Zombies, Werewolves and England’s Favourite Terrorist

A big well done for all those excellent costumes we saw on Halloween night. The streets of Dorchester were lined with covens of witches, packs of werewolves and the odd one or two vampiric bloodsucker. Funnily enough as the night wore on and the festivities (and the alcohol) took their merciless toil, I felt more and more like I was in a tribute to Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

Ah well, such is the nature of the ever changing world we live in. Its all in with the new and out with the old. Clearly the influence of our american cousins (Some would say cousins loosely as in the Darwinist definition) has had a profound effect on our celebrations of all hallow’s eve. I saw many parents walking around their young monstrous offspring in the expectant delerium of a sugarhazed high. This is progress from last years groups of teenage ogres throwing eggs at old ladies windows, but still there is something very unbritish about it all. Maybe its the use of the term “Candy”, or the fact that the kids get very rude if you give them the “trick” instead of the “treat”, but something about this pre-pubescent charity jars with me.

Maybe its because so much attention has been focussed on this splurge of materialism, teaching our not so innocent children to beg for fattening sugar seems immoral somehow, perhaps we ought to have a “bum a fag” day, (on reflection that will mean something very different in the states i’m sure… here in the UK, it means to beg for a cigarette.) but I suspect the thing that bothers me the most is not about what Halloween has become, but what it isnt.

Tonight, November 5th is a very special day in England, or at least it should be. Guy Fawkes was born in 1570 in York. He was brought up amongst Roman Catholics attending the St Peter’s school in York before joining the army in 1586. In 1605 he led the “Gunpowder Plot”, a plan to blow up the House of Lords, during the State Opening of Parliament whilst King James I was inside.

He basically figured we were better off with it ALL gone. And why not. I think every once in a while we should recognise that things are just a bit rubbish and that we may need to blow it up and start again. In fact, Guy is a reminder that we are able to do just that. Thomas Jefferson said…

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

Thats what Guy Fawkes stood for, and not only that, but in the true spirit of the English, he failed completely!

We celebrate this day, November 5th, as the day his fiendish plot was discovered, by lighting bonfires and burning the effigy or “Guy”. This is a uniquely english celebration, which now involves fireworks, wooley gloves, scarves and the odd greasy fry, but its obvious to me that even though we have done this practice for the last 400 years the times have changed.

This year, all of our regular public bonfires (an opportunity to place things appropriate to burn on the giant heap in the green) seem to have disappeared. I can only assume this has something to do with the loathed ‘Health and Safety Committees’ that have sprung up around the country spoiling our fun and ruining our lives, since there has always been something magnetic and powerful about a giant bonfire to young and old alike.

It occured to me though as I watched so many monsters haunting the streets, that perhaps it was time to let this tradition go. Perhaps this pyre, this last vestige of englishness should be set ablaze and allowed to drift off into the forgotten sea.

I was in the supermarket today and spoke to a friend I hadnt seen for some time. She had split with her cheating husband and had returned to Dorchester for some tranquillity and a new begining. And thats when it occured to me that before we let all our antiquanted traditions go, we should see if we can blow a little more life into its dying embers.

I put it to you that there is plenty of life left, and that even if you dont see the benefits of burning the last traces our most famous terrorist, then you should replace him with your own burning effigy. Perhaps a cheating lover would be appropriate or a tyranical boss, an interfering mother-in-law or even a sadistic dentist. Perhaps a fraudulent polician would be more appropriate to burn, or a perverted priest, or even an inconsiderate, rude and just plain annoying driver, who cuts in on me and doesnt indicate and stops for no reason whatsoever!

I personally will be imagining enjoying the sight of Dorchesters loathed teenage “Chavs” going up in flames, but whatever beats your drum.

Either way, I think we should try hard to keep this wonderful old tradition. We should celebrate our bonfires and sparklers, even if it does scare the bejesus out of the local dogs!

Burn Baby Burn…..hahaha!

~ by eggplantinspace on November 5, 2009.

One Response to “Zombies, Werewolves and England’s Favourite Terrorist”

  1. It has been noticed by many this year that the crappy Americanised, Commercialised rubbish of halloween has completely overshadowed the British heritage of Guy Fawkes night. It was hard to find fireworks amongst all the sweets and costume crap, along with the severed legs etc.. As a child bonfire night was a fun family affair with hot dogs and jacket spuds, gloves, scarves and thick coats, the smell of the bonfire lingering on clothes and in the air for days to come and the traditional penny for the Guy. I didn’t see a single Guy this year and our local bonfire was cancelled. It is a shame that we are allowing the materialistic yanks to erode our traditions beyond all recognition. We did do the halloween thing a bit as children but it was small and spooky as apposed to gruesome and gaudy and it was always just a pre-cursor to the far more celebrated Nov 5th. At a time when Britain is being invaded by legions of foreigners and our unique culture is being crushed we should be fighting harder to retain what little history we can. I for one avoided the gory rubbish and watched with childlike awe as fireworks lit up the sky. Long live Guy Fawkes night (with all the irony intended)!


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