I ran across an interesting article today about the development of the Guy Fawkes mask and its evolution from novelty item to symbol of protest. While the article details the sometimes contrary development of the mask, partially driven by the recent movie, it fails at the same time to look at the deeper derivation of the mask. Masks operate to grant anonymity, and thus allow those to protest who might not otherwise feel comfortable doing so. At the same time when there is only one aspect of popular culture which can be so so readily borrowed, is it not logical that the mask would thus become a simple and efficient thing to express your opinions with? So much of modern politics is driven by symbols, and they are often manufactured, and the most difficult thing most political organizations intend to create is there own organic and viral symbol to go along with their message (a process known as astroturfing.) The mask represents the opposite of this, a symbol which has been altered definitely but which still holds the original in spirit if not in meaning.