Tuesday, January 04, 2005

BATMAN BEGINS... to cross-promote

I was intrigued to discover that the home page of the official website for the BATMAN BEGINS film currently includes links to several organizations providing financial relief to the tsunami victims.

I've been thinking lately--okay, for many years--about how best to carry over this whole "hero" business into the daylight world. For me, that has meant activism (which, as we know, often resembles villainy in the eyes of some onlookers--the same way that, say, the Green Hornet/Batman/Spider-Man appears to be a bad guy in certain circles). But I guess this donation option could apply, too.

It's just sort of weird that there's no explicit conection between the site--otherwise designed solely to promote a new big-budget Hollywood movie--and the action of aiding disaster victims. I see an obvious one, as I've suggested here, but something tells me there may be a similar link on every Warner Bros site.

Even if there was a line on the BB site about how "you, too, can be a hero ... by donating money to a good cause" (which, BTW, strikes me as the B. Wayne approach, not the Bat one), I think I'd be a little creeped out by a major corporation promoting its latest product by exploiting a global tragedy. (Need I remind anyone of the post-9/11 consumer bonanza?)

I'm not suggesting that you NOT give money--and I still haven't figured out exactly how best I can do something, however small, in that regard--but I do worry about:
1. the notion that typing your credit card number and expiration date into a website can provide the illusion of quick and convenient personal closure to a giant, incomprehensible act of natural destruction, and
2. the concept of making an upcoming movie blockbuster seem virtuous by connecting it to said disaster.

A thorny situation, as so many are. And, again, the bigger question is: what can we, the handful of folks who dress up in comic book costumes and fight our pretend adversaries, really do to make the larger world a better place?

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Well I think this is one of those situations where the hero realises that despite everything he does, he alone cannot save the whole world by himself. And infact everyone needs to join together to help, not just heroes but civillians too, basically everyone.

To me it sounds very strange for that website to have a link about donating to the disaster, despite the tragedy, that's not the place for such a thing. I too feel like they are exploiting what is going on. Everyone knows where they can go to donate, and I think everyone should if they can.

What is fascinating me is how everyone is talking about how the world is uniting in trying to give aid to the victims, despite the wars and how divided the world seemed to be, suddenly in a way everyone is joining together, not literally but I think alot of us are suddenly more aware that we are all together on this earth, and we're all the same people.

Heroes, heroines, civillians, and maybe the odd sympathetic villan and villaness can join together to help out.


Wayne said...

Good points all, BritBat. And your notion that we're all connected is one that distinguishes the daylight world from our little comic-book fantasies. We can't wait for a super-powered man or woman in tights to bail us out; we have to assume that role ourselves.

Actually, in terms of donating money, I've been thinking that instead of contributing directly to the tsunami effort, I want to help some completely unrelated charity--because they all still need funding, not just the one that happens to garner 24-hour press/tv/radio coverage at the moment. (I was annoyed by all those folks who wanted to earmark their blood donations or finances only for the 9/11 crisis a few years ago. Serious as that disaster was--or the current situation today--the Red Cross needs resources all around the world, all the time.)