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Sun, 04 May 2008:

Flaws are inherent in the makings of a hero. For a perfect canditate for heroic tasks would be a man made out of stone - cruel, rational and unemotional. But only cruel to be kind, rational to the core and unstirred by emotional pulls. But who would want to call him a hero?

Over the last two days, I slowly trawled my way through the twelve issue paperback of Watchmen. It has proven to be an interesting comic to peruse.

The book is a continous dismantling of the word "hero". More appropriately, of the super-hero genre - the take-no-lives, nobody-got-hurt-but-the-criminals world of the original heroes. But having accepted collateral damage as a way of life, for the super hero, the question remains - how far will you go to save humanity?.

For your own good: More interesting is the dissection of the purpose of authority. The question hangs in the air - "Who are we protecting them from?". And only the comedian dares answer, but with mirth - "From themselves". Is a nice concept, that few will suffer for the good of many. But that line having been crossed, decisions get mired in a subjective quagmire of the value of a life against another. And it evades the other question - what happens to those who dispense with justice?

quis custodiet ipsos custodes: Ah, but who will watch the watchmen. And even if benevolent they be, what if they take the path piled with corpses. The entire book is a critque on the hypocrisy of authority, the few who are not accountable to any. After all, as I've noticed, in a fair world intentions do not matter.

The book leaves you doubtful how to interpret the shades of grey in people. But at least that's why Rorschach has only black or white - never any gray, on his face. Perhaps to him, it's all black'nwhite.

Perhaps, the real hero is a monster who's cruel to be kind. Amen.

God instructs the heart, not by ideas, but by pains and contradictions.
                -- De Caussade

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