A guest column by Jon Airheart
“Remember, Remember (the 5th of November)” is the battle cry of a masked man known only as V in the film V for Vendetta. The date serves as a historic anniversary of an act of civil disobedience in which freedom conquered tyranny — for a moment, anyway.
The date has lost all significance some hundreds of years later. It has all but been removed from history texts, in fact. It quickly becomes apparent that tyranny is alive and well in a futuristic England that is not all that futuristic at all thanks to its totalitarian government.
V is an eccentric enigma, clothed in all black, hell-bent on revenge and, ultimately, revolution. It turns out to be neither quick nor easy. But with a detailed plan and an unmatched determination, anything is possible.
The film refers to the United States as the former United States. We are alluded to as a 3rd world country in shambles.
I tried to play a song by America on my iPod recently and it couldn’t read it. It would just go to the next song. For some strange reason it didn’t recognize America.
I can relate.
If Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, or Tom Delay aren’t grabbing scandalous headlines, the president is by defending warrant-less wiretapping of American citizens or allowing foreign countries to manage our seaports. We pay some farmers not to grow crops, and arrest sick people for growing illegal ones. The Supreme Court thinks it’s okay to take your home and give it to a business to increase the tax base. In many cases people not only lose their homes to eminent domain abuse but they literally pay for it through corporate subsidies. The entire country used to be a free speech zone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now it’s a 15-square foot fenced in cage open from noon to four, Monday through Friday, that you need 2 forms of ID to get into. Then there’s the Patriot Act — unconstitutional legislation voted on by a Congress that didn’t even read it — and it was just renewed. And the economy? The Senate just voted to allow the national debt to swell to nearly $9 trillion. Every man, woman and child in America now owes $30,000 apiece. Is it a debt ceiling or a debt sunroof?
Back to my iPod story, it wound up getting worse. Where once was bountiful, beautiful music and easy to read digital data, there was now only weird sounds and frown faces. I tried to comprehend how and why it happened, to no avail. The initial experience put me in less than a good mood, needless to say. But the disparaging feeling did not last long at all. I remembered I had a warranty. One of two things will happen when I make the time to call Apple. It will either be fixed or I will get a new one.
America, the country, is not that different. We, too, have a warranty: The Constitution and its Bill of Rights. We just have to make the time to call our representatives and remember to vote. Two things can happen once again. Either our current members of Congress will shape up or they will be ridden out of town.
Two different characters mention in the film more than once that they do not believe in coincidence. The movie opened to audiences on March 17, the eve of the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The whole movie revolves around the past, present and future of a date in early November. This year, elections will be held across the nation on the 7th of November.
In the film, there is a shipping company called BFC that delivers items that help accelerate the tipping point of V’s revolution. In District 10 of Texas there is a political campaign called Badnarik for Congress that has the best chance this year to send a shock wave through the American political system, the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades.
Remember, remember – the 7th of November! This is the new battle cry of hope. Of change. Of freedom, not fear.