Watchmen finally hit UK cinemas last week, and my contemporaries and I made a pilgrimage around the weekend to see it (in the biggest motherfucking cinema I’ve ever seen, seriously, what’s the deal with that?).
After a modest period of casually asking each other what we thought of it (british to a man, can’t show too much uninvited enthusiasm) shit-eating grins broke out all round, and happy fanboyism commenced. In case you haven’t heard, it is good, and faithful to a degree I didn’t think possible. Alan Moore is a writing deity in my book, but he’d do well to stop grumbling about other people paying him multi-million-dollar homage and start complaining about the people who watch the damn thing.
I’d wondered how public opinion would regard Watchmen; western culture doesn’t deal well with pragmatism and mixed motives in its news reports, let alone its entertainment. If hell froze over and the mature themes in Watchmen – a comic that muddies the waters of morality around terrorism, murder and rape – weren’t censored or omitted, how would the stupid, cow-eyed masses of the public react to it? Condemnation? Dare I hope for a reconsideration on the unsympathetic reactions to what we are told to regard as criminals? I was beginning to fear for British tabloids‘ readership.
I needn’t have worried. Rather than discussing the plot and characters, the blood-spattered smiley has been supplanted in the hearts of the population by a giant, glowing dong. Transfixed by the shiny (helmeted) objects, the media pundits narrowly avoided discussing questionable morality and instead fixated on Doc Manhattan’s freely swinging member. You’d think that in light of recent events, radioactive cocks would be a sensitive subject in the UK, but noooooo.
I do love how, although taboo in most circumstances, unrestrained wangers are considered more suitable for public consumption (steady now) than questioning the moral status quo. Still, at least my Comedian badge is bona-fide geek cred, right?