Unkown Blogger Pursues a Deranged Quest for Normalcy

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Posted by ubpdqn on January 2, 2011

The unknown blogger recently watched The Assassination of Richard Nixon (AORN)and V for Vendetta (V).

Both movies present the story of a man obsessed with the ills the government have wrought and who devises a scheme to make a dramatic symbolic statement to the world.

AORN is based on a true story and the plan (or plot) is a failure. The attempt results in death of innocent citizens and the suicide of the incensed plotter. There is a deep and disturbing sense of futility. What is most disturbing to the blogger, is the comprehensibility (and perhaps familiarity) of the effects of   cumulative failures and disappointments.  Therefore, the  march towards ulitmate self destruction seems only a few frustrations and disappointments away, not the safe distance of impossible. The character at the centre of this film created a world in his mind  where he was the victim and where the perpertrators were the government. In this constructed world, he devised a scheme that would make him the hero, the defender of the common man. His planned act would strike at the heart of the enemy. In this man’s social isolation, there were no reality checks, no supportive family or friends, and in this empty existence the plan becomes his sole source of meaning and existence. He feels invisible in an unjust world. He yearns for visibility.  The solution to invisibility, a bold daring act. The justification is revelation of the plight of the fellow invisibles.  The target the common enemy, the evil government. The die is cast. The rest is a small historical footnote (the film subtly alters the characters  name to apparently protect his family).

V is the film version of a graphic novel and the protagonist’s plan is successfully executed, if at the hand of his friend Evie (the symbol of the common man). In contrast to AORN, the basis for the vengeance that is systematically and mercilessly  dealt by V is not soley a personal grievance but also vengeance for  catatstrophe unleashed onto the common man (in this fictional story). Further,  in additon to the symbolic destruction of the seat of government, V ‘s revenge is delivered to the specific individuals he holds responsible for his own suffering and the suffering of others.

V is well crafted film. The portrayal by Hugo Weaving is charismatic. His words are both exquisitely written and delivered.  The film moves inexorably to the culmination of V’s vengeance.  Both V and Bicke (AORN) ‘s paths end in self destruction. However, in cotrast to AORN where the abiding sense of futility, V’s demise  has a stamp of heroism and the film ends with a sense of tirumph for the common man.

Perhaps, it is the ultimate dispassionate rational execution of a well thought out plan for  real (but hidden ) crimes that make V a heroic figure.  This poetic and complete resolution is the hallmark of fiction: good triumphs over evil; the common man over the tyrannical government.

AORN  tells the story of a man who acted on the basis of a fictional world (constructed in his mind to deal with his personal failures and frustrations). His actions occurred in the real world, with fatal consequences.  There was no neat ending.  There is no sense of completion or resolution.

Fiction versus reality…it is sometimes harder to judge than the convenient characterisations above. Perhaps we are in a dream, or a film or perhaps like St. Elsewhere, we are another of TommyWestphall’s imaginary worlds. However, the real world the blogger inhabits seems much less predictable and vastly  more interesting and surprising than even the best constructed and crafted stories. Further, fairness and justice and all the other lofty goals that inhabit many of our aspirational works of fiction seem less common in the real world. If we are in a nested dreamscape like Inception (dreams within dreams), the dreamer (or story teller)  is exceptional in combining comprehensibility and unpredictability.

May we all enjoy the escape from reality that stories give us. May we all learn the lessons they give and the lessons from the real world. May we be able to distinguish between the two.


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