V for Vendetta and corporate anarchism

31Aug11

This story gave me a chuckle:

 Anonymous, the hacker group, has jostled with the Iranian government and the Church of Scientology and has briefly shut down the Web sites of Visa, MasterCard and other global corporations.

When members appear in public to protest censorship and what they view as corruption, they don a plastic mask of Guy Fawkes, the 17th-century Englishman who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

Stark white, with blushed pink cheeks, a wide grin and a thin black mustache and goatee, the mask resonates with the hackers because it was worn by a rogue anarchist challenging an authoritarian government in “V for Vendetta,” the movie produced in 2006 by Warner Brothers.

What few people seem to know, though, is that Time Warner, one of the largest media companies in the world and parent of Warner Brothers, owns the rights to the image and is paid a licensing fee with the sale of each mask.

The hackers wear the mask when they protest outside of Scientology buildings. And they wore it during a short-lived protest this month in San Francisco of the Bay Area Rapid Transit’s decision to cut off cell service to thwart an earlier protest inside train stations.[…]

Indeed, with the help of Anonymous, the mask has become one of the most popular disguises and — in a small way — has added to the $28 billion in revenue Time Warner accumulated last year. It is the top-selling mask on Amazon.com, beating out masks of Batman, Harry Potter and Darth Vader.

“We sell over 100,000 of these masks a year, and it’s by far the best-selling mask that we sell,” said Howard Beige, executive vice president of Rubie’s Costume, a New York costume company that produces the mask. “In comparison, we usually only sell 5,000 or so of our other masks.” The Vendetta mask, which sells for about $6 at many retailers, is made in Mexico or China, Mr. Beige said.

Previous: Michael Moore’s love affair with capitalism, Nike against Zionism dude, Keffiyeh celebrities televise the revolution, hipster pseudo-radicalism, Dunkin Donuts, Suicide bomber chic.

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2 Responses to “V for Vendetta and corporate anarchism”


  1. 1 Anti-National Translation
  2. 2 #Occupy III: V for Vendetta « Anti-National Translation

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