Wednesday, November 05, 2008

remember, remember the 5th of november: guy fawkes day

remember, remember the 5th of november: guy fawkes dayfrom time: The English, among other talents, are adept at nurturing their grudges. How else does one explain the enduring enmity toward Guy Fawkes, a conspirator in a plot to blow up Parliament in 1605? 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... In recent years, Fawkes' legacy has broadened. He provided the inspiration for the tile character in the Wachowski brothers' V for Vendetta, in which a masked crusader embarks on a terrorist campaign against a totalitarian British dystopia. Fawkes also proved an effective fundraising rally cry for onetime U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul, who garnered more than $4 million on the holiday in 2007 from a website commemorating Fawkes. This year, revelers will gather across Britain — most notably in Lewes, a town once known as a hotbed of anti-Catholicism sentiment that throws one of the British Isles' biggest conflagrations — and in nations ranging from South Africa and Canada to New Zealand and Australia. Guards will also perform the annual search - more pageantry than precaution - of the Houses of Parliament to ensure no would-be Fawkes is lurking. Though the animosity and rituals may merely be symbolic at this point, the celebrations still burn brightly.

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