Remember remember the 5th of November
The gunpowder, treason, and plot.
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
The poem above refers to Guy Fawkes, the man who tried to blow up England's parliament building. His story inspired the 2005 graphic novel-turned-film "V for Vendetta." I watched the film as a teenager and liked it a lot, simply because of its stylized matrix-like action that the titular character displayed.
It was not until over a decade later, thanks to my lovely girlfriend, that I was able to truly appreciate the film and its themes. The content of the film continues to be relevant today, even more so now than in the past. I find it pretty amazing, and maddening, at the similarities of society today. There are two things from the film that are particularly similar to today's world:
1. Trump and the Chancellor
In the film, the main antagonist is Chancellor Sutler. Sutler and his government are a true definition of what a dictatorship is. All things are monitored and censored; any deviation the government's approved thoughts and actions result in imprisonment or even death. While not as severe, President Donald Trump's rise to power shares an eerie similarity to the chancellor. Like Trump, nobody thought a candidate like Sutler could win. This ignorance towards Sutler proves to be false when a deadly virus kills thousands of civilians right before the upcoming election. Sutler rallies his base with fear-mongering speeches, spreading complete falsehoods that his base eats up. This strategy proves fruitful, resulting in a landslide victory. With complete power, the chancellor changes the countries with new laws that persecute anyone who has a different ideology than him. Trump used similar tactics in his presidential campaign and has shown similar ideas politically, whether it is pulling out of agreements, creating unfair laws, and firing any staff who stands against him.
2. Mass Desensitization
As the population continues to side with the "V" ideology of revolution, Chancellor Sutler decides that the population needs to remember why they are afraid. As a result, media outlets begin churning out horrible story after horrible story. Famines, mass deaths, plagues, and natural disasters are all used to put fear back into people's hearts. However, the plan backfires, as no one is alarmed by the stories; business continues as usual, regardless of how many shocking stories were shoved in front of the citizens.
I look at life today and see that there is no real difference from the film. To be completely honest with myself, hearing about a school shooting, terrorist attack, or police killing does not make my mind stand at alert anymore. I simply scroll to the next story without a second thought. Is my mind being desensitized? Should my heart still ache painfully at the thought of schools no longer being safe? Or at children being brutally assaulted by police for minor infractions? I wish so hard that it wasn't the case, but such feelings of indifference are true not only for me but for my generation as well.