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The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 65: “The Worry Men”

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of Batman: The Animated Series. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 65: “The Worry Men”

To Bruce Wayne’s confusion, all of Gotham’s socialites are mysteriously “donating” millions of dollars to an unnamed figure, and this sudden wave of philanthropy appears to have been triggered by the possession of little, woven dolls called “worry men.” Worry Men, according to Central American folklore, are small, colorful dolls that are placed under the owner’s pillow to make their worries go away overnight. It doesn’t take long for Batman to realize these deep-pocketed citizens are under the control of Jervis Tetch (A.K.A. The Mad Hatter)! He’s implanted the miniature dolls with microchips designed to “stimulate” a person’s brainwaves and put them into a “hypnotic” or entranced state. Through the dolls, The Mad Hatter is able to remotely manipulate the rich to hand over their funds to an equally entranced Mayan Shaman he’s recruited.

In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we revisit the psychology ofThe Mad Hatter, exploring his obsession with control, manipulation, and alteration of other people’s minds, and his fundamentally damaged and poor sense of self. Is it his sunken, low self-esteem that’s responsible for his need to possess other people’s minds and become a puppet-master? Additionally, could symbolism and superstition actually have a significant effect on our behavior and thought patterns? Is there any benefit to wishing our worries away? And, despite our culture’s obsession with cures, pills, and treatments, is the goal of having a worry-free or stress-free life such a good idea? Listen to the episode below for the full analysis of “The Worry Men!”

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