V for Vendetta: A Culturally Poignant Exposé

V for Vendetta is more than just a movie or another piece of mindless fiction…it is a testament of our time and rare exposé detailing just what can happen (and really what might happen in this country) if we allow our rights to be taken away.

The history of Guy Fawkes circles around his 1605 attempt to blow up the House of Lords. While historically this was very much an anti-Protestant act of terrorism and the subsequent tradition of ‘Remembering the 5th’ was about heralding King’s James VI/I survival of the Gunpowder plot; today, however, the day and Guy Fawkes has taken on more cultural significance. It has come to manifest itself as the liberation movement of personal freedoms and fighting to protect oneself from tyranny. Insomuch, it is RIGHT for the private citizen to do what is needed when a coercive power like The State attempts to take our God-given rights and freedoms away.

I suggest you watch this movie with a group of friends or with family! Post-movie debrief and have some good discussion about the similarities of V4V to today. For example, it’s scary to think that a dystopian fiction released in 2006 can strike a chord with the political climate of 2013. It’s easy to recall the emergence of the TSA under Bush and the recent, unbridled abuses of the NSA… how rights we used to hold for granted (like not being spied on by our own government or boarding a plane with shampoo) are now far gone. Some might say that a lot of this wouldn’t strike home and the tipping point wouldn’t be reached until we had a national curfew put in place. Well … again, look so far back as a few months ago. We had a lockdown of an ENTIRE city when the police were looking for the Boston Marathon bombers. Our local police forces rode in with tanks and machine guns and we looked the other way. While unspeakably tragic, roughly a handful of people died that day. Imagine what control could be garnished and freely given away with many more than that dead and when people are in fear? It’s time like these that the government can take control when they “make it known that they [we] need us [the government]!” to quote High Chancellor Adam Sutler.

I’ll remind you of two very important lines from last night’s film – “The people should not fear their government; the government should fear its people.” That’s what our Founding Fathers believed. Do you believe it?

And V’s speech when he took over the tv station:

Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well, certainly, there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. “

Think of the parallels to this today with laws currently on the books like the Patriot Act. We were in fear and gave power to the government and reduced our freedoms. And remember – it’s a slippery slope. Once power and rights are given away, it’s very hard (near impossible) to get them back.

So just remember – always watch the world around you with open eyes! Don’t take having your rights taken away lying down. Stay tuned into the shady workings of our own government and the political environment which impacts us all. We used to live in the most free country in the world. Let’s fight for that freedom and keep it that way.

 

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