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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Anonymous

This is the second time I've had occasion to write about the hacker group Anonymous.* The last time I was far more critical of the group because it seemed that they were just a petty, mean-spirited group of nincumpoops. But lately they have grown bolder and more organized, turning into something more closely resembling an actual insurgency in techno-sheep clothing. I must admit that every time one of these YouTube threats come online I get the feeling that this is a movie, or that I've seen this before. Certainly there is something vaguely deja-vuish about the group's use of the Guy Fawkes masks from V For Vendetta; there are discussions to be had about the post-postmodernness of all of this. The comic book creates an iconic re-imagining of a historical character in order to represent the rebellious animus, and at the same time creates a definitive anarchist anti-hero, whose masked visage is both frightening and strangely comforting. Then, partly inspired by the rebellious spirit of the comic book, protest groups around the world don the now-classic mask in order to conjure the same terror/comfort dual animus that drove the comic book anti-hero's lust for rebellious destruction in the first place, all the while struggling against the very sort of military-industrial pseudo-fascist corporate regime against which the comic book anti-hero was also struggling against.

There are two ways to look at this: either this is a perfect example of reality feeding art which feeds reality which feeds art which feeds reality, or Alan Moore was just a genius and he truly saw the future for what it was, a growing battle between the haves and have-nots and provided the perfect icon for the future struggle.

Either way, Anonymous plans on erasing the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) from the internet on October 10.



*I gotta admit, after re-reading that post, I'm a little struck by how prescient it seems, given the recent Occupy Wall Street, Arab Spring stuff going on.

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