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The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them. -Alfred Hitchcock

Tonight we went to see “The Dark Knight Rises.” Here we are about three weeks from the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado and I haven’t forgotten about anything.

I’m a naturally paranoid person. Actually, when I’ve gone to see movies before with lots of shooting scenes the thought crossed my mind more than once that that could happen in real life, and why not a movie theater? So tonight, watching the movie that those folks in Colorado were watching, I sat very low in my seat, stayed still and turned my head every time I saw someone move.

I know it was crazy and most certainly paranoid, but I haven’t forgotten.

I think it’s true that we have to lose something in order to gain, but I also think that things can be lost without any positive effect. When there are massive disasters that seem far away from you, it’s easier to say, “Well, now we can be more grateful for what we’ve got.” Or “At least it brought our country closer together.”

Having also just watched “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” I’m reminded that every disaster like this affects individuals. It affects families. It does affect our country as a whole, that’s true, but it’s important not to forget what is happening on a more personal level. Because it would be personal if it were you.

I don’t want the Aurora shootings to be so distant from me that I can see some big generic positive coming out of them. But I also don’t want to be afraid. “The Dark Knight Rises” is particularly poignant because it addresses that so effectively.

Blind Prisoner: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak.
Bruce Wayne: Why?
Blind Prisoner: How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.
Bruce Wayne: I do fear death. I fear dying in here, while my city burns, and there’s no one there to save it.
Blind Prisoner: Then make the climb.

The message that we can’t just let terrible things go on around us without taking a stand, that we can’t let our lives pass us by because of grief and loss…that’s something to live by. And they said it best in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,”

Linda Schell: It’s never gonna make sense because it doesn’t!

It doesn’t make sense why these things happen, but we have to move forward and address the problems in this great big world we live in. At the same time we can’t forget the individuals it impacts.

Oskar Schell: I started with a simple problem… a key with no lock… and I designed a system I thought fit the problem. I broke everything down in the smallest parts… and tried to think of each person as a number… in a gigantic equation.
Oskar Schell: But it wasn’t working… because people aren’t like numbers. They’re more like letters… and those letters want to become stories… and dad said that stories need to be shared.