Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

If you are from Britain or a history buff (or homeschooled *grin*), the title phrase probably recalls the story of Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes was a member of a Roman Catholic, anti-Protestant group who attempted to assassinate King James I and blow-up the British Parliament on November 5, 1605 in what has become known as the Gunpowder Plot. Guy Fawkes Day is still celebrated in Britain and involves fireworks, bonfires, and the burning of Guy in effigy. Recitation of the following rhyme is popular among British children as part of the celebration of Guy Fawkes' capture:

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.

(That's about as cheery as Ring Around the Rosy, isn't it?)

If you are a movie buff, the phrase "Remember, Remember the 5th of November" may bring to mind the Guy Fawkes mask clad freedom fighter (known as "V") of the fictitious, socialistic London of the future as portrayed in the movie V for Vendetta (based on the graphic novel). You can see V in the picture to the right. (The poster behind him is one of the many slogans used by the totalitarian government that attempts to place the government in the position of a god.) The movie's opening voiceover draws on the children's rhyme:

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot... But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I've witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I've seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them... but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it... ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love... And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man... A man that made me remember the Fifth of November. A man that I will never forget.

And here is the speech given by V when he addresses the people of London and reveals his plans to overthrow the totalitarian government and expresses the importance of a unified citizenry if change is to take hold:

Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. 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 this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you 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 beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

As of yesterday, November 5, 2007, "Remember, remember the 5th of November" has taken on new meaning. It is the day the Ron Paul Revolution took a giant leap forward. Yesterday, the Ron Paul campaign raised $4.3 million dollars in 24 hours. The fundraiser was prompted by an independent Ron Paul supporter through his website www.thisnovember5th.com, but was embraced by the campaign (according to an article by ABC News, Who Are Ron Paul's Donors?). Donations came from both already active supporters and donors and more than 21,000 donors who registered with the campaign for the first time yesterday. As of today (November 6th) at 3:30 central time, the Ron Paul 2008 website is reporting this quarter's total fundraising has reached just shy of $7.4 million which surpasses last quarter's surprising $5.1 million and is more than half of this quarter's goal of $12 million.

So, are you ready to join the Ron Paul Revolution and celebrate a victory next November 5th?

*Note: I haven't forgotten about responding to the comments I received (via both email and the comments section) to my last Ron Paul post. I am up against a work deadline, and a "cut and paste" post like this is easier than a researched, thoughtful post. I'll begin posting responses to the other post in a week or two (I hope... as long as I keep chugging along on this deadline).

Sorry about the weird formatting on the rhyme. Not sure what's going on. Looks fine in writing mode, but it's off when I post. Oh well.


Clayton said...

I enjoyed checking out your blog. I'm a recent grad in Silicon Valley, and I've just started a company that is mapping the blogosphere to our world. Here is an example of a blogger in Georgia who's plugged in: http://www.verveearth.com/landing/#type=user&id=772. It can be fun to explore different localities.

It's an easy process to get on board, and I can be reached at clayton@verveearth.com for questions or feedback. If you resonate with the vision of painting a global canvas of voices, please give VerveEarth a mention.

Cheers! -Clayton

Student of History said...

I really look forward to this:

"So I am going to write a series of posts (as I have time - read: when I have an urgent need to procrastinate) addressing what I understand to be a Scriptural view of the Christian's role in politics (specifically American politics and the issues you raised as well as other "hot button" issues in this election cycle). I hope that you and other readers will take part in this virtual discussion, and I specifically invite lurkers to take this opportunity to comment."

There have been so many questions I have wanted to post in response to your Ron Paul postings, but I have not been articulate enough to get what is in my head out via my fingertips. There are so many things about RP that appeal to me, yet is he truly electable? That is only one of them.

I heartily look forward to the discussion.

Oh - and this movie - V for Vendetta - was a very thought-provoking one. My dh and I found it fascinating and compelling.

Thanks for being on the net. Your blog is one of my favorite places to think.