Dr. Crane's Monologue

They want to be punished, Batman.
They want it very badly, and this is why--
because the alternative is that there is no such thing as justice.
The alternative is a mad world.

These criminals, they believe in hell.
They believe in a lava-filled pit
peopled with monstrosities
that torment those who break the rules
They believe this because the alternative--
that someone could get away with something,
permanently and with no repercussions ever,
get away with something--
is too awful for them to contemplate.

That demon is you.
They have to believe
that behind the weak, bumbling justice
wrapped up in technicalities
and its own corruption,
there is a relentless justice
that will sweep down in the night
and exact due pain.
You are the angel of destruction,
the shadow that passes over in the night.

You've called the criminals superstitious,
but that isn't quite right.
It's not superstition, but religion.
You can see that, can't you?

You wear the mask
thinking it will make them afraid of you.
I am an expert on this subject, so you should pay close attention.
If you wanted to make the criminals afraid,
you would act like a disease,
or like a tornado.
It is arbitrariness they are afraid of,
not that the wicked will be punished for their sins.
When that happens it only reassures them.

You can understand, right?
If they allow themselves to believe,
even for a moment, that a lie is possible,
they will never be able to trust anything again.
It will be as if the world ended
as if their parents were killed
in meaningless silence

There are only a few,
like you and the Joker and myself
who know the truth.
We are intimate with the truth.
We have felt it.

It is lies all the way down.


Marcelle said…
I like it. What was the impetus?
D said…
I have been thinking of writing a Batman / Robin Hood story with Scarecrow a main villain, and thinking about what he would say to Batman. What Batman can't handle, the fear that Crane can play off of, is the possibility of someone not getting the punishment they deserve. But Crane is saying that there is no justice except the tiny amount we happen to make.
Mike Stay said…
I think there are not so few as Crane supposes.

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