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4/05/2015

Extraordinary Gentlemen and Invisible Rapists


  Our lives are collections of memories which shape our perception of reality and create who we are. Much of our understanding of self comes from our understanding of the world. We have ideas about what kind of people are good people and what kind of people are bad people. We have  preferred foods and sexual partners. These preferences sometimes go by the name of bias. To quote the late great  Terry Pratchett "TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED." This is a quote from his fantasy book The Hogfather. In this book he argues that human ideas about reality may not necessarily be true but are still valid and important. Fiction is key to living with reality.

  I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I've recently been reading the first graphic novel in Alan Moore's series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I have for years been a fan of the film adaption (which stars Sean Connery).  Let me be clear. The book is definitely in this case far better than movie. It's not just that certain details were omitted in the film. The movie and book are fundamentally different. The primary change I wish to focus on today is the fact that the invisible man in the original comic is not so much the likable criminal that I saw in the movie but more of a shallow, rapist type. Yep I said rapist. Within two pages of his introduction it had already been established that he had raped at least five young women under the guise of "The Holy Spirit."


    My point here is that we take in these perceptions of how things are and we internalize them into our worldview. When things suddenly change it creates confusion and it can come as a bit of a shock. Whether its Bill Cosby or the Invisible Man these things have a very similar effect. Growing up is seeing things that were hidden behind invisible doors. There is more to our world than meets the eye and as the reality in which we live is revealed the reality in which we think we live changes.





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