On Injustice and the Dark Knight

Without meaning to imply that I’m an unsung hero, events that occurred today brought me back to one of my favorite scenes in the movie The Dark Knight. This scene made me cry then, and remembering it now makes me cry too.

[Gordon’s son follows Gordon down to where Batman lies unmoving next to Two-Face’s corpse]

Gordon’s Son: Dad! Dad, is he okay?

Gordon: [relieved as Batman slowly pulls himself up to his knees] Thank you.

Batman: You don’t have to thank me.

Gordon: Yes, I do. [both look at Two-Face’s body on the ground] The Joker won. Harvey’s prosecution, everything he fought for – undone. Any chance you gave us at fixing our city dies with Harvey’s reputation. We bet it all on him. The Joker took the best of us and tore him down. People will lose hope.

Batman: They won’t. They must never know what he did.

Gordon: Five dead, two of them cops? You can’t sweep that up!

Batman: No. But the Joker cannot win. [kneels down next to Harvey, whose scarred left side is facing up] Gotham needs its true hero. [turns Harvey’s head so that his unmarred side faces up]

Gordon: [immediately understanding] No!

Batman: [quoting Harvey Dent] “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” I can do those things because I’m not a hero, not like Dent. I killed those people. That’s what I can be.

Gordon: No, no! You can’t, you’re not! Batman: I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be. [hands Gordon his radio] Call it in.

Gordon: They’ll hunt you.

Batman: You’ll hunt me. You’ll condemn me, set the dogs on me. [In the voiceover, Gordon speaks at Dent’s funeral, then destroys the Bat-Signal, Alfred burns Rachel’s letter, and Fox destroys the sonar device] Because that’s what needs to happen. Because sometimes… the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded. [Batman runs]

Gordon’s Son: Batman? Batman! Why is he running, Dad?

Gordon: Because we have to chase him.

Gordon’s Son: He didn’t do anything wrong.

Gordon: Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.

There’s a certain baggage that comes with being where I am now at work.

With what we do, we’re at the end of the long chain of support groups that makes things happen. When and if someone majorly screws-up somewhere along that chain, we are the ones who will sadly and ultimately look bad.

Today I was told that after all we had done to get things to come together at the last minute in spite of everyone else’s screw-ups, that ultimately we still dropped the ball on this one.

Out of anger, total and utter disbelief and frustration, tears angrily poured down my face. I lost coherence in front of my boss for the first time since I started this gig.

Maybe it’s the idealist in me. There’s nothing wrong with expecting honesty, integrity and decency among the people you work with, right? Nothing wrong with holding a deep-seated hope that the truth will prevail and those who deserve to be reprimanded — will be reprimanded. And those who did their best and did it right in spite of everything — would, well, be left alone.

I’m not even asking for a pat on the back. I don’t need it. And I can give that pat on the back to my own people. They deserved it.

I’m not asking for acknowledgement either. It’s our job. It’s what we’re here for.

The last thing I expected though is what I got. To be told that my team messed up.

I think everyone else knows the truth.

And I know that as all things unfold, the truth will eventually come out. And heads will roll, tongues will wag, punishments will be meted out. But no apologies will ever be made. All I’m sure to hear will be denials that this was the intent. To be told that maybe I overreacted to words that didn’t mean what they meant. To be told to calm down, stop being so defensive, and then to be patronized. And then pressured again to deliver as though nothing happened. And then everything will be back to normal.

But it won’t change what happened today.

I always wondered about this. When my previous boss was still around, I never realized how difficult it was for him. Now I look back and admire his patience and resilience. And mostly, I admire how he was able to hold it all in and keep it to himself.

I don’t have as strong a grip on my emotions when pushed — as he does. I still wonder how he managed to stay here for almost 3 years and put up with this.

When all is said and done, I know I won’t walk away. I’ll stay and fight. Today was just a setback.

Luckily for me, I have a team of 14 rowdy, crazy but awesome people to take care of and protect. Without them, my job wouldn’t mean anything. Without them, I wouldn’t have a reason to be here anymore.

There are people who cause bad things to happen simply by being who they are. Whether it comes with malicious intent, or whether there are just some loose screws somewhere in there.

There are those who sit back and watch as things unfold before them — staying ¬†neutral and objective about everything. Keeping themselves far removed from conflict as best as they can.

And then there are those that are pushed to fight whether they want to or not. But by simply being who they are, problems seem to flock to them like bees to honey. It’s unfortunate for them too that these same problem-solvers are the ones who feel the strongest urge to protect those in their flock even if it means raising hell for it and looking like the bad (insubordinate) guy.

I can’t say that I’m like the Dark Knight.

But hell, I certainly know how he feels.

And knowing me, I’ll fight fairly even if some people don’t deserve a fair fight. Knowing me, I’ll eventually just let it go and entrust it to the universe to even things out… after I’ve made a point. I’ll keep quiet and take it in, take it on and believe that eventually, the truth will reveal itself. Suck in the fact that none of this is fair. Forgive the fact that a gross injustice was done to me and mine. *Sigh*

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One Response to On Injustice and the Dark Knight

  1. thefozzybook says:

    i coincidentally just wrote my note-a-day on the world ganging up on you. don’t you just hate it when it happens? sometimes the universe likes playing this trick when you would say that hey it’s nice and awesome being alive and then it just ka-blam pulls the rug up and over your head.

    *stress*

    i guess yeah, we just need to sigh, suck it in, and keep on going :/

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