Meanwhile in archeology news, a massive statue of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II was recently unearthed from a mud pit in a Cairo slum. Though broken into several bite-sized pieces, the find is still very impressive and looks suitably ironic in photos.
But did the excavation also bring a very particular energy with it back into the world?
Of course, Ramses II was the inspiration for the famous Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias”:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Ozymandias is also a character in the graphic novel and movie The Watchmen. Known as “the smartest man on the planet,” Ozymandias used Ramses II as his icon and idol. He is super-rich and known as a great humanitarian—but secretly has a plan to introduce a great and deadly crisis to the world in order to bring about world peace.
And so: he’s a bit of a psychopath. Or the world’s savior. You choose.
I often think about this character nowadays. The Watchmen is still a very relevant story. I see a lot of the hijinks and monkey business currently going on, and it just seems like a smokescreen for the real stuff behind the scenes; and the real stuff is that within ten years we are going to face a level of technology that will completely change our daily lives and even the very paradigms that we’ve used to define us and our society.
And I see the character of The Comedian being thrown out a window, and I see the end of all the hijinks and monkey business…when it’s not needed anymore by those in power. When the great Reality Show stops bringing in the clicks and bucks and the public has been sufficiently demoralized and broken apart.
I see Rorschach being vaporized, and I see all the “true believers” who trusted people they shouldn’t have trusted; who went down rabbit holes only to find out they had been taken for a ride.
I see Dr. Manhattan, and I see a Higher Presence in the world that ain’t the “God” we were taught in Sunday School…instead, a primal force, a Black Swan event.
And I see Ozymandias, and I see the paradigm that will be put into place in several years…the philanthropist, the intellectual, the tech/science genius (and possible spiritual guru?)…everything The Comedian was not…ushering in this new age.
And as for the majority of the rest of humanity? They’re all Nite Owls and Silk Spectres. They’re just trying to get the fuck out of the way & live their lives.
Well, that’s just my silly musings about archeology and comic books. See you on Mars!