We are going to be watched very carefully today.
I want to be very clear: this shooting has nothing to do with fandom, it has nothing to do with Batman, and there is no one we can blame but the sick individual who picked up the guns and smoke bombs.
That will not stop people—the mass media, your irl friends, your uncle who always has an opinion on everything—from trying to find a scapegoat.
A few days ago, my friend Kassie reposted her thoughts
about the attack on Gabrielle Giffords last summer. It’s worth a read, because it reminds us not only to be extremely mindful of our words (both in how we criticize others, and in what we could in turn be criticized for), but that that these events—these events that shock us and horrify us and make us wonder what the world is coming to—are unfortunately cyclical. It’s been 13 years since Columbine. It was only a few miles away from Aurora.
People are going to be made held accountable for their opinions and their passions. Christopher Nolan’s comments about how Batman Begins dealt with fear, The Dark Knight dealt with chaos, and TDK:R deals with pain
will be examined very closely. People are going to say, as they always do, that graphically violent video games and comic books are corrupting the minds of our youth.
We have a responsibility, as socially progressive and civic-minded fans, to put our best foot forward and present a face to the world that we can be proud of. That no one can fault us for. They will be impressed by our maturity and our empathy, because we cannot afford to be any other way. Bruce Wayne is a flawed figure, who brings his own baggage to the table every time he clenches his fists and puts on a mask to fight for the side of good. The best we can do for his legacy, and to act as moral human beings, is to open up our arms and to take off our masks. We are going to reveal our identities to the world, so they can understand that they do not have to fear us
. They will learn to admire us for our consideration and our candor.
Now is not the time to lash out because you’re tired of being judged, and now is certainly not the time to point fingers at others. The news is still breaking, and it’s hard to process. But it won’t be long before the commentary starts pouring in from every angle, at every part of the spectrum. And we’ll be ready for them. Now is the time to show that fandom behavior can be a bright light of hope at this moment of darkness, rather than a shadow cast over these events.
Leaving those thoughts aside, remember that things like this can happen at any time. So call your loved ones today. Keep each other safe. And keep last night’s victims in your hearts.