The Guy Fawkes Vendetta Mask: Guess What Poor People’s Sweat Shop They’re Made In?
It’s the mask sported by anti-capitalist protestors. It is also the mask from the film V For Vendetta:
A shadowy freedom fighter known only as “V” uses guerrilla tactics to fight against his terrorist, totalitarian society. Upon rescuing a girl from the secret police, he also finds his best chance at having an ally.
The Warner Bros film cost $54m to make.
A cut of every mask sold goes to Warner Brothers. Another cut of every one sold on Amazon goes to Amazon – the company that paid £2.4m in corporate taxes last year, the online retailer’s accounts show, despite making sales of £4.3bn.
The tax bill was almost as much as the £2.5m in government grants Amazon received over the same period, according to a Companies House filing.
So. Buying that mask to wear as a protest against capitalism and corporate greed profits the very companies you dislike.
Rubies Costume Company, which makes the mask, sells around 100,000 a year worldwide, and 16,000 in the UK, according to spokesman Steve Kitt, who seems a little concerned that any association with activists might harm the company’s image.
“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.
Mr. Beige said he did not know why the mask was so popular until recently. “We just thought people liked the ‘V for Vendetta’ movie. Then one morning I saw a picture of these protesters wearing the mask in an online news article,” he said. “I quickly showed my sales manager.”
The masks are being manufactured in bulk in a factory in Brazil.
Isn’t this all a little… hypocritical?
The pro-Anonymous account @youranoncentral tried to stem Twitter’s tide:
“Hey look everyone, our masks were made in some factory in a developing nation. We are the only hypocrites.” (see here)
And a number of people came out with views similar to Reddit user sayheykid24, who wrote: “How do people think the masks were made? Did they think they were lovingly handcrafted by anti-corporate artisans, or something?”
It’s true that Anonymous are not the only hypocrites. But not all hypocrites are entirely dependent on having a moral leg to stand on. Some, like big corporations, have other resources. But punishing other people’s bad behaviour is Anonymous’s recruiting message – join them, they suggest, and you are on the side of the good guys. This means that the group stands and falls on its integrity – and if it can’t afford to play by it’s own rules, it certainly can’t afford to break them.
How can Anonymous break out of the system?
Just be careful who you buy the ink, pinter, paint and paper off?