YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=LATPfqT4118
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Duration:03:28
Uploaded:2014-10-07
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In which John reveals why he thinks Batman kind of sucks, both as a billionaire and as a Superhero. A couple edits:

1. Obviously some crime is caused by horrible sociopathic monsters.

2. Bruce Wayne has done SOME constructive stuff for Gotham. Like he built a mass transit system, although it was of course later destroyed. But also, to be fair, Bruce Wayne did many other things for Gotham in some of the comics series, including funding hospitals and schools and the police department. (NOT IN THE MOVIES, THOUGH.)

3. I did not acknowledge the existence of my massive nose zit in this video. That was a mistake, and I apologize for it.

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Good morning Hank. It's Tuesday. So yesterday some friends and I went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I got to drive around the track with race car driver Sarah Fisher at 180 miles per hour and experience profound fear-joy, which would be a good name for a band. But for now the relevant thing is while I was going around the track I felt like Sarah Fisher was driving the Batmobile and I was Robin.   And that reminded me that while I'm a big Sarah Fisher fan, I kind of hate Batman.   Like Hank, if I were a billionaire, the first thing I would do would be to pledge 90% of my money to charity. Then I would build my own race track that Sarah Fisher could drive me around, then I would give AFC Wimbledon a bunch of money so they could build a new stadium. Then I'd build a huge house with lots of secret rooms that you can only access by touching certain books on a fake bookshelf, and then I would still be SUPER rich because a billion dollars is a lot of money... but I am getting slightly off topic here.    The point being, Hank, I don't think I'd be a particularly good or generous billionaire, but one thing I wouldn't do is spend a gajillion dollars developing a Batmobile that only I am allowed to drive.     I mean look Hank, Spiderman go bit by a radioactive spider; he has to be Spiderman; he doesn't have a choice; he can't stop shooting webs so you might as well use that skill to aid the police.     Similarly, Sailor Moon didn't choose to be an alien princess from Silver Millennium, but Batman is just a rich guy with an affinity for bats who's playing out his insane fantasy of single handedly ridding Gotham of crime; how is that heroic?     Now I know what you're saying Hank- Iron Man- and fair enough, Tony Stark is a billionaire who could use his wealth a little bit better. And that's a story unto itself about how the superheroes elevated by each generation say a lot about that generation.     But at least Iron Man has that weird nuclear bomb heart thing built with the help of the token good, and therefore doomed Arab guy. And then he's like "Aw I should use my nuclear heart for good." It's not much but it's something. Meanwhile can you really argue that Batman is good for Gotham? I mean in the Batman universe crime is caused by:   1. Evil people who just wanna see the world burn and   2. Stupid people who follow the evil but charismatic cat person/joker/penguin.  God, the villains in Batman are terrible.    Also, slightly off topic but I would argue that Catwoman despite her jewelry thieving etc. is by almost any measure much more heroic than Batman. But anyway, crime is not actually caused by evil; it's caused by systemic disenfranchisement and poverty and lack of access to job opportunities and education.    And yet Batman continues on, not funding police departments or schools or building low income housing, but tearing up the infrastructure of the city he claims to love while fighting villains who are only powerful because that city is already so blighted and dysfunctional.    I'm sorry I'm losing my temper, but does Batman understand how difficult it is for an under-funded city like Gotham to replace roads and bridges?    Anyway Hank, it seems to me that one of the more realistic facets of the Batman saga is that Gotham never gets better for long after Batman's villain-destroying exploits. Batman saves Gotham over and over and over again, but he never actually improves it.    Also, why does no one ever call Batman out for devoting all of his resources to fighting crime in Gotham? When he could also be fighting, I don't know, global poverty or habitat destruction or climate change.    Now Hank I'm not saying that cleaning up the streets of Gotham isn't a worthy goal for a billionaire, but to reiterate, he's bad at it.    I will say this, Hank, Batman has inspired some great graphic novels and some very good movies.     All of which go to extraordinary lengths to make it seem like bad things just keep happening to Batman, so he has to develop a massive arsenal that he keeps in a Batcave.     But Hank, the question at the core of the Batman story still bothers me. Why do we celebrate the vigilantic ambitions of individual billionaires? Surely we understand that the real work among humans is done not in isolation but in collaboration? We do understand that, right?     And no I am not just saying all of this because my hair looks more and more like Wolverine's by the day.   Hank, I will see you on Friday.