The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
It’s funny what fragments historical recollection get carried from one generation to the next. Even for a plot celebrated in song and dedicated to remembrance, almost nothing can realistically be recalled about the events of Guy Fawkes Day.
Guy Fawkes always had suffered from a certain amount of historical amnesia. What initially was a xenophobic holiday dedicated to nationalistic chest-thumping and anti-Catholic recriminations became, by the19th century, a patriotic festival dedicated to chestnut roasting and fireworks.
Still, with the advent of Alan Moore’s landmark comic book V for Vendetta (and subsequent movie) , Guy Fawke’s posthumous-career has taken a stranger turn as a progressive protest icon. Popularized first as the face of the left-wing hacker group Anonymous, the infamous Guy Fawkes plastic mask become a staple of occupy wall street and other quasi-revolutionary groups
I am not the first person to point out the utter silliness of secular socialists using the face of a fanatical Catholic to symbolize anarchy. However, I might be alone in hoping that the image of Fawkes may one day be reclaimed by the crazy trad-Catholic convert community to which the historical Guy Fawkes belonged. What would happen if hundreds of members of say The March for Life, donned white face masks and black cloaks in place of skirts and sweater vests? Most likely, the press would collectively cough up a lung and every member of the house democratic caucus would be hiding under their desks. It would be bad for our country, disastrous for our public discourse. But it would be very funny, and more importantly, it would at least a little more historically accurate:
But as long as we are remembering the Catholic crazies this Guy Fawkes Day, let’s not forget how bad their anti-Catholic rivals were just half a century later: In fairness to the English, Cromwell did tell them that if they liked their Christmas dinner they could keep it.
H/T Mark Shea for the video