Is the Joker the Batman Character Who Trump Resembles Most?

This is the fourth installment of an ongoing investigation into which Batman character Donald Trump resembles most. You can read the beginning here

The similarities between Trump and the Joker have been discussed here before, in response to an editorial by The Economist. But that was before the current series of “Which Batman Character Does Trump Resemble Most,” and was limited to the Joker as depicted by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

Let’s take a step further and evaluate how much the Donald and the Joker (in all his various depictions) really resemble one another.

To begin with, both men have remarkably poor taste.

In what they say, in what they wear, in how they look and present themselves: these are crude, tasteless men.

joker-car
From Batman #321, “Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker!”

The Joker drives a car with his own face on it, while Trump will brand anything with his own name. Both prove that taste does not accompany wealth.

He uses chaos and anarchy as a weapon, manipulating the weak and confused.

Shouting, punching, screaming, hysteria, name-calling: these are regular trappings at any assembly of Trump fans. Above this chaos stands Trump, fanning the flames and upping the ante.

It is a key element of Trump’s campaign and rhetoric. He brands himself as “anti-establishment.” Consider what the Joker says about establishment and order in The Dark Knight:

Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!

Like the criminals in The Dark Knight who turn to the Joker to save them, Trump’s voters are at “the point of desperation.” They are the unemployed, the angry, the tired and the scared. As Alfred Pennyworth says, “in their desperation, they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand.” Continue reading “Is the Joker the Batman Character Who Trump Resembles Most?”

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How accurate is The Economist in comparing Donald Trump to The Joker?

This is one of many articles on this site comparing the current state of American politics to the world of Batman. Read more here, or buy D. F. Lovett’s debut novel here for only $4.99.

In an editorial published on 7/23/15, The Economist likened Donald Trump to Heath Ledger’s Joker:

Mr Trump’s lust for attention, combined with his fortune, seemed to be all the explanation needed. “Do I look like I have a plan?” says the Joker in “The Dark Knight”. “I’m a dog chasing cars. I don’t know what I’d do if I caught it”. Mr Trump’s havoc-spreading run seemed to share this improvisational spirit.

They go on to argue that yes, Trump has a plan, and yes, there’s a good chance that he is a dog who has caught a car and knows what to do with it: “sell it for profit.”

While The Economist moves away from the Batman metaphors and focuses on the politics, it’s worth dwelling for a moment on this comparison. This is not to say that Donald Trump is a villain. But he is one third of a complicated, shifting cinematic circus of three-directional conflict.

The scene in which The Joker gives his famous "plan" speech.
The scene in which The Joker gives his famous “plan” speech.

 

The Dark Knight is a film of three-way conflict. All great films are. Consider Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (HAL v. Humanity v. The Monolith) or Raiders of the Lost Ark (Nazis v. Indy v. The Ark) or The Departed (Jack v. Leo v. Damon). In The Dark Knight, our initial conflict is that The Joker is stealing money from the mob and cornering them, drawing Batman into the fight. Batman goes after the mob, thinking The Joker can wait. “One man or the mob…” Continue reading “How accurate is The Economist in comparing Donald Trump to The Joker?”

Why Madonna is The Joker

If there is one thing the internet agrees on regarding Super Bowl XLVI, it’s that Clint Eastwood sounded like Bale does when Bruce Wayne is being Batman.  That’s about it.

But to me, the strongest Batman connection throughout the entire Super Bowl was not Eastwood.  It was the Madonna Spectacle and the ways in which she resembles The Joker.  Do you not agree?  Allow me to explain.

1. They have both been around forever.

The Joker debuted in 1940 in “Batman #1,” while Madonna was born in 1958.  Perhaps this does not qualify as “forever” in everyone’s opinion… but 72 years is a long time for a fictional villain to have new stories told about him on a monthly basis,  just as 53 is a funny age to be dancing around in a cheerleader outfit at a football game.  Even weirder when you consider that she is not employed as a cheerleader.

The first appearance of The Joker.

Madonna has been “active” since 1979.  She has released twelve albums, made a bunch of movies, and married both Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie.  This means that, with roughly 23% of Super Bowl viewers being under 35, almost a fourth of the viewers of the Super Bowl cannot remember a world without Madonna.  With two blockbuster films of the last several decades featuring The Joker as a main villain, accompanied by a constant barrage of comic books and animated television shows, The Joker is in a similar boat.

But it’s not just their ability to keep existing that makes Madonna and The Joker so alike.  There are much deeper, more sinister similarities between these two…

Continue reading “Why Madonna is The Joker”