Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.
Today is the 401st anniversary of when a group of protesters tried to blow up the British houses of Parliament with the Parliament and king in them. Guy Fawkes, one of the plotters, was arrested and executed for treason, and has since been remembered as first a symbol of what happens to those who scheme against the government, but also a symbol that government should be held accountable to the people it represents.

At least, that's the interpretation I picked up from the fabulous movie V for Vendetta, in which the hero, V, wears a Guy Fawkes mask and plots to blow up the houses of Parliament.

I also now understand why in Harry Potter, Dumboldore's pet phoenix is named Fawkes.

For more on the holiday, see these websites:

Fawkesian Society Website
Guy Fawkes Night on Wikipedia
Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night

1 comment:

  1. I cringed when I saw this article about a Bonfire Night celebrant:

    Backside firework prank backfires

    A man suffered internal burns when he tried to launch a rocket from his bottom on Bonfire Night.

    Paramedics found the 22-year-old bleeding, with a Black Cat Thunderbolt Rocket lodged inside him, when they attended the scene in Sunderland.

    He suffered a scorched colon and is now recovering in hospital, where his condition is described as stable.

    A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) said the prank could have been fatal.

    Douglas McDougal, from the NEAS, said: "We received a call stating there was a male who had a firework in his bottom and it was bleeding.

    "He sustained fairly significant injuries in the fact that there's huge damage to that particular area."

    'Beyond belief'

    Mr McDougal added: "Potentially it could have been a fatal incident.

    "There's a lot of major blood vessels round that area, so infection would probably be a huge problem for him.

    "And also the body naturally produces methane gas, so combine that with the firework and the exploding effect with methane's flammability - it certainly could have been a lot worse than it really was."

    A spokesman for the Firework Association described the bizarre prank as "beyond belief".

    He said: "We have spent a long time working with the government to create laws that make fireworks safer and better for the public.

    "This incident is very concerning but hopefully an isolated one."

    Northumbria Police said they were aware of the incident, which happened in the Dame Dorothy Street area of Monkwearmouth, but are understood not to be carrying out further inquiries.


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