March 5, 2009, - 12:23 pm

“Watchmen” Fanatic Derangement Syndrome: Disease of the Pretentious Slacker Ignorami; “Watchmen” Was Anti-Reagan Rant; “Not Marketed to Kids” on “American Idol”

By Debbie Schlussel
I guess I shouldn’t be amazed at the number of slacker ignoramuses who are up in arms about my frank review cutting down the absolute crap they worship a/k/a “Watchmen“, coming out in theaters late tonight. The e-mails they send me and the comments they make about how “deep,” “edgy” and “profound” this vile piece of trash (which is none of these) is, reminds me of the blind statements of followers of Jim Jones. And we all know what happened after they drank he purple Kool-Aid. If only this movie could achieve that result, it would be the most fantastic exercise in natural selection ever conducted in America.
But sadly, there is no instant cure or sudden death for “Watchmen” Fanatic Derangement Syndrome. You can read some of the so infected and diseased in the comments section of my review. But I’ve received a ton of vile, obscene, and just plain stupid and obnoxious e-mails because I dared call this trash wrapped in the guise of a high brow graphic novel what it is: pure garbage.


Oh, and by the way, to all of you slacker Watchmen defenders and fanatics–who resemble the many respondents on “Jay Walking,” yet are suddenly the self-appointed intellectual lights of our world–grisly is grisly, and gratuitous, graphic violence serves no positive or useful purpose in our society, even if you read it first in a comic book. You’re a bunch of dummies with no moral compass, but liking this stupid comic book which pretends violence and the depraved is “edgy” or “sophisticated,” makes you feel smart. When you’re actually quite stupid. But now, with this movie, you’ve got pretentious stupidity. You don’t realize you’re still just as dumb, your IQ just as low and probably lower.
And, yes, you future citizens of “Idiocracy,” it’s a comic book. Quit your pretentious drivel about this being important because it’s a “graphic novel.” Memo to the creators of Richie Rich and Archie: You missed your calling. If only you’d called your product a “graphic novel” and added scenes of Archie raping Betty and Veronica and Jughead sawing off Reggie’s Arms, you’d be in businesss. Dummies.
It’s frankly hilarious to read the arrogance of the ignorami, telling me I don’t have “cultural literacy” because I don’t like a movie based on a comic book promoting rape, torture, and brutal killing. Here’s a tip to you clueless wonders: You can’t have culture literacy when there ain’t culture. Just like I’d be wrong to call this a clash of civilizations, because then we would be wrongly assuming that there is civilization on your end.
While most of the e-mails are vile and stupid–and simultaneously so pretentious and self-important–it’s obvious they’d be best saved for open poetry reading night at the local college coffeehouse. That’s the only place where your fertilizer has willing consumers (and at at the box office on Friday, where I’m sure this crap will be a huge hit for you pretentious geeky slacker losers with no life and absolutely no sense of decency or class).
You keep writing me these deranged e-mails, which include statements about how I “don’t understand the background” and that it was exactly the same in “the graphic novel.” Get a clue: That I didn’t first look at a comic book picture of a rape scene before seeing the same in a movie is a distinction without a difference. That you did, is a distinction with merit, i.e., that you’re an idiot who spends valuable time and money on idiocy and depravity. You are what you eat.
And you are no better than the lumpenproletariat lowlifes at the Coliseum who orgasmically watched and cheered when Christians were forced to fight animals. You are no different, and you are essentially chomping at the bit to go see the modern-day version, tonight. With people like you populating America and dominating pop culture offerings, I have no doubt that soon enough we will return to the days of the barbaric live human versus beast shows. You salivate at the chance to watch barbarism tonight. That’s who you are.
Why not just watch “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”? At least that was honest about what it is and didn’t march under this ridiculous banner of being highbrow when it’s really just crap.
Poor Hitler. If only he’d made Mein Kampf into a comic book instead of an actual written screed. Then, the ovens of Auschwitz and the human lampshades would be all the rage and cool of kitsch. Silly me, for not understanding that close-ups of sawing off someone’s arms and dogs chowing down on a six-year-old girl are so much high culture because they were in a comic book first. Idiocy. And, oh, it’s a disgusting comic book that TIME Magazine liked. Therefore, it must be the end all, be all. Tell it to Ariel Sharon, who knew something about the “truth” and “accuracy” of TIME. Oh, wait, I’m assuming something really big here: that you “Watchmen” ignoramuses actually know who Ariel Sharon is or what his deal was with TIME. And that would be truly clueless.
And to those imbeciles who claim–blindly–that this outrageous movie is not marketed to kids, pray tell who is the target audience of “American Idol” on which several trailers ran this week. Yup, “American Idol”–no way that’s a kids show or that kids who see it won’t want to go see this horrible movie. Only if they market it on Sesame Street are they marketing it to kids, right?
Not that if it weren’t marketed to kids, that would make this crap smell any better.
Still, I’ve gotten many e-mails like these from parents, who attest that they thought this was a superhero movie and that their kids have been bombarded with the marketing for this grotesque movie:

I cannot recall how I got pointed to your review of Watchmen, but thank you for your review! Ever since the trailers came out my son, 15 1/2 wanted to see the movie. No he has not read the novel or comics, but something about this movie made me research it more. Let’s just say I had a bad feeling. I greatly appreciate your detailed review of this movie. We are not going to see this movie and it became a great teaching point.

Uh-huh, not marketed to kids, right? His son just found out about the movie and wants to go see it . . . by accident?
While I’m not surprised to find out that many of those who’ve written their deranged, undue outrage that I deigned to tell the truth about this trash and insult their low-class cultural sensibilities (or rather non-sensibilities), voted for Barack Obama and are liberals, I am surprised that anyone would claim this is a conservative movie.
It was originally written–per the author’s own declaration–as an attack on Ronald Reagan. Reader Christopher summarizes it in this letter:

Ms Schlussel,
First THANK YOU for the article on Watchmen.
I wanted to add that you are dead right on the slant of this movie. The writer’s original intention as declared by him in a 1987 interview in The Comics Journal was for this have an anti-Reaganism theme. He feared directly attacking President Reagan because he figured it would make people not want to read.
I think this is absolutely a golden opportunity to hammer home the point that mass media influences matter. People are actively ignoring even the stated goal of the author himself for the sake of “a good time’… This is how we get the fouled up pop culture.
You have a better opportunity than I to present this side of the story to people so please consider looking into what I said here and decide if you think it’s worth while to write more about.
Again thank you,

Bottom line: If you’re a “Watchmen” fan, there’s something sick about you. You’re sick if you enjoy watching wanton rape, torture, and murder, no matter what the background for it is. I don’t care if it first appeared in a warped comic book paraded with a high-brow euphemism for comic book.
I don’t give a crap if it’s meant to show that “the world is dark” and that “superheroes have problems and are everyday people, too,” which have been among the insipid, vapid excuses I’ve received from empty-headed Watchmen fanatic who mindlessly repeat the phony talking points that make them feel smart.
Guess what? We know there are bad people and that people are everyday people with problems. If you don’t know that, and you think a movie like this is necessary to make the point, you’re even more warped and stupid than I originally diagnosed.
And maybe your sister should be fed to dogs and your mother raped and your brother should have his arms sawed off (as they do in this snuff/torture-porn movie). You know, just to make the point.
But we’ll be sure to depict it in a comic book first, just to make it “high-brow.” And get the money of the mindless “Watchmen” fandom sheeple.

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151 Responses

I saw “Watchmen” today. In Debbie’s world that makes me a “moron.” Sorry Debbie. I went saw the movie before reading your every entertaining posts.
Every writer, trained journalist and even the weakest member of the high school debate team knows that when you don’t have a solid, valid argument to state your case you resort to name-calling. A close look at all of Debbie’s posts provides plenty of evidence that in virtually every case, she loves to be creative with her name-calling, demonstrating for all her readers that she has no viable position on any topic. Further, for all of her rage against the world, and it appears that includes just about everybody on the planet, she can provide not a single solution to the world’s problems. Except, maybe, death and maiming to all people who offend her.
Debbie is the best evidence that you can be high educated but lack the intellectual honesty to state a position that is mature, reasoned and thoughtful. What does her blog achieve? For those people who agree with her politics and have immense hatred towards Islam, she helps them sleep better at night and allows them to share dinner table talk about the end of civilization as we know it. For the fence-sitters and those who disagree with her, she offers absolutely zero in providing a persuasive argument. Why? Because she can’t. Because she is stupid? Absolutely not. It’s because she is intellectually lazy and dishonest.
There is no evidence that “Watchmen” is marketed to children (how can it be with an R rating?)and there is little evidence that violent movies and video games cause more violence among children other than the anecdotal horror stories we read about from time to time.
If you are predisposed to violence or have violent tendencies, a video game could certainly trigger something, but for those people who are law-abiding and know right from wrong and live their lives as productive citizens, all the violence in films and TV have little consequence or impact on their lives.
Debbie, for all of her popularity as a blogger, is a schoolyard bully, a name-caller, the girl who runs to the principal’s office to tattle on her fellow students. I imagine that when she got into a schoolyard spat as a girl, the only verabl reply she could come up with is “You’re a butthead!” or somesuch nonsense.
I enjoy reading Debbie’s posts for entertainment value and not for a second consider her more than a verbal bomb-thrower seeking attention. But, man, she is sure fun to read, even if it’s for the value of watching a train wreck.
Sign me,
6th generation white American and direct descendant of a signer of the U.S. Constitution

13 Martyrs on March 6, 2009 at 1:44 am

Why so much vitriol Debbie? Watchmen is an R rated movie, yes, which means it has a great big stamp on it warning parents that it is not for children. Any parent that takes children to R rated movies without researching at all is not fit to raise their kids anyway.
Though I never particularly liked it, Watchmen is allowed to be violent, pointlessly vulgar, and so on, provided it warns people that it is such, which it does, with a ‘Rated R’ stamp. It would be foolish to destroy or ban any book or movie of a repulsive nature just because it is so. It is right out there about it, open and clear about it’s filth. The trailer shows a man dying, quite openly! It is obviously not hiding it’s violence. I would no more take children to such a film than I would take them to Saw, and anyone who does obviously does not have an eye in their head to watch that trailer and see anything kid friendly.

Adalia on March 6, 2009 at 1:45 am

You are a sad sad women.
You really need to stop focusing on the violence that is in watchmen. It is a deconstruction on American society. It was never marketed towards kids at all, just for the fans. Maybe you should read the graphic novel because it really does sound like you have no idea what the movie was a about.
I really feel sorry for you.

protoman900 on March 6, 2009 at 2:23 am

Oh, dangerous line you’re treading here. Because it’s got superheroes in it, because it was originally a comic book, and because it’s being touted as the big gaudy action film of the moment, I can see how someone informed and unfamiliar with “Watchmen” COULD mistake this for something potentially kid-friendly.
It is another thing entirely to say that having these qualities mean that such a film or comic SHOULD be kid friendly. “Watchmen,” the graphic novel, was not for children. It was direct subversion of the entire superhero mythos, arguing that the kind of people who would become costumed crimefighters, who were damaged or deranged enough to actually go out and do the things they do – are the last people on Earth we should ever trust our lives to. It was a brilliant book, that had a story worth telling, and to assume that its fans are ignorant, immature, prurient-minded reprobates is the pot calling the kettle black.
Oh, and as a heads up, they make cartoons for adults these days too. Just in case you think “A Scanner Darkly” or “Paprika” would be just swell family viewing.

ThnkHarder on March 6, 2009 at 2:45 am

This article is the exact definition of irony. You make the sweeping generalization, accusing all “Watchmen” fanboys of being ignorant, braindead, knuckle-dragging homunculi (and I’ll agree, some of them are just that) but you articulate your thoughts in not too much of a dissimilar manner, sounding off like a rabid chimp locked inside a paint thinner factory. Your hatred is seething and robust, babbling on to the point of near incomprehensibility. Doesn’t really make me mad to see dissenting opinions on “Watchmen” (love the comic, realize others don’t, and I could care less about the movie itself) it’s just I find a strange enjoyment in reading reactionary and baroque gibberish like this. Same reason why I find ironic amusement in Keith Olbermann and Rush Limbaugh. I’m hoping you read this so you write some equally amusing rambling follow-up article seeing as how nothing gets under that thin skin of yours like a couple of nerds on a message board.
Sorry, but you’re a blowhard and an idiot with a head snagged firmly up your ass, and a fairly poor writer on top of all that. Why draw an analogy from a goddamn comic book to Auschwitz? I know, making Hitler analogies are fun and all but that business got kind of tired a few years back (probably a few years before all the 2.0ers began displaying portraits of Bush sporting the Hitler mustache). Hitler is responsible for the death of six million people; Alan Moore is responsible for a comic book you hated. If you’re going to attempt to seriously vilify someone based on some lame book/movie/music they enjoy at least start name-dropping some ‘new’ Evil Assholes of the 20th Century. Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Lil Joey Stalin, Milosovich, Ismail Enver, etc. You have quite a few to pick from, don’t feel as if you are being held down with that ‘Hitler’ business. Try to spice up your hyperbole, for goodness sakes!
“I bet all you that love this crap are LIBERALS and voted for Barack Obama!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!” What the hell does that have to do with anything? I’m not a fan of Obama (and I wasn’t a fan of McCain either) but some of your statements just border on self-parody. I have to question whether or not you are legitimate or just a hyper-liberal new age flowerchild pulling an Andy Kaufman routine in order to make anyone that leans to the right look like a drooling idiot. I’m leaning toward the latter.
Either way, I got to get going. I’m eagerly waiting your next article, tentatively titled, “EVERYWON WHO HAS EVER RED JOSEPH CONRAD CLEARLY ONLY DID SO BCUZ THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY POTENTIAL RAPISTS DAT SUPPORT SLAVERLY!!!!!!!!!” Grammatical errors and caps-lock included of course.
Toodles. I’m off to cuddle up in my snuggy with the latest Mitch Albom book.

ThomasPynchon on March 6, 2009 at 3:27 am

I will say thank you for your review, I can understand your opinion. I didn’t really want to see this movie to begin with, but after reading your reveiw, I will not see it. But honestly, it doesn’t make you seem very intellegent when you make the comments you’ve made to the people who disagree with you. Throwing insults back at people makes you just as much of a “moron” as you belive these people to be.

Derdriu on March 6, 2009 at 4:50 am

“By the way, I am not condoning everything in Red Dawn.”
And we’re not condoning everything in Watchmen. Not once has any of us said we SUPPORT or even that we CONDONE the rape, violence, and murder that takes place. We just recognize that these things happen in real life, and that they serve as a part in the story and not as the main plot of it.

Cheshire on March 6, 2009 at 8:24 am

These comments prove that “nothing pisses off a moron more than calling him a moron.” Thanks for having the courage to tell it like it is. I certainly appreciate it…

PDMac60 on March 6, 2009 at 9:47 am

This movie is rated R. No 15 1/2 (the 1/2 makes all the difference!) year old kid should see it. That is why it is rated R.

lansing2006 on March 6, 2009 at 10:31 am

Gone are the days of nerds that just watched Star Trek and moved in those circles. Years of insanely violent flicks have indeed hatched a breed of crazier nerds that do nastier things and write nastier things.
Citizens like Debbie are an asset to a civilization not a drag on it.

samurai on March 6, 2009 at 10:46 am

I am not a Watchmen fan, nor do I care to watch this movie. I am a conservative.
The movie is rated R, that means 17 year or older unless accompanied by adult. Regardless the content of the movie, the conservative position is that adults can make their own choices, even the stupid ones. Likewise, if a parent wants to take their ten year old to see this, they are bad parents, but it is their RIGHT to decide what is appropriate for their child. I will trust a bad parent over a good government bureaucrat any day. Its the price we pay for freedom from censorship.
As for the marketing geared towards kids, its the parents responsibility to research their child’s entertainment. I watched the trailer and it appeared to be distinctly adult, even if it didn’t, its my responsibility as a parent to find out the truth.

Bergman on March 6, 2009 at 11:17 am

[Me (i_am_me):”By the way, I am not condoning everything in Red Dawn.”]
[Cheshire – And we’re not condoning everything in Watchmen. Not once has any of us said we SUPPORT or even that we CONDONE the rape, violence, and murder that takes place. We just recognize that these things happen in real life, and that they serve as a part in the story and not as the main plot of it.]
You missed the point. The two movies are totally different. What goes on in Watchmen is totally outrageous. However, just because one is not as bad as the other does not mean it could not have been made better.
I am actually surprised you did not get that.

i_am_me on March 6, 2009 at 11:34 am

What I truly relish is that she will not respond to any comments that make actual points, or have the ability to defeat her original statement. Pathetic, really, that you cannot defend your argument. Why don’t you read the book first, without being so bias against something you know nothing of? I think that truly, the worst thing here that has not been mentioned yet, is blind intolerance. You do not understand the source material, you disapprove of a movie which is not extreme in any way, the same violence has been done before. As others pointed out, Shakespeare’s plays are far more violent and depraved than this work. I wonder if you would have the gall to insult Shakespeare’s work, knowing full well the importance and magnitude of it? If you would, then there is simply no reason to discuss the matter further, you’re being unreasonable, and simply ignoring the virtues in sake of the vices. I highly suspect this to be the case, as you were unable to list anything about the movie that you enjoyed, even in the slightest sense. Even the worst movies of all time have enjoyable aspects, even if by accident. So the real villain here, is you. Not a Graphic Novel you don’t have the ability to read whether for pride or prejudice, nor a movie which while awful in my eyes, is not worth being seen. It has this condition of not being worth sight, not because of being violent, but because it cannot reflect the book in any way.
I would very much like to see an article about your reading the actual Graphic Novel, and then telling us what you think of it. I doubt this will transpire as you appear to be rather closed-minded. If you DO decide to read this book, which is highly commendable, solely based on the fact that you dislike giving anything a chance… then I hope you too will be enchanted by the symbolism, clever storytelling, and ultimately, the true message, that no one is truly a hero.

A Comedian on March 6, 2009 at 11:53 am

Your Watchmen-related postings have garnered a slew of attention from all sides, including my own. What has driven me to write, though, is less attuned with the ‘Watchmen’ discussion (far more articulate posters have already summed up my thoughts in relation to that) and is more related to your commentary regarding violence, in its many iterations. This strikes a chord with me – primarily, because it’s a portent of what I do.
In your condemnation of any and all who might choose to view such acts depicted, you imply that those who might perform them are even worse.
Forgetting the fiction that has spurred this mass of discussion, apply your arguments to good ol’ reality. I can’t surmise what your feelings are on the military – I’ll even go out on a limb to include law enforcement in this – but most of us are trained in lethal force. We’re taught to kill, and countless of my brethren in the armed forces have done so. By saying that exposure to the concept of violence in such iterations as depicted in ‘Watchmen’, you’re implying that we who might perform such acts as fighting and killing (even in times of life endangerment and war) are no better than the ‘mindless filth’ which you attack. There are countless manuals, publications, and documents that detail everything from the proper way to choke someone to contingencies for when your first three shots don’t finish the job. This training and knowledge must be terrible poison.
If you want us to stop the fight and just let bygones be bygones, sure thing. I’ll just leave my rifle and HMMWV, drop my flak and kevlar, and go give the guy pointing an RPG at me and my convoy a big ol’ hug. For you. Because I’m sure when I explain that violence and fighting are wrong, he’ll listen and we’ll all have a nice laugh while we have some s’mores around a campfire while we wait to be airlifted back home.
Ma’am, I don’t fight and aim in on my fellow human beings because I think it’s the right thing to do. I’m not saying that it’s morally excusable, or that we’re exceptions to the idea that violence and killing are wrong. At the end of the day, I’ve volunteered to take up a mantle (one, I’m told, is wrought with the honor of heroes) to protect what I and my fellow citizens call justice and freedom.
Rorschach refers to his fellow vigilantes as ‘costumed heroes’ – what, if anything, would you call us ladies and gents who put on our uniforms every day to defend your rights? It seems you’d choose to call us moronic, vapid, indecent human beings.
Just remember that when you’ve looked up to shout, “Save us!” we’re the ones who have chosen not to whisper, “No.”

Teufelhunden on March 6, 2009 at 1:14 pm

We just recognize that these things happen in real life, and that they serve as a part in the story and not as the main plot of it.
Posted by: Cheshire at March 6, 2009 08:24 AM
Cheshire, you make a good point. You RECOGNIZE that these things happen in real life. Have you ever experienced them yourself? I have.
I was a rape victim in real life. And when I was 15 and an exchange student to South America, I was caught in the middle of a revolution and watched as a man’s skull exploded after being shot. I know these things happen in real life – by witnessing the same thing. To this day (I’m a grandmother) I physically cannot watch blood, gore or violence on TV or in a movie. The most bloody movie I’ve ever watched was “Saving Private Ryan” and the tears start from the point where they land on the beach and continue throughout the movie. My kids know this, and screen TV shows and movies before they let me watch them.
My point is that violence is nothing to celebrate, and those that have had the misfortune to witness it will tell you that, edgy and high-brow or not, it isn’t something that they wish to reward with their limited cash reserves. Yes, it happens in real life. If more of you recognized – in your gut, not your head – how damaging it is to watch someone’s life blood leak out of them, how mentally revolting, perhaps you might realize that Debbie is doing a lot of us victims a favor. I for one appreciate her reviews. I’d rather read her review than end up making a mistake and ending up being escorted out of a movie theater in hysterics because I wasn’t warned that scenes would remind me of the horrific murder I witnessed.

Hilltopbabe on March 6, 2009 at 3:10 pm

What happened to actually being a parent and saying NO to a child? Is that so hard? No? I was raised in a conservative family and was allowed to make choices in my reading material when I was old enough and had the maturity in which to do so. I’m in my twenties and I collect comic books and graphic novels. Now I know it’s easy to confuse the two, most people get trade paper backs (a collection of issues compiled into a book to make it cheaper to purchase for the casual reader) and Graphic Novels (are far longer than most comic book runs and usually are far wordier and deal with more complex issues than regular comics). Now, as the educated woman that you are I know you review so many things and put your opinion out there hoping to inspire and influence the masses. Good for you.
Should anyone under the age of 18 see it? No. Should anyone without a firm grasp of their morality see this? No. But to imply that my moral compass is out of wack for enjoying the film is frankly wrong. I’m an adult who is able to separate fiction from reality. I’m not going to slap on a latex outfit and start jumping on buildings believing that I’m morally or physically able to do this.
Here’s another point. It’s Alan Moore. Alan Moore also wrote V for Vendetta, From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and a slew of other graphic novels and comics. He writes from a very dark perspective and it’s meant to shock the readers into seeing reality that we are careening toward at a high rate of speed. There is a valid reason that Watchmen is rated as the top one hundred novels of the 20th Century. Neither you nor I can tote that achievement.
As for marketing to children, I have never seen the trailer shown before 8 pm (which is done so that young children do not see it). I haven’t seen the trailer in a movie that is below R or PG – 13. And again, this is another case of parenting. Monitor your children. Most of the violence and depravity that has a magnifying lens on it in the movie can be seen by opening up the newspaper or turning on the news. It’s reality. Sexual deviancy? More common in high school than we like to believe. The fact that it’s shown? Probably not helping the case, but this is fact. To become naive is only making ourselves potential victims.

bottledglory on March 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm

“My point is that violence is nothing to celebrate, and those that have had the misfortune to witness it will tell you that, edgy and high-brow or not, it isn’t something that they wish to reward with their limited cash reserves. Yes, it happens in real life. If more of you recognized – in your gut, not your head – how damaging it is to watch someone’s life blood leak out of them, how mentally revolting, perhaps you might realize that Debbie is doing a lot of us victims a favor. I for one appreciate her reviews. I’d rather read her review than end up making a mistake and ending up being escorted out of a movie theater in hysterics because I wasn’t warned that scenes would remind me of the horrific murder I witnessed.”
I would like to say that I have been lucky enough not to have experience with any of the events mentioned, and I am very sorry that you have.
However, we are not celebrating violence. The violence, while horrific and in some cases gratuitous (I blame that mostly on Zack Snyder, as a good deal of the violence in the original book happened out of frame and out of sight), is never celebrated or painted as ‘awesome’ or ‘high-brow’ or ‘cool’. It is shown because it exists and in several cases because it plays an important part in the story.
I would like to know, however, how Debbie’s review helped when five seconds of research would have let you know that the movie was rated ‘R’, and it was rated ‘R’ for several reasons, including GRAPHIC VIOLENCE.
“You missed the point. The two movies are totally different. What goes on in Watchmen is totally outrageous. However, just because one is not as bad as the other does not mean it could not have been made better.
I am actually surprised you did not get that.”
No, I did not miss the point. Notice how I only responded to one part of your comment as opposed to the whole thing. I said nothing about the comparisons, I only said something about the fact that you seemed to be insinuating that we were condoning the violence in Watchmen.

Cheshire on March 6, 2009 at 6:08 pm

See link above and draw your own conclusions.
Note Godwin’s Law
… *cough* fail *cough* .
Thank you and have a good one.

Botchoi on March 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm

dear mrs. schlussel.
you are one whopping moron.

america_citizen_v on March 6, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Debbie, don’t go see Rated R movies. They aren’t for you. Go see Hotel for Dogs, you’ll love it….except for the part where they say the word poop.

Fiero Fuego on March 6, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Hmm… Debbie, your bio says you were a regular on the Howard Stern show, where sex, strippers and lesbians were regular topics of conversation. Not a show for kids, right? Know how many 10-year old kids used to listen to that show? Plenty, I know because I was one. What do you think is easier, trying to get into an R-rated movie when you’re 10 years old, or turning on your radio at 7:30 a.m.? Yet you had no problem endorsing filth when it gave you publicity.
You’re nothing but a hypocrite. It’s unfortunate that you can actually make a living from this tripe.

GoRutgers21 on March 7, 2009 at 12:54 am

Ah, Debbie. Are you saying that the Bush government are liars? Because the numbers published on the US Justice Department site over the past fifteen years have showed a steady DECLINE in the crime rate.
Are you too lazy to actually do your research or just too obsessed with being right to let the facts get in the way of your arguments?

johnny_5 on March 7, 2009 at 9:05 am

It’s time to admit that you have been out-classed. MOST of the people who commented on your tripe did so with more intelligence and reason than you could ever muster. Pretty ironic, hm? The people you so jovially called morons and scum are the ones showing the humanity and intelligence. Just think a little more before you decide to insult people.

doc on March 7, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I only skimmed this article because your stupidity makes my brain hurt, but are you so desperate for approval that, despite the hundreds of negative responses you received, you have to create a second article to highlight some positive responses re-establish your self-worth?
There is something as obviously wrong with you as you say there is with the people who enjoy this movie. The obvious desperate need for validation aside, well-adjusted people don’t revel in the thought of people killing themselves because of a movie you don’t personally like. Your enthusiastic call for the mass-suicide of all the fans of a movie is as perverse as anything you outlined in the movie itself. To use your own Hitler reference to wit, if he’d simply convinced all the Jews to kill themselves over a stupid movie, he’d have earned your most steadfast support, right?

4JTV5 on March 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm

If all you can see is the rape, and the violence and not actually see what the damn thing is about you fail. It does not glorify rape, or violence. The original comic was meant to show superheros in a different light. If parents think this is a good movie to take their little kids too, then they’re stupid. It’s not marketed towards kids. It’s marketed to the fanbase who enjoyed the comic. I don’t think little kids who think Batman is cool are going to be interested in Watchmen Me? I’m a 15 year old girl. My uncle took me to see it because he knew I could handle it. I read the comic before hand and I loved it. Does that mean I condone rape? or violence? No, it doesn’t. I’m a pacifist and I have never gotten into a fight in my life. I love horror movies, and I love this movie and comic book.
Rorschach is a complete sociopath, something the other characters mention. The Comedian is a complete asshole – something the other characters mention. They also mention he deserves what he got.
Fact is, you want to be right and prove a point that isn’t true. Every single person who says they’re not going to see it because it’s ‘violent’ and ‘bad’ – good. Stay the hell away from it. Let the people who will actually GET it enjoy it in peace without you crying and leaving.
Also, this is an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE MOVIE/BOOK. It’s not trying to be ‘artistic’. It’s trying to tell a story of what COULD have happened.
You’re right though, this isn’t really about superheros. It’s about humans.

Selphie on March 8, 2009 at 5:24 pm

You know, as a responsible parent, I wouldn’t let my kids listen to you.
You spew just as much hate speech as you condemn this movie for. Your grandparents didn’t survive the Holocaust so you could be such a closed-minded and bigoted person. They ought to be ashamed of you.

4JTV5 on March 8, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Also, a woman who named her column after the most popular porn movie of all time has no business telling anyone else what is and is not decent.

4JTV5 on March 8, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Hey, there is this church in Kansas you would probably love. They are like you, judgmental, not giving something a chance, thinking your likes and dislikes should be everything, making the smallest little details seems like the only thing happening, and etc. Here is their url: hope you have a great time there!

Mat on March 8, 2009 at 11:08 pm

I would like to start this with saying, I did not like the movie. I am not a ‘fan’ for the graphic novel either. I merely went because some friends wanted to go. With that being said…
I have never met a more narrow-minded person in my life! At first, reading your reviews, I was sure it was a parody. You can imagine my shock when I found out that you were in fact, sincere with your post and feelings towards this movie. Of course, you are allowed to feel any way you want towards this movie, but calling others names because they disagree with you is far more childish than anything they have said to you, excluding their name calling though some are rightly so.
Firstly, Watchmen fans are not depraved scum. Do not title them as such. Secondly, as far as moral depravity goes, naming your journal after a porn movie, and being on the Howard Stern show is pretty damn low.
The movie itself is filled with gore, torture, unsuitable language, and images that make grown people cringe. But that fact of the matter is, the movie is rated ‘R’ for those reasons. I have never seen a single trailer advertise this as anything but a dark movie. Never once have I seen it compared to other superhero movies. The only advertisements you seem to have a problem with is the ones that appeared over American Idol, which is a show geared towards teens and adults.
You must face the facts. You did NOT research anything before posting. You watched it with the mind of “If I were a parent sitting next to a five year old, what would I be thinking.” instead of just an Adult, watching an Adult movie. Though, with how narrow-minded you are, I doubt you are far from saying certain porn movies are geared towards children.
If you really must get up in arms about something, then you really should invest time into stopping those ‘Male Enhancement’ commercials. I haven’t been able to watch anything in the last two years without seeing at least ONE of those, and they have caused far more trouble in explaining things to little ones in my family than any movie ever has.
If parents are stupid enough to bring them to a rated R movie without finding out WHY it’s rated R, they deserve the backlash. I, as a seven year old, watched rated R movies. Only those that my parents first watched themselves before I was allowed to view them. THAT is good parenting. You cannot expect Hollywood to post a big “DO NOT BRING YOUR KIDS TO SEE THIS” in the start of every trailer…. oh wait. They did that already with the big ‘RATED R’. I see Hollywood has done it’s part to inform the masses, but people like you who do not take more than 30 seconds to research something, have to bring the Blame Game into this.
If you want to blame someone for kids seeing this movie, blame the parents who bought the tickets without researching. And if you want to stop backlash for posting how you feel about Watchmen, then be intelligent about your posting. Something to the extent of:
“Let me start off by saying, you are foolish if you bring your children to see this movie. I did not enjoy it at all. I did not see the connection to the world, and I am frankly disappointed in the lack of plot. Maybe, due to bad advertisement, I was expecting more morality in it than what was shown. If you are expecting a Superhero movie, think again.”
The backlash wouldn’t have been nearly as harsh, and you would have come across as intelligent. Instead, you post with nothing but hate and do not listen to reason.
And I would like to state again, I did NOT like the movie. I got what I expected because I actually WATCHED all the trailers. I just did not like the plot as much as I thought I would, though the shots were done beautifully as expected.
I was also not in the least bothered by Dr. Manhattan’s CGI penis being on screen. I’m a big girl and do not giggle behind my hand when I see one or become offended at seeing a piece of human anatomy. Though, you seem the type to make a fuss over this than you really would get a kick out of posting a story about the Human Bodies Exhibit where they display human bodies for study. This is actually geared towards children, has nude bodies, and has the flesh cut away from them so you can see their muscles. The fact that you’re not up in arms about this, is actually rather funny to me. Perhaps in your lack of research you do not think to look towards the museums.
Sorry, I became a little side-tracked. Back to the movie. The ‘Rape’ scene did not even show genitalia. He did not complete the act. He only beat her up and was about to undo his pants when the others saved her. The Comedian was also made to be the Worst of society. The sex scenes were done nicely. They didn’t go into outrageous shots or show penetration. I honestly do not see your problem with them either.
Just because someone like the movie or the graphic novel does not mean they were cheering the Comedian on during the rape, nor does it mean that they were considering becoming nudist due to Dr. Manhattan’s penis being shown. It does not mean they want to see blood running over the ground. The fact that they like it means they got the plot and liked the theme.
Let me spell out what the theme was since you missed it so beautifully.
There is no such thing as ‘immunity’ when it comes to life. Everyone suffers, everyone hurts, everyone is capable of bad things.
It’s a dark message, but it’s also something that The Dark Knight, a SUPERHERO movie has also had as a plot point. However, it was done as a Superhero movie, not a gritty, gore movie as Watchmen was MEANT to be done in. The director was never shy about gore in 300, and the graphic novel had no problem with showing everything. The movie wouldn’t have had the same impact if it shied away from what the story was telling. Rape, is graphic. Rape is horrible. The movie showed it effected her deeply and for the rest of her life, as it does to anyone that is raped. It didn’t put a silver lining to it like most movies do. And yes, she did end up having sex with him later, but that was also due to a huge amount of character flaw. She loved him, but she also left him because she hated herself for it because he was a bad, indecent, human being. Which is why they show her as a drunk. Even though she left him, married a good man, and the Comedian died, she was still a drunk because she couldn’t forgive herself for her own feelings.
All in all, you have no argument against Watchmen other than they had two commercials on American Idol, and it was a very graphic movie, hence the rating. If you have a problem with the rating of the movie, you really should bring it up to the rating department in Hollywood, not in a bashing review on a journal that insults all fans of the Watchmen.
PS In case you missed it, I didn’t like the movie. I am merely a mature viewer who cannot see any logic in your journal and narrow-minded people like you, made Hitler possible.

TheTilly on March 9, 2009 at 4:16 am

That was… stunning. Other people have made the salient points, but to recap: Ebert loathed “Funny Games” and each of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movies, especially the last one; he loved “Watchmen”. Schlussel loved “The Passion”, but hated “Watchmen”. If the determining factor here was that Ebert loves gore, while Schlussel despises it, this would, of course, not be the case.
To paraphrase the article: “You are no better than the lumpenproletariat lowlifes at the Coliseum who orgasmically watched and cheered when Christians were forced to fight animals. You are no different, and you are essentially chomping at the bit to go see the modern-day version. […] You salivate at the chance to watch barbarism. That’s who you are. […] There’s something sick about you, Debbie Schlussel. You’re sick if you enjoy watching wanton torture and murder, no matter what the background for it is. I don’t care if it first appeared in the Bible.”
I’m tempted to simply conclude that Schlussel has grown tired of getting a rise out of people whose politics she disagrees with, and has elected to take a different tack. Comic fans are ripe for trolling, and perhaps the collective nerd rage pouring forth into the comments only makes her stronger. But she seems so darned earnest that it gives me pause.
As for Alan Moore himself, mentioned in earlier comments, I’m quite certain that Schlussel would rage pretty hard if she tried to read most of his works, since they tend to contain sympathetic gay characters, syncretic mysticism of exactly the kind that makes conservatives furious, and women occasionally having sex for fun, or, sometimes (“Promethea”) education, without being shamed or punished for it.
I am a little surprised that she doesn’t like Rorschach. He’s the embodiment of moral absolutism; he believes that there’s an objective moral truth that he has perfect access to, and he’s willing to commit violence to enforce that moral code. He’s revolted by liberalism in general, of coddling criminals in particular. He also considers gay people morally degenerate. What’s not to love?

grendelkhan on March 9, 2009 at 11:42 am

People have tried to say this verbosely, and at length, and have not gotten through. Against my better judgement, I will try to explain it very simply:
You are MEANT to be disgusted by the rape, violence and horror in Watchmen. The film/comic does not promote it; it warns us against it.

Kat on March 9, 2009 at 11:42 am

Watchmen is intended for adults and mature teenagers (with adult supervision) that is why is has an “R” rating. It is intended as a warning against how morally corrupt society can be. It was never intended as a film for kids or a “typical” superhero movie. Of course Warner Brothers is going to advertise on high rated tv programs. But it is up to each parent to filter what is appropriate and what is not. The “R” rating alone should be a HUGE warning to all parents. That should tell parents–“Do not take your kids to see this. Or do you research before hand to learn more.”

bcd on March 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Kat, while I agree completely with your comment, I think that there are clear dangers in making a film that portrays something it wishes to disapprove of. Truffaut said that it was impossible to make an anti-war movie, because filming the action would make it look inherently exciting. (I only know this because Ebert’s referred to it a few times.)
The book had this problem; a significant portion of the fandom idolized Rorschach (this portion may include our host; I’m not sure), despite the character being drawn as a psychopath whose absolute moral certainty leads to his destruction.

grendelkhan on March 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I really do feel sorry for you, Ms. Schlussel.
From reading your reaction to these comments, I’ve seen that there is no way to reason with you. Your mind doesn’t seem to follow logic very well, and you’ll sacrifice all of your (limited) integrity at the drop of a hat just to be “right.” It’s sad.
I think you just need a hug, and someone to tell you “everything’s going to be alright.”

Vanuch on March 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm

All insults aside. That isn’t working. This movie is not a good movie. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But if you can find anything good in this movie then kudos to you. If this is an accurate depiction of the graphic novel it’s sad that it was ever published in the first place. Maturity isn’t about how much or what you can put up with visually but it is about distinguishing the positive from the negative and dismissing trash. I choose not to support the Watchmen. I too was under a different impression and one hour into the film I walked out of the theatre sick to my stomach.
By the way here is a link to the toys they created for the film, they do seem intended for a very young audience :

Richie on March 10, 2009 at 2:49 am

This one is funny too. It’s the Watchmen lunchbox only $20.00 ! So this is for adults?,default,sc.html?src=GGLWCHM&gclid=CNPqmqfjl5kCFSMSagod6Vdnag

Richie on March 10, 2009 at 2:54 am

Here is a better shot of it :,default,pd.html?cgid=
I think Debbie is right. It seems the marketing is geared towards kids. I wonder if this Halloween they will have Watchmen outfits made for them too?

Richie on March 10, 2009 at 2:58 am

(this is a copy from the previous thread that you had about the movie)
Wow… really just wow. Debbie I wish I could say that I’m surprised at your review, but I’m not really.
Now, as someone who read the Watchmen when it first came out as a teen male who though that he knew it all, and suddenly realized that he didn’t the story introduced me to the concepts of Objectivism well before I even heard of the name John Galt.
I’ll be quite blunt, themes introduced in the Watchmen relating to what is good and what is evil, and whether you can achieve one by using a bit of the other, and most importantly standing up for my principles even in the face of Armageddon are part of the foundations of who I am today. Itís the themes introduced in this work that helped make Disney’s The Incredibles (a movie that was actually an adult movie marketed to children) a reality.
Now there are many above (hat tip to Brianna) who point out the absolute fallacy of your review and its underlying pretenses so I wouldn’t bother to jump onto that pile lest appear to be a version of Ann Coulter attacking Keith Olbermann over a Rutgers diploma or someone beating up a retarded kid with a spork to the soft side of his melon. However, I must say, that if you were to place your personal philosophy up against any of the archetypes presented in the movie, you would identify with the one character you had one of the most negative reactions to. Hell, the majority of us as conservatives would identify with the same character. It’s only the foolish among us who choose not to understand that the archetype is a hyper-stylized version in the same way of Jack Ryan or Leonitas.
While I was generally satisfied with the movie, I was disappointed with how they handled the practical joke. Now, unknown to you, the original version of the story had a gigantic squid from an alternative dimension appear and kill millions in New York City alone. The directors have said that in light of the new normal associated with 9/11, they changed it to show a destroyed New York, but lacking the emotional punch an event like that should convey. I for one would liked to have had the squid arrive, as it would have reconstituted the feelings that were catalyzed on 9/11 – the overall goal of both Ozymandius’ goal and Al Qaeda’s.
Hell, I would have even given you a bit of leeway if you even bothered to attempt to link the popularity and cult like following Veidt had and tried to compare it to our real life fascination with President Obama.
You passed up a wonderful opportunity to use this movie as a tool.

Dave Montoya on March 10, 2009 at 5:45 am

Trivia fact:
Until Die Hard 2 came out, Red Dawn held the record for the most on screen deaths for any movie ever made.
Now I’m not knocking either movie in the slightest, and find both to be quite enjoyable especially Red Dawn, as everyone knows that it is the prequel to the masterpiece that is “Dirty Dancing”.

Dave Montoya on March 10, 2009 at 7:22 am

Lawl someone sounds butt hurt over the greatest thing to happen to underground culture since the invention of the personal computer. I believe The best description of the liberal douchefags such as yourself was “these individuals are known to stare directly into the sun and vote for Ross Perot”. So do us a favor and go get laid god knows you need it and DIAF 😀

/b/tards FOR GREAT JUSTICE on March 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Basically i just wanted to say that this was not marketed to children. Yes it aired trailer spots during “prime time” but all movies do. I do not hear any complaining about the punisher movie that was recently out. It was a “comic book” movie that was also extremely violent. And what about Friday the 13th. Most kids know who Jason is because it he has become an iconic image in pop culture. So your argument that it is marketed towards children really doesn’t hold water IMO. Yes there are action figures but as many have stated, they are geared at the adult collector.
My other problem is the way that you just blatantly insult anyone that likes Watchmen, disagrees with you, or likes violent movies in general. You just sound like you want to attack anyone and everybody that does not see it your way.

coach53 on March 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm

way to fail, /b/tards
you are a cancerous newfag. kill yourself.

smokey on March 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm


Rorshach on March 10, 2009 at 5:58 pm

One thing that I think that you need to understand is that opinions are opinions, and that you can’t just insult people for something they like when they have bested you in an argument.
Now, I’m 13 years of age. I read Watchmen a few weeks ago. I loved it, because it pushed boundaries. It doesn’t endorse anything of what you say it does.
It’s an exaggerated representation of daily life. As sad as it is to say, people are raped and murdered every day. The Comedian is about 50 years old by the time that he dies, or when he kills the Vietnamese woman. He’s seen it all. He’s been hurt and crushed and seen things that we can’t even begin to comprehend, and now he has just grown to a state in which, he doesn’t care. He doesn’t give a crap about human life.
Rorshach was abused when he was a child and it has evolved into him being much the same – he only cares about getting things done in any way possible.
The movie was not targeted at kids. So some mother fails to check and brings little Jimmy to see it. How is that the studios fault? It’s a combination of the mother and the cinema for letting the child in.
I’ve read it. I’m not sick. I don’t have a low IQ or have a syndrome as you state I do for liking a masterpiece of a novel. I just like reading great graphic novels with great plots.
I’m hoping I’ll get a legitimate response, instead of the normal ‘YOU’RE A MORON’ I’ve seen lately.

Corteux on March 10, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Ma’am, you’re not going to soothe the savage beasts by stooping to their level.
It would help a lot if you would just admit that you were wrong.
Watchmen was a fantastic movie. <3

MashiAnkrekku on March 10, 2009 at 7:53 pm

I am by no means some kind of individual swept up by the large Watchmen bandwagon at the moment, nor have I ever read another comic book style piece in my life, but I did in fact read Watchmen and unlike others, I didn’t think it was a masterpiece, I just thought it was very good. The movie I felt was on the same level, very good, and while you have the right to your own opinion, you can’t go around claiming that everyone who enjoys something that you dislike is stricken with some sort of syndrome. That makes you an ignorant, pitiful excuse for a person.
In your review of the film you state your dislike for the movie’s depiction of several violent actions, yet you yourself, in this blog, have wished death upon many, many thousands of people. You are a horrible person with an insatiable ego. While I feel that you have more than a right to dislike this film, it’s simply pitiful that you have to throw out slanderous lies to make the film seem like some sort of brainwashing mechanism used to transform the youth of the nation into a generation of corrupt, mindless individuals.
I don’t want you to take back your dislike for the film, but come on, you’re making a baseless argument with this whole ‘aimed at children’ thing, and you’ve condemned much of this youth that you seem to care so much about. Loosen your ego and admit you were wrong about these things. That simple act may very well open your closed mind to a whole new realm of understanding and appreciation.
I’m 15 years old by the way, so don’t think I’m some old, overweight pig who likes to contradict people who dislike comics.

Person on March 10, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Wow, such vitriol for a movie reviewer, and such bile spewed at its audience.
It’s probably a good idea if you read Ariel Sharon’s history before you elevated him to the sainted level you have in your rant here: Sharon was found to have “personal responsibility” for the massacre at the Shabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon during their civil war. Perhaps next time you want to conflate a comic book and Hitler, you’ll avoid using a war criminal as a paragon of justice.
You see, people who read are just that: People who read. We read all manner of media, fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, history books, comics, and yes, spastic reactionary fearmongering blog posts like yours. Your attempt to label comics readers as “ignoramuses” is a lame one, and transparent.
I respect that you dislike Watchmen as a film. I have zero respect for your hatred of its audience.

LapsedPacifist on March 11, 2009 at 2:30 pm

By the way, way to take ad money from the Watchmen brand while railing against it.

LapsedPacifist on March 11, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Debbie, I have not seen the movie yet, but I have read the Comic Book. I enjoyed the comic book. I think the comic book was well written and well drawn. I know that invalidates my opinion with you, because you’ve already stated that you’ve prejudged my opinion. You are prejudiced. You are proud of that. Still, I’m hoping that you can read my comment with an open mine.
I did not take prurient pleasure in the scenes of rape, torture or other ugliness displayed in the novel “The Watchmen.” I’m offended that you’ve misjudged me that way. I think you can learn things and enjoy works of art that aren’t on their surface “pretty.” I enjoyed being challenged by “The Watchmen.”
I’m sorry that the people who disagree with you haven’t taking a more civil tone. But frankly, your tone has been confrontational from the start, first in your review of the movie and now here. I’m not saying you deserve the hate and invectives that are being spewed your way, but seriously, Debbie…you started it. And this is YOUR space, your column, only YOU can begin to end it. Do you want that? Or is wild name calling better? Does it draw more readers?
You compared me to a follower of Jim Jones or Hitler, just because I liked a novel! I don’t see how we can have a dialog when you’ve insulted me and decided that my opinions don’t matter even before we begin speaking.
Is this how conservatism works now, Debbie? You disqualify all debate before it can begin? You hurl insults and then feign outrage and injury when you receive them? I hate to say this, but that’s a rhetorical style I associate with Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. What makes that writing style popular with Conservatives?

Russ Rogers on March 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm

This movie is not marketed towards kids, despite what you claim. Sure, it may have been shown during American Idol, but children aren’t the only ones who watch that show. That’s like saying, “I saw a tampon commercial in the commercial breaks between men’s wrestling, so clearly it’s being marketed towards men.” But women watch it as well, even kids, and there are other things on the station besides just wrestling. What else is shown on the same channel American Idol is shown on? Shows more adult-oriented, maybe? So perhaps, fantastically, the commercials weren’t specifically aimed at kids!
And don’t argue that the costumed hero thing was probably meant to appeal to kids. You saw it yourself, the whole movie is about costumed heroes. What else would you have in the commercials for a movie about costumed heroes? If you see a commercial for a horror movie on TV, you know what type of movie it is because of the rating–which usually warns for graphic violence and the like–and because of the scenes used. So you know it was a movie about heroes, because costumed heroes where used in the commercials; you knew it wasn’t appropriate for children, because the rating was R, with accompanying warnings.
And who are these people claiming Watchmen is “high brow”? Maybe… you? You’re making a mountain out of a molehill. So what if you find it distasteful? You don’t have to blast the people who do like it. If you met me in real life, and knew nothing about my like of Watchmen, would you call me a “vapid, indecent human being”? Is what movie/comic book a person likes the sole thing which defines us?
My favorite movie happens to be Disney’s “Treasure Planet,” which is about space pirates, but it doesn’t define my personality anymore that Watchmen does. And just because you might like to watch American Idol, doesn’t mean that you’re a vapid airhead.
It’s not meant to be sophisticated, it’s meant to make you think, and to entertain those who can stomach this kind of thing.
“How far will you go to save your world?” is the question being asked.

Retrophilic on March 12, 2009 at 12:38 am

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