How To Save The World, Part 2

March 13, 2009

After watching the movie “The Watchmen”, I had an idea. Its sorta related to the movie “Hero” as well. And can be said of any story that shows people doing extraordinary things to “save the world”. No matter the context/size of what “the world” means.

From the start I don’t want people to think that I don’t like those movies. They inspire me to try to get better to do “extraordinary” things myself. That may be part of why young people like them, and as I get older, I don’t want to stop being inspired to learn, grow, improve, etc.

And that is sorta the basis of my thought. But I need a moment to get there… So, many superhero stories (and things like Dr. Who) are about one person’s special abilities that are necessary to save the world. But what I found myself pondering after “The Watchmen” was that it had an interesting theme. You don’t see it until the end; and this may be a bit of spoiler for people who haven’t seen it. The idea was that it takes extraordinary people to do extraordinary things to save the world … from itself.

The dark nature of the movie and its characters really showcase the idea that humanity will destroy itself. And sometimes I’m cynical and tired and frustrated enough to believe it. But that still isn’t the thought that I had. The thought I had was that it is truly extraordinary when people with a slight advantage help those around them to learn, to grow, to improve. Those activities are the extraordinary things that would really save humanity from itself.

And it took me a bit of pondering to realize that the superheros of “The Watchmen” were symbols of the parts of humanity, and that humanity was indeed saving itself from itself.

And equally important, we should ask at what cost. And that ultimate question was explicit in two lines from one character, at the end, tying so much of the movie together. Pretty cool…