Ben Affleck as Batman: What's with All the Insanity?

It was a question that needed to be asked: why is everyone flipping out over Ben Affleck being Batman?

It is one that pries into the deepest and darkest recesses of our collective soul. Internally, it is a question that implores us to take a deeper look within ourselves and to handle and confront all the muck and poison that churn within. Externally, it makes one think about the powers that be and how they divert public discourse during these crucial times.

The answers are unsurprising, provocative and at the same time somber.

First, head over to CNN.com and you'd see the same barrage of Batfleck related posts. In times when far graver issues are perambulating around the webosphere such as the Syrian debacle, the imminent and perceived collapse of the Egyptian government, the re-introduction of a newer version of SOPA and the Fukushima nuclear problem one would think that people should be weighing in more.

People should be focusing their creative abilities to come up with innovative solutions to these problems.

But we're not doing so, instead we close our eyes.

A great percentage of the Internet instead create Batman-Ben Affleck Internet memes, some of which are not even funny. I am one of them and I admit that I am guilty for doing so. I have done it to earn more views. You see, in my 7 years of experience writing for the Internet, people don't read blog posts like these. The greatest bloggers have always been the ones focusing on the crass and the personal lives of public figures. I have to earn money too, and introspective thought-provoking posts do not make money.

The most famous bloggers find something or someone and rip them apart for the carnal pleasure of the reading masses. It is an International phenomenon. If the Internet has taught me one great important thing - it is this: people are mostly the same regardless of culture, nationality or geographical location.


Viral Marketing

Viral marketing has ceased to be a buzzword but the process that it embodies continues to permeate. One just needs to find something disgraceful, horrendous, scandalous or in short something that polarizes public opinion and thought to such visceral extent that it generates enough attention to make people feel that it is important to them. People need to feel that they're weighing in on something important.

The same thing is happening with the Batfleck issue.

How exactly do you revive a movie franchise that has been creatively exhausted for several decades and generations? Superman and Batman are not my generation's heroes. They're not even the younger generations' heroes, they are my parents' heroes. Yet we continue to see different angles, incarnations, twists and revivals that continue to force themselves in our thoughts. That's because of their branding clout. These two are among the most marketable of heroes.

How do you churn out interest. In this case, the way to go about it would be to create a debate. Unfortunately, the debate is shallow: whether or not Ben Affleck is suitable to don the Batsuit or drive the Batmobile and do Bat things. The discourse is even shallower, go ahead and ask anybody who creates these memes why Ben Affleck is ill suited to be the Batman. You won't get an intelligent reply.


Where did the debate start?

I don't have a clue. But if you are a licensed and practicing spin doctor, the more likely answer would be themselves. Create a self perpetuating debate on a trivial matter to focus people's attention on a non-issue. The big websites (aka Mashable, etc) and the small bloggers like me hang on to the coattails of these debates and earn our tiny share of the advertising market.

At the same time, it creates anticipation.

Questions such as these arise:

  • Will Ben Affleck deliver an Oscar worthy performance in the movie?
  • Will he be better than Christian Bale?
  • Will he just suck at it?
All of which are unimportant yet already embedded and ingrained in the subconscious minds of the consuming public. Because to answer them would be to have to watch the movie itself.

Will I watch the movie?

Of course.

I need something to write about other than the existential implications of the oncoming apocalypse.