Day 29 ~
I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you stranger.
~ The Joker, The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger. The Joker. One of the best acting performances of our entire generation, the character that infiltrated his mind, the craziest bad guy we love to hate and hate to love.
He was that good. The world lost an amazing actor when he died.
The script for this movie was written by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, based on the characters we have grown up with. Batman is one of the most mysterious, darkest heroes in the superhero universe, so logic dictates that his enemies must also be mysterious and dark.
This phrase is uttered very near the beginning of the film, during a bank robbery, as The Joker shoves a smoke bomb into the mouth of a bank employee.
The Joker is a twisted person, to say the least. His motivations are different than most villains. He doesn't just want money or power or influence or weapons. He wants chaos more than anything. He literally wants to watch the world burn just to see what people will do when faced with ethical dilemmas.
Why he is the way he is, we may never know. There are several different versions of his past, and in the film The Dark Knight, he spends quite a bit of time telling stories, always different, each one a little more crazy than the last.
On to the quote, one which seems appropriate for a man like him to say.
And, if I'm being completely honest, one that I tend to agree with.
Let me explain.
There is a run-of-the-mill quote very similar to this one, uttered in a million different incarnations, about how what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. There's truth to that one, of course, assuming that what you deal with doesn't damage you too much. Living with PTSD now, though there are days I would say I am stronger, there are also days I would say that I am too damaged now.
I think we all learn and grow from our experiences necessarily, that we gain perspective and wisdom, that we mature and expand our view of the world. Or we should. Not everyone does. Some people take their experiences to be the only ones, their perspective to be the only one, and then spend the rest of their lives laboring under the delusion that the version of the world they see is the only one.
So, what doesn't kill you can make you stronger. It can also make you damaged. It can also make you bitter and deluded.
This quote isn't that one, of course. It is a mockery of that quote, twisted and mangled by the raving lunatic shoving a smoke bomb into an innocent man's mouth.
It's also true.
At least for me, it's true. I've been through a lot. There were times that life beat me down, kicked my ass, shoved me down further and left me to rot. It was that bad for a while. I've lost a lot. I've had to do things no one should ever have to do. I've been scared, I've been alone, I've been used.
I survived it all, somehow, probably just out of pure stubbornness.
Now that I'm here, hopefully past the worst of it, I'm this version of myself.
I'm stronger in ways, weaker in others. I'm smarter and wiser but far more skeptical and cynical than I ever was before. I'm more prone to show emotions at times, more likely to stuff them away at others. I'm more interesting for sure.
And I'm a hell of a lot stranger than I ever was.
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