Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bonfire Night: The Fight against Authority

The English tradition of Bonfire night, celebrated tonight, remembers the FAILED attempt to blow up the king and Parliament by angry religious Zealot, Guy Fawkes. It has its place I'm sure.

But ever since the graphic novel - and especially the film - V For Vendetta, the Fifth of November has taken on a new meaning. Bonfire night has become a night to celebrate defiance of authority in the name of individual freedom.

As a graphic novel, and more so as a film, V for Vendetta is an enjoyable but flawed product. It is in turn silly, delusional, and cheesy. But I like to be reminded that we must be wary of power structures, and ready to stand against them.

We must remind ourselves that power structures are everywhere. These structures attempt to decree from on high, how we must life, what is wrong and what is right, what is normal and what is "beyond the pale." We give them too much power. It is we, and not the power structures and systems of domination that should determine how we live and what we are.

Reflect a little this November 5th. Think about how power structures stifle freedom and what we can do to change that in our own lives and communities.

Remember, Remember the fifth of November .....

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  1. But note that in V for Vendetta the real concept of freedom is revealed when V tortures Evey Hammond. Evey is released from her passions, fears and hates, from the confines of her own mind, from all that she was taught was the way the world was, and could look on the world with innocent eyes to see the world as it is and make her own judgment. She could then determine herself. In the comic it is shown that V educates Evey, gives her necessary knowledge for self-determination. This shows that the greates threat to freedom is not tyrants but tyranical control of a people's education, media, art and knowledge. when a people is determined by an outside force, there can be no political freedom.


  2. Agreed Mr. C. Couldn't say it better.


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