Tuesday, June 29, 2004

From the Blogcritics

Two excellent posts over at Blogcritics.org, where I am a sometime contributor.

First, is this in-depth study of Alan Moore's Watchmen comic, and I do mean in depth. David Fiore looks at the characters of that ground-breaking, landmark book in relation to the Marvel Comics archetypes and the larger canvas of American Romanticism. Really! I love Watchmen, a study in metaphysics and psychology told through the comic format, and this post really opened my eyes to some things I hadn't realised about it and the larger comic world. Surprisingly broad stuff.

Sadi Ransom-Polizzotti's post is an emotional, wide-ranging look at the changes wrought in one woman's world by the events of 9/11. She writes from her heart about the desire to trade some security for a little peace of mind and spirit. It's about knowledge: how much do we need and how much is enough?
These things, people said, happened somewhere else. They did not happen in the United States, and while I had never understood why America was immune, it seemed to me a very comfortable assumption and I felt myself slipping into it and believing it because it was better than believing the alternative or the truth, which is that nobody is immune, which is that if somebody wants to blow up a fucking plane they will and if they want to hurt you badly enough they will find a way, that in reality, for all of the searches and war and bombs and security and profiles etc. that we create, I think that there is only so much we can do.

Christ, if that were changeable then I would be all for it. I'm not saying I'd be happy about it - I'd be terrified, but I think that deep-down I believe that I could sacrifice virtually anything I have for this "greater good" that I hear about because I would know that this would protect the people that I love, even if that meant shooting my plane out of the sky because it was headed for the a building with thousands of others, then okay. It sucks, but alright. And while I never thought anyone could judge the value of one life over another, I find that despite this, part of me says that while I can't speak for anyone else, I can tell you that if a terrorist were using me as a pawn, as power to kill thousands of others and you had to choose, that perhaps it would be the lesser evil to let me die so that others can live. It's nuts, I know, but there you have it. I don't say this glibly or with any measure of comfort - the very idea of such a situation scares the shit out of me, but those are the circumstances - "the circumstances were the circumstances." War changes everything and this war in particular, because it is a war of unknown that is fought more subversively.
This doesn't even scratch the surface. Believe me. A long and draining read, but one that stares straight into Benjamin Franklin's warning:
Those who would trade essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither siberty nor security. Powerful, a little desperate, and full of yearning.

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