My big question is this-- what's on the platter? It's either going to be incredibly stupid or it's going to super disgusting-- which leads into the next post...
I must admit, I thought some of the stuff going on with the Joker and the tie-ins was simultaneously too over the top and while scraping the bottom of the barrel full of monkeys that Snyder wants to make this arc crazier than (how about that for mixed metaphors?!). The Joker "face mask" thing is pretty disturbing, some of the portrayals of violence, were very uncompromising for a Batman book (which I think is probably PG-13 at best, but that's just me, this arc is R) and the sewn together boddies thing was also pushing into bad taste territory. I think the issue before last, in Batman and Robin where Joker has Robin trapped in a room of worms or something weird like that-- that was disgusting as well.
I think there are two points-- perhaps Snyder wants us to be revolted by the Joker? Maybe that's his point. Joker is disturbing individual and you should not want to come near him; you should not have any type of impression that he's cool, or witty or humorous or in any way redeeming-- maybe that's his point? I don't know. I think it is interesting that reading comics allows us to become strangely familiar and habituated to certain villains and maybe Snyder's point is that we shouldn't do that. This would be something interesting.
The second point, is that perhaps Snyder is trying to deal with the issue of portraying Joker as a really crazy villain in a time where the bar for really crazy has been raised (or lowered) depending on how you look at it. Maybe this is Scott Snyder simply trying to be edgy and "out do" the other villains and other writers. "Your character is a villain because he shot someone? My character is a villain cause tortures people and kills them! Checkmate!" It's basically a race to the bottom. And that may have something to do with the fact that many people, including kids have become jaded by violence in entertainment. I'm not saying anything about whether media causes crime. So let's not get defensive. I'm just saying that large numbers of people have become habituated to seeing acts of violence that would've been disturbing a decade ago. In that sense, I think Snyder's Joker is a product of it's time. This is just what passes for edgy today. I can't re-write Death of the Family to make it more "artistic" in its portrayal of a Joker-- Snyder's the one with the chops and the imagination. But these are two fair theories.