Deviant Paradigm: Of The Wolf Within
Random garbage. Remarks about the comic Deviant Paradigm, notes about my life, comments about politics. This is my place to rant and rave. Fear this, World! FEAR IT!

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Nickname: Avvy
Age: 24
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Technomancer and troubleshooter by trade. Programmer by choice. Creator of Deviant Paradigm, somewhat by accident.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

On V
Saw V for Vendetta at Sapph's birthday party -- Happy Birthday, Sapph! (Sorry you still get sick at the thought of the bartender's bread and butter; it just takes time, and until then we can use other liquors. I've been looking for an excuse to get Rumplemintz and Bacardi 151.)

I'm going to reserve judgement on the movie until I've actually watched it in a context where I can analyze it, but from what I saw I found the the premise to be a bit preposterous (okay, I love Snakes on a Plane, so that's not a very valid excuse). Let me be honest, politically themed movies are a hard sell for me. I like to just have to deal with the movie, and if you can hide politics in it for me to discover like a chocolate egg, that's fine. If you write the politics into the forefront, I find it tiresome. I already have a not-so-great opinion of the Wachowski brothers and getting infused with their politics just bothers and annoys me. Visually, V is pretty impressive though. The real thing that bothered be is that (at least this is what I was told) this is supposed to be a "neo-conservatives take over the world" scenario. Now I already don't believe in "the government should be afraid of the people" any more than "the people should be afraid of the government." I'm also a pretty conservative guy. So I'd like to imagine that I can recognize conservatism when I see it. Instead of conservativism as I know it, I saw this twisted-mirror conservatism, a sort of nightmare conservatism that really only exists in the minds of the far Left which they use to demonize conservatives at large. Maybe, maybe if you go out far enough on the fringe of the Right, you'll find some arguments which could lead to the sorts of things you see in V, but they aren't any more valid than people believing that gays are out to destroy the world (to use an example from an earlier post's comments). Both concepts are preposterous. For you to believe that conservatism as we know it leads to a universe like V's implies a very poor grasp of what conservatism is, means, and stands for. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is believed by far too many. As wingnuts like myself and Impresario have been lamenting, the Right tends to view the Left as misguided, and, given sufficent argument, could be convinced to come around. The Left often enough views the Right as Evil which must be stopped. Since the Right is evil and not just wrong, obviously anything that we disagree with in the slightest, were we to assume total power, would be made illegal and people disappeared for it. This is where you lose me. Conservatism is a bastion of classical liberal thought, tempered with a fairly pessimistic view of human nature (which is what separates conservatives from libertarians and makes conservatives oppose things like the legalization of marijuana). In other words, conservatives are more likely to want the government to stay out of their lives. I might give you monitoring (though that might just be because there are more people like me out there who think privacy is just a feel-good illusion any more), but when it comes to actual interference (breaking into your home and arresting you for being different, for instance), conservatives will draw a line. You all remember the Texas sodomy law? Ever met a conservative who wasn't on the fringe and still thought it was a good idea? I never have. And what about the experimentation on people which produced V? You're saying that the people who oppose stem cell research to cure cancer if you have to harvest the stem cells from human embryos are going to, quite suddenly, decide that it is just dandy to do horrific experiments on people who qualify as "undesirables"? See how absurd this is starting to look? And yet, people still believe this drivel.

Maybe I'm all wrong, maybe it all makes sense in V's world and I just missed some important point (hey, there was a party going on, this is easily possible). So I'll give it another watching. But right now, it seems about as believable as the Matrix (2 and 3 to be specific), and you don't want to get me started on that. If the Wachowski brothers know as much about politics as they do about computers, I'm being generous to V, even at my harshest.

2 Comments:

  • At 11:46 PM, August 28, 2006, Anonymous Mal said…

    I heard that one of the writers of the comic book version was really pissed off about the movie version because they'd taken the genuine freakshow of what was essentially what England would be like now if the heavily authoritarian trend that was going on around Margaret Thatcher's time in charge had continued unimpeded for a decade or two, and tried to apply it to current day american style politics.
    The government in the comic had started out with the real world semi-loony-fringe-nutjob end of politics and ran with it.
    The comic also didn't have any "here's the goodguy" bits either. It was pretty much always left up in the air whether V was a visionary or a psycho-killer.

     
  • At 1:19 AM, August 29, 2006, Blogger Avvy said…

    I've now seen the whole movie and I'm still left with a very "eh" feeling. If it wasn't so obviously supposed to be allegorical to current politics, it wouldn't be so bad; so in five or ten years, V will be a far more enjoyable movie. It was visually impressive, and the knife fighting scenes were really quite nice, so it gets points on that at least. The thing I found most ironic this time around was the number of handguns. Everybody seemed to have them. This works (and makes sense) for movies set in America, but this is supposed to be Britain. Aren't they rather proud that most of their police force isn't armed with guns? Whatever else is said, Hugo Weaving's acting and the cinematography for V's character was phenomenal. The amount of expression they managed to impart to an unchanging, Joker-esque mask is worth watching the movie for, even if you have to suffer through the poorly-thought out political drama (especially the dramatic Natalie Portman torture scenes, which really just drag on).

     

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