Madness


“Madness is like gravity; all it needs is a little push.”

Joker, The Dark Knight

Hello coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Tasty Quota at Olive’s Café, where you get a taste of philosophy and messages from works of art.

The Dark Knight has been one of my favorite Batman movies not because of the action sequences, but because of the dialogue telling the story of a city growing in madness and panic. The film shows how Joker exposes the shadows of the people in the city, revealing secrets and driving them to the brink of insanity. There are a lot of quotes that hold a lot of weight told by the main characters in the movie. However, the one I’ve been wanting to talk about is the one Joker exchanged with Batman, saying, “Madness is like gravity; all it needs is a little push.” This quote reveals that Joker, although captured, still holds the upper hand, and shows that he’s done something that furthers the chaos between the characters. The way I see it, it concludes the story as the method Joker used to ignite the fire and “watch the whole world burn.” Credits to Alfred played by Sir Michael Caine.

The quote revealed that Joker has been able to expose secrets that people have hidden in the shadows and weaponize their vulnerability. He went after the criminals, the police department, and the citizens of Gotham. He even went after Harvey Dent and drew out his shadow as he explains that once he interrupts the established order, panic and insanity takes over. He knew that Dent was in a vulnerable state after losing Rachel and being scarred after the explosion, so he introduces the idea of anarchy as an opportunity to create chaos and taking matters into his own hands. Although Joker may not have been able to influence the people in the ferries, Harvey Dent was still in his favor to give him the upper hand.

The quote concluded the story to reveal Joker’s lunatic agenda as he watched the chaos unleash and entrap Batman. However, I also thought about how to apply this quote to real life and different circumstances. In the film, we’re watching the madness unravel, either to sadistically bring out the shadows of people and weaponize their fear or act out on revenge for a fairer world. So, how can we apply this quote to the real world? We observe what madness looks like in the world as the shadows casted over the world, whether to commit a crime against society, or organize a community to go against the world. I even witnessed, in the past few years, that the shadows grew darker as the growth of the digital age progresses. However, I also learned that madness doesn’t always mean evil or vengeful. The way I see it, madness can also be applied to creating something good and solve problems, like science and art. Madness can be done for good as long as it doesn’t hurt us or anyone else. We always think of new ideas that can help with how people in the world thrive and mobilize. In a way, just as madness works in the dark, it can also work in the light.

If the quote were to be unrelated with the real world, how can we demonstrate this quote in our favor? Can we demonstrate it more to help others and not hurt, or is it only appropriate when applied to chaos and evil? Whether in the movie or in real life, the quote can be applied in a way we see fit, at least in my opinion. It has been applied to the good of humanity, but also in the destruction from chaos. I’ve thought about this quote from the moment I heard it from Joker, and the one thing that keeps coming up in my mind is that madness is more in the gray area of the moral spectrum than being either for good or evil. The push is that motivation, the driving force that can either create or destroy the entities that exist. Madness stays dormant within us, sleeping like a dragon in the castle and it wakes up when a crisis takes place, which place us in a dilemma of making a choice that will change everything. With madness, we could invent a product that can help people, create a work of art that will open up perspectives, avenge someone’s life while hiding in the shadows, or destroy the order and people in society. Whatever the motivation, madness is like gravity as it weighs heavily within us and once pushed, chaos paints the town.

One thing’s for sure, the way I will treat madness is when I create to help myself and others to be happy, and I will be an agent of great character.

Thank you for tuning in on Olive’s Tasty Quotas at Olive’s Café!

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