Thursday, March 12, 2009

Goodbye, Mr. A...

Having recently watched the WATCHMEN movie and (finally) reading the book of the same name by the ever popular Alan Moore, I found myself casting my mind back to one of the characters that influenced Alan Moore when he was writing WATCHMAN, Mr. A.

Rorschach was heavily influenced by two very similar characters created by Steve Ditko during the 60's, Mr. A and The Question. Both were incorruptable journalists that became vigilantes that donned masks; the Question wore a mask that completely obscured his face, leaving it blank and formless, while Mr. A work a metal mask that was sculpted to look like an impassionless face. Both characters represented Ditko's belief in a system of philosophy proposed by Ayn Rand called "Objectivism." Basically, Mr. A's belief is that existance is concrete and made of only absolutes and extremes, with no middle ground. Black and white, good and evil, with no moral grey area. A is A, and a crime commited is still a crime, regardless of severity or of the circumstanced that lead to it's pepetration. Mr. A uncompromisingly punishes those who commit crime after denouncing their attempts at justifying their reasoning for commiting the crime.

I can't say I can really wrap my head around the tennants being this philosophy, but I'm always fasinated by characters that have an extreme set of believes that they live by that aren't recognized as being acceptable by society. I'm just fasinated by the circumstances that lead them to have such an extreme and often insane but rationalized viewpoint... which is why I really found myself drawn to Rorsharch as a character in WATCHMEN... seeing his upbringing and the things that shaped him allowed me an understanding of how he came to be the way he was, even if I don't fully agree with his personal views or philosophy. Mr. A has no backstory... he simply is.

Anyways, the above Youtube video is a song called "Goodbye Mr. A" by the Hoosiers. I'm a little astonished that a modern band could dedicate an entire song to such an obscure reference, lost on most of society.