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HURT: An open letter to Christopher Nolan, Sean Penn and Warner Brothers
It is all so perfectly fitting that in the wake of a murderous rampage in which 70 people are shot —12 fatally, including a 6-year-old girl — and countless families are sacked with unspeakable grief, you would take the time to share with us your feelings.
Because, really, at this moment, all that matters to most of us is what a bunch of smutty purveyors of violent fantasy, half-rate actors and an industry of sick narcissism is feeling at this moment.
Director Christopher Nolan, speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of "The Dark Knight Rises," you told us how much you love going to the movies and how they are "one of the great American art forms."
You are devastated that such an "innocent and hopeful place" — here you are talking about the movie theaters that play your twisted movies — would be violated in such an "unbearably savage" way. I mean, really, who could think up such monstrous hatred and nihilistic violence? Umm, have you watched any of your own movies lately?
And, in the selfless modesty that is the hallmark of an Academy Awards ceremony, you tell us that your "feelings" about the massacre are so deeply profound that the mere words of the English language built up over hundreds of years are simply not up to the task of describing them. Wow. You do have a gift for fantasy.
But the real clue that you remain shrouded in guilt-free delusion is when you mention the "senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community."
Senseless? Really? If by "senseless" you mean carried out almost precisely from the scripts of your own movies, then, sure, it was "senseless."
As for you, Sean Penn, you paragon of endless moralizing, we would like to thank you, too, for underwriting last week's ultra-violence and real-life carnage at the movie theater. One of the last scenes that 6-year-old saw in her precious life was a trailer for your movie.
In the final clip of a trailer filled with orgiastic bloodshed, you have some classy "actors" with machine guns unload from behind a movie screen into a crowd seated in a theater, watching a film. Ring a bell, Sean? Sound familiar?
I realize how busy you are, so loudly and obnoxiously jet-setting around to save the world, but do you have time to think about what you have done here? What your life amounts to at this moment?
No, you did not pull the trigger in this case. You did not don the gas mask. But you were the inspiration, and you are the architects.
Your celebrations of diabolical mayhem and pornographic violence prey on the fantasies of sick, fragile minds. You insulated them from the painful reality of bloodshed. You have inspired mass murder. You are the Osama bin Laden of this travesty.
This, of course, is all legal and has made you a fabulous fortune. But, never forget, this is who you are. It is what you do. This is your legacy.
When you die, your gravestones should read: Here lie men who created such horrific, meaningless violence in such realistic scenes that a sicko carried it out for real and shot 70 people, killing 12, including a 6-year-old girl.
To be fair, you haven't only inspired murderous rampages. It is true that you have also entertained. But is the fleetingness of that entertainment nearly so profound as the terror you inspired here? Will it outlast the irreversible permanency of 12 deaths, including that of a 6-year-old girl?
Which brings us to Warner Brothers, those titans of decency. You bankrolled "The Dark Knight Rises" and so many other pointlessly violent movies that infect feeble minds and bring hatred upon America. You, it is reported, are feeling really sad about those poor saps who paid to see your wicked movies — only to have the very scenes come alive and kill them in the dark, sticky rows between seats of a movie theater.
Out of your "respect" for these people, you declared you would not announce box-office receipts from this weekend's snuff film. Instead, you will count your $150 million in bloody money — privately.
One day, you will meet the original Joker, the inventor of all evil who is diabolical and depraved so far beyond your furthest, sickest imaginations and there, in his lair, you will spend the rest of eternity wishing you had had a little decency back when you had the chance.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at email@example.com.
About the Author
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