Monday, January 21, 2008

V for Vendetta

Wow. Now we're in amongst it. When I saw this movie I was astounded. It's intense. It's also laden with metaphor, references, and symbolism. Alan Moore, who wrote the original comic and is a spectacularly original thinker, arguably too good for his medium, built his story with symbolism as the foundation stone, the bricks and mortar, and the roof, ha ha. The use of V in the title is just the beginning of a deep attention to symbols, some profound, some less so. But I don't want to get too hung up on the arcana. I'll stick with the bigger picture of the moving picture. The comic was an attack on Thatcher's Britain. The movie twenty years later is an entirely different kettle of fish. It's about terror, false terror, fascism, torture and resistance. But what's it telling us? First, who's who.


The Villain

The villain is the unmistakably fascist government of a future England. I prefer Mussolini's definition of fascism to the dictionary. He declared it was the merging of corporations with the state. In V, it's clear that the fascist coalition comprises wealthy corporationists, the military, the church, and politicians obviously. This is a movie and its fascism must have an art-directed look. The look chosen is clearly a variety of Mussolini's 1920's militarism, with a bit of Franco thrown in.

The question arises, why would any modern fascist state choose such a give-away as to their true nature? Sure, this is a movie, and for the audience to be able to say 'We've seen all this before' is a plus. It's a visual shortcut to save us wondering what's what. And that's precisely why no modern fascist state would ever look like that. They'd look like anything but. With most of the 'first' world already a corporate/state conglomerate lurching its way to full-blown totalitarianism, how is the popcorn-eating masses served by a film that says, 'Fascism looks like this'? They aren't, obviously.

Know that the state spends staggering sums of money on market-research, and other such black arts, so that they may be exactly as warm-and-fuzzy, brave-and-true, and Jimmy-and-Stewart as any consumer could possibly want. If Hollywood hadn't made a pleasantly diverting flick saying, 'THIS is how you will know fascism', any crypto-fascist government keen to confuse, would have had to have done it themselves.

Gosh, there's a crazy idea. Hollywood as some unwitting false-flag marketing tool of a crypto-fascist government! Ha ha ha ha... 'unwitting'. I crack myself up.

But this is nothing compared to the film's conceptual bombshell. The fascist government of Britain grabbed power by a terrorist attack it committed on its own people. Holy Shit! 911! 'If our own government was responsible for the deaths of almost a hundred thousand people... would you really want to know?' Kapow! The big question! Just roll it around in your head for a bit. A bunch of Englishmen killing their fellow countrymen (with whom they hold no them-and-us grudge) in the tens of thousands! Surely it's not possible. Foreigners certainly. Anyone can kill a foreigner. And a foreigner, us. It stands to reason. But for a fellow to kill his own... it's just seems so unlikely. Bravely V for Vendetta posits just such an impossible thought.

Waitaminute. Did somebody say false-flag just now? Oh, it was me, ha ha. You know what false-flag is, surely. It's when a first party pretends to be a third party to trick the second party. There's plenty of historical examples. In the Lavon Affair, of 1954, the Israelis had Egyptian Jews blow up Americans in Cairo in order to trick America into attacking Egypt. And in 1967 when the Israelis tried to sink the USS Liberty and kill everyone on board they wanted the Americans to blame Egypt (again) and nuke them. They didn't need to convince LBJ of course. He'd launched the nuke-carrying skyhawks before he was even meant to have known whodunnit. Such spooky prescience. Gee whiz, what busy false-flaggers the Israelis have been.

Funnily enough, no one ever thought to consider a false-flag attack as a possibility in 911. This in spite of the fact that all the Israelis normally in the WTC were all absent that day. This in spite of the fact that Israelis made spectacles of themselves high-fiving and celebrating exactly as if they'd pulled off the coup of the century. This in spite of the fact that the first words out of Israeli PM Netanyahu's mouth on the subject of 911 were, 'It's very good'. He couldn't help himself could he? Sure enough the historically obvious possibility was never considered by the Jewish media.

And so it is in V for Vendetta. Fuzzily cynical types like me, convinced that the official 911 story was bullshit, would be impressed that here was the film that understood us. Our doubts were confirmed. Vagueness was sharpened. Little of it's cinema terrorism actually resembled 911 apart from the heroic demolition of Westminster. But in this film we could finally know whodunnit. Says V for Vendetta - The mass murderers of 911 were our own. Evilly this 'we' attacked our own children, wives, husbands, mothers and fathers. Don't think about the perfect unlikelihood of this. Just know that within ourselves live impossible monsters. Rightly, those of us smart enough to know that fighting Israel's Arab enemies is bullshit, should according to this movie, spend our time tearing apart what's left of our society in a righteous search for these mythic terrifying heffalumps. Thank God V for Vendetta came along to harness this contrarian force and put it to good use.

The Hero

Really the hero here is secondary. It's less important that we know whom to emulate, than whom to attack. But still, don't imagine the film-makers just slapped him together. In film, everything is considered. Man-hours would have been devoted merely to the choice of V's shoes. I kid you not.

The most significant thing about V is that he is super-powered. Sadly he offers no clues for the non super-powered. We, as a bunch of listless, ill-equipped mug-punters, are offered nothing here apart from waiting in hope for some stylish uber-man to send us a mask so we may commit petty crime. But perhaps there is some nervy daredevil who might take his cue from super-V. Says V, 'Symbols are very important'. Or somesuch. Did anyone really understand what he was on about? Or were you like me? Um... symbols mean something, um... bad, and... we should blow them up! Yay, blow that shit up! Oooh, aaah, fireworks pretty.

Our ancient cultural symbols, nominally about liberty, freedom and rule of law are a sham and we should smash them. V solemnly intones that it is right. The sad-faced policeman (who is actually us, searching for answers and reluctant to embrace the truth) in awe of V's classically educated rightness, finally concedes to the inevitable violence.

The policeman/us realises that V is not a masked Travis Bickle - hell bent on not-sure-what. He is Gandhi and Rambo's star-child: a blood-spattered, knife-wielding guru possessed of the ancient Guy Fawkes wisdom of how to blow shit up for the good of all. The rightness of turning an 800 year old architectural marvel to rubble as an answer to fascism is never questioned. How will this work exactly? Um, the bad guys all give up, or something. Fingers crossed! Never mind sensible targets like the media - the collective taking of which could bring down every fucker going - just smash your own history instead. Look to the Red Guards perhaps. The rightness of their mad smashing campaign is evident in the architectural wasteland that is modern China. Either way - aspire to ill thought out destruction.

The Heroine

In this movie our heroine achieves a great thing. She casts off fear. It's a pity it required her to be tortured, starved, and frozen. By the hero. But good guys do that now, don't you know? And then there's the art direction - does our heroine become a Buddhist nun or a holocaust survivor? And is there a purpose in the latter? I guess it can't hurt to remind us who the real victims are.

Regardless, shedding fear is an unpleasant process best avoided by all. And upon having the requisite breakdown and arrival at fearlessness what does our heroine do? Nothing. At all. Wait, does shopping count? Otherwise she sits around watching the telly waiting for V. One wonders what purpose the whole thing served - apart from ensuring she didn't dob in V that is.

And what with V knowing best let's not argue the rightness of torture. As the uber-man, V may commit whatever nastiness he sees fit to preserve himself. Or to put it another way, torture works. Finally with her torture forgiven our sexy victim/hero pops up again to ensure that V gets the girl, albeit by way of a slow dance. I guess that when you have no willy that's the best you can hope for. But willy or no, the hero gets the girl and what's a bit of torture between friends?

The Totality

This film is as good as it gets folks. It's a masterpiece of co-option of the people smart enough to know that the government is full of shit. This movie wants you to be impressed that you know that your leaders are lying. This is the final arcane trick of the people who've raised lying to a god-like art. It fooled me. After seeing this movie I phoned my friends saying I couldn't believe Hollywood had released such a subversive movie. Was I the only one to think this? Exactly. But we fell for it again: Hollywood didn't release a subversive movie, they released a thrill-packed enjoyable di-version. Real (and impossible) subversion would feature Egyptian Jews planting bombs, Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunning lifeboats, and white Ashkenazis high-fiving as the towers come down. THAT'S subversion.

And guess what? I expect that no one but the Wachowski brothers and their financial backers got the gag. Not the director, not the stars, and certainly not the audience.

12 comments:

JD said...

Wow!

kikz05 said...

golfclap!

well done >:)

Alan Cabal said...

Just like THE MATRIX. The would-be planetary elite LOVE to rub our noses in it, don't they? There's a massive correction coming, and it's such great fun to be a part of it.

Don't grin --- you'll give the game away.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

THANK YOU.

Your post hits bullseye after bullseye, and many light bulbs went on as I read it!

I too swallowed the V bait, thinking, how could a movie this subversive have gotten through Hollywood, but from then until an hour ago, when I read your piece, I have had an uneasy feeling about that movie. And I stuffed that feeling. After all, one of THE smartest humans, who seems to have the deepest insight on false-flag EVERYTHING, namely Laura Knight-Jadczyk, has a "V" page at her Signs of the Times website, so "V" must be cool. Right?

But you put all of your fingers on all of the exact spots where that uneasy feeling is coming from.

In reading how the movie would have us "spend our time tearing apart what's left of our society in a righteous search for these mythic terrifying heffalumps," I thought -- that's a perfect one-sentence description of the Chinese revolution, the Russian revolution, and the French revolution -- the two recent ones definitely and the earlier one probably all projects of the same revolution management specialists, using that very technique. Only, I don't think we're suppposed to look for terrifying heffalumps, I think we're supposed to look for evil, controlling heffalumps.

And all the while, the REAL evil controlling heffalumps are the ones sending us out to tear things up looking for evil, controlling heffalumps. Wow.

Another powerful observation is the one in the last paragraph.

I first caught your comments at Mr. Visible's blog, and then started reading your blog posts, and this one was linked today at whatreallyhappened.

You must have already discovered "The Controversy of Zion" by Douglas Reed, but if not, brainnerd says check it out. Written in the 50s, never printed until the 70s, it's now finding its readers via the internet, and you can read the whole thing here:

http://knud.eriksen.adr.dk

brainnerd

W for Willie said...

I am in complete agreement. When purchasing my 2nd and 3rd copy, the clerk mentioned that this seemed to be a popular movie, and she asked me is it about a super hero? I replied, Well, he is no Batman.“ To which she replied, "Well. who really is?" I laughed, I don’t believe I could have convinced her to watch it if I tried. So I didn’t try.

I “got it” from the first time I studied the film. It seems to be a prediction of the near future. I only hope that there will be V like heroes to bring justice to the new Nazi bastards.

nobody said...

Thanks Folks,

And again, mahalo Mike Rivero.

Sorry for the delay in posting up the comments. Between an ailing father, bad weather, and an internet cafe, my attendance can be spasmodic.

Otherwise the comment that got blitzed was that tiresome fellow hawking his book. It may be a good book. I have no idea. If he offered to send me one for free I might consider allowing him to advertise here. Actually mate, don't bother, I really couldn't be fagged. Otherwise you should feel free to comment on things apart from yourself and your book.

The Matrix will be done very shortly. It is significant. Gosh! It's the Wachowski brothers again. But it shall have to wait for the astounding Blueberry. Go see it. It smashes the genre. You've never seen anything quite like it.

Happily my father read AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh and Now We Are Six to me when I was very young. I in turn read it to my youngest brother. All of us were lucky not be subjected to the bullshit Disneyfied version. Heffalumps are the thing of which we should be scared. They're exactly as terrifying as everyone says. Which is to say, bullshit. In the books, Shepard's brilliant illustrations make it clear that heffalumps are merely elephants and nothing more. One ought not to be scared of them, apart from the appropriate respect due all creatures who, nothing personal, don't need to put up with anyone's shit, ha ha. To all intents and purposes, there are no heffalumps. Can you dig it?

Also brainnerd, I don't know that Mao's China can be lumped in with the Jewish Bolsheviks. Initially yes, but Mao famously split with the Bolsheviks. I don't recall, or I've never seen any useful explanation for, what the split was about. I do know that the Great Leap Forward starvation-fest was connected with Lysenko and his bullshit socialist agronomy. But the Cultural Revolution was an all-Chinese affair. It was merely Mao behaving in an appropriately historical Chinese fashion and channelling a mad emperor. Jews are chameleons and in places like China their chameleon nature comes a cropper. And also, not everything is the Jews, ha ha.

And Willie, we don't need V like heroes. There's no such beast. There's just you. You must refuse to be a part of it. That is heroism.

Gen said...

Like you, at first I was fooled by this film, and stunned that it made it past censorship. And like many others, I was stunned by certain that your analysis reveals the movie as what it is. However, I do not see this as an entirely bad thing.

For a start, I am partial to an 'enjoyable diversion'. Sue me, but I love escaping into a more exciting and less difficult life. All we can expect from Hollywood is diversion; leave political theater to the likes of Brecht. And since we must have diversions, why not have one that plants the seeds of truth? Yes, the truths have been twisted to make them dissimilar to their versions in the real world. In that case, the film is like a parable; take 'The Tortoise and the Hare'. The fascist government depicted does not resemble what it symbolizes any more than animals in a fable, but the ideas remain.

Then again, I'm only seventeen, and perhaps I'm just seeking to defend a film I enjoyed; who does not enjoy (at least on a superficial level) a film with action, romance and pretty fireworks, that has apparent freedom-motifs thrown in?
My opinion remains that this film may have been created with devious motives, but the truth it reveals makes it just as good as bad.

As far as the comments on the film's urging us to blow up buildings; I am torn. I do not advocate violence, and I acknowledge the horror of revolution and civil war, and yet I can see the purpose of destroying false idols, symbols of oppression.
For instance, having "The true administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government" above the NY Supreme Courthouse seems so ironic that it may as well be destroyed. Then again, I suppose it would be significantly more productive to eradicate corruption so that the statement lost all irony.
In truth, I don't really know what I think of the matter, but all I know is that things are no different from the way they have been since the world began.

Nobody: thank you for your insightful essay.

nobody said...

Excellent. But right this minute I'm off to cook a roast dinner. If you're interested, I'll throw in my tuppence worth tomorrow and you can have a read. Ciao.

nobody said...

Your thoughts are good. But you have a long way to go. And I suspect that anything I say to you will come as too much of a shock. I'd kind of blow you out of the water. The initial traffic for this piece (never mind the dozen or so comments, this thing got thousands of hits) came from whatreallyhappened.com. Have you ever heard of this site? I suspect not. Perhaps that's a good start for you. Hang out there for a while and get up to speed. Otherwise, if I was to recommend a single thing to you it might be a video over at googlevideo called 'the money masters'. If you can get your head around the implications of this, you'll find you'll have to refigure just about everything you know. A lot of your above questions will fall by the wayside.

The long and short of it is that you need to understand the two pillars of power. They are control of the money supply and control of the media. Both are total. The media (TV, Hollywood, the press, all of it) is a bloc-media. They, to a man, sing from the same songsheet. No opposing views will be permitted. Thus not a single talking head anywhere, at anytime, said there were no WMD's in Iraq. Thus Hollywood's villains are perpetually Arabs. Thus the private ownership of the US Fed, the Bank of England, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and every other Reserve Bank in the western world* (along with the World Bank and the IMF) is never mentioned. Never.

EVERY single thing that comes out of Hollywood must conform to these rules. Hollywood, media, same same. Within this reality, I discuss film. Actually if you want, read the rest of the reviews here. There's not that many. Even if you've never heard of whatever flick it is, I still have a point to make that hopefully will do your head in. See how you go.

*Oh, now that I think about it, there's Russia. Putin kicked out the owners of Russia's money supply. That's why Russia is newly wealthy again. (Forget the media sing-from-the-same-songsheet message that Russia is newly oil rich. They always had oil. And were other oil countries poor ten years ago? Hardly. The difference between then and now is Putin's kicking out of the 'oligarchs'. The salutary lesson is that if a country throws out private ownership of the money supply they get wealthy. Ten years is all it takes). That's why Russia is now under attack. Such examples my not be allowed to exist. And Hollywood WILL do its bit. It is the other pillar of power. Subsequently expect more Russian villains in Hollywood movies. Oh look, Indiana Jones is fighting Russians. Me, I roll my eyes. Sure, of course.

Gen said...

Actually, I found this page through wrh.com. My father reads it daily, and passes on things to me. I like to think I am relatively aware of the power system, and I'm constantly aware of media manipulation, but yes, I have a long way to go. Still, I'm not sure I really want to go too far down that way; it's endlessly depressive.

Thank you for your reply. =)

nobody said...

Well I'm pleased mate. I kind of divide the world now into people who are awake and read wrh (say) and the rest of the TV-watching muggles. I'm glad you're the former.

And there's no need to be depressed. I follow the Buddha and no one better understood the miseries of the world than him. And he wasn't depressed. So I shan't be either. I shall exercise compassion and always be open to joy. Yoroshiku.