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We are all clowns.

Initial reviews for the movie Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix are out and are generally positive. The flick tells the origin tale of Batman’s archenemy. While the Marvel cinematic universe (MCU) is a wonderful land of quick jokes, wizards, and gods with magic hammers Joker is being dubbed as ‘hyper realistic.’ Joker’s focus on the topics of mental illness, poverty, and a failing society destined to eat its own reminds us the United States of America has always been trash.

Joker is set in 1981, and wasn’t that a simpler time when America was indeed great? A close look at 1981 reveals a country locked in what seemed to be an intractable Cold War with the Russians which allowed the US military industrial-complex to metastasize and dominate federal spending. Infrastructure was shoddy. Access to healthcare — especially mental healthcare — was pathetic for those who couldn’t afford to pay top dollar. And out of this broth of societal dysfunction a white male transforms into a mass murderer — the Joker.

Joker seems to be offering viewers a not so warped mirror to look at our own time. It asks a few important questions:

  • Is making America great again just a way of saying We want the country to stay trash, but we yearn for a time when white people were 110% in charge of that trash pile?
  • Are lone wolf incels who shoot helpless victims just crappy versions of the Joker who happen to have access to assault weapons?
  • If Arthur Fleck, the man destined to transform into the Joker, grew up in Norway, then he’d receive the care he needed and become a happy and functional individual. WTF is up with that?

Making America Great Again is the rallying cry for baby boomers, out of touch comedians, and religious conservatives (or comedians who become religious and have Netflix specials) who complain about the confusing world of avocado toast and craft beers. While they say they want the United States of America to go back to the good old days, Joker reminds us all America has always been trash.

And pretending it hasn’t been trash is a sure fire way of making more crappy Jokers armed with AR-15s.

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Andrew Hall escaped a childhood of religious indoctrination and is now a non-miserable human being. He's made millions of people laugh as well as angry. (He hopes he's made the right people annoyed.) Targets...