December 19, 2011

Batman: Sad & Tender Warrior.


Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman.

(Photo: Wikimedia)




Always be Batman.

Bonus: DC on Twitter: “This Superman poster from the 1950s is just as relevant today as it was nearly 70 years ago. There is still hope.”




I’ve always had a soft spot for The Dark Knight. I have an ongoing debate with one of my brothers about who is the better superhero–Superman or Batman.

To me, it’s Batman, hands down. (You could have another debate about Marvel vs. DC comics in general, but that’s a whole separate blog; possibly a whole different website.)

So why Batman?

  • 1. Batman is human. He isn’t from another planet, wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider, doesn’t have mutant DNA. He’s just a guy doing what he believes he should do.

  • 2. He is committed to being of benefit to others. It does help that his parents left him lots of money. But he has no hidden agenda, no desire for accolades–just one man being the change he wants to see in the world.
  • 3. He is permanently brokenhearted. Between the loss of his parents at a young age, to the various brief romantic entanglements (or longer, more complicated attachments if we’re speaking movies rather than comics) Batman is fundamentally alone. If anyone knows the genuine heart of sadness, it’s Batman.
  •  4. People hate him; he’s okay with that. When he’s Bruce Wayne, people see him as a rich playboy. They might envy him a bit, but he’s more or less disliked. When he’s Batman, people are constantly finding fault with the way he chooses to help society. Does he let it bruise his ego? Nope. Batman refuses to give up despite constant opposition.
  • 5. His true superpowers are his mind, his broken heart, and his indomitable will. Batman isn’t a hero because he’s strong; he’s a hero because all of his personal suffering and all of the suffering he sees in Gotham City inspires him to dive in and change things.

I’m going to guess the Caped Crusader never read Trungpa. Still, you have to admit he’s a great example of the warrior archetype Trungpa describes:

“The ideal of warriorship is that the warrior should be sad and tender, and because of that, the warrior can be very brave as well.”

and also:

“The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything.”

or in other words:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

~ e.e. cummings

It’ s good to be yourself. Fight for it. And don’t forget about being Batman.

Always be Batman.

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