The Hypocrisy of Guy Fawkes Day – ‘United States of Europe’ 3 November, 2015.
Guy Fawkes Day – what is it exactly? Believe it or not, Guy Fawkes has been around since before ‘V for Vendetta’ in 2005. The Brits explain Guy Fawkes Day as a national celebration of freedom – the freedom to remain obedient to the State.
Every year on the 5th of November, the British light bonfires and celebrate their freedom. The freedom they celebrate is the freedom from a guy who once tried to blow up Parliament and failed. Effectively, they’re celebrating a successful police action by the State.
In America, we don’t have Guy Fawkes. We had Osama bin Laden, but we don’t burn him on bonfires every year. (And his track record is arguably more impressive than Guy Fawkes.) On second thought: Don’t give America any ideas.
Of course, some years the Brits update the Guy Fawkes they burn in effigy – for example Sepp Blatter, Vladimir Putin, and this year they’re probably burning whoever at the World Health Organization said you can’t eat sausage and bacon.
Guy Fawkes – as the saying goes – was ‘The last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions.’
Guy Fawkes inspired Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta – although looking at Alan Moore, the mask should have been less of the Guy Fawkes goatee and more like the full Hipster / Rasputin.
And it was V for Vendetta that inspired the Hacktivist group Anonymous. Anonymous is known for protesting Scientology and contributing to Occupy Wall Street. Also, ‘Anonymous’ is apparently behind every comment I receive online, such as ‘Shapiro! Jew!’
So what is the real meaning of Guy Fawkes? According to Anonymous, it’s revolution. This November 5th, they’re organizing a protest they call the Million Mask March. And if you want to join, you need a mask.
You can buy your mask online. On Amazon there are even helpful comments like: “Great for parties, getting out of jury duty or protecting you from pepper spray.”
But don’t forget – since Warner Brothers studio made ‘V for Vendetta,’ Time Warner gets 90% of every mask sold. Apparently the V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes mask is big business. Manufacturer Ruby’s says this one model is more popular than Batman, Harry Potter and even Darth Vader. They make the masks in China. 100,000 Guy Fawkes masks are sold every year, which contributes to the $29 billion Time Warner made last year.
And if you’re not yet convinced capitalism is running the table, witness Exhibit B: the new ‘VIP Gold V for Vendetta’ mask. $59.95. And there’s the gold V for Vendetta pendant. And the gold V for Vendetta cufflinks. Because some V for Vendetta merchandise is more equal than others.
On second thought, if you want to celebrate the real spirit of Guy Fawkes, take a mask and throw it on the bonfire.