“Who watches the Watchmen?”
As a potential military conflict with Iran nears, as I am listening to Bush’s latest reasons for why Iran is becoming increasingly dangerous, as political scientists have moved the Doomsday Clock one minute ahead, I cannot help but feel like the dialectic is indeed crumbling beneath our feet and we are finding ourselves in a regressive historical development Hegel would have described as a historical tragedy (since it is to an extent repetitive). I am thus currently re-reading Alan Moore’s Watchmen, a fantastic graphic novel describing Reagan era US and world politics, social sentiment, etc. If you have not read it, do so as soon as you can. Especially in this moment where the threat of chaos and disorder results in an increasing turn toward authoritarian thinking and structures, one of Watchmen‘s central characters called Rorschach could not appear more timely and poignant.
I came across one quote that seemed almost too ironically perfect while listening to Bush go on an on about the need to defend freedom, democracy and all those other words with purely ideological connotations:
“It is the oldest ironies that are still the most satisfying: man, when preparing for a bloody war, will orate loudly and most eloquently in the name of peace.”
Just thought this was quite fitting (well, with the exception of the “eloquently” part, maybe). There is another interesting relation between Watchmen and the present political climate I would like to point out. The graphic novel is currently being filmed by Zack Snyder (without the consent of Alan Moore, of course, as was the case with V for Vendetta, From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, etc.). Zack Snyder’s latest film 300 will shortly be released and is a page-by-page adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel. While I admire Frank Miller’s work and did not even mind the film version of Sin City, I have to ask myself if making a probably very popular (first wide-release IMAX movie of 2007) movie version of Miller’s interpretation of the battle of Thermopylae between king Leonidas I of Sparta and king Xerxes I of Persia told from Leonidas’ perspective (which as a theme already occurred in Vol.3 of the Sin City series) may not degrade the film at least in part to a work of anti-Iranian propaganda, fuelling the sentiment of perceiving Iran/Persia as a historically warmongering empire.
Gotta keep watching the political and cultural watchmen!