Monday, November 12, 2012

Centrality, Culture, and V

In this blog post I mostly want to delve into the way in which culture and media consumption operate in  V for Vendetta. What is interesting about the novel is the way in which pop culture is almost entirely absent within the narrative, and the pop cultural signs that are present are seemingly transparent, absolute and yet inverted. The guy fawkes mask as well as the number of television shows mentioned are the most obvious examples of pop cultural icons; however the justice statue (a state icon) may be the most interesting. As V talks to the statue he explores its role in being both a model of justice, as well as a betrayal of justice through its ideological deformation. For V, it almost seems as though the stakes of fascism is a matter of culture and passion. Interestingly though the body of Londoners seem entirely lacking of pop cultural referents, a fact which V's library makes abundantly clear. His goal then does seem to be to inject, through the igniting of passions, culture and affect back into the public discourse.

My main question though is how it is that this representation of an empty culture, and its modes of political behavior, can be read in our own reality: a reality in which the guy fawkes mask and the novel as a whole are merely some of countless pop cultural artifacts that the public body has to grasp on to. In our society of distraction, overstimulation and globalization, how is it that we are meant to engage with a text that represents a culture of enclosure, centrality, and listlessness. To what extent do the affective network models that we have discussed affect our reading of the text? Within the text itself the networks that do exist become vehicles of destruction (the subway system, the television networks), yet their methods of destruction seem predicated on a limitation of access (V is able to use the subway because it is mostly in disrepair and not used by the general populace). In a larger way it seems as though these networks are not of the same variety that we have been interrogating for the first half of this semester and I am interested in what way this affects the novels position within our own networked culture.

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