one of the things i like about Batman is that it's fundamentally about being orphaned, and being an orphan — how this guy stays tethered to the world in his own weird, abstract, extrajudicial way when he feels that his link to it has been violently severed

Batman does this by permanently recapitulating his own trauma: solving crimes for other people, protecting them. But that's actually just the beginning; he also recapitulates his own experience of orphanness by essentially raising several orphans
Dick is an orphan in the traditional sense: dead parents. Batman sees it happen. Jason, less so: missing dad, known mom who eventually dies. Tim, even less so: parents are around a while, and involved, before both dying. Carrie, even less than that: negligent parents.
Steph: evil father, who openly works against her. And then there's Damian, whose parents are both alive and yet both have identities that totally obliterate their role as his parents. He doesn't relate to them as a mother and father; he can't, and neither can they.
In all these different cases, Batman tries all these different ways of making orphanness for them not what it was for him: Either by trying to teach them the (arguably poor) coping skills early that he learned over a very long time, or by literally legally adopting them, etc.
It never quite works, not in any final way. It's a primal wound, in each case: Someone who should be there is, in some key way, absent, and all the money in the world and adventure in the universe can't change that. Couldn't change it for himself, can't change it for them.
And in the end, these narrative loops where Batman takes in some kind of orphan always return to the same place: Even he world's greatest detective can't find something that simply isn't there. And that act of futile searching is what, for his world, defines orphanness.
I have a hunch that a lot of kids out there got to learn from these stories that there are a lot of ways to be an orphan. Negligence, abuse, abandonment, etc. — it's not /you/, /you're/ not the reason you can't find what you're looking for. It's just not there.
And it isn't sugarcoated in any way; it's hard, it hurts, it's lonely and disorienting. The negative space is always black. But it's not about you, not a defect in you. You can still do things. You can look for other things, and you can find them. You can be a hero.

done~

More from Culture

You May Also Like

1/“What would need to be true for you to….X”

Why is this the most powerful question you can ask when attempting to reach an agreement with another human being or organization?

A thread, co-written by @deanmbrody:


2/ First, “X” could be lots of things. Examples: What would need to be true for you to

- “Feel it's in our best interest for me to be CMO"
- “Feel that we’re in a good place as a company”
- “Feel that we’re on the same page”
- “Feel that we both got what we wanted from this deal

3/ Normally, we aren’t that direct. Example from startup/VC land:

Founders leave VC meetings thinking that every VC will invest, but they rarely do.

Worse over, the founders don’t know what they need to do in order to be fundable.

4/ So why should you ask the magic Q?

To get clarity.

You want to know where you stand, and what it takes to get what you want in a way that also gets them what they want.

It also holds them (mentally) accountable once the thing they need becomes true.

5/ Staying in the context of soliciting investors, the question is “what would need to be true for you to want to invest (or partner with us on this journey, etc)?”

Multiple responses to this question are likely to deliver a positive result.