Wednesday, November 9, 2011
V for Vendetta (Possibly with Spoilers)
Awkward segue (another word I can't spell): V for Vendetta is a good movie. I saw it once, years ago (probably when I lived in Scranton), and I remember being disliking it. I had read the book first, and while I didn't love the book, my memory tells me that the movie is a shadow of the book.
But I watched it again last weekend (on the fifth of November) with friends and fudge and pumpkin roll, and I found it to be pretty enjoyable.
I picked up on some details I hadn't noticed before/ forgotten, like everyone dead being part of the end mob, and I also empathized more with the powerlessness of the masses necessitating the use of violence.
To connect to a half-thought I'd had in a post earlier this week, I think we can measure our own growth as people in the transformation of our reaction to re-viewing a work of art. I'm pretty firmly anti-violence, but I'm at a point in my life where I can imagine the need for NON-nonviolent resistance to government. This surprises me.
That said, I still object to the essential premise of V for Vendetta: that people are sheep, easily cowed, who will choose secure misery over freedom (in all it's messy, dangerous fun). I can't imagine that people who ever debase themselves to such a level that they yield complete control back to (effectively) a pharaoh (another word I apparently can't spell). I think people will always be interested in rising up against hegemony.
That's what I see in Occupy Wall Street, in the Arab Spring, in this summer's London riots, and other places around the world. The idea of democracy is a funny thing: the feeling that I possess a crucial, consensual stake in the world around me; the belief that I have the right and the responsibility to make my voice heard even if, or especially if, I am in the minority.
I see history as the progression of communication: the development of language, then the development of means to convey that language around the world. With word goes thought, and the human word is "I." I matter, I have a voice, I deserve to be heard. I see all of history pointing to the expansion of power in include more people, not an ebb and flow of power among the elite who may alternatively protect and enslave the rabble. I think Alan Moore (plus Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, and other giants of the graphic novel world) miss the power of communication as a (nearly) irreversible force.