I read a statistic once saying that the popularity of a show like The Walking Dead could be correlated to economic dissatisfaction across society. People like to see a representation of darkness and characters finding a way to survive. They love an escape and an outside enemy that will not stay dead is a perfect example of anxiety personified.
I went to see Suicide Squad the weekend it opened in theaters. The movie, one of the many made from the DC Comics universe, is based on a gang of villains recruited to stop an evil entity attacking the city.
The movie wasn’t the best. If you are able to not think enough to ignore some horrible writing and acting, settling for action and special effects, you’d be happy. There’s a scene in a bar where the gang is debating whether to keep going with their mission. One of the characters, with the ability to start fires, talks about burning his house down and killing his wife and children in the process.
Margo Robbie, playing Harley Quinn, tells him to own it. She states that “normal is only a setting on the dryer.” Jared Leto, in the best performance of the movie, puts his spin on the Joker.
He asks Robbie’s character if she will die for him. She says yes. He thinks for a moment and tells her that is too easy. He then asks if she will live for him.
The time frame for life is much longer than stepping into the void by following a cause.
This is the appeal of the antihero and we love our antiheroes.
A trending Facebook headline tonight read that Amazon is releasing a documentary on Hugh Heffner. I scrolled through some responses and enjoyed the critics. You’d think Heff destroyed generations of the American family (maybe he did).
A rally for Donald Trump today, in Fairfield, Connecticut, drew almost 5,000 people. Just to let you in on the significance of that, Connecticut isn’t exactly a traditional bastion of Republican ideals.
We love our antiheroes. They give voice to things we don’t feel like we can access. The bar of morality has vanished. Racism, sexism, violence, hatred, exploitation, whatever flavor you’d like.
They get ugly as we stand to the side and watch.
Suicide Squad is next in line chronologically from Batman vs. Superman. Besides being another epic of horrible writing, the movie examines the relationship between power and responsibility.
Superman may save the world, but his collateral damage doesn’t just go away. Batman, honestly played well by a brooding Ben Affleck, dreams of the death of his parents and his inability to protect Gotham from Superman.
Regardless of our stance, we can’t stay neutral. There is no still. We are riding our bikes up hill, either moving forward or drifting back.
As parents, we must take an accurate compass of society and be sure to communicate with our kids. We can help them know that everyone has a responsibility. They have a responsibility to you and their friends to be there and make a positive difference.
As those of us who claim to follow Jesus, we must never forget the message of love and peace. We know that God never gives up on us, never stops caring. We may feel the guilt of being unable to protect those we love from the dark side of life. We may feel weak in the storm of audio and visual noise.
Antiheroes are flawed, even if they do not know it.
Being flawed is a constant reminder of grace. If you are reading this and taking a breath, grace is alive and present in your life. Be thankful as you start a new week for the good thing to come and the positive changes in your future.