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Talk about the Watchmen comic book mini-series and film
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:21 pm 
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Godziller66 wrote:
DoomsdayClock wrote:
Objectivism rejects the Malevolent Universe Premise. While everyone has occasional problems, we believe that we are well adapted to live in the world. With the power of our intellects, we're able to manipulate our environments to better suit us. Happiness and success are not only within our means, but they're likely outcomes of a well lived life. Objectivism instead promotes a Benevolent Universe Premise.

Wait...Then Rorschach isn't an objectivist?


This is exactly what I thought. The way that Rorschach acts throughout Watchmen in fact, appears to me to imply that he follows a set of subjective moral values. I didn't get this impression so much from his beliefs, but the way he acts upon them. He seems to fight "evil" with grotesque violence, which I am sure many people perceive as wrong, or "evil", and yeah, there is no way that Rorschach believes in a benevolent universe. I find it interesting that Rorschach seems to consider himself above society in general (see beginning of GN with "They will look up and shout save us, and I will look down and say no"). It seems to me, that the way that Rorschach distances himself from society, is sort of like the way that Objective moral laws come from outside of society.

(DISCLAIMER: I may well be talking out of my arse because I don't really understand Rand, I am basing my comments off the definitions of objective and subjective morality, which come from my A-Level Ethics and Philosophy course ;))

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:20 pm 
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To be specific, Rorschach is a Moral Objectivist.

And, yes, Curiosity is correct - belief in a Benevolent Universe is only one aspect of being an Objectivist.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:02 am 
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Rorschach is a tribute to Ditko by Moore. Moore clearly, from both his writing and his lifestyle, at heart believes the universe to be not just malevolent, but able to be manipulated through unhealthy exercise of force of will. That needs to be kept in mind. Through that prism, tribute to Ditko or not (K surname, coat and hat, blank face, overlaid narrative, going Galt and getting it wrong), Moore is projecting a lot into the Rorschach character.

The shorthand for Rorschach that emanated from Moore and Gibbons is that Rorschach is ex post facto a psychotic due to the nature of the sort of superheroic archetype he is, and due to their perception of Ditko's Go Galt philosophy.

However, where that breaks down is that Rorschach in the context of his actual universe- is absolutely correct. It's a universe where fake alien space monsters can be teleported into cities and where psychics and secret scientific cabals can operate well enough to achieve doomsday plots.

Were Rorschach in our world, his reactions could well be seen to be at least mentally deranged if not outright psychotic. But within his world, he's definitely one of the saner people.

This is the danger of letting the habit of fiction carry over into real life values and then putting the values back into the fictional narrative.

For example the liberal, morally compromised echo chamber of eg Marvel's current staff (for the most part) leads to execrations such as the tea party slur in Captain America, or a Spider-Man who trafficks with the devil. Morally ambiguous is a mild word for that sort of thing.

In the Watchmen, Moore's understanding of the uncompromising and objective philosophical underpinnings of proactive individualists puts it in stark contrast to his own left-leaning ideology- an ideology he is far more a captive of than his overt magickal trappings and hermetic pronouncements might indicate.

Perhaps unintentionally, Rorschach hijacks the narrative of the GN and he is indeed the single greatest threat to Ozymandias throughout. Unlike the cowardly ethic-less and amoral, indeed immoral, Comedian, Rorschach's certainty is a cosmic level threat. His existential alienation provides the separation necessary to see clearly the smoke and mirrors tricks being played. Rorschach takes action to improve the universe he is in, even at the expense of peace of mind or obedience to a corrupt hierarchy.

It is significant that personified deus ex machina literally removes him from play at the end. It is a sign, intentional or not, that the Watchmen comicbook universe has returned, not to an elevated state, but in fact to the endless retread of conflict of a typical trite and spent comicbook world- the diary will reveal the conspiracy, the heroes and villain will begin the dance again. With Rorschach removed, there is no longer an absolute with which to judge anything and the Watchmen world thereby becomes completely irrelevant.

This to me encapsulates Moore's love-hate relationship with comicbooks. He despises the Rorschach archetype and yet is seduced by it time and time again. Likewise Morrison on Batman. In private I have no doubt at all that these British writers laugh at American characters like Batman, and their early British work lampoons American culture and icons mercilessly. However the power of the Galtian superhero, a person elevated by will and decency, as well as by unbending ethics, can easily become a fascistic figure, or a parody. But there is great truth in it. Salvation comes to the secular world through such singular figures. The anti-Obamas- people without the guilt of others, affirmative action or enablers- rise through defiance and despite the overt hatred of the powerful. Rorschach versus Veidt is a powerful illustration of this.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:53 am 
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Flying Tiger wrote:
Rorschach is a satire to Ditko by Moore.


Fix'd :)

Flying Tiger wrote:
However, where that breaks down is that Rorschach in the context of his actual universe- is absolutely correct. It's a universe where fake alien space monsters can be teleported into cities and where psychics and secret scientific cabals can operate well enough to achieve doomsday plots.

Were Rorschach in our world, his reactions could well be seen to be at least mentally deranged if not outright psychotic. But within his world, he's definitely one of the saner people.


How exactly does this make Rorschach sane ?

Flying Tiger wrote:
This is the danger of letting the habit of fiction carry over into real life values and then putting the values back into the fictional narrative.


The way I see it, if comic books, movies, videogames, novels, tv-series, etc. Didn't work by the same ground rules as the real world (unless said otherwise) then there would be no sense in telling stories through such mediums.

Flying Tiger wrote:
This to me encapsulates Moore's love-hate relationship with comicbooks. He despises the Rorschach archetype and yet is seduced by it time and time again. Likewise Morrison on Batman. In private I have no doubt at all that these British writers laugh at American characters like Batman, and their early British work lampoons American culture and icons mercilessly. However the power of the Galtian superhero, a person elevated by will and decency, as well as by unbending ethics, can easily become a fascistic figure, or a parody. But there is great truth in it. Salvation comes to the secular world through such singular figures.


I wouldn't say Moore's issues with comic books are about the characters themselves, but about how the industry was handled in the years he read and started writing comics, like Garth Ennis, his inspiration layed on science-fiction, supernatural tales, war stories, etc. Not at all on superheroes, specially not the kind of childish superheroes they read.

I once mentioned in the "Currently Reading" thread a story about Spiderman fighting The Hulk.............at the winter olympics, it was insane shit that was clearly meant for kids, the thing was that it had some really great story-telling devices and the art was really good for it's time, still, no matter how good it could've been........................it was still insane shit that was clearly meant for kids.

Moore and Ennis were born at a shitty time to read american comics, not that our time is fantastic, but one can, as a grown man, find stuff worthy of reading without finding a page with a Captain America waiting there to be colored by the reader :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:52 pm 
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Rorschach philosophically fells into the category of existentialist such as Sartre or Camus, but his action evidented a spiritual kinship with people like, Alexandar Solzhenitsyn, still not very far from existentialism.

Objetivism is hardly a classification of academical use in philosophy, at least, nothing new.


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