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Wednesday, March 15, 2006
A for Avoid 'V for Vendetta'

You're going to hear a lot about the new movie "V for Vendetta" in the coming weeks. You're going to hear "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" ad nauseum, if you're not already sick to death of moral relativism. You're going to hear a lot about the "obvious" similarities between the totalitarian state the movie portrays and the Bush government. That may be the focus of the Liberal paranoid fantasy world in which the movie is set. But it's not quite the same as the graphic novel Alan Moore and David Lloyd created a quarter-century ago. The movie version of "V for Vendetta" is just M for More Of the Same Leftist Propaganda.

The lair of the main character -- a mysterious figure in a
Guy Fawkes mask, known only as "V" -- is stocked with books, art and music banned by the fascist regime. In the original, that included Shakespeare, Dante, Billie Holiday and anything Motown. In the movie version, we are shown a banner showing a Nazi swastika superimposed over British and American flags, along with the label, "Coalition of the Willing." There is also a Qur'an in the collection, a banned book praised for its "beautiful imagery." The emblem of the evil fascist government is a double-barred "Lorraine" cross. In case you've dodged the sledgehammer subtlety so far, "V for Vendetta" is less about the future than the present, less about the politics of Alan Moore than Michael Moore.

The main piece of disinformation
reviewers are already sowing is that the original "V for Vendetta" was about Alan Moore's fear of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government. No one who says such a thing could possibly have read the story. In fact, the history of Moore's tale started with a predicted Conservative loss to the Socialist-leaning Labour party in the early 1980s. Luckily, the Conservatives won in real life, and Anglo-American cooperation against the Soviets continued.

When Moore and Lloyd began writing "V" in 1981, the Labour Party's new leader was
Michael Foot. Foot was a militant socialist whose policies included unilateral nuclear disarmament, nationalisation of industry, strong union power, and heavy progressive taxation. In Moore's story, the Labour Party took control of the British government, which deepened the recession and led to the withdrawal of American missiles from Europe. The Soviet Union continued its attempt to take over the world, staging a military invasion of Poland. The American "President Kennedy" tried to bluff the USSR into backing down with the threat of nukes, as in the Cuban Missile Crisis, but this time nuclear war actually erupted. The war devastated the environment and left an isolated Great Britain to fend for itself.

The government fell apart, and an obviously Nazi regime called "Norsefire" took over by force. Moore and Lloyd made the all-too-common mistake of calling the Nazis "right-wingers," when
the Nazis were actually Socialists. Like all Socialist dictatorships, the Nazi/Norsefire group banned all weapons, seized control of the means of production and distribution, made dissent a crime, began the systematic killing of "undesirables," reduced the population to poverty and created a secret police. That's the government that created V through Nazi-like medical experimentation, and that's the government against which V fought.

It's a mark of the Hollywood Left that they needed to change the government of Moore's nightmare, a twisted blend of 1984, North Korea and Nazi Germany, into extremist Conservative Christians when making the film. To Liberals, a Socialist totalitarian dictatorship doesn't seem very scary. Look at Hollywood's constant love song for Fidel Castro. Islamofascist terrorists just need to be understood. Christians, on the other hand...

The conflict and complexity of Moore's world was reflected in V's tortured psyche. The movie throws all of that aside to make the same boring Left-wing political statements as every other Hollywood film these days. When he saw yet another of his great stories get the "Hollywood treatment," Moore publicly disassociated himself from the film and cut off all ties to DC Comics.

Moore's V saw fascism (total government control) and anarchy (no government) as polar opposites with no middle ground, and chose anarchy. The movie V sees democracy as the natural opposite of fascism, and plots to restore democracy by overthrowing the government. The movie turned V into a hero he was never meant to be, and it falls flat. Deep down, Moore's V had no illusions about what he was: a psychotic killer who committed monstrous acts in order to destroy the government that created him. To him, there was no higher cause. In the movie, however, V never seems to doubt his own heroism.

The movie deliberately tries to blur the line between freedom fighters and terrorists. Hollywood recreated V as a democratic revolutionary hero who commits crimes in a noble cause, instead of simply carrying out his personal, well, vendetta. In reality, terrorists fight to destroy democracy and enslave others through fear. No amount of Leftist equivocation can eliminate our capacity to judge between the two.

UPDATE: "It's been turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country. In my original story there had been a limited nuclear war, which had isolated Britain, caused a lot of chaos and a collapse of government, and a fascist totalitarian dictatorship had sprung up. Now, in the film, you've got a sinister group of right-wing figures -- not fascists, but you know that they're bad guys -- and what they have done is manufactured a bio-terror weapon in secret, so that they can fake a massive terrorist incident to get everybody on their side, so that they can pursue their right-wing agenda. It's a thwarted and frustrated and perhaps largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values [standing up] against a state run by neo-conservatives -- which is not what 'V for Vendetta' was about. It was about fascism, it was about anarchy, it was about [England]. The intent of the film is nothing like the intent of the book as I wrote it."
-
Alan Moore on the movie "V for Vendetta," 15 March 06


Posted at Wednesday, March 15, 2006 by CavalierX

Christopher Taylor
March 15, 2006   11:08 AM PST
 
This and other bits of information is why I want nothing to do with V for Vendetta. You can tell from the trailor exactly what the movie is going to be like, an unsubtle rape of Moore's fine work.

I'm glad you actually read the original, this gives you an insight that most (all, so far) other reviewers seem wholly to lack. This movie will be junk.
JM
March 15, 2006   11:19 AM PST
 
I read V for Vendetta years ago, and loved it. It's tragic how badly Hollywood keeps mangling Alan Moore's work. I used to hope my favorite -- The Watchmen -- would someday be filmed, but after watching what Hollywood did to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell, I began to hope that never happens after all. At least, not in Hollywood.
TCM
March 15, 2006   10:17 PM PST
 
As a lifelong comic-book fan, I have come to dread every new movie based on comics (or any literary work, for that matter). The Watchmen is my favorite comic series too, and I hope it will never be filmed. When any work that contains even the slightest hint of a political viewpoint is filmed by one of today's "socially conscious" young directors, it is doomed to be infused with both a heavy-handed liberal slant and an overdose of "style." We end up with a flashy, noisy, smoke and glitter production that manages to distort the message of the original work and lessen its entertainment value at the same time. Sad as it is to say, the best thing Hollywood can do these days to show respect for a classic is to leave it on the printed page.
Terroja
March 16, 2006   04:27 AM PST
 
God, I despise you.
JM
March 16, 2006   09:31 AM PST
 
Gee, I guess I'd better change my opinions to conform to the will of anonymous child-punks on the Internet. I'll get right on that.
Irish Diablo
March 16, 2006   12:28 PM PST
 
BLAH BLAH BLAH!

Why can't you all just take off your political hats and go see a movie for what it is? I don't care about hidden meanings & agenda, I just care if my hard-earned money is going to get me 2 hours or so of enjoyment.

I kept hearing the same type of spew about "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" and you know what? It was still a good movie. The special effects were good, the music was good and the acting was sufficient. I got my money's worth and that's all that matters to me.

Keep your political bullsh*t for political grounds. Wanna rip apart "Farenheit 9/11" ? Fine by me, but leave the movies obviously created for entertainment alone.
JM
March 16, 2006   12:54 PM PST
 
>go see a movie for what it is

I am. The movie is a lame attempt to turn V for Vendetta into Conservative-bashing Leftist propaganda. If it wasn't, they wouldn't have made the changes they did.

>I kept hearing the same type of
>spew about "The Lion, The Witch
>and The Wardrobe"

The script stuck almost precisely to the book, which was why it was good. Same for the first three Harry Potter movies. And Sin City was the best film adaptation of a comic ever made. Why? Cause they literally filmed the comic, panel by panel. If the book is good enough to film, film the book!

>leave the movies obviously
>created for entertainment alone

Fine by me. Unfortunately, Hollywood doesn't turn out a lot of THOSE these days.
Brian Breslin
March 17, 2006   10:37 AM PST
 
To Irish Diablo, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Have fun wearing a plastic Leprechaun at and green beads while puking in a urinal later. Just kidding, if you're really Irish, you'll not don the plastic and actually hold down your beer. Yes, movies are for entertainment. If I wanted only political discussion, I'd read boring websites like this all day. But, what is entertainment in movies? Explosions, action, good effects, plot, supsense, etc, right? Well, could not all of those have been pulled off just as well is V had been fighting against the Nazi Socialist government from the original story? So, you can make cooler explosions and effects if you have the protagonist fight against fundamentalist Christians? Wow, I had no idea.

This, like the recent "Munich", is another attempt by Hollywood to push their political views on the masses under the guise of "entertainment". The problem is that most people don't look at websites like American Daily. So, they'll go to the movies, become mesmerized by the explosions, and later on in the bar, drunkenly babble to their friends about what they saw in the film as being completely relevant.

Hollywood also unfairly generalizes Conservatives as Bible thumping fundamentalist Christians. Well, Hollywood won't let the kids know that "religious" is only one of several types of Conservatives. That's why the Republican Party is more politically diverse than their Democratic counterparts. But, God forbid that one of the words held most sacred by Liberals, "diversity", be associated with the Republicans. Then, we'd have to re-think everything that our college professors taught us about their definition of diversity.

Most of these youngsters don't realize that Libertarianism is a big tenet of traditional Conservatism. What's actually cooler and more punk rock: big government Socialism so extolled by the leftists in Hollywood, or limited government Libertarianism? The latter is closer to what every self proclaimed non-conformist anti-establishment radical claims to consider to be their own twisted little version of a communal hippie utopia. Yes, their adorable naivete about the inherent goodness of human beings leads them to believe that we can exist without government. Yes, thatís cute and we all know it can't happen. However, Hollywood won't even touch the idea that Liberals are wet noodle conformists and Conservatives are the individualists. Well, that could be counterproductive for them. Who wants a bunch of free thinking individuals running around out there when your primary concern is selling tickets to the masses?

Regards,

Brian Breslin

breslin-bg@sbcglobal.net
JM
March 17, 2006   02:47 PM PST
 
>Alan Moore says that the government in V for Vendetta is a
>conservative, right-wing government

I donít expect Moore to know much about actual, real-world politics, given that he thinks the Nazis and Fascists were right-wingers. A true Conservative government (and only a fool would mistake President Bush for a true Conservative) would never restrict the individual the way every Left-wing government does as a matter of course, since Conservatives are all for less government interference except in defense of our freedoms and institutions. Got to love his penchant for conspiracy theories, though. Thatís what makes his fictional stories so excellent. Its a pity some people canít tell where fantasy leaves off and reality begins.

>Alan Moore is probably more
>liberal than even those evil
>Hollywood liberals.

He can't be Liberal: he's an anarchist. One thinks the purpose of government is to redistribute wealth; the other thinks there should be no government whatsoever.
JM
March 19, 2006   08:39 PM PST
 
>attempting to say the original
>comic wasn't about Moores fears
>of Thatchers government is utter
>rubbish

Kindly explain how, in the original story, the LOSS by Thatcher's Conservative government to the Labour Party ended up causing the nuclear war that allowed Norsefire to take over. Whatever Moore says NOW, from today's perspective, cannot erase the facts.

>The switch from Anarchy to
>Democracy grates somewhat but
>makes sense

No, it doesn't. In fact, it destroys the character and motivation of V, and erases the reason he wears a Guy Fawkes mask in the first place.

>making it easier for people to
>understand the motivation behind
>V

Right, because we common non-Hollywood folks are too stupid to understand a man carrying out a personal vendetta against those who destroyed his life and warped his very mind. We needed the Wachowskis to spoon-feed us Leftist talking points instead. Got to love that Liberal condescension.
Name
March 21, 2006   12:32 PM PST
 

Gotta luv Alan Moore!

Great post, as usual, Cav :)
JM
March 21, 2006   04:56 PM PST
 
>First a nitpick - the Quran was in
>the television producer's house,
>not in V's hideout.

Yes, I picked the misconception up from two different sources who had seen the film in advance. Still, its manner of presentation, along with the existence of the "Coalition" banner, is shameful.

>Nazism (National Socialism),
>despite iits name is in no way
>related to Socialism

Please follow the link in the post to my post "The Nazi Meme." You will probably be shocked when you learn the truth.

>The comment that the movie is
>somehow more "anti-christian"
>than Moore's book is fatuous.

Uh-huh. Note the cross symbol of the fascist goverment into which they turned Norsefire.

>V was pro-anarchist as a viable
>social (dis)order.

Which in no way precludes his being psychotic. He merely did something with it.

>Shame on you for (predictably)
>trying to turn it into a
>conservative, hollywood/liberal-
>bashing polemic.

Go back, please, and read Alan Moore's own words on the subject, which I appended in an update.

>Oh well, I guess it's what you're
>getting paid for.

Don't I just wish.

>withdraw its nuclear arsenal
>*saving* it from nuclear
>destruction

The nuclear war only happened because the USSR was emboldened to invade Poland by England's withdrawal from the tough Anglo-American stance in Europe.
Christopher Taylor
March 22, 2006   12:59 PM PST
 
<i>Nazism (National Socialism), despite iits name is in no way related to Socialism - if anyone disagrees the please explain the motives behind the infamous "Night of the Long Knives".</i>

Are we to take it that you believe no socialist has ever killed another or that there are not rival factions within any group? Are you wholly unaware of the history of communism and socialism in China, Russia, and other nations? Have you ever heard of Leon Trotsky?
billhedrick
March 23, 2006   09:40 AM PST
 
National Socialism was not socialist? hmmm, if you say so, but Joseph Goebells proudly proclaimed that they were socialists
MarchHare
March 23, 2006   06:08 PM PST
 
Saw the movie twice with my 17 yo and 14 yo sons....we're going again.

When I read about people being asked turn over library records to Homeland security....schools handing military recruiters the names of our sons, see televangelists calling for political assassinations, privacy...wiretapping without due legal process,
and personal freedoms errode one by one for the sake of feeling secure...war with no end in sight...and never any end planned for....well....I see a bleak future...

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."
Name
March 23, 2006   07:41 PM PST
 
"When I read about people being asked turn over library records to Homeland security..."

So when you found out this has been an option for federal officers for decades, did that make you even more afraid? Or did you miss the movie Se7en where they did just that?

Perhaps you'd prefer the government unable to use this existing law enforcement tool to fight terrorism as well, somehow??

I pity your poor children.
JM
March 23, 2006   09:13 PM PST
 
>Saw the movie twice with my 17
>yo and 14 yo sons....we're going
>again.

How sad for them. I don't suppose you use the movie to impress upon them how wrong terrorism is? No, I guess not.

>When I read about people being
>asked turn over library records to
>Homeland security

Maybe you ought to read some other source of information. The library cause has never been used for a terror investigation. And as the previous commenter pointed out, libraries have been required to turn over records to murder, drug and organised crime nvestigations for decades. Why not terrorism?

>schools handing military recruiters
>the names of our sons

This is only a problem if you have an irrational (though typical) Liberal fear of the military that keeps you safe.

>televangelists calling for political
>assassinations

Your TV comes equipped with a device that allows you to receive more than one station, you might be interested to hear.

>wiretapping without due legal
>process

Terrorists have no rights. And sorry, but the wiretaps were perfectly legal according to the 2002 FISA Court of Review. But that's another subject, which I covered in another post. Liberals can never stay on topic.

>personal freedoms errode one by
>one

I have been BEGGING Liberals for years to name a single "personal freedom" or Constitutional right they or anyone has lost. Still coming up with a blank. Will you be the one to break the streak of zeroes? No... I doubt it.

>I see a bleak future...

Liberals always do. :)
MarchHare
March 23, 2006   11:45 PM PST
 
Hubby and I are military retirees. No irrational fear of service, we did our time in the George Sr. version Iraq.1. My hubby even voted Dubbya in...he regrets it now.

I support our troops, They should be brought home...we did our job, they had their damned elections...let them take care of themselves. Team America anyone?

Anyway...great movie, Most especially Stephen Fry, very touching and sweet, he has always been regulated in UK television in comic turns, Wooster & Jeeves, Blackadder etc....though his Oscar Wilde a few years back was critically acclaimed he hadn't caught US audience's eye, unlike his friend Hugh Laurie (Fox's House)

His character Gordon, a repressed and saddened man living undercover, doing approved material, is emboldened by V's example to do the uncensored show, confident that his ratings and fame will keep any real harm from befalling him....Brilliant.

This movie is very, very, very good.
JM
March 24, 2006   12:43 AM PST
 
>My hubby even voted Dubbya
>in...he regrets it now.

I find it interesting that Liberals always try to establish their bona fides by making this claim. It's one of the classic Liberal arguing techniques, which I call "Wear Hawk's Clothing."

>They should be brought home

And so they will. But not with the job half-done, with the Iraq military only partially trained, with the government just starting to gel. That would be ridiculous. We're only halfway done there. And that has nothing to do with V

>we did our job, they had their
>damned elections.

"Damned elections..." interesting turn of phrase. You think that's all there is to recovering from three decades of tyranny, do you? Have an election and everything's perfect now? You think that's what Iraq was all about, having "their damned elections?"

>Most especially Stephen Fry

Steven Fry is great; always loved him in the Black Adder series. Haven't seen his Wilde yet.
cat!
April 3, 2006   01:08 AM PDT
 
I fully understand that the original story line was altered when dropped into the hands of hollywood, but V for Vendetta was a powerful movie. Most people that see it won't take in the meaning of the story, but I know that I thought it was amazing.

I loved how the speech of the movie was put on a higher comprehension level compared to normal american slander that's common in today's movies. 'V's character was perfect, every word he said had a deeper meaning.

The story line was awesome.

great movie, astonishing.
JM
April 3, 2006   02:11 AM PDT
 
>I fully understand that the original
>story line was altered ... but

See, it's the "but" that does you in. Without reading another word, I already know you're about to say that the fact the story was altered to push an agenda doesn't matter, because it was important that the agenda be pushed.

>but V for Vendetta was a powerful
>movie

Powerful propaganda, you mean. If the book was so good, why change it? If the new story is so powerful and needs to be told, why disguise it behind another story entirely?

>Most people that see it won't take
>in the meaning of the story

Ahh, yes... common people are stupid, but you're obviously better than they are.

>the speech of the movie was put
>on a higher comprehension level
>compared to normal american
>slander that's common in today's
>movies

Well, there you have it, folks. Throw in a little poetry and high-sounding phraselogy, and the elitists will swallow whatever you're selling without an overly critical examination.
 

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