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Disjointed Ramblings for a Sunday Morning

I had another one of those dreams last night. The sky was on fire, the air filled with the sound of humanity exploding.

I've been having dreams like this - at least once a week - since childhood, so they aren't necessarily brought on by current news and events. However, they are certain aspects to each of the dreams that incorporate current stories. For instance, in last night's dream, I could see the world from high above. You know those Bugs Bunny cartoons where they show Bugs traveling across the United States by using dashes across a map? That's how the dream was, like I was looking down at a map, I could see different states and then countries just disappear into a whirlwind of dust and fire. Over in Europe, there was a wall that stretched from one end to the other. A high, stony wall that was covered with foliage in some place, not unlike the walls in this dream. A disembodied voice said to me, pointing at the wall, that side is for Jews, the other isn't.

So the first thing I see when I check the news this morning is an explosion in Tel Aviv. A bomb on a bus, of course. And then there's this lovely story (via LGF) about a young mother traveling with her baby in France and being attacked by anti-Semites.

I'm feeling discouraged today. Hell, I feel discouraged a lot these days, but today I'm really feeling it and I don't know if it's just residue from the dream or a general malaise that's starting to crawl its way through my mind and into my heart.

The whole world is making a giant sucking sound right now. From Sudan to Iran, from the Gaza Strip to France, from New York to California, it's flush city. You'd need a plunger the size of a small planet to stop this sucker from overflowing.

For some reason this all leads me to thinking about Alan Moore's Watchmen.

The world of Moore's classic comic in some ways mirrors the world of my dreams, which reflect our current world; dark, scary, poised on the brink of disaster. There's an inherent distrust at work when you read the series. A character like Ozymandias seems so underhanded, yet his ways prove to be the path to peace.

Watchmen is basically the story of superheros trying to save the world from itself. It begins like this:

"The streets are extended gutters, and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"Ö and Iíll look down, and whisper "no."

Are we worth saving at this point? If superheros existed, would they even bother at this point in history? And what would we expect of superheros if they were real?

In Watchmen, Rorschach says: Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.

Easier said than done. I think our basic instinct is to compromise. We have to dig a little deeper into our hearts and souls to stand as one with our ideals. Sometimes it seems easy, even safe, to compromise, but safe isn't always right and safe doesn't always bring about the ending you desire. You may find yourself one day struggling to survive in a post-armageddon world and wishing that we didn't take the easy way out, that we said no to compromise. Compromising smells like weakness to your enemies.

We can leave it to our modern day human superheros to stand fast and true for us, as they are our own Watchmen. But, as the saying goes, who watches the Watchmen? And who watches those who do the watching? It's like looking into a mirror image, seeing the same thing over and over for miles; a question repeated ad infinitum only spurring more questions - or the same question - never an answer.

At some point, there has to be a place where we stop asking and start trusting. There really are no superheros. There are just humans fitted in costumes that we made for them and sporting powers that we gave them. Even if we strip them of those costumes and powers, we owe it to the world to see that someone else wears them. Someone who, in the face of armageddon, will say no.

Because I know some of you will mention it. I have heard about the proposed Watchmen movie. According to IMDB, Darren Aranofsky is attached, as they say. Though the most recent report I can find seem to indicate it's going to be another one of those on-again/off-again projects.

Personally, I think it needs to be a cable mini-series, as trying to cram the whole thing into a movie wouldn't work, and picking and choosing what to leave in and what to leave out would just turn the movie into another comic-to-film crapfest. However, let me be the millionth to cast Bruce Campbell as The Comedian.

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I'm so lame. Everybody else has some great blog entries for the weekend, but not me. Michele's got this weird dream to analyze. James has a wealth of good stuff. Michelle Malkin's even talking baseball (marry me Michelle!). What do... [Read More]

Comments

God, it's been years since I read that book. I forgotten how all of it went. I do remember that Rorschach was my favorite character.

Who watches the Watchmen?

God, I'd give anything to have dreams that helped me understand why I was here.

Newcomer here. I rarely dream, but I awake to the same dispiriting news; it wears on one to "pay attention" to the world. I have that kind of feeling today, like you do. These near-burnout times are when, for self preservation, one may have to focus in on the minute part of the world we each occupy and do something noble and helpful and "trusting", right there (here), right now.

Enough philosophizing, at least until coffee #2 or #3.

Maybe there is an antidote brewing that you have not appreciated yet --- "forest/trees" thing may be keeping you from connecting the dots. I read your Yankees/Clemens spew. What can save your emotional self is Clemens. If he were to join the Yankees, then you are freed from the curse of having to support what you must truly know is an evil empire, one that apparently coopted you early in life. Once free from that dark, oppressive guilt package, things will indeed look brighter.

I loved Watchmen (although I hated the ending), but I'm not convinced a movie could be done well. For starters, these were comic books about comic books--great for the cognoscenti, but difficult to understand for somebody who's got only vague familiarity with the source material. Second, it's dated by cold war obsessions; it is clearly a product of a 1980s' mentality.

I don't think it's that dated at all. Watchmen has issues/themes that are timeless: heros and villains, the corruption of power, the power of corruption, threats of armageddon, panic of the masses, growing up, questioning one's beliefs, and the first appearance of the Blue Men Group.

I'd like Campbell as the Comedian, though Bruce Willis would also work. As for a cable miniseries, I'd aim bigger and do the whole Lord of the Rings thing and film twelve hours or so (easier to get a great cast once rather than thrice), but put it out slowly. It wasn't a big problem for Rings that everyone (yeah, yeah, I know) had read the books and knew how they turned out.

Also, would it be R-rated if Blueguy has his penis out all the time? Some people just can't handle a sight of schlong.

Personally, I like Tom Selleck as the Comedian.

Gee, I mostly dreamt about spiders and getting lost/separated from my mom.

Who would play Rorschach? I can see Tim Roth or Gary Oldman (I like whichever one played Guildenstern better), but it's too bad there isn't an obvious young version of Harry Dean Stanton around.

Michelle,

This is why you like G.W. Bush. He's not into compromise. He saw 9/11 and said, "Never again!" He has been moving to prevent that from happening ever again. Those who attacked us on 9/11 had been convinced that they were oppressed, we were the oppressors, and killing a lot of us was the righteous thing to do. That's a lot to turn around. Bringing an opportunity for freedom and emphasizing personal responsibility (need both) addresses people being oppressed, i.e. the Afghans and the Iraqis. While many (but not most) would differ, as things in Iraq in particular play out, the picture of the US as "oppressor" is revealed more and more as a lie.

There was Neville Chamberlain, the great compromiser. There was Winston Churchill, the great leader, not known for compromising. Some would have us embrace the Chamberlain character. If we do, we may have peace in our time, but our children and grandchildren won't.

You know what I mean.

Andy

You know, most of my dreams are either about being naked (don't ask why, I don't know), eating alot (I think I get hungry at night), or some kind of flying or superhero thing. Most often, I have some kind of mind power that allows me to control things or people, think telekinesis/telepathy stuff. Those are the fun ones.

Oh, and nothing is better than when I'm dreaming, and I realize I'm dreaming, and I can do anything I want. God help everyone around me if I loose my mind and I happen to think I'm dreaming when I'm not.

I just see it as too much tied to its time--the Cold War "Balance of Power" or MAD. And the ending was implausible then, now it would be ridiculous.

Man, I loved Watchmen. It really does seem to fit the times, doesn't it? And I loved Rorshach. Absolutely flat out loved that character.

But I never agreed with his despair. He kept on plugging away at things, but he never really believed that he would make a difference.

I can't help but feel sometimes that we fall into that same trap - that feeling that it's all going to crap and there's nothing we can do about it. It's a lie. The fact that you keep writing, that you teach your kids what's right, that you hang on for one more day is making a difference. It makes a difference for me, it makes a difference for everyone who reads your blog.

Yes, things look bad. But there is always hope. Lose sight of that, and you're just another crazy screwed up person in a black and white mask, mumbling to yourself over a can of cold beans.

Michelle ....Your superhero has served you well, but the dream is telling you there is so much more......behind the wall , within the wall.This wall lives in you and needs to be revisited .

Visiting , you will need to come down from your intelectual sky and leave your superhero persona behind....Touch and feel your wall with feeling and image, and have a real live safe human with you......

You are being called,...

I enjoyed Watchmen as well, although the whole section with the kid reading the comic book throughout the middle part -- I'm pretty sure that was in Watchmen -- seemed more like allegorical space-filler than anything else. I think a Watchmen movie would fall about as short as the LXG movie did -- good fluff and enjoyable to watch, but without any of the deeper meanings of the comic.

I don't think Ozymandias' scheme even brought about a lasting peace. Remember Dr. Manhattan's final words:

"End, Adrian? Nothing ever ends."

Eric,

Exactly, there is a reason the last image of the comic book is of the slob reaching for Rorshach's diary in the slush pile. The symbolism of comedian's symbol with the blood spatter (or ketchup as the case may be) is once again seen, which means that the final twist/ironic hand of fate is about to once again show itself and ruin Ozymandias's plans.