A painting of a grid of 12 versions of the head and shoulders of Batman.
BATMEN, by Michael Bowen, @mikebowen66 on Instagram.

MR. WRONG: Batman Is The Grift

in Hmm Weekly
on March 15, 2022

I ENJOY MOVIES with spaceships and vampires and stuff, and also Batman movies, so I went and paid money to sit in a movie theater with hundreds of people breathing each other’s air and all over each other inside the joint, and for hours and hours we watched the new Batman movie called The Batman, which is a name that is more serious than other Batman movies such as Batman, and Batman & Robin, and The Lego Batman Movie.

It’s very Serious. You can tell it’s very Serious because nobody acts like they are happy about anything, and all the scenes in the movie—and pretty much all of the people—are grubby and grimy and dirty and filthy and depressing-looking (even the sexy people) and nobody turns a goddamn light on anywhere so you can see anything except a lot of shadowy people, Batman included, who all look like they need to freshen up, jeez. 

So, it’s a Serious Motion Picture. I think this Batman movie is the most Serious Batman movie ever, but it’s not as serious as that Joker movie, holy crap, did you see that one? Yikes! That was wa-aaaay more serious than this Batman movie, so if you have a chart, Joker is the most serious and this Batman one is under it, in Seriousness, because how the fuck are you supposed to take anything Serious when there’s a guy standing around in a Batman costume? It’s just how it is with these Batman movies, you suspend your disbelief about the ridiculous getup. 

Anyway, I was still sitting in the theater after a coupla hours and the movie still wasn’t over, and I sorta forgot what had happened an hour back, but not in a way that meant I wasn’t able to figure out what was going on in the movie, it was just more like it didn’t matter! There was gonna be another scene of Batman punching people or driving a cool-ass vehicle to get to a place where he could punch more people, or using a tool with a limitless amount of wire inside it and a spike on the end to climb up on top of buildings or zip away from a whole bunch of people who wanted to punch him or shoot him with guns. I know! But I’m not complaining! 

I paid to see this Batman movie ($10, matinee), and this movie is full of Batman, and also Catwoman—although I don’t think anybody ever addressed her by her proper Catname—and it was OK, I got a bellyful of Batman movie, and popcorn, and a large soda! I got my sawbuck’s worth of Batman (The), and Catwoman (in this circumstance should also be The), and all the Bad People, and Catwoman should really get her own movie. The Catwoman! I know the Halle Berry one didn’t work out so good, but neither did most of these fucking Batman movies, right? Never stopped anybody from making more!

They’re just different flavors of Batman, all these Batman movies, and if you are genetically predispositioned to enjoy Batman movies, sometimes you get one you like! The person who got to be Batman this time is from those popular Twilight vampire movies, and I know he’s way more handsomer in real life, but when he’s not wearing his Batman helmet he looks like he got hit in the face with a fucking shovel or something, I dunno. He’s just got this sad, flat mug, no offense. Also: for a Batman he’s not very good at fighting crime! 

I don’t want to spoiler anything, but this movie has a profoundly Mentally Disturbed individual with a diabolical plan to kill people in mean ways, and, because they’re not in their right mind, they leaves clues and stuff, and our Batman, who needs a bath or at least a nice hot washcloth because he’s sweaty and always has his Batman-face-makeup all smeared, this Batman, who is angry at Crime, really stinks at figuring out what the big Criminal is up to! I mean, I guess if he was super smart it wouldn’t be much of a movie, lengthwise, he’d have it all wrapped up in an hour, but c’mon, can some of these writers make a smarter Batman? The car was pretty cool, this time, though. It had a blue rocket-flame that blasted out the back of it, and he also had a Batman motorcycle, and motorcycles are pretty much always cool, eh?

Look, I went to this Batman movie of my own free will, and I received almost several hours of Value, and I will go to the next Batman movie, probably! I can look back at all the Batman movies I have seen, and there are movies where I liked the Batman way more than I liked the Batman in this The Batman thing, and there are movies where I liked the Bad Person more than I liked most of the Batmans, and I think that is a typical Batman movie experience, and you can sit around and have fun comparing all the various Batmans and rank ‘em and maybe even look at your favorite Batman again on TV if you want. Batmen!

OK, so, thinking about all these iterations of Batman, I figured out Batman is like these electronic digital Internet NFT things that I don’t understand. Batman helped me figure out a small part of this NFT gimmick, backwards, sort of, like in the movie with the [SPOILER ALERT] in the [SPOILER ALERT]. There’s these giant too-many-hours-long movies that are made out of a kabillion more pixels than any of those NFT pictures or artwork or items or whatever, and the movies, they have entire stories and music and stuff in them, and it takes years to make ‘em, and suckers (like me) will line up to see pretty much the same fucking thing—Batman, for instance—over and over again, as long as it’s new and different. That’s the NFT grift, right? New! Different! Plus, with a lot of these NFTs, they are different all at the same time inside themselves! Way more efficient than movies as far as getting paid. You put a thousand images in one picture, or you crank out a thousand versions of a similar picture of a bird or a monkey or whatever, and these things go to the same molecules in your brain—or my brain, at least—that line up and find themselves sitting in the ninth or tenth Batman movie. Nice Fucking Trick!

Thanks to Michael Bowen for the use of his BATMEN art.

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