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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dancing with the Devil under the pale moonlight

In the earlier version of the batman movie, the one where Jack Nicholson plays a convincing psycho "Joker"; Before he kills his victims the Joker would recite sometimes "have you ever danced with the Devil under the pale blue moon." This became a theme of the movie that was illustrated later in the movie when he forces Batman's love interest to dance with him while he is going postal on a Galla type party. I still see that metaphor as the moral quandary we all face. Whether we want to or not we are all dancing with the devil in our moral lives.

Morality is wrestling with choices. It is easy to pick morality out of a book, but even there the choices are stark. Is it really ethical to skewer a couple having sex for "worshipping Ba'al?" Did God really say to the Mormons that they were justified in attacking settlers passing through their territory on the way to California, because those settlers were "Amalek?" We can throw metaphysical Ink Pots at the devil, but that doesn't defeat evil. Evil manifests as delusion, illusion, and moral blinders on even great people. Those who give into their evil natures are often less evil in effect than the vegetarian new age Hitlers of the world, but are still evil. We all have to dance with the devil, at least until we see through our partners and recognize what we are dancing with -- and then we have choices that aren't always easy.

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