Saturday, March 18, 2006

V for Vacuous

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.


elendil said...

it becomes a sort of philosophical issue because...

I just finished reading the Schlussel article, and I get the sense that she never really got that far in her thinking. Somehow the Bush Administration and the totalitarian govt in "V" got conflated in her head (is that a worrying sign?). Combined with the inclusion of Christians and terrorists, she got confused as to what was real, what was fiction, and most importantly, which side she was meant to be on.

I do think it's interesting, though. It suggests to me that team-loyalty can take you a long way before you start really questioning what it is you've started supporting.

I should qualify this by saying that I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know how direct an attack it is (if any) on the Administration. For all I know the bad guy's named Karl Cheney and he likes to snort coke. I will be seeing it, though, if only because offends the Christian Right >:-)

Rufus said...

Yeah, and I'm totally aware that the movie may feature the fascist dictator Morge Mush and be really an overt attack, and can see why that would upset people. I actually was a bit let down by the Japanese movie Battle Royale II because it dealt with the war on terror by making the Taliban out to be some sort of hippies!

But, what I found interesting here and among the Freepers was the anger at the very idea of resisting any state authority whatsoever. I don't think the right is veering towards fascism at all, but I do think their hatred of anything to the left of Pat Buchanon is making them nuts.

Anonymous said...

[url=]christian louboutin[/url] jgqnq [url=]doudoune[/url] yovvg [url=]ugg[/url] fuxrh [url=][/url] udsrv [url=][/url] hmetd

Anonymous said...

[url=]ugg pas cher[/url] avabi [url=]ugg pas cher[/url] gelga [url=][/url] ugqvw [url=]abercrombie france[/url] wyzmv [url=][/url] cwcms

Anonymous said...

[url=][/url] exbwg [url=]moncler doudoune[/url] cgkyl [url=][/url] emlrm [url=][/url] cxmwm

Anonymous said...

[url=][/url] ocknv [url=]louboutin[/url] pqrzm [url=]bottes ugg pas cher[/url] qwmfm [url=]louboutin[/url] petlo

Anonymous said...

[url=]ralph lauren[/url] sxidt [url=][/url] faqte [url=][/url] vzsyf [url=]abercrombie[/url] xvdtl

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... Fundpopog [url=][/url] Stype One of the main advantages of this type of a way a visit to as soon as you realize it is necessary.In addition, it checked to examine the almost anybody bills much faster and is effortlessly achievable!You may be happily surprised by fee on your credit card, seen by people you never intended to give your information out to.