V for Western Values

V for Vendetta small trailerAfter months of being tied down to the baby and unable to go out and have fun, my wife and I had our nanny take an evening shift so we could go see a movie. What with the rarity of the event, we naturally picked one that we knew would be a family pleaser.

V for Vendetta was, of course, awesome, what with me being the choir it was preaching to and all. I thought it did fair justice to the comic, capturing the whimsicality, wordplay, and violence. They cut out a few monologues which I would have liked to see, but they certainly didn't emasculate it. (For an alternative viewpoint, see A For Anarchy, a left-anarchist site about how the message of the comic was twisted).

The messages were still there, loud and clear - that violence in pursuit of a just vengeance is not wrong, that revolution is sometimes necessary, and that if you mess with the protagonist of a comic book, you will die in a violent, intricate, and picturesque manner.

Fun stuff.

While there are some obvious parallels between the fascist state in the movie and the current US administration, I found the movie's vision reassuring, rather than scary. Not because of the violent revolt it espouses, but because we live in a country and culture where you can make that sort of movie without being hassled. This is a pretty awesome thing, if you stop and think about it, and relatively unusual in world history. We're talking about a country whose populace buys sixty-seven million dollars in tickets to hear a philosophical screed on the glory of radical violent revolution - and its government doesn't mind.

Contrast this with the islamofascists, who are rioting all over the world in response to a few goddamned cartoons. Now that's scary.

Let's hear it for western tolerance!

Share this

the movie made some good

the movie made some good points with the nature of the tyranny it portrayed, but it was all a bit too pc for me. I think that the kind of soft left "tolerence cult" tyranny we we have here is much more insidious, if mainly for the reason that its hides its nature so well under a guise of freedom

This is why I purposefully

This is why I purposefully put off reading the book until I'd seen the movie. The message did change significantly, I'm just not convinced it was a change for the worse. Instead of the comic's crazy anarchist nutball, the movie's V was an almost Randian incarnation of Libertarian values.

This idea was hammered home over and over, both blatantly, as when V makes his monologue to Creedy about the imortality of ideas, and subtly, as when Gordon begins to mirror V's habits and mannerisms as he begins his own small form of rebellion.

Likewise, it's hard not to feel sympathy for Prothero and Susan in the book, which I doubt was the intention of the author, and is certainly not what V feels towards them.

Justice was served, up close

Justice was served, up close and personal. The guilty were gloriously whacked.

What revolution? The masses just walked over the army. How Ghandian.
Ain't the kind of revolution I think of, all blood and guts and such.

If the masses had been sporting guns, pitchforks and other sharp objects the movie would have failed for me. The New Successful Revolutions will be as portrayed in the film, I expect.

By the way, I'm for gun control. Bullseye as often as I can hit it. True control.

I have to agree with

I have to agree with jomamma, "VforV" simply wasn't a violent revolution. Aside from those V killed intentionally, it seems unlikely that many other innocents were killed at all.

Stop reading if you haven't seen the movie (spoilers).

After all, everyone knew or expected, at least, that Parliament was going to blow up. Thus, it's unlikely anyone died in that explosion, which was probably the most violent act in the movie (Can you exert violence on inanimate objects?).

You can begin reading again now

I was surprised at how so many got their panties in a wad about connections between symbolism in the movie and the current Bush administration. Is this really something they should worry about? The movie was clearly anti-government. Isn't that a bigger problem?? They must not have seen the forest for the Vs.

If you're curious about some of the media's less kind reviews of the movie, check out my review of VforV. Yes, that was shameless self-blog promotion.

:behead:

Here's something that's

Here's something that's always bugged me about V since the first time I read the comic. If he's an anarchist, he believes in absolute freedom of the individual. Why, then, was he willing to violate his own principle when he kidnapped Evie? That's a blatant disregard for her personal freedom.

Ryan: because he's

Ryan: because he's delivering her from fear, and freeing her from complacency. As he put it in the comic, happiness is the most insidious prison of all. In V's twisted logic, he's doing her a favor, not to mention saving her ass from a _real_ jail cell, and carrying out her implicit wishes (at least in the movie, she expressed a desire to live without fear).

It's too bad that those who

It's too bad that those who throw around the term "Islamofascist" so much, and with so much vigor, are in fact highly critical of V for Vendetta and supportive of Bush. What a world...

-Dain/Mupetblast

While I enjoyed the movie, I

While I enjoyed the movie, I too was irked by the masses "revolting" at the end when the military commanders just lay down their arms. It emphasized the false notion that the evil of that society stemmed from its leadership, and by killing them everyone would live happily ever after. I have a renewed appreciation of the brilliance of 1984... there was no Big Brother, all of society was guilty of its crimes, not just a handful of evil men. The solution is never as simple as chopping off the head of the snake.

The final scene in Trafalgar

The final scene in Trafalgar Square was actually shot in the real Trafalgar square. The British government shut it down for three nights so that they could film it.

When a government not only allows a movie like V for Vendetta to be made but actively assists in its creation, I'd say that, whatever the government's faults, it still has something at it's core that makes it categorically different from the one portrayed in the film.

Ryan: It's not as clear in

Ryan:

It's not as clear in the movie as in the book, but Evie tells V that she'd "do anything" to not be afraid anymore. So V was actually doing something she had asked him to do, even if she probably hadn't realized what it would entail.

Cornelius - I agree

Cornelius - I agree completely, that was one of the few things I didn't like about the theme. But the thing is, you can't really make a simple, effective story or a comic book based on that truth. By making it personal, and making personal killing part of the solution, you can make a pure, simple, enjoyable story. Admittedly, at the cost of some important truth.

Bleeech!!! I went out last

Bleeech!!!

I went out last night to see a film called "Sione's Wedding". Great fun, good laughs.

But then you wouldn't understand that, huh!!

Last film I saw -

"The World's Fastes Indian" Go see that for a true story of independance, free thinking and persistance in the face of adversity.

Patri, I don't think that

Patri, I don't think that moore was saying flat out that "violence in pursuit of just vengeance isn't wrong." There was a clear sense in the book that what V was doing was pretty fucked up. Thats why even after Finch's chemical revelation he still shot V, because V had commited horrible crimes. What V did was necessary, but it was still wrong and he had to pay for it. He was a monster just like Creedy and Susan (or Suttler), he just happened to be working for a good cause. I think that theme was missing from the movie, which is one of the things I didn't like about it.

Patri, I skimmed the other

Patri,

I skimmed the other comments for fear of encountering a spoiler, so just disregard this if it's already been said: thanks for a nice reminder that the US isn't quite as crappy as we sometimes think. It's nice to read something on Catallarchy that makes me feel happy instead of like I'm going down on a sinking ship.

The irony, of course, is

The irony, of course, is being trad creative lefties they had to make the dictator a former Conservative. It was written bashing Thatcher.

Considering that in fact the largest rights grab is happening right now in the UK this is a tad ironic. Who do we have in power...Labour naturally. :wall:

V for Vendetta Today I went

V for Vendetta
Today I went and saw V for Vendetta. The film is extraordinary but also a huge disappointment. "Extraordinary" because it's a great story about freedom and it touches upon a few important points, but a "huge disappointment" because all traces of a...

We’re talking about a

We’re talking about a country whose populace buys sixty-seven million dollars in tickets to hear a philosophical screed on the glory of radical violent revolution - and its government doesn’t mind.

That has little to do with the government being particularly benign, it simply demonstrates that the state is secure. There is no danger of revolution because virtually all the citizens sell each other out on a daily basis.

"Governments should be afraid of the people", says V.

Should this government be afraid that maybe citizens will now march in lockstep on Washington? Or that maybe there will be broad grassroots support for a vigilante who knocks off public officials?

What's the supposed threat here?

This Leviathan can easily afford to indulge it's subjects in such fantasies.

I agree with JTK that the

I agree with JTK that the govt allows it because they are secure. But part of the reason they are secure is because our lives are good enough that it isn't worth revolting. They allow us enough riches to be happy enough not turn on them. They may still steal a great deal - but y'know, I'm glad I don't live someplace so horrible that I would seriously consider risking my life to fight the state.

JTK: You know, just because

JTK: You know, just because we're anarchists here doesn't mean we should lose a sense of perspective. There is a difference between the Evil Nasty Oppressive State that is the United States, what with its taxation, drug war, immigration quotas, socialized medicine, welfare programs, and anti-sex / anti-gay / anti-prostitution / anti-pornography laws... and Nazi Germany.

The point isn't that the state allows freedom of speech because it's secure in its tyranny. The point is that, all things considered, we're doing pretty good on the freedom front - better than almost any nation at almost any time in history. While we're certainly far from the ideal, it takes a particularly zealous blindness to cast the U.S. government as an oppressive monster that only allows its citizens to indulge in freedom of speech because it knows such speech is harmless.

Dictators allow harmless displays and supress things that pose a threat to them (like opposing viewpoints and free elections). But dictatorships are directed by the will of specific individuals: the ruler and his clique. To suggest that the U.S. also suppresses what is dangerous to it implies either 1) there is a ruling cabal that allows the masses their opiates while eliminating anything that would upset the ruling order, or 2) the government itself rather than any specific individuals or groups is a being with dark motivations. The first seems like a conspiracy theorist's fantasy, and the second seems like the collectivist fallacy.

Try telling Iran or North

Try telling Iran or North Korea what US war plans are and see if your right to free speech still holds.

Dain, Yes, or just try

Dain,

Yes, or just try giving the lab notebooks you produced at Pfizer to the nice folks at Wyeth and see if your right to free speech still holds. Your right to free speech doesn't include the right to harm someone else. Rights are not absolutes, and free speech isn't the only value in the world. Why your right to free speech should override the safety of a million soldiers is a bit beyond me.

Joe, though you are correct

Joe, though you are correct in that there is no actual "right" to free speech, my point was to say that the continued existence of the state trumps any natural rights you or I hold. I don't believe it should be that way, but statist "libertarians" necessarily do.

And why are the lives of American soldiers - at this point in time in the military voluntarily (excepting of course stop loss orders) - any more valuable than the lives of innocent Iranians who will suffer from direct bombing and/or subsequent radiation from "mini nukes"?

^ First, I don't mean to

^ First, I don't mean to jump in, but there are differences here.

I fully recognize the whole "We've got it pretty good" argument.

But I think Dain is mis-reading the situation in his metaphore. I suspect you could tell the Iranians/NK whatever you wanted to right now. The difference would be if you worked for the Pentagon, which would have most likely required you to sign a binding contract that if you divulged secrets you would go to prison/etc.

As a libertarian, I must recognize your right to contract freely. As such, I must support the government or any other organization as it locks up contract breakers. I also hope you would never sign such a contract, but I digress.

But of course I don't work

But of course I don't work for the Pentagon, and any so called "social contract" I've "signed" with the US state is a sham.
If I somehow became privy to some top secret plans to bomb certain locations in Iran, and subsequently gave that information to the citizens of Iran so as to help them avoid slaughter, I'd be up to my neck in detainment.

V4V was a good effort at

V4V was a good effort at capturing the world of the original. The main issues I had with the movie were:

1. lack of subtlety with fascist imagery. one would think that a future society under the grips of a harsh but convincing regime would expect more creativity than nazi(ish) propaganda.
2. on the other side of things, the plot's focus on the members of society that would be discriminated against, ie the lesbian, the gay tv guy, the overt racism against arabs. It just seemed overdone. More focus on the common man and his struggles against the oppressors would have been refreshing and more challenging for the filmmakers to pull off.
3. the man behind the mask being mr smith from the matrix series just irked me for some reason.

All in all though best movie seen in at least a year.