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 Post subject: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:54 pm 
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Darkly poetic. Grimly judgemental. Deeply disturbing.

We are left at the end of the novel with Slatternly Seymour reaching for the one document that can deconstruct Veidt's Brave New World.

But could it, really?

Imagine the denouement in the press.

In one corner an wealthy industrialist and former andventurer who is almost universally admired, who understands image and propaganda perfectly, who holds to levers to power, money, and the media.

In the other corner, a feared street person with a history of violent and possibly schizophrenic behavior who escaped prison awaiting charges for three murders.

Anyone who could possibly corroborate the wild allegations is dead or missing.

What do you think happens next?? Support your reasoning with examples from the novel ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:09 pm 
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Me, I prefer not to think about what would happen. There are so many variables and so many different ways that it could all end up. Sure, Dan and Laurie could come out of hiding and corroborate the journal, but would they really give up their new lives and spend time in prison so the world would know the truth?

And yes, Rorschach is not the most reliable witness and the New Frontiersman isn't exactly the New York Times. Still, I'm sure that some conspiracy theorist or journalist or government employee would take the story or the journal, run with it and see where it ends up.

So I don't like to think about would happen. But if you want to know what I think should happen, I think that the Journal should stay unread, with Dan and Laurie kept missing. Flash forward to when Veidt finally dies. They read his will and find some variation of this:

"I do hereby confess that I am responsible for the 'alien massacre' of 1985. The details are enclosed in this will. I ask that this confession be made public with the following question: Does it matter?

"For the past several years, the Americans and the Russians have lived in peace. It has been a good time, with much prosperity for us all. As my parting gift, I offer everyone in the world a choice: You can maintain this peace, though it was reached under false pretenses, or you can go back to the days of mutually assured destruction and the annihilation of our species. The choice is yours."

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:30 pm 
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Curi, I'm with you until you get to Veidt's "confession"...somehow, I think it would out of character for him to make that disclosure. Remember, this is the guy who "regretted" Blake's accidental involvement and who was rehearsing to Nite Owl and Rorschach his official story about the fate of his servants.

What could a psychopath possibly gain by coming clean at the end of his life??

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:35 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
Me, I prefer not to think about what would happen. There are so many variables and so many different ways that it could all end up. Sure, Dan and Laurie could come out of hiding and corroborate the journal, but would they really give up their new lives and spend time in prison so the world would know the truth?

And yes, Rorschach is not the most reliable witness and the New Frontiersman isn't exactly the New York Times. Still, I'm sure that some conspiracy theorist or journalist or government employee would take the story or the journal, run with it and see where it ends up.

So I don't like to think about would happen. But if you want to know what I think should happen, I think that the Journal should stay unread, with Dan and Laurie kept missing. Flash forward to when Veidt finally dies. They read his will and find some variation of this:

"I do hereby confess that I am responsible for the 'alien massacre' of 1985. The details are enclosed in this will. I ask that this confession be made public with the following question: Does it matter?

"For the past several years, the Americans and the Russians have lived in peace. It has been a good time, with much prosperity for us all. As my parting gift, I offer everyone in the world a choice: You can maintain this peace, though it was reached under false pretenses, or you can go back to the days of mutually assured destruction and the annihilation of our species. The choice is yours."

I really like this idea. I think you nailed Veidt's tone perfectly. I feel his ego would support this outcome, assuming he didn't acheive anything bigger and better in the wake of the peace that his confession might trump and therefore give him a bad place in the history books.

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:28 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
The choice is yours."



I don't think that people as a whole are capable of making a choice, thus, Veidt forced them into one. Especially people who were scared and irrational due to Cold War paranoia.

Why "confess" if Veidt saw no evil in his plot? Why risk undermining his own plot with a deathbed confession? I don't think he believes in the rationality of human beings to make the "choice"; he thinks he is the shepherd to their sheep. He worked nearly 20 years to make his peace plot work; I don't think he'd risk ending it a few more decades after that. His plan is meant for much longer...

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:40 pm 
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Very good points, ManOWar.

I guess I wrote that because personally, I don't think that peace means anything unless it's reached by choice. If peace is forced, it can't last.

So, I like to think that Veidt forced peace unto the Americans and Russians just so everyone could see what it was like. Let them live for a few years in his utopia. Then later, when Veidt is dead and no longer has to serve as a scapegoat for his actions, let them compare the current world to the recent past and choose which world they want to live in.

Like I said, I'm not sure if that's what would happen. It's what I think should happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:09 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
I don't think that peace means anything unless it's reached by choice. If peace is forced, it can't last.


True, it tends to last as long as the enforcer of said peace. Think Tito in the former Yugoslavia or the former Soviet states. There's still a lot of chaos in those areas.

Which is another reason Veidt would be unlikely to confess his involvement in the Squid incident -unless he wanted to sow the seeds of destruction of his own nefarious plan.

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:58 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:

I guess I wrote that because personally, I don't think that peace means anything unless it's reached by choice. If peace is forced, it can't last.



This is one HUGE fault of Veidt's plan. "Nothing ever ends Adrian". Despite all the hard work, Veidt didn't count on the population to find yet another reason to squabble. It's in our animal natures. Rorschach's book, whether it succeeds in undoing everything or not, is symbolic for our own inevitable future of war.

"It's in your nature to destroy yourselves", one terminator put it bluntly. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:26 pm 
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ManOWar wrote:
Why "confess" if Veidt saw no evil in his plot? Why risk undermining his own plot with a deathbed confession? I don't think he believes in the rationality of human beings to make the "choice"; he thinks he is the shepherd to their sheep. He worked nearly 20 years to make his peace plot work; I don't think he'd risk ending it a few more decades after that. His plan is meant for much longer...

Why? Because he has a big ego. Imagine that Veidt's plan did work, and it worked well. I honeslty think he would want someone other than the few masked heroes to know he was the one that was the architect of that plot.

Now, I don't think he would publicize this to the general public, but I can see him having a classified letter with Curi's diatribe delivered into the hands of the president (likely Nixon in his 12th term).

He might even outline a plan B and a plan C to help keep the peace! Doesn't that fit his character?

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:09 pm 
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Anybody see the movie Wag the Dog? Dustin Hoffman played a director who was hired by the U.S government to stage a phony war, as a way to distract everyone from the death of the U.S President, who, if I remember correctly, died in the arms of a mistress. Hoffman viewed the whole thing the way he would view a movie production, and at the end, he wanted to share this big secret despite being told he could never tell anyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:08 pm 
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I like thinking that Seymour picks Rorshach's journal from the Crank file. If he did, who's to say anyone would take it seriously? Rorshach wasn't exactly respected and admired. Let alone trusted. If the journal were to get published, i'm sure the F.B.I. or C.I.A. would look into it but, would they believe Adrian was capable of such thing? Creating an alien squid monster to kill millions of people in order to unite the world sounds pretty far fetched. Besides, Doc Manhattan, Laurie, Dan, and Rorshach are nowhere to be found. Would Rorshach's journal be enough to prosecute Adrian? I think not.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:51 am 
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Nice thread, Dan.

I disagree on the logic of Veidt's confession based on ego. I think his nod to his own ego came in disclosing his plan to Dan and Rorschach. But he makes quite a point that Alexander's failing was to make a utopia that survived his death. He planned on doing better. A deathbed confession would have defeated the point. No way he would have done that.

As for the journal... bear in mind that Rorschach was scarcely able to communicate verbally. We have no idea what his journal looked like. He very likely had devolved into a shorthand that was pretty much a useless scrawl.

But even if we assume that it was legible and the reader was willing to trod through dogs with burst bellies and such, what is there?

Some incoherrent rambling that Dan Dreiberg thinks that Adrian Veidt is behind some conspiracy, the nature of which no one can speculate. Hurm. Pretty damning stuff... not.

And where does it all appear? In the New Frontiersman... which is a fringe lunatic magazine, scarcely more than a newsletter. It doesn't appear to have any advertising. It likely has a very small circulation. It's a right wing conspiracy tabloid that makes the Enquirer look like a dependable news source.

So imagine that some local tabloid cross between Soldier of Fortune and the Star, but with a circulation of a few thousand, no advertisers, and no credibility publishes a portion of a journal from a transient serial killer who thinks Robert Redford is behind a conspiracy to kill all of his friends.

Yeah. Right.

Redford wouldn't bother commenting.

Neither would Veidt. It wouldn't be necessary. Unless Dreiberg or Juspeczyk speak up. But I think it's pretty obvious that their new blonde hair (which matches Adrian's) symbolizes their position on the matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:04 pm 
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I think there's one thing we all have to put in perspective, nothing ever ends. Life is one big full circle.

We started the story with an image of the blooded smiley face, and the story ended with that as well. The story is laden with watches with rounded face (i can't recall a digital clock in the GN). To me it means although time is ticking on the clock (say, at 12), it'll come back to where it first started (say, at 12). :P

My interpertation that in the end, veidt does not get the utopia he wanted. That rorsharch's journal will unfold the plot that Veidt was involved. Subsequently, Russia and US will be up at arms again.

The story is just one big circle. What goes around, comes around. Hence, nothing ever ends.

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:03 pm 
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I think Vynson sums it up pretty well. Except for the bit about Robert Redford. Where did that come from?

Adrian did a very good job of covering his tracks and I agree that he'd take his ego out of this equation. Heck, the whole reason he went through with his plan is because he was trying to protect something far greater than himself.

Again, my original post details what I think should have happened. Not what I think would have happened.

Given how the graphic novel ends, it seems to me that the course Adrian set can only change after he dies. After all, you know that Adrian would work for the rest of his life to maintain his utopia at all costs. And he could easily subdue any threats to his peace, either through murder, money or political influence.

But threats would still arise. As I said before, this truce did not come by choice, but by force, and such an armistice can't sustain itself. So when Adrian is no longer there to keep the peace, when the Cold War mindset is forgotten and when everyone realizes how long it's been since the last alien invasion, everyone will go back to business as usual.

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:01 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
Except for the bit about Robert Redford. Where did that come from?


Bernie mentions that Robert Redford is rumoured to be interested in running for president, I beleive his comment is something like "who would beleive an actor in the White House".

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:28 pm 
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I don't think 'nothing ever ends' applies solely to the previous state of war - wouldn't it apply to Veidt's peace, by the same logic? I think the idea is that because the universe is eternal, conflict will perpetually occur and be resolved, and there can never be permanent peace, no matter how well-crafted. Manhattan realizes that Veidt did the right thing, but also recognizes what neither Veidt nor Alexander realized: the impermanence of their achievements.

It's just like the Ozymandias poem/quote: "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair." Rameses II's works WERE impressive and incomparable at the time, and probably for hundreds of years after his death. However, nothing stands the test of time if you give it long enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:10 pm 
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The Veidt Method wrote:
wouldn't it apply to Veidt's peace, by the same logic?


Absolutely. History is a tale of flux. It is Adrian's ultimate vanity that his peace outlasts him, which of course it won't. Empires, even benign ones, seldom outlast the will behind them more than a few generations.

The question is whether Rorscach's Journal is legible and credible enough to undo Ozy's machinations.

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:19 pm 
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It's enough to cast marginal doubt. This marginal doubt, of course, will create conflict - similarly to how the marginal peace attitude of the Watchmen climate spawned Ozymandias's huge change. It's all a question of who ends up accepting the doubt - someone who will act on it, or just crazy conspiracy theorists? Likely, of course, with the Frontiersman, it'll be the latter, but you never know (which, I think, is the point - the future is uncertain).

Veidt would definitely, definitely not confess. He'd probably also destroy the evidence of his work, leaving less and less room for possible uncovering of his plot.

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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:23 pm 
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I don't think it would even cast marginal doubt. We have conspiracy whackos on the net now going on about how the U.S. government planned and executed 9/11 and insisting that a missile and not a plane hit the pentagon... I'm sure they have theories about where that plane went and where the passengers are as well.

But it doesn't seem to be undoing Bush's Dystopia


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 Post subject: Re: Rorschach's Journal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:15 pm 
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The Veidt Method wrote:
Veidt would definitely, definitely not confess. He'd probably also destroy the evidence of his work, leaving less and less room for possible uncovering of his plot.

Totally disagree. We have to assume that Veidt must know that his alien plot will not keep the peace forever. This man is one of the smartest in the world, he has to understand that. That being said, if he knows that his manufactured peace is fleeting, wouldn't he take measures to ensure that a lasting peace can prevail? He would need to entrust the peace of the future to some group of individuals or organizations, which would include perhaps the leaders of his corporation, and the US or other governments, the CIA, etc.. We know the man is thorough and resolute enough to commit himself to such a task.

I agree that he would never go public with a bleeding heart confession, but he certainly would tell this select group of people or organizations so that his "peace train" could keep on rolling. Otherwise, why would he have bothered with his original "alien invasion" plan?

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