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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:06 pm 
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Something about The Comedian's tyrannical, fascistic work for the government suggests an Apollonian extreme of order, similar to Rorschach's cold logic of good versus evil and the fact that Rorschach looks up to the Comedian. However, I agree if anyone would have Dionysian traits in Watchmen it would be Blake.

I suppose it's just that his career working for the government allowed him an excuse for all of the sadistic, out of control and insane qualities he had. He was channeling his Dionysian qualities towards an Apollonian goal, even though he likely didn't care or truly believe in the goal.

Veidt on the other hand does seem very Apollonian as well. Could his ultimate goal of bringing world peace be considered a subversion of the strict hegemony present in the Cold War between the U.S. and U.S.S.R? I mean, would that be considered Dionysian possibly? Is peace between nations a more free and "counter-Apollonian" concept? I'm not entirely sure myself, but if it was, Veidt's methods and goals would contrast well with Blake's methods and "goals".

Although, on a slightly different bent here, I see the comparisons between Veidt and Rorschach most interesting. Rorschach is introduced as loathing much of humanity at the beginning of the story but by the end he attempts to save it, while showing increasing signs of humanity within himself. Compared to Veidt, who is introduced as a philanthropist, famine relieving humanist who seems worthy of admiration, but by the end of the book is revealed to be a mass murderer with a rather cold rationality for his actions. Those parallels are always interesting to me. (Not to mention Rorschach's poverty and ugliness versus Veidt's near physical perfection and extreme wealth. Those more basic, surface level contrasts help suggest the parallels between the two).


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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:12 pm 
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Hollis wrote:
He was channeling his Dionysian qualities towards an Apollonian goal, even though he likely didn't care or truly believe in the goal.


That seems to be what Moore does, as well. Maybe he thought the alien threat scenario was as good a way as any to defuse a real crisis, and so he wrote a comedy about the Cold War in which that was the outcome. It's not a funny comedy, but one in the sense that Dante's is. I wonder if, being able to weigh and articulate all of those viewpoints, Moore would personally have any faith in Veidt's solution. He based a lot of his ideas on the Comedian's namesake, William Blake (who wrote once that the goal of his art was to recreate the Golden Age) and Blake believed that "mutual fear brings peace, Till the selfish loves increase".

Hollis wrote:
Although, on a slightly different bent here, I see the comparisons between Veidt and Rorschach most interesting. Rorschach is introduced as loathing much of humanity at the beginning of the story but by the end he attempts to save it, while showing increasing signs of humanity within himself. Compared to Veidt, who is introduced as a philanthropist, famine relieving humanist who seems worthy of admiration, but by the end of the book is revealed to be a mass murderer with a rather cold rationality for his actions. Those parallels are always interesting to me. (Not to mention Rorschach's poverty and ugliness versus Veidt's near physical perfection and extreme wealth. Those more basic, surface level contrasts help suggest the parallels between the two).


It's impossible to ignore the way they complement each other as opposites. That's fascinating to me because Jon and Veidt would be the most opposite characters in another reading, as the extreme ends of a scale of simplicity and complexity.

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 Post subject: Re: The smiley face.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:53 pm 
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The Veidt Method wrote:
Quote:
Only if a decision is taken in the heat of the moment. For all we know, Veidt's decision to save the world by such a callous may have had as much to the with the fact that he didn't want to end up being the smartest man on the cinder. It can be awful lonely without your adoring fan club.

Nevertheless, 'saving the world' is something that's pretty hard to fault. I mean, regardless of why he likes humanity's continued existence - I personally always saw it as him acting as a kind of father figure - he likes it.

Quote:
It's not just sorrow he doesn't feel. It's true remorse that's lacking. The scene with Jon in the Orrery shows how callous and unfeeling he truly is. He claims he's made himself feel every death (note the use of past tense in his language), then refers to a dream that sounds a lot like the ending panel of Marooned, which he then says is insignificant.

He says the dream is insignificant because, I think, he doesn't quite understand it, and it's 'just a dream.' Also, the past tense, not much of an indicator - even if he 'made', he can still be 'feeling.' He hates having to kill innocent people, and wishes he didn't have to.

Quote:
Untrue. Psychopaths are notoriously self absorbed while being detached from emotion. That's why they can go through life manipulating, using, and discarding other individuals without feeling true remorse. Like the Black Freighter, they leave a trail of destruction in their wake.

And yet, Veidt constantly donates to charities and, pretty much by his own admission, damns himself in order to save the world, and attempts to ignore his personal emotions on the matter of the killing so as to better serve humanity.

Quote:
He's just murdered three million. That's 3,000,000 thermodynamic miracles that will never realize their potential. And those lives, in Ozy's estimation, were not worth mourning over.

Sorry, that just reminded me of this so strongly:


You say he was forced to kill innocent people, but it was his choice to come up with his specific plan, his choice to kill 3 million instead of 500,000, his choice to kill those specific people, his choice to destroy all of their and their progeny's potential contributions to mankind. If you want to be truly utilitarian, statistics are not to be abided by, who's to say that saving 100 people by killing 1 person is best for society? Perhaps those 100 people live their lives in irresponsible ways that have a net negative effect on society whereas that one person was on the verge of curing cancer. Who could possibly know the full consequences of an event happening and not happening 100 years in the future, 10,000 years in the future? Nothing ever ends. Who's to say what is best for society?

Veidt even with all his hubris was not sure of this fact, he was so insecure in his plan that he asked Dr. Manhattan if it was really the right thing to do, which exposed the terrible flaw and blind injustice of his plot.

In my engineering course, the ethics of a technology or act an engineer creates must be fully comprehended and every possible negative effect must be constantly minimized (cars and airplanes killing thousands of people a year, economics versus environment, etc) which Veidt obviously failed to do. Veidt turned to obsessive mania and delusion rather than rationality and devising the best possible plan, basically he fell off the deep end. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, in actuality Veidt succumbed and became just another victim of human nature, rather than fixing it as he had hoped.

Moore is an Anarchist and probably believes that no individual should hold power over another individual, Veidt violated that on a massive scale and Moore uses this fundamental fact in his interviews to explain why Veidt is such a terrible and tragic villain.

However, you may be right. The Watchmen universe seems to be classical rather than quantum (as Dr. Manhattan's knowledge of the interactions of every particle in the solar system allowed him to predict the future), thus no character really had any real choices. If this is true, no character is a hero or villain, just components of the predestined universe, particles interacting with each other since the big bang and until the end of time.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:34 pm 
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[NOTE: This post started its own thread in the Watchmen Movie section. For lack of a better option, I merged the relevant posts here and deleted the many insults and facepalms this post inspired. --"Curiosity Inc."]

The Watchmen graphic novel is unknown to me but I just saw the movie. I quickly realized this was nothing like a SuperHero Movie that was suggested by the trailers. I felt a bit cheated. However, letting go of expectations, I maintained an open mind as best I could.

The movie ending was intense and disturbing. It had good and bad elements which compromised its total impact.

First, Veidt is portrayed as amoral "the needs of the many outweigh..." with only a slight mention that he "saw every face... every death." He is left standing and functioning.

Veidt's life should be forfeit for what he did.

Rorschach is the key film noir component and is compelling throughout the movie. His demand for death is what drives the energy of the ending. Without it, the ending would "not be disturbing."

With the above "pieces in play" I think a rearrangement would result in a massively more tragic ending.

There needs to be more death - in particular Veidt's.

So here is the twist:

Owl Man and girl shows up at Veidt's arctic fortress.
Veidt reveals his Master Plan to the horror of Owl Man.
THEN, Veidt triggers the Destructions.
Glimpses of the terror are seen on the movie screen - every face, every death....
It is implied that Veidt is experiencing all of this.
Owl Man starts beating Veidt to a pulp who does not resist.
Owl Man stops and realizes that Veidt is now catatonic, the smartest human's brain destroyed by the horror it had unleashed.
Veidt slumps to the floor. Drooling. Staring. Motionless. He'll live the rest of his life in a coma.

The rest is just fine.

Maybe some gloom for Owl Man and the girl. But would be secondary.

At any rate, now Veidt is effectively dead, paid his price, and the rules of Greek Tragedy are respected in the FN style.

Imagine the blind side of Rorschach's death after watching Veidt's.

I think it would rock,
Tom


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:40 pm 
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Heheh. When the script was leaked onto the internet, revealing that Veidt was to die in the movie, there was a huge outcry from the fans.

So the ending was changed back to how it is in the graphic novel, where the "villain gets away with it." Veidt is forced to live with his actions for the rest of his life, with his security eventually threatened by Rorschach's journal.

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Last edited by IceKeyHunter on Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:47 pm 
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MrCreosote wrote:
The Watchmen graphic novel is unknown to me but I just saw the movie. I quickly realized this was nothing like a SuperHero Movie that was suggested by the trailers. I felt a bit cheated. However, letting go of expectations, I maintained an open mind as best I could.

The movie ending was intense and disturbing. It had good and bad elements which compromised its total impact.

First, Veidt is portrayed as amoral "the needs of the many outweigh..." with only a slight mention that he "saw every face... every death." He is left standing and functioning.

Veidt's life should be forfeit for what he did.

Rorschach is the key film noir component and is
compelling throughout the movie. His demand for death is what drives the energy of the ending. Without it, the ending would "not be disturbing."

With the above "pieces in play" I think a rearrangement would result in a massively more tragic ending.

There needs to be more death - in particular Veidt's.

So here is the twist:

Owl Man and girl shows up at Veidt's arctic fortress.
Veidt reveals his Master Plan to the horror of Owl Man.
THEN, Veidt triggers the Destructions.
Glimpses of the terror are seen on the movie screen - every face, every death....
It is implied that Veidt is experiencing all of this.
Owl Man starts beating Veidt to a pulp who does not resist.
Owl Man stops and realizes that Veidt is now catatonic, the smartest human's brain destroyed by the horror it had unleashed.
Veidt slumps to the floor. Drooling. Staring. Motionless. He'll live the rest of his life in a coma.

The rest is just fine.

Maybe some gloom for Owl Man and the girl. But would be secondary.

At any rate, now Veidt is effectively dead, paid his price, and the rules of Greek Tragedy are respected in the FN style.

Imagine the blind side of Rorschach's death after watching Veidt's.

I think it would rock,
Tom


Awful.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:55 pm 
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well, mr. creosote, you have balls, i give you that. it´s like walking up to the royal shakespeare company and suggesting they let romeo and julia live.

i won´t bite and start foaming, that´s just too easy, but you might want to ask yourself why the author of the original graphic novel chose this specific ending for such a complex work as "watchmen". any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:57 pm 
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MrCreosote wrote:
The Watchmen graphic novel is unknown to me but I just saw the movie. I quickly realized this was nothing like a SuperHero Movie that was suggested by the trailers. I felt a bit cheated. However, letting go of expectations, I maintained an open mind as best I could.

The movie ending was intense and disturbing. It had good and bad elements which compromised its total impact.

First, Veidt is portrayed as amoral "the needs of the many outweigh..." with only a slight mention that he "saw every face... every death." He is left standing and functioning.

Veidt's life should be forfeit for what he did.

Rorschach is the key film noir component and is compelling throughout the movie. His demand for death is what drives the energy of the ending. Without it, the ending would "not be disturbing."

With the above "pieces in play" I think a rearrangement would result in a massively more tragic ending.

There needs to be more death - in particular Veidt's.

So here is the twist:

Owl Man and girl shows up at Veidt's arctic fortress.
Veidt reveals his Master Plan to the horror of Owl Man.
THEN, Veidt triggers the Destructions.
Glimpses of the terror are seen on the movie screen - every face, every death....
It is implied that Veidt is experiencing all of this.
Owl Man starts beating Veidt to a pulp who does not resist.
Owl Man stops and realizes that Veidt is now catatonic, the smartest human's brain destroyed by the horror it had unleashed.
Veidt slumps to the floor. Drooling. Staring. Motionless. He'll live the rest of his life in a coma.

The rest is just fine.

Maybe some gloom for Owl Man and the girl. But would be secondary.

At any rate, now Veidt is effectively dead, paid his price, and the rules of Greek Tragedy are respected in the FN style.

Imagine the blind side of Rorschach's death after watching Veidt's.

I think it would rock,
Tom

Horrible. Looks like you missed the point of Veidt living completely.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:30 pm 
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The ending of Watchmen SHOULD be controversial. People should be talking about it on the way home. Veidt did a terrible thing, but he also saved the world from an inevitable nuclear war. As they say in the film, he killed mllions to save billions.

Neither the book or the movie takes sides. Having Veidt live leaves the debate open. The reader/viewer is left to decide if Veidt is a hero, and if the end justified the means.

I hope people walk out of the theater with the same reaction. "I can't believe they let him get away with it!" (To which Veidt would say that all they did was fail to stop him from bringing world peace)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Veidt living at the end was simply insulting.

An amoral Super Hero is not a stroke of genius, but just an excuse to tell an ugly story.

Now Ren getting split into his two halves: His Evil Half and his Indifferent Half... now that was creative and entertaining.

The author constructs these characters and then its like watching a child break his toys.

Some people may be entertained by that, but not me.

There are 2 avenues for sad stories: tragedy and film noir. Tragedy everyone dies, FN, the hero lives out his ruined life.

So its not a tragedy, its not film noir, its not fun, ... it just turns out to be a documentary about how a few ugly people screwed up in particular some other decent people and the rest of the world.

So why would I want to hear that story?

As far as the "get the point of Veidt's living" maybe I don't get it. What is the point of an amoral monster getting away with it??? Well. There is no point.

I'd welcome a sentence or two defending Veidt living. I'd be real interested to hear that logic.

Regards,
Tom

PS. And this "leave the debate open" "let the reader decide hero or villain" style of story goes right up there with Blair Witch Shaky Camcorder Cinematography. Kill millions to save billions is not an interesting dilemma. The question is what happens to the person who made the hard decision - how were they effected by the magnitude of that deed. Which leads to Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely which is another old topic. There is nothing new here - or interesting - or beautiful - or fun. "We have no law to fit your crime" actually handles the topic beautifully. I guess the author(s) couldn't muster up anything really interesting regarding the dilemma.

Movies without endings are a no-no unless a sequel is promised.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:58 pm 
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I, Rorschach fangirl that I am, am in total denial about the Rorschach killing myself, yes yes I know it was the point etc. But anyway having said that I like to think that Veidt gets his in the end. That Rorschach's Journal will catch the eye of people (eventually) and some demands are set in place that brings Veidt to task for his actions.

Human nature is human nature. There is no Utopia. Even for a few years of peace that Veidt bought, there can never be harmony. There never has been in human existence. What Veidt misses in his hero worship is that even heros fail and/or die.

I can see an inquest and tribunal. I can see this polarizing the world to turn against Veidt. The ultimate villain is punished at the hands of those who were once at war with each other. I can see Veidt, punished, screaming out that he saved them all and then crumpling into a ball of hysterical insanity.

Perhaps this was what people are suposed to imagine after the end?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:58 pm 
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I'll counter you here.

There are more avenues for unhappy endings besides tragedy and film noir. Watchmen is an example of a story that doesn't fit perfectly into your limited selection of genres.

Quote:
What is the point of an amoral monster getting away with it??? Well. There is no point.


A line from the graphic novel:
Quote:
"God was not there... This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God that kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. Its us. Only us."


The bad guy wins, the good guys lose, the world is saved as a result. That doesn't fit with tragedy or film noir, it's something else entirely. Absurdism, maybe.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:59 pm 
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MrCreosote wrote:
I'd welcome a sentence or two defending Veidt living. I'd be real interested to hear that logic.


How does killing Veidt solve anything? It doesn't change the fact that millions are dead.

And what do you kill him over? That he killed millions of people that would have died anyways as a result of a nuclear war that seemed eminent?

Veidt is also a figure in the public eye. If they killed him that might end up creating an investigation by the police. One that might have uncovered his plot. Just look at the information he leaves on his computer.

Not only that, Veidt dying would just be another cliche. Typically the major villain is killed, his evil plan thwarted. This is not the case with Watchmen. As Laurie puts it, all they did was fail at stopping him from saving the world.

Is that good enough for you?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:01 pm 
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hehe

Who, over at the IMdb, put you up to this? :lol: ;)

The GN is clearer in constructing the dilemma seen at the end of the movie. The way it´s told is most of the fun, and of course one could argue for making Veidt pay for his actions. But he did save the world from destruction by nuclear warheads. By killing and maiming relatively few, he saves the rest of humanity from extinction.

Hints of discovery of Veidt's plan from the publishing of Rorschach's journal point to the theory that the newly discovered utopia will be relatively short-lived.

What would happen then?

Do you not like coming out of a cinema with a question or two? Or would you rather be spoon-fed a solution every single time?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:01 pm 
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Recognizing that I might be being trolled...

What is the point of the Faye Dunawaye character dying and her daughter falling into the hands of the John Huston character at the end of Chinatown? Why can't she live and successfully get her daughter away from him? Maybe because Polanski wanted to tell a story in which the private eye doesn't prevent evil, just makes it easier for it to happen.

Similar thing here. Watchmen asks what crime is, and what heroism is. In a way Veidt is the greatest superhero of them all, even greater than Dr. Manhattan, because he prevents nuclear war, something Dr. Manhattan isn't even interested enough to do anymore. But he did it by killing millions of people, something that would qualify him as the ultimate villain in most superhero comics (and, now, films).

Nite Owl, Rorschach and the others are fighting petty crime on the streets. The biggest plots they defeat are organized crime rings. Meanwhile, the leaders of the world are threatening something much more serious: the total destruction of the human race. Why aren't the superheroes fighting that? Well, Veidt is.

At the end, essentially Jon, Laurie, Dan and maybe even Rorschach realize that focusing on the petty crime was wrong. By killing millions of people, Veidt was doing something that was ultimately much more heroic. Because they know it, Jon, Laurie and Dan can't kill Veidt, and Jon prevents Rorschach from doing anything to him at all.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:09 pm 
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MrCreosote wrote:
VWhat is the point of an amoral monster getting away with it??? Well. There is no point.

The very fact that you are able to label Veidt "amoral" when somebody else might find him the true hero of the story is the point.

Like Nite Owl, Dr. Manhattan, and Laurie, we are all morally in checkmate. Veidt sacrificed the lives of millions to save billions. Compare this to President Harry Truman ordering the atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end World War II (and yes, this comparison is made in the novel). I am interested in whether you consider Truman to be an "amoral monster."

I don't condone Veidt's actions but I feel you dismiss any notion of construing the man as the hero of the story. It is very possible to see him as the hero; an unconventional hero yes, but a hero nonetheless. This seemingly amoral interpretation of heroism is the point of Watchmen. In killing Veidt, you undo the moral ambiguity and paint him permanently as the villain.

In my opinion, killing off Veidt is what's pointless. Veidt is forced to go the rest of his life wondering if what he did was right, just as we are. That's punishment enough.

Also, Whittaker, I love the Chinatown comparison. Ironically, it pretty much shatters his perception of "film noir" (which, by the way, is a movement exclusive to the 40's and 50's, not a genre).

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:11 pm 
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Actually, now that I think about it, this all kind of feels like the movie Soylent Green to me. Over population, everyone is starving, the government gives out government food to the starving masses. See? Government=good, right?

Except that Soylent Green is made of bodies of those who died or volunteered to be euthanised. It's kept under wraps. The detective discovers the secret, is shot and announces, Soylent Green is people. Tell everyone.

But will anyone at this point care? They're starving! Soylent Green is already dead. Pass the wine. Or will people be morally outraged. You are left to deduce at the end what might have happened.

I personally found that movie to be excellent, and also has a similar type of ending to Watchmen in that open sense.

OH well, enough of my over thinky B.S. LOL.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:29 pm 
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Dammit, I was ABOUT to post an epic montage of pictures. The Veidt smirk (now in comic and movie flavors), the Osterman slur, the Jackface, the Hammond scream, the Veidt ashtray smack .gif, the "Get out" note .gif, and the Leave the Internet pic...I guess it will be saved for a future topic with truly no redeeming value whatsoever.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Everyone relax.

My impression is that MrCreosote is not stupid, merely ignorant. We can fix ignorant, and that's part of why this forum exists.

I merged his thread here so that he may learn from the many heated and intelligent debates on this thread that argue for both sides. It is my hope that he will read the graphic novel, learn from this thread, then come back and share a more enlightened set of opinions with us.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:20 pm 
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A belated reply to some early repliers (I thought my thread was deleted but found out (quite embarassedly) that it was merely moved.) I took the time to respond to each up to about a day ago:

Biosynth - I agree with your feelings! Because its feelings that are the problem with the movie and Veidt in general. You yearn for Final Judgement one way or the other. It is that story, that is of interest to me. I really, really, really, didn't like where the story stopped.

Whimper - yes, but they started it with the fabulously film noir Rorschach. In fact, it was a masterful presentation of that style. But a shame it wasn't completed as a masterpiece. (NOTE: technically the fn hero survives in the end, but his life is ruined so in that light it is a tragic ending, i.e., death.)

T3cii - the whole point of my alternate ending was while he deserved to die, he did not, but was driven mad by what he did in my ending. In this case, he would not be amoral, but now could be called a hero. He would also have Honor. Of course, the debate would be whether he expected to go mad... or, although acting as it amoral, the resulting madness revealed that he had humanity.... (actually I like this one)

SoupDragon - Mr. Manhattan could have stopped every nuke in every Russian's imagination. The US military had MM on board for defense and there is no reason to think that would not have occurred if people didn't interfere with MM's projects - just leave the guy alone and you'll be OK. So to make Veidt's plan feasible, I feel that the author simply wrote MM off to the side which I don't think was genuine and believable of the characters involved.

WhittikerFurnesse - That's why I didn't like Chinatown and will never watch it again. Also, in thinking about the movie from a distance, the early part of the individual small-time efforts fighting small-time crime have virtually nothing to do with the story. That part just tends to dilute the effort. The story is Rorschach leading to Veidt and it needs to stay on track. Some of the music in the first 30 minutes was torturous.

IceKeyHunter - Veidt is amoral because he does what he does with only a momentary lapse of apathy from the billions screaming while Own Man pounds him. Then it appears to be business as usual. Once might argue that Veidt was more detached that Mr. Manhattan.

In fact, I like that a lot: Mr. Manhattan possessed more Humanity that Veidt did when he left the planet in the end. I know that is true.

Also, apologies for spelling of your names - I can't read my own handwritting...


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