Sunday, April 02, 2006

V for lack of moral fortitude

Since opened in the cinemas here this week, I made the effort to read the , and then I went and saw it this afternoon. As with all of Alan Moore's work, it's quite impressive and very deep. The main idea of the comic is battle between the ideals of anarchy and fascism. In such a battle I of course side with anarchy, especially as V sees it, as not being the opposite of order, which is chaos, but as a true society of equals, with no-one placed above others.

Another facet is that the protagonist, while not what I'd call a villain, is definitely not a good guy. He kills many people, and blows up several buildings, but is brutally up front about it, and when asked about it makes no denials. He tortures the only character who can really be called an ally, albeit to bring about a change in her for the better.

This aspect of V I disagree with. I think that violence against people is wrong in any situation, with the sole exception of preventing someone else doing likewise in the immediate future (ie, stopping someone from punching someone else, not killing someone because they might shoot someone next week). Likewise the destruction of others in a violent manner also falls into the wrong category.

I also feel that an immediate wrong for a better future is not a justification for such actions. This belief is obviously more easy to keep when one lives in a participatory democracy with little restrictions on one's rights, but I feel that non-violent methods should be preferred.

One thing I do admire in V is his conviction in his beliefs. At the moment, I don't think there is anything I feel strongly enough to be willing to die for. I recently emailed a senator who was proposing a policy of mandatory blocking at the ISP level of objectionable material outlining how I felt it was a usurpation of parental responsibility and unconscionable restriction of peoples rights by the government, as well as being practically impossible to do in practice. I have never been to a rally or protest, but that is mainly because while I usually agree with the main point being protested, ie don't invade Iraq, the groups running such things tend to bring in a lot of other ideological baggage that I don't agree with and don't want to be associated with. I wonder if protest rallies would be more successful if they were solely about the issue at hand, and didn't try to become recruiting and marketing opportunities for all these groups. Sure their ideas can inform their decision to attend, and can illustrate some points of discussion, but if the rallies about Iraq, don't bring in the ailing welfare and health systems, aboriginal land rights and everything else.

While I admire V's conviction, I also see it as one of his flaws. Believe in anything too much, too passionately, and you start to put that thing above all else. Take anything to an extreme, and it becomes a bad thing. I feel a strong point of the story of V is that he does realise that his path has an end. He realises that while bringing down the old and opening the door for the new are things he can accomplish, he is not the one to build the new order, that is something for others. This is a realisation that while what he is doing is needed now, and can accomplish something, if taken too far will become just as bad as what he wanted to get rid of. This point is more blatant in the movie, but by doing so they have removed some of the self-realisation of Evey, and reduced the subtlety of what V told her.

The other main change the movie made from the comic was to make the Norsefire government a lot more sinister, in that they committed atrocities and manipulated the people to establish their control of the government, and to introduce their harsh regime. The actions of Norsefire have many parallels with the current American administration, which is the intention of the producers.

Having nothing more to say on this right now, and since I have to get up early for a meeting regarding a potential job, I'm going to finish here with an attempt at using some technorati tags.

End Post
Writing time: 1 hour 3 minutes
time since last post: 10 days
current media: Bill Hicks
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PS: curious tidbit. Bloggers spell check came up with the suggestion degenerate for Technorati

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