Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dr. Manhattan Project


In the beginning I was going to write about the whole movie of the Watchmen , however that became to long and more of a summary. Rather I am going to try to focus on one singular character from the film. This will be the awesome Dr. Manhattan. On first glance he seemed to be to over the top, but upon watching the film all the way through you can see even he struggles.

His power is nearly limitless as i can tell. He is able to harness the world of quantum physics and bend it to his will. Nothing is out of his grasp when it comes to the physical world. I do not know of any other superhero who could withstand him in a purely physical battle. Superman would just be totally broken down to a molecular level with but a thought from Dr. Manhattan. And Superman would be able to do much of anything to Dr. Manhattan since he is non-corporeal. I am not saying Manhattan is a better superhero than Superman because he is not. It is Dr. Manhattan is more powerful on a wider scale than any superhero i can think of at this moment. Manhattans powers are also a weakness that keeps him from seeing us as anything more than insects. Some of the people of his fictional universe conclude he is a god( A moniker which he denies). It makes one wonder though if there was a god would he look at us like Manhattan does? The world in which Manhattan sees thing have caused him to lose all touch with humanity except for his connection to his girlfriend. To him human life is nothing special he does not see it as having any meaning or validity in the universe.

With his lack of empathy humanity it isolates him from us and makes him leave our planet. This introspection which occurs on Mars does lead him back in the end. It is his link to one human which allows him to see we are not all worthless insignificant creatures. I think this is a good way to learn about humanity because on a whole humanity seems worthless, deplorable and without merit. However making a connection to one individual can make one see this in not true for entire human race. Once one can see this it leads to hope for betterment of mankind as a whole. No one can connect to the entire human race, but we can connect to individuals allowing us a glance into the window of what it is to be human. The nihilism we may share for our species as a whole can be disintegrated by one individual and thats what makes us special as I see it. Its a hard sell on the morality of things the sacrifice of the few to save the many. The logic is hard to cope with because we are much more emotional than logical animals. I ask is it in our best interest to be morally ambiguous at certain points? Can logic be truly incorporated into us and allow for ethical and peaceful society while still following a logical path? Is one life equal to a million others ? These are questions we may not ever hop to answer but that doesnt mean they should never be asked nor attempted to be answered.

In the end Dr. Manhattan was as complex as he was powerful. He did somewhat come to terms with morality, emotion and logic. Although I do not know whether even he was sure if he was right in the end. Even with all the power he had he was no god. Makes one wonder, is there even a god?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Skeptism in Horror

I recently watched "The Unborn" which was a mediocre horror film at best. I wondered to myself if this was due to the film itself or rather due to me. I am a skeptic and in horror films skeptics are always wrong. I understand the concept of fiction and that one must suspend disbelief to an extent but i have a hard time not over analyzing the stupidity that can be found in such films. I fear it has limited my enjoyment for such films trying to over analyze every little nuance . One must take these films with a grain of salt and realize unless they are calling themselves documentaries they are total works of fiction. The ones which truly annoy me, however are the ones acclaiming based on a true story especially ones which are of supernatural design. I understand its a selling point, but it is false advertisement in my book. AT best they should say "loosely" based on true events. Since alot of the world will except it in its entirety as truth as opposed to a work of fiction .

The stories in which people make claims that these events could be real are the ones which annoy me the most. All the ones based on religious concepts and exorcisms . It seems to me that these lead credence to these things being factual when they are far from it. Maybe the reason I over analyze those films is because it is what i would do if someone was making the claim in real life situations. In a horror movie nine times out of ten the skeptic is the one who is wrong or crazy thus making it harder for me to relate to the main character which in general is the believer. I attempt to make it clear in my head to be against the skeptics in films , because more than likely they are the ones who are wrong. I just worry people take this approach to many times in real life. With these so called based on real events movies it just encourages this sort of lazy thinking and ignorance. The counter argument to this is that if people see these events as works of fiction then maybe it can allow them to realize that the likely hood of them being true is diminished.

Overall I must set my skeptical nature aside when I indulge in horror movie. So I am able to enjoy it and avoid over analysis. I suggest that this should be a technique used by all skeptics when it comes to works of fiction or we shall get no enjoyment from them. We have to be realistic ourselves and know its fiction for our pleasure . So fellow skeptics enjoy the films and root for the wackos in them just do not cross the line from fantasy to reality. In that we shall be safe from the machinations of those who would say we are overlly sensitive to all things which are beyond belief. I now must go and watch some more horror movies, since they are one of my fave genres of film and enjoy them for what they are as opposed to picking every piece of them apart.