dark knight rises republican

I really resent having to tell you that there will be spoilers in a post whose title indicates that there will be hundreds of spoilers, so let’s just pretend this didn’t happen. You didn’t need this warning because you’re an intelligent human being.


I know that people have decided that Christopher Nolan based comic book villain Bane on Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, but I am also sure that those people did not see the movie. When I say “those people” I don’t mean it the way Ann Romney means “you people.” I mean “Rush Limbaugh.”

Rush Limbaugh remarked:

Do you think that it is accidental that the name of the really vicious fire breathing four eyed whatever it is villain in this movie is named Bain [sic]? This movie, the audience is gonna be huge. A lot of people are gonna see the movie, and it’s a lot of brain-dead people, entertainment, the pop culture crowd, and they’re gonna hear Bane in the movie and they’re gonna associate Bain. The thought is that when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year, and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, Romney and Bain, that these people will think back to the Batman movie, “Oh, yeah, I know who that is.”  (laughing) There are some people who think it’ll work.  Others think you’re really underestimating the American people to think that will work.

Do I think it was accidental? No, Rush, I kind of think Nolan was working off the name of the villain in the comic books which were written in 1993. Admittedly, Bain Capital was founded in 1984 – so it is possible that this has been a really long con by the comic writers with this situation in mind – but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest the backbreaking Batman villain was named “Bane” after the word. The word “bane.” As in “bane of my existence.” Defined as “a person or thing that ruins or spoils.” So, I think “Bane like bane” would be more accurate than “Bane like Bain”.

That said – I realize that “bain” means “a bath,” but, wow, what a stupid thing to name a private equity fund. I guess Romney did not think about how those two words sound the same. Look, this is why, if you start a fund, you name it after something Large and/or Found in Nantucket. So, like, “Mammoth Capital” would be a good name. Or “Seaport Wealth Management”. Or “Grande Subtle Racism Capital.” It’s up to you.

But yeah, this is really a movie that really endorses a liberal viewpoint. Wait. Wait, no, I was thinking of In Time, a movie that sympathized with movements like Occupy Wall Street. I’m sorry. I was confused. 

Right, in In Time they try to distribute money/time to the poor and that’s seen as a good thing. That is not the case in The Dark Knight Rises. I mean, people try to do it, it’s just seen as a really bad thing.

Want to know my favorite part of The Dark Knight Rises? Here is my favorite part of the movie:

I went to see it in an Upper East Side theater. There were a lot of violent scenes. There is a scene at the beginning where a man gets his guts ripped out. There is another scene where everyone in a bar is shot pretty graphically. There is an entire massacre of a bunch of people. Through all of these, the theater remained silent, save for some popcorn chewing noises. And then – then there was a scene where a group of Upper East Side residents were pulled out of their apartments and had their fur coats pulled off  and a collective horrified gasp rippled through the theater. To be fair, poor people also drank their champagne.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that there were some very tense dinner table conversations about how it was shocking that the doormen in the movie – the first line of defense against intruders! – did not stop Bane’s people from pillaging 740 Park. Why? Why were they not more helpful? Alfred would never have let this happen, which is just another reminder that you really need a faithful family retainer. A lot of doormen are not going to be getting Christmas bonuses this year, is what I’m saying.

Beyond that, the movie spends a good deal of time depicting the horrors of the French revolution. Bane proves himself to be a dictateur sanguinaire which is pretty unsurprising, although, I mean, you shouldn’t generalize about people who wear face masks. I guess you can generalize about people who blow up football fields, though. Suffice to say, shoeshine boys from the stock exchange all join Bane’s army and rampage through the streets looting, and beating old gentlemen in tweed jackets and… starting small trash can fires? I don’t know why there are so many trash can fires when there is still power in Gotham, but okay. That’s what people do when they are being angry proles, I guess. Angry proles have really bad circulation and are cold all the time.

Meanwhile, traitors to the revolution (anyone sane who does not love starting trash can fires) is “exiled” onto an ice flow. We watch as they desperately try to scuttle on the ice to normal, non-revolutionary America. No one makes it and we watch and they plunge into the frigid water.

Even Catwoman – who initially loved stealing from the rich – is horrified. So horrified that she decides to help save the city.

There’s some subplot about a microchip, but the entire lesson of the movie is “do not let poor people rise up. They are going to go Robspierre on you.”

So, if you are a Republican, whenever people praise things like Occupy Wall Street, you can now snap back, “when Bane took over Gotham – was that a happy moment for you?” And, actually, some assholes will cross their arms and say “yeah” but, God, they are such assholes, and you will have to take out your pocket square and slap them in the fact with it, and then there will be a duel, and this is why people on the opposite ends of the political spectrum cannot get along and – Jesus! Why are you even fighting about Occupy Wall Street? It happened months ago! You’re at a dinner party! Just talk about the quail they’re serving (too bony!)

In conclusion: do you think Alfred was a Republican? Or an Obamican? Or is he like Stevens in Remains of the Day and just follows his employer’s political opinions? Because I’m pretty sure Batman is a fascist.


Pictures via Warner Brothers/The Dark Knight Rises