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Damon Lindelof developing Watchmen show for HBO

Grumpygoat

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Rorsarch is also willing to overlook Comedian's "moral lapse" regarding Sally Jupiter's rape and dismisses it out of hand. They're both willing to let the people they consider "expendable" be harmed as long as it coincides with their worldview (Rorsarch's being completely warped by misogyny and hardline Conservative rhetoric)
Kovacs is also inspired to action by the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese, and his response to the superhero ban is to leave the body of a rapist outside a police station with the note "never." The transformative act from Kovacs to Rorschach is the vicious murder and disposal of a little girl. The same guy who forgave the Comedian for his "moral lapse" was ultimately driven to act by violence against women - it's the common throughline in some of the most important moments in his life. Saying he's completely warped by misogyny and hardline conservative rhetoric is to simplify him and neatly pigeonhole him in a way that is not accurate to the character. He's a messed up loner with mother issues and closeted homosexuality that may express itself in the violence he commits against criminal men. He's got some pretty hardline conservatism going on. There's also a clear glimmer of humanity.

The dude's complex.
 

That Other Guy

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Kovacs is also inspired to action by the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese, and his response to the superhero ban is to leave the body of a rapist outside a police station with the note "never." The transformative act from Kovacs to Rorschach is the vicious murder and disposal of a little girl. The same guy who forgave the Comedian for his "moral lapse" was ultimately driven to act by violence against women - it's the common throughline in some of the most important moments in his life. Saying he's completely warped by misogyny and hardline conservative rhetoric is to simplify him and neatly pigeonhole him in a way that is not accurate to the character. He's a messed up loner with mother issues and closeted homosexuality that may express itself in the violence he commits against criminal men. He's got some pretty hardline conservatism going on. There's also a clear glimmer of humanity.

The dude's complex.
Personally I woul argue that he's not actually that complex. He's simply a representation of the "strong man" ideal of American culture during the 80's, particularly of the Reagan-era duty of the "social good" (that is to say, conservative norms) over anything else, which are largely warped by a heavily patriarchal stance. If Rorschach was truly a consistent with his own ideology The Comedian would have been killed as soon as he found out.

But then, I would say that his closeted homosexuality is a critique on the stance's own hypocrisy (the "conservative is secretly a homosexual" has always been a heavily contrived and ultimately shallow trope). The messed up and unbending loner is a standby, but Moore is, in my opinion, calling it fundamentally unimportant and self-defeating. I look at Watchmen more through a lens on political and philosophical ideology of the time (which Moore was in large loathing of)
 

Breogan

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He is not a representation of the strong man of the 80's

One aspect of him is being the representation of what kind of damaged individual would believe all that bullshit absolutely, 100% sincerely.

And then to make it interesting, he is not just that. He is not just one note of a pathetic individual. There is true heroism in him. There is also true madness. True fascism and true self-sacrifice. True belief and true absolutely nihilism.
 

That Other Guy

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He is not a representation of the strong man of the 80's

One aspect of him is being the representation of what kind of damaged individual would believe all that bullshit absolutely, 100% sincerely.

And then to make it interesting, he is not just that. He is not just one note of a pathetic individual. There is true heroism in him. There is also true madness. True fascism and true self-sacrifice. True belief and true absolutely nihilism.
I honestly don't believe the heroism in him. He has conviction of belief, but I don't believe that's the same thing as heroism. But I think it's a matter of agreeing to disagree at this point.
 

Grumpygoat

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Personally I woul argue that he's not actually that complex. He's simply a representation of the "strong man" ideal of American culture during the 80's, particularly of the Reagan-era duty of the "social good" (that is to say, conservative norms) over anything else, which are largely warped by a heavily patriarchal stance. If Rorschach was truly a consistent with his own ideology The Comedian would have been killed as soon as he found out.

But then, I would say that his closeted homosexuality is a critique on the stance's own hypocrisy (the "conservative is secretly a homosexual" has always been a heavily contrived and ultimately shallow trope). The messed up and unbending loner is a standby, but Moore is, in my opinion, calling it fundamentally unimportant and self-defeating. I look at Watchmen more through a lens on political and philosophical ideology of the time (which Moore was in large loathing of)
Moore did not write a short, cold-bean-from-the-can eating, homeless, Doomsday-sign sporting vigilante as any sort of representation of a "strong man" ideal. There's sparingly little textual support for that stance. You're also arguing against your own claim that he's not complex by pointing out that Rorschach's not consistent with his ideology - that's the point. He's not consistent with his supposed ideology. i.e., he is complex. He cannot easily be pigeonholed. The same guy praising Truman for the bomb is the same guy who spouts some misogynistic shit is also motivated strongly to stop violence against women - but, similarly, this killer of rapists forgives the Comedian for his transgressions.

He's a festering, boiling pot of anger but also empathy - in many cases, the one guy going above and beyond to stop people who would harm the likes of Kitty Genovese or little girls. Trying to pigeonhole him as a conservative is a one-dimensional, shallow reading of the character.

I've never picked up on Rorscach being closeted- where would I look to find it in the text?
It's subtle. I believe the most telling clue is that one of his interactions with Dan parallels a similar scene with Dan and Laurie - at one point, Dan holds onto Laurie's hand a little too long, making for an awkward moment, and Kovacs has a similar scene with Dan later on in the series. There's nothing definitive, just a few suspicious bread crumbs.
 

JustinCognito

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Kovacs is also inspired to action by the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese, and his response to the superhero ban is to leave the body of a rapist outside a police station with the note "never." The transformative act from Kovacs to Rorschach is the vicious murder and disposal of a little girl. The same guy who forgave the Comedian for his "moral lapse" was ultimately driven to act by violence against women - it's the common throughline in some of the most important moments in his life. Saying he's completely warped by misogyny and hardline conservative rhetoric is to simplify him and neatly pigeonhole him in a way that is not accurate to the character. He's a messed up loner with mother issues and closeted homosexuality that may express itself in the violence he commits against criminal men. He's got some pretty hardline conservatism going on. There's also a clear glimmer of humanity.

The dude's complex.
At the same time, Rorschach's take can be seen as a hard-edged "madonna-whore" complex influenced by his background. He sees what happened to Sally as a "moral lapse" because hey, she dressed like that (isn't that what Eddie said?), whereas he (like most of America) applies the image of helplessness and innocence to Kitty Genovese. You're a rapist and a molester, unless the woman was... well, "asking for it."
 

That Other Guy

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Moore did not write a short, cold-bean-from-the-can eating, homeless, Doomsday-sign sporting vigilante as any sort of representation of a "strong man" ideal.
Then we're fundamentally at loggerheads, because I believe that Rorschach was written precisely as a satire of that. The cold, "logical, "calculated" inflicter of violence on the unworthy despite what society (i.e. the government) is a huge strong man archetype that I believe Moore was deconstructing and satirising. He and Nite Owl are the opposite of the same coin - NO is is the wealth and industry of the libertarian strong man without the "moral conviction", Rorschach is the "moral conviction" without the wealth and industry. I beleve that actual empathy beyond Rorschach's ego-driven masculinity has, in fact, little textual basis and ignores the textual politics of the book. Rorschach has no empathy. That empathy died with Kovacs. That's why he's Rorschach - an image of black and white that people can read what they wish into,

But fundamentally I think we're reading the text through very different theories and lenses. That's fine, but I doubt we'll come to accord.
 

Daz Florp Lebam

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At least one of the things Rorschach is, is a criticism of the determined, driven, dark street vigilante who takes no prisoners, refuses to compromise, beats punks to a pulp, etc. Moore is pointing out the flaws in the fantasy that characters like that are "hard heroes making hard decisions", and "the heroes we need, not the heroes we want".
 

That Other Guy

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At least one of the things Rorschach is, is a criticism of the determined, driven, dark street vigilante who takes no prisoners, refuses to compromise, beats punks to a pulp, etc. Moore is pointing out the flaws in the fantasy that characters like that are "hard heroes making hard decisions", and "the heroes we need, not the heroes we want".
Precisely! That's the strong man I'm talking about.

I don;t believe that the characters are meant to be particularly deep or complex because that's a point of the text. "Superheroes" (used by Moore as a stand-in for Reaganite and Thatcherite ideals of the 80's) are shallow and ego-driven characters who, if unsuccessful in the pursuit of their goals are at best impotent or tends towards self-destruction (Rorschach, The Comedian, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre) or are outwardly destructive to others in a wider, more complex world that they can only view through detached mechanics (Ozymandius, Dr. Manhattan). And I think it tells that story admirably.
 
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