is abysmal. His record on deals even worse. I support impeaching the moron out of sheer incompetence. The only thing he is good at is sowing chaos and distrust in the American people. We already know he and his family is getting favors from foreign governments.

"I support impeaching the moron out of sheer incompetence. The only thing he is good at is sowing chaos and distrust in the American people."

I would agree, but could that not be said of almost every president over the past 105 years? The primary thing different about Trump is that he does not feign competence.

They are consistent. The idiots tried to impeach each Republican president since President Reagan.

Antifa is an upper-middle class death cult, run by imbeciles.

They wear masks so that their parents to know what the Hell they're doing with their trust fund "allowances."

Re: violence. Hollywood violence is a caricature.

Morons.

Unlike any Republican ever, Clinton actually was impeached after a sprawling, years-long investigation. That was the dumbest.

Literally the dumbest?

N.B. They didn't employ Brit/Russian/Ukraine operatives, the FISA courts, and the deep state to frame Clinton. He did it to himself.

Dude, it started out with Whitewater and ended up with Monica Lewinsky. As a prominent modern politician might say: WITCH HUNT!

The current proceedings have a ways to go yet to exceed this stupidity.

They should have gotten nailed for Whitewater, but the Monica stuff was stupid. Not stupid enough to save Bill from getting his law license revoked though.

The fact that you are more angry at the GOP into Clinton's corruption than you are at Clinton's corruption, tells me everything i need to know.

Clinton's impeachment is stupider than anything today's Dems could throw at Trump.

Are you unaware that Clinton actually broke laws, unlike Trump. There were three felony charges against Clinton.

And that the Dems broke laws to try to set up Trump. Seems to be a pattern here....

'Unlike any Republican ever'

Forgetting the first case of impeachment in American history, aren't you?
'The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was initiated on February 24, 1868, when the United States House of Representatives resolved to impeach Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States, for "high crimes and misdemeanors", which were detailed in 11 articles of impeachment. The primary charge against Johnson was violation of the Tenure of Office Act, passed by Congress in March 1867, over his veto. Specifically, he had removed from office Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War—whom the Act was largely designed to protect—and attempted to replace him with Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas. (Earlier, while the Congress was not in session, Johnson had suspended Stanton and appointed General Ulysses S. Grant as Secretary of War ad interim.)

Johnson became the first American president to be impeached (the only one prior to Bill Clinton in 1998) on March 2–3, 1868, when the House formally adopted the articles of impeachment and forwarded them to the United States Senate for adjudication. The trial in the Senate began three days later, with Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase presiding. On May 16, the Senate failed to convict Johnson on one of the articles, with the 35–19 vote in favor of conviction falling short of the necessary two-thirds majority by a single vote. A ten-day recess was called before attempting to convict him on additional articles. The delay did not change the outcome, however, as on May 26, it failed to convict the president on two articles, both by the same margin, after which the trial was adjourned.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Andrew_Johnson

Par for the MR comment sections course, admittedly.

Andrew Johnson was a Democrat.

You are absolutely correct, which might explain why the Republicans tried to impeach him - impeaching a Republican president on principle does seem like a stretch, particularly these days. That being the first time the Republicans attempted to use a pretext to remove a president they dd not approve of.

We will see if the Democrats are actually able to successfully remove a president from office, one that does not seem to know that when accused of abusing power, do not do it again in full view of the nation.

Admittedly, it was the Republicans that forced Nixon to resign in the end, as it became apparent that the Republicans would vote to remove a president abusing his power.

But again, you are absolutely correct, and it is interesting to reflect on the fact that once a century or so, Republicans have failed to remove a president from the other party.

Brian makes a true statement about no Republican ever being impeached. prior responds with his usual snide unearned superiority that Brian 'forgot' the first impeachment, and ends with his usual snarky dis of the comment section he lives in and posts in more often than any other poster who's not a fake Brazilian. Brian responds that prior was wrong again, as he did not forget the first impeachment as Johnson was not a Republican. Finally, instead of simply admitting he was wrong, prior doubles down with another word salad.

prior, you have proven for years that you are both less smart than you think you are, and less smart than most other commenters here. You are however far more obsessive and pusillanimous. Obviously you cannot stop embarrassing yourself here, but you really should try.

OUCH!

You have any data or proof for your claim that „antifa is opposing China singlehandedly“?

I have been following the yellow umbrellas since 2014 and never once noticed their involvement or presence in any of this.

Is antifa suddenly ok with waving the US flag? Have you spotted them in Caracas as well?

Antifa across the globe opposes fascist thug China.

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/30/pictures-40-cities-hold-anti-totalitarianism-rallies-solidarity-hong-kong-protest-movement/

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/hong-kong-protests-global-sydney-anti-totalitarianism-11953728

Yes I do find it weird that a pro-western group isnt operating in China

Is Australia or New Zealand considered western? They share the same language, economic system, common law, and nearly the same timezone as Hong Kong.

Here is an interesting review:

https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/05/why-liberal-media-hates-the-joker/

A strawman.

If anything, liberal media loves Joke, produced on the cheap at $55 million, but with an ad and promotion budget of $120 million and counting.

The only thing that matches is the political ads Trump drives single handedly.

Good point!

Tyler... in all seriousness - it's entertainment... lighten up & use your analytical skills on important subjects...……..

There's no such thing as bad publicity =)

"- it's entertainment..." Actually, it really wasn't. First movie I've left after 40 min in probably 20 years.

One of the best films I've ever seen. Nerdily, I like the idea of Batman being just a figment of his imagination. In our current social context, it's a masterpiece of education on mental illness while simultaneously degenerating our societal addiction to fomo. I am haunted by this movie, and I think those in charge for doing so.

*denegrating

Ugh...THANK those in charge

you didn't explain 'fomo'

Fear of missing out!

*SPOILERS*

*spoilers* - not important ones but still, the movie's only been out a couple of days so I'll try to play nice - don't read the rest of this.

Batman isn't a figment of his imagination - the 'relationship' he has with his neighbor is'.

Batman hasn't been created yet in this movie. Its the events at the end that lead to Bruce's parent's deaths.

Tyler, could you please one day explain your General Model/Theory of Terrible Movie Reviews? Why are there so many terrible movie reviews in otherwise respectable and prestigious organs of the media?

I doubt Tyler is actually going to respond, so here's the best you're likely to get: I think it's possible that what you're experiencing is the Gell-Mann Effect. Another possibility is that because movie reviews are by nature fairly subjective, they're held to less strict editorial standards.

What "otherwise respectable and prestigious organs of the media" do you mean?

The New York Times ran a total fabrication of what happened in an event on page A1 February 5, 1992, written by someone who wasn't within a thousand miles of the event. When both eyewitnesses and video contradicted the fabrication, they declared the video actually supported the fabrication. Rather than suffer professional consequences, over the next 24 years the fabricator was promoted from Washington correspondent to serve in a series of editorial positions (assistant managing editor for news, foreign editor, Washington editor, national editor, deputy editorial page editor, and editorial page editor). He is still employed by the Times, and the Times still has not retracted the fabrication (even though, for example, Snopes has given the story a simple rating of "False").

How, exactly, can a "newspaper" that stands by a deliberate fabrication on its front page and then promotes its author be considered with anything other than contempt? And how can any other organ of the media that treats such a "newspaper" as respectable and prestigious in turn be considered with anything other than contempt?

I don't feel like looking up what story you're referring to. Why not just explicitly specify who or what you're talking about?

Rodney King, dude.

No, not Rodney King.

That was some legwork.

For anyone else wondering, it appears the story is this:

- https://www.nytimes.com/1992/02/05/us/bush-encounters-the-supermarket-amazed.html
- https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bush-scanner-demonstration/
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Rosenthal

Why not just explicitly specify who or what you're talking about?

Because the point isn't the specific fabrication or the specific fabricator, it's the institutional response. And the institutional response of the "respectable and prestigious organs of the media" was to give it a pass.

Oh, yes, a few of them pointed out the story was, in fact, false. And when the New York Times printed a reference to the fabrication on November 30, 2018, a few outlets in the week afterward again pointed out the story wasn't true. But outside of the right-wing partisan media, nobody ever made a big deal of the unethical behavior of the fabricator, the NYT's culpability in defending the story, or how the NYT went on to reward him with increasing authority. The news stories that point out the falsehood treat a deliberate lie like bad weather, an unfortunate fact that happened outside of human agency. Certainly nobody in the "respectable and prestigious organs of the media" takes the story far enough to suggest that the NYT circled the wagons in the face of contrary video evidence partly because they liked the story's partisan political consequences and partly because the man's father was himself a prominent (though then retired) NYT editor.

After all, if people actually, vigorously held the New York Times to account for publishing and defending fabrications and promoting fabricators, likely out of bias and nepotism, why, people might start to wonder about the ethics of the "respectable and prestigious organs of the media" in general.

I assume this would have counted as one of the Trumpenfuhrer's 11K lies if he perpetrated it!

It is a reflection of where the writers come from. Their education consisted of a mixture of intersectionality and critical theory, meaning they can't watch a movie about a man descending into insanity without falling back on their tidy little tropes. It is hopeless for them; their fictional world is one dimensional and profoundly boring, how dare anyone create a fictional world that is interesting, compelling and challenging.

I take these reviews seriously. They aren't about the movie. Everything they write, the whole journalistic output is as corrupted as the reviews.

Film production and film criticism are almost exclusively the province of a tiny club of Jews, though this sort of thing escapes the notice of the learned readership of MR.

What you see from both fields is more a question of shekels and personal loyalties than anything resembling an open market or a disinterested arm's-length commentary.

Probably, they do poor reporting on everything. For movies we can have a first hand experience and judge the reporting; for reality there is no independent experience. We hang on to their prestige and respect.

Given that the film is "certified fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes, it's clear that most reviews are not scathing... Sometimes the wise contrarian schtick doesn't hold up to data...

The New York Times piece on the film was a hit job. Say what you will, but that paper is getting almost Daily Beast or Vox level in their journalistic integrity.

Maybe it’s certified fresh, but if you go by elite reviewers, there’s a tendency to simply hate the film because of its politics.

I think he's confusing the reviews with the hoopla and kerfuffle on Twitter about this movie the last few weeks.

Tons of people who haven't seen it (and couldn't have because it wasn't out yet) have declared it to be the most dangerous movie ever because a white man has a bad day and goes on a rampage - all based on a couple trailers.

'I think he's confusing the reviews with the hoopla and kerfuffle on Twitter '

Sure seems so - the reviews I read after the film won the Golden Lion award at the Venice film festival seem pretty well summed up by this - 'Although Joker was a hit with reviewers and Phoenix is something of a festival darling, the result was nonetheless perceived to be an unusually mainstream choice for Lucrecia Martel’s jury.' from the Guardian on Sept. 7.'

If you click on the Certified Fresh logo and drill down to the actual critics, it looks like every reviewer for a major U.S. publication is shitting bricks, while reviewers like "Bucky" Frump from the Twin Ponds Biweekly Intelligencer are liking it. The split is hilarious. The media elite, and the other 99.9 percent.

I didn't quite observe that, but it did appear that foreign/non-English publications rated it more highly.

If you go to the Top Critics page on Rotten Tomatoes, 27 of 50 give it the Thumbs Down.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/joker_2019/reviews?type=top_critics

It's not as bad a ratio as Chappelle's movie, but it's obviously ideological.

I'm not as big a fan as Tyler is -- I don't think it matches up Tarantino's movie for artistry -- but it's obviously a formidable med

Tarantino does anti-white, anti-male, anti-German, anti-South revenge porn for his globalist paymasters. SJW vulgarian masquerading as a wit.

There's a VERY similar critic-to-audience and critic-to-elite critic split for Ghostbusters remake, Last Jedi etc. It's almost as if some films highlight how ideologically corrupt the core media have become.

I propose a new index of Reactionary movies based on the difference between the audience score and the elite critics score.

It has a critic score of 69% but an audience score of 90%, so there is a gap. Of the top 8 movies, it barely edges out IT chapter 2 and demolishes the only conservative movie, Rambo, Last Blood.

Director Todd Phillips:

"What's outstanding to me in this discourse in this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda. It's really been eye-opening for me."

A little late to the party, but at least his eyes have been opened.

" Only the wealthy are genteel and urbane and proper. On crime and law and order, it is right-wing in a 1970s “Death Wish” sort of way, though anti-gun too."

The wealthy that beat the shit out of Joaquim on the train? Those wealthy?

I think this movie is a litmus test similar to how Fury Road was. There's stuff in there that, if you're inclined to jump that way (no matter which way that is), will stand out to you.

In one interpretation, Fury Road is the emasculation of Rockatansky and all about 'wimmin power' - Furiosa takes the limelight (and she is, IMO, actually the protagonist in this movie, not Max) and leaves Max as a secondary character 'in his own movie'.

In another interpretation Furiosa keeps screwing everything up until a man comes along to fix it. Max takes over after she screws up the escape, keeps the group together, changes their mind about the plan to ride out into the lifeless desert, and drives the assault on the keep.

IMO the movie is neither.

I agree, some have interpreted Joker as being very anti-rich with the 1% as the bad guys and the poor and down trodden as the heroic underdogs. It's giving a sympathetic take on the Joker's perspective. I haven't seen the movie but I'm getting all kinds of conflicting opinions on its "true meaning".

+1.

Scott Adams' "two movies on one screen" analogy becomes literal!

There's an "anti-feminist" reading of Fury Road? That's a serious stretch. It's clearly very feminist. It's the movie Captain Marvel was trying to be. The thing is that it's not an eye-rolling tedious polemic because the male characters are not morons and most of the movie is spectacular action.

That's kind of my point. The movie isn't anti-feminist and, IMO, not really feminist either - at least not third wave feminist.

Its a movie where a bunch of people collide, end up in a bad situation, and need to work together to survive.

*But*, if you're meninist or a third waver, the movie has stuff that can poke at you based upon what you easily rage about. There's stuff that, taken without the rest of the movie's context, could support either reading.

Agreed. "Fury Road" is feminist, but not anti-male. There are positive notes of co-operation throughout, and the film is respectful to both the main protagonists.

If only the left wing understood that difference.

I though the movie was pro national health system as the moral was people with severe childhood head injuries and Pseudobulbar affect shouldn't have their medication taken away. But what do I know.

The movie is set in 1981 (judging by De Palma's "Blow-Out" playing in a movie theater), so it's in part a critique of Reagan Budget Cuts for social services for the mentally ill.

Judging by his campaign donations, Todd Phillips is liberal, which is not terribly surprising for a Hollywood director. He can still be anti-leftist though.

An excellent visual portrayal of the late 70s very early 80s period. Except for the Flecks having a 4K black and white TV. The resolution on that thing was amazing.

I always hear about these Reagan budget cuts for mental health care and deinstitutionalization, but what exactly happened, and when? What laws, regulations, executive orders, court decisions effected this? Because if the movie occurs in the latter half of 1981, Reagan would have been in office for about 8 months and the House of Representatives was controlled by Tip O'Neill, who had vowed to fight Reagan.

Genuine question.

Most of the information you are looking for is at the link below:

https://www.thebalance.com/deinstitutionalization-3306067

Reading this, it seems like most of the move away from institutionalization and cuts to treatment of those with chronic mental illness occurred in the 10-15 years prior to Reagan's election, and the only "cut" he made was the repeal of an act signed by Jimmy Carter less than a year earlier, which had never been implemented, shifting the funding instead to block grants to the states.

"De-institutionalisation" happened in the UK too; over exactly the same multi-decadal period.

It was a global thing among the western psychiatric profession, not the work of right-wing politicos.

>my dissenting voice of reason.

Well, THAT is hilarious!

I'm sure that if you thought an "anti-right-wing" movie was cinematically awesome, you'd only say so if you could include HERE'S THE CATCH -- IT'S ANTI-RIGHT WING!!!! OMG!!!!!

And I'm sure all of us can picture you being worried about saying IT'S ANTI-KKK!!!!!! IT THINKS THE KKK IS THE END OF CIVILIZATION!!!!!

You pathetic, useless, left-wing dope.

It seems to pretty accurately portray NY City... https://www.city-journal.org/homeless-murders-chinatown?fbclid=IwAR11aCqhn53fu8jSGoQrFOT_ZzHU4jeaVHwTQljCOprQkJIfcx_sSkGo9gI

It's not trying to accurately portray the NYC of today, which is why it's set during the city's "most violent year".

Right. I too thought of JC Chandor's almost good "Most Violent Year," also set in NYC in 1981.

Writer-Director Todd Phillips was born in Brooklyn around 1970 but then his family moved to Long Island suburb where John Derbyshire lives.

Well, they got the garbage on the streets part right...

I've never really understood that about New York.

I hate to nitpick. But you got something important wrong in this review. The name of the movie! It isn't *The Joker*. It's just *Joker*.

Sadly the divide between critics who view all cultural media through the lens of their political worldview and the consumers who... well, do the same thing seems to be growing. Rambo: Last Blood is another recent example, as Knives Out probably will be when it is released. It's a shame people can't set aside their politics for a couple of hours to enjoy a movie on its own merits, much less the "critics" who make a living by reviewing them, but that's the world we live in.

Interesting. I had not planned to see it - not for political reasons but instead just because I thought the trailer looked boring. That and I don’t have much need for orgin stories, particularly a Joker Orgin story (I’ve sort of thought an interesting part of the character is basically that he’s a nobody with no clear reason to do what he does). While I still probably won’t catch it anytime soon, Tyler’s recommendation does carry some small amount of push towards me seeing it.

Biggest shock: Joker is notably older than Batman! Maybe that's why he always loses, being beat-up by a younger guy.

There are three Jokers.

> it is excellent along all major dimensions of cinematic quality, including drama, script, characterization, performances, cinematography, color, music, and more, ...

> I hesitate to recommend such a non-entertaining and indeed reactionary movie, ...

Personally I would consider "entertaining" to be a highly relevant "major dimension" of cinematic quality, but hey what do I know.

A friend who teaches high school English recently wrote on FB that she thinks many don't read much anymore because the books they read as students "just aren't fun. Ethan Frome, anyone? That carries into adulthood, unfortunately."

After Invisible Man, Brave New World and Crime and Punishment, Ethan Frome made me think and was memorable. Movies can do that too.

Realistically - I'm an avid lifelong reader and the books I read *as a student* weren't (mostly) very fun either. I went elsewhere for the 'fun' stuff.

But that's just on the teacher to find some good 'fun' ones. Instead they insist that people keep reading 'The Great Gatsby' and Shakespeare (which should be *heard*, not read - its amazing stuff when performed, gives me headaches to try to read it).

There are a lot of great books in high school reading lists - but they're not beginner's books. If earlier teachers haven't been working to provide the training then by the time you get to high school someone slapping down 'Of Mice And Men' isn't going to make anyone thing reading is fun.

This aligns on all major dimensions with the comment I was going to leave.

So I'll go with a puzzle instead: would it be possible to make a "reactionary" movie about the period of time when the word "reactionary" was coined?

Now I have to see it. I would love to see the left, especially Antifa, get a little comeuppance.

Wouldn't any Hollywood movie do? Joker cost $55 million to make, has a lead actor who has a net worth of $35 million, and exists solely because its backers wanted to make more money. If Hollywood make a non-ironic movie called Uncle Stalin Loves All The Little Children (like they did during World War II) it would only be for the Benjamins.

What about the music? Prof. Cowen mentioned it and I'm curious. Is it also 70s-80s electronica with warm synths sounds as the Scarface soundtrack by G. Moroder?

Considering the similarities, how this movie compares to Godfellas or Scarface?

It's not comparable to those movies. Think Taxi Driver or King of Comedy instead.

Thanks for the lead!

I also checked the soundtrack on Spotify, completely forgettable: generic hip-hop and generic string music for grim movie or TV show of the late 2010s.

I saw the film and don't recall any hip-hop. There was the controversial inclusion of a 70s song from an artist who was later a convict, and a number of instrumental pieces composed specifically for the film. Dana Stevens referred to a classic rock song used in the climax as "head-banging", to much scoffing from metal fans.

I see, I was duped on Spotify :/ https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Mk899Ec1LQJEYmmqrmfdk

Some people create playlists with non-related tracks to increase their play count. One more trick to add to the play count fraud in streaming media haha.

If most of those positive September reviews are to be believed, if you have seen the King of Comedy, Joker is basically something like an updated yet essentially identical 'sequel.' (Or whatever terms you prefer for something along the lines of Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven.)

Which really makes one wonder how many of those scathing reviews point out that Joker is a reworking of a decades old movie to an apparently impossible to ignore extent - assuming that one has already watched King of Comedy, that is.

You wrote those two entire paragraphs -- and indeed, appear to have settled the matter in your head -- without even seeing the movie for yourself? Interesting.

And if you can believe it, those two paragraphs started like this - 'If most of those positive September reviews are to be believed'

So, here is one of those takes, written after the author saw the film at the Venice film festival - 'Phillips’s film – a longtime labour of love – was partly seeded by The Killing Joke, the 1988 graphic novel by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. But its real inspirations are Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, Martin Scorsese’s conjoined masterpieces, each spotlighting the tawdry underside of American celebrity. Joker frames Fleck against Gotham’s neon-drenched streets in a direct nod to Travis Bickle, while his flailing stabs at stardom echo the hapless Rupert Pupkin. Hardly bothering to hide its hand, the film even casts Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin, a cheesy talkshow host who says things like “But in all seriousness” and “Well, that was quite an entrance”. In his wildest dreams, Rupert Pupkin would be Murray Franklin today.' https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/aug/31/joker-review-twisted-tour-de-force-joaquin-phoenix

German language reviews tend to mirror what is not exactly a subtle aspect of Joker. Maybe Americans aren't as interested in the Venice film festival and the movies that premiere there?

You are the Energizer bunny all right. I intend to see the movie for myself.

Before or after you watch the King of Comedy?

As Bart said to Lisa: "I'm familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda."

Prof Cowen is very upset the goyim have noticed the game that is played against them.

Another right-wing film by the Warner Brothers? Must watch! :3

"But here is the catch: it is the most anti-Leftist movie I have seen, ever. It quite explicitly portrays the egalitarian instinct as a kind of barbaric violent atavism, and it is pointedly critical of Antifa and related movements, showing them as representing a literal end of civilization. "

You think this is a catch? No. This is not a bug, this is a feature.

Will.

I thought the movie was well made but a bit simple. I mean, as someone has already written, the same feeling of urban decay and depression was already much better conveyed 40 years ago in Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. In fact, one the few things I found annoyng about the movie is how much it emulates those masterpieces.

I really think Tyler is reading too much into Joker. This Joker is nothing but a cardboard Travis Bickle, which, by the way, may be the point.

"it is the most anti-Leftist movie I have seen, ever" and it's "reactionary" too? I have to see this.

Joaquin Phoenix is very left-wing. He endorsed Bernie in 2016. He has a long list of left-wing advocacy. But if TC says it's anti-left and reactionary, I'll give it a shot.

"Antifa". If ever there was a "fake" construct this is it. A word to describe what every American should be: anti-fascist. Not just a word to describe something, a LABEL to define and segregate people. The first rule of propoganda - LABEL the enemy - and don't make it complimentary. Anti-fascism is what WW2 was all about. One could stretch it, with little effort, to cover anti-totalitarian, and therefore include the cold war. That's in living memory. If Washington and Jefferson had not been anti-fascist, we'd never have left the British Empire.

And I do have to add this. Pray tell, if somebody has to label anti-fascists, then what does that make the labeler?

The anti-fascists labeled themselves. Antifa called themselves Antifa.

Oh, and they're not actually anti-fascists. In fact, they seem pretty pro-fascism. Which is why the rest of us call ourselves 'not fascists' and not 'antifa'.

Fascist is a pejorative generality that has no real meaning any longer. Democracy is an affirmative positive term that currently has no real meaning either. A random sampling of English speakers would find a wild divergence of their opinions on the meaning of either word.

Even though group-think is important in the concepts behind the contemporary use of these words, individuals aren't unanimous as to the meaning that they are ascribing to them.

I'll agree with Tyler on everything except script and drama. yes it looked fantastic but it was a boring straightforward story of a mentally ill person that commits some crimes. The fact Phoenix lost a bunch of weight and does a bunch of twee dances doesn't make it interesting.

Thanks. Will watch.

WSJ's Joe Morgenstern, my favorite critic, had what seemed a pretty fair review.

Joker is the film for our time: people see in the film the villains they want to see. Joker is an agent of chaos: he doesn't stand for anything, he just incites (he is the "flashpoint" according to some reviewers of the film). Who does that remind one of? Cowen sees the left as the villain in the film, but that's because Cowen sees the left as motivated by a negative form of greed. The wealthy earned what they have: they are the wealth creators, while the left just wants its share of that wealth having contributed nothing - they are thieves. From that perspective, the greed of the left is unproductive greed, unlike the productive greed of the wealth creators. Maybe there's supposed to be a religious (Christian) message in the film, for nobody comes across as worthy of salvation, including the money changers (depicted as investment bankers in the film). Evil lurks everywhere. In an essay I read yesterday, the author quotes Yeats from his poem "The Second Coming": “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

There were more than a few sops to the left. The worst person in it was, of a course, a heartless billionaire. Joker was beat up in a subway car by white guys in business -- happens all the time, right? And the poor guy's psychiatric care and prescription coverage were cut off by heartless Gotham's (aka NYC's) budget cuts (?).

The police license plates say “Industry First” on them.

https://babylonbee.com/news/media-horrified-by-lack-of-violence-at-joker-screenings

And then there's the rest of the country....

I think this is a total misread of the film, which depicts the breakdown of a man (and population) failed by every social institution from family to social services, and by a detached elite utterly lacking in noblesse oblige.

Exactly, how does Tyler leave theater and write this thinking the elites were genteel, urbane and proper? He got hoodwinked by reviews he read.

Geez Tyler got Jedi Mind tricked to see what the elite reviewers wanted him to see, hook, line, and sinker...

Tyler admits it's "excellent" but "hesitate[s] to recommend such a non-entertaining and indeed reactionary movie", that hesitation is key, he knows it's great but his politics keep him from actually enjoying it by calling it "non-entertaining" in the end.

How the hell is it not entertaining in the end? It hits on all fronts which he admits but still he can't be entertained with an anti left wing movie? Even if this is one, which is debatable, this is the divide down elitist and non elitist in America. I have accepted and loved many anti right wing movies because I can't live in a box and don't want to, but Tyler can't be entertained by an anti left wing movie because he lives in a box and it's all great in his box? This is exactly why Ellen gets crap for hanging with George W but he isn't getting anything for hanging with Ellen (who anyone with eyes knows isn't a "nice" person, and just read his supposed post ending "Do not be a lap dog to the seen!").

Also his analysis is exactly what Scott Adams says about two movies one screen. He saw what they told him to see. He didn't see how the supposed "elites" weren't really all that great, Thomas Wayne isn't empathetic, he comes off as a bit of an out of touch elitist who punches Arthur when he finds an crazy ex employees son who thought he was the father and confronts him about it, the yuppies that attacked Arthur in the subway and started him down the path aren't empathetic, or how about De Niro's elitist character who at first is a fake father figure then turns out to scold Arthur when he finds out he murdered those "elitist" yuppies who Arthur was defending himself against and weren't blameless, even if Arthur took it too far in the end... yeah those were elitists Tyler and how the hell are they genteel, urbane, or proper? What movie was he even watching?

Who are the proper elitists he was seeing, the clown who frames Arthur? Or comedy club owner that fires him because he brought a gun to a show?

When the black female social worker tells Arthur about the budget cuts and says "they don't care about you." "They don't care about me." She's talking about Tyler and his paymasters. They don't care about the average person or about democracy. They care about property rights and the top one percent. They care about making a living pushing propaganda for the rich. Cowen was successful and gave us austerity and inequality. The result? Trump, Brexit, etc. And it will get worse unless the socialist left turns things around.

I don't get it... need read more

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