It is the matter of a broad grin, arching eyebrows, a looping mustache, a thin goatee, and haunting eyes. For those familiar with pop culture, this description immediately brings to mind the in/famous visage of the Guy Fawkes mask worn by Hugo Weaving in the blockbuster hit “V For Vendetta.” And, if like most of us who love the movie and have read the graphic novel on which the movie is based, you know that the Guy Fawkes mask served as the symbol of something grand and revolutionary. As the character V tells us, “it is an idea... and ideas are bulletproof.” The mask--- the idea that it symbolized--- stood up against an oppressive government not unlike the one created by George Orwell in “1984.” The man behind the mask, Fawkes himself, was not just a figment of Alan Moore's (the writer of the “V for Vendetta” graphic novel) imagination, he was a soldier fighting in the Spanish war against the Low Countries in the early 1600's. What he became in/famous for however, was his involvement with the Gun Powder Plot--- a plot to de-throne King James I ( a Protestant king) in favor of his third daughter, Princess Elizabeth ( a Catholic). The November 5th Gun Powder Plot, though a failed excursion, has taken its place, much like the visage of Guy Fawkes, among British history and lore.
So, what has this all got to do with anything important? Well, it seems that four hundred years after the failed Gun Powder Plot, Guy Fawkes' in/famous visage has made its way into another revolutionary movement: the “Occupy” movement. It has now become a global symbol, showing the solidarity of the ninety-nine percent, in places such as Germany, China, Latin America, and of course, Zucotti Park. The mask, as a symbol of the movement itself, appears to signify a disenchanted generation disgusted with corporate greed and an ever-increasing gap between the one percent and the ninety-nine percent. The mask first came to the forefront of the protests through hacking group 'Anonymous', who have now joined in with the Occupy movement. It is estimated that at least one hundred thousand masks were sold last year alone, with constant increase as the Occupy movement participation expands. Still, the plot thickens, as it seems that the mask is officially licensed by Time Warner (a large, one percent-ish corporation). To get around the double-edged sword of wearing something filled with symbolism whilst inadvertently supporting the very agencies you're fighting against, Anonymous, with much success, have started producing replicas of the mask.
Still, as we take all of this into account, we must not forget the important things: a mask, and the revolutionary movement it stands for. Many people are less than impressed with the use of Fawkesian masks in the Occupy movement because they view it as protestors glorifying the wrong type of revolutionary. I would beg to differ. I don't think that the Occupiers are glorifying the mask, they are standing firmly behind an idea, and that idea is one of change--- the mask, a symbol of it. So whenever you see that broad grin, looping mustache, and haunting eyes, remember that it symbolizes an idea, and that ideas are, after all, bulletproof.
Article Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058020/How-Guy-Fawkes-masks-symbol-anti-greed-protests-globe.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
Image Source: http://media.cnbc.com/i/CNBC/Sections/News_And_Analysis/_News/_SLIDESHOWS/ScenesFromTheProtests/CNBC-occupy-Chicago-scenes-17.jpg
Ah, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. The night when we all get to watch beautiful women walk down a runway in lingerie. But this year was extra special as Victoria’s Secret showcased what might just be the most expensive bra on earth: the diamond-encrusted Treasure, worth something around 2.5 million dollars, trumping last year’s contribution to the world of ridiculously priced lingerie by half a million. The only one of its kind, Treasure glittered its way down the runway on the breasts of model Miranda Kerr, who said she was nervous about wearing it because she is “still breastfeeding!” You wouldn’t know from looking at her that she just had a child, but maybe that’s because she weight trains and drinks protein shakes to prepare for her shows. She puts what The Daily Mirror calls “a lot of effort” into pre-show preparation, meaning that beyond just working out she gets “waxed, shaved, [and lasered].” Good for you, Miranda Kerr! Good for you, Victoria’s Secret! Good for you, America!
Except maybe we should replace “good for” with “shame on.” Is making sure that every sliver of body hair and milligram of fat on her body is erased really something we should admire Miranda Kerr for? After all, is a 2.5 million dollar bra worth any less if a regular woman wears it? While it’s fantastic to be in shape, and fantastic to get back in shape after having a child, the Victoria’s Secret angels have always been an integral part of the media obsession with “the perfect body.” But there’s an even larger problem here: their contribution to unrealistic body standards in popular culture aside, Victoria’s Secret spent 2.5 million dollars creating a bra. The absurdity of that statement demands that it be repeated: Victoria’s Secret spent 2.5 million dollars creating a bra. 2.5 million could provide 50,000 cows to villages and families in need. It could pay for a year of school for roughly 250,000 children in Africa. It could support a year of contraception and counseling to a woman in South America or India. Or, it could buy a huge, gaudy, diamond-covered bra that only one or two women will probably ever wear. There’s never a perfect time to spend that much money on a hunk of glittery junk, but it seems that Victoria’s Secret couldn’t have chosen a worse time to show just how much more money they have than everyone else: with the population at 7 billion and counting, water shortages, food shortages, education shortages, cutbacks, high unemployment, foreclosures, full-to-bursting prisons and a serious AIDS epidemic (to mention just a few important issues), should we really tolerate such a brazen demonstration of waste and wealth? I suppose that’s up to you to decide as you go about your holiday shopping. Keep in mind, that amazing push-up bra that would really boost your “confidence” might actually cost you (and the world) more than a donation to a worthy charity.
Article Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2011/11/10/miranda-kerr-models-2-5-million-bra-at-victoria-s-secret-fashion-show-115875-23551262/
Image Source: http://images.mirror.co.uk/upl/m4/nov2011/2/6/miranda-kerr-wearing-a-2-5-million-bra-walks-the-runway-during-the-victoria-s-secret-fashion-show-in-new-york-pic-ap-55708063.jpg
Occupy Wall Street protestors have had it hard. Met with amused disinterest in the beginning of the protest nearly two months ago, demonstrators are now met with anger, dislike and police violence. Most are being forced out of their publically owned park encampments and are seeking refuge else where, willing to give up their space before giving up what they believe in. In response to this systematic eviction, some protestors have migrated to college campuses.
The OWS in California have migrated to Berkeley campus, taking a nod from protestors who have set up shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts’s own, Harvard campus. Unlike Harvard, (who seem to be allowing the protestors only if they are students with valid IDs and keeping their mythical gates locked otherwise) the 3,000 Berkeley nomads were not permitted to stay. The University’s policy was strictly: no tents, no slumber parties.
You have to remember that the OWS:NYC branch (for now) is in the good graces of the private owners of Zuccotti Park. The police can only glare imposingly at the protestors as long as they remain within their boundaries... Interesting trivia fact: Mayor Bloomberg’s girlfriend is on the executive board of those who permit OWS in the park. That must be a fun conversation at dinner.
Maybe the other OWS camps should take a cue from OWS:NYC.
Article Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/us/occupy-wall-street-protests-shifting-to-college-campuses.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp
Image Source: http://cdn.visiontoamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/ows-protester-being-arrested.jpg?0673a6