Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot
I just read Scott Horton’s piece on Guy Fawkes Day in Harpers and I really love the way that he paralleled the Gunpowder Treason to the attacks on September 11th. Guy Fawkes who was planning to To blow up the King and Parliament was a Roman Catholic and Horton reminds us that the Catholics were to 1600s England what Islamic fundamentalists are to the modern world. They were demonized and persecuted for the acts of a few zealous followers.
Horton lays out 3 lessons that we should remember on Guy Fawkes Day:
- Torture Never Works and is Always Wrong
- Beware the Government that Rules By Fear
- A Government That Stereotypes Is Unjust
So keep these in mind when you celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and if you’re like me you celebrate it by donning a stylish hat and mustachioed mask while fighting injustice. And if we do not keep these lessons in mind this November we run the risk of, 200 years from now, the 9/11 hijackers being immortilized in an heroic graphic novel (a la V is for Vendetta).