Posted by: anglopole | November 5, 2008

Guy Fawkes – the terrorist of old

It’s the 5th of November today, just another day in most European countries, except Britain. It’s Guy Fawkes night today or, if one prefers, bonfire/fireworks night. In modern terms Guy Fawkes was nothing but a terrorist. OOOOH! Bang! Whizzzzz! Aaah! Bang! Yelp! These are the sounds that will remind you of what he planned to do but, luckily for the king and parliment members of that day, he was unsuccesful! As I am writing this post there’s fireworks noise everywhere here :-/  It’s always amazed me that Bonfire Night is much more ‘explosive’  than New Year’s Eve. Actually, every evening for the past week’s been, erm, ear-splitting… not much of a blessing when one has young kids, really! The whole thing should, then , perhaps be renamed as The Explosive Guy Fawkes Week? 😉

fireworks

By the way, MI5 could learn a lot from those who caught Mr Fawkes red-handed, couldn’t they? 😉 Well, what the celebrations make me remember about is, that it’s not just Muslims that can resort to cruel fanaticism. Any religion can be used as a pretext or excuse for malicious, mean and violent acts – it doesn’t make the particular religion bad, though, which gets often overlooked!

So, some four centuries after Fawkes was caught, tortured and executed for his role in a scheme that never came to fruition, Britons still celebrate his demise each Nov. 5 by burning his likeness in effigy and setting fireworks ablaze. I can’t imagine how Bin Laden’s capture, trial, and sentence would be celebrated if it was the British intelligence to bring him to justice!

Anyway, despite the irritating noise I am not thinking about the notorious Fawkes today. To me, it’s Barack Obama’s day today. The American president-elect is not, after all, an inspiration for the USA only! 🙂

“Most politicians feel like Gordon Brown: managers rather than leaders, great on detail but boring as hell. You would sell your grandmother to listen to Obama; you would only go to see Brown if he was in the same street, and you happened to be free, and there was nothing decent on TV. “ by Ray Lewis


Responses

  1. “Remember, remember the 5th of November”!
    I would say that most English people celebrate the event without any thought about what it represents. In fact, it almost feels more like a pagan event, celebrating the arrival of winter. It’s about standing outside in the crisp, cold night air, drinking soup from a polysterene cup whilst kids eat crunchy, sticky toffee apples. Finally, it’s about the pleasure of watching fireworks, which seems to be a simple, primitive joy for people worldwide!

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  2. You’re right, Adam, it is just fun tiume for many people! I’ll probably enjoy it more when my kids are old enough to go to a fireworks display 🙂

    On the other hand, what’s the point of keeping a tradition nobody really knows the purpose for?

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  3. It’s not that people don’t know the reasons for something, but more that they’ve appropriated it for themselves to fill other needs. I guess the same could be said for Christmas which is almost universally celebrated in ‘Christian’ countries, although the majority of the populations would call themselves athiest.
    I think as humans we still largely respect the changing of seasons, and these festivities seem to coincide with some basic desires inside us (Bonfire night = Autumn, Christmas = Winter, Easter = Spring, my Birthday = Summer!)

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  4. Exactly! I have no idea why atheists celebrate Christmas or Easter. It’s a bit like me, being a Christian, suddenly started celebrating Hannuka or Ramadan! 😉
    Do people have to have a special occasion to give each other gifts, have dinner parties, organise firework displays? So, in a sense, Brits should be grateful to Mr Fawkes – without his unsuccessful coup ther’d be no bonfire night! 😉

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  5. Fireworks Year Round 🙂 !
    http://fireworksanimated.com

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  6. It certainly feels so…. :/

    It’s 07.11 and they are still making noise with the fireworks! It’s fine on one night, but I’m gradually beginning to feel I live in some sort of war torn zone! 😉

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