Thursday, March 23, 2006

V for Vendetta; A for Anarchy

Apparently, V for Vendetta (imdb), the movie, is based on the comic-series/book, which is really about an anarchist's and his female accomplice's attempt to overthrow their totalitarian government. The author of the comic book series wrote them in 1982 and 1983 - very near to the title of the book '1984'. The book, 1984, was written by George Orwell, the pen name of Eric Blair - and it, too, is about a totalitarian government and peoples' struggles to gain freedom from it.

David Lloyd is the guy who compiled Alan Moore's 10-part comic book series into the book. Lloyd backs the movie and Moore does not.

Apparently, the movie-makers, or at least one of the primary people involved in the making of the movie, lied their asses off repeatedly when they were unable to get Moore's endorsement. That's some wack shit.

Notice that the symbol for 'V' in the movie is really just an upside down anarchist symbol, minus the horizontal slash:


Of course, our boy Chomsky is a self-declared anarchist (we think), so we've been working overtime to figure out what it's all about. So far, in layman's terms, we think anarchism is:

A highly organized society in which there is no oppressive government to exploit the poor and working classes for the benefit of the rich.

That's pretty much the gist of it, we gather. The key words there are 'highly organized' - so it's not all crazy in the streets like critics will suggest - it's still roles and responsibilities and all that, but without the government stealing your money, forcing you to pay for the lifestyles of the wealthy elite, etc.

Chomsky's got a book on anarchism called, who would have guessed it, Chomsky on Anarchism. We haven't read it, yet.

The Anarchist Book Fair just happened out here in Cali. I missed it, but heard it was pretty cool.

We just found out there's an Anarchist Library at the City College of San Francisco that occasionally teaches free classes on anarchy - including introduction to, economics of, etc.

Check out the infoshop in your town if you haven't yet. It's at least worth a look-see, usually. It should really be a part of every tourist company's highlights, I think, but what do I know. What's an infoshop you say?

An infoshop is a cross between a radical bookstore and a movement archive. Activists go there to read or buy movement literature; buy paraphenalia such as stickers, masks and spray paint; attend meetings, lectures or films; or just plain hang out.

And, forgot, a great website has been set up to talk about anarchy and the movie called 'A for Anarchy'. The site was set up, in part, because the movie stripped most of the anarchy references out of it, and anarchists wanted the message of the original movie to be known.

Many people are concerned that the movie promotes terrorism, and that seems fair. I'm not so comfortable with violence myself, so I don't want to promote terrorism - whether its from an individual conducting violent acts directed at the government or the much more common case of the government conducting violent acts against individuals. Either case is unjustified, in general. Like Chomsky says, non-violence does not need to be justified, but violence must always be justified. Gore Vidal wrote a controversial essay about Timothy McVeigh's alleged role in the Oklahoma City bombing. Gore does not believe that McVeigh acted alone and that the FBI and the U.S. government, in general, was too oppressive. Lots of other people, including us, think that Oklahoma was a big federal coverup. (For any of you Bush-lovers out there - are there any of you left? - note that Oklahoma was under Preznit Clinton, so the answer is 'yes' - we think Clinton covered up Oklahoma just like Bush covered up 9/11. Both of these conspiracy theories were unspeakable immediately after the events themselves, but now both are commonly accepted amongst the U.S. population.)

UPDATE: Wanted to let all you would-be anarchists in on something I've heard/read Chomsky say/wrote on multiple occasions (not verbatim):

During the Red Scare of the 20's and 30's the American government jailed the Communists, but they murdered the anarchists.

Just thought I should let y'all know what you might be getting yourself into if you start messin around with this anarchy stuff.

UPDATE: Great flick.

UPDATE: Justin Raimondo, who I've bitterly denounced on several occasions, but is still a much better writer than I, signals his strong approval for V for Vendetta.

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