Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Twin Towers in "Watchmen"

Over at Edge of the American West, SEK gets a bit worked up about the placement of the Twin Towers in several scenes in "Watchmen," including the Comedian's funeral:As SEK remarks, "If [Zack] Snyder had done something meaningful with 1 and 2 World Trade Center that would be one thing. Sticking them in as many shots as possible is little more than an undignified grasp at an unearned gravitas."

Okay, maybe. But my interpretation was that Snyder was giving a nod to the fact that the terrible, horrible, completely implausible conclusion of "Watchmen" has, in fact, already happened. The 9/11 attacks were a lot like the finale of the book - alien, unexpected, tragic, unifying - only without the giant squid. In fact, the actual attacks serve to undermine the book. Yes, the world united in response, but only for a little while. Okay, maybe you could blame Bush for squandering the post-trauma unity, but how much longer would that have lasted under a President Gore, or Nixon?

Snyder felt he had to at least address that in some way. The allusions to the towers were a way of saying, "Okay, I get it. This has already happened."