Posted by: Trisha Leigh | June 20, 2011

Things I Learned From Batman (Part 1)

How many things can a person could learn from Batman?

Several, it turns out. Since I’ve been stretched thin for blog post ideas lately, I’m going to break my Batman lessons into 3 posts and just call this Things I Learned From Batman Week on my blog.

You’re welcome in advance.

1. It’s almost impossible to be two people living two separate lives.

Every actor who has portrayed Batman has excelled at being Bruce Wayne OR being Batman. For example, I maintain (to the ire of certain hardcore Batman fans) that Val Kilmer turned in the most authentic Bruce Wayne, but he wasn’t the best Batman (which I still say is Michael Keaton). Christian Bale probably comes closer than anyone at truly capturing the essence of both roles, and I’m still trying to forget George Clooney ever got behind the wheel of the Batmobile at all.

Everyone is more than one thing. We all have guilt we prefer not to share, passions we’re embarrassed to admit to, and issues lurking in our pasts that drive our decision making every single day. The thing is, we’re not meant to live a separate life for each hidden slice of pie. You might be afraid to say you’re a writer, a mother concerned about a child with special needs, a wife committed to your marriage, and a lawyer with a big case that could make or break someone’s world, but we don’t get a life for each one. You have to figure out how to combine those pieces of you into a whole person or they will tear you apart.

No one demonstrates more effectively than Batman (and Bruce Wayne) the toll trying to keep your light and dark sides separate can take on your life, as well as the lives around you.

Wednesday: Secrets (like evil arch enemies) have a way of rising to the surface.

What I’m watching right this minute: Nothing. Blissful silence reigns.



  1. I’m sorry, but the One True Batman, and the One True Bruce Wayne, was Adam West. All the rest are imposters.

    • Gary, you’re so sure of yourself!! I barely remember Adam West as Batman, sadly. Maybe it’s on Netflix. 🙂

      • I deduce a slight age difference. The Batman TV series was required weekly viewing, back in the day. Utterly camp (though I’m sure the kids never saw that), utterly comic-driven (in the fights, the action would freeze every 5 seconds for a KAPOW! to be splashed on the screen), and utterly funny in a completely formulaic way. If you grew up with that, then the dark, serious Batman just seems plain wrong.

        If you do watch the old series, keep an eye out for the Bat Climbs, in which Batman and Robin climb up a wall while discussing the Meaning Of Life, and inevitably a guest star sticks their head out of a window and they stop for a conversation. The guests I recall are Lurch from the Addams Family, Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes, and Santa Claus.

  2. Rings a bit like Jesus’ “You cannot be a servant to two masters” speech. It seems to me that it would be easier combining the beautiful aspects of your life, like mom and lawyer, then the ugly aspects of your life, like Father and Ex-con, or Hard Working Night Shift Laborer and Wife That Is Looking For Someone To Tell Her She’s Still Beautiful, or even Hard Working Night Shift Vigilante and Billionaire Playboy. I think the most interesting thing about Bruce/Batman is that neither persona was a life that he wanted for himself, he just viewed them both as necessary.

    • I’m not sure there is one aspect that cannot have both a light and a dark side, depending on how you let it run. Interesting though. and I agree with you on the last sentence. Bruce never seemed truly comfortable in either role, which leaves me wondering…who was he really?

  3. Oh, God. I’d forgotten about the Clooney foray into the realm of Batman. Sorry, George. You have a killer smile, and I love ya, but you are SO not Batman.

    Good post! It IS tough to integrate all our separate personas sometimes, but essential to our sanity, I believe.

    • What’s sanity? Oh, wait…I seem to recall something, maybe…was I waving goodbye to it a few years ago?

  4. I’m in complete agreement on the Clooney front. I think Michael Keaton played the role best.

    But your point about trying to keep all the roles of our lives separate is an excellent one and one I find myself struggling with, especially the last few weeks. There are two parts of me that seem at CONSTANT war with each other and I’m tired of it.

    • It is a struggle, and in the end it will exhaust you. Good luck finding your answers – I think they’re different for everyone. Maybe you should have a Batman marathon 🙂

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