(urth) OT - Watchmen on trial

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 22 11:14:50 PST 2005

The defenses other people here have made as far as the theme of the Watchmen 
go are, I think, adequate; but I think that part of the difficulty here is 
that you take a very different view of the characters, and some of the 
scenes they appear in have radically different overtones.

Ozy's killing of the Comedian is not in any way a heroic act, it's something 
out a spy drama or murder thriller. It occurs in the dark, in terror, and 
it's not a matter of stopping the Comedian for being such a bad man (which 
he was, as you say), it's a matter of keeping him silent because, 
ironically, he does have just a bit more conscience left than Ozymandias 
does. It's a crime, a murder, and is treated as such from the beginning and 
on through the rest of the story.

Manhattan certainly did not seem to be enlightened, unless you equate 
enlightenment with the loss of his humanity. Judging him as a human (which 
he eventually comes to accept, he is not) there's no way to look at him but 
as a sad, screwed up creature. This is highlighted by his interactions with 
Silk Spectre.

Speaking of which, it always seemed to me that she, and the arguable 
protagonist (which nobody mentions because of his utter normality - part of 
what makes him the protagonist) the Night Owl, have the only "happy ending" 
there is in this story. A fairly obvious rejection of the ubermensch ideal, 
since both turn their backs on the superhero world.

Re: Severian it is hard to place the Autarchy amongst other, real forms of 
government. From where does the power of the Autarchy derive? Most don't 
even know who the Autarch is or what he looks like, how power is passed 
down, etc. The Autarch is almost a *fact* more than he is a particular 

>The Comedian is not a fascist. He's a misandrist nihlist. He's painted as 
>nothing less than a villian. Ozy is an anti-hero, but a hero nonetheless. 
>His manner in killing the Comedian (in much the way Severian kills Typhon) 
>is an architypical heroic act. Mr. Manhattan is a melancholy character who 
>is somewhat deterministic (to an extent that is difficult to separate from 
>fatalistic). But he is painted as nothing if not enlightened. His bestowal 
>of his blessing on Ozy's plan cannot be labeled merely ambiguous.
>>I wonder if you understand Nietzsche half so well as you think you do.
>>"Beware when you wrestle with monsters..." might stand as the motto
>>to TDKR.
>I probably do not, however, I recommend to you "The Closing of the American 
>Mind" by Nietzsche scholar Allan Bloom in the 80s. He devotes a significant 
>portion of the book to Nietzsche's philosophy and an entire chapter to the 
>political Left's reconstruction and embracing of that philosopher. I found 
>that book illuminating as to how leftist writers like Miller and Moore 
>could adopt the stances they take in TDKR and TW.
>>>In a shameless rip-off of this theme,
>>This is simply insulting. Moore had plotted _Watchmen_ LONG before
>>TDKR was published.
>Plotted is not written, and Manhattan's justification of Ozy's plan almost 
>word-for-word mirroring Com. Gordon's justification of Batman simply cannot 
>be ignored.
>>You want to know a classic that's facistic as all hell?
>>Read _Dune_ and pay attention to what's actually going on.
>>Master race, fuhrerprinzip, the whole works.
>I'll check that out next time I read it. I don't recall any mention of a 
>"master race". But the connections some are making between feudalism and 
>Wolfe's governments and fascism I do not believe are warranted. The view of 
>the King in Christendom cannot be separated from the view of God having a 
>theologically rightful place of authority in Heaven. The King is not a 
>"leader", he is God's executive. The Roman Empire could be seen possibly as 
>proto-fascistic but Egypt and most of Asia (with their god-kings) could not 
>IMO. It is hard for me to imagine true fascism (except by analogy) being at 
>all related to a religion in which the Leader acts as a **servant** of God.
>So the Autarch IMO is not a fascist ruler and neither was King Arthur or 
>Silk or Fidel Casto or any other "liberator" or defender of his people 
>against powerful aggressors.
>~ Crush
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