V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

We went to see the movie “V for Vendetta” today. I chose this one for several reasons.

First, it was written by the Wachowski Brothers. Name sound familiar? It should. They made the Matrix series. The Matrix is a favorite of many in this group as it injected mystery and philosophy into the script, which made many think more deeply about life than before.

I therefore expected this movie to provide a couple good hours of provoking entertainment. I was not disappointed.

The second reason I wanted to see this was because of the political and religious implications of the story line. It is quite possible that this movie will have a wide-ranging influence for either good or evil. I wanted to be able to judge accurately what that influence will be.

If we put politics and philosophy aside and judge it on objective quality and entertainment value then it was quite a good movie. Not as good as the first Matrix, but as good as the second and third ones. I would rate it three and a half stars out of four.

One thing that pleasantly surprised me was it contained more dialog and story line than pure action as is the case in so many movies today. The action sequences were great and more enjoyable because there were speaking parts and character development between them. We got to know V, his history and why he thinks and acts the way he does. Ironically, the hero V was played by Hugo Weaving who played Agent Smith, the arch villain in Matrix.

The second major character was Evey played by Natalie Portman who was Queen Padmé Naberrie in the Star Wars series. She was the love interest of Darth Vader and now she is the love interest of V. Her character was also well developed, as movies go, and we got to know her as a person.

The basic plot is this: The year is 2020 and America has basically collapsed as a superpower and is involved in a civil war, but not before it exported a virus to the corrupt English government which used it to kill 80,000 of its own people and then blame it on terrorists. The English were then willing to support a right wing Christian dictator who became a Hitler type figure in the movie. He particularly persecuted gays and people who have copies of the Koran.

V was a part of a forced medical experiment by the government and was horribly burned in a fire. He barely survived, but with a determination to destroy the government in the hopes that a better one would rise from its ashes.

His love interest, Evey, challenged this belief by saying that whenever she has seen a government destroyed it is replaced by something worse, not better. I found this to be one of the more profound statements in the movie.

This doesn’t shake V’s belief and goal which is to blow up both houses of Parliament on the 5th of November next which would be the anniversary of Guy Fawkes attempt to do this in 1607.

In fact, V patterned himself after Guy Fawkes and sought to consummate the failed goal that he had. He even wore a Guy Fawkes mask throughout the movie to hide his hideously burned face.

There are a number of things that bother me about this movie.

[1] This movie makes a terrorist appear to be a great hero at a time when terrorism is such a threat that it could destroy our society as we know it with something much worse than we have now to replace it. In fact, the movie was ready to be released last year around the time of the subway bombings, but was put on hold until the heat around that blew over. Here is a quote from V justifying his actions: “Blowing up a building can change the world.” Blowing up a building creates change all right, but it is usually for the worse. For example, the blowing up of the federal building in Oklahoma or the destruction of the Twin Towers didn’t improve the world for anyone. The trouble with such an effective and professional glorification of a terrorist is that it is likely to inspire some potential terrorists who are now on the fence.

Unfortunately, there are many people ignorant of what the Nazis were really like who equate the current government with Hitler’s Germany and would be happy to blow something up if it hurts political leaders they do not like. If this becomes a cult classic it could influence young people to become terrorists for generations to come. I think they could have made V a much greater hero if he used less violent methods to fight the government. For one thing, in one scene he took over the government controlled broadcasting and put his message of government corruption on TV to all the homes. With more of this type of creativity he could have been an example of a more positive way to fight injustice.

[2] The core idea behind the movie is laced with hypocrisy. It is this: V a cool philosopher, is like Guy Fawkes and is fighting against religious fanatics in government. The truth is that Guy Fawkes was a Catholic religious fanatic who was intolerant of the less suppressive Protestant rule in England and sought to put the Catholics back in power by blowing up Parliament. If he had succeeded the people would have suffered more oppression because the Catholics at the time were less tolerant and more rigid in their thought than the Protestants, who broke off from the mother Church to establish greater, not less freedom. It is thus ironical that V wants to fight fanatics by imitating a fanatic. To this day Guy Fawkes is seen as a villain by the English and each year they celebrate November 5th as Guy Fawkes Day. When I was there in the Sixties, they had great bonfires on every street burning effigies of Guy Fawkes. The smoke was so great it filled the air and created a mist over the land. Many also set off fireworks and this day was the closest thing they had to our Fourth of July, as far as celebration goes. I understand that because of pollution problems that there aren’t many bonfires any more, but it was quite a sight in the old days.

[3] This movie follows the Hollywood stereotype of right wing conservatives and business people making them look like the most evil people on the planet. They even had an evil talk show guy hooked on drugs that was supposed to be like Rush Limbaugh that V killed. What’s odd here is that most left leaning people who claim to be for peace will cheer V and his violent methods on through the movie, but the guy V is fighting is much more like Saddam Hussein than any Christian leader in the world. And what did the left do when Bush drove Saddam out of power? Did they cheer him on? Of course not. If they did not accept violence of war to remove Saddam then why accept the violence of V toward one who is not as bad as the former Iraqi dictator?

[4] Christians are slandered in the movie. First, they are portrayed as so intolerant that Christian leaders prohibit free speech and make it a crime to have a copy of the Koran. Christians have their faults, but there is no evidence that they would take things this far. Every President of the United States and most leaders in England have been Christians and none have shown such a tendency. On the other hand, many Muslim countries make it a crime to investigate or convert to Christianity, sometimes punishable by death. Christians are portrayed as so intolerant of gays that they are willing to persecute them unto prison and death. The truth is that again it is many Muslims, not Christians, who are willing to persecute gays. For example, it was the Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani of Iraq who said that “gays should be killed in the worst possible way”. It is true that many Christians are not accepting of the gay lifestyle, but few want them persecuted or imprisoned.

Conclusion: It is obvious that the intent of the writers was to create a movie that would warn us of steps we are now taking that could lead to a dictatorship. Unfortunately, they are warning us of branches of evil rather than the root. I guarantee that they who lean to the traditional left and support forced socialism and sympathize with communism will love the agenda of this movie. The ironical thing is that the Nazi type government which they profess to want to avoid is socialistic. Many forget that the Nazi party was called “National SOCIALISM.”

We are in much more danger of turning into Nazi’s through the creeping advance of forced socialism which ever increases our taxes and diminishes our freedoms. These advocates also seek to take away our freedom of speech by telling us what we can and cannot say in the form of what is politically correct. They even seek to control our thoughts by categorizing some crimes as “hate crimes” because of what the person was thinking when the crime was committed. This direction should terrify any freedom loving person.

Overall I loved the movie as entertainment, but am concerned that some 5th of November we will see another 911 calamity on TV which was inspired by it.

People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people. A quote from “V” from the movie “Vendetta”.

March 26, 2006

Copyright by J J Dewey

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Christmas Message 2022

This entry is part 27 of 28 in the series Christmas Messages

Dec 25, 2022

Christmas Message 2022

Bill turned off the TV and sat back in his chair. He had just finished watching the news on Christmas Eve and was pretty frustrated. This was supposed to be the season where we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace and messenger of love, but all around him he saw no evidence of peace or love. In the past 24 hours through television and the internet he witnessed tremendous suffering and destruction through war, gang murders, drugs, the virus along with lots of political conflict.

Rather than give a prayer of thanks this season Bill felt more like telling God off for not making this world a better place. It seemed to him that God was not doing his job and just letting chaos reign. Then the more he thought about it the more he sided with the idea that there must not even be anyone up there extending a hand to help us out.

He had enough, He looked to the skies and raised his fist and shouted: “All right God; I’ve had enough. You’re either not there or you just don’t care. The world is going to hell and the only thing your Son can be prince of here is chaos. What do you have to say for yourself?”

Bill stared upward in a moment of silence and then said with a perverse satisfaction: “I thought so. You are saying and doing nothing.” Then he shouted at the top of his lungs, “Do you hear that NOTHING! You are a nothing God!”

Bill slouched back in his chair and wept. It was as if he had lost all hope in the world as well as God. He had never felt such despair.

He just sat still for a couple moments soaking in his thoughts when at the core of his being he felt something. It seemed familiar though he was sure he had never felt it in his mortal life. He paid attention. It was some type of living vibration that seemed to bring a sense of peace that was increasing.

“What is this?” thought Bill. “In the midst of my turmoil I feel a great inner peace like I have never felt before.” He couldn’t resist putting his attention on it, and as he did he registered a clear communication.

“Focus on the peace that never fails.”

On hearing this he increased his focus and the peace increased beyond anything had felt before.

Next, he registered these words: “Take my hand.”

“Hand? What hand?” he thought.

He then looked upward and saw a cloud of light. He had the feeling that he was supposed to reach into the cloud. He did so and felt a strong grip take hold of him, which seemed to pull him right out of his body into the cloud.

Suddenly he found himself in a land of beauty beyond description standing next to a being of light. He found he could see in all directions and clearly in any distance. He could see millions of people living in peace and harmony in a land of beauty which provided for the needs of all.

“What is this place?” Bill exclaimed.

“This is the earth a thousand years from now,” came the response.

“And who are you?”

“I am that Prince of Peace that you were cursing.”

So, you are real after all? Then why do we have to wait a thousand years? Can’t you just use your powers to end suffering on earth now?

Humanity can receive guidance but freewill must be maintained or the peace and happiness you see about you cannot exist. The only way for even God to solve the problems of humanity is to take away free will and force you to do good.”

“That may not be such a bad idea,” Bill mused.

“In this vast universe every possible solution has been tried. Let us visit a planet where strong leaders took away free will in an attempt to force people to behave correctly.

Immediately, they ascended and appeared on another planet. Bill again found that he could see far distances in all directions. He saw that on this planet here were no wars and conflict was not allowed, but the people seemed depressed and the very life force of the land seemed low and lacking color.

The Prince spoke, “These people have no free will over major decisions and have not yet had the joy of overcoming and mastering their problems. All solutions seem to come from outside themselves causing them to feel as if they are drifting in a void. Come, let us visit another place.”

Again they were taken to another planet, but this one was even more beautiful than the future earth. Bill saw perfection that was beyond anything he had imagined and the people had almost godlike powers. If they needed to travel a thousand miles they could just think themselves there and everyone communicated with an advanced telepathy where misunderstanding was impossible.

“What a terrific place,” said Bill.

“But it was not always so,” said the Prince. In their early days they had terrible conflicts that make your present conflicts seem mild. But they endured and became masters of the situation and solved their problems. These efforts through free will opened the door to the joyful living experience they now have. The previous civilization we visited is about the same age but the tight controls limited their progress. Which would you prefer for results; the previous world or this one?

“This one, of course,” said Bill. “I see now that the struggle and solving our own problems may be a necessary step if real progression is to be obtained.

“Yes,” came the reply. “Consider the lesson of the caterpillar. If we try and help it break free from its cocoon it will die. It needs the struggle to gain the strength to turn into a beautiful butterfly. Even so, humanity has its problems, but they need the struggle to transform the earth and its people into a place of wonderful existence. I’ve shown you these things to give you hope that you can share with others. You can make a much greater difference than you realize, so go forth my friend and do your part.”

Immediately, Bill was back in his body, sitting in his chair. He still felt a residual peace from the experience. He now saw that all his doubt and complaining just added to earth’s problems and he made the determination that from this point on he was going to do his part to make the world a better place. It wouldn’t be easy but that view of the earth 1000 years from now gave him the faith he needed.