This past week a big movie came out - The Watchmen. It was based on the ground and paradigm breaking graphic novel of the same name. I had never read the comic, despite my love for that genre. I was excited about the movie, just because I had heard so much about the title from so many people over the years. I didn't want my first impression of the story to come in the theatre - just in case they screwed up the whole shebang. So I bought the complete work at Target and started to read it.
What I found was indeed something amazing. I looked at it and could see how it had influenced everything from The Dark Knight to Lost. It's story telling and extras had basically laid the groundwork for how television shows, movies, and dvds are put together. Even though I had not seen its influence as it happened, I could definitely recognize it looking back. It was like when I read John Maxwell's first book (25 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership or whatever - you know, the first one before he started rewording himself twenty times). You read it and go, "Well duh, everyone knows that." And then you realize he wrote it decades ago and go, "OH, not everyone knew it THEN." Same thing with The Watchmen.
But that's where the praises ended. The book itself was - using one of my new favorite phrases - "relentlessly depressing." I have started labeling things that. The Book of Ecclesiastes, for example. They are so negative and dark, and they never let up. Now, you could see where I would be drawn to something like that. I mean, people call me Eeyore. I am a melancholy personality type. I have been called dark and negative and all that stuff. But I hated The Watchmen. It was just ... too dark. The world was full of degenerates, and the superheroes send to defend them were the worst sinners of all. The atrocities that these protectors generated were worse that the world itself could manufacture. And that was part of the story, I think. But the ending message was that things will never get better. The most black and white hero - the one who believed in absolutes - suffers from his own partners due to that. And the ending was just soul sucking.
Actually, it had no hope. That was where it lost me. You see, yes, I have a darker side that pulls at me. But I have hope - tons of it. That hope is not in people. I know that left to their own devices, people will do everything rotten possible. Just read the news. I have hope that one person can make a difference. It may not be a difference in the whole world, but it could be in THEIR whole world. There is hope - and there is a future. I guess this comes from my faith in God. I can't separate that faith from my life - even for a moment. It has been a part of me for so long that I can't even think about operating any other way. And the people around me know that. So I am not willing to give up hope and just resign myself to the ugly inevitable apocalypse. Sure, Revelation had its share of devastation promised. But my job is not to dwell on that - rather I should be trying to change my world as much as possible in the time I have.
I know that this faith is often misunderstood. And I know that some people just assume a lot of things about me - like that I will hate them for living a different lifestyle or having different beliefs. So they will pre-emptively hate me or whatever. But I do my best to show love and hope in my every day life. There are times that the day-to-day struggles will get to me and I will start to lose sight of that hope. But I can't let that last for long. I know the truth and it will restore my faith.
So that's why I didn't go to the movie. Well, that and the nudity, sex, violence, vulgarity. I just am not ready to put myself in front of a three hour movie that is going to preach that hope is dead. I see enough horror on cnn.com. I am well aware of the nasty elements that seem to be exploding in our society. And that is why it is even more important to keep on trying to change what I can in my little circle of the universe. I'll let others worry about the Watchmen's nihilistic view of life.
Now, Star Trek is a different story....