Wow! This really is the era of the conniption fit, isn't it? I keep wondering if I should really blog every time some idiot is scared by art and shrieks like a howler monkey. It's certainly worth pushing for the Enlightenment against the conspiracy-mongers, superstitious freaks, and assorted wingnuts. But, are these people really worth sweating over?
Okay, I think this one is interesting, if only for what it says about these people's psychology.
They're now they're blowing a gasket over V for Vendetta, another comic book movie for a generation that hasn't the literacy to read a whole comic book, nor the patience to watch an adult movie. Apparently, the movie takes place in an alternate-history version of Britain in which the government has gone totalitarian and the heroes are fighting for their freedom. So, the heroes are terrorists against a totalitarian government. Now, I'm guessing that the film will include some swipes against the War on Terror to upset conservatives, and honestly, I'm a bit bored of the "they're coming for our freedoms!" argument too, especially because it often comes from people who personally will never do anything more transgressive than surfing for internet porn.
But, what's interesting is that the people who are freaking out about the movie are forced then to support a theoretical totalitarian state as being preferable to resistance to a theoretical totalitarian state. Bloganderthal Debbie Schlussel writes:
"Terrorists and terrorism are the heroes, the government fighting them and trying to keep us safe are the enemy."
Now, strangely enough, it becomes a sort of philosophical issue because we have to accept that the existence of a fascist totalitarian government is preferable to violence committed against that government. What's doubly strange about this is that the US is in Iraq having dismantled a totalitarian state, and a good justification of that is the argument that even the relative chaos of the current situation is preferable to life under a fascist totalitarianism.
The question is: Would it be better to live under a fascist totalitarianism if you knew that you might personally be kept safe, or allow terrorist violence against that state to be committed? The bloganderthals seem to want us to choose the former without even considering the latter.
So, a lot of people are taking the authoritarian argument- that "authority" must, above all, be respected at all times, and that any attack against that authority is, de facto, terrorism. So, even say in the Stalinist USSR, it would be illegitimate to attack authority, which existed solely to "keep us safe". And that's interesting.