Daily, Economy, RocknRoll

“Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November…”

by TBird


Today is the day they’re talking about.  Guy Fawkes day.   The Fifth of November.   Why is that such a big deal?  Who is Guy Fawkes?

I, being perhaps the last one on the interwebz who had not seen V. For Vendetta, finally watched it tonight.  Figured I’d at least see what all the fuss was about.


Smart, scary, and bone chilling deep. what left me uneasy, was that his only solution was violence.  Seems like a small victory, even with his epic triumphs.  Victory, should be more than that.  Yes, great battles have been fought, and my hat goes off to the brave heroes who defended humanity with their might, but I don’t think you can just kill off the bad guys and that’s that. There are always more waiting in the wings, who get and abuse power, and we need great leaders to stand up to them.


Indeed,  ideas do not die.  That cuts both ways.  Ugly ones return, and we need ideas even more meaningful and powerful, to defeat them.  We need V. not to die but to share his wisdom.  Our fight is bigger than vivid, graceful swordfighting.  Ideas, philosophy, always came before any movement in history.  The rumblings, murmurings, and great movements inspired by just an idea, were sparked and fed and kept alive through art, music, poetry, laughter, and more ideas.  They grew even more powerful when efforts were made to crush them.


For all V’s lush imagery, nostalgia and illuminated vestibule of ideas, what does he leave to the people he fought so valiantly for?  Yes, he gave them hope, but if we are to believe the detective’s theory, what he gives them is chaos.  Chaos is fun for a little while, but easily breaks down and blows away.  Where is the vision for something better?  If the New World Order is toppled, what order steps in after V’s gone?  From chaos, the natural progression, is order.  It’s inevitable.  What kind will it be?


Yes, V. was a hero, yes, he saved the girl, yes, he saved that particular population in that particular scenario but in the end, he didn’t personally go beyond just being able to kill off those who had wronged him or needed to be killed off.  Is that all there is?  Killing bad guys and blowing up buildings?  Where do we go from there?  Do people stand up and self govern, as our Founders designed us to do?  Or do they shuffle back to their lives, easier to just accept a new regime of cronies than to take the reins themselves?  Like we do every time we assume we have no power.

Who can we look to, for guidance?  V’s dead, and no longer here to share his wisdom.  History is always there, waiting to repeat itself. That’s why we look to heroes, or the wise –  to teach us our history, so we don’t repeat it.  Yes, the intuitive detective ends up with the courageous girl, but what happens to them?  Are they safe? Does anything change?  It’s great to have hope, but a plan is even better.  Anarchy, does not ensure Liberty, for all.  Only rules we all get a chance to vote on, does that.

It’s human nature, to lead or look to someone to lead.  Some are born leaders, who lead with ideas and foster growth.  Some simply want power and control.  Which one is V? Is it just about Vendetta to him, or does he want to leave them all a better world than he had?  Of course she didn’t want him to die.  Who would want anyone to die?  I realize, he’s a reluctant leader, but those are the best kind.  Why does he abandon her?  Does he, as she says about Monte Cristo, care more about his vendetta, than her?

For an action thriller, it thrilled.  I was glued.  Savoring every nuance and clever trick thrown in.  As something that has sparked a cultural phenomenon of mask wearers, yes, now I see. I see why it has inspired so many. The subtext is loud and clear. It’s brilliant. On the spot hard core truth about the way corrupt governments collude with industry, and perpetrate horrific things upon the populace, then lie about it.  It invokes so many stories of our past, from Orwell’s 1984, to the Holocaust, and experiments done on humans.  How they came for anyone different.  How they banned literature, art, music.   The movie made a tender, sweeping bow to all the vanishing sparks of our humanity and culture.  All that has kept us inspired and dancing through the centuries, but that has become harder and harder to find.


You can’t not fall in love with V, too. He’s Beast to her Beauty.  He’s Monte Cristo, he’s George Orwell, he’s a masked crusader, cape and all.  Swooping in to save her, just like you hoped he would.  Until of course, the torture thing.  That was a bit creepy, but the extreme parallels to the way governments today can label anyone a terrorist and do unspeakable things in secret, made it entirely plausible that it could have been them doing it and not V, so his point is at least understandable, however disturbing.

I’d hoped she wouldn’t blow it all up, but a friend had already spoiled the end for me, so I knew it was inevitable.  As much as I wish so many didn’t get such pleasure from watching destruction, I have to admit that the movie overall was beautifully graphic, with incredible imagery, voracious dialogue, and an underlying theme that goes back into history and time and ensnares you inside Plato’s deep, dark cave and forces your face into the light until you can’t look away from the truth any more.

From the very start of the film to the end, the colors, musical choices, wardrobe, all fit in some wild, savage puzzle laced with red roses.  I didn’t want it to end, even though I knew it had to. I see the symbolism now.  I see why so many wear that mask.  I see why it has meaning.  I understand now, who Guy Fawkes is.  I fantasize that it’s not just coincidence, that something I cook regularly for my family, is “Toad in the Hole” toast with egg in the center.

I thought about America’s history with England, as I watched the end, I wondered if the English people want an “Independence Day” too?  Do they want to blow up Parliament and have their own revolution?  Our American Revolution, once a burning hot comet for Independence, is now just about fireworks and consumption on Independence Day.  A hollow symbol celebrating servitude passed off as “freedom.”  This country, our Founders fought so hard to win for us, is now up for sale.  Our representatives and public servants turning their fangs upon the very people they’ve sworn to protect and serve.


Will we awaken like they did in the movie?  Marching en masse, as if our own cloak and mask was sent to our door, special delivery from V. himself?  Will we seize control of this government before we become “the country once known as The United States” and vote money out before it’s too late?  In V.’s world, apparently, there was no power to vote.  In our world, there still is.  It’s the only way.  We don’t all know knife tricks.

If this semi-obscure movie tells us anything, it’s that, despite its somewhat predictable ending, it’s true – ideas don’t die. No matter how many leaders have been assassinated, no matter how many people persecuted, tortured, or ran out of town, ideas remain. They take hold, they grow beneath us, like moss, and suddenly, there’s a lush green carpet that unfolds a road we can travel.


With technology, we have a free exchange of ideas in a forum that reaches the entire world.  The powers that be want to censor it, control it and silence it.  They won’t succeed in stamping out the human mind.  If we didn’t have the internet, we’d find a way, as humans, to communicate with each other. Word on the street travels fast. Thankfully, we still do have the internet. We still do have power, as citizens, unlike any country in the world. Will we wake up? Will we see the propaganda shoved in our faces that lies to us, every day, just as this symbolic tale tells? Will we listen to our intuition, like that wonderful detective?

Yes, it was as good as I’d hoped it would be. Even better than I thought it would be. Not at good as I wish it could be. Still, worth dedicating a page to.  Even if, for just that one universal truth, that ideas live on.  Beyond flesh, beyond murder, beyond power and control.

An idea blooms, like flowers all around us, and it’s only a matter of time before we find it.

There’s one more thing that’s inevitable.  Now I have to watch Monte Cristo.  Then I’ll have to read the  book.  Not to mention having to go down the rabbit hole on the comic books, too.   I won’t be able to resist, now that the idea has filled me like a rose’s scent.

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November 2011

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