V For Vendetta

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V For Vendetta

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from the Atomic Books Blog Review by Benn Ray
Back in the late 80s, when V for Vendetta first came out, I recall reading it and being underwhelmed. During the 12 years of the Reagan/Bush Part 1 Regime, there was a lot of Orwellian dystopia going on. Most likely it was a cultural fascination with the book 1984 since we'd just passed the year 1984. And, of course, the end of the Cold War and the politics of Reagan/Bush helped feed into that Orwellian worldview. So the book didn't strike me as particularly original.

I've tried going back over the years and rereading V for Vendetta just to see if there was something I missed, but I found Lloyd's bleak art and Siobhan Dodds' flat coloring impenetrable. Plus, that was during the Clinton years, everyone was having fun, making money, and the story of a totalitarian government that spies on its citizens and a terrorist revolutionary hero rising up seemed even more distant.

But now, not even a year in to Bush Part 2's second term, post 9/11, V for Vendetta packs more relevancy than most other forms of socio-political commentary being produced today. We have a government that has used a national tragedy of a terrorist strike for justification for unpopular wars, to spy on its own citizens (and in some cases detain them indefinitely), for propaganda and manipulation of the media, for panicking the masses into following them, and for turning the yokes of government over to corporate interests (which is, by definition, Fascism).

In V for Vendetta, it takes a terrorist to free the minds of an oppressed and manipulated nation. In real life, it took a terrorist to help a government oppress and manipulate its masses. Now that we do live in an Orwellian age, where are the other 1984-esque dystopian visions? (Posted on 10/5/12)

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