Hidden Meaning in WATCHMEN – Earthling Cinema

Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Watchmen, based on
the popular graphic novel by Demi Moore and directed by Zack “The Snide Man” Snyderman. The film follows a group of Earthling superheroes
who fight crime using their mighty powers of… punching… and kicking… and um, somersaulting…
and OH SH*T!! However, costumed vigilantism is outlawed
for being too effective, forcing all the Watchmen to either retire or keep working as government
stooges or continue doing whatever they want. Soon the Watchmen start getting watched too
hard, prompting the emo one to start a LiveJournal. Papa Smurf throws a tantrum on live TV, then
puts himself on a Martian timeout and puts his pubic hair on timeout as well. His absence allows the Soviet Union to step
up their war efforts in a safe space. Rorschach is cornered by the police and goes
to jail, where he cheats on his diet by indulging in a little fried food. Papa Smurf’s girlfriend Hot Pants puts in
a transfer to become Owl Boy’s girlfriend instead, and they help the Rorschmeister escape. Papa Smurf tries to win Hot Pants back by
showing her his arts and crafts project, but she tells him this part is pointless and let’s
just get to third act already. Rory and Owl Boy find out that their friend
Weird Headband is the master chef behind the whole enchilada. They confront him at the Wall from Game of
Thrones, where he lives with his pet fever dream. A bunch of cities go kablooey, but Headband
explains that the only thing cooler than a million deaths is a billion non-deaths, so
they let him off with a stern warning. Papa Smurf heads off to another galaxy for
a really boring spinoff, and they print Rory’s LiveJournal, which turns out to be the screenplay
for the hit movie Watchmen. Watchmen deconstructs traditional comic book
tropes through its depiction of superheroes as flawed individuals, aka individuals who
like to f*ck. Rather than shining examples of patriotic
virtue, these characters range from nihilistic to disturbed and violent to having a dadbod. Whereas classic comic book heroes are customarily
identifiable as good guy vs. bad guy, Watchmen blurs the lines between the two better than
Robin Thicke did when he plagiarized Marvin Gaye. Weird Headband appears to be a Lex Luthor-style
megalomaniac who goes around giving cancer to people willy nilly and wiping out entire
cities, also willy nilly. However, his actions successfully avert nuclear
war and establish peace. Nothing willy or nilly about that. Similarly, Rorschach’s relentless pursuit
of justice could be construed as noble, but his methods are more likely to terrify than
to comfort because he’s a dirty ginger. He breaks into crime scenes, tortures criminals
for information, and brutally murders those he deems guilty. He also seems like the kind of friend who
never remembers your birthday but always expects you to remember his. In order to better understand Headband and
Rorschach, one must begin with their names. Headband, or “Ozymandias” in Egyptian, refers
to Rameses II, a powerful pharaoh who built a massive empire of cultural, architectural,
and religious achievements. Headband considers himself to be a modern-day
pharaoh — only without the whole pulling your brains out through your nose thing — so
he acts as he believes a legendary ruler would. Rorschach’s name and mask are derived from
the “Rorschach Test,” which famously always shows a picture of my mother giving me a firm
spanking. Rorschach believes right and wrong are distinct;
black and white, with no gray area, not even where the black and white parts overlap. Once he determines a wrong has been committed,
he must punish it with all of his knife. These two philosophies clash when Rorschach
learns of Headband’s genocidal shenanigans. In the parlance of ethical theory, Headband
is a consequentialist. He justifies his actions by evaluating their
ultimate consequences, which makes total sense. In contrast, Rorschach is a deontologist. He believes that one must be judged by the
actions they take, and not the results of those actions. Damn, that makes sense too! Rorschach delivers his journal to Breitbart
Simpson, and while the film remains flirtatiously coy about whether its contents are published,
the viewer is forced to confront the question: is revealing the truth more important than
preserving the peace? Or perhaps Papa Smurf was right all along,
and none of it matters because everything is predetermined. Which is how I know this episode is gonna
end riiiight… now. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid.


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