All the times I wished things would hurry up, and then it all seems to have gone by so fast.
Guess you can get what you wish for.
Remember that picture from last week in which Batman got pulled over by the police? It went viral, and made the rounds on news shows as a little something amusing. Lots of folks got a good chuckle out of it. I got a laugh too, because frankly, it was pretty funny. The guy in question got pulled over because of the tags on the car, which weren't legal tags. He didn't get a ticket because he had the proper tags in the car, so no problem. No resisting arrest or anything like that. Just some funny pictures, and probably a great story for the officers involved. Imagine one of them getting home and having a kid ask how their day was. Priceless.
Here's a bigger question: why was the guy dressed as Batman? Because he's awesome.
His name is Lenny B. Robinson and as far as a lot of people are concerned, he's Batman. He's a businessman who did quite well for himself and now he dresses up as Batman and drives a cool Bat-Lamborgini. He spends about twenty-five thousand dollars a year on Batman stuff. And he gives it to kids in hospitals. Robinson has been doing this and visiting kids in his area's hospitals for a while now. He's not a professional actor (some hospitals do have professional actors come in from time to time as various characters to help lift kids' spirits), he doesn't make anything for these appearances. He says now that he feels almost a responsibility to do what he does.
A guy feels a responsibility to dress up like a bat and go out to try to make the world a better place. Sound familiar?
There was a notion among the fanboys that was along the lines of "Batman is awesome because he could really exist". What they were thinking was somebody could go and train themselves to become a crime fighter. We've seen how that turns out. So, the fanboys are, of course, morons. However, time marches forward, and thanks to Grant Morrison, the dopes may have inadvertently been onto something.
Batman as a character has been open to a wide variety of interpretations. Many writers have approached the character as being a complete prick, because it seems to many that equals "bad ass" somehow. Morrison comes in at the near height of Bat-douchebaggery, and sits ol' Bruce in a cave for a month and after some hardcore meditation he comes out a better Batman. He became a character that after crawling out of the river after a helicopter crash involving a fight with a person whom good have possibly been the devil himself, stopped to have a brief chat with a girl who was a hooker that he directed to get a good job at Wayne Enterprises, and tell her with a smile that he was glad it all worked out. He was a stand up guy who found himself in a position to help others.
Here we are at the Idea of Batman. Again, there's a ton of interpretations, and so many of them are completely valid. This is because Batman represents humanity in the superhero genre. That was the key to the entire years long "Once and Future Batman" epic Morrison wrote. Batman is who he is because of his ties and connections with others. Sure, the idea of Batman as ultimate bad ass is still valid, however the idea of Batman as a "decent bloke" (via Teatime Brutality) is also now a valid one.
On the heals of "The Once and Future Batman" came "Batman Incorporated" in which the idea of Batman went global. We saw characters like Nightrunner using the mask so as to be a force for justice between the clashing Parisian Police and the citizens. Even more educational is the example of Man-of-Bats, the Native American Batman who operates out of a little shack. Any funding he gets and/or rises he passes on to the people who need it. "It doesn't have to take millions, does it. The idea works. Batman on a budget."
I go into Chik-fil-a and make an order and they ask for my name and I always tell them "Bruce Wayne". I've had a couple of kids do a double take. I've had an old fella get an absolute kick out of the bit. I'm not doing nearly as much good as Lenny Robinson. I do wish I was in a position to do something like he does. I sit and think about how much stupid and hateful stuff I've seen spring up on the internet like "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day", and wish I could do something positive in the spirit of Batman Incorporated.
Think about this: Everybody Be Batman Day.
People all over doing charity work, good deeds or whatever. Mowing an elderly neighbor's lawn. Reading to kids. Volunteering. And everybody wearing Batman shirts. No patrolling the streets or crime fighting. No politics. No agendas other than making the world a little better. Recognizing Batman as the funnybook representation of humanity by going out and being human.
Come on. Who wouldn't want to be Batman for a day?
Sticking with the Batness.
That'll do it for me today. Time for some coffee, and and Eggo waffles. See y'all Wednesday.