Watchmen

I know I don’t keep this blog up as well as I should, so for those of you reading this for the first time I’ll try to give you a smattering of what flows through this head of mine from time to time, when I’m not working on two novels – a mystery and a thing I’m currently referring to as as a potential magnum opus. I’m about 40k words into the mystery, 37k into the MO. Both WIPs. Doncha just love sprinkling intitialisms through your prose?
What brings me out here today is the novel from the mid 1980s, Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. A spectacular contribution to letters and graphics in the form of an “illustrated novel”. Cartoon drawings of super heroes and occasional “documents” comprise four different intertwined stories that hearken of each other, accomplishing something even movies can’t accomplish which is embedding fragments of one story in the frame of another, seamlessly. I am delighted with this book. When your age hovers near seventy-five it’s amazing how that wisdom which adheres from simple survival doesn’t help at all in understanding “these younger people.” A book like Watchmen helps remind me of what the twenties and thirties were really like. Oh, I retain the anecdotes, such as those collected in the book this site is mostly about but recollecting the “times”, the zeitgeist if you must, is not so easy. This book helps me grasp that combination of utter futility and unmitigated necessity we humans live through during those young mid-life decades, twenty through forty or so. The world really is fucking itself up at every turn and damn near everybody is wrong about how to fix it. With age comes the realization that the human condition is to muddle through, it’s just all too important for one perception to be THE perception that will fix it. It won’t get fixed. Our function is not to fix it, but to survive in this universe. We are not the sole protectors of life, all life. But if we don’t go through a powerful period of believing that our generation is the Christ generation for the world we miss an important part of living as a human being. And somehow we do some little good along the way and contribute to life’s survival. My thanks to a brilliant young man, Glenn Provost, for turning me on to this great read. It gives me hope.

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