My new copy of V for Vendetta arrived yesterday. It makes some striking parallels with Orwell’s classic 1984. People disappearing in the night, government controlled media, suppression of minority groups, totalitarian governments and individuals frightened to speak their minds. What made it all the more unnerving were the references to current events scattered throughout the film. The Avian flu epidemic flashes across the screen to invoke terror in London citizens and encourage citizens to trust their government to take care of them. The Afghan war still waging in 2015, well it’s almost 2011 and there’s still no end in sight. Thankfully curfews and food rationing have not become a reality of modern life yet but global warming and gross overpopulation of the planet may see one of those things come to pass sooner than we would like to think possible.
One thing the movie does have in common with reality is the corruption of our political and legal systems. We saw in Underbelly that police are not immune from corruption. Travel to a developing nation and you are likely to experience this first hand. As a ‘Westerner’ I almost expect it in developing nations but not in my own country or other Western nations. However, right now, Julian Assange is sitting in a London prison. The official story is that he is waiting extradition to Sweden on charges of rape and molestation. The newspaper spin infers it has more to do with his involvement in the leaking of thousands of classified United States government documents through Wikileaks. Only three people know the truth behind these allegations and those people are Assange and the two women involved. And while I do want to believe the allegations to be a complete fabrication and political conspiracy I can’t help but wonder if they are true. Think about it. Julian Assange is a very powerful man, a runner up in Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2010 list. And what are powerful men very good at getting? Whatever it is that they want. The point is this: governments lie, media lies and individuals lie. Work out a truth for yourself.