Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November,
the Gunpowder Treason and plot.
I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason
should ever be forgot.

Read more... Today is the Fifth of November, the 401st anniversary of the plot by Guy Fawkes and his conspirators to blow up the assembly for the formal opening of Parliament in London. It was hoped that the explosion would kill King James I, a Protestant, and many of the members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The nearest analogy to present-day America would be to try to blow up Congress during the State of the Union address. (It is for precisely that reason that at least one Cabinet member does not attend the State of the Union.)

The story of Guy Fawkes was highlighted in the public arena by the release earlier this year of the film V for Vendetta, set in a dystopian England about 30 years in the future. The United States has collapsed, largely due to its own hubris, leaving England as the unchallenged sole superpower. However, a small band of ideologues has seized power and gradually eroded the concept of liberty until what is left is a nightmarish police state, with surveillance trucks and unlimited police power and a carefully managed "spin" machine with pliant and docile media. A mysterious man, only ever seen wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, sets out to get a bit of personal revenge and bring down the government. Although the original comic strips were published in the early 1980's, with the satire pointed mostly at Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, it is impossible to miss the applicability of their themes to George W. Bush.

The English citizenry in V for Vendetta have sacrificed their freedom for the illusion of security, but their lives are dominated by the unrelenting fear-mongering of their own government, to the point that only dramatic and violent action can free them. I don't believe that the United States has reached that level yet, but I want to make certain that we never do. That is why I believe that every American must go to the polls on Tuesday and vote NO on fear, no on George W. Bush and his enablers, and yes on civil liberties and the rule of law.

Let's mark this Election Day as the beginning of the end of America's national nightmare:

Remember, remember,
the Seventh of November!
Let Liberty carry the day.
This is no season for fear and unreason
To ever hold sway.

Okay, a poet I'm not. Submit your own rhymes in the comments section.

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