Why is Rorschach so likeable?

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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Belial » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:31 pm UTC

Plasma Man wrote:I agree with that. Having to deal with shades of grey is less comfortable than the clear, distinct, black-and-white view Rorschach has. The appeal of Rorschach is that he never has to agonise over what is right and what is wrong - he always knows.


The thing I find interesting about Rorschach is why he's able to do that: Because he's realized that none of it means anything. That's the point of his little story with the shrink. He's basically the kid from the nihilism comic, except that instead of squirrels, he found a black and white morality that he pulled out of his ass and allows him to act with absolute, doubtless certainty on his own prejudices.

That's the big funny about Rorschach. His morality is so stark and certain and monochrome precisely because it is completely arbitrary. And he clings to it so strongly and so easily because it was consciously constructed along the lines of the things he already felt, not because he thinks those things are right, but because he knows that it doesn't matter if they're right. Nothing means anything, so I might as well kill people I feel are bad.

The point that Watchmen is making, by my reading, is that the only way you can become as certain as Rorschach is by giving up on the idea that your morality is anything but an arbitrary construction of your own knee-jerk reptile-brain prejudices. It makes you a monster.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Pseudoku » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:35 pm UTC

Every time I meet someone who says they relate to Rorschach's view of the world, I ask them whether or not they've ever torrented music or movies before, and if they're sure Rorschach wouldn't consider beating them to a pulp for it. Moral absolutism can be freaking scary.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby firinne » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:43 pm UTC

Because his stated morality corresponds exactly to his actual morality. (It may be clearer if you see "actual" as "act"+adjectivesuffix.)
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Clumpy » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:39 pm UTC

Funny how Rorschach and The Comedian have essentially the same view of life (it's more-or-less explicitly stated) but they pursue it in very different ways. It's fair to argue that they're very similar people and that neither really have a sense of humor - Rorschach's is non-existent and The C's is too acidic and cynical to really be humorous.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:42 pm UTC

Clumpy wrote:Funny how Rorschach and The Comedian have essentially the same view of life (it's more-or-less explicitly stated) but they pursue it in very different ways. It's fair to argue that they're very similar people and that neither really have a sense of humor - Rorschach's is non-existent and The C's is too acidic and cynical to really be humorous.

It's more than that. The Comedian believes there is no such thing as objective morality, so he does whatever the hell he wants. Rorschach believes there is no such thing as objective morality, and so it's up to him to enforce his own subjective morality.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby rat4000 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:35 pm UTC

....I thought Rorschach believed that there was an objective morality.

I don't have the book with me right now though. Could you tell me why you think what you think?
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:51 pm UTC

rat4000 wrote:....I thought Rorschach believed that there was an objective morality.

I don't have the book with me right now though. Could you tell me why you think what you think?

His monologue to the psychiatrist. No meaning or pattern save what we imagine after staring at life too long.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby GiantSnowman » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

Executing just vengeance on pure evil criminals was part of what made superhero stories popular in the first place. The moral absolutes used in these comics made everything a clean Good vs. Evil fight, helping us escape from the grey much we have to sort out every day. Alan Moore tried to deconstruct these moral absolutes by forcing us to see how mad they would be when used in the real world. Maybe he didn't go far enough. Through Rorschach's madness, we still see enough idealism to keep liking him the same way we can like Superman. Maybe Alan Moore should have made Rorschach kill some hookers or commies for better effect.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Belial » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:18 pm UTC

I tend to agree. Moore was clearly aiming in that direction, and I think he could've more effectively made that point, irrevocably, by having Rorschach kill, brutalize, and terrorize at least a few people who were more easily sympathetic to the audience but had "transgressed" against Rorschach's little ink-blot morality. (And it's kindof implied, I think, that he does. It just needs to be "on camera" as it were)

I wonder if that was an oversight on his part, or just something he couldn't get past the publishers...
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:50 am UTC

Thing is, Rorschach is the one who opposes Ozymandias in the end, and he needs credibility with the reader for that. If he'd been shown to be as bad as he really is, there would be no sympathetic characters saying "You really shouldn't have killed all those people" and the ending would have felt biased.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Macbi » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:29 pm UTC

Belial wrote:I tend to agree. Moore was clearly aiming in that direction, and I think he could've more effectively made that point, irrevocably, by having Rorschach kill, brutalize, and terrorize at least a few people who were more easily sympathetic to the audience but had "transgressed" against Rorschach's little ink-blot morality. (And it's kindof implied, I think, that he does. It just needs to be "on camera" as it were)

I wonder if that was an oversight on his part, or just something he couldn't get past the publishers...

I think that Moore wanted all the characters to come out potentially likable. Some people read the comic and come out liking Rorschach, and some come out liking Ozymandias (and then they meet on the internet and say that the other side missed the point). Forcing people to dislike Rorschach wouldn't have made the book better.

Given the stuff he did get past the publishers, it doesn't seem like that would have been much bother.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby aurumelectrum13 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:55 pm UTC

I don't particularly like any of the Watchmen, simply because they are all extremely flawed. I think that was really the point, wasn't it?
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Belial » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:54 am UTC

aurumelectrum13 wrote:I don't particularly like any of the Watchmen, simply because they are all extremely flawed. I think that was really the point, wasn't it?

Yeah, that was my take.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby mosc » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:15 pm UTC

Eh, I liked the pure evil guy getting killed. The whole "over-punishment" superhero weakness is overdone. It's not about beheading someone for j-walking and saying "look how overkill that is!", it's about how even completely justified and completely righteous actions are still messy, morally grey, and well evil. We sugar coat our punishment into a pill easier to swallow by the general public but it's not that different than vigilante justice. Superheros thrust that truth in our face. You can make them do the wrong thing but that's too easy. The real challenge is to make them do the right thing but to make the reader still question it. That's what Moore was going for and that's what the scene in the film did for me.

Rorschach was likable IMHO because he made complicated things so clear. Because he was such a good lens. I don't mean likable as in you wanted to have dinner with the guy, more like you just enjoyed watching the character.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Belial » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:42 am UTC

mosc wrote:Eh, I liked the pure evil guy getting killed. The whole "over-punishment" superhero weakness is overdone.


It kindof...wasn't, when Rorschach was written
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby The Utilitarian » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:16 am UTC

While I have to say, I certainly felt an emotional response to Rorschach's plight at the end of the movie, I really can't condone his morality and related actions. As it's been pointed out by mosc, his actions are entirely too objective to be reasonable. Condemning the world to nuclear war to satisify a need for arbitrary Justice is just entirely contrary to my core believe system.

It is kind of strange how many people have let their emotional response to Rorschach white-wash his behavior and beliefs. A lot of people seemed to like the cute little lesbian super hero, but seem to neglect that Rorschach essentially thought she got what she deserved. More than a little unsettling, no?

As for the author's opinions on the matter, I've had a really hard time hearing what authors intended for thier works even since I found out that Ray Bradbury didn't intend Fahrenheit 451 to be about gov't censorship. I couldn't decide whether I was more upset with him or the multitudes of highschool english teachers professing otherwise.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby YourReality » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:14 am UTC

I think it might have something to do with the fact that being able/willing to make the morally outrageous but personally satisfying choice resonates with a lot of people. Making the reasonable/rational/ethical choice doesn't have the same ring to it because it's what most of us do most of the time in our daily lives - most of us don't get out of our car and beat the person who cut us off, most of us don't shoot a world leader we think stands for the wrong things, most of us don't go kill the criminal to whom charges might not stick. I think it feels a lot more..... significant and satisfying to one's personal sense of justice to make the kind of choice Rorschach did and so it's easier that maybe we would like it to be to empathize with the dude.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby ThomasS » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:15 am UTC

The Utilitarian wrote:As for the author's opinions on the matter, I've had a really hard time hearing what authors intended for thier works even since I found out that Ray Bradbury didn't intend Fahrenheit 451 to be about gov't censorship. I couldn't decide whether I was more upset with him or the multitudes of highschool english teachers professing otherwise.

Occasionally I've written some bit of frustrated sort of prose and later seen clear meaning in it that I certainly didn't knowingly have in mind when I wrote it. I think I read in an afterward of Moby Dick, by Melville himself, the claim that the whale was just a whale. Peter, or perhaps Paul, once claimed that Puff the magic dragon was simply a children's story and that if he did write a drug song it would be obvious. More than one author has noted that once written and published, the author has no special ownership. What the readers see as they read is as real and probably more relevant than what the writer saw as he wrote.

As for Rorschach, he wears a mask because he has decided that the ends justify the means. Some of his actions left you bothered by the fact that they seemed justified. But within the graphic novel, he hardly has a monopoly on this. I mean, destroying a major city in order to avoid a theoretical prediction of nuclear war is pretty far down the ends justifying means track. Talk about playing god! With the somewhat possible exception of the blue guy, nobody seems to have the wisdom to let people screw up on their own. (Note that I have not seen the movie, and read the book some time ago.) But then, it is a story about people who choose to wears masks.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby The Utilitarian » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:30 am UTC

ThomasS wrote:Occasionally I've written some bit of frustrated sort of prose and later seen clear meaning in it that I certainly didn't knowingly have in mind when I wrote it. I think I read in an afterward of Moby Dick, by Melville himself, the claim that the whale was just a whale. Peter, or perhaps Paul, once claimed that Puff the magic dragon was simply a children's story and that if he did write a drug song it would be obvious. More than one author has noted that once written and published, the author has no special ownership. What the readers see as they read is as real and probably more relevant than what the writer saw as he wrote.


I have to take issue with this kind of thinking regarding the interpretation of fiction. If the reader's interpretation of a piece of fiction is more important than the author's intention, that leads to some frankly very scary roads. There are lots of cases of people following questionable causes like racism using otherwise unrelated works of fiction as "support" for their causes, regardless of the author's intention. If we praise a story for an unintended positive message that was constructed by the reader, are we also obliged to hold the story and author responsible for an unintended negative message constructed by a different reader?

It's well and good to say "I got X out of that" but if the author didn't intend it to be there, I think that should be seen as the reader infusing the story with his own ideas.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby ThomasS » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:06 am UTC

The Utilitarian wrote:It's well and good to say "I got X out of that" but if the author didn't intend it to be there, I think that should be seen as the reader infusing the story with his own ideas.

Only the simplest and most painfully trite stories are unaffected by the point of view of the reader. Actually, I'm not even sure about them. This may be terrible, but it is also wonderful. No man is an island, and independent of any bells or diminishing, there are many points of view which may or may not be shared between any two people. Furthermore, even when the reader is the writer, there is a difference between what is read from something and what is written into it. I have heard painters say "I set out to paint x, but ended up with y", and I've heard authors say something like "I was writing dialog as character x and was as surprised as anybody when he started falling in love with character y."

"Daddy daddy, read me a story!"
"Which book?"
"The blue one."
"Oh, that is downstairs, let me go get it."
Father leaves, comes back with a book, but it is the wrong one.
"Daddy daddy, what did you bring the book that I didn't want to be read to out of up for?"

This normally comes up as something to laugh about when discussing the oddities of English grammar and terminal prepositions. But when I told it to a native German speaker, she didn't get the joke. Apparently, the grammatical construction wasn't in any way odd or difficult to her. The story hasn't changed, but now it is more relevant when discussing the challenges I look forward to as I start to learn German.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby The Utilitarian » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:10 am UTC

"Daddy daddy, read me a story!"
"Which book?"
"The blue one."
"Oh, that is downstairs, let me go get it."
Father leaves, comes back with a book, but it is the wrong one.
"Daddy daddy, what did you bring the book that I didn't want to be read to out of up for?"

This normally comes up as something to laugh about when discussing the oddities of English grammar and terminal prepositions. But when I told it to a native German speaker, she didn't get the joke. Apparently, the grammatical construction wasn't in any way odd or difficult to her. The story hasn't changed, but now it is more relevant when discussing the challenges I look forward to as I start to learn German.


I have NO idea what this example was supposed to illustrate, or even what the joke here was supposed to be. I will give you that each reader brings their own perspective to the work they read, but you lost me after that.

Also it's very different to say that an author finds his writing go in an unexpected direction WHILE he's writing it but it's another entirely to claim that it has gone in a different direction AFTER having written it.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Jesse » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:48 am UTC

Thomas, that post was weird, and didn't mae a great deal of sense. But yeah, authorial intent is dead, and has been since the 1920s. Which isnt to say that I agree with the New Critics entirely.

I don't get what you mean about his text having gone in a different direction after he's written it. No it doesn't, any meaning the text can have will be there the moment the text is on the page (The only thing that can change is cultural context) and just because an author doesn't recognise something, it doesn't mean the inference isn't there. And as mentioned before, if we stuck to the authorial intent model, then Moby Dick is really just about a whale.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Belial » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:29 pm UTC

The Utilitarian wrote:It's well and good to say "I got X out of that" but if the author didn't intend it to be there, I think that should be seen as the reader infusing the story with his own ideas.


And if the reader sees a good demonstration/communication/symbol for those ideas in the text, why does it matter who put it there, exactly? What are we accomplishing by separating "reader-infused" meaning from "author-intended" meaning, and placing the latter on a pedestal? A clearer view of the author's thoughts and opinions? Why do we care? The Author is just some person you don't know. The only reason you care about them is because they wrote some book, so maybe you should care about what the book says, rather than what the author says.

You're on the right track with the Fahrenheit 451 thing. Bradbury can say that it's about television all he wants, but a great many people are going to tell him that he clearly didn't read the book he wrote, and I'm inclined to agree with them.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:16 pm UTC

He also doesn't recall all the times he said it was about censorship either.

ThomasS wrote:But then, it is a story about people who choose to wears masks.
Indeed. Moore set out to explore what an actual person that thinks putting on a funny costume and fighting crime would actually be like. I mean, a person would have to be a little messed up to think that is preferable over becoming a police officer. I mean, no matter how corrupt a local force may be.. just join up and don't be corrupt. If there's concern about a local criminal gang firebombing the homes of new cops or whatever... you call the FBI* and the ATF* and get them interested. When all else fails, you notify the IRS* as I'm sure the criminal gangs aren't reporting their income properly.

*Insert Your Nation's Whatever for these organizations, as the ones I mentioned are American. I'm just not familiar enough with Australian Law to know who deals with mass firearm violations.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby ThomasS » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:41 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:Thomas, that post was weird, and didn't mae a great deal of sense.

The story was, originally, an example of the oddness possible in English, and it can work, at least in certain contexts. Say "read to out of up for" outloud, and tell me it doesn't seem at least a little odd. Or even better, change the story so that the book is about Australia - "read to out of about down under up for".
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby The Utilitarian » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:33 pm UTC

Belial wrote:And if the reader sees a good demonstration/communication/symbol for those ideas in the text, why does it matter who put it there, exactly? What are we accomplishing by separating "reader-infused" meaning from "author-intended" meaning, and placing the latter on a pedestal? A clearer view of the author's thoughts and opinions? Why do we care? The Author is just some person you don't know. The only reason you care about them is because they wrote some book, so maybe you should care about what the book says, rather than what the author says.

But again, I have to take issue with this because we hold authors responsible for the content of their books. If the world as a whole really just took books for their content and divorced themselves from the author's intention or involvement at all I'd be more than happy to get on board with the ideas put forward here, but I can't stand the double standard that exists as a result of how things actually go. If a book seems to imply a really terrible message like "Slavery is ok!" are we really prepared to simply have the book sit on its own and condemn it, and not the author? I don't think so. I think that if such a book were to make its way into the mainstream, the author would be held just as accountable for the message of his book, whether or not he intended it.

I'm willing to hear a counter-point to this line of reasoning, but so far I haven't come across one.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby ThomasS » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:07 am UTC

The Utilitarian wrote:I'm willing to hear a counter-point to this line of reasoning, but so far I haven't come across one.

People tend to judge books with their own perspective. Lots of people read Ayn Rand's most well known works without particularly noticing the creepy not quite consensual sex between protagonists. You don't see rants decrying, say, the Gor novels. I think this is because they are so far from what is commonly accepted that it is hard to take them seriously. Well, the fact that they are not well known probably affects this also. But these are both cases where the author probably did mean to encourage viewpoints that few westerners would admit to having today, and Rand at least has supposedly been read by every politician in the US.

I also remember a news report explaining that the movie Munich was criticized by at least one Jewish organization not because they particularly thought that the filmmakers were anti-Semitic, but because they were concerned that the movie might be used to support anti-Semitism.

Also, censorship rallying cries tend to be about individual books, not authors.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:00 pm UTC

The Utilitarian wrote:But again, I have to take issue with this because we hold authors responsible for the content of their books. If the world as a whole really just took books for their content and divorced themselves from the author's intention or involvement at all I'd be more than happy to get on board with the ideas put forward here, but I can't stand the double standard that exists as a result of how things actually go. If a book seems to imply a really terrible message like "Slavery is ok!" are we really prepared to simply have the book sit on its own and condemn it, and not the author? I don't think so. I think that if such a book were to make its way into the mainstream, the author would be held just as accountable for the message of his book, whether or not he intended it.

I'm willing to hear a counter-point to this line of reasoning, but so far I haven't come across one.


Ahh, okay, this dance. Authorial intent is totally relevant (though still not necessarily all important) if you're trying to use the book to make a statement about the author. "Guys, T. F. Wheeler (randomly generated name ahoy) is all in favor of slavery!" is the kind of interpretation where it does become kindof relevant what the author could possibly have actually intended. But does anyone really do that when they're using a book to support their cause? Because it seems like an appeal-to-authority to an author of all people isn't terribly convincing outside of the weight of their work. I mean, outside of writing a book, what's T.F. Wheeler done to make us care what he thinks about anything? But who knows, I try not to associate too strongly with crazies.

At that stage, though, if there's actually a strong and valid reading of the book that does support something terrible, and the author is still alive, it would probably be a good move on their part to apologize for missing it at the very least. I mean, accidentally giving idea-and-inspiration-fodder to people with terrible beliefs is pretty careless, if nothing else. Also, at this point you get into questions of subconscious intent that are just fun (What's a reader-conjured meaning, and what's a literary freudian slip?), so it's best to just accept that the book is problematic, say "my bad, didn't mean to do that, I'll be more careful", and move on.

All of that said, it's still totally irrelevant to what the book means, once you stop trying to say things about the author. And personally, unless the author has actually done something other than write things, I don't much care about most authors as people. I certainly don't read novels (graphic or otherwise) because I'm so interested in the author's views and opinions. Why should I be? Why would I put any degree of effort into trying to piece together and reverse engineer their political, moral, and social views from a story they wrote? Seems like a lot of effort to arrive at the opinions of a random dick with a word processor who I'll never meet. I can just go to Serious Business and read hundreds of those in plain fucking english.

No, I read them for entertainment, and for the meaning(s) I see in the stories. Moreover, I'm pretty certain most other people don't care what the author thinks either, except insofar as they think authorial intent is a quick way to the "right answer" of a book's interpretation and meaning. "Answers on the back of the author's brain", and such. Because they like having firm answers to things, and literature...isn't really like that, and it makes them uncomfortable.

Which is understandable, but I'm not going to pretend it's valid.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Khizrael » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:38 pm UTC

He tells it like it is.

That and he looks so. Damned. Cool.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:52 pm UTC

Khizrael wrote:He tells it like it is.
Lesbians "getting what they deserved" when murdered is telling it like it is?

Noted.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Khizrael » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:08 pm UTC

He doesn't bullshit, he says exactly what he believes. You know what I mean, don't be difficult...

(That said, obviously I am also a MASSIVE homophobe.)
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:54 pm UTC

When people say someone "tells it like it is", they usually mean that they agree with most or all of what a person is saying. So saying that Rorschach tells it like it is, even if you're excluding the homosexual hatred there, still tells me that you agree with most of what he says.

Rorschach is pretty much the poster child for why moral absolutism is fucking stupid. Things are not black and white, everything has some shade of grey to it. Which is why we have lawyers, judges, juries, and trials as opposed to lynch mobs - because in every crime there's going to be some aspect that needs closer examination - maybe this guy just lost his mind for a while and just needs to be punished but not necessarily executed. Maybe this woman, though she's never killed anyone, needs to be put down like a mad dog.

So, no.. I don't know what you mean. I can only assuming that you agree with moral absolutism.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:22 pm UTC

Well, I think what he means is that Rorschach doesn't beat around the bush. Rorschach has an opinion, and then acts on it, without allowing himself to be limited. And who wouldn't want to be unlimited? That's the appeal he has, even if, when you think about it, the actual opinions he's acting on are awful.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Korbl » Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:28 am UTC

tsevenhuysen wrote:I like Rorschach because he doesn't compromise. In the end, he's the only person who sees what Veidt did and can't allow himself to let it go. There are a ton of reasons to hate him--he's a true vigilante, brutally murdering criminals without a second thought--but even though he's seemingly brutal and psychopathic, he's the only one who really sees things clearly.

precisely, for better or worse, Rorschach has his principles, and they are incorruptible. He's essentially Batman, in that he's a badass normal, but he's staked a darker territory than even the dark knight. He is willing, if not eager, to kill. In fact I think that's the crux of it, he is a murderer, pure and simple, but he restricts himself to killing other murderers. Remember his line in prison, along the lines of: "You're all wrong, you all think I'm locked in here with you. The truth is that you're all locked in here with me."

Even I like him, and he would absolutely HATE me. He'd be "watching" me, waiting for me to slip, because he cannot abide a person like me because of his views on sexuality and morality.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby smw543 » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:29 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Well, I think what he means is that Rorschach doesn't beat around the bush. Rorschach has an opinion, and then acts on it, without allowing himself to be limited. And who wouldn't want to be unlimited? That's the appeal he has, even if, when you think about it, the actual opinions he's acting on are awful.

Yeah, misused phrase was misused. Though the mistake is almost understandable—all X's (people who "tell it like it is") are Y's (people who are straightforward). He simply said X when he meant to say Y. This is why people should read their posts before submitting.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Belial » Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:34 pm UTC

In fact I think that's the crux of it, he is a murderer, pure and simple, but he restricts himself to killing other murderers.


Uh, no. He doesn't. He dropped a guy down an elevator shaft just for being a bit too *excited* about cartoon supervillainy. Rorschach restricts his killing to "people he thinks are bad". And that definition is pretty broad.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:41 pm UTC

Doesn't Rorschach compromise the fuck out of his morality, though? Consider the contradiction between his immediate hatred, disgust, and desire to punish Ozymandias for sacrificing millions of lives to stop a war - when previously, in the same narrative, he's spoken in glowing terms of Truman and his decision to do exactly the same thing.

And in Truman's case, it wasn't even that clear, or an example of 'we're facing global annihilation'. Truman's decision was a lot morally murkier than Ozymandias' (who's decision was already pretty morally murky to begin with). But Rorschach is fine with that - not fine with Ozymandias'. Why? That seems like a pretty blatant hypocrisy (and something I think the author wanted us to think about, since its referenced several times - the fact that Rorschach is willing to compromise for Truman, but not for Ozymandias).
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:42 pm UTC

Really? He mentions "good men like Truman" several times, but I don't remember any actual references to Hiroshima. I remember thinking it was something he picked up from his father and clung to as a mantra rather than an actual morality.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby Korbl » Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:27 am UTC

Belial wrote:
In fact I think that's the crux of it, he is a murderer, pure and simple, but he restricts himself to killing other murderers.


Uh, no. He doesn't. He dropped a guy down an elevator shaft just for being a bit too *excited* about cartoon supervillainy. Rorschach restricts his killing to "people he thinks are bad". And that definition is pretty broad.

Ah yes, I forgot that. Ok, forget what I said.

He is likable for his determination. And I think a lot of people wish they could have such a Black and White view of morality, that morality was so simple. Not specifically his view of morality, but people, I think, wish that morality was as simple as Good, Bad, Nothing in Between.
And yet strangely, Nightowl doesn't seem nearly as popular.
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Re: Why is Rorschach so likeable?

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:03 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Really? He mentions "good men like Truman" several times, but I don't remember any actual references to Hiroshima. I remember thinking it was something he picked up from his father and clung to as a mantra rather than an actual morality.
Sorry about the semi-necro - I just remembered I posted in this thread and never responded to this question (duh). Yes, it's referred to several times - in fact, Rorschach goes so far as to state that dropping the bomb was the right decision. And then there's the whole silhouette-of-lovers thing (which is also a reference to Hiroshima and Nagasaki)--and how it makes Rorschach 'uncomfortable' to look at (1) Because it's sexuality, but also - 2) Because it's a direct reference to his ultimate hypocrisy).
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