Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Best Movie I have seen in a Long Time

I saw V for Vendetta this weekend and it is the best movie I have seen in a long time. It is thought provoking with the right spice of humor and action. Normally when movies try to be thought provoking they fail to live up to there potential, but V for Vendetta is both well thought out and hits its mark. It is one of those movies that supersedes its genre and is a must see movie no matter what types of movies you normally go for. It is based on a graphic novel, which itself is inspired by the Britain’s strangest holiday: Guy Fawkes Day, but the movie crafts the story to a spot on relevance to our time.

For those not familiar with the bizarre holiday of Guy Fawkes day it is when our British cousins set off fireworks to celebrate an attempt or the failure of an attempt (the British don’t seem to be sure which themselves) to blow up their Parliament. When I lived in London I tried to get a good explanation of it from my British friends. They seem to take pleasure in the uniquely British bizarreness of this holiday. To understand the perspective of celebrating the blowing up of Parliament one must understand that in Britain the majority acting through Parliament has the unchecked power to tyrannize over the rest of society, thus when tyranny and abuse of power occur in Britain it is done by Parliament. The American notions of checks and balances are unique institutions that have helped slow the loss of liberty here, though clearly Madison’s system is facing one of its worse challenges yet. In the 1930’s Madison’s checks and balances system prevented the concentration of absolute power when FDR tried and failed to stack the Supreme Court. A few brave Democratic Senators stood up to an overwhelmingly popular president of their own party to save liberty. One of the saddest things to me today is that there are no Republicans of that same caliber willing to stand up and prevent the courts to be filled with executive power deferential judges. Instead they fell in line and put two people on the Supreme Court (and many more on the lower courts) whose uniting judicial philosophy is a strong belief in executive power. When I was working on my graduate work in comparative constitutional design one of the things that stood out was that one of the main reasons why democracy succeeded in the US, but often failed in Latin America even though many of the Latin American countries that tried democracy borrowed their constitutional design from the US was that in the Latin American adaptations of the US constitution the executive branch was always the strongest branch while in the US for our first 150 years the legislature was the strongest branch. Will congress stop abdicating their role in our constitutional system and use their constitutionally granted tools to check abuse of executive power? Will congress preserve the judiciary from being filled with judges that defer to the executive at the expense of the legislature? Will congress stand up and perverse liberty? We choose our members of congress and if they won’t stand up and do their duty we will soon have an opportunity to elect those that will.

Anyway, as my college friends learned it is dangerous to get me talking constitutions at 2 am because I will talk all night. Go see V for Vendetta and let me know what you think. I loved it and highly recommend it.

6 Comments:

Blogger dunbar06 said...

It seems like every time push comes to shove, the Democrats in the US Senate cave in to President Bush as much as the Republicans do. Sure they do a alot of complaining, but when it comes down to it, other than a few Senators, their votes rarely ever match their rhetoric. With judges, they lost on John Roberts on day one and probably could not have stopped him. But they had enough votes to sustain a filibuster against Samuel Alito yet decided against it for whatever reason and allowed him to be confirmed.

7:56 AM  
Blogger wintersnowman said...

Are there any Democrats who will stand up to Bush and his lapdogs in Congress strongly and consistently? Feingold is leading the way. If no one else stands up he may be my favorite for President.

I gotta go see V for Vendetta. My fiance and I have that at the top of our list.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

wintersnowman,

Let me know what you think when you see it. I loved it. As for Feingold, you are right it nice to see a man of courage, leadership, who stands up and fights for what he believes. I wish there were more like him. I have not yet decided who I want for president in 2008, though I must admit I am intrigued by Brian Schweitzer the Democratic governor of Montana. Brian is a rancher with a masters in Soil Science who worked on irrigation projects in North Africa and the Middle East for 7 years and speaks Arabic fluently. He is also won the governorship in Montana by uniting the hunters and fisherman with enviromentalists by pointing out the Republicans were selling off access lands where people hunted and fished to extraction companies.

1:06 AM  
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