The Joker and Biblical interpretation(English.ver)

If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble. Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come.
Matthew 18:6~7

Sin can be ” Pardoned ” by love, but evil continues to be amplified. When one evil intention disappears, a new one is born. That is human nature, and those who deny it are the equivalent of a false wall. Goodness requires education and environment, but malice is born naturally. I am a denier of the theory of good nature. This is the basis for the theory of the state, and also for Jesus, who refers to evil as a “Skandalon” that cannot be removed by human power.  There is no such thing as goodness, and I believe this to be true.

There is atonement for sins, but evil does not disappear. Yet the concept of what evil really is continues to be debated today. According to the Old Testament view, a person can be either good or evil, and therefore has to make a choice. God does not intervene in the choice, but sends dream signs, apostles and prophets to make man aware. It is the history of Christianity, since the New Testament, that has made Adam and Eve the original sin. For many years the question of why we let evil people go unchecked was repeated by “apologetics” so that God would be good, and psychology tried to treat academically the evil, the darkness of human nature, which apologetics could not compensate for. As a result, it may be G. Freud who succeeded in separating the therapy from God. Jung did not separate the cure from the person who had been brought up in the image of their own religion or oral tradition. To Freud’s “unconscious” Jung delved into the “collective unconscious”. Freud did not deny this theory, but considered it dangerous. Both theories remain inconclusive to this day.

Evil continues to be amplified, but there are some things that are severely punished by time. One such thing is “theatre”.

St .Augustine likened theatre to Plato’s theory, distancing it from the teachings of Jesus and making it an “evil” to dull the pain. In modern times, restrictions have been loosened, but there are still objections to adultery, age restrictions and the illusion of a fictional world. The “self-proclaimed good guys” are afraid of influencing crime and pleasure, and are threatened by all but the most peaceful works.

  It seemed to me that the Joker in the film “The Joker” (2019) stood out in a world of mediocrity. Once I saw it, as a script, I thought it was just an imitation of real-life serial killers Henry Lee Lucas and Edmund Kemper, but as Shakespeare created Hamlet and King Macbeth, there has never been a more established “evil” in the fictional world these days.

It’s hard to say whether he was the best “pure evil”, but his greatest appeal was that he created so many copycats. What Jesus defined as the most severe sin was the sin of leading the masses: “to be drowned in the sea with a great millstone round your neck”. The Joker was originally Arthur Flex, an ordinary man who lived with his mother. This man had a dream. He dreamed of becoming a comedian. He was poor, and people and the world were hard on a man who had a dream of becoming a comedian.

He fantasises about getting ahead, but in reality he works as a street performer. He is violently attacked by a juvenile delinquent, and his boss treats him “badly”. Further undermining the impotent man was a disease that made him laugh. It is essential to pay for this treatment. Presumably because this is a form of PTSD, there is no obvious drug treatment. Psychiatric drugs are more expensive when there is no clear cure. Doctors’ guesswork, inadequate counselling and inappropriate medication means that more of his meagre wages are spent on drugs. He was always at the mercy of the malice that existed behind the goodness of the world. The only thing that kept him alive, no matter how crushing the malice, was his mother’s words, “to smile and put on a happy face”. He loved his mother. He loved his mother because she believed in her words that your smile makes people happy.

He is forced by a colleague to give him a gun for protection, but he drops it while dressed as a clown in a children’s ward. The colleague who gave him the gun also lied to him, so he is forced to dismiss him, and then, as fate or bad luck would have it, he develops a condition in which he “to smile and put on a happy face” at a woman who is in trouble with a man, even though he has no strength to do so under the circumstances. Like the protagonist of Albert Camus “L’Étranger” Arthur has pulled the trigger.

It’s 1981 in Gotham City, a city in the middle of an unsafe neighborhood, where shootings are not unheard of. But because the murderer was an elite member of the stockbroking world, the poor begin to admire the clown killer. Arthur’s stage success as a comedian and his memories of the woman he had a crush on were his fantasies. The fact that his loving mother had taken advantage of his “smile at all times” disease, a kind of “faith” that she believed your smile could make people happy, was broken.

It became impossible to keep track of who had wronged him, who had hurt him. He succeeds in killing his mother, the one who gave birth to him, in what is known as the serial killer’s ritual. It is a rite of passage for a serial killer.

Wanting the success of his stage in the fictional world, he succeeds in attracting an audience in reality.  His performance, with its chants of love and happiness, influenced the audience to descend into reality with happiness, but his performance ironically succeeded in a sense as a realization of reality. As a popular desire, he became a “villain”. The streets are filled with his imitators, but they do not love him. It’s just a shallow perception, the public’s desire for self-realisation, the sense of unity and happiness that comes from supporting him.

It was interesting that the film ended with the idea that there is more than one Joker.

Even in the setting, the Joker was set up as a cruel serial killer, but in a time when the public wanted a “bad man”, there was no clear setting for a humor character or even helping the bad man (to finish him off himself). This 2019 version of the “Joker” is a possibility for further transformation if we are to consider a sequel, but evil also coexists with this lack of concreteness. Jesus punishes those who lead the masses the most, because the “false prophet” is a loss of love. This is in line with Moses’ prohibition against idolatry. (The word “Skandalon” is also the origin of the word “scandal”, which Jesus said could not be removed by human power.)

Although it is the “dictator” who defines evil in our time, it is the evil that seems to have disappeared that is most threatening today. While we don’t know the Joker’s true identity, his copycats set him on fire.It is also interesting to see the masks worn by the copycats. There is a sense of cowardice, as if they could escape at any moment. Wearing a mask, the mother does not know where she will go after her mother has disappeared. That is the evil of the collective, the violence that we as human beings are familiar with. If this feels like déjà vu, we already know the evil of the ordinary. 

This dipping of the roots of evil beneath the surface seems to be the evil of the 21st century.


The tragedy of the clown reminds me of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” (based on Victor Hugo’s novel). Like the Joker, he was a laughing stock for princes and nobles .Like the Joker, he works as a laughing stock for princes and noblemen, but when he  discovers that the only girl he has ever loved has been played by a nobleman, he seeks revenge, but without success, and is forced to hold her corpse. Tragedy and comedy go hand in hand, and the stage is no fun without darkness. But a clown is always doomed to disappointment in the dark.

The clown is a confirmation of the structure that prevents happiness.

In Plato’s “Apology of Socrates” he said that “he who really wants to fight for what is right should work as a private person and not as a public person, even if he wants to live his life for a short time”, but I don’t think there is anything that returns to this origin. If we study history seriously, we often despair of humanity. It is when the economy is good that we can rejoice in progress, and when it is bad that we fall back on structuralism. However, although human beings are foolish, they can bear coincidence and inevitability, and can produce love. Can human beings love if they do not know malice? From birth, it is human beings who influence us, for better or worse. If we lose our love for these inseparable beings, we will become “the living dead”. Evil intentions exist in me too. But I respect love in the face of evil.

I believe that love is the power of the soul.

I have chosen Corinthians 13 as my favorite Bible quote because I believe that human malice cannot be wiped out, but love defines the direction of the soul.

I don’t know who influences my good intentions or my bad intentions, my potential or my manipulation, I manipulate who I am and I don’t know who I am. For example, on noblesse oblige. Is the responsibility of those with social status really ‘private punishment’? The highest punishment for being unrewarded is ‘private punishment’. Or can it be done peacefully? Maybe one day the world will wake up to this cruelty.

 Nevertheless, I want to keep only the concept of soul.

The body may get sick and the mind may get hurt, but the soul will not be hurt.

I believe in that.

This song and the Joker’s song seem to be unrelated, but they fit very well and I saw them many times. It seemed to me that human beings suffer from a malice that is tainted by the love (agape) they are raised with and the evil that comes towards them. This is only a Christian’s opinion. What I got from this song was “not to laugh”. I don’t force myself to laugh.

What is Gotham City?
Why are we drawn to it?
The protagonist, the Joker, and Gotham City are both fictional worlds.
But we call it “reality”.

As an aside, I have sympathy for Arthur himself, but criminals are evil, and perhaps they will be judged by God, or perhaps they will receive God’s love, it’s not entirely clear. As Camus says in “L’Étranger”, it is not impossible that he has chosen to be a villain. The rejection of God’s grace is also a free human choice. There are some psychological studies that try to change this absolutely as a treatment of circumstances or mental illness, but I am not so sure. When I was a student, I thought about rehabilitating criminals, but now I still want them to be destroyed when they become victims. But I honestly wish there had been help for Arthur. Most victims bear the negative side of the perpetrators, the oppression, but for those who have been deprived of their right to live, it is nothing but cruelty. In my view it was a good film. After all, there are few people who can reach out to Arthur.

It may be similar to the Zodiac case.
The name of the leading suspect was Arthur.


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