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  1. #11
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    ^ depends on how you look at it, i guess.

    essentially it started out as a pro-government sigh of relief and laugh at the failed rebellion, a celebration of king james' continued survival. it was actually a public observance put into law for about 250 years, i think, but was eventually repealed. the holiday was, in addition to being pro- status quo government, quite protestant, being as the whole point of the gunpowder plot was to put a catholic back on the english throne - religious tolerance towards catholics had waned after elizabeth i, king james' predecessor. so on the 5th, people in britain built bonfires and burnt effigies of "evil" or chaotic figures such as the devil and pope, and later of guy fawkes himself and other unpopular, typically "rebellious" figures.

    more recently people have seemed to sympathize more with fawkes, especially given v for vendetta, which portrays the hero in a guy fawkes role fighting against a fascist government. the 12 gunpowder conspirators were fighting for religious freedom, after all, even though their way of going about it was rather violent.

    in my mind, it kind of walks the line between being a celebration of safety and protecting a stable government from those who seek to bring chaos through violence, and a reminder of the potential evils of authoritarian government and the suppression of social tolerance.

    mostly i just like the rhyme, and fireworks.

    Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
    The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
    I know of no reason
    Why the Gunpowder Treason
    Should ever be forgot.
    Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, 'twas 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 [or mercy] he was catch'd
    With a dark lantern and burning match.
    Hulloa boys, Hulloa boys, let the bells ring.
    Hulloa boys, hulloa boys, God save the King!

  2. #12
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    I thought this thread would just be someone posting fun facts about each day in history, not just a Guy Fawkes thing.

    Gotta say: mild disappointment.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  3. #13
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I keep hearing about Guy Fawkes day and I still don't get what it is. It's like it keeps getting explained to me and it never sticks. is it a good thing or a bad thing or...?
    A Catholic tried to blow up Parliament with gunpowder and failed. So every year the English burn effigies and if they're really old-fashioned still beat up Irishmen - the original "Trick or Treat".

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    A Catholic tried to blow up Parliament with gunpowder and failed. So every year the English burn effigies and if they're really old-fashioned still beat up Irishmen - the original "Trick or Treat
    I don't know if I'm supposed to laugh, but I want to.

    Sorry Peguy. I love your extensive knowledge of history.

  5. #15
    Sniffles
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    Dont worry, it was meant to be sarcastic. But apparently that actually is part of the origins of "Trick or treating"
    "Trick or treat" is perhaps the oddest and most American addition to Halloween, and is the unwilling contribution of English Catholics.

    During the penal period of the 1500s to the 1700s in England, Catholics had no legal rights. They could not hold office and were subject to fines, jail and heavy taxes. It was a capital offense to say Mass, and hundreds of priests were martyred.

    Occasionally, English Catholics resisted, sometimes foolishly. One of the most foolish acts of resistance was a plot to blow up the Protestant King James I and his Parliament with gunpowder. This was supposed to trigger a Catholic uprising against their oppressors. The ill-conceived Gunpowder Plot was foiled on Nov. 5, 1605, when the man guarding the gunpowder, a reckless convert named Guy Fawkes, was captured and arrested. He was hanged; the plot fizzled.

    Nov. 5, Guy Fawkes’ Day, became a great celebration in England, and so it remains. During the penal periods, bands of revelers would put on masks and visit local Catholics in the dead of night, demanding beer and cakes for their celebration: trick or treat!

    http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/...Halloween.html

  6. #16
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I keep hearing about Guy Fawkes day and I still don't get what it is. It's like it keeps getting explained to me and it never sticks. is it a good thing or a bad thing or...?
    I think it really depends on what you think of this "guy":


  7. #17
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Actually Oberon that whole issue Tiannamen Square is seriously misunderstood in the west.

    Many of the pro-democracy demonstrators where left wing opposition to neo-liberal and market maoist reforms being carried out by the party, it was also an intergenerational conflict in a highly traditionalist society concerned with the transmission of traditions and their preservation across generations, the establishment met extensively with the leaders of the uprising and told them they would enter into dialogue if they could prove that they could control the zeitgheist they had unleashed but they couldnt and no state in history has tolerated open anarchy or chaos.

    Some of the democracies have been less tolerant, in the US troops opened fire on students on campus killing them, in NI the paras shot unarmed demonstrators and that's pretty much not even in question anymore, after a number of investigations at huge expense its pretty much been acknowledged.

    There's a reason that "Tank Man" is remembered and the picture shown and shown again and why its someone opposing the Chinese government and not, for instance, a palestinian standing in front of some Israeli armoured vehicle.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Dont worry, it was meant to be sarcastic. But apparently that actually is part of the origins of "Trick or treating"
    Interesting article. Thanks.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Dont worry, it was meant to be sarcastic. But apparently that actually is part of the origins of "Trick or treating"
    "Trick or treat" is perhaps the oddest and most American addition to Halloween, and is the unwilling contribution of English Catholics.

    During the penal period of the 1500s to the 1700s in England, Catholics had no legal rights. They could not hold office and were subject to fines, jail and heavy taxes. It was a capital offense to say Mass, and hundreds of priests were martyred.

    Occasionally, English Catholics resisted, sometimes foolishly. One of the most foolish acts of resistance was a plot to blow up the Protestant King James I and his Parliament with gunpowder. This was supposed to trigger a Catholic uprising against their oppressors. The ill-conceived Gunpowder Plot was foiled on Nov. 5, 1605, when the man guarding the gunpowder, a reckless convert named Guy Fawkes, was captured and arrested. He was hanged; the plot fizzled.

    Nov. 5, Guy Fawkes’ Day, became a great celebration in England, and so it remains. During the penal periods, bands of revelers would put on masks and visit local Catholics in the dead of night, demanding beer and cakes for their celebration: trick or treat!

    http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/...Halloween.html
    That sounds like a bit of a stretch, considering "trick or treat" can't really be found in the U.S. until the 20th century. The phrase was foreign to the English when they encountered it in American media.

  10. #20
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    [leftist framing of the Tank Man pic]
    Thanks for sharing what you think of that image... as a check on my hypothesis, does it correspond with your take on Guy Fawkes?

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