My First Annual November 5 Post

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 and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.

Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!

A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.

A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.

Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

—one of many versions of “The Fifth of November” folk poem

All the Occupiers who are donning “V for Vendetta” style Guy Fawkes masks apparently have no idea what the Gunpowder Plot was about. It was a plot by a group of Catholics to kill the Protestant King and Parliment of England and put a Catholic monarch on the throne. No doubt the Occupiers think of themselves as revolutionaries, but they have almost nothing in common with the Gunpowder Plot conspirators. Perhaps they seek to identify with V in the “V for Vendetta” story, but even there they fall short. In the story, V was protesting a fascist government, not greedy bankers. And I doubt much that the Occupiers would actually want to live in a society of anarchy as V championed. So Occupiers wearing the Guy Fawkes masks is silly and ridiculous. They wear them in ignorance, that much is clear.

And certainly one hopes the Occupiers do not attempt to use the tactics of Guy Fawkes or of V, which to say, to try to blow up buildings. That would not be good.

Anyway, the Occupiers are using a symbol of protest against government while rather deliberately blaming everyone but government for problems that were basically the fault of government. I get the impression that the mask wearing Occupiers do not grasp this at all. They are only conforming to what they see as a cool trend for protesters. I wonder if they have given any thought to it at all.

3 Responses to “My First Annual November 5 Post”

  1. thedreamingsub Says:

    I did not see it that way at the time, although ultimately that is what has happened. I saw it as all kinds of people from all walks of life demonstrating their right to peaceful protest. A right that should be demonstrated on a regular basis for whatever reason simply to remind the powers that be; we Americans have a right to peaceful demonstration. I get the impression that many of the occupiers did not know what their own message was. But they were on to something.

    To me, the answer is of course not about being anti-capitalistic. Private market is the only way to bring up GDP, which leads to trade, competitive advantage, and raising one’s standard of living.

    The titans of industry, most especially in the financial sector, caused this to happen and our government helped them in the end; they did not help us. To me that sounds like every reason to protest.

    And these same titans have done it again and again. Every 20 or so years turning the world on its side, emptying out the pockets of the little guy, and telling them to start over, save again.

    Last time it was the Savings and Loans Crises. Now this. I think it was intentional, but I don’t think ‘they’ expected it to go this far. I think it got away from them. Maybe I am too much of a conspiracy theorist.

    Similar protests have been breaking out across the world for a while now. Are they against capitalism too?

    It bothers me that so many of the occupiers were slanted as ‘dirty unemployed liberals’. I saw many, many different groups come together to have a voice.

    I was inspired to see the little guy find his voice, even if he was not sure what to say or how to use. It is a step though. We all have a voice.

    “Anyway, the Occupiers are using a symbol of protest against government while rather deliberately blaming everyone but government for problems that were basically the fault of government.”

    I can see why this would annoy you. I don’t know why they did not look more towards the government for accountability. I have given up on Federal government. I got upset about this one day after class with my Finance teacher. He understood where I was coming from. His advice to me was…if you want to enact change, then reach out to those in your own community, local government, your church.

    I thought that was good advice.

    • I understand the anger of many of the Occupy protesters. But they kept saying things like they wanted free education, and they blamed corporations with almost no mention of the government regulations that contributed significantly to the economic crisis. They seemed to be protesting for the sake of protesting without actually caring what they were protesting about.

      • thedreamingsub Says:

        “They seemed to be protesting for the sake of protesting without actually caring what they were protesting about.”

        Yes, you are correct on that. They had no clear message or plan.

        It’s a shame too, because they were on to something. I do believe people can evoke change. They have to get past complacency. Here is the problem. The masses are so misinformed. They have no idea what is really going on around them. They just know they are getting fucked and they are tired of it.

        I don’t know how we will ever turn this government around. I don’t know if it is possible.

        It was nice to see the banks squirm.

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