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November 12, 2006 9:34 AM   Subscribe

"V" makes a visit (and the Secret Service responds).
posted by moonbird (44 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Remember, remember the 6th of November? The 14th? Strange, something sounds off... Why did they choose those days? In particular why is the bigger protest on the 14th, which is 9 days later than V's day (well, Guy Fawkes' day, but whatever)?
posted by arcticwoman at 9:43 AM on November 12, 2006


That was actually relatively interesting.

It was good that they didn't try to demonize the security forces. They only tried to give an account what happened.
posted by Alex404 at 9:50 AM on November 12, 2006


I know it's not the point of the article, but these repeated references to folks saying they'd "seen the movie" is a bit irritating when "V" first appeared in comics decades ago.

Fanboy gripes aside, I must say I'm quite impressed with the majority of the law enforcement personnel "V" encountered. I would have expected a hell of a lot more harrassment.

Which I suppose speaks to the point of this entire protest, when we live in times where it's impressive that law enforcement doesn't crap all over the constitution just because they can.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:53 AM on November 12, 2006


The movie sucked, but god I love that mask...

It's tempting to disdainfully point out how the entire exercise, even as peaceful protest, contradicts the anarchist message of the graphic novel. But it still took some courage, and any use of art to inspire political activism is good in my book. With luck, the mask will become a rallying symbol for protest against our government's current authoritarian course.
posted by gsteff at 10:12 AM on November 12, 2006


You've got to be kidding.
posted by davy at 10:25 AM on November 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Some enterprising person could probably make good cash by showing up at D.C.'s Lafayette Park on the morning of the 14th. with "V" masks, capes and hats for sale.
posted by ericb at 10:26 AM on November 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


The crowd by the White House gates also included activist Cindy Sheehan and her supporters who were demonstrating nearby and had gathered to observe the incident between “V” and the Secret Service. They let out a cheer as the SS agent stood down and returned the plastic knives.

That was the day Sheehen and 50 others were arrested for throwing anti-war petitions over the White House gates and then engaging in a "sit-in".
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:44 AM on November 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


November 5th was a Sunday. The buildings would not have been open for business. November 14th is a business week +1 day.
posted by The White Hat at 11:27 AM on November 12, 2006


would have expected a hell of a lot more harrassment.

for wearing a mask?
posted by matteo at 11:44 AM on November 12, 2006


Absolute waste of time -- except as pure symbolism. Theatrical, yes, but isn't the "proper" way to petition the government for redress of grievances via the legal system, ie, filing a lawsuit?

Oh, and the mask is lame.
posted by davidmsc at 11:44 AM on November 12, 2006


I like how it's all about "have you seen the movie"
never mind Alan Moore's work.
It's all complicated and shit.
good for this 'V', though.
posted by Busithoth at 12:25 PM on November 12, 2006


I'm with davidmsc. The costume is only effective if the presentation is simple, dramatic and charismatic. The submission of a petition in such a manner is none of these things and the whole thing comes of as amateurish, unoriginal and disingenuous. What people such as this overlook over and over and over again is the fact that actions such as dressing up in a V costume is breaking a social contract of sorts and engaging power structures rather than procedural, bureaucratic ones. Show up in normal dress and you'll engage procedure. Show up with fake daggers and lame posturing and out come the wolves.

Meh.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:31 PM on November 12, 2006


I know it's not the point of the article, but these repeated references to folks saying they'd "seen the movie" is a bit irritating when "V" first appeared in comics decades ago.

Well, the popularity of the V mask has exploded since the movie came out. I doubt this "protest" would have ever even happened if not for the movie. And even if it had, could you imagine them saying "you know, V. From the comics" to the secret service? They'd probably be hogtied and pepper sprayed.
posted by bob sarabia at 12:35 PM on November 12, 2006


bob s. - a true fanboy does not let such logic complicate his plans. I'd like to see a rally with protestors dressed like Dr. Midnite, The Thunderer and Mr. Terrific (the golden age version, thank you). Such is the way of Nerd Cred.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:49 PM on November 12, 2006


davidmsc and jimmythefish -- May be worth checking out the rest of their site. I can't say that I fully understand, but there does seem to be some point to the way they're going about things, rather than it being a "Golly, let's wear this rebel mask" sort of thing.
posted by VulcanMike at 1:25 PM on November 12, 2006


Show up in normal dress and you'll engage procedure. Show up with fake daggers and lame posturing and out come the wolves.

Their point is publicity. We're talking about it now. Seems like it worked at least somewhat. Do you really think that anybody would find out about some guy in a normal dress trying to deliver some papers? Or care to learn more if they did?

To the fans here, I've seen the movie and I liked it a lot. But I don't know anything about comics. Can you get the whole story as a single book, or do you have to go hunt down every single issue from the 80's to 90's?
posted by c13 at 1:36 PM on November 12, 2006


Can you get the whole story as a single book

Yes, from any comics store.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:57 PM on November 12, 2006


It's compiled into a graphic novel -- I'd recommend buying it at your local comic/game store if possible, but here's the Amazonpage for it.
posted by AdamJ at 1:57 PM on November 12, 2006


Their point is publicity. We're talking about it now. Seems like it worked at least somewhat. Do you really think that anybody would find out about some guy in a normal dress trying to deliver some papers? Or care to learn more if they did?

To the fans here, I've seen the movie and I liked it a lot. But I don't know anything about comics. Can you get the whole story as a single book, or do you have to go hunt down every single issue from the 80's to 90's?


Publicity to what end? To make people aware of their constitutionally-held right to petition? They're preaching to the converted. If it's a problem with a legal channel they're exposing then someone in gov't is much more likely to listen to due process than any theatrical nonsense.

Like I said - dramatic and forceful this was not. Their website is beyond the level of mere shit. That 30-minute video needs to be about 3 minues long. At publicity they suck big balls. Again, meh.
posted by jimmythefish at 2:17 PM on November 12, 2006


Publicity to what end? To make people aware of their constitutionally-held right to petition? They're preaching to the converted.

So everyone clicking on this link is already familiar with the nuances of such rights and proceduress? Do you really believe this?
posted by Space Coyote at 2:22 PM on November 12, 2006


The submission of a petition in such a manner is none of these things and the whole thing comes of as amateurish, unoriginal and disingenuous.

VS all the other petitions served and covered in the news/here on The Blue.

IF you want to show how petitioning in this manner doesn't work, by all means do such.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:33 PM on November 12, 2006


Publicity to what end?

Well, from reading the link, it appears that quite a few people are NOT familiar with some pretty basic stuff, so no, they are not preaching to the converted. Secondly, and it is just my opinion, part of their reason for seeking publicity was for it's own sake. One does not go around Washington D.C. delivering petitions to completely separate parts of the government to expose some particular problem. Nor, I'm pretty sure, do they really expect some concrete change.
Their method may be suboptimal, but hey, I know about them now, and you do, even if you think it's all bullshit, and so do many other people. As far as they are concerned ,  they've succseeded.

Oh, and thanks for the info about the book. Just ordered one.
Should be quite a change from a regular novel.
posted by c13 at 2:34 PM on November 12, 2006


If it's a problem with a legal channel they're exposing then someone in gov't is much more likely to listen to due process than any theatrical nonsense.
posted by jimmythefish at 2:17 PM PST


So you are saying because a petition has been served in the legal manner should be ignored if it is done with 'theatrical nonsense'?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:37 PM on November 12, 2006


Despite Alan Moore's annoyance at the film, and the way the filmmaker's manage to muddy up the original message, the V movie did one great thing -- it caused V masks to be made readily available for geeks like me to buy after coveting them for the last 20 years. (If only they had made them in a slightly smaller size. On me, that mask is huge.
posted by litlnemo at 3:00 PM on November 12, 2006


Ack. I do know how to use apostrophes. Filmmakers, not filmmaker's. Damn fingers, typing things they shouldn't!
posted by litlnemo at 3:08 PM on November 12, 2006


On me, that mask is huge.
posted by litlnemo


Make some posts that are marked as favorite by many people, and that mask will fit ya in no time!
posted by rough ashlar at 3:23 PM on November 12, 2006


Uh, no...what I'm saying is that due process + plastic knives + police officers is usually not doing yourself any favours vs. simple due process or wild publicity stunt. This is too middle-ground to be effective in any way. If you're doing this for shock effect then be prepared for some defensive behaviour from the police. There's an entire literature on the disconnect between due process and power structures. It's entirely unreasonable to expect any different in such a situation. He had every right to do that the way he did, but it's not really helping anyone. There's nothing to prove that hasn't already been proven before. Their approach isn't particularly effective as publicity, nor is it terribly efficient. It's way too middle ground. Therefore, meh.

So you are saying because a petition has been served in the legal manner should be ignored if it is done with 'theatrical nonsense'?
posted by jimmythefish at 3:38 PM on November 12, 2006


I like the part where they rip off the mask and it turns out they're evil lizard aliens underneath.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:04 PM on November 12, 2006


not doing yourself any favours vs. simple due process

Really? Ok, then please show where the other pettitions of redress have gotten responses. How about as a precentage of blow-offs VS actual responses?

There's nothing to prove that hasn't already been proven before.

That would be the ignoring part, right?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:15 PM on November 12, 2006


When I protest, I prefer to show up as Rorschach.
posted by quin at 5:03 PM on November 12, 2006


I thought Halloween was on October 31st. An interesting exercise, to be sure, but ultimately kind of pointless. I really should see the movie though.
posted by fenriq at 5:33 PM on November 12, 2006


rough ashlar, you're not understanding what I'm saying. I'm not arguing that spectacle can be effective. I'm saying that this particular spectacle isn't. It's just a bit amateurish and rather boring. If you're gonna rile someone up, do it right.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:11 PM on November 12, 2006


Well, the popularity of the V mask has exploded since the movie came out. I doubt this "protest" would have ever even happened if not for the movie. And even if it had, could you imagine them saying "you know, V. From the comics" to the secret service? They'd probably be hogtied and pepper sprayed.
posted by bob sarabia at 12:35 PM PST on November 12


For me it's more to do with the fact that V's been accepted by people who've only seen the film as some sort of romantic hero (since that's how the character is presented in the movie) rather than how the character is really presented and treated in the source text. Really though, so much of the movie involved ignoring the comic's main themes for the sake of being omgsokewl. That was ultimately made me dislike it, even though it's a decent film when taken by itself.

That and the fact that everyone seems to have latched onto that stupid opening speech.
posted by kosher_jenny at 6:27 PM on November 12, 2006


I'm saying that this particular spectacle isn't.

We are talking about it on the Blue, and I don't remembe r any talk here about the last times there were papers served.

That's OK, on the 14th there will be 100 V's trying the same thing.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:40 PM on November 12, 2006


I'm quite impressed with the majority of the law enforcement personnel "V" encountered. I would have expected a hell of a lot more harrassment.

Maybe, but you know that under their breath they were all saying "Gimme a reason, gimme a reason ya punk".

Nothing gets a lawman's blood up like a 5-on-1 ass thumpin' (innuendo intended).
posted by oncogenesis at 10:34 PM on November 12, 2006


I read the novel and loved it.
I saw the movie and liked it.
I skimmed this article and dug it (the message and the article).

Not a great comment as the Blue goes, but I wanted to say it.
posted by steelbuddha at 6:49 AM on November 13, 2006


I'm curious. Does the District of Columbia not have any laws about congregating in public places with masks? I.E., the laws passed to prevent the Ku Klux Klan from gathering with their hoods down?

A second observation, which I found amusing, was the V's inability to access the Congressional office buildings. They usually subsist of two capital police and an X-ray and metal detector. Anyone and their dog can gain ready access to the buildings as long as they don't have that gleaming dagger on their belt or the .45 in their briefcase. Once you get past these security points, there's not a security person in sight unless a hearing is going on, and then in front of the hearing room.

Otherwise, one is free to roam the hallways and walk right into the office of said senator or representative at will. The senate offices are large, but the representative offices are rather small, and if you wanted to go diving into the very room with your representative, I doubt the aide or two hanging around at the front desk could stop you.
posted by Atreides at 7:28 AM on November 13, 2006


:-{>-
posted by Smedleyman at 12:54 PM on November 13, 2006


(heh heh, lizards, heh)
posted by Smedleyman at 12:57 PM on November 13, 2006


You don't dive into a room with your representative... you plunge.

Sorry, wrong topic.
posted by j-dub at 1:18 PM on November 14, 2006


The Military Commissions Act in action
posted by homunculus at 9:49 PM on November 14, 2006


So did 100 V's show up yesterday?
posted by homunculus at 1:58 PM on November 15, 2006


They did!
posted by homunculus at 2:09 PM on November 19, 2006


Those V's will get you into trouble.
posted by DanTolumbro at 9:36 PM on November 24, 2006


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