V for Vendetta

January 23rd, 2006

V for Vendetta CoverThere are 6 books that have influenced me greatly. 4 of them are comics.

V for Vendetta is one of the comic books. The other three came out more or less the same time. Most comic affectionados would be able to guess the other three.

Anyway, V for V represents to me a naive yet chilling satire of the future. Naive, in the sense that Britain is the sole survivor of a war world with nuclear weapons.

Like Alan Moore, in his retrospective, I do not think that surviving a nuclear world war is possible.

V de VendettaIn any case, it opened my eyes to what I playfully (usually) call "creeping facism". Or what is known as "salami tactics".

Slice by slice, bit by bit, your freedom and rights are removed for "the good of the nation" and "for your protection".

But of course, not everyone is so "lucky" to receive such "protection". Or as Orwell noted, "Some animals are created more equal".

The sad fact noted in the book is that some of the people who strive very hard for the good of the people really do believe in what they do is for the good of the nation.

Such is the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Such is the setting of the book.

Even though it was written in the 80’s, many parallels can be drawn from this book to present-day organizations, governments and other regimes, from the secret police, heavily-controlled media, planned economy etc. In fact, some people might condemn V for V as a justification for terrorism.

However, if that is done, then the point the book is trying to make is lost.

V making his pointUnfortunately, that point was made, in issue 5, or more appropriately, issue V. This is because, according to the comics bookshop, issue V was banned in Singapore.

Once you have read it (it’s freely available now at all good bookshops as a trade paperback, so grab it while you can), it is upsetting.

It is upsetting because the common everyday person wishes or dreams that somewhere hidden in a dark smoky room, there is a group of faceless men smoking cigars, drinking fine Cognac, conspiring and controlling the events and politics of our lives and everything "bad" like the increase of GST from 3 to 5% or alien slave markings on our left shoulders etc.

It is simply not true.

In what I consider to be the finest piece of satire in comics format (Alan Moore used the "Employee Review" as a vehicle), the blame is placed squarely on our shoulders.

Everything that has happened to us, we allowed it to be.

We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

Or the Wachowskis, if they dare to spoil a classic such as V for V.

Leave a Reply