Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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The Word and the Deed
A while ago I was fascinated by the latest rally in a long-running ping-pong match between fact and fiction.


Fast forward 350 years to my childhood...


... and thence to the book...

v for vendetta book

...which became a film...

v for vendetta

...which became Anonymous.

anonymous protests

More recently we've had this...

katniss salute

...which led to scenes like this in Thailand in June...

thailand protesters 1 june 2014

And now Mockingjay is bringing the protest to a head once again.

Collins claims to have been inspired to write the Hunger Games by watching the TV coverage of the first Gulf War. It's not clear whether she'd read Baudrillard on the subject, or indeed the Terry Pratchett of Only You Can Save Mankind, but she appears to have reached similar conclusions to both regarding the manufactured nature of news in the era of global television, along with the conviction that the system's weakness lies precisely in the globalization from which it derives its power. Still, I wish I could decide how far literature has been a real inspiration for social protest in these cases, and how far it has merely provided a convenient rallying point. Perhaps the point is that, in such a world, the distinction disappears.

the distinction disappears

--yes, I think that's the case.

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And of course the whole-fist power salute, as in the 1968 Olympics. In this case, it's definitely inspired by The Hunger Games, though, to the extent that they've cancelled film showings in several places and protestors have begun to refer to their country as "District Thai".

Literature as an inspiration for social protest, as a rallying point, or as a language in which to express the protest?

What intrigues me about the adoption of the Guy Fawkes mask is that the people who have chosen that image tend not to know its history: they associate it with V, but being American, or young, or both, don't know what David Lloyd's character design refers to.

Yes, I can imagine some future version of Stephen Fry producing the Guy Fawkes connection as an interesting factoid in the 2913th series of QI.


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