I alluded in yesterday’s entry to the passage of time and to the hypothetical judgment of God at some point in the future.
The latter is not something I believe in, of course, but people of all political stripes — and science buffs like my co-workers — are in the habit of saying of their intellectual opponents “history will judge you harshly.” I don’t think you’ll catch me saying that, for the simple reason that I’m not at all convinced good and truth will triumph over evil and error in the long run (I certainly don’t think the marketplace of ideas, wonderful and necessary though it is, necessarily rewards truth over entertainment value and intuitive appeal, much as people of a philosophical bent might wish otherwise).
I think most people just take a happy ending for granted — or else feel the need to anticipate one in times of anxiety. I’ll be amazed if we just keep ameliorating the damage and keep some of the pointless, pointless insanity and suffering to a minimum — and, yes, I’m pretty happy with that humble role. I’m a realist. On a related note, I’m also happy to see Matt Welch resisting the common temptation to make things rosier by over-identifying with the winning side — specifically, he, too, is giving up on the whole “liberaltarian” reverso-fusionism thing.
As for how history would judge the Watchmen — well, that, I hope, will be debated far and wide after the movie comes out today — and here’s my Reason.com review of the film to contribute to the process. Surely it is no coincidence that the New York Times yesterday unveiled its new Graphic Novels Bestsellers list, which the comics site Newsarama dubs “validation.” Speaking of validation, though, I notice the editors at Reason added the phrase “serial graphic novel” to my Watchmen review. Not inaccurate — but there’s no shame in just calling it a comic book series, which it was before being anthologized. Say it loud, say it proud.