Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Alt-Knight: A Retrospect of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns for the Current Year

Originally published here at Radix Journal. Republished here at Counter-Currents.

Sometime in the near future, in an America crippled by degeneracy and stifling bureaucracy, two men of stature fight in the streets. One, an aging billionaire fed up with his society's imminent collapse, has become a polarizing threat to the governing establishment.The other, a compromised but well-meaning foreigner wrapped in an American flag, bringing a false and used-up patriotism to a disenfranchised population.

The men I speak of are not Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but the World's Finest themselves—Batman and Superman.

In this future, your average American might look into the sky as an object flies overhead, but it’d just be a bird or a plane. The era of the superhero is over—their presence banned as a threat to democratic normalcy. The Cold War is hotter than history has recorded. Meanwhile, Gotham is slowly succumbing to the decay of street gangs and low-energy politicians too incompetent or comfortable to bother themselves. Homeless doomsayers trudge through the streets prophesying the end times. The superhero has been reduced to the realm of legend for young generations, who, with no heroes of their own, are drawn to the seductive promises of miscreant gang chieftains.

Published in 1986, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns breathed life into a comic-book industry suffocated by the creativity-killing censorship of the self-imposed Comic Code Authority (not so different from the “private” censorship of social media today.

DKR not only ushered in an era of creative vitality, bringing a dying medium back to its feet, but to this day it serves as a clever and relevant work of modern satire. The Cold War may be over, but just as in Miller's dystopia, we're living in a Kali Yuga—an age void of heroes, when eccentric mediocrities are fetishized by the 20-square-inch boxes in our living rooms, and all hope is almost lost . . . almost.

While every work of art is defined by the vision of its artist, there comes a point in the life cycle of all great works where art takes on a new life beyond its author's intent—a point in which the piece no longer belongs to the author, but to the culture.

In this sense, The Dark Knight Returns serves as an Alt Right hero’s journey, in so far as it chronicles Western man's spiritual struggle towards superhuman reawakening against modern egalitarian mediocrity—including a necessary break from American conservatism. It is a battle cry, not just for a creative revolution in the stuffy recesses of the comic book medium, but a call to arms against the existential lethargy of modern man.


"The time has come. You know it in your soul. For I am your soul... You cannot escape me... you are puny, you are small—you are nothing—a hollow shell, a rusty trap that cannot hold me... you cannot stop me—not with wine or vows or the weight of age—you cannot stop me but but still you try—still you run—you try to drown me out—but your voice is weak..."

Enter millionaire Bruce Wayne, age 55. Ten years ago, he hung up his cape and cowl—swearing an oath he would never don it again. A restrained titan among Last Men, his purposeless life draws on, as he drinks by himself during the day, dreaming of a perfect death—a perfect death to take away the pain—the pain of watching his beloved Gotham City slowly sink into the abyss of rot and chaos—as good men do nothing.

All that is left for the former crime fighter is nostalgia and baseless thrill-seeking. Behind what appears to be a life of futility broods a malevolent demon—the Batman persona incarnate, transcending masked vigilantism and biological decrepitude—urging, no, compelling the fruitless Bruce Wayne to become who he is. No longer can Bruce Wayne stand by as news station after news station regurgitates the same deterministic and sanitized murder stories. As we are learning today, Wayne can ignore reality no longer.

The threat is here and it is time to act. In a blaze of glory, Batman sweeps the streets of Gotham—revitalizing hope in Gotham's citizenry.

There is little doubt that Miller, the man who called Occupy Wall Street “nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists” and author of the unabashedly identitarian 300 and “Islamophobic” Holy Terror, was channeling many of the same concerns back in 1986 that the Alternative Right is facing today. While the West is certainly sick, it is a sickness it has brought on itself. Unlike European colonialism of the 19th century, The Global South's colonialism today is strictly the result of self-imposed ethno-masochism of a civilization defeated by centuries of victory (to paraphrase Bane from The Dark Knight Rises) and internal waring.

While DKR is not, by any means, a commentary on modern immigration, it challenges the same wounded spirit of the modern world. Like his fellow supermen in tights, Batman quit because he chose to quit. There was no one to stop him. He gave up by his own volition, but something deep inside him urges that the war goes on.


"I close my eyes and listen. Not fooled by sight, I see him ... as he is. I see him. I see ... a reflection."

Due to Batman's successful return to crime fighting and subsequent public approval, a coalition consisting of the media, politicians, and “public intellectuals” arises devoted to stomping out the new public champion threatening their authority. Sound familiar?


Asylum Home for the Emotionally Troubled releases two of Batman's greatest foes, Two-Face and The Joker, upon psychological evaluation by Dr. Bartholmew Wolper—a curly black-haired whiny and narcissistic psychoanalyst, who occupies the airwaves crying out against the “reactionary” crime fighting of the Dark Knight, while he sits cozily in a television recording studio in his pali sandals, while donning an ironic (or not so ironic) toothbrush mustache and Superman t-shirt.

Wolper, accompanied by the narrative of the mainstream media, inspires the release of the two by demanding that they are not murderous villains, but misunderstood outsiders victimized by Batman's “fascist obsessions.” As is customary, soon after their releases, both go on the greatest terroristic murder sprees of their careers. (It's worth noting that Dent's plan involves blowing up Gotham's “Twin Towers”—mind you, this was written in

Even Wolper, the primary advocate behind the anti-Batman controversy and release of Gotham's most dangerous, is murdered by the Joker on a live late-night talk show, as a public relations attempt to clear the Joker's name goes awry.

Like the refugees in Europe and the Black Lives Matter crowd, the Joker knows how to game the progressive establishment. He has been crystal clear in his unwillingness to live peacefully in society, yet the metropolitan liberals refuse to see this. A great irony of Islam's disdain toward the West is that it is derived from the very “weak horses” (to borrow from the Lion Sheik himself) who defend Muslims at every turn.

Like Leftists today, Wolper defends civilization's enemies, despite the fact that it is the likes of him who they hate most of all.

To move on to the central point, the irony of Batman and the Joker lies in their stark contradictions. One, a hero, looks like a brooding monster; the other, who looks like a childhood circus performer, is a mass murdering maniac. As Nolan's The Dark Knight captures perfectly, the Joker is chaos incarnate. He is the Dionysus to Batman's Apollo. Batman's recurring conflict with the Joker represents his attempt to bring order to the randomness of existence that took the lives of his parents. Batman is the virility that is birthed in the midst of chaos. Just as the Joker only awoke from a coma upon hearing of Batman's return—a coma that was induced by Batman's disappearance from public eye—Batman cannot exist in a world without chaos (embodied in the Joker). Western man is no different. Western man reaches his potential only when his back is against the wall. The refugee crisis, and the innumerable attacks and rapes that have followed, though an immediate threat to our long-term existence, could be just the thing to spawn a new flowering era in Western history.

It's worth recognizing that Miller initially frames Batman's moral crusade, quite true to character, as one of ressentiment. The very Batman persona, itself, grew out of Bruce Wayne's deep-seated frustration with the seemingly unintelligible disarray of life's suffering. It is for this very reason that Batman's existence has been thematically bound to the Joker over the decades. Batman exists so that he can create a world where he will not have to exist. For many identitarians, it's easy to fall into this same temptation—hating one’s enemy more than loving one’s own.

But by the climax of the penultimate issue, Batman paralyzes the Joker, who subsequently commits suicide to frame him. Batman has now overcome his greatest existential threshold. His journey must now be self-fulfilling, self-perpetuating, or he must die.The manhunt for the Batman that ensues only confirms the inevitable—that Batman's crusade must take on the establishment sooner or later.

Two Face also reflects Batman's persona. After finally being apprehended, Dent tragically reveals that despite his recent plastic surgery to correct his disfigured face—a procedure funded by Wayne himself in a naive humanitarian attempt to rehabilitate his old foe—Dent’s shadow-self has overcome him entirely. This symbolic gesture foreshadows Wayne's own transformation: in a conflict of wills (Wayne vs. Batman), it is inevitable for one to win out in the end. This is true not just within the soul, but in the world.

Conservatism fails for this reason. Deep inside, every conservative recognizes nature's iron law of inequality, masked by the current year’s egalitarian paradigm. Conservatism making the way for the much purer and harder Alt Right was only a matter of time.


"They can't be arrested. You could never hold them all. They have to be defeated. Humiliated."

In between his conflict with his old foes, Batman confronts the Mutant Gang (who are not actual mutants by the way). He recognizes that to beat them he must crush their head. After Batman beats the Mutant leader to a bloody pulp, the disillusioned Mutant Gang, with their proverbial god now proverbially dead, soon dissolves (reminiscent of the decapitation of James Earl Jones in Conan the Barbarian). Unlike Conan, however—and in a way much more accurate to human nature—many of the former gang members find in their enemy a new god worthy of their reverence. Donning woad and jackboots, the Sons of Batman cult are born-devoting themselves to mercilessly crushing crime and those too cowardly to fight it themselves. More on them later. . .


"“Yes”—you always say yes—to anyone with a badge—or a flag."

As his name suggests, Superman was in fact named after the Übermensch from Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Writing in a time when Nietzsche was more closely associated with the fascistic tenets of National Socialism, Jewish cartoonists Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster sought out to reshape the “Super-man” in their image. No longer the hierarchical freethinker of insurmountable willpower, their Superman™ was an egalitarian strongman, an alien, whose might lay not in his will but raw materialistic faculties. Like the neoconservative establishment, Superman is a foreign entity wrapped in our flag.

Originally depicted as a hard-boiled “champion of the oppressed” in 1938, at the dawn of America's entrance into the Second World War, Superman, with Old Glory and bald eagle in hand, became a distinctly American icon alongside Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty. The Man of Steel became a symbol of “American exceptionalism”—his red and blue uniform inspired young boys to scrounge up scraps of metal in the streets for democracy's war effort.

Copies of the monthly Superman comic book featured the Big Blue Cheese whopping Hitler to a pulp with his fists. When Superman punched Hitler in the jaw it was as if we were punching Hitler in the jaw. And that was good enough for us.

What happens when you run out of bad guys? Such a dilemma is explored in DKR. Superman is still the same walking propaganda poster he has been, here Miller treats him subversively. In DKR, America is, much as it is today, a flabby managerial state, flimsily held together by the flag and the people's bourgeois unwillingness to resist force, micromanaging the status quo and stomping out anything opposing it. Unlike the rest of his fellow superhumans, Superman is still at large—but only because he is on the U.S. government's payroll.

For decades, virginal nerds have been arguing over who would win in a showdown between Batman and Superman. Recently it has been fascinating to watch fewer and fewer relate to Superman and more to Batman. This says something about our culture. Like the conservative establishment of today, fighting for “truth, justice, and the American way” isn't enough anymore.

Modern culture, or anti-culture, as it should more appropriately be called, shuns truth. “Justice,” as it is defined today, has been reduced to “virtue signaling” and guilt tripping. And what exactly is “the American way” anymore?


"You sold us out, Clark. You gave them the power—that should have been ours. Just like your parents taught you to. My parents taught me a different lesson—lying on this street— shaking in deep shock—dying for no reason at all—they showed me that the world only makes sense when you force it to."

In Angus, George C. Scott says “Superman isn't brave. Superman is indestructible, and you can't be brave if you're indestructible.” Perhaps Superman is, in fact, a perfect description of modern America. For the past century, Americans have had the privilege of being the big kid on the block. Geographically we have the protection of the world's two largest oceans. However, for the first time since perhaps the War of 1812, America is beginning to taste nonexistence. Victory, and the spoils of war, that have defeated America. For so long Superman had the comfort of knowing no one posed an immediate threat to his existence.

Once this changes, he doesn't know what to do. How was it possible for mighty Rome to fall into oblivion while the tiny Jews, persecuted and bounced around through history, are as old as history itself? Why is Europe, at its height of scientific discovery, succumbing to the barbarism of a bunch of brown goblins who haven't moved past the Middle Ages?

When you don't know suffering you won't be ready for it when it arrives.

Miller's reinvented Batman, however, is a superman in the Nietzchean sense—beginning as a disaffected Gothamite, by the end he transforms into more than just a man. Unconcerned over the well-being of the status quo and democracy, as societal order breaks down due to nuclear detonation by the Soviets, it is Batman, with the “Sons of Batman” (former disaffected youths to whom he has given purpose) at his command, who takes the reigns of authority and declares “Tonight, I am the law!” as Gotham is consumed in fire and chaos.

Earlier, despite his highly weaponized, and expensive, arsenal, Wayne couldn't even defeat a brute gang lord. Now, a spiritually awakened Batman is taking on the most physically powerful threat on Earth, and wins in the showdown that made the “Superman vs. Batman” debate exist in the first place. When Superman fan boys belly ache that “the only reason Batman could beat Superman is because Batman is willing to do what Superman isn’t,” they are conceding that Batman is more powerful. Power is the ability to change, to force, to will. It doesn't matter how much intelligence or capital you have, if you aren't willing to use it what good are you?

Batman, having proven the establishment's illegitimacy by cleaning up their country better than they ever could, forces the ventriloquists to bring out their mightiest puppet, the Man of Steel, in a last ditch effort to stomp him out once and for all.

Gone are the days of punching Hitler in the jaw.

In that climactic street fight, Superman rips Batman's helmet off, stripping away his masked identity and exposing his human identity to the world. No longer does Batman need a mask. Bruce Wayne is of no more value—there is no longer anything to hide. This consummates his becoming.


"I couldn't judge it. It was too big. He was too big..."

What we're witnessing today in the United States is an establishment whose elites, caught up in a political paradigm limited by a bipartite party system, are finding themselves with their pants down when faced with alternative, non-centrist Third-way politics. You can choose rootless multiculturalism on the left or rootless globalism on the right but nothing else. Until recently, this has been the paradigm of the age.

The Dark Knight Returns is sprinkled with panels of television broadcasters arguing over the exploits of the recently resurfaced Cape Crusader. For some, talking heads and citizenry alike, he is a menace to the established order—an “outdated fascist reactionary.” To others he is a patriotic Minute Man of sorts, restoring Gotham to its status quo. But like the Alt Right of today, he is so much more than this. He is a revolt against the modern world altogether and all its bourgeois insecurities.And as he learns by the end of the novel, he must “bring sense to a world plagued by worse than thieves and murderers.” Batman is in a spiritual war—first within himself, now the world, and in order to change the world, just as his spirit was reborn in the cave, his flesh must be “reborn” to take on the world. Batman was good while it lasted, but like all life, it must either die or evolve.

By the end, Batman realizes that there is more wrong with the world than street crime. The problem with it is the world itself, and in order to reestablish a sense to a its madness, the only solution is letting go of this life and, as Jack Donovan might say, start the world. Batman won the streets by defeating its leader. He must win the world by defeating its leaders as well.

When it comes down to it, that's what makes the Alt Right so vital. Conserving the status quo is no longer sufficient—for the status quo does not belong to us anymore. It belongs to the Last Men and spiritual rejects. If we are to win, we must refuse to accept death, no matter how glorious it may be, as our end game, but the reaffirmation of life and order toward a rebirth.

By the end, no longer is Bruce Wayne awaiting a good death. No. There is no future in death. He, as a superman, in search of a good life—a life void of mediocre leaders, a life where heroes will once again roam the skies.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The End of a Life Cycle

Originally published here at Radix Journal

A movement, like all human social concepts, is (once we strip away our conceited self-centric definitions) an organism, and like any organism, it has its purpose in the larger picture that is life, and once that purpose is achieved (or unattained past its expiration date), the organism must die and make way for something younger, stronger, and more willingly adaptable to face new challenges that an older organism is otherwise too outmoded to challenge.

Conservatism (not conservatism as in traditional values, value of the local and family, etc., but rather the movement beginning with Buckley, that reached its height with Reagan, and manifested itself into all its various forms from neoconservatism to Bible Belt Conservatism to the politics of Pat Buchanan, etc.), as is the case for all organisms at some point, has outlived its usefulness.

I don't say this with cynical delight. The Conservative movement was born out of a necessity to reorient the freedom loving historic America against Soviet Communism, and, despite its flaws and inefficiencies, did just that. However, now that that battle is over, the Conservative movement, although (mostly) aware of the evils we now must face on the home front (in our living rooms, schools, and very streets), lacks the ammunition to battle the new Leviathan- that of globalist-financed cultural Marxism. Conservatism’s environment has adapted despite it. Therefore, it is only right that it make way for something fresh and young to take its place.

I think it's a tad too early to say precisely what will take up the mantle, although it’s more than safe to assume it will come from one of the many more moderate strains of the Alt Right.

Thus the question arises: How must we learn from the Conservatives and not make the same mistakes they have?

Although stated, only several paragraphs above, that Conservatism was born out of a necessity to stop the wave of Soviet domino consolidation, it's worth noting that Conservatism was not responsible for the death of the USSR, but, like a predator who has caught a challenger to his niche fall into its own trap, rather facilitated the death of its old foe- making sure the pain would leave quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Conservatism grew, not as a vital harbinger of a new age, but as the only alternative for Americans disoriented and afraid by the [correctly] perceived degeneracy and self-masochism to their Left.
In other words, Conservatism is, and always was, a safe void just an arm’s length away from the regressive Left. It always has been whatever the Left was not. A following dancer upset with the lead of her partner is still a follower.

Identitarianism (white nationalism, the Alt Right, whatever term ultimately wins out in the end- or the end of the beginning) must not, as it is doing now I am proud to say, be a void always reacting to the Left, like a seismometer to an earthquake. As easy as it may be to lose sight of this trait of ours, we must not forget its significance.

We must not go the way of Conservatism, whose existence is contingent upon the existence of its enemies, making it, in effect, impotent in combat.

As this current year folds over into the next, it is vital that we perpetually grow- to grow where there is space to grow- to make ideological Lebensraum where there is disillusionment and intellectual emptiness. Very soon it will be necessary for the Alt Right, still in its infancy, to be born into this world, out of our dark basements and into the streets- out in the open. All this will happen soon enough, however when we do take to the streets- that is, in the headlines of the largest news stations and journals- we must know our aims, not just for the immediate future, but after that, and after that, and after that, until we have grown to our greatest capacity. The wisdom to remember is to keep growing. An organism that does not grow is dying. In other words: stay relevant.

In time, many decades to come when the next year after the next year after the next (etc.) is the current year, our movement, only now budding, will die. However, let us hope, or rather "will" (Enough with hope. Hope drives men mad.) that when that day comes, it is not by the sword of our enemy, or the weight of failure, but bathing in the ecstasy of victory.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Coming Muses of the Alt Right

The Alt Right, if it is to succeed as a metapolitical movement and change the course of the culture, it must become the culture. Go here to read at The Right Stuff.

Despite decades-long waves of decadent disinformation, whites are waking up. The Alt Right boasts of a successful year in 2015 and plans to move further this forthcoming year. We are fighting a war that transcends politics. It transcends culture. It transcends biology. Encompassing all of the above, the Alt Right is in a war for the heart and soul of the West- to regain the vitality of a once proud and mighty civilization not so far away (both past and future).

No war is fought through societal coercion. To win back civilization, one must assert their vision for it. Every great movement has its bard- the drummer who inspires in the hearts of his comrades the will to carry on- the poet who encapsulates the soul of the Nation. Greece had Homer. Britain- Shakespeare. The hippies- Woodstock. The Alt Right, as every early movement, needs its bards. T.E. Lawrence said “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” Artists are the dreamers of the day.

Up until the “New Hollywood”, the period from the late 60s through early 80s, American cinema had become old and stale as the result of the puritanical sterility of the 50s. Americans had grown dulled by the banality of watching married couples sleep in two separate beds and lawful authorities depicted as unquestionable heroes- all in the name of reactionary patriotism. Starting with Bonnie and Clyde, and an entire generation of filmmakers and artists (many of whom trained by the newly Frankfurtized university systemi) who grew up with the Kennedy assassination and Civil Right movement, American cinema would never be the same. In an increasing and unstoppable fashion, American social norms were being questioned- from the politics of American exceptionalism, to race relations, to gender roles. What could have been a reasonable challenge of the bourgeoisification of America, grew into an inversion when put in the hands of young and spoiled Baby Boomers who grew up with lives void of purpose. Awkward chastity was replaced by disillusioned nihilism under the guise of progressive idealism.

Fast-forward 50 years and the children of those Baby Boomers have become the establishment, and no different than the American reactionaries of past, they have become stuffy and stale. The average Hollywood films and television shows are alike- the cast is multicultural, but characterization identity-less. Gender roles have been abolished.ii Aside from Tarantino, a home-grown Gen-X L.A. liberal, racial slurs are not tolerated. Every other commercial consists of a passably attractive mulatto living in a picket white house- desperately teaching us “great unwashed”iii through increasingly less subliminal imagery that “we all bleed red”. Anything aside from this narrative is a rarity, and usually the work of an elite auteur or independent filmmaker. Meanwhile, America is more bourgeois than ever.

Something is in the air, though. While the majority of Americans are too dense to even interpret a narrativeiv, let alone know what a narrative is, a great many are waking up. They're beginning to see the blatant politically correct normalization of our culture.

To this reaction there must be an action. While past Rightist filmmakers such as John Milius made their mark in Hollywood with quasi-B films like Conan the Barbarianv or Red Dawn, and “morally fascist”vi films like Dirty Harry and Death Wish became hits- phrases like “Make my day”* entering the household lexicon- the small flicker of rugged Rightist masculinity left in cinema soon parodied itself out of existence with innumerable sequels and rip offs. James Bond is no exception.vii

This brings us to now. Visions and sounds muster conviction greater than any written word. Cinema is the ultimate Gesamtkunstwerk- the art of totally bullshitting an audience into entering a conjured world by evoking all of their art-perceptive senses. Cinema, through its manipulation of our voyeuristic impulses, possesses the power of altering our perception of reality. The only reason my ex-girlfriend used to harp on my racial consciousness is because every racially conscious white male she knew was an Illinois Naziviii- a two-dimensional caricature confined to a two-dimensional square in her living room. Hence, cinema is the prevailing art form of the day.

Nietzsche said "In art man enjoys himself as perfection."ix Nietzsche believed the artist is a man who uses his will-to-power, not in the service of shaping reality, but to become lord of an imaginary world. While this may seem rather masturbatory or voyeuristic to some, never forget that many of man's greatest achievements sprang forth from his myths. Before the Wright brothers there was Daedalus. Before Apollo 11 there was Jules Verne and Georges Méliès.xxi Where would retail stores and their sliding doors be if it wasn't for Star Trek? The fact that T. E. Lawrence, the author of the quote atop, is best known for his namesake filmxii, testifies to the power of myth. For decades the Left has artificially constructed multicultural ensembles on television screens, convincing Americans that diversity is a commonplace occurrence. For better or worse, art distorts reality. It can also be utilized to provide men with a vision for the future- a blueprint for the less visionary among us. Men must dream before they do. The job of the artist is to make men dream.

What will the history books say? What kind of music will our children listen to? The two are really the same question. As the Alt Right marches its way through human events in these coming years and takes its rightful place at the forefront of the West's political (or more importantly, metapolitical) future, we must confront these questions. What will an Alt Right future look like? What heroes will our children dress as on Halloween? Again, the same question. If we are to take our culture back we must make the culture. We can save the West. We can give birth to a Renaissance greater than the last. We can travel into the final frontier. But before we do those things we need our bards and drummers to make men dream again.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Drive: Film Analysis

Film analysis of Drive originally published here at Counter-Currents Publishing. The 10th most read post of January 2016.

Drive, the 2011 award-winning art-house crime thriller, is a modern retelling of the story of the knight in shining armor who saves a damsel in distress from the clutches of evil. Being modern, however, this is not a fairy tale that ends with “. . . happily ever after,” for the modern world cannot offer happiness for the heroic.
The film opens with a handsome young Nordic man (Ryan Gosling) driving through the dark streets of Los Angeles, alone in his 1973 Chevy Malibu. The Driver is never named. He is a silent loner in the tradition of the Man with No Name. A Hollywood stunt driver by day, he is a calculating getaway driver by night. His rules are simple: he will wait for five minutes. If you show up during that window, he will drive. He won’t wait any longer. He won’t assist you. He drives. That’s it.
Early in the film the Driver meets the young, white, seemingly-single mother Irene (Carey Mulligan), who lives in the same apartment building as the Driver with her mixed race son Benicio (who’s half Hispanic). There is mutual attraction, and a relationship begins to bud. This ends, however, when Irene reveals her husband Standard (Oscar Isaac) is getting out of prison soon, and for the sake of her son, she has chosen to stay with her husband.
Despite being friend-zoned, all goes well for the Driver until a Jewish mobster Izzy (Ron Perlman), who goes by Nino to sound Italian, blackmails Standard to rob a pawn shop for him as payback for prison protection. The Driver, who would otherwise let a prison rat like Standard go through with the heist alone, decides to drive for Standard, for the sake of Irene and Benicio.
As is mandatory in such films, the heist goes awry. Standard is killed by the pawn shop owner, and the Driver is left in possession of $1 million in stolen money. Izzy calls on his fellow Jewish mobster, Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks), to clean up the mess. The Driver must die, because he has the money and because he can tie the robbery to Izzy.
By breaking his rigid rules out of altruism, the Driver is thrust into a world of needless chaos and killing. Such actions are reminiscent of modern day liberals, who, out of altruism towards outsiders, have opened Pandora’s box, destroying their formerly successful societies.
Throughout the film the Driver dons, like a suit of armor, a retro silver bomber jacket with a large golden scorpion embroidered on the back. This symbol hearkens back to an old fable:
"A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies that it was in its nature to do so.[1]"
Like the frog, the Driver’s well-intentioned sensibilities are used against him by less virtuous creatures. His decision to ignore established well-reasoned rules for the sake of keeping together a family results in his almost perfect world crumbling apart.
But the Driver is determined not to let Bernie and Izzy win. First, he drowns Izzy, then calls Bernie up, asks him if he has heard the story of the scorpion and the frog, and tells him that Izzy didn’t make it to the other side. The Driver is no longer the frog, he is the scorpion, but he does make it to the other side.
Then the Driver meets with Bernie, who offers him a deal: return the money and Irene and Benecio will be safe. The Driver, however, will have to spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. Minutes later, as the Driver pulls out the bag of money from his trunk, Bernie stabs him from behind. The Driver, however, is wise to the mobster’s propensity for betrayal and stabs him in the throat, killing him. Like many European men today and throughout history, it is only after he is wounded that he is ready to fight and win.
This confrontation recalls the stab-in-the-back of post-WWI Germany. Germany did not lose the Great War but rather was betrayed by disillusioned citizens led astray by Jewish anti-German propaganda. More important than historical circumstances, however, is the origin of this myth. The “stab-in-the-back” is a reference to the ancient Germanic myth of Siegfried, the quintessential hero of Germanic society, who is literally stabbed in the back by the half-dwarf Hagen (the dwarves, as depicted in Wagner’s Ring, being symbolic of Jews).[2]
The Driver is an archetypal Siegfriedian hero. He is a man without fear, a man who keeps his cool under pressure. He gallantly defends the weak. He is a “real hero,” as the song at the end of the film suggests. But the Driver lacks Siegfried’s innocence. He is, after all, a criminal. Both are literally stabbed in the back by dwarven foes. But, unlike Siegfried, the Driver saw it coming and survived – whereas the dwarves did not. Like Siegfried, the Driver is capable of great physical violence. But his innocence is wedded with cunning, which saves him in the end.
The Driver’s world in L.A. is incompatible with the honor code of a real hero. It plays by different rules. The Driver could have let Standard go alone, assuming he would either die or face imprisonment again, therefore allowing the Driver to once again pursue a relationship with Irene. But this doesn’t even cross his mind, because he is incapable of harboring deceit. The Driver, like honorable whites today, exists in a world that exploits his values at his expense–ultimately threatening his very existence. The Driver is seen as just another animal to be used and discarded by the kosher powers that be. In the name of honesty and family he allows his woman to leave him, ending his chance to pass on his blood. In the modern world his values are inverted.
Irene, whom the Driver saves at one point by kicking in the head of a hitman sent to kill her, responds with terror. Her knight in shining armor has turned out to be a violent savage according to her warped, modernized mind. She doesn’t respond by giving her dragon slayer a kiss, but stares in absolute fear of him. Does this event not illustrate the current predicament of the heroically-minded white man today, whose women are taught to berate him as a sexist reactionary Neanderthal, despite his efforts to do what his instincts tell him, namely to protect them from evildoers who would defile and destroy them?
It is no wonder the Driver has been living a life of isolation. How many young single men reading this review can relate to him as they’re forced to find camaraderie among a bunch of fellow nameless and faceless bloggers. I, for one, have lost valued relationships for my embrace of traditional gender roles and rejection of today’s standards of “polite society.” Many men choose — wrongly, in my opinion — to “Go Their Own Way.”
The film ends as it started – with the Driver, having survived a near fatal knife attack, driving alone into the night. This time, however, he is driving away from the corrupt world of crime and chaos, leaving behind the stolen money, Bernie Rose’s corpse, and, therefore, any breadcrumbs connecting the whole affair to him.
Unlike the Driver, we can never really walk away from the hostile anti-culture we currently inhabit. We will always be looking over our shoulders unless we face and slay our dragons and dwarves. Going our own way is not enough. A real hero does not merely walk away from a fight and say “fuck it” (or, in the case of MGTOW, “don’t fuck it”). He walks away when his quest is finished.