“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Yes. They really, really should.
Remember, remember, the Fifth of November:
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
If any of this seems familiar to you, you may or may not wish to read on. If it doesn’t seem familiar to you, then you have an OBLIGATION to read on. Make of it what you will, but take in what is meant:
“Our story begins, as these stories often do, with a young up-and-coming politician. He’s a deeply religious man and a member of the conservative party. He is completely single-minded convictions and has no regard for the political process. Eventually, his party launches a special project in the name of ‘national security’. At first, it is believed to be a search for biological weapons and it is pursued regardless of its cost. However, the true goal of the project is power, complete and total hegemonic domination. The project, however, ends violently… but the efforts of those involved are not in vain, for a new ability to wage war is born from the blood of one of their victims. Imagine a virus — the most terrifying virus you can, and then imagine that you and you alone have the cure. But if your ultimate goal is power, how best to use such a weapon? It is at this point in our story that along comes a spider. He is a man seemingly without a conscience; for whom the ends always justify the means and it is he who suggests that their target should not be an enemy of the country but rather the country itself. Three targets are chosen to maximize the effect of the attack: a school, a tube station, and a water-treatment plant. Several hundred die within the first few weeks. Until at last the true goal comes into view. Before the St. Mary’s crisis, no one would have predicted the outcome of the elections. No one. But after the election, lo and behold, a miracle. Some believed that it was the work of God himself, but it was a pharmaceutical company controlled by certain party members made them all obscenely rich. But the true genius of the plan was the fear. A year later, several extremists are tried, found guilty, and executed while a memorial is built to canonize their victims. Fear became the ultimate tool of this government. And through it our politician was ultimately appointed to the newly created position of High Chancellor. The rest, as they say, is history.”
— V: [Disguised as William Rookwood, meeting with Inspector Finch], “V for Vendetta”
— — — — — -
I wonder when, then, we can expect the Norsefire Party and High Chancellor Sutt — I mean, our proudly nationalist GOP and its oxygen-deprived, orange figurehead to release the U.S. version of the Saint Mary’s virus? Because that IS all we’re waiting for from these ass-clowns and their stupidly spiteful and selfish cult of followers. Followers who are so eager to give up their essential liberty — so long as the Other Guy has theirs stripped away, first — to purchase temporary safety.
These pathetically dog-natured cretins, who believe only in the power of the most brutal and bullying pack — THEY, as Benjamin Franklin opined, deserve neither. But the rest of us . . . those of us who believe liberty and justice, peace and power can only be bought with constant questioning and self-examination, striving and vigilance . . . FOR those of us and TO those of us, I would say, with as much honesty and humility as I have in me:
“I thought we could mark this November the Fifth, a day that is, sadly, a day that is no longer remembered by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and, for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?”
— V [Broadcasting to London over the BTN], “V for Vendetta”
Yes, there is. I won’t rant about all the wrong here, because if I have to . . . you’ll never acknowledge it. And probably would’ve stopped reading this article by now, anyway.
I have, in part, failed in my own attempts at vigilance. I let the Fifth pass quietly by choice this year — unforgotten and not unobserved. Silence was, this time, an act of survival and self-protection. A compromise, yes, but in an effort to only use the power of my Voice to inflame ideas and sew hope. NOT merely to blow off steam and stoke directionless anger — encourage rage against and resistance to the very ideas I mean to see take root.
No matter the words and ideas, if the intent behind them isn’t well-meaning in some way, I do my best to remain silent until it is. Fact, truth, and relevance, with an aim to better a situation. Even rage may have a use and positive direction, if one cares to search for that use and direction. Or make it. This Fifth, I was in no shape to do either. I’m not particularly in a shape to do either now, but my intentions have shifted somewhat, if not mellowed. They are banked embers, not inane ash. And they are, most importantly, well-meant. I couldn’t do good with my intentions or words or ideas on the Fifth. The Nineteenth feels like a different day, so to speak.
“. . . More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.”
— V [Broadcasting to London over the BTN], “V for Vendetta”
The saving grace of a compromise is that . . . though there IS some letting-down of a principle involved, there’s also another opportunity to uphold that principle, even if in a smaller way. At least, there is if one is compromising in good faith. So, beetle is always late, but never NEVER . . . and on the Nineteenth of November, I would like to encourage you to look and read, know and speak. Examine. Compare. Remember. Receive this as you will — as rhetoric or rant or rallying cry for a revolution . . . but hopefully with good heart and good intentions. And, hopefully, to fuel good. . . .