Monday, 16 March 2009

Alan Moore and a sense of honour

Marx predicted that under capitalism all social relations would become reduced to the 'cash nexus'.

But it still grates to see talentless wannabees desperate for their fifteen minutes of fame and a cheque from Hello magazine losing any semblance of dignity on 'reality' TV. Or incompetent banking executives pocketing fat bonuses and pensions failing to see the problem when their customers are losing homes and savings.

The idea of honour has always been a movable feast and specific to time and place but it seems that our age is possibly the first where it seems to have no place at all.

There have always been contradictions and hypocrisies when it comes to honour - but even the very fact that there was hypocrisy at all is an indication that there was some sort of universal ethic. Individual behaviours may slip but honour gave legitimacy, particularly to societies' leaders: So decadent Roman emperors stabbed each back whilst citing the civic principles of the long dead Republic, Henry II arranged for Thomas A Beckett to be assassinated and then had himself flogged as public penance. More recently Victorians stuck kids up chimneys and built a brutal empire whilst talking about philantrophy, civilisation and progress.

But the naked attitude of 'greed is good' and 'fuck the rest of you' has only really gained the upper hand in our own time of late capitalism.

What brought on this rant ?

Actually the comforting news that genius graphic novelist Alan Moore has signed over the earnings from the film adaptation of 'Watchmen' to the illustrator. He has disowned the film which he feels does not justice to his original concept - exactly as he did with From Hell - The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and V For Vendetta. Sometimes honour is found in the unlikeliest of places.

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