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.