a circled red “v” on the president’s door

There was a little mention in the “Ann Arbor News” today that a circled red “V” was painted on the door of the University of Michigan President’s house Monday night. Here’s the entire account:

A red “V” was spray-painted on the front door of the President’s House at the University of Michigan sometime overnight Monday, police said.
Officers on patrol spotted the graffiti on the front storm door of the residence at 815 S. University Ave. from the roadway just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, said. U-M Police Lt. Bob Neumann.

The graffiti was estimated at 3 feet by 3 feet and consisted of a “V” with a circle around it, Neumann said. It was the only marking on the property.
Clean-up cost was estimated at $100.

So, do you see it?


I know I can’t be the only one.

It apparently slipped by the police and the press, but note the date… Monday, November 5… Do you get it now?

Surely some of you have read the comic book or seen the film “V for Vendetta.” Remember how it revolved around the story of Guy Fawkes, the radical Catholic who attempted to blow up the English House of Parliament in 1604? Well, November 5 – the day this act of vandalism occurred in Ann Arbor – is Guy Fawkes Night, the British holiday marking the apprehension of the old-school religious terrorist. And the circled red “V” is the emblem of the protagonist in “V for Vendetta,” who took inspiration from the gunpowder plot of Fawkes and his collaborators.

Here’s the old English rhyme commemorating the event.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

And here’s something I didn’t know until just now… The Ron Paul for President campaign recently took on the Guy Fawkes meme and made it their own. Here’s a clip from an article in the “New York Times“:

…Many fans of Mr. Paul know of the day primarily through a movie based on the futuristic graphic novel “V for Vendetta,” by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, in which a terrorist modeled after Fawkes battles a fascist government that has taken over Britain.

The Paul campaign has raised more than $6.84 million in the first five weeks of this quarter, more than the $5 million it raised from July 1 to Oct. 1. Many of the contributions appeared to come through the independent Fawkes effort, but how much was unclear.

On Monday alone, the campaign signed up more than 21,000 new donors…

So, what does it all mean? I don’t know. I am, however, almost certain that there was more to this Ann Arbor incident than just simple vandalism. It could just be a rabid fanboy paying homage to Natalie Portman (who was in the film version of “V”), but there’s a chance that the President’s door wasn’t chosen by accident. My guess is we’ve got a person out there who feels as though, by painting the symbol, he’s pointing out fascism. Or, maybe it was just a Ron Paul fanatic who felt the uncontrollable need to celebrate his or her candidate’s record-breaking $4.2 million fundraising day.

And if you’re not clear on the connection between Fawkes and Paul, it seems as though it’s kind of a metaphor. Fawkes attempted to blow up what he thought was an evil government, and Paul is trying to do the same to a corrupt White House. (At least this is what I gather from my brief research.) Of course, Fawkes was caught and put to death… I guess the Paul folks didn’t think it through that far… And then there’s that thing about Fawkes being a terrorist… Still, it was an interesting gambit, and it brought in lots of cash.

And then there’s the other explanation. Drunk fratboy gets handed paintbrush and pointed toward President’s door.

If I were the President of UM, just to be safe, I’d put a Ron Paul sign in my yard, denounce fascism, and hope for the best.

This entry was posted in Observations. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. Posted November 8, 2007 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    This was great! Very Nice read! lol at the end! Very Good!

  2. Kerri
    Posted November 8, 2007 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I saw that the other day and thought the same thing because I had just read that it was Guy Fawkes Day. Be careful, Mary Sue!

    Did anyone else find it odd in the movie that V listened to Cat Power?

  3. Posted November 8, 2007 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Ok, so I guess I can’t stick strictly to policy discussions. Vertigo comics are the best… the movie was pretty fantastic too. Yeah for Sandman, Hellblazer and all the other amazing series they have run over the years.

    The website http://www.thisnovember5th.com did an commendable job focusing the energy spent on behalf of Rep. Paul on MySpace and Facebook into hard cash. By my observation, the line is pretty blurry between Ron Paul fans, 911 Truthers, and those 20-something internet networking types who are flat out pissed off at the state of political affairs that they have inherited. A 20 year old has little connection to the Clinton years, imagine how frustrating it must be to come of age during a time when the Congress has been incapable of holding the President accountable for his numerous documented crimes. Rep. Conyers wrote an entire book on Bush’s Impeachable offenses but has not done a damn thing in support of Constitutional accountability since the 2006 Dem majority. Good for Paul’s young supporters for not falling for Democratic Presidential candidates who nod & grin complicity in support of the Unitary Executive, which they hope to inherit.

    I hope these folks stay involved in the political process!

    If nothing else it has been fun questioning how reliable phone polling is anymore. I think it’s safe to bet that 70% of the 35,000+ donors who gave to Paul on 11/5, use cell phones as opposed to land lines. In other words, they don’t get calls from Zogby pollsters during dinner like land line folks do. Paul is most definitely under-represented in national polls.

  4. Posted November 9, 2007 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I was on campus (at EMU) the other day– and I guess as I remember it, it was Monday– and I saw some dude walking around with the V for Vendetta mask on. Just walking from the student center to the library. So I don’t know, maybe he made a stop over at U of M later….

  5. Posted November 9, 2007 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Tame. THIS is how to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night:



  6. dirtgrain
    Posted November 9, 2007 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking it was a nerd who did it.

  7. mark
    Posted November 9, 2007 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I was expecting a call from the police today, asking for my help with the investigation, and perhaps insinuating that I had a hand in it, but there was nothing.

  8. Brian
    Posted November 9, 2007 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    The Michigan Theater got V’d as well. Maybe this fake Guy Fawkes hates not for profits.

  9. Anonymatt
    Posted November 11, 2007 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    If I saw a spray painted V on a wall, it would make me think of a woman swallowing a guinea pig.

  10. Edwina Fan
    Posted November 15, 2007 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I think it has something to do with the Vagina Monologues, but that’s because everything in Ann Arbor does.

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