Who Watches the Watchmen? The Very Bored. And The Surprisingly Pretty.

Posted on March 7, 2009

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I remember reading the Watchmen book some twenty years ago and I remember thinking it was long, boring, and not really exceptional. But, at the time, all the older comic geeks were going on and on about how great it is, so I assumed that I was too young to really get it.

Fast-forward twenty or so years and now I am the older (quasi / recovering) comic geek and am happy to say with authority and conviction: “long, boring, and not really exceptional.” And that’s just the story. Many elements of the movie are downright flawed: poor fight sequences, poor special effects, poor pacing. Jeffrey Dean Morgan gives a convincing performance as the Comedian but he is only around for the first half of the film. Jackie Earle Haley has some good moments as the unmasked Rorschach but hardly enough to carry the film.

At the 3/4 mark, I was officially bored and looking forward to the film ending. Hoping, even. And even that hope turned out to be false because the end, when it finally does come, is anti-climatic and even a little silly. It’s been a while since I had to sit through Boomer-generation navel gazing and I forgot how dull and sophomoric it really can be.

The only thing noteworthy on the night for me was the audience. Time and time again, I have noticed a significant change in the make-up of the audiences (pun kind of intended) at these geek-orientated cultural events.

First, there are significantly more females, whereas when I was in my teens and twenties the females would have been few and far between. Second, the females are kitted out in the latest fashions, make-up, etc, etc, whereas when I was a gack (an expression for adolescent geek I am coining right now), the females in attendance would be as awkwardly kitted out as the males and, well, mousey.  

So my questions:

1) Has feminism actually worked well enough for this generation of females that they can happily and publicly take an interests in all things geek, whereas in my time they couldn’t because it was officially “guy” culture and “low-status guy” culture to boot? 

2) Is this good old fashioned androcentrism at work? Geeks rule the world right now and the females are forced, for this reason, to come along, watch, and look pretty. 

3) The girls were always there and I am only noticing them now because they are wearing a bit of make-up, tight pants, and high heels. 

Thoughts?

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