Since we’ve started celebrating Halloween in Norway – sort of – why not go for Guy Fawkes day too? On November 5, 1605, Fawkes and thirteen other fed up catholics tried to blow up parliament. For centuries after, the (failed) event was celebrated with fireworks, bonfires and parties. Some Aussies are planning to revive it as a day of political dissent. Nice idea, reappropriating the day. When the government ordered the people to annually burn an effigy of poor old Guy they probably didn’t imagine that it might become an annual celebration of dissent. I wonder whether the celebrations had that ambivalence all along?

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

You could be on either side and chant that rhyme.

2 thoughts on “guy fawkes day today

  1. Lars

    In one of my favorite comic books, Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s “V for Vendetta”, the main character is a terrorist in a Guy Fawkes costume who – in a near-future fascist Britain – blows up the parliament.It was written during Thatcher’s reign in Britain and, ironically, Moore writes in his foreword about how he considers abandoning his native Britain in favor of the US: “It’s cold and it’s mean spirited and I don’t like it here anymore”. Sound familiar?

  2. Norman

    It was a popular event in the 40s in Australia, and according to my family had “always” been a fun day here with no other dimension to it. Mine was a largely Irish descended ghetto, but no one gave a thought to any sectarian/dissent ideas.
    Dad used to joke about Guy Fawkes being the only man to ever enter politics with honourable intentions, but I do recall my mates giving him strange looks at this.
    But in this postmodern age, traditions don’t need to be more than one day old to be taken up.

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Machine Vision

Cultural Representations of Machine Vision: An Experimental Mixed Methods Workshop

Call for submissions to a workshop, Bergen, Norway
Workshop dates: 15-17 August 2022
Proposals due: 15 June

The Machine Vision in Everyday Life project invites proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop using qualitative approaches and digital methods to analyse how machine vision is represented in art, science fiction, games, social media and other forms of cultural and aesthetic expression.

Digital Humanities Machine Vision

What do different machine vision technologies do in fiction and art?

For the Machine Vision in Everyday Life project we’ve analysed how machine vision technologies are portrayed and used in 500 works of fiction and art, including 77 digital games, 190 digital artworks and 233 movies, novels and other narratives. You can browse […]

AI and algorithmic culture Presentations

My talk on caring AIs in recent sci-fi novels

I’m giving a talk at an actual f2f academic conference today, Critical Borders, Radical Re(visions) of AI, in Cambridge. I was particularly excited to see this conference because it’s organised by the people who edited AI Narratives A History of Imaginative Thinking […]