Sunday, November 6, 2011

Right, Wrong or Inbetween

Remember, remember, the 5th of November

The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow.
By God's providence he was catch'd,
With a dark lantern and burning match

Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip Hoorah !
Hip hip Hoorah !

A penny loaf to feed ol'Pope,
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down,
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar,'
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head,
Then we'll say: ol'Pope is dead.

In 1605 Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Parliament of England along with King James the VI of Scotland. Some say Guy Fawkes acted alone, some say he had some Catholic Conspirators. Regardless of which story is true, he was caught and burned at the stake. Now, every year on the 5th of November the people of England celebrate Guy Fawkes Day. They light off fireworks, burn in effigy Guy Fawkes and have parties across the island.

This is amazing to me.

Here’s why…

One man’s attempt to change the world and do what he felt was right for himself, his family and his country ends up getting him labeled a terrorist for eternity. Guy Fawkes considered himself a Patriot and Freedom fighter, but he goofed it up and now his name is synonymous with America’s Benedict Arnold. Which is funny to me. Benedict Arnold never tried to blow up the House or Senate. (Our version of Parliament) Also, if Guy Fawkes had succeeded in killing off King James and Parliament, who knows how our country would have turned out. Remember, our Fore-Fathers didn’t sign the “Declaration of Independence” until July 4th 1776. Those 56 founding fathers were also considered traitors of the crown after they penned their names to the Declaration. King George basically put out contracts on all of their heads and they were hunted and killed without prejudice by the crown.

History tells us Guy Fawkes was one of at least thirteen plotters who wanted to take out King James and company. Our founding fathers were at least 56. Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators were caught, tortured, tried and killed. Our founding fathers, while 5 of them were captured by Brittish troops, 17 served in the Revolutionary war, 11 of them had all of their property destroyed, 13 became governors’ after the revolution and 18 became part of their states legislative bodies.

Guy Fawkes was drawn and quartered.

Guy Fawkes and his group of Catholics were fighting to reinstate the Catholic faith in England. Our forefathers were fighting not just for religious freedom but also the future of our republic.

Guy Fawkes was labeled a traitor.

Our founding fathers were labeled as traitors.

Guy Fawkes failed.

Our founding fathers succeeded.

I am not trying to glorify Guy Fawkes or what he did, nor am I trying to build a case for him. It just seems to me there are a lot of similarities in what he was trying to do and what we eventually did.

Yes, Guy Fawkes was acting as a religious terrorist against the King. Did the reasons for actions matter to the people of England? If you were Catholic, I would say yes they did. If you were oppressed by the government, I would say no.

Similarly, today across our nation, thousands of people are waging protests against corporate greed. If you have a job and are striving to make ends meet these protests mean very little to you. But, if you are jobless, feel oppressed, and have been downsized by some corporate guru who worships at the altar of the almighty profit margin. Well, then yes, these shenanigans affect you very much and you should be very concerned.

Am I saying you should plot to blow something up? HELL NO! Am I suggesting you join in a fight to change policy in America? HELL YES!

Look, we all know times are tough. Gas prices are out of control, homelessness is on the rise. Corporations are playing three card monty with retirement packages. Elected officials have proven time and again they cannot be trusted to look out for the best interest of their constituents. And, the holidays are looming and kids are screaming for new toys.

The pressure is building and I smell gunpowder on the cool northerly winds. Someone somewhere is going to do something stupid like the cops in Oakland and people are going to get hurt. And then, the masses will rise up and we will see what lies beneath the cool exterior of the face of American Complacency.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Happy Guy Fawkes Day.

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