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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:18 am 
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It seems to me that Veidt is more interested in being magnificent than in the actual accumulation of wealth. After all, he gave away his inheritance just to 'prove' he could build it back up. He gives stuff to charity to 'prove' he's a good person. He saves the world to 'prove' that it's not impossible. He's already proved himself financially. There's no motivation in that.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:22 am 
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Do you honestly think that Adrian's motives were based on the idea that he must save humanity so he has someone to sell his toys to? Seriously? :)

Actually the more I think about this, the more I find it easy to argue that of all of the characters in Watchmen, it is the easiest to ascribe "normal" superhero motives to Adrian. He is the only one that seems to fight crime as a way of helping humanity. He is the only one that is philanthropic of all of the heroes, he is the only one that makes the decision to save humanity, and then dedicates his own time, resources, and intellect to that pursuit, he is the only one that is actively trying to stop nuclear armageddon.

Whilst in can be (and has been argued here) that he is a narcissist, sociopath and general all-around nutter, the evidence from the GN is open to interpretation, and from another perspective, if we accept that Adrian is telling the entire truth in his exposition to Rorschach and Dan, and that he is being truthful in the Roth interview, then I can just as easily argue that of all of the characters Adrian is by far the most heroic in his intentions.

He is not a sad middle-aged has been, who can't get it up without dressing up like a bird of prey.

He's not a god-like being, who seems to have no sense of his own free will.

He's not a sociopathic vigilante whose entire response to any criminal is to beat them to a pulp or kill them.

He's not a completely amoral pawn of the US government.

He's not a spoilt teenqueen ex-superheroine, whose role in life has been reduced to keeping America's most important strategic weapon happy.

He's not a closet gay republican boy scout with delusions of relevance.

Adrian gave away his fortune so that he could make his own mark. He trains and becomes Ozymandias, fights crime until the Crimebusters meeting. Blake with his comments, opens his eyes to the REAL threat, which is not organised crime, but the ever closer nuclear holocaust, so as a reaction to that he plans to save not just the victims of crime, but the whole of humanity. He gives up his role as costumed adventurer, two years before the Keene Act, and proceeds to build a fortune so that he would have the resources needed to accomplish his goals.

He then spends years planning, deciding exactly what plan has the best chance of success, then leveraging his own resources, he makes that plan a reality and saves humanity from annihilation. He does not broadcast this, there is no indication that he did this for personal power or aggrandisement, or political power, there is no indication he was going to profit from this. Whilst I agree with St. Bernard that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and that some of Adrian's actions are morally debateable, it is a quite legitimate position to argue that he of all of the characters is the most heroic in the normal superhero definition.

Does not Superman take unilateral decisions as to what to do in circumstances that require his action? Superman doesn't go an consult others when faces with the threat of world destruction, he goes off and deals with the problem, and everyone cheers. The difference is that Adrian is not a God in a red cape, and does not have super-powers, so he must use what resources he has available to him, his intellect, his money and his time.

I fully accept that the death of 3 Million is tragic, but if it was a choice between that and 5 Billion, then I fully side with Adrian. If you or anyone else can show that the deaths were unnecessary, then I would agree that Adrian's means are wrong, despite his intentions. At first glance, Adrian is the villian, the deeper I go, and the more I think about it, the more I agree with his decision and choices. I will put the caveat on that previous statement, saying that I am assuming that Adrian went forward with Plan Exploding Squiddly-Deadly, after having considered and rejected other plans as being unworkable or less likely to succeed. If he did not, then he has acted wrongly.

Either way, if one accepts my interpretation of his actions above, he acted heroically, albeit in one case, misguidedly which resulted in the mass slaughter of 3 Million people. But it will always be impossible to know if he was right or misguided and wrong, and therefore my argument as to his motives is based on exactly the same evidence, merely interpreted in a different way......

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:27 am 
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Darkweaver wrote:
I fully accept that the death of 3 Million is tragic


I'd fully accept that, too. If it was a bloody accident! :o :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:56 am 
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Hehehehe. As we both know it was never accidental :)

My point is that as far as Adrian was concerned it was 3M vs 5B. No choice at all. So he took on the awful burden of making that choice, and by doing so, spared others from having to share in or take that decision themselves. It can easily be argued this was a selfless altruistic act, as it can him being a sociopath who is doing it for his own ego......

The only coherent argument against Adrian's actions as far as I can see, is that there was an alternative, that had the same or higher chance of succeeding, which did not involve the deaths of millions. If that can be shown, fair enough, Adrian was wrong, if not, then he was right. The choice is as black and white as that.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:56 am 
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Darkweaver, you are convinced fo two things which are arguable:

a) the inevitability of nuclear war.

b) the inevitability of Jon leaving, precipitating said apocalypse.

On b), Jon was happy farting around in his workshop. He may have been emotionally withdrawn from humanity, but his scientific research (and hence the happy look on his face when Laurie goes out to dinner with Dan) seemed to be enough to keep him occupied and content. While he stated that Laurie was his only remaining link to humanity, it has to be noted that this statement was made in the context of him finding out about her and Dan. It doesn't necessarily mean that Jon had his bags packed and was ready to leave at any time.

Jon didn't jump. He was pushed. Adrian engineered the situation so he would have to leave, as part of a plan that was both long running and far reaching. Wally Weaver had died of cancer years before. Manhattan's exile was a key component of Veidt's machinations because with him present on earth nuclear war was not simply unavoidable, but quite possibly a non-starter. Whether Doc M would be able to stop all the nukes nonwithstanding, I don't think the Russians were prepared to launch with such a risk.

Once Big Blue is out of the picture, then inevitable conflagration becomes possible, though the point is still arguable.

Darkweaver wrote:
My point is that as far as Adrian was concerned it was 3M vs 5B. No choice at all.


But the "choice" was based on a premise that was arguable in the first place, by a man who may have been the smartest man in the world, but still a man, and by definition fallible. And the Hitler analogy is still valid because of the methods used to carry out the plan. No moral wasn't bent. No tactic was verboten. No lie was too big to tell. No human cost was too large.

Like Mein Kampf, Adrian's plan was hatched in isolation, a result of paranoia, the result of an unbalanced mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:00 am 
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Darkweaver wrote:
There is no indication in the GN that Veidt wants power...

I'm not sure about that statement Darkweaver. Adrian likens himself to Alexander, and I wouldn't call that guy "Mr. Charity." If he doesn't want and like power, why dress up in all that fancy-shmancy Egyptian royalty garb? Dah-da, dah-da-dahh -- he's lovin' it.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:53 am 
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dandreiberg wrote:
Darkweaver, you are convinced of two things which are arguable:

a) the inevitability of nuclear war.

b) the inevitability of Jon leaving, precipitating said apocalypse.


Firstly, I think it is made explicit in the book that nuclear war was inevitable sooner or later. All of the major characters seem to accept this, Blake states so, and Veidt agrees. Whilst I agree that it is possible to debate this, all the evidence in the book tends to nuclear war being inevitable.

Secondly, I know that you are not convinced that Jon was going to leave at some point. But, once again the evidence points to this being the case. The stolen pyschiatric reports, the fact that Jon DOES leave when given a shove by Adrian shows that it didn't take an awful amount to get the Doc to leave for Mars. I think that on balance of probability, given the evidence of the reports and the ease with which Veidt created the circumstances under which Jon leaves indicates that he would leave eventually.

dandreiberg wrote:
On b), Jon was happy farting around in his workshop. He may have been emotionally withdrawn from humanity, but his scientific research (and hence the happy look on his face when Laurie goes out to dinner with Dan) seemed to be enough to keep him occupied and content. While he stated that Laurie was his only remaining link to humanity, it has to be noted that this statement was made in the context of him finding out about her and Dan. It doesn't necessarily mean that Jon had his bags packed and was ready to leave at any time.


Agreed, but it didn't take an awful lot of pressure to get him to leave either. A few false stories of his friends getting cancer and Jon was off. How much less of a tentative grasp on humanity would he have left if Laurie had left him? I suggest that it would have taken even less in that case for him to go.

dandreiberg wrote:
Jon didn't jump. He was pushed. Adrian engineered the situation so he would have to leave, as part of a plan that was both long running and far reaching. Wally Weaver had died of cancer years before. Manhattan's exile was a key component of Veidt's machinations because with him present on earth nuclear war was not simply unavoidable, but quite possibly a non-starter. Whether Doc M would be able to stop all the nukes nonwithstanding, I don't think the Russians were prepared to launch with such a risk.


Agreed, whilst Jon was around nuclear war wasn't likely, but the high levels of tension remained. What Veidt did was assume that Jon was going to leave [worst case scenario], then build a plan based on that worst case scenario. He had to assume that Jon leave at some point since all the evidence suggested that would be the case. Once Adrian's plan is in place, he accelerates Jon's departure in order to implement his plan without interference.

dandreiberg wrote:
Once Big Blue is out of the picture, then inevitable conflagration becomes possible, though the point is still arguable.


I do not beleive it is arguable at that point. At that point the Russians invade Afghanistan and the conflagration becomes a reality. From then on, it is no longer debateable as to if it will happen, but when it will happen.

dandreiberg wrote:
Darkweaver wrote:
My point is that as far as Adrian was concerned it was 3M vs 5B. No choice at all.


But the "choice" was based on a premise that was arguable in the first place, by a man who may have been the smartest man in the world, but still a man, and by definition fallible.


Well as I argued above I accept that you can view it that way, I just think that all of the evidence we have available to us from the GN suggests otherwise. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one :)

dandreiberg wrote:
And the Hitler analogy is still valid because of the methods used to carry out the plan. No moral wasn't bent. No tactic was verboten. No lie was too big to tell. No human cost was too large.


Not in my opinion because simply their ends are so fundamentally different. In one case 3 Million are killed to save 5 Billion, in the other 10+ Million are killed to provide a political scapegoat for Germany's problems. Not exactly the same end.......The means only justify the ends in this very specific circumstance because the means and the end are so inextricably linked.

dandreiberg wrote:
Like Mein Kampf, Adrian's plan was hatched in isolation, a result of paranoia, the result of an unbalanced mind.


That can be argued, what cannot is the result. Whatever state you ascribe to Adrian's mind, his was the mind that produced the solution to the problem. He cut the Gordian Knot.

Adrian succeeded in bringing humanity back from the brink of nuclear annihilation. He did it. There is no getting away from this, and the ONLY way to show that Adrian is wrong is by showing there was another plan available to him that had an equal or better chance of success that Adrian either did not consider, or rejected. Since that is impossible, it is impossible to argue that Adrian was wrong. We can debate his ethics or morals as much as we want, but the simple irrefuteable fact is that without knowledge of things outside our ability to gather the information, we cannot judge the correctness of his actions, we can only judge the result. And the result is that the US and USSR unite against the common enemy, and the world draws back from the brink.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:18 pm 
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dandreiberg wrote:
Darkweaver, you are convinced fo two things which are arguable:

a) the inevitability of nuclear war.

b) the inevitability of Jon leaving, precipitating said apocalypse.
You're forgetting something, dreiberg: Predestination.

In the Watchmen continuity, all of time is perfectly laid out. Everyone is a puppet, but Dr. Manhattan is the only one who can see the strings. And even though Dr. Manhattan can see what's going to happen before it does, he still has to go through the motions.

To that end, I think that all of it was inevitable. The spectre of nuclear war, Jon's departure, the giant squid, the whole shebang. It was all going to happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:13 pm 
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Darkweaver wrote:
Firstly, I think it is made explicit in the book that nuclear war was inevitable sooner or later. All of the major characters seem to accept this, Blake states so, and Veidt agrees. Whilst I agree that it is possible to debate this, all the evidence in the book tends to nuclear war being inevitable.


What you have presented so far is not evidence. You have presented the opinions of characters. As I stated before, my generation and my parents generation were also convinced the bomb was going to wipe the slate clean. Yet we are here discussing it. All Manhattan's presence did was delay a Cuban Missile Crisis event by 20-25 or so years. Cooler heads prevailed in 1962. Due to Adrian's manipulations, we will never know if cooler heads could have prevailed in 1985. Present your evidence regarding the inevitability of nuclear war, sir.

Darkweaver wrote:
What Veidt did was assume that Jon was going


Adrian's actual words are:

Adrian Veidt wrote:

I neutralized Jon. Stolen psychiatric reports indicated mental mental withdrawal. The cancer allegations made it physical.



It seems here he decided to get rid of Doc M before he decided on the method. Mental withdrawal can mean anything. Being as this is the only direct evidence Jon might leave, it appears more strongly that he was pushed. But of course, feel free to actually quote evidence from the GN.

Darkweaver wrote:
when given a shove by Adrian shows that it didn't take an awful amount to get the Doc to leave for Mars.


I disagree. Being told that you gave all your friends and loved ones cancer would be a devastating revelation.

Darkweaver wrote:
Agreed, whilst Jon was around nuclear war wasn't likely, but the high levels of tension remained. What Veidt did was assume that Jon was going to leave [worst case scenario], then build a plan based on that worst case scenario. He had to assume that Jon leave at some point since all the evidence suggested that would be the case. Once Adrian's plan is in place, he accelerates Jon's departure in order to implement his plan without interference.


No, I think he decided to get rid of Jon first. Here's why:

Quote:

Adrian: Jon, being too powerful and unpredictable to fit my plans, needed removing. Thus Dimensional Developments hired associates...

Dan: ...and gave them cancer?

Adrian: Yes, Weaver first, Slater and Moloch later. Unwittingly exposed to radiation, they were closely observed and cultivated as weapons against Jon.



Note that he discloses this before he discusses the stolen psych reports. He seems to talk about his plan as it unfolds linearly.

Darkweaver wrote:
Well as I argued above I accept that you can view it that way, I just think that all of the evidence we have available to us from the GN suggests otherwise.


By all means present that evidence so it can be scrutinized and debated...

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Last edited by dandreiberg on Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:56 pm 
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Darkweaver wrote:
Not in my opinion because simply their ends are so fundamentally different. In one case 3 Million are killed to save 5 Billion, in the other 10+ Million are killed to provide a political scapegoat for Germany's problems. Not exactly the same end.......The means only justify the ends in this very specific circumstance because the means and the end are so inextricably linked.


How are their ends fundamentally different? Millions of casualties?

The only difference is their basic premise, their intent if you wish. One is a megalomaniacal paranoid man who thinks Jews are screwing his country and the other is a megalomaniacal paranoid superhero who beleives he has to show everyone nuclear war is avoidable by making it unavoidable first.

The Veidt Method wrote:
He gives stuff to charity to 'prove' he's a good person.


You keep repeating that, but what proof do you present that this is the case? You've yet to quote anything from the novel that backs up your assertion.

Darkweaver wrote:
At first glance, Adrian is the villian, the deeper I go, and the more I think about it, the more I agree with his decision and choices.


Interestingly, I've gone the other way. I've read the novel at least 25 times. In my first few readings, a thought Adrian was a hero. The more I looked at his character, though, the more I realized his behavior was pathologic. I think it's a stroke of genius on Moore's part that he wrote a character who's so deviously sociopathic that we can be convinced he's a mass murdering hero.

To put things in perspective, how could one sanely decide who's to die and who's to live? In military situations, most sane leaders do not blindly send their troops to slaughter except in complete and utter desperation. Excepting outright suicide mission (where volunteers are asked for), the spectre of unacceptable losses will tend to lead to retreat... better to regroup and live to fight another day. Only totalitarian regimes (or complete fanatics), who have a low regard for human life in general, tend to practice the "fight to the last man" philosophy on the field of battle.

Darkweaver wrote:
the ONLY way to show that Adrian is wrong is by showing there was another plan available to him that had an equal or better chance of success


I fundamentally disagree. I posit that is the while this (conveniently) is the only argument you will entertain, it would lead to a bunch of unprovable and pointless discussion about the economics and politics of Watchmen. It is therefore irrelevant.

Again, go and read Veidt's monologue about saving the world. It speaks volumes about his values. Yes, he wants to save the world, but the humanity he's interested in saving is an abstract construct of objects and historical artifacts. Not once does he mention the tradgedy of the massive loss of life caused by nuclear holocaust. Methinks he's more interested in saving his place in history than anything else....

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 Post subject: So who's your hero?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:39 pm 
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I just thought I would read through Watchmen quickly and note instances of "heroic behavior" and of course, attribute it to the relevant characters. I wanted to find concrete proof of how "heroic" each character was and (you guessed if you've been following this thread) see how heroic they were in comparison to another character whose role as hero or villain is currently the subject of debate.

For the sake of argument, I've defined "heroic behavior" as either:

a) in the service of authority
b) crime fighting/investigating
c) addressing injustice/saving others from danger

Here's where I found it, and who's doing it. You're welcome to check these yourself and dispute any of these instances as you wish.

I/6-8 Rorschach
I/13-16 Rorschach
II/16-18 Comedian + Nite Owl
III/12-16 Nite Owl + Silk Spectre
III, Under the Hood p 10, Comedian
IV/14/ii Manhattan
IV/17 Comedian
IV/20/i Manhattan
IV/22/i-vi Manhattan + Silk Spectre
IV/23/iii Comedian
V/18/vi Rorschach ? fighting the police
VI/14/vi Rorschach
VI/15/ii Rorschach + Nite Owl
VI/18-25
VII/23-26 Nite Owl + Silk Spectre
VIII/4 Nite Owl + Silk Spectre
VIII/11-21 Nite Owl + Silk Spectre + Rorschach
X/14 Rorschach + Nite Owl
X/19-21 Rorschach + Nite Owl
X/25-27 Rorschach + Nite Owl

Adding things up, each character is "heroic" the following number of instances:

Rorschach: 9
Nite Owl: 8
Manhattan:3
Silk Spectre: 4
Comedian: 4

I admit some of these may be marginal, arguable. But they are there in black and white and splendiferous John Higgins colour.

Let's contrast with the exploits of Adrian...

V/14-15 Ozy vs the hitman??
XI/18/iii Ozy vs Crime Syndicate
XI/19/ii Ozy vs Moloch

The first I struggled with. He's fighting with an inept hitman he hired himself. The guy aims at Veidt but shoots his secretary. Arguably, Adrian's failed to save her life. Oh, and he kills the hitman with a cyanide pill. But, it's in the service of his plan, so maybe it's heroic? I welcome your comments...

The other two are first person narratives. I've mentioned before that as court testimony it is unverifiable. He said, she said. Nobody disputed it at the time, but either those who argue for Veidt's sanctity are either blind to critique of his character, or don't bother to read my posts. Sigh. But, let's just allow them as valid for the sake of argument.

It does however bring me to this. Why would the crime fighting exploits of the Smartest Man on Earth be so drastically underrepresented? Was this an oversight on the part of Alan Moore, most anal retentive of authors in the detail department ??

Or, is it just possible that the logical explanation for this is that there weren't more exploits worth mentioning. Which would lead me to think that his actual adventures were overstated.

I await your feedback, gentle and patient readers....

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 Post subject: Re: So who's your hero?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:12 am 
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dandreiberg wrote:
It does however bring me to this. Why would the crime fighting exploits of the Smartest Man on Earth be so drastically underrepresented? Was this an oversight on the part of Alan Moore, most anal retentive of authors in the detail department ??
Maybe part of the reason is because Ozymandias very publicly gave up crime-fighting before the Keene Act. So his masked brethren had two years of adventures after Veidt called it a day. Hell, they all eventually went back to vigilante work even after the Keene Act took effect. And there's no way that Veidt could've gone back to the spotlight, not after the ruckus he raised upon retirement.

And so, after the Keene Act, Veidt garnered public sympathy through charity work and merchandising. And dreiberg, you can howl all you want about how "hearsay" isn't good enough for you, but you yourself admit that Alan Moore is anal-retentive about details. Bernie the newsvendor, in Ch. V, pg. 17, panels 2-3, calls Veidt a "saint," says that he "did charity work" and says that Veidt is "a real hero." Given that Moore is detail-obsessed, we must assume that he put those words in Bernie's mouth for a reason: Most likely, Moore wanted to get a point across with a minimal amount of space and in a way that flowed with the narrative.

To that end, we must assume that what Bernie says is true.

Anyway, Veidt permanently gave up crime-fighting two years before the Keene Act and he couldn't have gone back even if he wanted to. What did he do before he retired? We don't know. And do we really need to know?

Tell me, is there any place in the story where Moore could have plausibly put a flashback to Ozy vs. Moloch or whatever? How would that help the narrative? The only viable place I can think to put such a story is in Roth's interview with Ozy. But even then, if you were totally convinced that Veidt is a liar and an egotist, would you believe a word out of his mouth about his exploits?

Bottom line: We don't know about Veidt's time as Ozymandias because we don't need to know, any more than we need to know the specifics of how Rorschach put Big Figure in prison.

We know about Veidt's charitable moments after the Keene Act because we are told about them point-blank. We know about them through the TV event posters and we know about them through Bernie the newsvendor. To brush that evidence aside is ridiculous.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:44 am 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
We know about Veidt's charitable moments after the Keene Act because we are told about them point-blank. We know about them through the TV event posters and we know about them through Bernie the newsvendor. To brush that evidence aside is ridiculous.


I never brushed it aside. His acts of charity just like his heroics, are grossly underrepresented. Considering his physical and economic presence in the novel, it's uncanny that a character who is so in your face in every other facet of the world of Watchmen has a reputation that is based on so few reported acts. Unless he's the one fudging that rep with his own advertising. Read the Nova Express article. It's wholly uninformative. There's nothing there that you wouldn't have gleaned anyplace else in the novel. No new info whatsoever. It's basically a puff piece, advertainment for the Veidt trademark. Singing the praises of St Adrian.

His business correspondence is the same. Apart from some vague conjecture about the future of his toy and perfume lines, there's nothing about the man at all except a forced touchy-feelyness and a grandiose signature.

The Veidt method form letter is probably the most revealing of all the supplementary material. It reads like Charles Atlas meets Religious Cult meets Mind Control. Become the person you want.. have the body you've been dreaming of.. simply (blindly) follow me. The message of every sociopathic leader since history began.

I will give you bodies beyond your wildest imaginings gains a certain chilling irony when you see it floating between the tentacles of the squidgina in New York in Ch XII p6.


Curiosity Inc. wrote:
Maybe part of the reason is because Ozymandias very publicly gave up crime-fighting before the Keene Act.


I thought about that, but with the exception of Rorscach, most of the other character's heroic moments are also before the Keene act.

Curiosity Inc. wrote:
Bernie the newsvendor, in Ch. V, pg. 17, panels 2-3, calls Veidt a "saint," says that he "did charity work" and says that Veidt is "a real hero." Given that Moore is detail-obsessed, we must assume that he put those words in Bernie's mouth for a reason:


But is Bernie a reliable source of information? He simply repeats what he reads in the papers. Adrian's papers. When Nova Express prints the cancer story he says "they oughta deport that radioactive goon! Put him in exile!" He simply repeats Veidt's propaganda. That's why Bernie exists. He's a poor man's Ozymandias. Scanning the news for information. Making predictions based on what he sees. The smartest man inna world. Inna final analysis.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:05 am 
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I never brushed it aside. His acts of charity just like his heroics, are grossly underrepresented. Considering his physical and economic presence in the novel, it's uncanny that a character who is so in your face in every other facet of the world of Watchmen has a reputation that is based on so few reported acts.

What do you expect Alan Moore to do? "Veidt gave to charity. No, REALLY. He gave to charity. Seriously, guys. He gave even more to charity. This was a charitable guy. I'm going to show him giving to charity again, just so we can all kind of... feel the charitableness." Moore makes his points using a few instances. This isn't a full history of anything, it's a narrative. We're only told enough to know the relevant aspects of characters' personalities. We're told/shown several times that Veidt is charitable. There's no reason to show him crimefighting. We see him at the Crimebusters meeting, where he gives off the impression that he's a bit of a mastermind when it comes to his role in adventuring, and then we see him taking down an underboss in a flashback later. We're only shown flashbacks from Rorschach because they're relevant to how his personality developed. We're only shown flashbacks with the Comedian because they display his amorality. We're only told about the exploits of the rest because they were funny or atypical (i.e., Rorschach throwing the guy down the elevator shaft). To me, this doesn't indicate that Ozy wasn't a crimefighter - he was. He was the only normal one. Of course they didn't repeat his heroic deeds and his charitable deeds ad nauseam. He gives several examples of each that serve to illustrate the point. There's no need for further pointless exposition like that. It's what he became that is relevant.

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Become the person you want.. have the body you've been dreaming of.. simply (blindly) follow me. The message of every sociopathic leader since history began.

Nonsense. Have you read it?
"You will learn that one can either surrender one's actions to the rest of the social organism, to be pulled this way and that by society's predominating tensions, or that one can take control by flexing the muscles of the will common to us all, affecting our environment positively and responsibly."
That's anti-"Mind Control." That's anti-"blind following."

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:05 am 
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We are talking mind-set, here. How the individual reader translates what is presented about each and every character.

The fictional Veidt included. Goode or Bad? ;)

Though I fail to see how the same person responsible for "humanitarian" gifts can be good — while at the same time — plan that certain individuals contract cancer in order to destabilize the mentality of the world's first bone-fide super-hero. A hero, by his very presence, is the deterrant needed to keep things in check. That's evil.

But then Ozy wouldn't be top-dog, in that case.

Sitting down and convincing Jon of his enormously important rôle in détante wasn't an option, I take it. :roll:

No. Going it alone was Ozy's choice. Eradicating even the fellow Crimebusters in his toy line.

Top dog and his big cat.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:03 am 
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dandreiberg wrote:
What you have presented so far is not evidence. You have presented the opinions of characters. As I stated before, my generation and my parents generation were also convinced the bomb was going to wipe the slate clean. Yet we are here discussing it. All Manhattan's presence did was delay a Cuban Missile Crisis event by 20-25 or so years. Cooler heads prevailed in 1962. Due to Adrian's manipulations, we will never know if cooler heads could have prevailed in 1985. Present your evidence regarding the inevitability of nuclear war, sir.


So you are saying that Moore set up the entire premise of both sides on the brink of nuclear annihilation, basically only held in check by the prescence of Jon, only for the likelyhood of nuclear conflagration to just "go away" in a puff of hope because it lends credence to your side of the argument?

I can quote a report issued by the RAND corporation in the 1980's delivered to Reagan in the Whiet House that explicitly states that it is statistically 100% likely that given the current situation, a nuclear launch will be mistakenly made within 50 years. This lead to Reagan adopting the SDI initiative which lead to Perestroika and the collapse of the USSR. We can assume similar circumstances between our world and the world of Watchmen in this context. Otherwise why make the point about the world being on the brink anyway? It has no meaning in terms of the story unless the threat of nuclear war is real....

To say that a fact is not a fact because you have assumed that it is opinion is also a potentially invalid argument. I am arguing that Blake and others are stating facts, you are arguing that they are stating opinions, who is right? Impossible from the text to say definitively. However, I think it is extremely unlikely that Moore would create the scenario which parallel's Truman's decision, and then allow the reader to assume it would have all worked out anyway simply because it suits a pet theory about one of the characters.

dandreiberg wrote:
Darkweaver wrote:
What Veidt did was assume that Jon was going


Adrian's actual words are:

Adrian Veidt wrote:

I neutralized Jon. Stolen psychiatric reports indicated mental mental withdrawal. The cancer allegations made it physical.


It seems here he decided to get rid of Doc M before he decided on the method. Mental withdrawal can mean anything. Being as this is the only direct evidence Jon might leave, it appears more strongly that he was pushed. But of course, feel free to actually quote evidence from the GN.


I totally disagree, in my opinion he received the information, acted upon it by designing his plan, then implemented. It would see a completely arse about face way of doing things, to get rid of Jon, and only then try to seek a solution when he knows that getting rid of Jon will only accelerate matters. It would leave him much less time, and Adrian strikes me as one to cover all the angles, and give himself as much chance of success as possible.

dandreiberg wrote:
Darkweaver wrote:
when given a shove by Adrian shows that it didn't take an awful amount to get the Doc to leave for Mars.


I disagree. Being told that you gave all your friends and loved ones cancer would be a devastating revelation.


Yes it would be, but engineering a couple of cancer victims is hardly on the same scale as trying to trap him in an intrisinct field remover, or get rid of him some other way. It was an emotional blow to someone already considering leaving.

Darkweaver wrote:
Agreed, whilst Jon was around nuclear war wasn't likely, but the high levels of tension remained. What Veidt did was assume that Jon was going to leave [worst case scenario], then build a plan based on that worst case scenario. He had to assume that Jon leave at some point since all the evidence suggested that would be the case. Once Adrian's plan is in place, he accelerates Jon's departure in order to implement his plan without interference.


dandreiberg wrote:
No, I think he decided to get rid of Jon first. Here's why:

Quote:

Adrian: Jon, being too powerful and unpredictable to fit my plans, needed removing. Thus Dimensional Developments hired associates...

Dan: ...and gave them cancer?

Adrian: Yes, Weaver first, Slater and Moloch later. Unwittingly exposed to radiation, they were closely observed and cultivated as weapons against Jon.


Note that he discloses this before he discusses the stolen psych reports. He seems to talk about his plan as it unfolds linearly.


So :
1) Veidt gets the reports indicating that Jon may well leave, and knowing the consequences of that, he designs his plan to include Jon leaving, and then when the plan is ready to implement, he precipitates Jon's departure.

or

2) Veidt designs his plan, along the way he gets the reports on Jon, realises the implications of Jon's potential departure, proceeds with his plan, and then precipitates Jon's departure so he can implement his plan.

EIther way, it hardly matters to Veidt's planning. He knows that Jon will either be gone, or he will have precipitated Jon's departure in order for his plan to be imlpemented. Either way, the person stopping the two sides from mutually assured destruction will be gone. I agree he cannot allow Jon to be around to interfere, so he gets rid of him, all the while getting ready asap in case Jon leaves by his own violition before Adrian removes him.

dandreiberg wrote:
Darkweaver wrote:
Well as I argued above I accept that you can view it that way, I just think that all of the evidence we have available to us from the GN suggests otherwise.


By all means present that evidence so it can be scrutinized and debated...


I had already thought I had earlier in the thread dan :)

dandreiberg wrote:
Darkweaver wrote:
Not in my opinion because simply their ends are so fundamentally different. In one case 3 Million are killed to save 5 Billion, in the other 10+ Million are killed to provide a political scapegoat for Germany's problems. Not exactly the same end.......The means only justify the ends in this very specific circumstance because the means and the end are so inextricably linked.


How are their ends fundamentally different? Millions of casualties?


My bad for not being more explicit, the ends I am refering to is the threat of alien invasion, the world was not going to be convinced by a flying saucer landing in a field to a bunch of hicks in Arkansas. The means of protraying that threat is with squiddly-deadly, and that means the deaths of 3 million New Yorkers, the end is the convincing threat of imminent alien invasion and annihilation of the human race. I don't think Gort from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" was going to do it.....

You are mixing means and ends in the above quote. The means was the deaths of millions, the ends were entirely different.

dandreiberg wrote:
The only difference is their basic premise, their intent if you wish. One is a megalomaniacal paranoid man who thinks Jews are screwing his country and the other is a megalomaniacal paranoid superhero who beleives he has to show everyone nuclear war is avoidable by making it unavoidable first.


Not so, one is trying to save humanity from itself, the other is trying to exterminate an entire race for politcal purposes. I think even you will agree the ends are entirely different. In that case, the means in one case cannot ever justify the ends, and in one case, it can be argued if that was the only choice 3M vs 5B, then the means DO justify the ends in this very rare and specific case.

dandreiberg wrote:
You keep repeating that, but what proof do you present that this is the case? You've yet to quote anything from the novel that backs up your assertion.


It is mentioned in several places, and yes it is possible to argue that is all cover, why would Moore have mentioned it several times? There are references from Behind the Masque, Bernie the newsman, his appearance at the African charity thing....it for me there are enough references to his philanthropy for the matter not to be in doubt, and to argue otherwise seems like clutching at straws.

dandreiberg wrote:
Darkweaver wrote:
At first glance, Adrian is the villian, the deeper I go, and the more I think about it, the more I agree with his decision and choices.


Interestingly, I've gone the other way. I've read the novel at least 25 times. In my first few readings, a thought Adrian was a hero. The more I looked at his character, though, the more I realized his behavior was pathologic. I think it's a stroke of genius on Moore's part that he wrote a character who's so deviously sociopathic that we can be convinced he's a mass murdering hero.


And that is fair enough, I respect your opinion about Adrian, and I respect your interpretation, I just don't agree with it. I think that for me it seemed obvious that he was meant to be the villian and that we are meant to see him as deviously sociopathic, I think it's a stroke of genius on Moore's part that he wrote the character in such a way that it only becomes apparent that Adrian is actually acting heroically whilst the "actual" heros of the piece, Dan, Laurie and Rorschach are ineffectual and in the end have no bearing on the outcome. THAT is Moore's genius for me.

dandreiberg wrote:
To put things in perspective, how could one sanely decide who's to die and who's to live? In military situations, most sane leaders do not blindly send their troops to slaughter except in complete and utter desperation. Excepting outright suicide mission (where volunteers are asked for), the spectre of unacceptable losses will tend to lead to retreat... better to regroup and live to fight another day. Only totalitarian regimes (or complete fanatics), who have a low regard for human life in general, tend to practice the "fight to the last man" philosophy on the field of battle.


It is not a fight to the last man philosophy at all though dan. He is making the entirely rational argument that it is better for less that 0.01% of the world population to died, that for the entire population. In extreme situations, like those facing humanity in Watchmen sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Who makes those decisions? Those who can.

dandreiberg wrote:
Darkweaver wrote:
the ONLY way to show that Adrian is wrong is by showing there was another plan available to him that had an equal or better chance of success


I fundamentally disagree. I posit that is the while this (conveniently) is the only argument you will entertain, it would lead to a bunch of unprovable and pointless discussion about the economics and politics of Watchmen. It is therefore irrelevant.


You have every right to disagree, but the facts remain. There is no way of judging the correctness of Adrian's actions without that information. Moore has DELIBERATELY left us not knowing, allowing us the reader to make our own minds up. We have already speculated about Rorschach's sexuality, Adrian's pyschology and many other topics. Why should we not speculate about the economics or politics of Watchmen using the GN as a guide.

Whilst you may not agree with me, you cannot definitively argue the correctness of otherwise of Adrian's actions without resorting to assumptions of your own.

dandreiberg wrote:
Again, go and read Veidt's monologue about saving the world. It speaks volumes about his values. Yes, he wants to save the world, but the humanity he's interested in saving is an abstract construct of objects and historical artifacts. Not once does he mention the tradgedy of the massive loss of life caused by nuclear holocaust. Methinks he's more interested in saving his place in history than anything else....


I agree with you that Adrian's motives are entirely debateable. I presented the other side of the argument as to him being heroic specifically to demonstrate that. My point is that the correctness of his actions cannot be debated, under the caveats I laid out earlier.

You do not accept the inevitablity of nuclear war in Watchmen despite the evidence to the contrary. What you seem to be saving is that rather that see the huge potential for humanity's self-destruction and decide to do something about it, you would sit there and hope that the problem would just go away and solve itself, because we didn't destroy ourselves in this world.

Adrian and many others were convinced of the threat and he acted to save humanity.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:32 am 
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The Veidt method form letter reminds of propaganda that religious cults or nutty political activists try to shove in your face. It's written to take advantage of the reader's insecurities and say Feel the love. We Know whats' best. Follow us and we'll set you free.

But hey, I'm the only one who sees that. :roll:

It blows my mind that on the one hand, Moore and Gibbons created a multi-layered tale where every scene is filled with detail and multiple meaning.

It also blows my mind that on the one hand most of the characters are multi faceted and well exposed. We feel we know them. There are nuances upon nuances.

Except for Adrian Veidt. Everything we know about him comes out of his mouth or is repeated from his media outlets. And we're supposed to take THAT at face value.

But hey, I'm the only one who sees that, too :roll:

I don't suppose Moore wrote him that way on purpose. Yeah, that's it. Let take the hero and make him look like the villain. Let's treat him differently from the other characters, make him mysterious. Let's leave clues all over the place about the kind of guy he is. All the other guys abound him are bumbling incompetents. He's a genius. Oh, and to show how good he is, let's make him kill three million people to save the world. And the world he wants to save isn't really about saving lives. It's about saving things.

But hey, he's a fucking hero. So everything he does has to be right. It has to be. Can't doubt it. The HERO (or his syncophants) tells us so.





Yeah, right. :shock:

I must be really fucking dense....

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:40 am 
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I'd like to think Moore would have a brain fart if he read your input, DW. 8-)

This banter surrounding Veidt's world-view is all well and good, you know. But the subtext within "Marooned" shows which side of the fence the rest of us are standing. :)

I feel Like Annie Hall's Woody Allen character wanting to drag McLuhan from behind a potted plant. Hehe. Only in the movies...

The world's political situation was deliberately disturbed by "neutralisation" of a super-power — Jon. The bow-wave of this event leads directly to the invention of a purely mad-scientist idea (using Jon's discoveries) to "save the world". A world that didn't need saving in the first place. (Much as the real world didn't need saving, without the Big Blue).

Rather like A.C. Clarke's Star-Child, Osterman ponders creating some life elsewhere. He is probably sure the home planet is already going down the toilet.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:46 am 
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Since we're discussing how Moore and Gibbons feel about this issue, I thought I'd paste part of a related 2006 interview:


Fiona Jerome: Looking back at Ozymandias making this decision “I will kill so many million people to save the world” one thing that struck me is that when Dr Manhattan teleports the people away from the riot and kills 2 of them he says that’s okay because many more people would have died, and Rorschach, in his essay…

Alan Moore: About Truman.

Fiona Jerome: Yes—about Hiroshima—says “I’m glad they dropped bombs on Hiroshima because lots more people would have been killed”.

Alan Moore: Yes, more people would have died.

Fiona Jerome: So although they’re diametrically opposed in one way, they’ve all made this same statement, they’ve all made this same decision… but only Ozymandias has followed it through.

Alan Moore: The thing with Rorschach was intentional. He mentions President Truman on the first page of Watchmen and there is that brief essay which ends up saying “I think President Truman was right to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and that’s all I have to say about my parents”, and so, you know… that was a pretty common thought, that Truman was right to drop the bomb for that reason. Rorschach is—at least at that point in his life, where he still believes in God…

Steve Whitaker: He’s living very emotionally.

Fiona Jerome: And he still believes in Daddy being an aide to President Truman and… a fantasy life.

Alan Moore: But at the end of the book, Ozymandias—who does this awful thing to New York… which is really, by extension, no more horrible than Hiroshima—you’ve got that parallel there.

Fiona Jerome: It’s only the degree that differs, it’s not the act—because they’ve already done it.

Steve Whitaker: But in Watchmen 2 you learn… you really learn to hate the Comedian. I mean—shooting a pregnant woman, such a callous murder—and in No 11, which corresponds symmetrically, you learn to hate Ozymandias completely. Things like him sitting on his parents grave.

Dave Gibbons: Callous.

Steve Whitaker: A perfect depiction of how completely aloof he is, because he really does believe that he’s above it.

Dave Gibbons: Yes, but was dropping an A-bomb on Hiroshima a callous thing or was it a calculating thing—there is a difference?

Fiona Jerome: They’re both callous and calculating.

Steve Whitaker: Surely the difference is that Hiroshima really happened and you’re making a metaphorical statement about it.

Dave Gibbons: Yeah, and the thing that Rorschach won’t stomach is that this is being done secretly, that a large section of New York is being wiped out—even in the face of Armageddon he wants to know the truth.

Peter Hogan: The thing with Rorschach’s involvement with the New Frontiersman is he’s into conspiracy theories anyway but the diary is his way of getting the truth across.

Steve Whitaker: I’d really like to know why Osterman lies… well, he doesn’t exactly lie, he withholds the truth about Rorschach from Veidt.

Alan Moore: He doesn’t mention it.

Steve Whitaker: Veidt says something like “What about Rorschach?” and Osterman says “I doubt if he’ll reach civilisation”. He doesn’t say “Don’t worry, I’ve just blasted him to atoms”…it comes across as a mercy killing.

Alan Moore: It’s almost a mercy killing. When I was writing that bit where Veidt and Osterman sort of confront each other at the end and have that conversation, Dr Manhattan put it that way because, I would imagine that he realised that put otherwise it could possibly make things worse for Dan and Laurie: they’ve already got the death of an entire city to carry round with them in their heads and never tell anyone about for the rest of their lives. It was a small act of mercy so they could believe that Rorschach had just wandered out alone and died.

Dave Gibbons: Although I think that Veldt would have calculated the probability… and, really, there was nowhere else for Rorschach to go.

Steve Whitaker: He knows he’s going to die.

Dave Gibbons: In that situation he could only die.

Steve Whitaker: I know we’re given ample demonstration of what a psycho and what a sociopath he is, but this almost makes him the hero of the story.

Alan Moore: We tried to make it so that all of them are the heroes. Like, Rorschach is, definitely, in that he never steps out of character—apart from that moment when you see him cry and he says “Go on—do it!”

Steve Whitaker: The thing that reinforces that is that with Dan and Laurie you’ve had most of their motivations and their life histories explained to you but, next to Rorschach, they look like they’re made of cardboard.

Alan Moore: But next to Rorschach anybody would. We would. Because he’s so intense … The thing is: at one level Veidt is the hero of Watchman. You can’t take that away from him. On another level, Dan and Laurie are because they are the only human characters in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:58 am 
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Even Moore agrees with me, YAY!

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The thing is: at one level Veidt is the hero of Watchman. You can’t take that away from him.


Precisely my argument. Moore's comments bear out the point I've been making. Whilst I totally agree with you that he is a callous, calculating, narsissistic bastard, he is the one who steps up and saves humanity, and its nice to know the beardy one agrees :)

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