There seems to me no question that the Batman film “The Dark Knight,” currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.
As I said yesterday, I think that’s definitely a viable interpretation of the film. But mostly what it highlights is that the right-wing doesn’t understand al-Qaeda and the modern world — Osama bin Laden isn’t actually like the joker and tactics appropriate to fighting a comic book villain aren’t appropriate for the real world.
Meanwhile, I liked John’s liberal internationalist reading that stitched Dark Knight together with Batman Begins and sees the Joker as a kind of blowback phenomenon.