HAIRCUT 100: Day 87, No. 87: ‘Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.’
From the beautiful film (2006) directed by James McTeigue and written by The Wachowski Brothers (now sisters), and the even more beautiful graphic serial by Alan Moore and David Lloyd (1982 – 1988, another Warrior original), which got me through many a bad night in the darkest days of Thatcherism and still movers me to tears today. OK, purists may argue that the point of this character is that we never see his or her face, in common with the other mysterious ‘V’ in the landmark postmodern novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon (1963). But as s/he is depicted as being in some way disfigured by genetic experimentation at Larkhill, and/or burnt during his/her escape, while always wearing a wig and having that whole Phantom of the Opera/Dr. Phibes things going on, I think the circumstantial evidence in favour of baldness is quite compelling. (The shaven-headed concentration camp prisoner is also a recurring image in both narratives.) Anyway, it’s November 5. And now the idea is made flesh, as the international ‘Anonymous’ network of hacktivists has taken the ‘penny-for-the-guy’ mask as their emblem, along with the ethos of the character that freedom is everything. Just as V once spoke to the people of an imagined fascist Britain that seems to be getting closer in fact every day, Anonymous broadcasts regularly to the world online. History becomes fiction becoming history again. What a world: ‘Vi veri universum vivus vici!’
Dedicated to Guy Fawkes, the last honest man to enter Parliament.