We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Halloween can Fawke off as far as I am concerned

Call me a traditionalist if you wish, but I can muster very little enthusiasm for Halloween, particularly the current neutered Americanised version of it. For me, it does not hold a candle to Guy Fawkes Night on the 5th of November or Krampusnacht on the 5th of December.

krampus-horde

guy-fawkes

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

55 comments to Halloween can Fawke off as far as I am concerned

  • Mr Ed

    Agreed, the growth of Halloween is very recent, and in my childhood was only an event in Peanuts cartoons, and an odd one too. It all seems caught up in absurd sentimentality for children.

    However, the good folk of Lewes in Sussex do put on a splendid Bonfire night.

    http://www.lewesbonfirecelebrations.com

  • Thomas Fuller

    The two derive from the same pagan festival – Samhain, the “Feast of the Dead”, which was subsumed by the early Christians into All Saints’ Eve (All Saints Day being 1 Nov.), also called “Hallowmas”.

    Samhain in its earliest forms was marked by a big feast, using up whatever remained of the previous year’s harvest and killing and eating animals that were surplus to requirements or too “expensive” to keep over the winter. The feast fire came to symbolize either defiance of coming season or propitiation of the spirits. The slaughter became ritualized and the propitiation later involved human sacrifice.

    The fires survived the subsumption into Hallowmas. Anti-Catholic propagandists hijacked the festival and turned it into Guy Fawkes Night, and I think it is not too fanciful to speculate that the burning of the guy is an echo of the sacrificial aspects of Samhain.

    All Saints’ Eve in some cultures is still closely related to Samhain; hence the creepiness, which of course has now been commercialized, first in the USA and now here in the UK. I agree that it has gone much too far, just like Christmas and indeed Easter, which were also pagan festivals tamed by the early Christians.

  • pete

    Perry, for a libertarian free marketeer you should be untroubled by Halloween’s increased popularity and Bonfire Night’s decline.

  • Not everything is political, pete.

    I find little to engage me with the modern iteration of Halloween: people dress up in anodyne uninteresting ways (other than Heidi Klum that is, who really is in a class of her own) and do safe anodyne uninteresting things. Whatever. It is a great excuse to sell plastic spiders and spray-on cobwebs, but it has no cultural meaning and is now little more than a procession of carefully shepherded children asking for lumps of artificially flavoured sugar. It is just not interesting to me.

    Bonfire Night and Krampusnacht actually have historical and cultural baggage attached to them in ways Halloween has largely shed to make it ‘safe’. I grew up an English Catholic (back before I found The Flying Spaghetti Monster (PBUHNA)) and found the 5th of November fascinating. But when I lived in the USA, I found Halloween trite and now that this Americanised ‘festival’ has been reimported to Britain, it is just as uninteresting to me.

  • Mr Ed

    I grew up in London in the 1970s, with one lapsed Catholic parent. There was a tradition of ‘Penny for the Guy’, when children would make a Guy Fawkes by stuffing fallen leaves into an old jumper and trousers to make an effigy, a sock for the head, and ask adults for a penny, most obliged. My brother revived this with my eldest nephew c. 2005 and many adults were delighted, but London Underground kicked him out of their local Tube station.

    The significance of Guy Fawkes was rather lost on me as a child, this was the era of Heath and Wilson, and not having had it explained to me, I surmised and thought, until I was about 10, that we were celebrating what might have been had Guy Fawkes succeeded, hence the ‘penny’ for him, such was, in my view, the contempt for our political class. I was actually a bit taken aback to learn that Fawkes was the villain, which I found hard to reconcile with the celebration, as I saw it, of the Guy, and perhaps the ex-Catholic half of my parentage was reluctant to discuss matters such as this, lest one Grandma be offended.

    I also made extensive tests of rocketry with fireworks c. 12 years, finding that taking the ‘shell’ off a large rocket and sticking the taper of a smaller one in made an excellent 2-stage rocket, but a 3-stager would usually flip at the small 3rd stage, invert and shoot back to zero feet and explode. I blame NASA for inspiring me to make these experiments.

  • Sam Duncan

    Halloween has always been bigger in Scotland than it was in England, but I never liked it. Not least because our version of trick-or-treating, called “guising”, involved actually going into people’s houses and doing a party piece for your loot. Bugger, quite frankly, that. Certainly it’s more honest and equitable than the “Give us stuff or you’ll regret it” attitude of the American tradition, but still. I was a shy kid and hated every minute of it.

    Guy Fawkes Night is much more fun.

  • William O. B'Livion

    It’s good that you don’t care all that much for Halloween, for you are an adult and Halloween is not for adults, it’s for children.

    Some of those children are in their 30s and 40s, but children still.

  • RAB

    I seem to remember going across to the scout hut and bobbing for apples in my very young youth on Halloween, but it was no big deal. Much like New Years Eve was no big deal back then. You had blokes in frocks with badger handbags dancing on swords introduced by Andy Stewart on the telly at midnight and that was about it(is there a movie on after this rubbish mum?).

    Only last night I was watching a documentary about the Gunpowder Plot. Most people today believe that it was our current Parliament buildings that were under threat from Guy Fawkes and his Catholic Jihadis(education being what it currently is), but not so. Practically nothing of the old Parliament buildings apart from the entrance to the House of Lords still exists. And had it succeeded it would have been the biggest terrorist atrocity of all time. History would have been changed forever. Plenty of conspiracy theories of course. Sir Robert Cecil cooked it all up himself etc etc. But it was very interesting. I know which of these anniversaries should mean the most to us as a country, but Halloween and Hogmanay are wonderful excuses for a party and a piss up aren’t they?

  • Thailover

    Halloween is a celebration for me as an atheist and as someone who is no fan of the catholic church.
    As others have pointed out, it started with Samhain (pronounced sow-wen, but often mispronounced as sam-hain, even by “witches”).

    I celebrate the fact that it’s yet one more failed attempt by “the church” to rob people of their sacred celebrations and the result has been reduced (or increased, depends how one looks at it) into frivolity. All Hallowed Eve is now garbage if remembered at all.

    St Patrick’ Day is no longer a celebration of a Brit exiled from his homeland and bringing “the church” to Ireland. Now it’s a day to drink green beer and punch your buddy if he’s not wearing green.

    Increasingly, Easter is no longer a day to celebrate god “passing over” the Jews household and murdering the first born from every other household, including babies and including first born animals. All of course to terrify (#terrorism) the Egyptians into giving all their gold and silver to the Hebrews and telling them to leave. (Exodus 3).
    That’s right, the god of the Hebrews murdered innocent first born babies for money, and he hardened the pharaoh’s heart so that he wouldn’t let them go before this tenth plague played out.

    Easter is also increasingly not about the celebration of nailing one’s perfect teacher to a torture (#terrorism) device so that this innocent person can suffer the death penalty in place of the self-professed guilty; the very definition of injustice.

    Color me silly, but I still hold to the old fashioned idea that murdering the innocent whipping boy so the “guilty” can evade allegedly deserved punishment is evil.

    Easter is increasingly about hares and eggs, (symbols of fertility, even though Eoster (Ester) has been forgotten about).

    And Christmas is increasingly not about a sad attempt to steal the winter equinox celebrations from the pagans by usurping it with a magic baby’s birthday. (BTW, according to scripture, the nativity scene has nothing to do with three wise men visiting a magic baby in a manger. Christians can’t even get their own beliefs right. Rather “wise men” of unknown number supposedly brought Jesus three gifts when he was 2yrs old after returning from exile in Egypt, having ran from a baby purging exercise in the holy land that, in reality, never happened.)

    “Christmas” has been successfully reduced to SECULAR CHRISTMAS, with a jolly elf, ho-ho-ho, flying mule deer and the rest. Even the bible’s Jeremiah 10 says, (in so many words) to not put up a Christmas tree because it’s NOT terrifying (#terrorism) like ‘god’ is.

    May 1st (Mayday) has been successfully usurped by the communists (and the pro-union crowd…same thing) even though the Illuminati (the real one) tried their darndest to have it for themselves. Though the re-awakening of the pagans is increasingly reclaiming Beltane back again.

    Speaking of pagans again, they had or have Feb 2nd, Imbolic or as the church robber of holidays would call it, candlemas. I call it goddamned groundhog day because nothing wets my jollys quite as much as reducing “the church’s” stolen recognized day down to complete and utter frivolousness.

  • Michael Jennings

    Indeed. Halloween is weird and creepy and should be shunned so that it stays on the other side of the Atlantic.

  • pete

    Perry, your argument is entirely unconvincing from a libertarian point of view.

    The free market has chosen Halloween.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Nuts. You-all can quit complaining about other people’s sacred days and ritual amusements until you have the cojones to revert to spelling poor Mr ffawkes’ name the right way (more or less).

    Or there will be no Christmas goose, and nowt but a lump o’ coal in yer stockings. *evil expression*

  • John Mann

    Trick-or-treating, of course, contravenes the non-aggression principle.

    In fact, it bears an uncanny resemblance to the way the state uses HMRC.

  • Sam Duncan

    Interesting take here, by Rick Moran of PJ Media. It seems the massive growth of the holiday isn’t simply an Americanization of Britain; the Yanks have noticed it too:

    Back in the 1980′s, Halloween was dying. Parents became fearful after numerous incidents of kids getting poisoned candy, or treats with razor blades and other objects embedded in them. Schools took up some of the slack by formalizing Halloween activities; local governments also tried to create safe spaces for kids to celebrate the holiday.

    But the revival of Halloween had an unexpected source; the gay community.

    By the 1980s, gay enclaves like Key West, West Hollywood, and Greenwich Village were holding their annual Halloween street parties. And the parades the night of Halloween did and still do draw straights and gay spectators out to watch.

    Gay cultural influence on Halloween has become such an unstoppable phenomenon here and abroad that anthropologist Jerry Kugelmass of University of Florida published a book in 1994 on the new trend, titled Masked Culture, describing Halloween as an emerging gay “high holiday.”

  • Andrew

    You’re making your trolling too obvious, Pete.

  • Cristina

    We are like that, Thailover. We’ve appropriated every single day on the calendar. Now we have Roman Catholic celebrations where there used to be sacred pagan celebrations. It’s an outrage! Everybody knows that sacred pagan celebrations are much more genuine, authentic, and with more profound theological meaning than our Roman Catholic rites and superstitions. Recalcitrant obscurantists is what we are!

  • Thailover

    John Mann, I’ve expect some SJW will soon say that “Trick or Treat” is a terrorist thread and bullying, lol.

    And no apluading, it’s “triggers” anxiety.
    Jazz hands please.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/24/feminist-conference-says-clapping-triggers-anxiety/

  • Thailover

    Nemesis
    (Nice link).

    “will scare thousands of migrant guests.”

    Good. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. Yet again, the fucktarded multiculturalists propose saying fuck domestic culture in deference to the cultures of others in the name of “equality”.
    Is there a law somewhere mandating SJW’s maintain self-contradictory values? ‘Just wondering.

  • Thailover

    Cristina, I’m an atheist. I’m not picking favorites. Rather I’m saying that “the church” has made a concerted effort to usurp other people’s cultural identities. Once is an accident perhaps. ‘Half dozen examples is a trend.

  • Thailover

    Michael,
    Weird and creapy is the point. Plus it is’s an opportunity where hot girls can showcase their inner sluts with social acceptance by dressing as a slutty pirate, slutty nurse, slutty slut…et al.

  • Thailover – the whole cultural appropriation thing by the Catholic Church of a Druidic festival has a big calendar problem. All Saints day (Halloween is the vigil before it) was spotty and moved all around the calendar with the most common occurrence being on 13 May. It was moved (in Rome) to 1 November to commemorate the blessing of the old St. Peter’s basilica which put its preceding vigil All Hallows Eve on October 31. In Ireland for the first few centuries, All Saints was celebrated there on 20 April for something around a century until the whole thing was regularized on 1 November during the papacy of Gregory IV. The regularization seems to have been done to get everybody in the Holy Roman Empire on the same page for the festival. Appropriating druidic celebrations long after the passing of the druids seems to be a modern invention. In other words, the appropriation is true but going in the other direction.

  • bobby b

    Wow. I bet y’all are huge fun at parties.

    (“What’s the meaning of this beer?! This beer has no tradition! And your music sucks! Stop laughing and carrying on! AMERICANS laugh and have fun! I HATE that your fun is aimless and undirected and pointless! Stop it, I say! Only I know how to have proper, intellectually stimulating fun!”)

  • Alisa

    As someone from outside the Anglo-Saxon cultural background, I also never got Halloween, and so I think I can see Perry’s point. OTOH, what bobby b. said. Sort of.

    I once knew a couple whose kid was friends with mine in preschool. The husband was a Jewish atheist, his wife was a non-practicing Muslim, born in the Indian community of South Africa. When what has become known as the Holiday Season in the US would arrive around December, the staff in our preschool made a point of highlighting all the relevant holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and whatever else I may be forgetting now. However, the Jewish Atheist made a very strong point at home about shunning all religious holidays, and so they celebrated nothing. I happened to have had a chat with his Muslim wife, and she said something like ‘Christmas, Hannukah, whatever – I don’t care, I wish he’d just let us celebrate anything at all!’ It was really quite sad, IMO.

  • What’s the meaning of this beer?! This beer has no tradition!

    Which is why most American beer is like sex in a canoe: fucking close to water (except for Yuegling, which is really great) 😉

    And your music sucks!

    Which it does.

    Stop laughing and carrying on! AMERICANS laugh and have fun!

    No, I am perfectly OK for you to laugh and carry on.

    I HATE that your fun is aimless and undirected and pointless!

    No again, I just think your ‘festival’ is bloodless, uninteresting and purchased from Wal-Mart. I like my dark festivals to actually be a bit dark.

    Stop it, I say!

    Oh tsk tsk, I never tell other people to stop doing what they enjoy, I just don’t feel any need to join in if I think what they enjoy sucks. I don’t even mind the idea of Halloween, just not the way it tends to be done in the USA (or UK these days). It became something for non-free range kiddies.

    Only I know how to have proper, intellectually stimulating fun!

    It is not so much about being intellectually stimulating but rather about the flavour. I find the current iteration of Halloween flavourless and artificial, unlike Guy Fawkes Night and Krampusnatch.

  • Mr Ed

    Coming back to Lewes, they have by far the scarier festival with their Bonfire Night fun.

  • Cristina

    Thailover, obviously you aren’t referring to the Protestant faction of Christianity, appeared long after the Church of Rome. It is also evident that you are not thinking about Islam (as guilty as they come), Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, etc. After all, those believers are the “others”. So, in that sense, I think you have chosen a favorite to blame, to despise.
    That’s the preferred approach of modernity. The usurpation of the “cultural identities of others” only matters when it refers to Catholicism.

  • Thailover

    Cristina, with all due respect, I think you’re in denial. The subject I introduced was the usurpation of recognized holidays by religious or ideological factions. It seems you don’t like me talking about “the church”, but have no problem with me talking about the communists.

  • Thailover

    Oh, and a PS to add. My mentioning of how I consider the vicarious ‘injustice’ systmem of nailing an innocent whipping boy to a torture device is a criticism certainly not confined to catholicism and certainly does include the protestants. Indeed, I would suggest that catholics focus less on Jesus than the do. Roman Catholicism has been flirting with the idea of ‘Mother Mary’ as a co-redemptress for centuries.

  • Malcolm Hutty

    Guy Fawkes’ Night has one big point in its favour, in my ever so humble opinion

    Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
    Gunpowder, treason and plot;
    I see no reason why gunpowder and treason Malcolm’s birthday
    Should ever be forgot

    Enjoy the festivities, one and all!

  • Thailover

    TMLutas, you might have a point there. My “radical atheist” rant is usually reserved for Christmas, and how ‘christ-mass’ i.e. the calendar-reserved ritural eating of one’s god (evil grin) has a pleasurable tendency to revert to frivolity, which I highly encourage.

    It seems that we, (or at least Americans) insist on our holidays being completely ridiculous, lol. Nothing’s more silly than a giant human sized elf making toys on a non-existent icy landmass known as the north pole (a myth that apparently fooled Al Gore, who said global warming caused the north polar ice cap to shrink 40% even though it doesn’t exist).

    Me thinks Mr. Gore’s been watching too many Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer cartoons.
    😉

    Cheers.

  • Thailover

    Malcolm, as an American, I never heard of Guy Fawkes until “Hollywood” decided to torture Alan Moore with their movie version of V for Vendetta, which to me seems like an allegory of Satan and Eve in Eden.

  • Thailover

    Bobby B, if you can’t enjoy a bit of salty grumpy bastard-ism, then you’re missing out on a big part of life. Laugh at us, laugh with us, just don’t get pissed off when we’re grumbling. That’ll just prove that one is missing the point. To we salty bastards, “fuck the progs” is a light-hearted beer toast rather than being something truly rotten and dark, seething under Mel Gibson’s glib exterior. I think Perry’s point is that Halloween has been neutered in polite circles. I think he’s right. It’s been made “kid safe”, but of course we shouldn’t also forget about Devil’s Night.

    And Santa’s dark friend, Krampus, is here to stay, fortunately.

  • Cristina

    Thailover, with the same respect to you, it doesn’t bother me that you, or anyone else, talk about whatever you want provided you do so in a civilized manner.
    You are partially true about my position, I don’t hesitate to defend my religion. However, you’ll never see me defending any philosophical or political idea concocted after A.D. 1700. 🙂

  • Thailover

    Perry said,

    “but it has no cultural meaning and is now little more than a procession of carefully shepherded children asking for lumps of artificially flavoured sugar. It is just not interesting to me.”

    Fun sized Butterfingers are always of interest to me.

    “Bonfire Night and Krampusnacht actually have historical and cultural baggage attached to them in ways Halloween has largely shed to make it ‘safe’.”

    I have always liked the fact that “society” felt the need to make it “safe”, hinting at some dark secret behind it all. Unfortunately, that dark secret isn’t as dark as I would prefer. Indeed, the more one learns about the occult, the more disappointing it is. Most “scary” things turn out to be benign and boring bouts of cowardice. A “hex” for example isn’t a curse at all, it’s a hexagram symbol (usually a talisman necklace) worn as a protective device. Ditto for pentangles (pentacles).

    That “devil” or pagan five pointed circled star is really a protective symbol, not a sygil for a curse. And imagine my disappointment when finding out that voodoo has no dolls, but rather hoodoo does I’m told, and again (sigh) they’re for protection rather than for cursing someone. Largely man’s dark side is an industry suited toward assuaging irrational emotional fears against invisible agents. How sad.

  • Thailover

    Cristina, I think I excoriated the passover quite well too. If you say I didn’t it’ll hurt my feelings.
    😉

  • Thailover

    Julie near Chicago said,
    “Or there will be no Christmas goose, and nowt but a lump o’ coal in yer stockings. *evil expression*”

    I thought Krampus would sell their children into slavery. Maybe the anti-child trafficing authorities have Krampus on the run.

  • Thailover

    Alica wrote,

    “However, the Jewish Atheist made a very strong point at home about shunning all religious holidays, and so they celebrated nothing. I happened to have had a chat with his Muslim wife, and she said something like ‘Christmas, Hannukah, whatever – I don’t care, I wish he’d just let us celebrate anything at all!’ It was really quite sad, IMO.”

    I agree that it’s quite sad. Alas, many of my fellow atheists tend to be left wing and a bit radical IMO. These tend to be the types that despise the American holiday of Thanksgiving, saying that it’s a celebration of “colonialists” murdering native americans, which is of course false. It’s a harvest celebration where the first settlers included the native Americans that helped the settlers survive New England’s harsh winters. Again, these are the types that tend to hate Columbus, even though “Columbo” did nothing worse than con a foreign queen into thinking that he found a new spice trade route to India, and in three trips managed to bring back “Indians”, but forgot to bring the spices all three trips. (lol).

    The group American Atheists (tends to be ran by dummies IMO) propose silly notions like boycotting Christmas, and instead solemnly celebrating winter solstice. (Dull as dishwater). They seem to be missing the point that we Americans want our holidays to be fun, frivolous, full of good cheer, laughter and holiday wine.

    I for one am thankful that thanksgiving and Christmas are becoming more about a celebration of family togetherness than the tradition it’s based upon.

  • Cristina

    Yes, you did. I wouldn’t dare to hurt your feelings.
    It is known that a confessed atheist cares very much about hurting the feelings of all believers alike, without discrimination or preference. Well, maybe a little bit of extra hurting when the believer won’t respond aggressively happens sometimes, but that’s a trifle matter between ladies and gentlemen. 🙂

  • Shlomo Maistre

    However, you’ll never see me defending any philosophical or political idea concocted after A.D. 1700.

    A mark of wisdom.

  • Stonyground

    My daughter used to go to school with a girl whose family used to throw really good Halloween parties. Everyone went in spooky fancy dress and the house was decked out in spectacularly spooky fashion. Really great harmless fun. The really good part was that the girl’s second name was Adams, they actually were genuinely the Adams Family.

  • Mr Pants

    ‘Gay cultural influence on Halloween has become such an unstoppable phenomenon here and abroad that anthropologist Jerry Kugelmass of University of Florida published a book in 1994 on the new trend, titled Masked Culture, describing Halloween as an emerging gay “high holiday.”’

    Yes, nothing those guys like more than putting the willies up each other!

  • Thailover

    Cristina, it’s tough love, I assure you. We bitch a lot because we do care about people. And as the philosopher Danniel Dennet once pointed out, it’s impossible for a nonbeliever to question “faiths” without hurting someone’s feelings. Virtually no one is more tactful than Dr Sam Harris on a regular basis, but he’s reviled by Christians and Muslims alike.

  • Thailover

    Stonyground, I hate to throw a monkeywrench into the workings of a perfectly good story, but the fictional family is called the Addams family, two ‘d’s. But for consolation, Charles Addams, the author of the comic strip, based the characters on his own very real immediate family. An honor that was lost on them I hear. lol.

  • Cristina

    Thailover, just for future reference, you didn’t hurt my feelings in the least. I enjoy talking to people with different visions than mine. That includes other religious beliefs, or lack thereof.
    I find really interesting the self-professed care about people espoused by atheists. How can you say you care about people and, at the same time, try to change their beliefs? Are you worry about their material life? Is it your main concern their intellectual life? Surely is not the spiritual life, right?
    “Tough love”? Really? 🙂

  • Cristina

    “A mark of wisdom.”
    More appreciated coming from you, Shlomo Maistre

  • bobby b

    “Which is why most American beer is like sex in a canoe . . . ”

    Well, yeah, the grocery store beer is swill, but we all brew our own now. And my dry mead would knock your socks off.

    “I find the current iteration of Halloween flavourless and artificial . . . ”

    Honestly, Halloween over here has, for decades, been primarily an occasion for kids from six to about eleven. It’s not dark and campy because we do want them to eventually be able to sleep in their own beds alone without getting the screaming meemies all night long. Comparing a dark and scary happening like Guy Fawkes Night – an essentially adult meme – with Halloween – a fun time for little kids – is sort of unfair. I know I’d love GFN, but we just don’t have that going on over here.

    “Laugh at us, laugh with us, just don’t get pissed off when we’re grumbling.”

    Honestly, I was laughing while I typed. Not PO’ed at all. Thought it funny that Mr. de H was comparing what is essentially a little-kids’ party theme with GFN (which would be MY idea of a party.)

  • Mike Polaski

    Looks like not everyone on the other side of the Atlantic got the memo its a little kids theme party.

  • Paul Marks

    I work with children at the park – and they seem to enjoy Halloween.

    So do the children in the local neighbourhood.

    Although they did seem shocked that grumpy me did actually have some candy for them when they came trick-or-treating.

    I suppose they assumed I would just tell them to go away – if I did not actually eat the children.

    As for G.F. night.

    It is really just fireworks – in between Halloween and the 11th of the 11th (when we honour the victims of Douglas Haig and other incompetent nonentities).

    I can think of only one English town where the anti Roman Catholic elements of G.F. night are maintained.

    Lewis in eastern Sussex (an old heartland of paganism – by the way).

    The burning of images of Popes and so on is still traditional there.

    There are efforts to ban the practice – but Freedom of Speech is Freedom of Speech.

    One should not ban burning images of people.

  • Nicholas (Andy.royd) Gray

    Paul, shame on you! What about air pollution? No matter how much you fume, you shouldn’t set fire to things!

  • Laird

    I’m going to veer a bit off-topic (sorry!), but since we’re discussing Guy Fawkes Day, and in fact are getting quite close to it, I thought I’d share this. It seems that the hacker group Anonymous has obtained a list of persons whom it believes are or were members of the KKK* which it plans to release on November 5. It uses the image of V from the movie V for Vendetta, and copies his famous speech in its declaration.

    “More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of the Ku Klux Klan remain unknown to you, then I would suggest to allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand with me on the fifth, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.”

    *For you non-Americans, the Ku Klux Klan is a home-grown racist terrorist group, largely (but not completely) extinct these days.

  • Mr Ed

    *For you non-Americans, the Ku Klux Klan is a home-grown racist terrorist group, largely (but not completely) extinct these days.

    No, they were Democrats…

  • Laird

    Mr Ed, lots were (Sen. Robert Byrd springs to mind), but not all. I think of them as basically non-partisan terrorists.

  • bobby b

    The KKK consisted predominantly of Democrats, who terrorized blacks and white republicans. The original organization sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South during the Reconstruction Era (which was that period of time following our Civil War.)