I went to see Batman: The Dark Knight on Monday, which was absolutely no disappointment. I had wondered if Heath Ledger's role was hyped up a bit given his sad death, but he really was as good as everyone had claimed in the role of the Joker. A scary, incredibly believable "motiveless malignity" as some have called Iago in Shakespeare's Othello. Now that I've puffed off my knowledge of Shakespeare :) I can continue.
The thought popped into my head during the movie at different times: if only the real world could be so black and white, good and evil. If only we could pick the villains out easily and the real problem was deciding how to respond to them. Of course, the real world is sometimes like that, and it's not exactly pleasant to be one of those people, deciding whether to court death or go along with evil. And it's probably a mark of my incredibly easy life (which I should be thankful for) that I sometimes wish life were more difficult. That evil was always tangible to other people, and that there was a clear process of picking sides.
But then I realised, evil does translate from a movie like Batman into this world. They say that the role of the Joker really messed up Heath Ledger, and caused his death. I have no idea how accurate that is, but if it is, there's a picture of the overwhelming darkness of evil that comes through into any life and can take it over. I feel so saddened for a really great actor that he couldn't find the resources to fight this evil but it makes me even more aware of how determinedly evil must be fought, in all our lives, day to day. Darkness is underneath the surface of even the Western, democratic, fairly non-repressive world, but sometimes tricks us into thinking it's not important, or not powerful. That delusion must be fought.