Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Cat Man Rising

The Cat's Shadow. A pic of a land sculpt I'd been working on in my OpenSim Standalone.

This past Friday night, I went to see Batman Rising. It was ok. I would recommend it to go see, but I wouldn't say it's the greatest Batman movie ever. But it did what it was supposed to for the final in the Christopher Nolan trilogy of the movie franchise. And he, along with the rest of the cast and crew from these past three movies, do leave with a bang, not to mention a movie legacy standard that will be hard for whoever may take up the Dark Knight's cape in the future to surpass.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is some political relevance to the movie. However, I think Rush's comments are that of a complete moron. Seriously, Bane and Bain Capitol? If anything, Bane as the villain could be as much a jab toward the Occupy Movement or Anonymous than Bain Capital and Romney. However, I'd hardly call Romney a Batman figure, he's much more like the politicians and businessmen in the movie – shifty in their loyalty and truth, and mostly driven by greed. I think it would really be hard to picture most of the wealthy in the world as Batman. It would be easier to see much of the top 10% as a James Bond villain that seeks out global domination, even destruction of the world and 90% of its population in attempts to make their delusional utopia a reality.

As it is, I can relate to Batman. Not that I'm rich, but in that being more in the background type. Sure, I can put on a good front – a 'mask' if you will. But, more often than not, I tend to try to take action, but do the best I can to not be seen. And sometimes people don't understand my motives, or get a wrong idea about me. Yet, I'll even use that to my advantage, even to drive me to do better, while still trying to keep out of the lime light.

It's not easy doing this. Sometimes I find myself reclusive, or at least putting myself in a place where I can be reflective and try to recollect and see where I went wrong, or how to improve things. Can't say that I've been successful with this. Not being a multi-billionaire kind of makes it hard to be reclusive, especially when it comes to finding a job in this economy. But I suppose that's the other thing about Batman, is refusing to be shackled to society and seeking a way to counter those that would have it, and your own life's demise – to find a way to be free, and help others find freedom who want it. That, and to strive to prevent freedom from falling into anarchy.

My characters in SL grew to have these same traits. In RP, Midian was Gotham to me. Ioh developed from a samurai cat to an alley cat thug after joining the Catwalkers gang. That eventually developed into Ioh as a 'prince' from a noble line of werecats that may or may not have been themselves a race of ancient genetic experimentation in the Golden Age of the world. The Catwalkers themselves became more of a mob type family, which itself eventually evolved (or devolved?) into somewhat a Jersey Shore meets Melrose Place type drama fest where it was all about personalities and fashion. Lost was what it meant to be an actual Catwalker, living on the rooftops, trying to keep the humans and others not in the group off said rooftops, and somehow manage to keep balance among the Catwalkers, as well as with the city as a whole.

I suppose being a cat almost automatically assumes the trait of being on the darker side of gray in the post apocalyptic world – especially one where cats, and other hybrids are a second class citizen at best. Yet, even with a parallel to Catwoman in that sense, Batman was a greater leaning for Ioh. Maybe it was the oriental background with the samurai trait he came in with. Could be the developing background story that he became orphaned because his parents were killed before his very own eyes in a gruesome pillaging of his first home village. Maybe even the shadowy figure of a dark knight ninja added to the common mix. Or maybe just because they both wore black, armored gear, and had a relatively practical utility belt of features. Who knows?

What I do know is that I related to Christian Bale's portrayal of Batman/Bruce Wayne, and especially in Dark Knight Rising. Or maybe it's just a matter that the movies reflect transitions for me. Batman Begins came out before I had even heard of SL, but it was no less pivotal in the development of Ioh. The first Matron he knew, Rith, even summarized the dilemma for Ioh when she brought him into the Catwalkers. She noted how that, then, Midian was overrun by all sorts of baddies that had all sorts of weaponry, armor, genetic and biomech enhancements to make it hard to just simply go around hacking and slashing. Enemies could just as easily be within the Catwalkers as they were on the outside. And, just like with Batman, betrayal can be very close, and very good at pretending to be someone who wants to help, even while draining you from the inside out, even trying to rip out your very heart and soul.

All these things did happen until Ioh, and a few other characters I had then were put into exile. They still are to this day. And this is where the comparison contrasts. For unlike the Dark Knight, Ioh doesn't get a chance to rise. He doesn't get to tie up loose ends and move on. At least not in such a fashion as Bruce Wayne is allowed to in the movie. Now, I'm pretty sure I don't want to go back. The Midian that was, is no more. It's essentially a shell of itself. But then, it was never a city to ever be meant to have hope, and was even given the Dante theme for The Inferno of 'abandon all hope.' For many past RPers, that has registered as abandon the RP and forget about hoping to return.

However it be for Ioh, the character, for me and my avatar(s) it's necessary to move on. The Dark Knight Rises at least gives me some closure. And like Bruce Wayne, I hope to step out of the shadows and find something better in life.

And so, here is Ioh, sitting on the highest peak of his homestead on the Open Sim standalone estate. He contemplates what will be of his new life and what he'll do in a new world and how to come to in under a new perspective. His author considers it a new way to create, and further his goal in developing a new world in a new story. This story will be less based on RP, and much more focused on things he could never have in mind within Midian. For that reason alone is it worthwhile to move on from Midian, and out into a brave new world.

Sitting on the highest peak, between the ears of the cat statue.

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