Sunday, January 8, 2012

V For Occupy

When Alan Moore was asked about the movie rendition of his graphic novel that was “V For Vendetta”, he said the American producers had played it too safe. The movie was made during the Bush Era, in the aftermath of 9/11, when even US hard-lined critics of the American regime and especially the Republican Administration that was in power seemed to fall in line with the official line, at least for a number of years, until it became clear that the War On Terror was another mirage which they had fallen for.
Moore disliked that the movie was set in England, whereas he felt that the woo of the world was truly in the United States. Fast-forward to the early fall of 2011, however, when it became clear that the movie was able to inspire millions as the masks that V wore during the movie became the face of the Occupy Movement which started in Wall Street. Indeed, TIME Magazine decided to name the Person of the Year 2011 “the protester”. The Year of Protest began on January 25, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt, blossoming into the Arab Spring and growing into a Western World Fall – though by the time winter came, certain key observations could be made.
For one, Moore had adopted the movement that had adopted his mask and the message that had been sent into the world via the movie. Secondly, the Occupy Movement had taken root in numerous countries – more than 2000 cities, it is claimed – and in most countries, the authorities did not know how to handle it. In London, it caused tremendous conflict within the hallowed walls of St Paul’s Cathedral, leading to two prominent religious leaders of that community stepping down over the manner in which the reaction to the protest movement had been handled.
In late 2011, especially the US Government came down on the protesters, most visibly in California and New York. It soon emerged that rather than a local idea, this was a co-ordinated effort, apparently instigated by none other than the White House. A White House which in the past years has received widespread condemnation as they feel that few if any of the promises Obama put forward during his presidential campaign in 2008 have come true.
But what emerged in late 2011 was, specifically, that the 99 percent identified with V and were apparently ready for a vendetta against the 1 percent. Indeed, when one was confronted with the harsh reality that the richest 400 Americans – indeed: 400 – have the same amount of money as the poorest 150 million citizens, there has to be something seriously wrong. In short, that are 150 million Americans with no hope for a better future, except if the balance of power becomes radically different and there are few means through which this can be done. Amongst the means known to the masses, it seems, is specifically the means put forward by V and his Vendetta. And though whereas that is largely set in London, in 2011, it became applicable – largely – to the streets of New York. So Moore had his dream come true.
So far, the 99 percent has lost out to the status quo, largely because the audacity of the protest is still ruled by fear. Revolutions only occur when the fearless and/or those with nothing to lose take to the streets and demand a future for themselves. That is the type of protester that took to the streets in Cairo and succeeded in bringing about change. And so whereas so far we have identified V For Vendetta as the image that rallied people into protest, we have forgotten that other aspect of the movie, which is how Evy and V become reborn, when they let go of their fear, become void of the F of Fear. It is the single most important ingredient… but maybe that is what will happen in 2012. Maybe the TwelF of 2012 will be about conquering Fear.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.