It’s not often that a film can affect the body politic of a nation. But that is the effect of the movie released on St. Patrick’s Day, <>V for Vendetta<>. Set in a near future England ruled by a Conservative Party government-turned-fascist, the hero, a horribly burned escaped political prisoner named “V” who dons a Guy Fawkes mask, cape, hat, and has an array of fancy weapons (sort of a Zorro, Phantom of the Opera, and Batman clone), blows up London’s Old Bailey judicial building and the Houses of Parliament as an act of vengeance for the genocide and political repression carried out by the fascist government. As a historical note, Guy Fawkes attempted to blow of Parliament in 1605 with gunpowder in a plot involving Catholics and Spain. He was caught and hanged but soon became a folk hero to England’s working class and Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated with fireworks every November 5.
What has our own fascist right wing media hopping mad are the references to the Bush regime and its wars. One political dissident in the movie has a secret room displaying banned art and posters. One of the posters is from the anti- Iraq war London protests — it displays a U.S. flag and U.K. flag inter-connected by a swastika with the words “Coalition of the Willing.” There are references to a civil war- and virus-ravaged “former United States” that has engaged not only in the actual war in Iraq but wars in Syria and Kurdistan. There are comments about America’s rendition and there are plenty of black hoods thrown on the heads of political detainees and “yellow” terrorist alerts. Not only has TV come under total fascist control, but Britain’s Royal Mail has been privatized and turned into the “British Freight Co.” There is also a reference to a genocide carried out by the English fascists in Ireland and it may not have been totally coincidental that a film focusing on an English fascist government’s repression of freedom fighters was released on St. Patrick’s Day.
The Conservative Party reaches ultimate power by unleashing a virus on Britain killing thousands. It turns out that leading members of the Conservative Party own stock in the pharmaceutical firms that have the vaccine drugs and enrich themselves in the process. Several top officials of the Bush regime have interests in various pharmaceutical firms involved with anthrax, smallpox, and avian flu vaccines –including Donald Rumsfeld, the former CEO of G.D. Searle [sold to Monsanto] — and V for Vendetta’s references to avian flu as a government attempt to hype the media and bamboozle the public is another clear link between the film’s anti-fascist message and the Bush/Tony Blair governments.
Britain’s near future features a Fox/Sky News type propaganda news network called “British Television Network.” Its major racist, right-wing blatherer also happens to enjoy romping around in a specially-built shower in his office (hmmm… I wonder who that might really be?). There is also the bald, pudgy, and thoroughly revolting top assistant and chief dirty tricks operative to the fascist High Chancellor (hmmm…again, I wonder who that could be?). And then there is the English Bishop who happens to like little girls (well, that could be any of our so-called “moral majority” religious leaders, except in some cases, little boys could be substituted for little girls).
In the end, all these fiends are eliminated, one by one, by our man “V.” And this is what probably, more than anything else, has the right-wing defecating in their pants. They know that one day they will face a reckoning for the damage they’ve done to the United States, to Iraq, to the United Nations process and international law, and to peoples and nations around the world. And that reckoning will be far from a slap on the wrists and the right-wing is beginning to wake up to that fact. Some on the right now understand they overplayed their hand and are trying to change their spots.
The left has always been tolerant to a point. But pushed against the wall, the progressives of the world have always discovered how to treat their vanquished enemies — just look at what happened to Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Pierre Laval, Vidkun Quisling, and other fascist leaders of the 20th century.
V has one bit of advice that is already echoing around the Internet: “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government, government should be afraid of their people.”
It looks like there will be a run on Guy Fawkes masks and maybe quite a few red spray painted “Vs” on various public adverts and walls. And why not? Let neo-con governments and their operatives and lickspittles everywhere know that with a blossoming of red “Vs” that we the people do understand and neo-con governments and their right-wing supporters should be very afraid of the people.
Already, the right-wing, including blogs like Town Hall, Men’s News Daily, and WorldNetDaily, are attacking the film, calling it, among other things, pro-terrorist, pro-homosexual, neo-Marxist, anti-Christian, and left-wing pro-Islamo-fascist (by the way, co-star Natalie Portman is Israeli born). Someone named Ted Baehr, writing for WorldNetDaily, called Britain’s Parliament, blown up by V in the movie, “Western Civilization’s most enduring symbols of democracy and republican government.” That’s funny, last time this editor went to Britain, I distinctly remember the country being a monarchy. But history is not a strong suit among the right-wing. Their hero, George W. Bush, can’t even read a history book although he’s probably listened to the book-on-tape version of Mein Kampf.
The right-wing has plenty to be worried about with the movie V for Vendetta. They will first see the push back in the November elections (and woe be it to them if they once again engage in election fraud). And upon electoral victory will inevitably come the indictments, trials, impeachments, imprisonments, electoral recalls, and, if need be, deportations, or as they called them during the days of Guy Fawkes, banishment.