Life Lessons From The Joker
“They laugh at me because I’m different. I laugh at them because they’re all the same”. – The Joker
As a new clown prince of crime emerges from the depths of Hollywood with an all-new the Joker movie, we are falling in love with Batman’s twisted arch-nemesis all over again. The devious and sinister criminal mastermind has been a fan favorite since his debut in Batman comics in 1940. Even if you are not a comic book fan, you surely know who The Joker, especially if you are into superhero movies.
Whether you are a fan of Heath Ledger’s anarchist Joker, Cesar Romero’s naughty clown, Jack Nicholson’s homicidal maniac, Jared Leto’s gangster clown or Mark Hamill’s mind-blowing animated Joker, you simply cannot ignore the magnetic charisma of the sociopathic murderer. And with a new the Joker movie, Joaquin Phoenix has introduced us to an all-new gritty version of the Joker that will let our imaginations run wild.
But why is a deceiving, lunatic supervillain more popular than most heroes? Why do we love the Joker so much? And what can we learn from the king of chaos to make our seemingly normal lives better?
Let’s take a look.
Laughing a new sinister laugh
Although the new Joker movie featuring Joaquin Phoenix is still based on characters
from DC Comics, it is a loose adaptation of the original Batman villain. The movie has a slightly different origin story and is a standalone movie. It is more of a character study of a person named Arthur Fleck with mental health issues who becomes The Joker. However, this boundary-breaking movie will surely garner some new fans for our favorite clown. And with the growing fear of clowns across the US, this 2019 the Joker movie couldn’t have come at a better time.
Even though this movie deviates somewhat from the comics, most of the other Batman movies with the joker have more or less stayed true to the original story from the comics.
So who is the real Joker?
The Joker was created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger & Jerry Robinson for the debut Batman comics issue. Although a number of backstories have been told throughout the years in comics and movies, the origin story in Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke is considered to be the definitive backstory of the Joker.
One day, an unnamed engineer decides to quit his job at a local chemical company as he dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian. As he fails to make a career as a comedian, he soon becomes desperate to financially support his pregnant wife. Finding no other way out, he agrees to help a few criminals rob a playing card company, right next to the chemical plant he used to work at.
However, before they could execute their plan, his wife and unborn child die in a household accident. Shocked and grief-stricken, the failed comedian refuses to help the criminals with their plan. But he is forced to keep his commitment and is made to wear a mask of the notorious Red Hood to divert attention.
Their attempt gets foiled when Batman interferes and stops the criminals. In an attempt to escape Batman, then comedian jumps into a vat of chemicals and escapes. However, to his horror, the deadly chemical permanently damages him mentally and physically. With his facial disfigurement and the death of his family, the comedian becomes insane and becomes The Joker.
“Like any other comedian, he uses whatever material will work.” – Batman
The psychology of The Joker
This guy is certifiably insane. A rebel without a cause, the Joker is a murderous lunatic who loves creating chaos just for the love of it. Even though he doesn’t have any super powers, he is still the most dangerous villain. And this is portrayed even in the Joker movie 2019.
“Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos.” – The Joker
The definition of evil, the joker is more than just a psychopath. He is the yin to Batman’s yang. He is a genius who feels a wide range of emotions. He laughs, he cries, he gets angry and frustrated and he even loves Harley Quinn in his own twisted way. Not only can he make complex and excruciatingly detailed plans, but he also knows how to execute his plans effectively. And he even knows how to adjust and modify his plans instantly when Batman screws them up. He never relies on a single method for putting his plans into action. He has an arsenal of multiple backup plans and innumerable weapons which he keeps hidden in plain sight, like a lethal flower on his lapel that shoots joker venom on unsuspecting victims. Now that’s a criminal mastermind right there.
The Joker is not afraid of anything, not even Batman. Once the villain Scarecrow released his fear toxin on the Joker to find out what he is afraid of. However, it had no reaction on the Joker, who ended up hitting the Scarecrow with a chair. He is not even afraid of death which has been portrayed in several times in the movies and comics.
The Joker doesn’t live by the rules of our society. He doesn’t follow the typical way of thinking that’s considered the norm. He plays by his own rules and does his own thing. He is the epitome of twisted thinking that solely exists on the dark side of the human psyche. The Joker is what we all want to be in some way or the other. A true rebel without a cause who is not bothered about obeying the niceties of our society. In fact, he actively sets out to break away all the rules we abide by to show we are as crazy and psychopathic as he is. This is very much evident during the ferry scene in The Dark Night. He truly believes that chaos is the only truth of our society.
A mad, toxic lover
Although we may be tempted to think that the Joker is a clown of death and destruction, he is actually a romantic lover. His relationship with his sidekick Harley Quinn is weird and abusive, to say the least.
Who’s Harley Quinn?
If you have seen the Suicide Squad movie, you already know who she is. In case you don’t, Harleen Quinzel was a psychiatrist who worked in Arkham Asylum and was tasked with treating the Joker. As she spent more time to understand the murderous maniac, Harleen fell in love with Joker. After she helped him escape, the Joker asked her to prove her love and pushed her in the same vat of chemicals that he fell in. As a result, she was disfigured like the Joker and she became Harley Quinn.
Now if that it’s not the textbook definition of a manipulative toxic relationship, I don’t know what is. Although the Joker abuses and manipulates Harley constantly, he has a genuine love for her. When he realized he has strong feelings for her, the Joker tried to get rid of Harley by sending her to space. But how can someone love a person and then mentally and physically abuse her? Well, this is what many relationships are like in real life. And this what makes the fictional romance between the Joker and Harley Quinn even more terrifying.
In real life, abusive relationships are always complicated and there is some twisted reason why the victim is rarely able to leave the abusive partner. There is no doubt that the Joker is an obsessive and abusive lover who never hesitates to take advantage of Harley.
Life lessons from The Joker
“Smile, because it confuses people. Smile, because it’s easier than explaining what is killing you inside.” – The Joker
So what exactly can we learn from an evil psychotic genius who is a mass-murdering lunatic and an abusive lover? Let’s face it, the Joker is not really the poster boy for inspiration. But as they say, there’s always something to learn from everyone, even the Joker.
Life Lessons From The Joker- Here are 10 life lessons we can learn from the celebrated clown prince of crime himself:
1. Stay calm in high-pressure situations
Have you heard the Joker laugh? Of course, you have. He laughs all the time. Whether he is trying to kill innocent people or getting his face smashed by Batman, the Joker always finds a reason to smile. He is always calm and rarely gets stressed or frustrated. He always looks at the bright side of things and focuses on improvising his plans and succeed even when the cops and the Caped Crusader is trying to stop him. When you can remain calm in any adverse situation and find silver linings, then not even Batman can stop you.
2. Being prepared is better than having a plan
The Joker is the master of improvisation. He believes more in being prepared for the worst-case scenario than having the perfect plan. Yes, plans are crucial for success. But what do you when the Batman is always after you and your plans of mass destruction? You prepare. The Joker knows how to adapt to any surroundings and situations. And this comes from being prepared for the unknowable and the unknown. Moreover, you simply cannot plan for every single aspect of your life. However, you can prepare yourself for anything.
3. Conquer your fears
The Joker is not afraid of anything, not even Batman. And this is what makes him the greatest villain of all time. He is not afraid to fail. Considering how crazy some of his plans are, if he became anxious or worried about his plans, he would never be able to execute them. But being a fearless person, the Joker lives on the edge. When you become fearless, you experience a unique sense of freedom that enables you to achieve even the craziest dreams.
4. Everybody needs a little push
“As you know, madness is like gravity…all it takes is a little push.” – The Joker
We all try to comply with the rules of the world and meet the expectations of our family and loved ones. But somewhere, we lose our true selves amidst all of this. The same happened with Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight. Although he tried his best to control himself, Harvey had a split personality and suffered from serious anger issues. He prevented his true self from coming out and letting himself free until the Joker pushed him off the edge in his own sick way.
In real life, all of us have some dreams, goals, and talents that we wish to achieve and pursue. But for whatever reason, we suppress our innermost desires and choose to continue with our unhappy lives. So it is crucial that we inspire others and look for the right inspiration from all the right places that will motivate us to grow and be who we truly want to be. Just don’t become a lunatic like Two-Face (Harvey Dent).
5. Be indifferent to attract love
Okay, this one is a bit controversial but don’t we all want what we can’t have? Well, the same goes with dating. Joker is a manipulative and indifferent partner who abuses Harley just to have a good laugh. Although Harley Quinn is a dedicated sidekick and lover, the Joker never gives her the respect or adoration she deserves. And this somehow makes her even more obsessed with ‘Mr.J’ and she constantly seeks validation from the Joker.
Having said that, you don’t need to abuse your partner to seek love and respect. What we can learn from the Joker is that being needy and desperate in a relationship is never a good idea. The more you focus on yourself and the more space you give to your partner, the better and healthier your relationship will become. When you are confident about your relationship, you don’t seek validation from your partner continuously. Keep in mind that the relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn is a toxic relationship.
6. Money doesn’t equal happiness
“It’s not about money…it’s about sending a message. Everything burns!” – The Joker
Most of us believe that making more money can make us happier, but not the Joker. In the movie The Dark Knight, the Joker infamously burns a giant pile of cash that he could have easily used to enjoy his life. But he didn’t. Why? Because “it’s not about money.” His life goals and motivations are beyond materialistic possessions. He feels true happiness through chaos and destruction. What we should learn from this is that happiness is a choice. You may choose to be frustrated with your current job and paycheck or you can find joy in doing something that you truly enjoy. The Joker proves that money is not the solution to all of life’s problems nor is it the root of all evil.
7. Always enjoy life
This is probably one of the most popular quotes by the Joker and with good reason. The Joker lives by these words. He truly believes in having fun and he enjoys everything that he does, even when he is locked up in Arkham Asylum. Having fun is his top priority. Because when we stop enjoying our lives, life becomes meaningless and not worth living. Despite your goals in life and the various ups and downs that you will encounter throughout your existence, make sure to have fun with whatever life throws at you. No, you don’t need to laugh maniacally like the Joker, but you can always smile and make others smile too.
8. Never give up
Persistence is one of the best character traits of the Joker. He has a certain tenacity that makes him persevere. He keeps coming up with new and creative ways to get back at Batman even though he fails almost every single time. And this is what makes him dangerous. Like the Joker, when you put your mind into achieving a goal, make sure you see it through no matter what. Move forward with a strong vision and tenacity and you will achieve what you deserve.
9. Know your worth
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” – The Joker
This is perhaps the best life advice you can take from the Joker. If you are a creative person or if you have a certain skill and if you are really good at it, make sure you get rewarded accordingly. Do not shy away from asking what you truly deserve. The Joker offered to kill Batman for half of the money the mob had. Although he burned all the money, he surely got what he deserved. This is exactly how it works in real life too. Don’t let people push you into doing some work for free that you can get paid for. Being a professional, you deserve to get paid for doing the work that you have gained expertise through years of hard work and dedication.
10. Have a killer attitude
“What doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stranger!” – The Joker
The Joker is surprisingly popular for his many quotes and catchphrases that show his killer attitude. This is why he is way ahead of most other Batman villains. It is his unwavering attitude that makes him stand out from everyone else locked up in Arkham Asylum. In life, whether we succeed or fail mostly depends on our attitude towards life. When you are confident about yourself and feel optimistic, you have the strength to look at the bright side of things even when it’s not going your way. This is why you always need to have the perfect one-liners and catchphrases not only to give yourself a boost but also have a good comeback for your competitors and opponents.
HA HA HA!
Although we may think that the Joker is crazy, he is way beyond that. He is a unique character that is unpredictable and deadly at the same time. And there is a hell of a lot of things that we can learn from him, ironically, to avoid chaos in your lives. If we can’t learn anything else from him, we can at least learn to laugh openly from our hearts. Just make sure it’s not as creepy as the Joker’s.
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