Don’t quit your day job

AKA, my life as a movie critic.

But first, something completely normal for my blog:

Happy 1 month little guys!

You know that first big step you take towards something new?  How you’re all fired up and looking forward to whatever it is?  I was so excited about my first day to get back to working out yesterday.  I was pretty sure it would change.  the.  world.  At least, my world.  Maybe I was thinking I’d go work out and, abracadabra, my old pants would fit.  I’m not sure.  I do know that I was thinking my weight check this morning would reward my trip into the gym.  Not so much.  181.  Still. 

And now for something completely different.

As I mentioned, I wanted to talk about the Watchmen movie.  It seems there is a philosophy that is part science, part theology, about the world and a watch.  Now, I looked this up and the formal argument is actually the opposite of the theory of evolution.  That something with ‘intelligent design’, such as a watch, must have had a maker.  Contrary to common misconception, as a pagan I am not, in fact, an atheist and thus I have no problem with the concept of a watchmaker.  I happen to believe that it is not a given for how the world formed because I also believe complex things can just happen because they do, not because ‘someone’ wanted them to.  Anyway, this gets away from the actual point.  The philosophy out there correlates the world to a complex design and states that there must be a watchmaker to have created it.  If you can re-make this watch, you can become for humanity purposes, god.  René Descartes worked at something akin to breaking down humanity into those watch parts so that it could be put back together just right. 

If you put the watch together, then you get to define humanity.  You get to define what is right and what is wrong and indeed, what makes right right and wrong wrong.  These ‘Watchmen’ were, to that extent, the watch creators.  So here you have a bunch of superheros and the world thinks ‘superman, save us’ but the reality of a superhero is that it is not possible for anyone to be always morally right all the time.  It is not even possible for everyone to agree on what is morally right all the time.  So what if the ‘villian’ is right?  What if the person that defines ‘morality’ differently than you has a better result?  To link this to my previous post, think about the way the population seems so worked up over homosexuality.  What makes ‘right’ ‘right’?  Who gets to decide?

So that was just one part of the movie.  Another part, if you DO get to decide and you are all powerful and basically a god yourself, what happens to your wants and desires?  Would you even care about the world and humanity if you were so far removed from the same constraints of day to day life?  How is your ability to decide on right vs wrong possibly clouded because it doesn’t matter so much to you.  This goes along the lines of ‘power corrupts’ but it isn’t corruption so much as apathy.  Then again, everyone is different and who is to say that the individual that happens to be the one bestowed with this power for whatever reason (Dr Manhattan due to accident, the smartest man in the world due to, I don’t know, genetics… the movie didn’t really say how or why the rest of the watchmen were ‘super’) is going to react in any given way? 

Another part?  Humanity exposed, naked (and in full frontal on a regular basis although reality was a TAD suspended in Dr Manhattan’s endowment) and raw and gory.  Is it so very beautiful?  It can be.  The relations and the randomness that makes everyone who they are.  But it is also very very ugly.  How does someone take such raw materials that are so inherently and randomly flawed and beautiful at the same time, and make something that doesn’t self destruct itself?  How do you let humans make their own choices when their own choices can be so potentially wrong, and still get the desired outcome?  Can you even do it?  What if you do something that you THINK will help get the desired outcome but it doesn’t work and things get worse?

I know – it is just a movie.  I didn’t even read the graphic novel and I wasn’t even all that excited to see the movie.  Kris wanted to see it and it was starting at the right time when we went to the theatre so we just saw it.  My first comment to him when he suggested it was that the superhero guy looks like a cow.   When I read reviews of the movie though that comment on the fight scenes being poorly done or that the plot is weak I want to shake that person and say that if you didn’t get it, sorry for you, but the depth was there for the taking if your brain wanted to make the plunge.  Walking away though, your mind is left chewing on this huge question of philosophy, theology, science, math, politics, randomness, beauty and human nature.  At the end of  it all I keep coming back to thinking “what makes right right?”  I cannot answer that any other way than to say that we just have to go by how it feels as an individual choice and hope for the best.  Keep your mind open, be willing to consider a full world where the other person’s concepts are reality, and see where that takes you.  We are, after all, only human, right?

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