V for Vendetta I saw this movie on Sunday and have been meaning to write down some of my thoughts for several days now. First of all, I absolutely loved it and can't wait to buy the DVD. It had some great action, but more importantly (to my mind anyway) was that it had 3-dimensional characters, an engrossing story and a heartening message of hope. It's that message of hope I want to dwell on for a sec.

In recent months, maybe years, I've become increasingly despondent about the state of our government. Our constitution seems to be in tatters. This administration has used fear to oppress it's own people and steal away their constitutional freedoms. This administration has made it clear that no law can stand in their way when it comes to fighting the "war on terror." Any American citizen can now be arrested and imprisoned for life without charge or trial—all they have to do is claim you're an enemy combatant and your rights simply vanish. No, they haven't done this yet, but that's no comfort. They can and it's only a matter of time. For a while it will be reserved for obvious native born terrorists—monsters for whom no tears will be shed and whose public trial would threaten national security. Eventually, we'll become accustomed to this—swift justice. Then the government will begin expanding the list of those deemed threats to include political activists, unkind journalists, whistleblowers, and anyone else who itches them wrong. They'll be a few unfavorable op-eds by brave souls, but we'll convince ourselves it's for our own safety. Whatever administration is in power will indefinitely postpone future elections until it becomes "safe." And tada, we're living in a totalitarian state (run by Evangelical Christianists to be sure). And we'll have approved it every step of the way—right up to the point of no return.

But all hope is not lost. Maybe a superhero will rise out of the ashes of Guantanamo to start a true revolution. Maybe the proletariat will rally to defeat their own government and restore fear to it's proper home:
Citizens should not fear their governments. Governments should fear their citizens. —V

I confess, at the end of V for Vendetta when Parliament blows up, I had to hold back a few tears—I was so overcome with hope for our own time. Here's hoping the electorate wakes up soon.


Anonymous w  said...

Well, Paul....you've sparked some thinking. Care to share my bench?
Hmm.. I’m thinking that unfortunately man, as he chooses to co-exist, has a need to be governed, yes? We choose government because it ensures that we live respectfully and peacefully en masse. Still, the concept of government has such a bleak aura about it. Anarchy, on the other hand, would not prove preferable. So. If we choose to be governed, what government is the preferred model? What if we could choose right now at this very moment and change it all? Certainly the more collaborative types are more humane than absolute power. I think we would tend to agree that layers of government, though, not as efficient as absolute power, protect us from …well……ourselves. The question now arises whether accountability has somehow stagnated and become lost in its own accountability? Have we, as a nation, now become awakened by a series of misunfortunate events when we would otherwise remain apathetic to what would normally be the status quo? Maybe that superhero myth Evan speaks of is all too much a reality. Witness our dependence on entrusting the emblazoned to make it right. Well. Thank you for allowing me to springboard from your well-written piece. And...pardon me. I never did offer you a bite of my sandwich.

Friday, August 04, 2006  

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