I have been trying since I took American History classes, to have a better understanding, and even to better explain America’s political scene nowadays, and I could not find better than seeing it through two American movies: Joker (2019) and 300 (2006). The struggle between the two was fierce even before they have been launched, and each one of them represents an entire series of generational struggle that goes all the way to the French Revolution. If Hitler and Stalin were alive, the former would have applauded 300, whereas the latter would have disliked Joker vehemently. Joker, the movie, is a project of a revolution, an angry individual who finds the status quo appalling and resentful, living in a depressing environment where nobody cares or hears him anyway. When Arthur Fleck (the protagonist of Joker) (Joaquin Phoenix) has a session with his psychological therapist, he discovers that she has been repeating to him the same questions in every session, and slowly he finds out that his dream of becoming a standup comedian is everything but achievable. Now, the joker discovers that his mother is not his real mother, that she adopted him, yet she lets him been abused by her boyfriend when he was a child and that the rich man mayor of the city, whom his mother claims to be his illegitimate father. In this movie, it is the individual who suffers; it’s the individual who should be the focus of our care.
in the movie 300, which has a sequel, it is absolutely the opposite. 300 movie would have won the prize for the best moving picture in Nazi Germany, as it depicts a utopia similar to Plato’s Republic that was inspired by the Kingdom of Sparta, where the majority of males served in an army, and where there was no place for individualistic ambitions or dreams; where weak infants left to die under mountains’ snow; a city where everything serves the common good; everything should be perfect as physically as mentally. In 300 we find that perfection is not described only as rational thing, but that it should be accepted as physical as well, and in contrast in the same movie, we see the forces of tyranny and enslavement depicted as deformed, gay-like, and mostly black, and even the one Greek who betrays his country and his people, Ephilates, is bodily deformed and ugly. In Joker there is no such a thing as to be called perfect, and there is no foreign enemy on the door, probably a normal feeling of safety from foreign foes in a city that lives on the shores of an ocean, and it all revolves around the common man. In Joker, there is no King Leonidas, no foreign enemies, no gay-like treasonous characters, however, there is an enemy from inside, a fear of street delinquents, corrupt politicians, who gain their money and power from a corrupt administration, and backed by a media that anesthetizes society with a faulty feelings of happiness and fun. Again, in 300 there is a show of equality and perfection in a united body of warriors, and certainly, there is no place for weakness or individuality, and the mixing of what history wants to say and what the movie’s makers want to say is vague and blurred to the utmost. It is historically proven that black slavery was not of existence at the time of Greeks, until the late medieval centuries, yet we see a heavy use of African-Black features on the Persian side of Tyranny, and to do that, the moviemakers intentionally created a dichotomy between (Strong White) Freedom versus (Weak and Black) Slavery based on racial, and sexual binaries. 300 also has an enemy from inside, Theron, who is a corrupt politician and wants to take sexual advantage of Leonidas’ wife, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey), a theme very similar to the Nazi concept of protecting motherhood and female’s nature from an alleged Jewish-Black abuse. Theron is the enemy-inside who should be killed, as the enemies-inside in Joker are killed, but the difference between the two is that in 300, a nation of perfect statures, healthy environment, and with the backing of wholeheartedly fighting warriors, exists, and that if we just to remove Ephilates, the deformed, and Theron the corrupt politician, we will get our perfect society. But are Spartans free as shown in the movie? In historical Sparta, as in the cinematic one, there were no arts, no music, no poetry or an appeal to emotions except for that which glorifies the state and its armed forces. In Sparta, the individual does not exist as an entity and individuals serve only the common good, whereas in Joker, everything revolves and orbits the hero, who despite his madness is a vividly depicted individual who knows that an entire society of suffering individuals does exist outside. Joker is the individual who wants to be happy and laugh from the deepness of his heart, not the way others want him to do, but to laugh genuinely; when he laughs disorderly, that laugh is a cry for help, and no one helps him. 300 is absurd and sorry for using such a term, but there is no word that could describe a dead concept as does this movie, which is nothing but a product of a Platonic Utopia that which detached from reality. In comparison, Joker, despite its revolutionary end, and the violence that comes with it, remains anti-tyrannical in nature; anti-patriarchy; anti-matriarchy; anti-authority in general.
Let me take you beyond the cinematic nature of the two movies, to the politics behind it.
For me, Donald Trump is closer to the 300 movie, not to say that he isn’t a joker in the sense that he has no care for the rule of law, but because he repeats terms like beautiful, perfect, wonderful, awesome; he even described World War II as “beautiful war”, showing interest only in the strong, rich, and super healthy billionaires, thus, the low- bourgeoisie and the poor common American should not vote for the super-rich, selfish party. However, we should follow the Joker movie example in dealing with the Democratic Party, which should be kept away from falling to the utopia of Communist young utopians such as @AOC, despite my respect for her, and also, we should push the Democrats to work on a free-market system that still believes in equality and prevents monopolies, as the Republicans are working hard to create a wider gap between the poor and the rich.