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Thread: WATCHMEN on HBO

  1. #121
    New old guy Surf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stillanerd View Post
    Four episodes into watching and reviewing #WatchmenHBO, and it's clear this sequel series has gotten way more bizarre than the graphic novel.
    Yea no shit. In the now of course it isn't the case but I wonder how much re-watchabilility this show is going to have. I dont need wall to wall Cape action, Cape exposition does it for me too and this is it's saving grace from the remaining 2/3rds mix of bizarity.


    I'm really watching what part Cal is having in this. He's not an Alfred or a Lois, maybe he's an early 90s Mary Jane Watson except I dont know what his job is. Other than alibi and of course sitter becasue Sister Nnight gets out A LOT. I feel he's still in the dark about quite a bit, too much.
    Beefing up the old home security, huh?
    You bet yer ass.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surf View Post
    Yea no shit. In the now of course it isn't the case but I wonder how much re-watchabilility this show is going to have. I dont need wall to wall Cape action, Cape exposition does it for me too and this is it's saving grace from the remaining 2/3rds mix of bizarity.


    I'm really watching what part Cal is having in this. He's not an Alfred or a Lois, maybe he's an early 90s Mary Jane Watson except I dont know what his job is. Other than alibi and of course sitter becasue Sister Nnight gets out A LOT. I feel he's still in the dark about quite a bit, too much.
    I think Cal is a house husband. All we see him do is take care of the kids. Him being kept in the dark is probably part of the protocol of secrecy with the cops in Tulsa.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilan Preskovsky View Post
    As for the political aspect, I have zero issues with the show being political but I do kind of wish it wasn't about race. Obviously, I think that America - like much of the world, including, obviously, my home country, South Africa - does have an extremely troubling history with racism and it remains a smaller though still plenty large issue today. And, I hope this goes without saying, I certainly think that racism and bigotry, in general, is a vile, evil thing. None of this, however, makes it a particularly interesting subject to discuss.

    Accepting that racism is bad as a jumping-off point means that there isn't actually all that far to go with exploring it. Racism = bad, tolerance = good is a fine real-world philosophy but it's so black and white that it's a fairly uninteresting theme to be explored in art...
    There's a broadly valid point there, but it does not apply in this context.

    For one, "racism is bad" is actually not the only point here - and there are great lengths to take it. For one, we have several of the non-white characters fighting fire with fire, which raises fantastic ethical and moral questions: if faced with violence and prejudice, does answering with violence and prejudice help?
    For another, we have the masks. Historically - within and without the show - masks have been used to protect identities against repercussions and judgement not just for "heroes" but for criminals and villains. Having Klan masks, commandeered Rorschach masks, police masks and vigilante masks all being used for the same reason is brilliant. Agent Blake asks the difference between masked vigilantes and masked police - and given that the three detectives have vigilante names, the answer is all the more scathing.
    We have the added layer that the right-wing, racist, conspiracy theorist Rorschach-and-Nixon idolisers are... actually correct to ascribe conspiracies to the powers that be. If they believe the crazy tales of Kovacs, they're closer to Absolute Truth than those weeded out by Looking Glass' "is the Government lying about squids?" questions. Which is dark and grey and shocking and clever.
    By bringing the liberal/conservative debates about rules of engagement and guns to the fore and butting them right up against Redfordations, it shines a bright light on the benefits and hazards of addressing past wrongs - again, the Looking Glass test (take a hard look at yourself in the mirror) asks if "you believe all Americans should pay taxes?" And there is no easy answer to that in this context.

    That's just within the show. Whatever people whinge about regarding 'messages' and 'agendas', it IS important to lampshade how problematic many of these mindsets are in the Real World. If we can at least agree that 'racism is bad,' it really isn't any kind of leap to compare that to REAL political rhetoric and REAL actions and words of REAL people. If people refuse to face and address those issues, here's a stark warning. Albeit in fictional terms..

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Weapon View Post
    Did I miss something? Hooded Justice was a white guy who was a member of the KKK. He was implied to be gay and assassinated by Comedian.
    It's left deliberately vague in the comics, while in the TV show there's explicit reference to Muller and his not being HJ.

    Frankly, a completely hooded character in the 1940s with a noose around his neck strongly suggests a Black man..

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by the illustrious mr. kenway View Post
    Did the opening with Lady Trieu and the Clarks happen years before the show or at the same time as the shootout in the first episode?
    Uncertain. Are the Clarks known characters..?

    Is Lady Trieu the Comedian's daughter, out for revenge on Dr. Manhattan..?

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    I do believe it is heavily hinted that Veidt is at least not on Earth or indeed on Mars. It also feels hinted that Topher is the adopted grandchild of Laurie and has levitation abilities. The floating castle is branded as a Dr Manhattan toy but the prevailing technology is not advanced enough to have casually floating metal.
    Veidt must be on somewhere in space - that would explain the icing effect when he tries to launch his clone army through the air.

    (Chris)Topher Doyle... I find that unlikely, but intriguing.

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    Reading through the 'Peteypedia' resources, and they are a great addition to the world. For anyone decrying them as being an annoying additional necessity - they aren't. They are 1:1 the materials in the comics.

    Some note that there was a reaction against technology in the wake of the fear that Manhattan derived technology caused cancer. Another notes that Veidt madr part of his fortune through the Spark tech, and lost as much when the backlash occurred. Equally, Veidt's futurist optimism - moving from Nostalgia to Millennium - was misguided. All excellent extrapolation.

    Redacted excerpts from Laurie's FBI interview - after she and Dan stopped Timothy McVeigh - not that Dreiberg set up a business to provide weapons and transport for the police forces (hence the Owlship) and that she threatened to go to President Redford directly to tell what happened regarding Veidt.



    Selected excerpts: "And since the legends of Rorschach have inspired copycats over the decades - including those, like the 7K, who misappropriate him to some degree by projecting their own extremist ideologies onto him.."

    i.e. The Seventh Kavalry appropriated Rorschach and warped his words and morals to suit their own goals and ideals.

    "In Under the Hood, his sloppy and sentimental 1963 "memoir" (a designation that gives it license to take license), Mason reported that Hooded Justice was heard “openly expressing approval for the activities of Hitler’s Third Reich.” It’s a mere aside, and a reckless one, too, as it’s presented without contextual dating or elaboration. Nonetheless, Mason’s glibness has inspired a considerable amount of cynical speculation over the years. Was Hooded Justice anti-Semitic? Was he a Nazi? Was he a secret agent of the Soviet Union? (The U.S.S.R. had a non-aggression pact with Germany from 1939 to 1941, the early years heyday of the Minutemen.) Mason clearly favors the latter possibility in his memoir."

    i.e. Drawing from the UTH note that HJ was symapthetic to Germany, we get the HBO embellishment that German propaganda courted the non-white soldiers...

    "A political conservative infected to some
    degree by the period’s Red Scare paranoia (he was an avid reader of New Frontiersman), Mason suggests, in a
    seemingly innocent ‘just thinking aloud’ sort of way, that Hooded Justice was a communist subversive named
    Rolf Muller who was conveniently found murdered shortly after Hooded Justice disappeared. There is no proof to support this claim; it’s akin to the imaginative “fan fiction theorizing” that fills so many pop culture 'zines. Furthermore, Mason made it clear in subsequent interviews that he believed Hooded Justice to be same-gender-attracted and enmeshed in a relationship with Nelson Gardner, aka Captain Metropolis, a relationship Mason designated as deviant, exposing either his own homophobia or his own sexuality..."

    i.e. Whether or not Mason (or Moore) intended HJ to be Muller, the facts aren't there to support this contention.

    P.S. Who noticed Night's passcode is "1985," while Laurie's combination lock code is "666"..?
    Last edited by Ntnon; 11-14-2019 at 01:20 PM.

  9. #129
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    I wondered if whatever fell from the sky might be Veidt... but that's quite far-fetched.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ntnon View Post
    Uncertain. Are the Clarks known characters..?

    Is Lady Trieu the Comedian's daughter, out for revenge on Dr. Manhattan..?
    I don't think they are.

    I hope she isn't but i could see it.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ntnon View Post
    Are the Clarks known characters..?
    They're "known" in that they were an homage to John & Martha Kent.
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  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ntnon View Post
    Reading through the 'Peteypedia' resources, and they are a great addition to the world. For anyone decrying them as being an annoying additional necessity - they aren't. They are 1:1 the materials in the comics.
    Buried in the court documents about reparations is this fascinating section:

    "For the survivors of the Massacre and their descendants and more, for the country the Massacre is not something confined to a span of hours over a period of two days from decades ago. This was a crime that has
    carried forward in time, its traumas and consequences compounding and defining the conditions of their existence across generations unto this very minute. But it was also a singular crime that flowed out of countless injustices before it. And so this evil exists on an active and unbroken continuum of history, its degrading effects felt at all points at once. By rehearing this case, we create for ourselves an opportunity to begin asking if adjudicating matters such as these asks us to reconsider linear constructs of time (an obsolete notion that informs almost all of our laws) and adopt a quantum perpsective on justice."

    Now this is an erudite explanation of how events do not happen in a vacuum, and yet can still be described as discrete events and treated as such. But it is also a clever meta-commentary on how Dr. Manhattan views time as both a linear series of events that nevertheless form a cohesive whole and as a jumble of events across time happening simultaneously.

  13. #133
    (Formerly ilash) Ilan Preskovsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ntnon View Post
    There's a broadly valid point there, but it does not apply in this context.

    For one, "racism is bad" is actually not the only point here - and there are great lengths to take it. For one, we have several of the non-white characters fighting fire with fire, which raises fantastic ethical and moral questions: if faced with violence and prejudice, does answering with violence and prejudice help?
    For another, we have the masks. Historically - within and without the show - masks have been used to protect identities against repercussions and judgement not just for "heroes" but for criminals and villains. Having Klan masks, commandeered Rorschach masks, police masks and vigilante masks all being used for the same reason is brilliant. Agent Blake asks the difference between masked vigilantes and masked police - and given that the three detectives have vigilante names, the answer is all the more scathing.
    We have the added layer that the right-wing, racist, conspiracy theorist Rorschach-and-Nixon idolisers are... actually correct to ascribe conspiracies to the powers that be. If they believe the crazy tales of Kovacs, they're closer to Absolute Truth than those weeded out by Looking Glass' "is the Government lying about squids?" questions. Which is dark and grey and shocking and clever.
    By bringing the liberal/conservative debates about rules of engagement and guns to the fore and butting them right up against Redfordations, it shines a bright light on the benefits and hazards of addressing past wrongs - again, the Looking Glass test (take a hard look at yourself in the mirror) asks if "you believe all Americans should pay taxes?" And there is no easy answer to that in this context.

    That's just within the show. Whatever people whinge about regarding 'messages' and 'agendas', it IS important to lampshade how problematic many of these mindsets are in the Real World. If we can at least agree that 'racism is bad,' it really isn't any kind of leap to compare that to REAL political rhetoric and REAL actions and words of REAL people. If people refuse to face and address those issues, here's a stark warning. Albeit in fictional terms..
    OK, in terms of your first few points, I agree entirely with you. I wasn't sold after the first episode but I'm now all in.

    And this brings me to your last point, I'm in because it looks like it might actually have something of interest to say on the matter. To be clear, I'm all for exploring real-world topics in fiction, as long as it's done with some level of subtlety, intelligence, and nuance. Passion also helps but "preachy" in the worst sense is often the result of passion without having all that much of interest to say. And, yes, clearly racism is a systematic problem in the real world but I do find that when it is addressed in fiction, it's often in the most boring, one-dimensional, unoriginal and ham-fisted ways imaginable - even and perhaps especially when handled in earnest. It's also been the subject of so much art and real-world discussions over the past few decades that, however important such discussions are, I would be lying if I said I wasn't just so beyond tired of it by now. I know that's not very "woke" of me but that's how it is.

    It is bigger than that, though. I really do think that having black people constantly portrayed as victims - and, yes, very often by themselves - is incredibly damaging. We are the stories we tell about ourselves, and the more those stories are about victimization, the harder it is to escape falling into a self-destructive victim mindset that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And this is NOT victim-blaming, to be clear. Black people are no more responsible for what happened to them than we Jews are for the antisemitism that has plagued our existence for millennia. As a Jew, I firmly believe that while antisemitism is something to actively combat and I certainly wouldn't suggest the blood libels, pogroms and, of course, the Holocaust, it is a fatal mistake to define our entire identity according to antisemitism. This is true for Jews and I see no reason why it shouldn't be true for black people as well, which is why I have such an issue with so much of race-related fiction.

    And this is why I do have so much time for stuff like To Kill a Mockingbird, Get Out and, hopefully, this Watchmen sequel. Not only does it make for a much more interesting discussion, not only does it make the subject matter less tired, but I do genuinely think that creating an African-American narrative that is about more than just victimization, is fundamentally a good thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilan Preskovsky View Post
    I'm in because it looks like it might actually have something of interest to say on the matter. To be clear, I'm all for exploring real-world topics in fiction, as long as it's done with some level of subtlety, intelligence, and nuance...

    And, yes, clearly racism is a systematic problem in the real world but I do find that when it is addressed in fiction, it's often in the most boring, one-dimensional, unoriginal and ham-fisted ways imaginable - even and perhaps especially when handled in earnest.
    True. But it's also one of those subjects that is near-inpossible to discuss without the discussion becoming either an argument, an exchange of insults and assignations of culpability or mired in hyperbole.

    Questions without answers - and especially difficulties where everyone shares blame or needs to be both broadminded and single-minded at the same time - do not lend themselves well to fiction or interventionary discussions. But, paradoxically and depressingly, they are the questions and topics that NEED constant interaction. And if we can't do it honestly, theoretically or surgically.. maybe refracting it through fiction is the better (only?) option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilan Preskovsky View Post
    It's also been the subject of so much art and real-world discussions over the past few decades that, however important such discussions are, I would be lying if I said I wasn't just so beyond tired of it by now. I know that's not very "woke" of me but that's how it is.
    Those tedious definitions bother me - not least because they're often shorthand for personally crippling oneself in the name of honour. All the (post-)modern "check your privilege" and "safe spaces" cloud the issues too far in the opposite direction, and are causing immeasurable problems - both in-and-of-themselves and because of the reactions of those who belittle and sneer. It's a classic pincer movement, and reality is caught in its jaws.

    That said - and don't take this the wrong way, because I concur: it is tiring, it gets old, we roll our eyes and sigh.. - just because things have been said a thousand times does not mean they shouldn't be said again. Being hit over the head with messages and opinions again and again and again does not change the fact thag they are usually messages and opinions we need to hear... and haven't learned enough from yet, or we wouldn't need to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilan Preskovsky View Post
    It is bigger than that, though. I really do think that having black people constantly portrayed as victims - and, yes, very often by themselves - is incredibly damaging. We are the stories we tell about ourselves, and the more those stories are about victimization, the harder it is to escape falling into a self-destructive victim mindset that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And this is NOT victim-blaming, to be clear. Black people are no more responsible for what happened to them than we Jews are for the antisemitism that has plagued our existence for millennia.
    Absolutely. But, again, the underlying truths and sense of these statements lends itself well to Far White rhetoric and paradoxically feeds into the issue, making them impossible to talk through and get over.

    Seeing a dangerously-close-to-reality logical extrapolation play out might help. Reminding people of actual historical events and holding up YET ANOTHER mirror to current people, actions and mindsets has to help in some small way. If only something would help in a big way, or it were possible to have a rational, reasonable discussion and problem-solving debate...

  15. #135
    (Formerly ilash) Ilan Preskovsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ntnon View Post
    True. But it's also one of those subjects that is near-inpossible to discuss without the discussion becoming either an argument, an exchange of insults and assignations of culpability or mired in hyperbole.

    Questions without answers - and especially difficulties where everyone shares blame or needs to be both broadminded and single-minded at the same time - do not lend themselves well to fiction or interventionary discussions. But, paradoxically and depressingly, they are the questions and topics that NEED constant interaction. And if we can't do it honestly, theoretically or surgically.. maybe refracting it through fiction is the better (only?) option.


    Those tedious definitions bother me - not least because they're often shorthand for personally crippling oneself in the name of honour. All the (post-)modern "check your privilege" and "safe spaces" cloud the issues too far in the opposite direction, and are causing immeasurable problems - both in-and-of-themselves and because of the reactions of those who belittle and sneer. It's a classic pincer movement, and reality is caught in its jaws.

    That said - and don't take this the wrong way, because I concur: it is tiring, it gets old, we roll our eyes and sigh.. - just because things have been said a thousand times does not mean they shouldn't be said again. Being hit over the head with messages and opinions again and again and again does not change the fact thag they are usually messages and opinions we need to hear... and haven't learned enough from yet, or we wouldn't need to.


    Absolutely. But, again, the underlying truths and sense of these statements lends itself well to Far White rhetoric and paradoxically feeds into the issue, making them impossible to talk through and get over.

    Seeing a dangerously-close-to-reality logical extrapolation play out might help. Reminding people of actual historical events and holding up YET ANOTHER mirror to current people, actions and mindsets has to help in some small way. If only something would help in a big way, or it were possible to have a rational, reasonable discussion and problem-solving debate...
    I actually think we're mostly on the same page - especially now that I have a clearer sense of where Watchmen is going. My problem is that, however much I absolutely agree that racism is still a major issue, I'm not convinced that simple, black-and-white (if you'll pardon the expression) explorations of race in the arts have an overall positive effect. On a personal level, however much I agree with these sentiments, I am pretty bored of hearing about them unless they're presented in more interesting and innovative ways. The larger issue, though, is that a straightforward message of "racism is bad and there's still lots of it about" is basically either preaching to the choir or falling on deaf ears. Even those who roundly agree with the basic idea might write it off as more "SJW browbeating" or get increasingly fed up with the same old narrative of whites being the eternal oppressor and blacks as eternal victims. Hell, I sometimes feel that way myself.

    This is not to say that the arts shouldn't deal with race and everything around it but I do think we've reached a point where it's now no longer good enough just to make the same old statements without bringing anything fresh or original to the table. At best, it becomes tiresome and numbing; at worst, it does exactly the opposite of what it intends.
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