Fear the Bards

I’ve been a fan of the Watchmen graphic novel since its first issues accidentally found their way into my hands in 1986.  I’ve grown into a serious Alan Moore fan over the years, and understand his frustration as he sees his brilliant works turned into usually subpar movies (From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta).  I’m of strongly mixed feelings on the upcoming Watchmen movie.  While I would love to see it upon the screen and see these characters move and breathe, I am just not sure the material can be translated to film.

Time will tell on that final point.  At the moment I will content myself with this wonderful quotation from Alan Moore I stumbled across:

Now, as I understand it, the bards were feared. They were respected, but more than that they were feared. If you were just some magician, if you’d pissed off some witch, then what’s she gonna do, she’s gonna put a curse on you, and what’s gonna happen? Your hens are gonna lay funny, your milk’s gonna go sour, maybe one of your kids is gonna get a hare-lip or something like that — no big deal. You piss off a bard, and forget about putting a curse on you, he might put a satire on you. And if he was a skilful bard, he puts a satire on you, it destroys you in the eyes of your community, it shows you up as ridiculous, lame, pathetic, worthless, in the eyes of your community, in the eyes of your family, in the eyes of your children, in the eyes of yourself, and if it’s a particularly good bard, and he’s written a particularly good satire, then three hundred years after, you’re dead, people are still gonna be laughing, at what a twat you were.

— “The Craft” – interview with Daniel Whiston, Engine Comics (January 2005)

That is the power of words, as well as the power of those who wield them well.  With some luck I’ll be making some laugh at some twat a few centuries hence.