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.

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