The Dark Knight Rises and My Selfish Legacy

I’ve been thinking about writing something about the shootings in Colorado since I first read about it but I hesitated for a number of reasons. First I didn’t want to just jump into the fray of everyone else throwing up random pieces without the benefit of context or examination. After the initial wave of coverage passed, then I wondered if I really needed to say anything at all. I hate it when famous people feel they need to comment on every national event and I really didn’t think we needed to hear from any politicians outside of Colorado on the issue, let alone a self-inflated writer from Michigan.

But then I started watching the coverage of the victims. The first victim to receive extensive coverage was writer Jessica Redfield (Ghawi). One reason of course was because she had recently been involved in the mall shootings in Toronto, but also (and more importantly in this day of online info sharing) she wrote about the experience on her blog. Even now as the rest of the victims names have been released, her tributes are still more in-depth and always reference her last blog post. In many ways this reminds me of  Marina Keegans death. Every year college students die close to graduation in car accidents, but what set Keegan’s death apart was the last essay she wrote about loneliness.

Sharing the last online writings of these victims is an immediate way for people everywhere to cope with the tragedy and contribute to the larger conversation about the tragedy without seeming petty or selfish.

Now I certainly don’t want this post to be my last writing on this earth, and even if it is, I hope my legacy is defined more by who I am and the true legacy I’ve left through Spenser and Holly. But I hope those looking for immediate comfort in my absence would focus more on the body of work I’ve left as an insight into my life rather than one single blog post about a movie and a tragedy.

Now here are my thoughts on the whole thing. My first reaction when I read the news was that of crushing guilt. I’d been to a midnight showing of the same movie the night before and was still feeling a bit guilty about it. I stayed up late and was running late for work all to go see a movie. And then I was faced with the thought that my kids could have been deprived of their father because I made the choice to go to a movie. I was also freaked out by how vulnerable I was in that movie theater. Any time I hear about these mass shootings I always play the scene out in my head and figure out how I would have done things but in this scenario I would have been the first person to face a gunman coming in through the exit doors and that was terrifying.

As far as the movie itself goes,  I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was much more of a crime drama than an action movie and I liked that. Taken as a whole, this trilogy did what Watchmen was aiming for much better than Watchmen did. I was also left very excited about the potential for future movies outside of the Nolan trilogy.