Today is a day for revolutionaries to reflect on Guy Fawkes’ actions
“Remember, Remember the fifth of November.” Citizens in the UK will be reminiscing in the form of a celebration, since it is the national British holiday: Guy Fawkes Day. Soon the UK will be illuminated with the light of fireworks and bonfires in commemoration of this holiday. The event marks the triumph when a plot to plant a series of explosives made from gun-powder inside the cellar of the Palace of Westminster in an attempt to assassinate King James I, failed when the main conspirator, Guy Fawkes was caught guarding 36 barrels of gun-powder.
However, Guy Fawkes’ is not just a day for the British, since the event has materialized itself into pop culture, most-notably in the graphic novel turned feature film V for Vendetta. In the film, rather than celebrate the notion that King James I was saved from being murdered, V wants to take the date of November 5 and turn it into a day to reflect on a failed revolution and attempt to re-enact a successful one.
“So, if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked,” V said during the infamous speech scene. “But if you see as I see, and you feel as I feel, and if you would seek what I seek, then I would ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that we shall never ever, be forgot.”
The revolutionary attitude of the fifth of November continues to develop in current and future generations as the fictional aspects of V for Vendetta continue to become fact. Countries all over the world are being watched closer than ever. Surveillance programs like the United States’ PRISM which tracks internet data are becoming more prevalent. Drone attacks are becoming more common in military practices and the US already uses an emergency color-coded system.
As more and more people find their government untrustworthy, the more Guy Fawkes becomes a hero, rather than a villain. The “hacktivist” group Anonymous, wears Guy Fawkes masks in public and have started a digital revolutionary movement where they hack into various government websites to perform a series of cyber-attacks.
Famous British comedian Russel Brand went on BBC recently and did an interview with journalist Jeremy Paxman where be renounced government and publicly stated that he didn’t vote due to the many grievances he has with the British government. These are just a couple of examples of the brewing “Guy Fawkes” attitude that is growing inside of today’s youth, which makes this fifth of November one of the most relevant one’s yet.