Not just a catchy line from “V for Vendetta”, that line is for Guy Fawkes.
Who the heck is that, you may ask.
Guy Fawkes was a noteworthy attempted assassin in Britain. He, along with some other Catholics persecuted by the Anglican King James I and the balance of government, put together a plot to kill the King and blow up the Houses of Parliament by filling an underground chamber with gunpowder. Henceforth the plan was known as the “Gunpowder Plot” and was foiled by guards before Guy Fawkes was able to light the gunpowder. He was tortured until he gave up the names of his conspirators then they were all killed in some grotesque combination of hanging and/or being drawn and quartered.
The night he was caught was the 5th of November and is celebrated with bonfires, fireworks, and to a lesser extent effigy burning of Guy Fawkes and has been expanded to generally unpopular figures: usually popes, bosses, and political folks. Also, some traditions reverse the roles of the servants and the masters if only partially.
I think after yesterday’s momentous election, I’m going to celebrate a little more tonight. I’m still very unhappy with the apparent passage of prop 8, so maybe I’ll burn a “Yes on 8” sign on my backyard mini-bonfire. I have heard there may be as many as 2 million uncounted absentee and provisional ballots, so I don’t believe they can call 8 done yet.
In any case, I’m going to celebrate the saving of America by its people — the bloodless change of power that we really take for granted every four years. America has a lot of rough spots, but it really is the best place to live by my measure, and while I have a good amount of pent up anger, I know that there are constructive ways to express it that are sanctioned and protected by the very fact that I am an American.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I can think of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the 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!