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I watched V for Vendetta at the behest of my freshmen and found it not too bad.  At least it warns us of some of the excesses of government, and the fact that it was originally a comic book really blows my mind.  Young people read comic books and that genre of literature is really improving as evidenced by this movie.

My freshman students told me I would like V for Vendetta which I seriously doubted because it is from a comic book, for heavens sake!  But I did like it.  It's a revolutionary movie aimed at young people.  It shows them the downside of dictatorship and even explains how the government managed to create dictatorship through fear.  The premise seems rather farfetched -- that the government deliberately poisoned a goodly amount of the population in order to gain power through fear, and that V is taking personal revenge.  But I've been discussing using fear as a political instrument in my classes, and they seem to be getting it.  The movie is sort of a cross between Phantom of the Opera and The Matrix which is not surprising since the Wachowski brothers wrote the screenplay.  I do appreciate writers and movie producers who bring up these ideas in movies because most of my students are far more interested in movies than in essays about these same problems.  This is not the most sophisticated movie I've ever seen, but it gets a message across to young folks which they need to understand.  Most dictatorships rely on young people to be the robotic minions of the dictator, and this movie warns them against that.  Also I think I'll go buy a gun just in case.  I don't like the way the government is moving at the moment and can only hope that the Democrats do succeed in taking the House and Senate, or at least the House.  Otherwise, I'm moving to another country.  I'm a professor and professors tend to end up before the firing squads.  I think this is a movie, albeit based on a comic book, that might bear watching.

Originally posted to bitteroldhag on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 09:06 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  actually, it's not from a "comic book", per se... (7+ / 0-)

    it's from a graphic novel.

  •  I was reading the critique of V, then kapow: (6+ / 0-)
    "Also I think I'll go buy a gun just in case."

    Whoa, Professor-Not-Overly-Impressed-With-Today's-Movie-Watching-Kids!  Damn, I guess a lot of people hate this administration as much as I do.

    But you are right: They don't like intellectuals.

  •  By the way... what a weird first diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Comment on a movie that's been out for months...

    Flying Squid Studios - Cartoons to Rot Your Brain!

    by Arken on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 09:18:34 PM PST

  •  I'll go with you...I was thinking Amsterdam... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kathika, Compound F, ER Doc, marykk

    My friend's dad was a Jew who escaped from Austria just before WWII. He became an emminant throat doctor in NY City. Eddie said before he died he always kept his passport updated, just in case.
    It couldn't happen here? Don't kid yourself. It may already have.
    I happen to think that kids really get it. I think the 60's worked, not for us old toothless hippies, but for the next generation, because the ideas and the hopes and dreams of that generation became an integral part of our culture, that the kids absorbed from their first breaths, and that they take for granted today. Watch children's cartoons. If the Right wasn't totally based in arrogance and ignorance they would have seen the "rot and the moral decay the Left has been pushing on our children," and been going after Sunday morning programming rather than PBS.

    "Teach Your Children," Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

    "I'm the one that's got to die when it comes time for me to die - so let me live my life the way I want to." -Jimi Hendrix- "If Six Was Nine"

    by Eirik Raude on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 09:26:38 PM PST

    •  Yeah, my significant other (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olds88, yoduuuh do or do not

      is a holocaust survivor who came to the US as a teen after the war. We have talked about leaving, but, of course, it's not easy when you have family and friends here. He has stated emphatically that he will not live under oppression again. (He's a professor (intellectual) as well!)

      "The election's over. We won. It's all over but the counting, and we'll take care of the counting." Rep. Peter King (R-NY) at WH function, 2003

      by kathika on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 09:32:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just be warned (0+ / 0-)

      Dutch immigration laws are a pain in the ass.  You're basically a nobody for about 6 months after you apply for your residence permit.

      After about 6 months, they give you a number on a stamp in your passport.  Then, you're sort of a somebody;  you actually exist in the eyes of the Dutch government.  But you still can't work!

      About 6 months after THAT, you get a residence/work permit.  That's pretty awesome, but wait!  They don't give you your social-fiscal number (like an SSN) right away.  So you have to wait for that.

      Now, it's been a year since you arrived.  You can finally apply for a job... but you don't speak Dutch.  Sure, everyone here speaks English, but if you want a job that's better than sweeping floors or emptying trash cans, you need to speak Dutch.

      So, there's this government-mandated "integration program" that includes an intensive Dutch course.  5 days a week, four hours each day, exams, and homework.

      BUT, you don't start THAT class until you've been through about 3 months of red tape.

      Still want to immigrate to Amsterdam? ;-)


      They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are / But they're never the ones to fight or to die... -- Jackson Browne

      by Page van der Linden on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 11:00:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so you're saying learning dutch NOW (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murrayewv

        would be a good idea?

        Dutch, after all, is just German after four beers. Or vice versa. /snark

        If we would be the Land of the Free, we must again become the Home of the Brave.
        Justice Holmes: "When you strike at a King, you must kill him."

        by khereva on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 11:44:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

          I was in Germany for about 5 days for a Greenpeace thing.  I don't speak German, but obviously there is some overlap with Dutch.

          I had a translator for the main talks, and for the other activities, we were broken down into an English language group and a German group.

          My already lame Dutch went to hell after listening to German 5 days.  One of the guys there said "well, Dutch is just a lower form of German!" with a wink, of course.

          My Dutch husband laughed at that.  The jokes and stereotyping between countries is just like what the US has between the states.  Germans have no sense of humor, the Belgians think the Dutch are snobs, the Dutch joke that the Belgians aren't too smart, everyone  jokes about the French, etc.

          Anyway, I learn languages pretty easily, but Dutch is difficult.  If you have rudimentary Dutch when you come over here, that would certainly help!


          They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are / But they're never the ones to fight or to die... -- Jackson Browne

          by Page van der Linden on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 12:03:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was thinking of how the scientists and ... (0+ / 0-)

            intellectuals of the 15th century used Holland as a sanctuary during the repressions at the beginning of the Renaisance. That's the way I view the whole Bush/NeoCon/Republican swing over the last decade - the world is changing and it frightens the ignorant and superstitious. Some individuals without shame or conscience are using this period of unrest to gain political and financial advantage. It's happened before and it will probably happen again.

            "I'm the one that's got to die when it comes time for me to die - so let me live my life the way I want to." -Jimi Hendrix- "If Six Was Nine"

            by Eirik Raude on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 03:50:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  V is a strange, but good movie (7+ / 0-)

    The original graphic novel was actually a pro-anarchy story and put forward the rather stupid idea that there are "two sides to anarchy, the side that destroys and the side that builds", although evidence of this has never been seen in reality.

    Alan Moore, who wrote the graphic novel, was so mad that they strayed from his message of anarchy that he pulled his name from the movie.

    The story in the movie shows the slippery slope of giving up freedom for security and how although it might seem like a good decision at the time, eventually one will come to regret it.

    It also shows that "terrorism", like any tool, can be used for good.

    Personally, I liked the movie better.

    My favorite part is the poetic monologue V gives after saving Evie the first time.

  •  Valerie's Inch (10+ / 0-)

    The best scene in the movie and Alan Moore's graphic novel is the tale of Valerie. You can watch it by clicking on the link...


    Valerie's Inch

    Valerie: I know there's no way I can convince you this is not one of their tricks, but I don't care. I am me. My name is Valerie. I don't think I'll live much longer, and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography that I will ever write and God, I'm writing it on toilet paper.

    I was born in Nottingham in 1985. I don't remember much of those early years, but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tottle Brook and she used to tell me that God was in the rain. I passed my 11 Plus and went to girls' grammar. It was at school that I met my first girlfriend. Her name was Sarah. It was her wrists. They were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that it was an adolescent phase that people outgrew. Sarah did. I didn't. In 2002, I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents.

    I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My father wouldn't look at me. He told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing. But I'd only told them the truth. Was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free.

    I'd always known what I wanted to do with my life and in 2015 I starred in my first film, The Salt Flats. It was the most important role of my life. Not because of my career, but because that was how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again. We moved to a small flat in London together. She grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box and our place always smelt of roses. Those were the best years of my life.

    But America's war grew worse and worse and eventually it came to London. After that there were no roses anymore. Not for anyone.

    I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like "collateral" and "rendition" became frightening, while things like Norsefire and the Articles of Allegiance became powerful. I remember how "different" became dangerous. I still don't understand it, why they hate us so much.

    They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life. It wasn't long till they came for me.

    It is strange that my life should end in such a terrible place but for three years I had roses and apologized to no one.

    I shall die here.  Every inch of me shall perish... Except one. An inch.  It is small and fragile and it's the only thing in the world that's worth having. We must never lose it or sell it or give it away.  We must never let them take it from us.

    I don't know who you are but I hope you escape this place.  I hope that the world turns and things get better. I don't know who you are but I love you. I love you.  

    Valerie.

  •  Funny this should come up. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, CalNM, ER Doc

    One of my local costume shops is selling Guy Fawkes masks. If I had the money I'd buy a few million of them and plane tickets to Washington DC for a few friends to appear on November 8th, (one way or another) to hang around the Washington Monument for a few hours. Silently staring at a certain place.

  •  Thanks, bitteroldhag, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    for your work in teaching young people these important ideas. This is important work for our country's future!

    "The election's over. We won. It's all over but the counting, and we'll take care of the counting." Rep. Peter King (R-NY) at WH function, 2003

    by kathika on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 09:36:32 PM PST

  •  I had some problems with it... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, ER Doc

    I went in knowing it had some connection to a "graphic novel" but didn't understand until I was in the theater that it was a super-hero graphic novel. I found the requisite superhero-is-surrounded-by-bad-guys-and-explains-how-they-will-all-die-two-minutes-before-doing-so routine tedious and distracting.

    Also, the dictator-- well let's just call him Big Brother-- is about as one dimensional as possible and still register on film. Gee, where did they get the idea to put his face on a giant TV screen? (For a far more fascinating and multidimensional bad guy, see Serenity, for a villain who lures his prey with logic and apparent humanity-- absolutely evil.)

    Spoiler coming up.

    So with that out of the way, I found the ending quite disturbing. The hero succeeds in urging the people to confront their fear and stare down their government. That should have been the real climax of the film-- ordinary nonsuperheroes doing their democratic duty. But then, he blows the damn building up anyways! I understand the idea that the authority of government is not derived from an edifice and the power of democracy doesn't lie in sanctifying objects, but shit, there is something very strange about a crowd of people happily looking on as a historic government building is bombed to rubble.

    •  "The Leader" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sagesource, CalNM

      The depiction of "The Leader" in the graphic novel was one of a recluse who hated Human contact and in love with a Supercomputer who's responsible for Norsefire's security & planning...

      He gathered a select few like-minded politicians into his inner circle, and then exploited the poverty, chaos, and panic that followed a worldwide nuclear war to seize power. Once in control, he banned all art and literature that conflicted with the views of the party, criminalized political dissent, and put Jews, Arabs, blacks, and homosexuals into concentration camps. In order to further monitor the state, Susan took control of the intelligence departments known as the Eye and the Ears, the military police departments called the Nose and the Finger, and the propaganda area of the Mouth. These are run by his second-in-command, the icily amoral Peter Creedy (The Finger), and his subordinates Conrad Heyer (The Eye), Brian Etheridge (The Ear), Eric Finch (The Nose), and Roger Dascombe (The Mouth).

      From his inner sanctum, he eschews virtually all human contact and emotion, resolving to be feared and respected if he cannot be loved. He reserves the closest thing he can manage to human feeling for Fate, the super-computer which both surveys security and maintains the bureaucracy of his government. He is not without human qualities, however; his last few moments in the novel reveal him to be a socially inept, timid man who is eager to somehow connect with his people. He also recounts his past, including glimpses of his childhood; it is likely that he was a lonely child who developed an inflated sense of his own power and importance by embracing fascism. It is also revealed that he has remained a virgin his entire life, believing that sexual contact with others would lessen him to their level.

      While he is indeed respected and feared like a god by his people, however, he has little actual power; his total isolation from all but a select few lieutenants and apparent disinterest in the day-to-day operations of government render him little more than a figurehead. It is Creedy and his men who truly rule England.

      The Supercomputer subplot was dropped from the movie, but in the graphic novel it's revealed that V had hacked Fate (the Supercomputer) and that was how he was able know things about Norsefire's plans.

    •  Well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CalNM, ER Doc

      I think good film has elements like vicarious thrill and symbolism, and V has a lot of both. Whether those are art, propaganda, a mixture of those, or something different is probably open for discussion. However I watched some of a documentary/bio of Leni Riefenstahl tonight, and while she claims "art" for her films, I find it hard to believe that her compositions (Triumph of the Will, Olympia) weren't reaching for a lot more. But symbolism like large rallies at Nuremburg or stylized portrayal of Aryan athletes doesn't seem an appropriate way to deliver the kind of anti-authoritarian "tree-of-liberty-watered-with-the-blood-of-tyrants" message that V seeks to deliver. Blowing up the seat of government seems a better symbol for that.

      At any rate, I don't find the blowing up of Parliament to be advocating a literal act. A film that affected me a lot was Jeremiah Johnson and some 25 years after first seeing it, I live in a remote log cabin in the mountains. That doesn't mean I feel the need to establish a vendetta (Guy Fawkes mask or not) with the local Native American tribe (although I am about $100 up on the slots in their casino, but that was just a way to kill time - not Indians - during my daughter's voice lessons, and she's off to college now).

      I thought V was a very good movie, not especially deep but not total escapism either. I think the vicarious thrill and symbolism is V is useful, esp politically, in helping to define our culture and ourselves, or in my case, reinforcing ideas I acquired a lot of years ago. But again, not in the sense that we should take to the streets, kill and blow things up (not quite yet, anyway).

      In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. - George Orwell

      by badger on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 10:30:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't expect anyone to take (0+ / 0-)

        the scene as literally advocating bombing buildings, but the film chooses the literal destruction of a building as it's climax. I believe that choice has meaning, and one I find troubling.

        The crowds are portrayed as blithely approving of a personal act of destruction. What should have been a defiant and jubilant moment where the people face their fears and conquer their dictator becomes a scene of submission. Instead of rejoicing in their newfound power, they stand mute and accepting. They have traded the senseless violence of the fascist for the senseless violence of the... what? superhero? performance artist? I reject the idea we can view V, the person, as some "collective will" of the people-- that is the precisely the myth employed by real dictators around the world.

        And not to nitpick, but the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants according to Jefferson. Maybe you were quoting someone else though.

        By the way, thanks for arguing. I think the film is flawed, but it's message is worth debating.

        •  The graphic novel version (0+ / 0-)

          At the end of the graphic novel, Eve blows up Number 10 Downing Street, which is where the Prime Minister lives. This is just as symbolic an act as the blowing up of the Houses of Parliament, which occurs at the beginning of the novel.

          So there are two (actually three) acts of senseless violence, the middle one being being a combination of blowing up the Old Bailey and the Post Office Tower. This is one of the points of the story: sometimes we must destroy before we can build.

        •  Sort of agree (0+ / 0-)

          I too would prefer an ending more similar perhaps to the destruction of Berlin Wall. I also dislike the "man on a horse" or "savior of us all" nature of most films. I think the "heroic individual" method of storytelling, besides being trite and overworked, has real-world consequences in events like Nader's Presidential campaign or even the rise of leaders like Hitler/Mussolini/Franco. That seems close to what you're saying. In the real world, action is always more collective and even in "true stories" films tend to distort the facts to favor the hero. Even a better film like Hotel Rwanda probably suffers from some of that.

          Nevertheless, I like movies like V to the extent they "give permission" to dissent and rebellion by the individual, although in our system I'd prefer those actions (in the real world) to be non-violent. Similarly, I loved some of the 60s/70s movies like Easy Rider or Vanishing Point, even though I've never used drugs, usually drive the speed limit, and don't have a deathwish. I take all of them personally as metaphor rather than a more literal interpretation. Maybe it's just "Walter Mitty-ism" on my part.

          I don't really disagree with your reaction or interpretation - mine is just somewhat different. And you're right about the Jefferson quote.

          Another problem I have with films is that the #1 hero always kills the #1 villain, #2 hero kills #2 villain, etc. Again, in the real world, it's usually some anonymous archer who puts the arrow through the king's throat, and why depicting that kind of fact might diminish the heroism of the protagonist is beyond me.

          In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. - George Orwell

          by badger on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 09:48:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Today's Comic Books (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv

    There's a comic book called "DMZ" which is about a rogue journalist living in NYC in a USA that has devolved into a constant state of civil war.

    There was a comic book called "Outlaw Nation" which had a short run before 9/11 that featured a USA out of control and rife with conspiracies.

    There's a current comic book called "Ex Machina" again about a fictional NYC administered by a mayor who used to be a superhero and trying to deal with the chaos of the "normal" city in a humane way.

    If you really want to go off the deep end, there's an older series called "The Invisibles" which mixes magic, hallucinogens, and malevolent ETs in a through the looking glass world that is kind of touching.

    Alan Moore is sine qua non and his latest is "Lost Girls" which reimagines Alice, Dorothy, and Wendy from famous children's books in a pre-WWI erotic hotel.  There's also "Promethea" which is about the power of magic and the use of fiction to empower us all.  "Watchmen" has been mentioned and Moore's run on "Swampthing" is also quite instructive.

    Then there's Will Eisner, the grand-daddy of them all.  His last published works are graphic novels about the back story of Fagin from Oliver Twist, an examination of stereotyping and its abuses, and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion which relates the history of that spurious document and leads me to believe that the founding documents of the Project for a New American Century might be an unconscious reworking of that infamous fraud.

    My favorite Eisner is Dropsie Avenue:  The Neighborhood which tells the story of one neighborhood in the Bronx from farmland to yesterday.  A great work of storytelling and political sociology that I recommend to every architect and urban planner out there.

    And of course there is Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" which is recognized as literature of the highest order by those who pay attention to these things.

    And those are only the mainstream stuff.  Some of the best commentary and deepest entertainment is happening in comic books these days.  It is what the rest of mass entertainment is feeding off of.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2006/03/solar-video.html

    by gmoke on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 10:08:12 PM PST

    •  Neil Gaiman rocks! (0+ / 0-)

      Discovering his Sandman series reawakened my interest in graphic novels, leading to such interesting items as Black Orchid, Lucifer and The Books of Magic. I love the stories as well as the social commentary they often contain (Watchmen being a case in point).

  •  mandatory viewing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    Great first diary. Excellent movie.

    All students should make their teachers watch "V for Vendetta."

    V for Vendetta is yet another work that uses themes from Pastor Niemoller's work. Powerful prose and lessons like that taught by HollyWoodOZ's diary now on the Rec list.

    If Arken ;) or anybody else is interested, please read my V4V diaries here:

    THe Vendetta Begins Tonight

    Vanity Fair's Subversive V4V Piece

  •  If you really want to blow your mind... (0+ / 0-)

    ...read "The Watchmen."  Call it a comic book, if you like, or a graphic novel. Or you can call it one of the 100 best books of the 20th Century, as Time magazine did.

    (I haven't looked at all the comments, but I'll just be I'm not the first person to point this out.)

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 10:10:20 PM PST

  •  Comic Book Quotes from V (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalNM, ER Doc

    V for Vendetta
    by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
    NY:  DC Comics, 1988, 1989
    ISBN 0-930289-52-8

    (193-194)  V:  "It does not do to rely too much on silent majorities, Evey, for silence is a fragile thing.  One loud noise and it's gone."

    Evey:  "But the people are so cowed and disorganized a few might take the opportunity to protest, but it'll just be a voice crying in the wilderness."

    V:  "Noise is relative to the silence preceding it.  The more absolute the hush, the more shocking the thunderclap.  Our masters have not heard the people's voice for generations, Evey, and it is much louder than they care to remember."

    (195)  Radio:  "The old Broadwater Farm Estate.  Tell Mr Creedy there's fires...  Please respond.  Repeat:  victor-charley-niner...

    Evey:  "All this riot and uproar, V.  Is this anarchy?  Is this the land of Do-As-You -Please?"

    V:  "No, this is only the land of Take-What-You-Want.  Anarchy means 'without leaders'; not 'without order.'  With anarchy comes an age of ordnung, of true order, which is to say voluntary order.  This age of ordnung will begin when the mad and incoherent cycle of verwirrung that these bulletins reveal has runs its course.  This is not anarchy, Eve.  This is chaos."

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2006/03/solar-video.html

    by gmoke on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 10:16:38 PM PST

    •  Missed the best one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      (paraphrasing, and I'm sure it's not original with the film):

      "People shouldn't be afraid of their governments -- governments should be afraid of their people."

      In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. - George Orwell

      by badger on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 10:33:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is silly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lanius, Sourmash

    a clueless professor pulls his/her head out of the sand and notices that something has happened in the past 60 years (um, I seem to recall a movement called Pop Art in the 1950's that made critical use of comic books). this person doesn't think about this form very well, or hard, does no research, posts something to DKOS about how clueless he/she is, and people recommend this? this is why I find myself staying away from this site for months on end. this is such a waste of time. please think before  you recommend.

    in brief:

    1. people have been teaching graphic novels in the academy for years
    1. this person is so lost they are talking about buying a gun (if you do this, you will likely either kill someone else or yourself and, judging from your post, you are not prepared for the consequences of either one of these actions).
    1. please, I know you are an academic and all, but please GROW A BRAIN.
    •  Agreed... (0+ / 0-)

      despite my following post.  I'd like to add though when you say "if you buy a gun you will likely kill either yourself or someone else" you should add kill someone  YOU KNOW for that is overwhelmingly who dies at the hands of accidental gun violence.

      "Truth, justice and the American way."

      by Sourmash on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 11:10:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a lot of that talk here lately (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CalNM, Caldonia

        "I'm gonna go buy me a gun 'cause the government is going to take over and stuff."

        I'm a gun owner and avid Second Amendment proponent.  However, what bothers me about the casual "buy me a gun" talk around here is that there is no subsequent discussion of "and I'll learn gun safety".

        When you decide to become a gun owner, you are (or you should be) taking on a huge responsibility.  You now own a lethal weapon.  Guns are produced for one purpose only: to defend yourself if you are in grave danger, i.e. if someone else is about to kill you or a loved one.

        You have to know how to load it, clean it, maintain it so it works reliably, and store it safely, especially if you have children.  Gun accidents happen because people are not properly educated about gun safety.

        Like I said, it's an enormous responsibility.  It is not to be taken lightly.


        They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are / But they're never the ones to fight or to die... -- Jackson Browne

        by Page van der Linden on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 11:24:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  silly and scary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plutonium Page

          Thanks for that reminder, Plutonium Page. Yeah, it was jolting to read the bitteroldhag was still gonna go out and buy a gun, just in case. Especially since the movie wasn't about an armed revolution. It was about just showing up to the revolution.  

          There are a lot of guns around here where I live north of Taos, near the forest. I just heard two blasts tonight from some hunter up the mountain, but that's kind of unusual. We have a few guns at home, although seldom if ever shoot them. My husband is a hunter and Vietnam Vet and has that mindset of "forting up" sometimes, making sure we have ammo, weapons in strategic loations. But that's mostly due to PTSD. He laughs when people claim they will get a gun and finally fight for freedom; thinks they are unrealistic.

          •  hey, we're going to be staying at a B & B... (0+ / 0-)

            ... north of Taos at the end of December!

            My parents live in Albuquerque (where I lived before I moved to Europe), so we're going to be visiting them.

            DAMN but I miss New Mexico.

            Where are you, specifically?

            And yes, my friends north of Taos also have a few guns, but they're rational and responsible gun owners.

            The "gun nuts" (bunker-dwelling weirdos) and the clueless "lemme see if this thing's loaded, looking down the barrel now..." folks give the rest of us a bad name.


            They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are / But they're never the ones to fight or to die... -- Jackson Browne

            by Page van der Linden on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 11:54:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  cool (0+ / 0-)

              Yeah, I've been at dk a while so knew you were from Albuquerque.:) I live near Questa, in the mountains.  The fall aspen leaves are just finishing their yellow days and falling to the ground. We had 2 inches of snow last week. December is usually really nice up here.

              Not sure if my husband qualifies as a rational gun owner, but he's fairly responsible.... just a little crazy sometimes on account of using guns in wartime. Shooting at people and having people shoot back at him had a profound affect on his perspective.

          •  jolting? heartening. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plutonium Page

            Every civilized person should own, and learn to use, a gun effectively. They should also have frequent practice, and full familiarity with the laws involved.

            This is the main distinction between citizens and subjects.

            If we would be the Land of the Free, we must again become the Home of the Brave.
            Justice Holmes: "When you strike at a King, you must kill him."

            by khereva on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 11:55:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  sure, I guess (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              murrayewv

              It's was jolting for the reasons I said, because the movie wasn't about armed revolution or guns.  Seemed like the diarist overlooked one of the subtle points of the movie.  The government had the guns, the people had their unity. Seems like the government is always going to have bigger guns to blow away the citizens.

              I disagree that every citizen should own a gun. But Sure, if a person is going to own a gun, they should learn how to use it. I grew up shooting guns out here in the wild west, and certainly am familiar with the laws.

              Too bad the diarist did not comment -- bitteroldhag didn't mention about gun safety. Just said getting ready to arm, which is reckless without training. However I'll give the benefit of the doubt that bitteroldhag and all of the people buying guns will learn how to use them safely.

            •  Most deaths from guns are suicides.... (0+ / 0-)

              The murder/suicide rate in my state is skyrocketing, with angry men shooting their wives and families before killing themselves.  Why own a gun and learn to use it effectively unless you plan to kill someone or something?

              The dkos American fantasy that guns are great and a suitable solution to our problems gets old.  I don't give a rat that you want one, but don't lecture me that using a gun to kill someone will save our freedoms.  If I want to bring down this country, I will stop shopping and spending money- that was the real lesson of 9/11- scared and angry people don't shop much.  

              Well, except for guns and ammo- people bought a lot after 9/11.

              You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

              by murrayewv on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 02:05:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I loved the movie... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalNM, murrayewv

    It was not the greatest ever, of course, but allow me to tell my story.  I was not keen on it because I am not a big fan of Natalie portman, although I liked "The Professional" (with the gretaest opening scene of all time BTW!)  Anyway, it was the only watchable movie on the plane I took to my home here in Macedonia after our last trip to teh US.  

    This country is very much like a mini-version of the movie, not an overarching super secretive police state, to be sure, but something not too far removed from that did happen years ago.  The govt. at the time wanted to prove their bona fides to the US as a terrorism fighting nation.  So, instead of contribuitng troops to Afghanistan, they purchased some migrant laborers from South Asia on the human smuggling market, dragged them up to the hills above the area populated by the local Muslim minority, shot them and then put them in the uniforms of the local Kosovo/Muslim insurgency.  The order you read is correct, so when they called the US ambassador to have a look, he noticed that there were holes in teh bodies but not in the uniforms and the perps were sent to prison, but there was no uproar form the people.

    This is a place where the people are so demoralized and cowed and resigned to their fate and so alienated from each other that it is scary.  People work for months at state owned enterprises without getting paid.  Sometimes for years.  And they don't complain.  I look about my housing complex and see a TV flickering in every window, and the kids running wild down below.  All local media is subject to regulation, or outright state ownership, political parties exist solely for their leaders, and good god, you ought to see the rallies at election times.  Each party has a different color scheme, but there is where the differences end.  They set up a bandstand in even the smallest town and blare martial music and a gang of uniformed thugs taek their place infront of the stage and the party leader comes on stage and howls at the people about the EVIL, yes EVIL of the opposition and the local minorities and the US come in for all the blame for all the problems in the country.  Those scenes with John Hurt howling at the crowd while his blackshirts walked by were rightout of the news here.

    In short, I found the movie haunting and inspiring.  In the years I have lived here, my wife is local, I have always taken the Peace Corps way of respecting differences and not arguing with people about what I see here.  No more.  I am working on getting a blog up and running and talking to everyone I know, confronting them with my questions on why things are the way they are.  V and Dailykos are my inspirations.  Maybe, just maybe we can make a success here.  Or I'll get my ass tossed out, which would not be a bad thing either!!  PNG and then we can finally move back to the US.

    My favorite quote: "There's something very wrong with our country, isn't there?"

    "Truth, justice and the American way."

    by Sourmash on Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 11:07:20 PM PST

  •  My favorate movie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalNM

    Ok, I also really like "Dark City." But this is up there. Its certainly the best movie I've seen in the past 5 years.

    Real beauty is seldom appreciated by popular culture

    by Mikesco on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 12:41:27 AM PST

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