Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing The Manhattan Projects 24, originally released October 8th, 2014.
“How did they build those pyramids?” They just threw human death and suffering at them until they were finished. “How did we traverse the nation with a railroad so quickly?” We just threw Chinese people in caves and blew ’em up and didn’t give a shit what happened to them. There’s no end to what you can do when you don’t give a fuck about particular people. You can do anything. That’s where human greatness comes from: that we’re shitty people and we fuck others over.
Drew: Has the phrase “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs” ever been used for anything other than falsely justifying horrific acts? It’s so strongly associated with evil advisors, it’s a wonder that it could ever persuade a unsure advisee, but it also has the unfortunate quality of being true to our experience of the world. Few, it seems, ever reach the top without the boost of standing on someone else’s neck. It’s easy to become bitter about people being used as pawns, but it’s also the stuff of great dramas — to what lengths are people willing to go in order to attain power? Manhattan Projects obviously has more in common with those heightened fictions than reality, but issue 24 never minimizes the monstrosities its protagonists commit in order to hold on to power, focusing on one of the more traumatizing events in US History. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing The Manhattan Projects 20, originally released April 23, 2014.
“Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds.”
Robert Oppenheimer, actual American History
Patrick: J. Robert Oppenheimer repeated this phrase, which he had read in the Bhadavad Gita, when we witnessed the first test of the atomic bomb. This is recorded in actual history text books, and widely believed to be true, but what exactly he meant by invoking the passage remains up to interpretation. Is he calmly asserting his own will over the strength of human life? Is he mourning his eternal loss of innocence? The odd syntax and the double verb make it an ungainly sentence, and speaking it aloud feels just as strange as the realization itself. Manhattan Projects has long been a series about an alternate American History, but this is the first issue to make a point of a similarity between all universes: Robert Oppenheimer is the face of evil.