(urth) Alan Moore

Son of Witz sonofwitz at butcherbaker.org
Mon Mar 16 23:26:25 PDT 2009

On Mar 16, 2009, at 10:06 PM, brunians at brunians.org wrote:

> Alan Moore is or is not the author of 'From Hell' and 'V for  
> Vendetta'?
> Yes indeed Gene Wolfe's work is overtly political. I find it  
> interesting
> that politics is almost never discussed on this list. I would  
> welcome a
> discussion of the politics of Wolfe's work.

"V for Vendetta" is much more politically charged than Watchmen, in  
that "V for Vendetta" is making a case for anarchism, and distinctly  
critiquing the Thatcher era as fascist.  Sure, Watchmen questions  
American power, but it's hardly just about that, and it's not making a  
case for any political system. It's asking questions, not giving pat  
political answers.

On Mar 16, 2009, at 5:10 PM, brunians at brunians.org wrote:

> Tough. The World is a certain way. Some problems don't have  
> solutions. The
> sooner you accept that, the more useful you will be in solving the
> problems that do have solutions.

So, we shouldn't write stories about problems that don't have  
solutions?  Is that what you're saying?
Surely there's been plenty of great stories about death, war, loss,  
and many other REAL problems that people face.
I don't find anything "Whiney or anarchist" about Watchmen's message.  
I see an author giving us a profound meditation on how our attempts to  
use power and violence to protect and bring peace often disfigure  
humanity, as well as it's parallel question of who monitors those  
judges and keeps them in check.  That's NOT to say that the book is  
saying "Don't fight" or, "No one should have the power", or any other  
trite pacifist sort of statement.  It's a profound question; What  
gives someone the right to set themselves up as judge, jury and  
executioner?  This certainly applies to the vigilantes in the story,  
but also applies to a government run amok, exemplified by a Nixon  
character who has stayed in office for 5 terms.  In most examples in  
the book, they all go too far and lose there humanity.  The Dr.  
Manhattan character is especially loaded in this respect, because he  
is, symbolically and literally, a product of The Bomb.  Bombing  
Hiroshima, I believe, did some strange things to our psyche.  I might  
go so far as to say we were psychologically disfigured, but I'll leave  
that to Alan Moore to do.  But, you know, who judges between such  
scales?  What did Oppenheimer say, "I am become Death."

Anyway, Moore asks those questions with Watchmen, and one of it's  
strengths is that it doesn't give an answer. He doesn't try to set up  
some idealistic example of an alternative. He doesn't moralize and say  
it's "wrong", he just explores the topic, masterfully, through the  
small and large parts of the story. His theme resonates throughout the  
work, in just about every pore. I've encountered few writers who have  
done it so well. Wolfe is another.

Sorry if I seem pitched. I've seen a few politicized comments that  
struck me as completely off base in regards to Watchmen.
an interesting one was "OH NO, ANOTHER REPUBLICAN HATING MOVIE" .   
Wow, what a facile, knee jerk mis-read!

By all means, pick apart "V for Vendetta" on political grounds, but  
Watchmen is operating at a philosophical level that is relevant to any  
political persuasion. They're human questions of how concepts like  
Revenge and War and the Power-to-destroy-ourselves affects our psyche  
and the world around us.


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