View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:06 pm



Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Whack Whack Whackopedia... 
Author Message
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2401
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Whack Whack Whackopedia...
I decided to start a clean thread for this, although it follows directly the "Whinging about Wikipedia" thread.

The bit I struggled to get into a Wikipedia entry and was repeatedly rebuffed upon... is now in there, with the same citations and support as I used. It wasn't good enough when I entered it, but now that someone else (I haven't bothered to trace who) wrote it in, it's miraculously pure and valid. A whopping, what, ten days after my last attempt?

Ha ha ha ha ha HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

I will write up the entire story next, identifying the topic and the item. It might take a bit, as it's hard to type while rolling on the floor laughing like a loon.

_________________
"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:34 pm
Profile
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2401
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: Whack Whack Whackopedia...
Okay, here's the whole story (more or less).

I've been a Watchmen fan for a long time, since a co-worker overcame my objections to graphic novels by quietly laying a copy of the book on my desk.

There are quite a few analyses and walkthroughs of the book, including a couple of panel-by-panel commentaries. It's a bit like Heinlein studies through the 1980s, though, in that there's very little truly rigid or professional attention and a lot of fan interpretation - some of it very good, the way Damon Knight did a very good, if faintly fannish take on Heinlein.

For all the obsessed detail, though, no observer has ever noticed the fascinating implications of one panel. I noticed this in my first few readings of the book around 1990, helped - perhaps - by a comment from the guy who suckered me into reading it. I discussed this panel several times over the years with various small groups of fellow fans, and while they all acknowledged the curiosity, it never quite "caught" in the general interpretations.

So around 1999 I wrote it up as a short paper and sent it to a couple of the proprietors of the various panel-by-panel commentaries. Hear the echoes...

A few years later I rewrote it and submitted it again to a couple of loci. Silence...

About two years ago, I began irregular attempts to get the information into the one place where it would become absorbed by the body of fans and generate some discussion - Wikipedia. At first I was hampered by unfamiliarity with the wiki system. Then began the cycle of my posting the item, in one form or another, and having another WPian remove it, sometimes within the hour. Eventually I gave up.

Then, a few months ago, I began a concerted effort to insert the item into the appropriate WP entry. You know most of the story from the other thread: some Joe College big-star WP editing ghod kept deleting my entries for various reasons: "no original research" "unsupported" "vague" "unsuitable source: vanity press" etc.

Now, I will make it clear exactly what the item is. In Watchmen, there are two characters seen only in historical reference and flashback, both supposedly long dead by the time of the main story set in 1985. The costumed hero Hooded Justice disappeared under murky circumstances in 1955; as no one had ever known his real identity, he may have been murdered or simply removed his mask and never been identified. The more significant hero Captain Metropolis is mentioned briefly as having been decapitated in a car accident in 1974.

That's all well and good except that Watchmen is very carefully written and even more carefully illustrated; there are no loose ends for the observant reader. ...Except the fate of HJ and, because it's so vaguely described, CM. Every other hero of the past is convincingly disposed of by the pseudo-documentary material and comments within the story. These two just sort of fade away into a kind of occultation. Very strange by the high standards of the book.

So when I really looked at one panel early in the story on my second or third reading, I almost fell out of my chair... because it clearly shows these two characters, much aged and unmasked, in 1985. Alive and well. All the clues are there.

And that is all I wanted to insert into the group consciousness - "Panel 1:25:4 appears to show Hooded Justice/Rolf Muller and Captain Metropolis/Nelson Gardner, alive in 1985." To me, that bald statement is no more speculation, "original research" or needing of scholarly support than noting that a smiley face button is a recurring motif throughout the book. But Joe College thought so - or was so put out at this contrarian notion that no-way, no-how was he going to let it in. I put it in as a short, sweet statement; I put it in with a paragraph or two of supporting conjecture; I put in a long version; I finally tidied up my paper and posted it on the NitroPress site and referenced it. No good; every instance was deleted for the flimsiest of reasons, including a final, simple insertion of one sentence much like the above.

(I found it hilarious that Joe "I have a master's in English" College kept re-correcting the passage without accepting my edit that CM was decapitated, not "decapacitated"...)

Anyway, you know most of the recent story from the other thread. I accept that some of my attempts were end runs on the proper method, but if I couldn't insert a single, simple, factual, verifiable sentence... using some sleight of hand to get the gist into the entry seemed legitimate. (The matter doesn't hang on whether my observation is correct or not - it's a factual observation about what seems to be in that panel, and worthy of including in the description and discussion of the book's characters. If you disagree, never mind; you may move on.)

So I found another wiki, this one a bit more fannish and devoted strictly to Watchmen, and inserted the long form of my discovery as an article. It has been well received, edited and shorn of inappropriate speculation and additions by successive editors, and even had an important point added - something I had overlooked, but another detail supporting my contention. The article is discreetly linked to the full paper on the NitroPress web site. I've received much interesting mail in the last few weeks from it.

And then, today, idly checking the Wikipedia entry... there's my contention, in a sentence or two. Citation is... (drum roll please)... my "vanity press" posting of my original paper.

I will likely never figure out what was so wrong with my attempts at posting the information - the very lean, straightforward attempts, anyway; I cop to fan-dancing with the more elaborate attempts. Nor will I likely figure out why this same information, posted by someone else and using the same "substandard" reference, was suddenly okay.

I will tell you it's starting to ripple through the fan community and excite some interesting discussion in areas that most fans had written off as thoroughly as, say, the meaning of the character names in Stranger in our world. What fun. And yes, I am a trifle proud of the discovery, which appears to have escaped every other observer for 23 years, and which changes a small but significant portion of the book's interpretation.

Links
The Characters of Watchmen (Wikipedia)
The Fate of Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis (Watchmen Wiki)
Occulted Watchmen (complete paper, PDF)


Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:33 pm
Profile

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 537
Post Re: Whack Whack Whackopedia...
Have you ever tried to contact Moore or Gibbons about this? A letter sent in care of the publisher would probably be forwarded.

And what's the deal with the turkey? It has two legs on one side.


Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:12 pm
Profile
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2401
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: Whack Whack Whackopedia...
Bill Mullins wrote:
Have you ever tried to contact Moore or Gibbons about this? A letter sent in care of the publisher would probably be forwarded.

I was recently close to contact with Gibbons, but the current hoopla over the movie has made him difficult to reach. I will follow up sometime soon.

Quote:
And what's the deal with the turkey? It has two legs on one side.

It has four legs. It wasn't until the second time I watched the movie that I heard the faint line, "Yes, I ordered the four-legged chicken" in the background.


Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:15 pm
Profile
Centennial Attendee
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:21 am
Posts: 783
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Post Re: Whack Whack Whackopedia...
A minor point about the .pdf file on the Web site:

Footnote 1 reads:

Read as “Issue (or Chapter) 1, page 19, panel 4 (counting from top left on each page).”

The citation of Footnote 1 reads:

[1:19:5]1

Note the discrepancy in panel number.

Good article! Though I don't understand how Rorschach could possibly alive after Kovacs was killed.

_________________
“Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet.” –Abraham Lincoln


Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:42 pm
Profile YIM WWW
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2401
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: Whack Whack Whackopedia...
Not to keep flogging this dead horse... okay, yes I am... but the History and Discussion pages for the WP page are hilarious.

I guess someone added a note that so-and-so played such-and-such character... and Joe College erased it "because IMDb is user-written and not a reliable source." Another simple, factual, useful datum, easily verified by any of several sources... but the submitter didn't maintain one-inch margins and capitalize all his headings, or something. (Several respondents pointed out Joe's absurdity as well.)

Joe's got his degree. He's got his WP star editor stars. Now all he needs is a life. What a DB.


Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Profile
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2401
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: Whack Whack Whackopedia...
dh490311 wrote:
Note the discrepancy in panel number.

Ah... oops.

Quote:
Though I don't understand how Rorschach could possibly alive after Kovacs was killed.

*Sigh*. I really should have left that last comment out. I've gotten more mail about it than the paper proper. See the update notes in the new version of the paper (which by the time you read this will have one eensy little correction).


Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:25 pm
Profile
Centennial Attendee
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:21 am
Posts: 783
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Post Re: Whack Whack Whackopedia...
James Gifford wrote:
dh490311 wrote:
Quote:
Though I don't understand how Rorschach could possibly be alive after Kovacs was killed.

See the update notes in the new version of the paper.

Yeah, I had read that before I confessed my ignorance. I was presuming Kovacs was the only person who could be Rorschach, but I suppose there could be a next-generation Rorschach.

_________________
“Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet.” –Abraham Lincoln


Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:14 pm
Profile YIM WWW
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2401
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: Whack Whack Whackopedia...
dh490311 wrote:
Yeah, I had read that before I confessed my ignorance. I was presuming Kovacs was the only person who could be Rorschach, but I suppose there could be a next-generation Rorschach.

It's really just a personal observation, stretching too far into the metaphysical. I don't mean that anyone corporeal or real survived. Influence of "V for Vendetta," I suppose, in which Moore expresses the thought more completely - "Behind the mask is an idea, and ideas... are bulletproof." I think perhaps Rorschach removing his mask is a facet of the same idea - the figure dies, the hero lives on.


Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:50 am
Profile
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2401
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: Whack Whack Whackopedia...
Ah, sweet validation.

I've retained some doubts about my interpretation of that Watchmen panel - just a few, wondering if I've cooked up too vast a pot of stew from those scanty oysters.

After posting my material, another Watchmen wiki editor added a detail I'd missed - that the two figures have bow ties drawn to resemble domino masks (unique within the book's art).

Now another observant reader has added what I regard as the absolute clincher: the dinner portrayed in the panel is on October 13, 1985. Hooded Justice's first appearance as a costumed crimefighter was on October 13, 1938. So why are these two elderly, retired heroes out having dinner in tuxes? Because they're celebrating HJ's anniversary.

Which almost certainly means Moore, as writer, was in on this panel's concept and content - something that hasn't been entirely clear before (e.g., it could have been Gibbons having fun on his own).

Game, set, match. Heh. Heh heh.


Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:03 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF