- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
‘Vendetta’ mask becomes symbol of Occupy protests
NEW YORK (AP) - Look at a photo or news clip from around the world of Occupy protesters and you’ll likely spot a handful of people wearing masks of a cartoon-like man with a pointy beard, closed-mouth smile and mysterious eyes.
“They’re very meaningful masks,” said Alexandra Ricciardelli, who was rolling cigarettes on a table outside her tent in New York’s Zuccotti Park two days before the anniversary of Fawkes‘ failed bombing attempt.
“It’s not about bombing anything; it’s about being anonymous _ and peaceful.”
To the 20-year-old from Keyport, N.J., the Fawkes mask “is about being against The Man _ the power that keeps you down.”
But history books didn’t lead to the mask’s popularity: A nearly 30-year-old graphic novel and a five-year-old movie did.
“V for Vendetta,” the comic-based movie whose violent, anarchist antihero fashions himself a modern Guy Fawkes and rebels against a fascist government has become a touchstone for young protesters in mostly western countries. While Warner Brothers holds the licensing rights to the Guy Fawkes mask, several protesters said they were using foreign-made copies to circumvent the corporation.
Yet whether the inspiration is the comic, the movie or the historical figure, the imagery _ co-opted today by everyone from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the hacker group Anonymous _ carries stronger connotations than some of the Occupy protesters seem to understand.
While Fawkes‘ image has been romanticized over the past 400 years, he was a criminal who tried to blow up a government building. It would be hard to imagine Americans one day wearing Timothy McVeigh masks to protest the government or corporate greed.
“You can seize hold of it for any political purpose you want,” he said. “That’s the real power of it.”
Fawkes was a Catholic insurrectionist executed for the bombing attempt. In the years immediately following his execution, Nov. 5 was England’s official celebration for defeating Fawkes, said Call, who has written about the nexus of Fawkes, “V for Vendetta” and modern-day protests.
Call said over the next three centuries, people in England started using Fawkes‘ image in different ways. Some used Fawkes as a symbol for putting limits on state power. Others held him up as a freedom fighter.
Then came the comic book, a nihilistic story set in a futuristic England. And the movie. People began thinking of him as a libertarian or even anarchist hero.
“Gradually over the centuries, the meaning of Guy Fawkes has dramatically changed,” said Call. “The reputation of Guy Fawkes has been recuperated. Before he was originally seen as a terrorist trying to destroy England. Now he’s seen more as a freedom fighter, a fighter for individual liberty against an oppressive regime. The political meaning of that figure has transformed.”
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on 'outdated' agencies
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Political satirist and Christian apologist Bob Siegel discusses religion and politics.
White House pets gone wild!