11.5.18: Will The Real V Please Stand Up?


“Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.”
–V, “V For Vendetta”

Happy Guy Fawkes Day, everyone.

I thought I’d share with you what I think are some of the first photographic examples of the Guy Fawkes/V for Vendetta mask used in connection with an anarchist protest, which I took myself.

The scene was in front of the old DC Comics offices in Manhattan, on April 17, 2006. I had heard through the grapevine that a group of Anarchists were going to protest DC for the “misrepresentation” of the Anarchist movement in the movie V For Vendetta. When I arrived there, a group of Libertarians had launched a “counter-protest” against the Anarchists…wearing official V for Vendetta masks supplied by DC Comics.

So here is a snapshot of the “homemade” V mask, per the Anarchists:


And one of the “official merch” masks the Libertarians were wearing:


And there you go. Warner Bros. knew a great money-making racket when they saw one!


I do have to ask, though…what meaning does Guy Fawkes, or simply his mask, have anymore in the current climate?

Exhibit A: this popular meme of the V for Vendetta costume with the name “Condescending Online Man”


Exhibit B: This recent New Yorker cover showing a person in a Guy Fawkes outfit scared of someone in a Donald Trump one:


So I have a question for you:

“V,” in both the original V For Vendetta graphic novel and 2005 movie, was supposed to be a hero of the oppressed, the marginalized. It is about a world taken over by fascists.

Who is that hero now, in 2018? What are his/her memes?

Unless we figure out the memes, the whole battle is lost (in my humble opinion).




Have a good Monday.