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scifitwin wrote in 35minutes_ago
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Discussion topic: How well do you think the giant squid plan will work?

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This is a bit tangential, but a lot of Veidt's optimism seems to come from his idea that the new era he wants for humanity will be a great civilisation like what Alexander tried to create, or like his vision of what Egypt was under the pharaohs. He's modelling off civilisations that are thought of as past successes for their achievements and what they've left behind.

So he's working towards a new era that will produce things like the Egyptian pyramids he seems to love so much, maybe, and I think individuals aren't as important to him as the overall state of civilisation. He wants peace so civilisation can continue, and unity as a bright and shiny picture of everyone working together towards this new world of his. I still think his plan is doomed and short-sighted, but it fits in with his weird perspective on Humanity with a capital H instead of individual humans. It works in his head because he's such a big picture thinker, and the small picture human conflicts that I think would rise from his plan in the real world don't occur to him, or are future problems to be solved when the larger, more obvious issues have been dealt with.

More or less thinking aloud here, because I'm definitely in the camp that wonders how the world's smartest man could come up with that plan and think it would work in the long term, and this is the only solution I can come up with that works for Veidt, because it ties into his feeling of separation from other people and the way he words a lot of his comments about his plan.

I can't really disagree with anything you actually say there. Which is something that has always vaguely bothered me when reading Watchmen fic set post movie/GN (Yes, I know). You'd get characters bitching about how the Utopia was horrible and flawed because there were still rapes and theft and what-not, which completely ignores the point that Veidt wouldn't care about the occasional rape or murder, so long as society as a whole is without war and more or less working together. While he might talk the talk, Veidt isn't about the perfect Utopia so much as Utopia on average.

But you'd have to be a big picture thinker to even begin to weigh up a millions vs billions of lives debate. You can't do that without being very distanced.

I think Veidt says that himself at some point, or at least alludes to it. I know for sure that in that Watchmen Sourcebook RPG thing he says he doesn't believe that humanity could exist in a world without adversity without stagnating.

Future fic that deals with the consequences is rough ground, and yet I still want fic with him worried about everything collapsing around his ears (as Veidt character porn more than a "haha, take that Adrian, your plan sucks" thing, which I think is the kind of fic you're talking about). The problem is that it'd have to be a really serious threat to make him anything but confident that he could deal with the problem, and writing a serious threat that doesn't take over the narrative would be tough.

I know for sure that in that Watchmen Sourcebook RPG thing he says he doesn't believe that humanity could exist in a world without adversity without stagnating.

As terrible as it is, I actually agree with that. If nothing else, look at all the technological and social progression that has come in the wake of wars.

Future fic that deals with the consequences is rough ground, and yet I still want fic with him worried about everything collapsing around his ears (as Veidt character porn more than a "haha, take that Adrian, your plan sucks" thing, which I think is the kind of fic you're talking about).

THIS. Oh, this exactly. I've just never seen anything of this type written by anyone who actually liked Adrian. The fics are pretty much all excuses for the ~next generation~ of vigilantes - or a resurrected Rorscach - to be badass. And tend to ignore the interesting moral ambiguities. I like moral ambiguities, dammit!

Oh, those fics. Part of my fascination with Veidt is that he's arguably the most disturbing example of one of the scary bits of superheroes that Watchmen made clear to me. They're all vigilantes who want to enforce their views on the world, and in practice it's an ugly thing that plenty of people hated enough to riot over it. Veidt was the liberal one who thought he was a hero, but in the end he still comes from the same "someone should fix things and that someone is me" place that Rorschach comes from. The whole "yay, some new heroes/Rorschach is back to fix everything by breaking some fingers" thing misses what I thought was interesting about Watchmen entirely. Not that it's a new missing the point at all, 90s comic books were very good at it too.

But that aspect of superherodom brings up another problem: If it is within your power to alter things for the better, is it acceptable to stand aside and not do anything? Veidt isn't the best example of this, given the debatable good of his actions, but it is a current moral debate that is relevant to those in power (Social Work for one).

I know I've said this elsewhere, but one of the major problems with 90s comics is they took too much of the "Heroes can be morally ambigious and do horrible (but badass) things" from Watchmen, and not enough of the "Villains can be well-motivated, at least partially admirable and also competent" parts.

Yeah. I think the one who does the best with that in Watchmen is Malcolm Long when he tries to break up the fight at the end because he just can't stand by and watch it, and he's not a hero in any conventional sense.

Comics could only benefit from more Veidts. Hell, more characters totally unlike Veidt aside from the sympathetic villain with real motivations that aren't to do with dead loved ones or insanity aspect would be fine.

PS, do you mind if I friend you? I had a lot of fun talking, and I just noticed you're also Australian.

Feel free to friend away. But expect to hear lots of babble about my random RL goings on. And assorted anime fandoms du jour.

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