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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:50 am 
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I like President Truman, the way Dad would of wanted me to. He dropped the atom bomb on Japan and saved millions of lives because if he hadn't of, then there would of been a lot more war than there was and more people would of been killed. I think it was a good thing to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.


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Joking, of course. No. Not even in the face of armageddon. Never compromise. Back to Owlship. Back to America. Evil Must be punished. People must be told. Huhh. Of course. Must protect Veidt's new utopia. One more body amongst foundations makes little difference. Well? What are you waiting for? Do it. DO IT!


Can you explain why Kovacs likes the bomb and hates the squid?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:27 am 
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Because he's batshit crazy and he's meant to represent the terrible logic and double standards of right wing nutjobs and trauma-driven vigilantes.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:51 am 
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The Veidt Method wrote:
Because he's batshit crazy and he's meant to represent the terrible logic and double standards of right wing nutjobs and trauma-driven vigilantes.


Man.

Good answer.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:03 pm 
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The Veidt Method wrote:
Because he's batshit crazy and he's meant to represent the terrible logic and double standards of right wing nutjobs and trauma-driven vigilantes.


I'd argue that it's *barely* possible to pull Rorschach's fat out of that fire by taking him literally: "Evil Must be punished. People must be told."

Truman killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, ostensibly for the greater good, and everyone knew it: he gave a big speech about having loosed the power of the sun against the people who'd attacked Pearl Harbor, talked later about sleeping just fine the night after the atomic bombing, and otherwise let everyone know that, hey, if you want to punish me, then pick up a weapon and stand opposed.

Veidt did likewise, but kept his mouth shut.

I'm reminded of a CAPTAIN AMERICA comic where our hero reluctantly shoots a crook and then promptly turns himself over to the authorities: here's what I did, and I'm fine with having a jury rule on whether I should be punished or given a medal just as soon as every witness can get up on that stand and tell the truth. It's possible to (a) vote to acquit a guy like that, and yet also (b) object to covering up that shooting.

Veidt is Truman without accountability; I think Rorschach can object to that even while thinking Truman was right.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:30 pm 
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Maybe up until that point Rorshach didn't realize just how terrible the atomic bomb was. He praised Truman because newspapers told him to. It took the squid for him to see how devastating it must have been. Why blow up most of Japan for the actions of a few hundred? Why kill millions of New Yorker's for the disagreements of two nations? I'm guessing Rorshach couldn't handle it. It was too much for him. I also believe that's partly why he removed his mask and asked to be killed.


I really like Veidt Method's answer, though!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:36 pm 
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The Veidt Method wrote:
Because he's batshit crazy and he's meant to represent the terrible logic and double standards of right wing nutjobs and trauma-driven vigilantes.


Truman = Demorcrat
Veidt = Liberal (I don't know if he's specifically a democrat, but he does talk about how is very liberal)

but this is some how a "Right-Wing Nutjob" discussion? Yes Rorschach is batshit crazy, and he is ery far right, but look at the two scenarios...

1) America had been attacked and we had been at war for around 5 years before the bombings, thousands of Americans were dying and even more would be killed in a ground invasion of Japan, the estimates called for over 900,000 soldiers going to the islands, including my grandpa who was on the list to go. Japan was an enemy who had killed our gis and would continue unless the war was ended. Truman weighed the deathjs of the japanese and the americans, and (in a ground invasion do you think no civilians would die?) he realized that the war would end and would spare lives on both sides if the bomb(s) were dropped.

2) There was no actual war, just tension with Russia invadeing Pakistan, and with how long Veidt had been planning this, that wasn't really a factor, because his plan was way too far along to be an "effect" of Russia moving into Pakistan, so at that time there was unease, but Dr. Manhattan hadn't left so the pin was still in the grenade. Veidt had already made up his mind to kill all these people via calamari and thus engineered the removal of Dr. M, leading to Russia invading because there was no "super" weapon in America anymore. Veidt engineered the nuclear showdown to avoid it, he wasn't a president or world leader trying to end a violent war, he was a billionaire with dellusions of grandeur who decided to end the war that wasn't/hadn't happened.

Two vastly different scenarios, one was an attempt to end war made by the PResident of the United States whose JOB is to protect Americans, the other was a Rich guy with a mutant cat who DECIDED that there would be war and this is how to end it.

Truman's actions were just, Veidt's were "batshit crazy"

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Why blow up most of Japan for the actions of a few hundred?


It wasn't "most of Japan" it was two cities with key military bases.

imho... 8-)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:58 pm 
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Which makes me wonder... Would what Veidt do be less atrocious (at least to the characters in Watchmen) if the squid is teleported to somewhere outside the US, say, Moscow? I always thought ppl justify the atomic bomb simply bcuz it's "better them than us".

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:12 pm 
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Both actions were to stop the spread of war, however, and keep peace.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:15 pm 
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WJK wrote:
Both actions were to stop the spread of war, however, and keep peace.


but with Veidt's the risk of War became greater once he took Jon out of the picture...

he engineered the war he was trying to stop

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:25 pm 
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Nostalgia wrote:
Which makes me wonder... Would what Veidt do be less atrocious (at least to the characters in Watchmen) if the squid is teleported to somewhere outside the US, say, Moscow? I always thought ppl justify the atomic bomb simply bcuz it's "better them than us".


Yes and no.
Yes because, yeah, these are our people, this is the city where we live, etc etc.
No because the atomic bomb was dropped during a time of war. Going by international relations realism school of thought, when you're at war with someone you are fully justified in using the most powerful means at your disposal to end the war. Such was the case with the atomic bomb. With Veidt, however, he wasn't at war with anyone, no shots had been fired, no lives had been lost. He just struck out with no provocation.
It'll ultimately end up in a minority report kind of debate. Can you morally act to stop a crime, or punish it, before it occurs? Maybe russia and the U.S. wouldn't have gone to war. Maybe this was just another cuban missle crisis, where things were extremly tense, but in the end both parties backed off. Veidt has no real way of knowing this, even if he is the smartest man alive.

Therefore, what veidt did was arguably much different moralistically than what Truman did. Truman was president of a country who was at war with the Japenese. The well being of his country and his citizens were intrusted to him. Upon taking the oath of office, his overarching goal was to protect as many american lives as possible and, therefore, end the war as quickly as possible. Also, on a side note, no one had any idea how incredibly devestating the a-bomb would be. We didn't know about fallout and leukemia, or even the true blast radius of the bomb. The utter devestating was really a shock to everybody.

In Veidt's case, there was no shock. He knew exactly what he was going to do, he knew exactly what was going to happen. He knew how many people would die, he knew how many more would be destroyed by the psychic "fallout". And he didn't care. He wanted that to happen. He planned for it. Also, it wasn't his job. Oh, Veidt would probably say it was his job because he lived on planet earth and was a member of the human race, yadda yadda...but no one asked him to be our protector.

In fact, this whole squid deal was ultimately an off-shoot of Veidt's inability to let go of his crime fighting days. "Someone has to save the world." Really? And that someone is you, Veidt? He may act like it was easy for him to quit, and he was the most well-adjusted, but ultimately he was the one who ended up the most screwed up. He took it upon himself to save the entire world by killing 3 million people and mentally destroying even more. No one asked him to, in fact, the Keene riots prove no one wanted him to. And somehow, he saw all of this, and ignored it. The smartest man on earth was able to absorb all of this information and distort it so he saw the truth that would benefit his ego and his insanity.

...
What the hell was I saying?
Truman had justifiable reason to drop the bomb (war), didn't know how horrible it would be, and it was his job.
Veidt was not at war with anyone nor was anyone else (sort of, cold war, whatever), he knew exactly how horrible it would be, and no one asked him to save them.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:30 pm 
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Pliny wrote:
With Veidt, however, he wasn't at war with anyone, no shots had been fired, no lives had been lost. He just struck out with no provocation.


I'm thinking that one's a non-starter, though.

First off, Rorschach doesn't seem at all interested in that issue; Dan says the world is damned if they don't keep quiet, and Rorschach makes perfectly clear that -- even in the face of armageddon -- he's not going to compromise. He doesn't *care* what the consequences of blowing the whistle are, and will even stipulate for the sake of argument that all-out destruction will result; even so, Rorschach doesn't give a crap.

Second, of course, Veidt *can't* wait until the missiles are in the air; WWII could drag on for years and years before Truman decided to bomb Hiroshima, but WWIII is over as soon as the nukes start flying like maybugs.

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Veidt has no real way of knowing this, even if he is the smartest man alive.


Yes, and Blake has no way of knowing it (but reaches the same conclusion) just like Glass has no way of knowing it (but reaches the same conclusion). And it's not just how Veidt *says* that "as stockpiles grew, as computers reduced human involvement, the spectre of accidental apocalypse stalked ever closer ... given the mathematics of the situation, sooner or later conflict would be inevitable" -- it's that, on a multiple-crisis graph charting the nuclear escalation index, lines converge in the mid-'90s as per Blake's aforementioned prediction about just when the nukes will be aforementionedly flying like maybugs.

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Oh, Veidt would probably say it was his job because he lived on planet earth and was a member of the human race, yadda yadda...but no one asked him to be our protector.


Heck, can't he at least act in his own self-defense?

I mean, yes, he's also out to save the lives of billions -- but even if you deny him that justification, can't he ask himself to step up?

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"Someone has to save the world." Really? And that someone is you, Veidt?


Well, there *is* no one else. Blake, for example, (a) saw the problem, (b) came up with zero solutions, and then (c) decided to keep Veidt's plan secret upon discovering it; everybody else on the planet was like Blake in that none of 'em came up with a solution.

Now, if Rorschach (or Dan, or Laurie, or Jon, or Eddie, et cetera) had either proposed some alternative solution *or* denied the existence of a problem, I'd agree that there's room for Rorschach to object on such grounds. But since Rorschach doesn't deny the problem and doesn't propose an alternate solution, I can only figure he bases his objection on figuring that people must be told so that evil can be punished.

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No one asked him to, in fact, the Keene riots prove no one wanted him to.


Rorschach ignored those. So did Veidt. I fail to see that *either* gets a clear moral win based on *both* of 'em ignoring the statement made by the Keene riots.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:26 pm 
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@ regularguy
I agree with pretty much everything you said, I'd just like to argue one or two more things for the hell of it.

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Yes, and Blake has no way of knowing it (but reaches the same conclusion) just like Glass has no way of knowing it (but reaches the same conclusion). And it's not just how Veidt *says* that "as stockpiles grew, as computers reduced human involvement, the spectre of accidental apocalypse stalked ever closer ... given the mathematics of the situation, sooner or later conflict would be inevitable" -- it's that, on a multiple-crisis graph charting the nuclear escalation index, lines converge in the mid-'90s as per Blake's aforementioned prediction about just when the nukes will be aforementionedly flying like maybugs.


But, they didn't. Which just shows how useless those graphs are. Like, there's whole tons of graphs that showed we should have had flying cars, or computers would be installed in our brains, or whatever. So as well as we think we can predict the future, or as many people who agree on it, it certainly doesn't make that prediction more accurate.
Actually, there's a psychology phenomenon known as source confusion, where basically you don't remember where you heard/saw something or if it was accurate. However, the amount of certainty you feel about how accurate your memory is has absolutely no correlation to how accurate your memory actually is. So as certain as these people are of what the future will be, probably has no correlation to what the future will actually be.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:04 pm 
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Pliny wrote:
@ regularguy
I agree with pretty much everything you said, I'd just like to argue one or two more things for the hell of it.

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Yes, and Blake has no way of knowing it (but reaches the same conclusion) just like Glass has no way of knowing it (but reaches the same conclusion). And it's not just how Veidt *says* that "as stockpiles grew, as computers reduced human involvement, the spectre of accidental apocalypse stalked ever closer ... given the mathematics of the situation, sooner or later conflict would be inevitable" -- it's that, on a multiple-crisis graph charting the nuclear escalation index, lines converge in the mid-'90s as per Blake's aforementioned prediction about just when the nukes will be aforementionedly flying like maybugs.


But, they didn't. Which just shows how useless those graphs are. Like, there's whole tons of graphs that showed we should have had flying cars, or computers would be installed in our brains, or whatever. So as well as we think we can predict the future, or as many people who agree on it, it certainly doesn't make that prediction more accurate.
Actually, there's a psychology phenomenon known as source confusion, where basically you don't remember where you heard/saw something or if it was accurate. However, the amount of certainty you feel about how accurate your memory is has absolutely no correlation to how accurate your memory actually is. So as certain as these people are of what the future will be, probably has no correlation to what the future will actually be.


Yeah, Truman knew that war would last much longer if he didn't drop the bombs, Veidt wasn't even sure if there would be war. Truman's job was to protect american lives, with the Keane act people told Adrian it wasn't is Job, despite his retirement before hand. Truman was the comander in chief of the armed forces, Veidt was a business man/former mask. There are so many reasons as to why Truman's actions were more justifiable than Veidt's, and Veidt realized that in the "end" oof Watchmen. But was Moore trying to say that the bombs were the wrong choice and that only "batshit crazy right wingers" would say otherwise? Perhaps...

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:37 pm 
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Pliny wrote:
But, they didn't. Which just shows how useless those graphs are.


Well, see, we can't really go there: Doctor Manhattan's presence altered things, as we get told over and over and over in WATCHMEN.

Moore makes it even more obvious in his outline -- "the balance of power would be completely different, and I should imagine that Russia would be growing increasingly frightened and restless ... The international situation, as an indirect result of this, would be very tense indeed ... If the doomsday clock in our world stands at five minutes to twelve, then in the world we're talking about, the big hand is just a fraction of a second away from midnight, a fact that I'll be referring to in a later part of the outline, and which is essential to the story I want to tell" -- but I'd say it's made explicit in the story:

Our leaders "continually push their unearned advantage until American influence comes uncomfortably close to key areas of Soviet interest. It is as if -- with a real live Deity on their side -- our leaders have become intoxicated with a heady draught of Omnipotence-by-Association, without realizing just how his very existence has deformed the lives of every living creature on the face of this planet."

"I mean, if we'd lost this war ... I dunno. I think it might have driven us a little crazy, y'know? But thanks to you, we didn't, right? Downa hatch."

"Jon's presence accelerated this ... any significant power imbalance would yield similar results."

America won in Vietnam. Nixon got elected to a fifth term. It ain't our world.

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Like, there's whole tons of graphs that showed we should have had flying cars, or computers would be installed in our brains, or whatever. So as well as we think we can predict the future, or as many people who agree on it, it certainly doesn't make that prediction more accurate.


Sort of.

First off, Moore hedges it by having Veidt forecast trends accurately; he sees the Keene Act coming and retires in plenty of time to retain public sympathy, predicts the winner of the next presidential election, figures out that a particular hoax will provoke exactly the response he anticipated -- it's all as routine as scanning the wall of televisions and relaying stock picks to his servants like usual (and, remember, the dude is supposed to be a self-made millionaire even *without* the secret holdings and *before* cashing in on the "Ozymandias" hook).

Second, it's frickin' WATCHMEN: ten years after Adrian Veidt says "I understand that fast and safe airships may soon be economically viable," he's shown living in a Manhattan where fast and safe airships can be seen overhead! ;-)

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Actually, there's a psychology phenomenon known as source confusion, where basically you don't remember where you heard/saw something or if it was accurate. However, the amount of certainty you feel about how accurate your memory is has absolutely no correlation to how accurate your memory actually is. So as certain as these people are of what the future will be, probably has no correlation to what the future will actually be.


Yeah, but that just brings it all the way back to the Was Veidt Right argument. If we agree that (a) if he's wrong about the future, it's monstrous to kill millions; and that (b) if he's right about the future, it's monstrous to let billions die instead -- well, then, what should he do if he doesn't know what the future will actually be?

"If things happen just like you figure they will, then it'll turn out that you should've done what you thought was right. If things don't go that way, then it'll turn out that you shouldn't have done what you thought was right" -- that's not really helpful. Rorschach has the huge advantage of saying he wants to get the truth out regardless of whether that'll spark armageddon; anyone who cares about preventing armageddon needs to guide off the best available evidence (as Jon does, when vaporizing Rorschach).

Heck, a Veidt who watches the missiles go up and says "I knew it!" is merely pathetic; a Veidt who adds "And I could have stopped it!" is decidedly worse. Rorschach? He's a guy who figures that the whole world stands on the brink -- who believes that soon there will be war -- and who fantasizes that people will look up and shout "Save Us!", which is when he'll look down to whisper "No." That's quite a luxury compared to guys who'd prefer to say "Yes."


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:56 am 
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regularguy makes very good points. it´s important to understand that watchmen´s world isn´t ours. we as readers don´t even have to rely on veidt´s graphs and predictions - the story tells us that the end is nigh! have you forgotten the invasion of afghanistan, and nixon flying to his command shelter, with the "nuclear football" chained to his wrist, and getting the scientists to estimate their losses in case of a nuclear attack/counter-attack? that´s the world on the brink of armageddon. it needs to be, too, because otherwise it would be too simple to condemn veidt. that´s not what moore wants, he provides no-one with an easy answer or exit.
the same goes for roschach´s actions and motivations. he refuses to compromise - not even in the face of armageddon - but does he really expect to get away with it? i don´t think so. i think he realizes that, when the chips are down, the world isn´t black and white, and it isn´t always so simple to tell where the true evil lies. he sets out to tell the world - but i believe he knows full well that he won´t get the chance.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:43 am 
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Nellodee wrote:
have you forgotten the invasion of afghanistan, and nixon flying to his command shelter, with the "nuclear football" chained to his wrist, and getting the scientists to estimate their losses in case of a nuclear attack/counter-attack? that´s the world on the brink of armageddon. it needs to be, too, because otherwise it would be too simple to condemn veidt. that´s not what moore wants, he provides no-one with an easy answer or exit.


Yes. But on the other hand...

The invasion of Afghanistan comes about after Veidt sets in motion a plot to alienate Manhattan and send him off to Mars: it may be the case that Manhattan was bound to leave the earth at some point, or that the Russians would become so suicidally desperate for status that they'd defy Manhattan and invade Afghanistan anyway, but we don't know this, and the story can't say. You can't remove Veidt from the equation. For all intents and purposes, the invasion of Afghanistan is Veidt's responsibility. Marking that as a successful prognostication ignores his active role in it. Prophesy is bunk - just ask Francis Fukuyama. And Veidt's method of prediction - assembling coherent narratives out of tv commercials - effectively depends on seeing forms in ink blots.

The question is not whether Veidt accurately predicted the future, because no one can make that claim (Manhattan experiences the future in the present, which is a different thing) and no responsible reader of Watchmen can defend it. The question is how to understand the relationship between his professed desire to save the world and his massacre in Manhattan (sounds like the title for a movie). Does he perpetrate the mass murder because he wants to build a utopia, or does he want to build a utopia so that he can inaugurate it with mass murder? We need to register as readers that Veidt's witticism that he doesn't mind being the smartest man in the world, but wishes it wasn't this one implies a significant resentment that is characteristic of utopian projects, which always imply a degree of more or less violent dissatisfaction with the existing state of things. We also need to register that from the first panel of Watchmen, his plot is far advanced, and that every single person he speaks to in the present action of the novel is in effect walking dead: he moves around in a world of zombies. That makes the Egyptian imagery he surrounds himself with pretty morbid.

The ambiguity of the final panel of Watchmen - will Seymour pick up the journal or leave it there - is the same ambiguity that inevitably structures our reading of Veidt. A productive interpretation of the book won't try to either justify or condemn Veidt, but see that both justification and condemnation are legitimate consequences of reading. We have to read with double vision if we're to understand the book.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:42 am 
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This forum is death to my homework.
I would also just like to add that uh...the Russians did invade Afghanistan in our world. I know, there's differences between our world and theirs, blah blah, but the fact of the matter is they did, and it didn't lead to an apocalypse. And as for the president freaking out, I'm just gonna mention cuban missile crisis again.
My point is, from a certain perspective, we are always on the brink of nuclear annihilation. I mean, Iran is currently enriching the hell out of nuclear materials and Israel is standing poised to bomb the shit out of them with their own nukes. Amadinijad (leader of Iran) himself announced that if Israel went to war with them it would mean the beginning of WWIII.
My point is, this scary, brink-of-nuclear-annihilation stuff happens a lot, and I think Veidt was reacting the same as everyone else, expect he had his brain and money at his disposal.
Oh, and as for the analysis of losses/counter losses...haven't you seen "war games"? Like, they do that all the time.
And I agree with RLS about Doc leaving earth because of Veidt etc etc., and I'm not sure what to say about the second part of his response so I'll think about it for a little bit. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:00 am 
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actually, while i was never a fan of veidt nor his methods, i also never saw him as the cold-blooded killer or megalomaniac that some see in him.
i believe veidt genuinely cares. he´s a bit the flip side of the comedian: both see mankind tottering on the edge of the abyss.
blake draws the conclusion that all is a giant joke, nothing really matters anymore and that this gives him the full right to act as he pleases.
veidt, on the other hand, can´t stop thinking about how to change the desperate situation that the comedian embraces so whole-heartedly. veidt embraces responsibility for all mankind - a dazzling idea. if you want, he tries to play god. i believe that he, with his impressive brain, has found his solution the only one possible, as horrible as it may be. because of his powerful personality, he also manages to execute his plan, he doesn´t shy away from the responsibilty. he´s also honest in this respect: the only reason why he keeps his plan a secret is that it wouldn´t work otherwise.
if he really were the cold-blooded killer, he´d have no qualms to kill dan and laurie - which would effectively be the easiest way to assure their silence. that he doesn´t, when it´s clear he could do it without difficulty, is an important clue to his character and motivations, i think.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:08 pm 
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I guess Veidt is like a proactive Blake, with significantly more resources.

With Truman, though, it was retaliation. Veidt never had a problem with anyone in the world. No one attacked him, he wasn't responsible for an entire country. He just sort of appointed himself to a higher level of responsibility and entitlement, and I think that really pissed Rorschach off. Like, who is Veidt to kill millions for the sake of the world without being threatened. Truman had Pearl Harbor to retaliate on. Veidt just... cooked up this mass-murder plan for shits and giggles, basically.

Rorschach is big on the retaliation thing. The guy who made fun of him in the bar, he breaks his fingers (yeah, in the name of finding out Blake's killer, but he probably wouldn't have gone as far as finger breaking if he hadn't been teased). Like when he was writing in his journal about how the world has rabies, and the best you can do is not very effective, but you have to keep doing it. Veidt broke the rules.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:05 pm 
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Rorschach is not a static character. In fact, none of the characters in WATCHMEN are static. All of them go through a transformation in their thinking at one point or another.
That being said, Rorschach definitely changed his views. In the beginning he thought that the sacrificing of thousands was justified with the salvation of thousands more. But in the end, upon seeing the death of millions, he realizes that nothing in this world can ever be justified. This is what completes his transformation from Kovacs to Rorschach.
At the same time, he knows that in revealing Veidt's plan, the world would be thrown into more chaos. He forces Jon to kill him by threatening to tell the world. Rorschach no longer wants to live in such a flawed world.


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