Thursday, March 09, 2006

D for Doctrinaire

I hadn't originally planned on seeing V for Vendetta, as I'm a big fan of Alan Moore and somewhat bothered by the fact that he distanced himself from the project, but after having read a hilariously ironic attack on the film for being anti-statist and and anti-authority on a site named, of all things, Libertas, how could I resist?

What's great about the review? Not one single word is given to the actual quality of the film as a film. It's just a stream of spittle-flecked invective, as seen here:

In the world of “V” anyone who is deemed an “enemy of the state” (specifically we are shown gay couples…and more gay couples) mysteriously contracts an incurable disease that we learn was created by — everyone sing along now — the evil Conservatives. Lions and Tigers and Elephants, oh my. Again, subtlety is not a gift of the writers or director. The paranoid message is that AIDS was created by conservatives to kill off all them heathen, immoral “fags.” Never mind that the conservative Bush administration has spent more money on AIDS research than the Clinton administration. But when facts get in the way of your fear-mongering, bury the facts.
So we've got a few words on a concept from the film, one that isn't even that rare in SF, and somehow it becomes about AIDS research spending by Bush v. Clinton? Never mind the fact that conservative hero Reagan wouldn't even admit that it's a problem, what the hell does it have to do with AIDS, and who on the left has ever actually believed that AIDS was created to kill gays? AIDS' genesis by a sentient creator is a fantasy of the RIGHT, not the left.

(Of course, the real problem he could have is anybody claiming that conservatives have an eliminationist attitude towards liberals. Don't know where they could have got that idea. .)

And then there's the issue of faith. He does make the case that the movie attacks the idea of faith (including, yes, Christianity) used as a means of supporting totalitarianism. Might have been more compelling if he hadn't responded to an imagined connection between conservatism and Nazism in the film by attempting to make the case that Liberals are Nazis due to the ACLU's "attacks on Christianity"- but he did make the case. Unfortunately, it's a pointless one. Yes, Religion is used as a tool of repression, and there's nothing new about that. I realize that many conservatives of this stripe see Communists everywhere, and Communists didn't use faith as a tool, but you'd be hard pressed to find any other repressive regime that didn't. A much more effective critique of the film would be that it's unsurprising and uninteresting, but instead, we get frothing idiocy from somebody whose desperate defense of an increasingly bankrupt philosophy knows no bounds.

That there's a heaping helping of censorious "this film should not have been greenlit by Time-Warner, because it puts someone I don't like in a good light and I like censorship as long as it isn't overt" twaddle only seals the deal.

So, yeah, I'm gonna go see V, if only to spite this foaming little tool and every other "conservative" who hates free speech and free expression.

(Free bonus: check out the "state's rights" loons in his comments, who somehow segue from a British film to the "war of northern aggression", for a little free comedy. Sometimes, I really do get why high-profile conservatives avoid comments on their blogs.)

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