So then there's that.
Finals are, for all intents and purposes, complete, though I will have to turn in a report on my work. So it goes. More importantly, two things:
Following my last final today, Bioorganic Chemistry and grading for a few hours for the undergraduate sophomore organic chemistry course's final, I had the pleasure of not having to pay for dinner for once. That is, Northwestern picked it up for me, as I'd been given the nod to take the prospective graduate students out for dinner with NU picking up the tab. Sometimes, I can dig it. Burgers at Nevin's is a good time. But that's not what inspired me to write this post. What did was what I did afterwards, which was, unfortunately, not picked up by Northwestern as it wasn't at all related to the students. I saw V for Vendetta, and enjoyed what I saw. Without regarding what it maintains the line of the comic books or not, I found it to be quite interesting, and an exciting action movie. Good for that.
What I'd like to take a second to respond to is the amount of bloggers and imdb.com message board patrons that are somehow twisting this into being a decisive attack on conservatives, others callling it an explicitly "anti-American" movie. Honestly, I have no idea what to make of that, mostly the second one. I'm not entirely surprised. Star Wars Ep. III was boycotted by some who viewed it as an explicitly anti-Bush film. Precisely the same sentiment appears to be popular now about V for Vendetta. I'll give them a bone here. At least V for Vendetta is actually somewhat political, and I believe it's mentioned somewhere that John Hurt's "Sutler" character was at one point a member of the Conservative Party of Britain (though two seconds later it makes it clear that he either left or was forced out, invented his own party which overtook both the Conservatives and Liberals in the UK, which is, if anything, a parallel to the NSDAP). Star Wars is Star Wars. But that doesn't justify the comparison. I know many really want this to be anti-American or anti-Conservative, as it then becomes another piece of the vast liberal plot to brainwash children out of making up their own minds, but it's just not. The big bad guys aren't conservatives. Or liberals. They're fascists. They're Big Brother. The Party. Singular and without distinction between conservatives or liberals or anything in between or outside of the relatively narrow conservative-liberal spectrum. It's Big Invasive Government. V's call for revolution against the militaristic, dictatorial and, here's the kicker, fictional government is nothing more than the demand that the citizens of a nation hold its Government accountable for what it's doing, not have to live in fear of being threatened or abducted by the government, and that maybe we shouldn't beat people with rods. The corrolary to that that I've seen in several places, that the movie is a movement for the Gay Agenda (now existing in a theater near you!) because it shows the beating and imprisonment of homosexuals by the government. Two points here. 1) Valerie's imprisonment is in the comic books, so it makes sense to include it here. 2) The point of the scenes with Valerie's letter isn't to convince people to flip their gay switch on, but to suggest that maybe we shouldn't beat people with rods and imprison them for digging on certain types of people.
The allegation that it's anti-American is just plain incomprehensible to me (unless one would like to make the claim that America is a fascist nation or that it should be and this negative depiction of fascism is clearly an attack on what America should be) or that V is a communist (mostly because the term communist has lost essentially all of its meaning because of its general application to people that one disagrees with. The interesting thing here is that I ran into a blog claiming this exact thing which attempted to use the posters as proof that V is a communist. Which is just ridiculous. They're propaganda type posters, but that's really more of a reference to the Big Brother type government. No. the fact that so much red is associated with the posters and imagery is not relevant either, as the V symbol and all the red and black is very clearly a reference to the symbol and colors of the general concept of anarchism. Which isn't communism.)
Furthermore, the "War" that the movie charges America with starting... I'm not counting that as an "anti-American" bit in the film or the book, nor am I willing to give credence to the conclusion that it is the current "War on Terror", more likely deferring to the fact that it more or less makes America a non-factor (which is important to the focus on why the UK is alone in all of this) and adds to the dystopia by tying up the US in civil war.
Action. Some knife throwing. Natalie Portman's in it.
It's not anti-Conservative or anti-American. It's pointing out that totalitarian fascism probably isn't awesome. Essentially, 1984.
V's not a communist. He doesn't propose any other system of government, just that it'd be nice to be able to walk around without a curfew, and that citizens have a duty to hold their governments responsible for their actions.
I don't believe that anarchy is a viable system of government. Don't do it.
Proposing that beating homosexuals probably isn't cool doesn't make this a Gay Agenda (TM) piece.
So that's that.
Now. The important thing:
How the hell is the US out of the World Baseball Classic?! We're not supposed to lose. We did, essentially, everything we could to rig the damn thing, putting ourselves in an opening pool with Mexico, Canada and South Africa and structuring the tournament such that we wouldn't even have to think about facing any of the really threatening Latin American teams until they'd killed each other off. I just... what the hell.
That said, this thing is amazing. I'll be watching it until the end, and loving it.