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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:37 pm 
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Re: Why is fandom so down on Laurie??


because she is a loose woman who seems to ruin everyone's day, sometimes she does it twice to the same person :o

Well anyways if any character should be hated it should be The Comedian.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:27 am 
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And now, the post that ate Jupiter (the planet that is).

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Good point – and one that had passed me by entirely. Sally has gone up in my estimation.

Squee!

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True, and not a bad call given the slightly sinister undertones of Jon’s behaviour in Chapter IX. The significance that I read into it was that she specifies Sally and Dan, rather than just “all the other worthless humans”. It’s almost like a wake-up call: the moment she realizes that she may not have forever to actually get round to telling her mum how she feels. A lesson Hollis Mason didn’t learn in time…



Yes. I get that too. She's not a "gotta save the world" kinda person. She's a "gotta save these people here" kinda person. She will work along side the others to save the world but I feel that's not her main motivation.

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she has to drop her defensive wall, tell her mother how she really feels, before it’s too late


You know, it really did take an awful lot to get Laurie to this point!

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In some ways, that feeds into the pool scene at Karnak. Some people argue that it’s callous, but I’d disagree. In the face of wanton destruction, she wants to express her love for Dan now, while there’s time


I think it's kinda sweet actually. Self-centered, yes, but sweet. Nice for Dan too. I think he's been ignored and lonely for a long time.

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When it comes to the crunch, Laurie isn’t into Veidt’s utopianism, the Comedian’s nihilism, Rorschach’s idealism – she’s into people, and relationships and relating to them. She doesn’t see them as expendable, to be obliterated in the name of the greater good, or tortured to help track down a criminal. She isn’t good with people (by her own admission, she has no friends, and her life as nothing but a superhero hasn’t given her a great grounding for social skills) but she cares about them. Even the ones she doesn’t know: that’s why World War Three scares her, and the notion of a mask killer seems irrelevant.


I think she cares about people as a concept and some people specifically. I kinda think they could have been more daring with her character and given her some hard core flaws like the others got. I think her being female made a difference here and that kinda annoys me BUT someone has to be a contrast, I guess, and the girl is the obvious choice. Though Dan is there to be the conscience of the group in a way that Laurie isn't. He is far more selfless and even takes on a sort of "feminine" role (traditionally speaking) so if it's good enough for him...

She doesn't want people to be harmed, as you say. But she doesn't seem to like people that much. Care about them yes but not like so much.
She does tend to get superior with people which hints she feels a little better than most of them. This is likely why she has few friends.

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Not with Dan, which I think is significant.

Not about Dan but she still makes it clear to him she thinks it was a naff thing for them to be doing. She never calls him on it directly but she puts it down, and so him, indirectly.

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I think she does get Dan – she takes an interest in him, draws him out. Her humour is never directed against him, and when she does offend him, she is immediately contrite.


I think Dan is the only person she gets. I thought that before you said it and it confused me a bit because I didn't get why she only got this one person. I think maybe it's because he has a gentle way which encourages other people to open up to him. He offers her something she's been looking for and didn't get with Jon she she's going to find him more interesting too.

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I don’t think she’s down on being a masked vigilante – she’s down on being Silk Spectre. She’s scared she’s repeating her mother’s mistakes: stuck in a marriage of convenience and living off looks which are starting to fade.


This is a good insight. Laurie doesn't seem to realise the power she can have over her own life. She could choose another persona but she doesn't. She did walk out on Jon (though it took a long time) as her mother walked out on Larry so that was a start. I think she keeps hoping things will get better if she sticks it out.

Curious she admires Dan as a hero she would like to be as he is also replacing someone else, which is her big hang up. I guess the difference being he is replacing someone he respects and it he wasn't pressured into it. He's made Nite Owl his own.

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All of her vitriol about being a Mask is either general, or applied to her own career. When she’s talking specifically about Dan’s career, it’s nothing but praise. When she asks Dan, “Why did we do it?” and “Wasn’t there anything good about it?” it’s as if she wants him to give a good rebuttal to her arguments. I don’t think these are rhetorical questions.


Maybe. It's not the feeling I get but you may be right. Personally I would think the "good" of rescuing people from those who would harm them would be bleedingly obvious.

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Being a masked vigilante is the only thing she’s ever done – the only thing she can do - and it is inherently daft. The Comedian recognized that at the Crimebusters meeting, and if the riots prior to the Keene Act proved anything, it was that the masked vigilantes just weren’t up to the job.


I don't think the Comedian meant it was daft. If he really believed that he would have stopped. His point was it was futile. Things had changed. They were no longer up against small-time crooks and dime-a-dozen crimelords. He knew just how big the threat was that was coming and he knew this small group of people was no match for it. (Well, maybe Jon, but the Comedian already knew Jon wasn't one to step in, not even when things are happening right in front of him). He hated this fact but he saw no point in pretending otherwise.

The riots were proof there was not enough manpower to deal with the new way of things.

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She’s angry with her mother because she feels she’s been railroaded into a meaningless career and left without the skills she’d need to do anything else.

And I'm sad because she can't see the meaning in it.
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She’s angry with her mother because she feels she’s been railroaded into a meaningless career and left without the skills she’d need to do anything else.

I get this to a point but by 37 she should be able to put that in perspective and decide to make her life her own. It's not too late to change careers. She was inactive as a hero between 1977 and 1985 and managed OK. It's not the only thing she can do or has done.
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It’s true that she has to be dragged kicking and screaming into rescuing Rorschach – but you can’t blame her for being a bit miffed when the very first thing Dan wants to do once he’s finally managed to get it up is get back together with his old partner. Especially one who has a very active dislike of her – or her outfit, at any rate.

I do get why she doesn't like Rorschach but their exchanges make me laugh. she get's so flustered and he's so calm. It makes it more interesting that they don't get along. If everyone automatically liked Laurie that would fail (and does happen in lesser works).
I think she is just going to have to accept if you want Dan you get Rorschach.


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Does she get Jon? Maybe not, in the end – but that’s a result of his growing alienation.

Yeah, I don't think even Jon get's Jon. She gets things about him. Others get bits of him but the whole? Nah. He's just too unreachable.

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Laurie’s the only character who relates to Jon as a human being, rather than as a godlike figure – which I suspect is part of her attraction for him

And his for her. He must get sick of being treated like a magic fix for everything or, worse, a weapon.
Though I think the Comedian questions him man to man. He can see Jon's disengagement and that it's not healthy or helpful. He pulls him up on it and I think that is the point where he gets they are all in serious trouble. That they have "lost" Dr Manhattan, or soon will.

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(or maybe they just had a shared interest in blaming their parents for their careers?).

lol

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Early on, she makes a point of asking his name rather than calling him Dr Manhattan. Both Jon and Laurie make reference to being happy together when they were in Washington – it seems unlikely that she was slinging mud at him then.


Maybe she was blinded by love but it seems she was the last one to figure out Jon's most serious flaw even though she knew him the best. There must have been a time there were happy, for sure. We just come in at the end to see it all crash.

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Does she understand her mum? That’s an open question. They’re more similar than either would care to admit: both emotionally guarded, both terrified that Laurie will repeat her mother’s mistakes. I doubt she’ll ever understand why her mother ended up with Eddie Blake – but at least she’s come to terms with the idea that some things can’t be understood, or don’t need to be understood. And maybe that some things make no difference: in practical terms, whoever Laurie’s father was, it was her mother who put all the effort into her.


I do wonder, again, had the world not been about to end would she have ever came to this realisation. I don't think Sally is emotionally guarded for Laurie's liking!
She's defensive around her daughter but then she is usually being attached.
I don't think she understand her love for Eddie Blake, or wants to, so she will never understand a very important part of her. I don't think she really gets her mum by the end of the book she seems to have more respect for her and that's not nothing.

I get Laurie's concern for her mum, in regards to Blake but, Sally was not concerned for herself. Clearly Eddie never tried to hurt Sally again and, in fact, went out of his way to make sure their other sexual encounter was positive (in Sally's opinion anyway). She didn't fear him her herself but didn't trust him around Laurie (not knowing he knew he was her father). I guess that's understandable. People will take things they will not subject others too and it's another case of Sally trying to make sure Laurie is not going to have the same crap happen to her.

Sally put in the effort in raising Laurie and did the best she could, no doubt about that. I have no idea if Eddie would have put in any effort had be been allowed I don't know. Sally was pretending the baby was her husbands so he could hardly do much.

I think, even if he did though, things would have fallen apart if Laurie had learnt about what happened in 1940.

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Of all the adjectives I might use to describe Laurie, nice would not be one of them!


Hehe, that's because you understand her.

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Well anyways if any character should be hated it should be The Comedian.


That's a whole 'nother thread, right there.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:58 am 
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Hmmm… more good points. I’ll try to keep this as brief as I can…

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I think she cares about people as a concept and some people specifically.

Yes – I’d agree there. She likes humanity and values life in itself, rather than having a soft spot or great empathy for the people she meets. Perhaps that explains why she struggles to find meaning in what they did as Masks? On an individual basis, they’ve saved lives, prevented crimes, put away bad guys – in the grand scheme of things, they haven’t addressed any of the big problems. In that sense, she follows the views of the Comedian and Veidt – a contrast to Rorschach, who is determined to save the world one inch at a time.
Actually, I’m wondering whether the Comedian has a similar view. He’s quite happy to kill individuals, but the thought of three million people slaughtered drives him nuts.

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I think her being female made a difference here and that kinda annoys me BUT someone has to be a contrast, I guess, and the girl is the obvious choice.

Yeah. If Watchmen explores the motivations for becoming a masked vigilante, the men get nihilism (the Comedian), altruism (Nite Owls 1 and 2), sociopathic thirst for justice (Rorschach), inadvertent godhood (Dr Manhattan), and superhuman arrogance (Ozymandias). The women get: furthering a modeling career (Silk Spectre 1) and because she was told to (Silk Spectre 2). Slightly lop-sided, isn’t it?

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She was inactive as a hero between 1977 and 1985 and managed OK.

I’m not so sure about that: she’s spent at least the last four of those eight years bored and isolated, and dependent on Jon’s good graces. She doesn’t seem to do anything except keep him company – she doesn’t work in the lab with him, just sits round and feels cooped up. Maybe she could have followed the Comedian’s line, and gone on to work for the government – but as long as she’s with Jon, the government want her kept safe and out of harm’s way.

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I do get why she doesn't like Rorschach but their exchanges make me laugh. she get's so flustered and he's so calm. It makes it more interesting that they don't get along.

It also makes for some sweet exchanges between Dan and Rorschach, as Rorschach does his best to be nice about her for Dan’s sake.

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Though I think the Comedian questions him man to man. He can see Jon's disengagement and that it's not healthy or helpful. He pulls him up on it and I think that is the point where he gets they are all in serious trouble.

In particular, the Comedian seems upset that Jon will soon stop caring about “Sally Jupiter’s little girl”. He doesn’t seem any happier about Laurie’s choice of men than Sally is.

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I do wonder, again, had the world not been about to end would she have ever came to this realisation.

Probably not – at least not until it was too late. Rereading the reconciliation scene, it’s funny how quickly they try to disengage once they’ve got the big news out of the way – they’re almost embarrassed to be nice to each other.

I’m not even going to start on the Comedian. I’d never escape!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:13 am 
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Actually, I’m wondering whether the Comedian has a similar view. He’s quite happy to kill individuals, but the thought of three million people slaughtered drives him nuts.


Yes and it's interesting to see elements of both her parents in Laurie.
The Comedian had trouble relating to or valuing people (yet not understanding them) but he doesn't hate humanity. That's a lot like Laurie (only he seems to feel it much more than she does.)
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Yeah. If Watchmen explores the motivations for becoming a masked vigilante, the men get nihilism (the Comedian), altruism (Nite Owls 1 and 2), sociopathic thirst for justice (Rorschach), inadvertent godhood (Dr Manhattan), and superhuman arrogance (Ozymandias). The women get: furthering a modeling career (Silk Spectre 1) and because she was told to (Silk Spectre 2). Slightly lop-sided, isn’t it?


That's why comics can make me sad and I like Gaiman and Oda as writers so much because they know how to write women as people capable of big dreams and big flaws.
How sad that the best GN ever still struggles in this area.

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I’m not so sure about that: she’s spent at least the last four of those eight years bored and isolated, and dependent on Jon’s good graces. She doesn’t seem to do anything except keep him company


Yeah, that's right. She's there to "bed the bomb." I don't think she would have been able to do the government thing her dad did. She just didn't have the motivation or drive. Clearly she is content to sit around doing nothings (and that would be a strike against her!)


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In particular, the Comedian seems upset that Jon will soon stop caring about “Sally Jupiter’s little girl”. He doesn’t seem any happier about Laurie’s choice of men than Sally is.

And this is one thing I can really like him for. He wasn't to protect his girl from people, well, like him. He, too, wants her to have the happiness he never had, even while she hates him.

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Probably not – at least not until it was too late. Rereading the reconciliation scene, it’s funny how quickly they try to disengage once they’ve got the big news out of the way – they’re almost embarrassed to be nice to each other.


I got that too. Oh, well, it would have been too fake if they had suddenly become best buddies. I think that will have to happen over time (probably with help from Dan).

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I’m not even going to start on the Comedian. I’d never escape!


I don't want to ;) We really need a threat like this for each characters.
Rorschach has about five and Laurie has this one but what about the others?

Never thought I'd have such fun talking about Laurie!.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:23 am 
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Never thought I'd have such fun talking about Laurie!.

Yup, it's been a pleasure. And from now on, Dr Manhattan will always be Hatty to me!

Anyway,

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How sad that the best GN ever still struggles in this area.


I've never been quite sure how far this was Alan Moore's fault. As I understood it, he was basing his characters on the Charlton Comics line, and it was only late on that he realised he didn't have any female leads. Whether that says more about Alan Moore or the poor calibre of Superheroines around at the time, I'm not sure.

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I don't think she would have been able to do the government thing her dad did. She just didn't have the motivation or drive. Clearly she is content to sit around doing nothings (and that would be a strike against her!)


I always got the impression that she wished she were doing more, but she seems to have fallen for the line that if she left Jon, the earth would be in danger. After all, Jon had made a point of emphasising that she was his only link to Earth (an ambiguous statement - does he mean that in a positive way, or in a "Ball and chain" kind of way?). I'd always thought that was why she left - if he prefers working to being with her, then she's completely redundant. And when she does leave him, she's accused of causing World War Three. Actually, if Veidt hadn't intervened, perhaps World War Three would have happened - I wonder if that's why she agrees to go along stay quiet so readily, just minutes after trying to murder him?

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I think that will have to happen over time (probably with help from Dan).


Am I the only one who finds it a bit creepy that Dan has a Silk Spectre Tijuana Bible from when he was seven? It makes me wonder if that's where his costume fetish came from. And worry a little bit about what he must be thinking when he's with Laurie. :shock:

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We really need a threat like this for each characters.
Rorschach has about five and Laurie has this one but what about the others?


I've always felt that one of the main strengths of Watchmen was the richness of the characters. None of them are entirely likable, none entirely dislikable. There's an awful lot to chew over!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:25 am 
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And from now on, Dr Manhattan will always be Hatty to me!


Yes! Legacy!
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I always got the impression that she wished she were doing more, but she seems to have fallen for the line that if she left Jon, the earth would be in danger.


Hmmm, perhaps. She could have done a fair bit without leaving Jon though. They are all centered in one city and she was active when she met him. I don't think Jon would mind too much if she was flitting around the city. He barely seems to notice her when she is there much of the time.

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Actually, if Veidt hadn't intervened, perhaps World War Three would have happened - I wonder if that's why she agrees to go along stay quiet so readily, just minutes after trying to murder him?

Very likely. It's a small price to pay to save the world and Laurie is capable of sacrifice for the greater good. It's not her first instinct, perhaps, but she can do it.

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Am I the only one who finds it a bit creepy that Dan has a Silk Spectre Tijuana Bible from when he was seven? It makes me wonder if that's where his costume fetish came from. And worry a little bit about what he must be thinking when he's with Laurie. :shock:


I think it's creepy he had a Silk Spectre Tijuana Bible when he was seven.
Keeping it I can understand. He was a masked hero fanboy after all. But what would a seven year old make of that?


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I've always felt that one of the main strengths of Watchmen was the richness of the characters. None of them are entirely likable, none entirely dislikable. There's an awful lot to chew over!


Oh, yes. The enjoyment goes on well after you finish reading it for the twelfth time.
I have never felt this before about any other series or book but one of the reasons the Comedian is my favourite character is because he is the hardest to understand and so understanding him is the most rewarding (kinda like why I prefer cats to dogs.)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Yeah, that's right. She's there to "bed the bomb." I don't think she would have been able to do the government thing her dad did. She just didn't have the motivation or drive. Clearly she is content to sit around doing nothings (and that would be a strike against her!)


I don’t think she’s content sitting around doing nothing. I don’t think she ever had the opportunity to develop into anything but a vigilantly and when that was out there was nothing else she knew. She was 16 when she started with Jon and was pulled into crime fighting, her education and career hopes went out there. Her upbringing meant that she was never prepared or supported in anything but a career that was over in just a few years.

As for not helping Jon in his lab, I think Jon’s work and research was far beyond what even the average scientist could keep up with let alone some one with no higher education. She probably felt that she would have been more of a hindrance than a help, and she would probably be right.

She was essentially housewife to a god. Unfortunately I’m not sure that she saw a lot of options for herself. I think she felt obsolete, lost and unaware of what potential she could have outside of crime fighting. Even though superheroism was originally not a career of her choosing I’m sure it would make most other professions feel pretty meaningless. Being housewife to Jon meant helping to save the world, even if it was boring.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:13 am 
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Some good points here, TwilightLadyII.

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As for not helping Jon in his lab, I think Jon’s work and research was far beyond what even the average scientist could keep up with let alone some one with no higher education.


Yes, in Chapter I, when he's getting excited about Gluinos (or using them as an excuse for not going to dinner with Dan), Laurie's response is: "Fascinating. I'll call Dan." She clearly doesn't understand what he's talking about. She also doesn't know the difference between eugenics and genetic engineering. You'd have a hard time producing Bubastis by eugenics! But the fact that she started crime fighting at 16 indicates she didn't receive much education. Although it's never stated, it's feasible that she may have been home-schooled, which would mean all of her education was arranged around being a vigilante.

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She was essentially housewife to a god.


Yes, which makes Sally's question in the probe interview ("What else would she have been? A housewife?") ironic. Of course, it seems Laurie's unhappiness set in with their loss of privacy with the move to Rockefeller in 1981. Of course, Rockefeller is better equipped for Jon's research, so perhaps Laurie only started to feel more neglected, more redundant once they got there? After all, it is Jon's working while they're in bed together that drives her away in the end.

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I think she felt obsolete, lost and unaware of what potential she could have outside of crime fighting.


Interesting that Dan, who does have talents and an education beyond crimefighting ends up in the same condition. He could do so much, but never does.

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Even though superheroism was originally not a career of her choosing I’m sure it would make most other professions feel pretty meaningless. Being housewife to Jon meant helping to save the world, even if it was boring.


I've argued elsewhere that Laurie's upbringing puts her in a unique position. For her, being a vigilante is mundane, being normal an exotic fantasy: the reverse of Dan. Like most dreams, once it came true, she found it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. In a similar way, the Comedian's exchange with Dan during the Keene Act Riots has a similar effect on Dan: Dan's dreams that he was helping society as a Vigilante are damaged, and I'm sure that was part of the reason he agreed to retire. They don't go back because they decide they'd like to be vigilantes again: they go back because they realise they can't function as anything else.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:11 am 
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I don’t think she’s content sitting around doing nothing.


Maybe content is not the right word. She certainly has little in the way of useful skills to fall back on when it comes to getting a job in the real world. Maybe it's more a case of being trapped and unable to just do that mundane job she has been craving. Not just for from lack of skills but because, as you say, she can't bring herself to live a mundane life.

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As for not helping Jon in his lab, I think Jon’s work and research was far beyond what even the average scientist could keep up with let alone some one with no higher education.


Yeah, I never imagined for a moment she would be doing this. It would have made a nice connection for them if she could but no, no chance here.
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Being housewife to Jon meant helping to save the world, even if it was boring.


I like this way of looking at it. Never thought of it that way before.
I'm just not sure it's true.

One thing that makes me want to play down this aspect of her role with Jon, though, or at least her awareness of it is when she learns Jon has left, and is not coming back and the government agent has told her they are all in trouble the next time we see her she is complaining to Dan about losing her accommodation and her expense account. She goes home with Dan and is all breezy as she complains of being tired and thanks him for letting her stay with him. She is smiling.

She just doesn't look like someone who has lost their chance to help save the world.
She looks like someone relieved to be out of a failed relationship.

On Mars Jon says he left Earth because she left him. Laurie responds with "Don't be ridiculous! The Earth's too important to hinge on one relationship!"
Now, either she was freaked out at the idea of having so much power and denied it because she didn't want to believe she had it or she believed she didn't have that kind of power and Jon really was being ridiculous.

Either way it didn't suggest she thought of her relationship in those terms before.
She does mention on her date with Dan being "only kept around to keep Jon relaxed and happy" which hints she knows this is an important thing but a couple of panels later she is complaining she hasn't done anything with her life. If she believed her current role was helping keep the Earth safe why did she have no sense of achievement? Why think her life had come to nothing?

On Mars she makes her case for the Earth, (successfully though her success surprises her somewhat) and here she shows concern for the people of Earth. This is Laurie working to protect the Earth. I'm not sure, prior to this point, if she sees helping saving the Earth as part of her job description though.

I'm getting a mixed message in this one. Her job description is clear, keep Jon happy and everyone knows what vital role Jon plays and how him being happy is a good thing but her words suggests she takes no pride in this role, that she is merely Jon's "kept woman".

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:14 pm 
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It would have made a nice connection for them if she could.


Or would it? Jon could have talked nuclear physics to his heart's content with Janey Slater. The only thing we ever see Laurie and Jon doing together is walking and talking - I'm guessing Jon liked having someone who wasn't into nuclear physics that he could talk to. Perhaps that's one of the ways she's keeping him grounded?

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She goes home with Dan and is all breezy as she complains of being tired and thanks him for letting her stay with him. She is smiling.


Now, this is a very good observation. It's certainly true that she may never have seen it that way. She clearly doesn't think of Jon as an H-Bomb, even though the military do (again, part of her attraction to Jon).

However, one week later, she's panicking about nuclear war. A week after that, she's desperate for Jon to come back and "straighten everything out". Even if she didn't think it was true to begin with, she may be starting to think the military had a point. She certainly seems to have a guilt complex about it. Jon is able to use that angle to get her up to Mars, and later to persuade her to keep schtum about Adrian's plan.

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On Mars Jon says he left Earth because she left him.


Except, he didn't. Not at first. Instead, as she predicted, his "big emotional reaction" to her departure after twenty years was to go to his interview. He didn't even leave Earth when he was accused of giving people cancer. He returned to Rockefeller. It was only when he saw the warning signs put up on his room that he decided to leave. That's the point when he rejects the military's control, and whizzes off to Mars to think things over, see if he can think of a reason to stick around (A parallel to Laurie's declared intention that night). By Chapter IX, he seems to have decided that they could patch things up: he's made his choice, and he'd rather have Laurie than the military science.

No matter how many times Jon tells Laurie she's his only concern (however much he means it), it rings hollow if it's not supported by his actions. He finds ways of working when they're in bed, he'd rather find Gluino's than go to dinner: these all tell Laurie that he's just not interested. How can you see yourself as saving the earth when the person you're supposed to be keeping there doesn't seem to care?

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Laurie responds with "Don't be ridiculous! The Earth's too important to hinge on one relationship!" Now, either she was freaked out at the idea of having so much power and denied it because she didn't want to believe she had it or she believed she didn't have that kind of power and Jon really was being ridiculous.


I think there's a couple of things going on here. On one level, she's just being literal: the idea that Earth's future should hinge on one relationship is ridiculous. What if she got hit by a bus? What happens when she gets old? But she's also calling him out on his emotional blackmail. It's ridiculous for the relationship: how could it survive? He's being unfair on her. Jon would be able to treat her exactly as he liked, and she'd just have to lump it. That kind of unequal pairing would put a real strain on any relationship. In fact, it's already put a strain on theirs. How can she take pleasure in loving Jon when she has to if she wants a roof over her head? Love has to be freely given, right?

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If she believed her current role was helping keep the Earth safe why did she have no sense of achievement? Why think her life had come to nothing?


But what kind of an achievement is that? Especially if Jon seems to be losing interest in her. If she's with him to keep him on Earth, then she really has been reduced to the level of a prostitute. It cheapens her love for him, implies that she's with him for selfish reasons. Also, if she really loves him, why keep him somewhere he doesn't want to be? Emotionally, she needs for the military to be mistaken.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:56 pm 
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Laurie was just a weak character. Not like as in physical strength, just written poorly. Even my sister hates her, who saw the film first (she thought the actor did a good job at making her like in the GN, annoying).


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:36 am 
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WJK wrote:
Not like as in physical strength, just written poorly.


I don't think that's a fair assessment. There are issues about the presentation of female characters in Watchmen, but I agree that Laurie's badly written. She gets more depth than either Dan or Adrian, and while there's some ground in the complaint that she's defined by her relationships with others (her mother, Jon, Dan) - there's a lot of depth in her interactions with those characters.

Unless Alan Moore really did intend her to be just a whiney bitch, in which case: yes, he screwed up royally.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:24 am 
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I'm guessing Jon liked having someone who wasn't into nuclear physics that he could talk to. Perhaps that's one of the ways she's keeping him grounded?


Hmmm, good point. I think that's likely. I don't know if he ever spoke nuclear physics with Janey after they got together, we certainly never see it, but if he did before the accident it makes sense he would want something more worldly after it. He does value Laurie's grounding influence.


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However, one week later, she's panicking about nuclear war. A week after that, she's desperate for Jon to come back and "straighten everything out". Even if she didn't think it was true to begin with, she may be starting to think the military had a point. She certainly seems to have a guilt complex about it. Jon is able to use that angle to get her up to Mars, and later to persuade her to keep schtum about Adrian's plan.


By this point she's picking up on everyone else's fear. It's all over the papers and the TV. "Dr Mahannan gone from the Earth! Russians mobilising!" The government bods who tell her about Jon's departure practically accuse her of dooming the world (and it still takes her a bit after this to catch on).

My point is if she was aware of her role as being one that was important to ensuring the safety of the Earth why does it take all this to happen for her to realise that ceasing this role may have risked the Earth's safety?

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Except, he didn't.


No, you are right, he didn't, but I think it was a contributing factor and it was the one he told her about.
The cancer issue, the restrictions being placed on him, the fact he was being treated as some kind of monster, they way people were looking at him. Facing all that without the one person he felt some close to must have just been too much.
When he said that either he was being manipulative or this really is the one most important to him.

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He's being unfair on her. Jon would be able to treat her exactly as he liked, and she'd just have to lump it. That kind of unequal pairing would put a real strain on any relationship. In fact, it's already put a strain on theirs. How can she take pleasure in loving Jon when she has to if she wants a roof over her head? Love has to be freely given, right?


Oh yes. Deeply unfair. She's basically expected to sell herself. Things weren't always like that for her and Jon but had it not been Dr Manhattan, had it just been a regular guy, I feel she would likely have left a long time before.

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But what kind of an achievement is that?

I would think keeping the Earth safe would be a tremendous achievement and certainly a role of meaning. If Laurie really saw her role as keeping the world safe it is unlikely she would think her life had come to nothing. She may be unhappy in her role. I'm sure all the masks went through times when things seemed just crap.
But would she really see such a role as pointless? I'm sure she didn't want to see nuclear war break out but I don't think she look any pride in her role (not that I blame her but that's not the point here. The point is how did she see her role).

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Especially if Jon seems to be losing interest in her. If she's with him to keep him on Earth, then she really has been reduced to the level of a prostitute. It cheapens her love for him, implies that she's with him for selfish reasons. Also, if she really loves him, why keep him somewhere he doesn't want to be? Emotionally, she needs for the military to be mistaken.


I completely agree.
I don't blame Laurie myself. Jon was really the only one getting his emotional needs met and guilt is a crap reason to stay in a relationship. The pressure on Laurie to stay would have just made it harder.

If this is her role in saving the Earth it's sucky one. "You have to stay in a lonely relationship that has failed so your man doesn't leave the Russians to kill us all."
Hmmmm.

I know what Rorschach would think. He would say if that is what you have to do to save the Earth, if that is your role, you do it. Even if it's hard. But I'm not Rorschach and I think it was unreasonable to expect Laurie to stay with Jon for this reason. They really needs a better way to ensure the worlds safety than rely on something as fickle as a romantic feelings. Even Laurie gets this.
In this, Nixon's government seems to be a tad daft.

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Also, if she really loves him, why keep him somewhere he doesn't want to be?

She may not be aware she is doing that. She may think he is exactly where he wants to be, in his lab. She has been told he is a flight risk but she sees him everyday, happily boffing away in his lab, even while being intimate with her. She could be forgiven for thinking the government is being paranoid. She may believe it's not her keeping him there at all and the act that makes her leave would only confirm this in her mind. Another reason I think she doesn't value her role.
She doesn't think she is being a hero, saving the world. She thinks she's wasting her time.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:28 pm 
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My point is if she was aware of her role as being one that was important to ensuring the safety of the Earth why does it take all this to happen for her to realise that ceasing this role may have risked the Earth's safety?


Oh, I agree initially that that's the case: on her return to Rockefeller at the end of Chapter III, she is clearly surprised to find that he's gone, and seems to expect that he'll come back ("You're in big trouble when Jon gets back"). I was more making the point that by the time she says "Earth's too important to hinge on one relationship", she may have begun to change her mind.

I suspect, originally, that it had just never occured to her that Jon placed so little value on Earth. And he may never explicitly said he'll leave: saying she's his only link to the world doesn't exactly paint a clear picture of what he would do if she left him.

Another, point in favour of your argument is that even when it's made explicit to her, she still doesn't play on it. That's one thing the movie get's badly wrong: "Do it for me. Prove you care." Whatever else you can say about Laurie in the GN, she doesn't stoop to emotional blackmail. Even to save the world. Hmmm... not compromising, even in the face of armageddon?

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Facing all that without the one person he felt some close to must have just been too much.


Excellent point: I'd never thought of that. Certainly, Laurie leaving wasn't part of Adrian's plan (unlike the movie, where there is the implication that Adrian is distracting Jon from her). But then, Adrian's plans for Jon don't quite pan out as intended. Adrian wanted Jon to withdraw because he felt he was a menace. Jon actually seems to withdraw because he's so annoyed at the way people are treating him. Of course, Adrian's plan is based on psyche reports from the American Military, and they don't seem to have a good handle on Jon.

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When he said that either he was being manipulative or this really is the one most important to him.


Or possibly the former because the latter? It's certainly a manipulative thing to say, like "I'd die if you left me", which may be why Laurie didn't take it seriously, even if Jon was sincere.

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Oh yes. Deeply unfair. She's basically expected to sell herself. Things weren't always like that for her and Jon but had it not been Dr Manhattan, had it just been a regular guy, I feel she would likely have left a long time before.


Well, had it not been Dr Manhattan, the same problems wouldn't have arisen!

That said, I can vouch from personal experience how hard it can be to break up a long term relationship, especially when you got together young. It's only afterwards that you realise just how bad things had become, and wonder why you didn't break up years before. When you're in the thick of it, you both fight tooth and nail to hold things together just because... well, better the Devil you know.

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But would she really see such a role as pointless? I'm sure she didn't want to see nuclear war break out but I don't think she look any pride in her role (not that I blame her but that's not the point here. The point is how did she see her role).


No, I think given our discussion above, she probably didn't see herself as the only thing keeping the world safe. After all, she cites her job description as "keeping Jon relaxed and happy" not "keeping him around": she obviously feels as if she's been reduced to the state of a luxury item. The military obviously assume that without sex, Jon will explode. Jon evidently doesn't see it in those terms.

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They really needs a better way to ensure the worlds safety than rely on something as fickle as a romantic feelings.


Absolutely. They've been lucky Jon's such a passive guy, and they just take it for granted he was always going to be on their side. What if he'd been a Rorschach, or an Adrian? If Adrian fixes one thing with his whacky scheme, it's the fundamental power imbalance that Jon creates.

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She doesn't think she is being a hero, saving the world. She thinks she's wasting her time.


Yes, I'd agree with that. Certainly Jon's actions suggest that she isn't his main concern. But then, Jon's terrible at expressing himself. He doesn't even seem that passionate about his research: he seems to do that for the government's benefit. He isn't building a lab on Mars. His problem is that he tries to keep too many people happy: in Chapter III, I guess he thought he'd found a natty way of keeping everyone satisfied, even if he already knew it would fail. When he gets to Mars, he's thinking Laurie, not research: but by then it's way too late.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:06 am 
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I was more making the point that by the time she says , she may have begun to change her mind.


I agree with this. My point was it took a lot to get her to this point but she does get there. Now I think about it I think she may have said "Earth's too important to hinge on one relationship" partly because she was scared she had so much power in her hands all along and she'd had no idea. This suggest to me she was oblivious to her "real" role. Certainly Jon never let on how important she was to him till then. This may be the point where she realises this. It's kind of played down the the GN, she quickly goes on to other things so I'm not sure but I think Laurie learnt more than who her father was on Mars, I think it put the last 20 years of her life in perspective.

It's kind of odd but the government clearly never told her why keeping Jon happy was so important. Maybe they just figured she would get it?
How much else were they leaving to chance?
How did Nixon get elected for 3 terms again?
Maybe he was just too much of a Beatles fan but, I'm sorry Mr Nixon, sometimes you need more than love.

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Another, point in favour of your argument is that even when it's made explicit to her, she still doesn't play on it. That's one thing the movie get's badly wrong: "Do it for me. Prove you care."


I like that GN Laurie doesn't stoop to emotional blackmail and I think, in part, it's because she doesn't want to promise Jon the world and then not be able to deliver.
Say he "proves he cares?" Where does that leave her? She has already moved on.
I also don't think she is the sort for emotional blackmail either.

Quote:
Hmmm... not compromising, even in the face of armageddon?


Hurm, I still don't think she has Rorschach's altruism. There was also the "didn't wanna have to promise Jon stuff she didn't want to deliver" issue. She didn't want to lock herself into a future with a man whom she was no longer in love with, nor did she want to lead him on but, then, Rorschach didn't want to live in a world based in a lie, he was trying to get away from something he couldn't face. It was a noble, but selfish, act.
I think Laurie is more focused on her world than the world but she shows on Mars she is willing to go to bat for it anyway. She does get to be a real hero.

I guess she does have her own standards which she isn't willing to compromise which does give her something in common with Rorschach (as much as he would hate to admit it).

However, unlike Rorschach, it takes a hell of a lot for Laurie to go to bat for the Earth and to realise she needs to. Still, at least she does it.

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and they don't seem to have a good handle on Jon.

You got that right! They could hardly be more oblivious to Jon or even human nature.

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Well, had it not been Dr Manhattan, the same problems wouldn't have arisen!

The being ignored and put second to work? Could happen to anyone. The military intervention, though, I'll admit that's rare.

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she obviously feels as if she's been reduced to the state of a luxury item. The military obviously assume that without sex, Jon will explode. Jon evidently doesn't see it in those terms.


Yeah, I think that falls under the military reading Jon all wrong. Poor Jon. He's so misunderstood and if that is the quality of care America is getting no wonder they are so scared of Russia.

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They've been lucky Jon's such a passive guy, and they just take it for granted he was always going to be on their side.


Well, they have Laurie giving them a false sense of security. They really think as long as she is there everything is OK. Hatty goes and they blame her, even though it's not her fault. Even though what they are treating Jon is part of the problem.

Basically the government's handling of the Dr Manhattan project is pants.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:01 am 
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Certainly Jon never let on how important she was to him till then. This may be the point where she realises this. It's kind of played down the the GN, she quickly goes on to other things so I'm not sure but I think Laurie learnt more than who her father was on Mars, I think it put the last 20 years of her life in perspective.

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It's kind of odd but the government clearly never told her why keeping Jon happy was so important. Maybe they just figured she would get it?


I think they assumed she was just a gold-digger: that as long as they were paying her, she'd just stick around. After all, Agent Forbes describes Jon as "her meal ticket". Why else would a girl be with a blue guy twenty years her senior? And they don't seem concerned when she first walks out - maybe they figure that if she leaves, or when she gets too old and ugly for Jon, they'll just bus in hookers? They completely miss the fact that Laurie's with Jon in the first place - and what Jon values in Laurie - is her unique upbringing which has left her, to put it bluntly, rather warped.

Indeed, Laurie herself identifies this in Chapter IX: "You should have seen me before I met YOU". She obviously feels Jon's done something to help straighten her out.

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How did Nixon get elected for 3 terms again?


Because he was so successful in the Cold War. By the 1970s, America is clearly winning - Dr Manhattan has lulled everyone into a false sense of security. After all, it's Jon the knot-tops blame for the war, as if he had no right to leave. No one says "Wait a minute - why did we think we were safe when we left ourselves at the whims of just one man?".

In a way, that's one of the key themes of Watchmen: that by putting your faith in superheroes, you're relying on the inherent goodness of a small number of people, who don't have to be bound by your rules. It's actually quite a scarey thought.

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Maybe he was just too much of a Beatles fan but, I'm sorry Mr Nixon, sometimes you need more than love.


Well, it's nice to think that the guy chained to the nuclear launch switch is a bit of an old romantic, eh? I'd like to see what policies he came up with based on "I am the Walrus".

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Hurm, I still don't think she has Rorschach's altruism... It was a noble, but selfish, act.


Well, one can refuse to compromise without being altruistic. I think your definition of the "noble, but selfish, act" is spot on. Of course, one could interpret it as making a larger point: equating the value of their relationship to the value of the world, is either a very romantic (if slightly weird) gesture, or it cheapens the world. Not to Jon, maybe, but that's certainly the way Laurie interpets it. After all, she reminds Jon at the end of the chapter, that if she is unique, a thermodynamic miracle, then so is everyone else on Earth.

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and they don't seem to have a good handle on Jon.

You got that right! They could hardly be more oblivious to Jon or even human nature.

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The being ignored and put second to work?


Well, it'd be harder for them to hide it behind time/space duality, at any rate. Or whatever it is that Jon's doing in Chapter III.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:49 am 
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I think they assumed she was just a gold-digger


Hmmm, another example of vast misunderstanding. I mean, she does complain about loosing her home and allowance but that may have been because she wasn't ready to face the big stuff or at least mention it to Dan. I think you are right that she figures Jon was going to come back on his own at this point.

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They completely miss the fact that Laurie's with Jon in the first place - and what Jon values in Laurie - is her unique upbringing which has left her, to put it bluntly, rather warped.


Frankly I don't think they were even interested enough to find out.
Quote:
Indeed, Laurie herself identifies this in Chapter IX: "You should have seen me before I met YOU". She obviously feels Jon's done something to help straighten her out.


I think they used to have a nice thing going.

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Because he was so successful in the Cold War. By the 1970s, America is clearly winning - Dr Manhattan has lulled everyone into a false sense of security. After all, it's Jon the knot-tops blame for the war, as if he had no right to leave. No one says "Wait a minute - why did we think we were safe when we left ourselves at the whims of just one man?".


Good point.
I suspect Nixon never let slip how tenuous his hold on Dr Manhattan really was either (if he even knew).
We know but the public would assume he was well under thumb or committed to stay like a good hero.
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In a way, that's one of the key themes of Watchmen: that by putting your faith in superheroes, you're relying on the inherent goodness of a small number of people, who don't have to be bound by your rules. It's actually quite a scarey thought.


Hmmmm, much like everyone put their faith in the government to protect them, to ask the right questions to ensure the people they need to do certain things to them.
Yes, very scary.

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Well, it's nice to think that the guy chained to the nuclear launch switch is a bit of an old romantic, eh? .


Oh, Nixon was just a big fluffy snuffle-poos!

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I'd like to see what policies he came up with based on "I am the Walrus"

It would involve cornflakes, penguins and Edgar Allan Poe chained to the Eiffel Tower. Or maybe Watergate on ice?


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Well, one can refuse to compromise without being altruistic.

Verily, I just just kinda putting a little wall between them (bad, bad self-serving creature that I am).

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Of course, one could interpret it as making a larger point: equating the value of their relationship to the value of the world, is either a very romantic (if slightly weird) gesture, or it cheapens the world. Not to Jon, maybe, but that's certainly the way Laurie interpets it. After all, she reminds Jon at the end of the chapter, that if she is unique, a thermodynamic miracle, then so is everyone else on Earth.


That's a very interesting way of looking at it. Will address this tomorrow. I'm sooo tired!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:30 pm 
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<.< I just think it's because of the whole 'double bind' of female chrc traits vs male chrc traits.

Taken from Bullies,B*strds,and B***hes (byJessica Morrell):...because traits that are considered admirable in men are often considered unattractive in women. Initiative and curiosity is rewarded in men, but in the cases f Eve and Pandora, it's seen as the fall of human kind. If a man is assertive, he is manly; if a woman is assertive, she's shrill.

So when certain male characters go off and do their things, we just let it pass by and accept it (or not). If a male chrc goes off and has an affair, it's assumed it's alright because he deserves the happiness (due to whatever reason), but if a woman does the same, she's considered a floozy, tramp, and ...that 'W' word. So Laurie goes off and more or less leaves Jon for Dan so she can have some happiness, but the audience might view that has her being a tramp rather than being concerned for her happiness. It's the whole thought of movies/stories and tradition and how they depict women and how breaking a certain imagined 'moral code' brings a disruption of order.

That's my two pennies.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:32 am 
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Welcome Ink! Your avatar is so cute!

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So when certain male characters go off and do their things, we just let it pass by and accept it (or not). If a male chrc goes off and has an affair, it's assumed it's alright because he deserves the happiness (due to whatever reason), but if a woman does the same, she's considered a floozy, tramp, and ...that 'W' word.


The old double standard huh? Oh yeah, I'm sure that colours some people's views.
Myself, I never saw her as a floozy. She leaves a guy when the relatinship fails and falls in love with another guy. I don't see how that makes her a floozy but it's amazing how often people draw that conclusion.

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If a man is assertive, he is manly; if a woman is assertive, she's shrill.

I'm pretty sure men invented the concept of nagging as an excuse not to listen to women. Mind you, movie Laurie is presented without a lot of her motivations explained so she can come across as needlessly whiny.
I don't find this with book Laurie though.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:37 am 
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Ink wrote:
That's my two pennies.


A good two pennies, Ink. Laurie's certainly confrontational, and not your typical superheroine: that's mainly what I like about her. Something that was rather missing, in the movie.

The obvious comparisons are that we don't see as much condemnation of Jon for cheating on Janey (who had, after all, stuck by him after the accident and despite her fears of what he had become), or of Dan for expecting Laurie to fall into bed with him the day after she's left a nigh twenty-year relationship.

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