batman

“You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

From: Batman (1989)

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Jack/Joker

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Tim Burton’s first take on Batman way back in 1989. The movie was a smash hit and, believe it or not, shed the “campy” mystique mainstream audiences associated with the character thanks to the (still rather wonderful) Batman live-action television series left. It made general audiences aware of Batman’s original dark roots and the movie lent a hand to the revival of superhero films.

The quote actually is mentioned several times throughout the film and can be considered to be Jack Napier/The Joker’s (played by Jack Nicholson) catchphrase. In one memorable instance, when confronted by Bruce Wayne (played by Michael Keaton) while in Vicki Vale’s (played by Kim Basigner) apartment, he delivers the quote and explains that he just likes how the phrase sounds.

Geek wisdom: Although Jack/Joker says it doesn’t really mean anything, there is a way to interpret the quote to have a deeper meaning. Essentially, The Joker delivers the catchphrase to anyone he’s about to kill. This could be his way of asking them if they ever tempted fate and did something so dangerous that their life may be threatened.

While it may be sometimes exhilarating to do something death defying, it may sometimes be better not to, especially if there is a chance of perishing because of it. You only live once, you know.

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“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

From: Batman Begins

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Batman and Rachel Dawes

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the superhero/crime drama movie Batman Begins that was directed by Christopher Nolan. Released in 2005, Batman Begins tells the story of Batman’s first years as Gotham’s Dark Knight as a vigilante crime fighter.

The quote actually comes up twice in the film. The first time it’s mentioned is during the early part of the film. After Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale), Batman’s alter ego, puts on a show regarding how carefree he is at a hotel, he bumps into his old flame, Rachel Dawes (played by Katie Holmes). Bruce fumbles through a speech, implying that its all an act. However, Rachel rebuffs him by delivering the quote.

The second time the quote it mentioned near the climax of the film. As the city is under assault by Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins, Batman saves Rachel and a child. Batman is about to jump into the fight again when Rachel stops him, asking him who he really is under the mask. This is when Batman turns to Rachel and delivers the quote.

Geek wisdom: Actions speak louder than words. It’s incredibly easy to say what kind of person you are. However, all the talking and speeches in the world stating what a great person you are is useless unless you can actually back it up.

“If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!”

From: Batman, specifically The Killing Joke

Genre: Comics

Who said it?: The Joker

The story behind the quote: The quote comes from Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel, The Killing Joke. This comic drastically gives a different spin on the origins of The Clown Prince of Crime and turns it on its head. Basically, The Killing Joke tells the story of The Joker’s plan to kidnap Commissioner James Gordon and give him “one bad day” so he can go crazy like The Harlequin of Hate became after his stint as the Red Hood.

The quote comes near the end of the story. Batman managed to track down the Joker. The Joker attempts to escape and, all the while, goes on a tirade saying that he’s won (thinking that Gordon has gone as mad as he is). He also knows that something awful happened to him that made him become the Joker but he just can’t remember exactly what it was…

Joker Origin Killing Joke

 

Geek wisdom: Our brains have this weird way of clouding our very memories. Sometimes, we can remember something so vividly, we’d bet our life on it, only to find out we remembered it wrong. Other times, we can have fond memories of the past. But, when we revisit the same thing, we find out that it’s not as good as we remembered.

This is not a bad, nor a good thing; it’s just a fact of life.

“Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel!”

From: Batman

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Narrator

The story behind the quote: While I’ve already created an earlier entry for the 1966 Batman camp-fest, that was for the movie. This time, the quote comes from the television series.

The 1966 Batman television series (starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin) followed the style of the older serial films. As such, each story arc was broken up into two episodes. The first episode will always end in a cliffhanger with Batman and Robin in some sort of jam. The episode will then end with the narrator summing up the Dynamic Duo’s predicament and advising viewers and fans to make sure to watch how they’ll save themselves.

Geek wisdom: In this ever changing world filled with uncertainty, it’s always nice to fall back on something you can rely on. It’s comforting to have something consistent.

“See? I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.”

From: The Dark Knight

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: The Joker

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from one of the most quotable characters of fiction, The Joker, from one of the most modern quotable movies, The Dark Knight.

After The Joker (played by Heath Ledger) is captured, the newly promoted Commissioner Gordon leaves the Clown Prince of Crime in an interrogation room with Batman. The Joker will not reveal where Harvey Dent is located, even after being threatened with bodily harm. The Joker then continues to expound on why the “regular” citizens of Gotham are only “good” because everything is right with the world. But he’s different…

Geek wisdom: Whenever someone tries to create some new innovation, the people who are stuck to the old ways will try to stop them. It doesn’t matter if it will better the world, as long as it threatens the way they do things, they will treat that person like a monster.

We have to think of the future, even though people will try to stop you. Progress is always better than following traditions blindly.

“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

From: Batman, specifically, The Dark Knight

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Alfred Pennyworth

The story behind the quote: It seems that I can’t stop getting quotes from Batman media. But this time, it’s from Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler, Alfred.

The quote comes from The Dark Knight, the 2nd film of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies. Bruce Wayne has been investigating a series of violent (and videotaped) actions of the Joker. Bruce has been reviewing the Joker’s actions and is having difficulty understanding why he does the things he does.

Alfred then tells the story about the time he was in Burma. His group was hired to bribe tribal leaders to get their loyalty for the government using valuable stones and gems. During this time, a “bandit” was wrecking havoc in the area and it was assumed that the “bandit” took the stones. One day, Alfred notice a child playing with one of the stones and realized that the bandit took the stones but threw them away. This is when he knew that the bandit didn’t care for money, he just wanted to wreck as much havoc as he can.

Geek wisdom: Like Alfred said, there are going to be people that you cannot reason with, no matter what you do. They will just do whatever they want, forgetting the consequences of their actions. We have to accept the fact that we will not be able to convince them with logic.

At the same time, we cannot let these kind of people run around doing anything they please, especially if it will lead to anarchy. The act of doing nothing about something is going to be the wrong thing to do in these cases. Sometimes, it will be necessary to step in and do something… especially if we believe it’s the right thing to do.

“Wonder Twins Powers activate!”

From: Super Friends

Genre: Cartoons, Television

Who said it?: Zan and Jayna

The story behind the quote: The Super Friends cartoon starred DC Comics’ most popular heroes, including Superman and Batman among others. Apparently, they didn’t think that it was enough to have Earth’s mightiest heroes in a cartoon so the producers of the show decided to add the Wonder Twins… who were created specifically for the show. Oh, and they have a space monkey.

The Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, are alien twins who do not have any special abilities by themselves. However, by coming into contact with each other (or having something connect them together… like using Gleek, their aforementioned space monkey), they can actually change into any shape. Zan, the male, has the ability to change into anything made of water. Jayna, on the other hand can change to any animal (even a dinosaur).

Geek wisdom: Teamwork is extremely important. The Wonder Twins themselves cannot use their shapeshifting powers unless they come into contact with each other. People are generally the same thing. While we can feel utterly helpless as individuals, we can actually perform great things if we work together.

Even when we are a part of a team, we can still feel useless and not contribute to the group’s success. While Gleek’s only ability is to lengthen his tail, he is able to help the Wonder Twins by acting as a conduit for them to use their powers. This goes with us; while our contribution is only going to be minimal, it doesn’t mean that the contribution is not meaningful. As the old saying goes: Every little bit helps.

“Why so serious?”

From: Batman, specifically, The Dark Knight

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: The Joker

The story behind the quote: Wow, this is like my 3rd quote from the Batman series! Well, anyway… the quote comes from the film The Dark Knight from 2008. It was delivered by The Joker (portrayed by Heath Ledger in his final acting role before his tragic death). Most of you guys probably know where it comes from but for those 2 people who are reading this yet still haven’t watched it… you really should go watch it first before you read any further. You owe it to yourself.

Viewed the entire thing now? Good. So one of the leaders of the crime families in Gotham had put a hit on the Joker for threatening them. A group come in claiming to have killed the Clown Prince of Crime to collect the bounty. It turns out to be a ruse so that the Joker can get close to the boss and usurp his position. The Joker proceeds to tell a story regarding how he became to look like he does (the viewer isn’t sure if it’s true since he then tells another possible one later in the film). The story, in summary, goes that his father went in a drunken rage cut his mouth in a smile shape since the father thought that his son (the Joker) was too serious.

Geek wisdom: Even though its given by a clearly deranged madman, the Joker has a point. It’s okay to take life seriously. However, we do have to make sure that we take some time now and again to enjoy ourselves. Life doesn’t have to be so serious 24/7. Take a break from all of the stress that life brings and simply relax. Believe me, it’ll help you remain sane.

“I’m the goddamn Batman!”

From: Batman

Genre: Comics

Who said it?: Batman

The story behind the quote: The quote comes from Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin, a sort of reimaging of Robin’s origin. In the very first issue of the comic series, Dick Grayson’s family is murdered by a hit man while performing their circus act. Orphaned, Dick is supposed to be placed in the custody of the police. However, Batman steals Dick from them (Batman suspects that the cops are corrupt)  and speeds him away in the Batmobile.

The police start to chase after Batman (he is kidnapping someone, after all) and the Dark Knight starts ramming the squad cars that come after him and they eventually escape. However, Dick is afraid of everything that’s happening and he asks Batman what right he has to be doing this. Batman is apparently offended by this and questions Dick’s mental capacity before uttering that famous line.

This quote, along with the All Star Batman and Robin series, has been heavily criticised by both critics and fans alike. While there were a few who liked the new direction Frank Miller was going for, most people didn’t appreciate the fact that the characterization of Batman was too different from previous incarnations. Here, Batman is more sadistic and appears to get some form of pleasure in inflicting pain and he cares less for injuring innocent bystanders. This line has been recorded in infamy because of the idea that Batman would even refer to himself in this way.

Geek wisdom: You have to be proud of who you are and what you’ve become. You can be a badass dark knight or just an ordinary joe. It doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t matter: you are who you are. In fact, all of the events that you’ve experienced in life created and molded you into the unique individual that you are, and that by itself makes you special.

It is difficult to accept sometimes, especially if you’re in the dumps and you feel life doesn’t feel worth living. However, if you don’t respect yourself, no one will respect you. The goddamn Batman knows this, and you should, too.

“Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”

From: Batman

Genre: Movie/Television

Who said it?: Batman

The story behind the quote: In the 1966 film, Batman (portrayed by Adam West) comes across a bomb that’s about to explode. He grabs the bomb and races to find an area where he can toss it without harming any innocents. He runs around with the bomb, trying to find an area that not populated.

Unfortunately, it seems that the fates are against him. Everywhere he goes, there always seems to be people that would be in danger. In the restaurant, even though Batman already warns all the patrons to get out, two fat ladies apparently don’t care and continue to eat. While running around the pier, it actually seems that there are people are following him as the same marching band, woman with a baby carriage, and couple of nuns seem to get in his way all the time! Even when he finally thinks he’s found a safe place to throw the bomb, he sees a family of ducks below him. By this point, Batman is completely frustrated and finally states the quote.

Geek wisdom: Sometimes, shit happens. There’s no denying it. There are going to be days when nothing seems to go right and it feels like everyone’s against you. Even if you plan something to the most minute detail, all of it can still go tumbling down like a house of cards.

Here’s the thing: there’s nothing you can do about it. Once it happens, it happens. The only thing you can do it push on and make the best of it.