Many reactionary newspaper articles have postulated that due to the low age rating given to the Dark Knight and the Joker's love of knives, that the film may inspire young fans to begin carrying out copycat crimes. Well, it's happened, but in a way no-one would have expected.
From the Roanoke Times:
Two Pembroke teenagers have been charged in connection with a series of playing cards that were defaced with threatening writing and left at stores in Christiansburg and Pearisburg -- a gesture police said the teens admitted had been inspired by this summer's Batman movie, "The Dark Knight."
Justin Colby Dirico and Bryan Eugene Stafford, both 18, admitted to leaving cards that bore handwritten messages inside the Pearisburg Wal-Mart, according to police Chief J.C. Martin.
The most shocking thing about this case is that the two men are being charged with 'conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism'. This is a complete over-reaction and if the police aren't careful it could turn into a complete farce and make a mockey of the legal system. Does anyone remember what happened with the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie viral marketing and how much bad press that caused for the Boston police?
To me this looks like a harmless prank that has been completely blown out of proportion. Hopefully now that the two men have come clean the matter will be dropped.
Source: The Roanoke Times