Actor Joaquin Phoenix poses for photographers upon arrival at the screening for the film Joker, at a central London cinema, Wednesday, Sept 25, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
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Jay Greeson

Few movies have had the pre-release buzz or hype over movie-circuit award show success as "The Joker."

It's the background story of the maniacal criminal who becomes the archival of comic book hero Batman.

Dark movies sometimes present sympathetic views or heroic angles of villainous characters.

The Terminator. Hannibal Lector. Darth Vader. Michael Corleone.

And those movies are great. But our time is different.

How different? Well, the extreme and realistic violence of "The Joker" has already drawn a pre-release response from the U.S. military.

"Incels (extremists) are individuals who express frustration from perceived disadvantages to starting intimate relationships. Incel extremists idolize violent individuals like the Aurora movie theater shooter," the document read, referencing the 2012 shooting after a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" that killed 12 and injured 70. "They also idolize the Joker character, the violent clown from the Batman series, admiring his depiction as a man who must pretend to be happy, but eventually fights back against his bullies.

"When entering theaters, identify two escape routes, remain aware of your surroundings, and remember the phrase 'run, hide, fight,'" it continued. "Run if you can. If you're stuck, hide [also referred to as "sheltering in place"], and stay quiet. If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can."

You cannot regulate crazy people. Ever. And that is true in art and film.

But the fact that we are reading cautionary news releases from our military about a new movie should scare all of us.


Oh, Deer

This paper's Mark Pace had an interesting story on a bloodborne disease that is killing deer in the mid-state.

"Reports are coming in daily as [the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency] continues to monitor the situation," agency deer management program leader James Kelly said in a news release. "If hunters or the public find sick or dead deer, they are encouraged to report these animals to their local TWRA regional office."

A variety of flying bugs of various ilks have made the issue even more impactful. (Side note: Anyone else ready for this heat to take a fall siesta? Holy sweat towel and needing Paul Barys to tell me to find my windbreaker.)

Heat or no, flies or no, here's hoping the TWRA can get a clue about this, the weather can turn and we can get back to having deer dying of natural causes.

Like lead poisoning.


Happy birthday for sure

The oldest living American World War II veteran celebrated his 110th birthday earlier this month.

Yes, 110th.

Lawrence Brooks, born on Sept. 12, 1909, was honored last week at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. He served with the 91st Engineer Battalion in New Guinea and later in the Philippines.

"I've started to think about not having many birthdays left. But I'm not worried about it, because God has let me live this long already," Brooks told reporters at his shindig. "I think it's because I've always liked people so much. Oh yes, I do."



Saturday stars

This weekend the Ironman folks return to town. It's a cool event on all fronts — economically, culturally and for entertainment.

Gang, be patient with the traffic closures. It's part of the process.

In fact, if you are interested to see what the hubbub is about, take in the event Sunday.

You will see some amazing athletes, and even more impressive, some amazing camaraderie among the entire Ironman community.

We'd be better off in society if we supported each other the way the Ironman competitors and community do.

Contact Jay Greeson at