|Questions for Dr. Manhattan
||[Mar. 13th, 2009|10:57 am]
I finally saw Watchmen on Wednesday night, and it was terrific. Ignore the naysayers: The movie's awesome. It not only retains the strengths of the comic, but manages even to improve upon the original.|
I say this particularly in regard to the film's ending. Without spoiling it for anyone, I found the climax of the comic disappointing - a dive into comic-book camp in a work that otherwise studiously avoids it. The movie's conclusion, by contrast, is perfectly logical; it's just too bad Alan Moore didn't think of it first.
I want to make it clear, though, that I mean this strictly in terms of writing - it's an elegant plot wrap-up, and I admire the writers for it. Politically, however, I think it's ridiculous. The idea - much used in science fiction - that a common inhuman enemy would end war between nations (and the threat of nuclear destruction) is silly. It's wrong for the same reason that the idea of mutually assured destruction serving as a deterrent is wrong, namely that it vastly underestimates the human capacity for self-destructiveness. Mutually assured destruction is no deterrent for someone who wishes to be destroyed. Furthermore, technology by its nature increasingly concentrates destructive power in the hands of individuals, and already it hardly requires the efforts of a nation to wreak worldwide devastation; you need only a few determined people with sufficient scientific resources. The ultimate solution to the threat of global violence can lie only in the personal and societal renunciation of violence.
Speaking of apocalyptic problems, the world's population is now 6.8 billion people, and is, of course, steadily increasing. Still, incredibly, our leaders almost never mention the word "population," when it lies at the heart of every environmental issue we face. We can drive all the electric cars we want, but when we hit 10 billion people, this planet's gonna be in deep doo-doo.
All right, I'm getting off my soapbox now.
As I was writing this, I received an e-mail from the University of Washington: nope, not accepted. Meh. No real surprise. Been looking into their teaching program. There's an information session about it a week from now that I intend to go to, but it's going to interfere with travel plans - Meg and I were supposed to leave for Denver that morning. Probably we'll end up leaving that night. Meg proposed driving straight through the night, but I honestly hate doing that. I'm thinking maybe we could get out of Seattle at 5 p.m.(leaving at Friday rush hour - genius idea) drive for seven hours, get a hotel, sleep, then drive all day Saturday to make it there that night.
Been drawing a lot. Excited about the piece. It should be done on Sunday, I think.
As a last note on Watchmen, be warned that it's extremely gory - more so than I expected. Also, I found Dr. Manhattan's penis distracting (I know, I know, I mean, who wouldn't, right?). I appreciate that OK, he's naked, so why hide it, he's not neutered, but still, there's this animated blue penis waving around all the time in scenes that are clearly not about his penis. And he can change his body and clothing at will, right? So is he just an exhibitionist, does he simply enjoy waggling his blue penis in people's faces cuz, you know, he's sort of a god, and what are you going to do about it, huh?