I must admit I got a large charge out of the recent Batfleck controversy.
Surely you heard this one: Ben Affleck is said to be playing Batman in the next Superman movie, and the entire Geek-American community comes up out of parental basements coast-to-coast to protest. Then again, maybe you forgot because it happened before Miley Cyrus twerked American journalism into a collective heart attack and then Syria got even more serious than it already was. What a week.
Anyway, back to the Bat Nerds: They lit up the Twittersphere with short bursts of Fanboy (a nicer way to say Comics Wacko) Anxiety and Snark:
Affleck is the next Batman? I hope the villain in that movie wins.
Come Back Val Kilmer All Is Forgiven.
For the first time in history, I kind of want Superman to win.
Fanboys are investing more emotion in this Ben Affleck-Batman thing than I have in entire relationships.
And my favorite:
Casting Ben Affleck as Batman sounds like something The Joker would do to create a distraction at the nerd bank.
As the Val Kilmer reference indicates, this is not the first time fans have gone all batguano over who was playing the Caped Crusader. They hated Michael Keaton when he was first cast in 1989. They detested Val Kilmer. They still reel in horror over George Clooney. Christian Bale they liked, though.
(I’m wondering if this sort of thing happened when they made Batman movie serials in the 1940s. Lewis G. Wilson as Batman? Oh no! or Please, anyone but Robert Lowrey as Batman! There’s no way to know. People didn’t leave a permanent record on Twitter back then. They talked to one another instead. What a quaint idea.)
Here’s something the Bat Brains all seem to be missing with all this drama over who gets to put on the Batsuit:
It’s made up. There is no Batman. He’s fiction.
As in not real, a figment of the imagination, a character in a universe that does not exist except in books, movies, games and TV shows. This being the case, there can’t be any question over who is “right” or “wrong” for the part since there’s nothing real upon which to base the performance.
Or, to put it another way, they’re all out of their minds.
And I say this as a loyal member of the Comics Book Reading Fraternity myself. Yes, even at my advanced years I still head to the comics shop occasionally (instead of weekly, like I used to) to pick up the latest adventure of my personal favorite made-up guy, Green Lantern.
So what’s called for here, as is so often the case these days, would be a little perspective. Halfway across the planet, horrible things are happening to innocent people, and no superhero is going to come swooping in to save the day.
Fanboys should try to think of that once in a while, or at least be grateful that they live in a place where they can pontificate over something as inconsequential as Batman and not have to worry about being wiped out by clouds of poison gas.
And they should lighten up about a movie. A movie. It’s not to be taken seriously, as shown by this Tweet from TV’s Batman, Adam West:
Remember Ben, with the cape and cowl comes great responsibility (and lots of heat). Bring deodorant.
Mike Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.