This was 12 years, 9 months, 22 days ago

some things I am always aware of:

If I say something like, "this is such a nice night", then will you understand? is that just a side comment? when I say things like these is there co-incidence, co-understanding on the part of you and will I get this flicker of recognition in the eyes that too enjoys this chill breeze coming from the river? wafting through pre-war buildings sun having already set a few hours ago?

watched the watchmen, opening night.


It occurs to me that changing the ending performs this double twist in terms of ideology and principles that ultimately untwists Moore's cynical intention. In the film, intra-species nuclear disputes are not solved in terms of a further xenophobia. What the squid does in the 'graphic novel' (another dangerous term here) is that it generates a new other against which all of humanity looks against; there is a spark of ingenious cynicism in this gesture, as it's really Ozymandias's (or Alan Moore's) reiteration of human nature, not a modification of it. Another other. But replacing the squid with Dr. Manhattan changes this beyond a simple scapegoating - Jon is deified, held as a watchful ideal; as Dan Dreiberg mentions, Earth will be safe while "people think Jon's watching them". Peace comes from an affirmation of a god-function; this anti-communist east-vs-west othering becomes neutralized because there is a god and he is alive again. And because this god, after all, was human, there is an internalization of this governing that happens that is not otherable: 'someone is watching you and he used to be human'. Something invades you, is internalized within humanity, changes its nature.

On the other hand, the Watchmen are supermen, attempted to be Ubermenschen, to save humanity, vigilante police. Ozymandias's squid generates a terror that ultimately renders these supermen obsolete, or at least irrelevant. Dr. Manhattan is the continuation of an ultimate superman, watchman, who is now constantly here, and rather than becoming obsolete there is an absolute relevance and pertinence that a governing-ubermensch-figure takes on. Not only is it a reiteration of the comic-book hero, there is no kernel of critical cynical gesture here that understands the twisted joy of having a solution for peace and the reiteration of ideologies of violence coincide.