Thursday, March 23, 2006

How V got Castrated Part 1. The Stakes.

I went and saw "V for Vendetta" last night. I have also just reread the graphic novel. The movie is quite good. Has a great look, well played action sequences, and some very sharp dialogue. There were some changes to the movie, however, that I think neutered the points the Graphic novel was trying to make. In order to discuss them, however, I will, of necessity, reveal some of the mysteries of the movie. So if you haven't seen it yet, I advise you to go see it and then read this post.

This first change may seem minor, but it's significant enough in my mind. In the graphic novel, England is besieged by a nuclear winter. In the movie, evil fundamentalist conservatives let lose a disease in order to gain control. The change removes any real context in which the choice for freedom might be made.

You can have a debate over what sorts of measures might be necessary in the face of a real catastrophe. On the other hand, only a moral idiot could seriously grapple with the question of whether or not it would be acceptable to poison your own people in order to take control.

This question ties back to 9/11 naturally. Some believe that 9/11 was allowed to happen or caused by the Bush Administration. I find their arguments weak, but perhaps the makers of this movie put more stock in them. If the only real threat to America is the Bush administration than our course is clear.

On the other hand if international terrorism is a real problem (and, for the record, I believe it is), than the question becomes more complex. It's a matter of stakes. If there is no real danger, than turning off the "security" system is no problem. On the other hand if there is a real danger, than freedom becomes a risk. You have to decide how valuable you find freedom to be.

For the record I think freedom is valuable and worth fighting for. But I think it is foolish to cheapen freedom by suggesting it can come without price.

I'll write more this evening, as there is a larger problem with V's character, in my opinion.

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