The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What d'ya think of Guy Fawkes Night?


If there is life in the farthest reaches of the outer spiral nebulae, these two are disliked there. If the multiverse theory turns out to be true, and there are actually an infinite number of universes, then indeed, these two are disliked in every single one of them.

And it is only because you are a lady that I continue to use the epithet ‘disliked’. Were I free to choose my own terminology it would be somewhat more Chaucerian, to say the least :smiley: .

Ahhh… I finally understand what Alvin Platinga meant by “transworld depravity”. :smiley:

Seriously, though. Great discussion Dick and Johnny. I’m dying to get to a computer with functioning audio so I can watch the videos Dick posted. :smiley:


:laughing: :laughing:

And a lady only refrains from such language in public. Rest assured I often think in more Chaucerian terms. :laughing:

These are the Words of our Host, Harry Bailey (innkeeper and ‘manly man’), to the ‘jolly’ Pardoner (huckster and pedlar of fake saint relics and of pardons for sins who has an unnaturally high pitched voice) -

I wolde I hadde thy coillons in myn hond
In stide of relikes or of seintuarie.
Lat kutte hem of, I wol thee helpe hem carie;
They shul be shryned in an hogges toord

Now that’s what I call Chaucerian :confused: Fortunately it loses something in translation so I’m not going to be tempted and have a banning order placed on me. :laughing: (In a parallel universe where Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan spoke in Middle English I would address them thus - for both are mountebanks and rogues like the ‘jolly’ Pardoner in their own fashion)

Actually the real - the most exact - parallel to Chaucer’s Pardoner today is some of the more hucksterish American TV evangelists. We can’t see American religious channels where appeals are made for non charitable monies on our terrestrial TV in the UK (although there is nothing to stop us from getting those channels by satellite). I remember an English commentator complaining against these measures of ‘religious censorship’ on the grounds that our terrestrial channels are very boring and often over ‘worthy’ ; and wouldn’t it be great to be able to see some of the most accomplished and entertaining religious mountebanks since the days of Chaucer’s Pardoner plying their trade in the comfort of our own homes (typical Brit irony at work there :laughing:). But if our nanny sate does relent and we are allowed tosee these guys at no additional cost - we’ll keep the words of our Host Harry Bailey to the jolly Pardoner of Rounceval to hand to keep our spirits up :wink: (I wish I had your cojones in my hand instead of your saint’s relics. Let’s cut them off and I’ll help you carry them and we’ll make a shrine for them in some hog’s dung = polite translation of verse cited above)

And here’s’ more about the Pardoner (in translation)

His wallet lay before him in his lap,
Stuffed full of pardons brought from Rome all hot.
A voice he had that bleated like a goat.
No beard had he, nor ever should he have,
For smooth his face as he’d just had a shave;
I think he was a gelding or a mare.
But in his craft, from Berwick unto Ware,
Was no such pardoner in any place.
For in his bag he had a pillowcase
The which, he said, was Our True Lady’s veil:
He said he had a piece of the very sail
That good Saint Peter had, what time he went
Upon the sea, till Jesus changed his bent.
He had a latten cross set full of stones,
And in a bottle had he some pig’s bones.
But with these relics, when he came upon
Some simple parson, then this paragon
In that one day more money stood to gain
Than the poor dupe in two months could attain.
And thus, with flattery and suchlike japes,
He made the parson and the rest his apes.
But yet, to tell the whole truth at the last,
He was, in church, a fine ecclesiast.
Well could he read a lesson or a story,
But best of all he sang an offertory;
For well he knew that when that song was sung,
Then might he preach, and all with polished tongue.
To win some silver, as he right well could;
Therefore he sang so merrily and so loud.

Hi all,
I know it’s 7 November now but thought I’d come back to this thread. I came across some info that was new to me , so thought I post this. Matt mentioned the movie “V for Vendetta” (which I haven’t seen but am now planning to) in which Guy Fawkes masks figure prominently. In any event the use of Guy Fawkes masks following the release of the movie, has apparently become widespread by a variety of protestors beginning with the “Hacktivist group” Anonymous and their protest of the Church of Scientology in 2008. The mask has been donned by a variety of protest groups internationally since then including protestors in Thailand, Turkey, Brazil and

So the spirit of Guy Fawkes lives on! :wink:


So Guy Fawkes the myth is no longer a toxic brand :slight_smile: . He’s come to stand for the whistle blower and the little guy against the powerful (and boy those Scientologists are powerful and I’d wear a Guy mask if protesting against that sociopathic organisation - yes indeedy). Well there’s a pretty reversal for you - and actually all my life people have nursed a mythic sympathy for him at lest in my circles because the Brits love the underdog when the chips are down (especially when sympathy is removed from historical immediacy as in this case).

I read an interesting article on the November 5th celebrations in Lewes in Sussex where they have massive celebrations with Firework Guilds and Street parades in costume. The article acknowledged that Guy Fawkes night is the British version of Halloween festivities - and that there was an ancient pagan Celtic festival of lights at this time of year from which the two are derived. Also the Lewes festivities were originally commemorating the 17 Protestants martyrs burnt by Bloody Mary in Sussex. So I think this is the actual reason why bonfires were lit and effigies burned. Guy Fawkes was not burned to death - although the deaths of the plotters were equally horrible; but Bloody Mary burned 300 Protestants to death in a few years purely for their religion (and not for any political treachery). It was rightly feared that if the plotters had succeeded the fires would burn again for Protestants but more fiercely than in Mary’s reign. Needless to say the celebrations in Lewes were once scenes of serious anti-Catholic violence.

Exactly! A great example of history becoming myth and the myth being transformed, appropriated and used in a new and different way.(Meaning within meaning) It’s great that the “new myth” seems to be entirely non-violent as well.

I think I know what my Halloween costume will be next year! :wink:


Talking of toxic brands - have you heard of Russell Brand? Hmmmm - a deeply trivial man I’d say. Anyway he lives in Beverly Hills and is a millionaire several times over. He’s currently doing a tour of the UK in which he is encouraging people not to vote again and to overthrow the government in the name of justice for the common person (although he really doesn’t want anyone to get hurt in the process of violent upheaval - the poor delicate soul and not a great reader of history books either because they’d upset him far too much - bless his little cotton socks).

Anyway there was a very good natured sort of carnival procession of young people letting off anti government steam - which is all very healthy and not something to worry about IMHO. They all wore Guy Fawkes masks to ensure solidarity and anonymity and share in the new myth of Guy. Russell Brand joined the marchers. It’s not hot at this time of year - you can keep your mask on without too much discomfort. But Russell just had to keep taking his mask off pretending to look a bit hot and bothered just when he could see a convenient press camera looming near.

As dear little Polly Styrene of the X-Ray Spex wrote all those years ago in words still relevant today (and she for one didn’t take herself at all seriously which made her such a nice lass)-

I am a poseur and I don’t care
I like to make people stare


Warrior in Woolworth’s his roots are in today
Doesn’t’ know no history he threw the past away

Polly Rock’s!!! (and rest in peace Polly)

Brand is going on my bonfire next year with Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan. I’m sorry that the most annoying British celebrities self export to the USA - I’m sad for all Americans - even if a little relived as a Brit that they aren’t always on the Telly here now :laughing:

Yes, indeed. He’s taken a hit in popularity here recently after his divorce from Katy Perry. I suspect the new Guy Fawkes brand took a hit as well from his involvement. Might be the beginning of the end for this iteration? (Well… Russell Brand’s association might be the beginning of the end but if yours truly dresses up as Guy, that would be the final nail in the coffin! :laughing: )

Well, America’s a big country with room for a few more annoying people, but we appreciate your sympathy!

Edit: And doesn’t the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty say "“Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Your annoying celebrities…” ? :smiley:

Burning effigies on a bonfire sounds very cathartic so we might have to start that up again here. :wink:

Great tunes by the way!


I’m heartfully sorry for you that you’ve even had to hear the name of Russell Brand!!! :imp: - a strutting little popinjay if ever there was one. The Statue of Liberty is an all embracing and generous spirit. But as the ‘Madame whatever her name was’ - the head of the moderate Girondist - said when she was about to be guillotined during the French Revolution - ‘O Liberty, Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name’. :laughing:

If you or any on else from the other side of the pond are ever over there on bonfire night we can have a bonfire of the vanities for fun. I’ll put Polly’s anti- fame anthem, ‘Artificial’, on the CD player

and we can set off rockets and pretend they are egos going pop and then flaming out into smoke - and being good Christians we can pretend they are also our own egos going up in smoke :laughing:

Plenty of noise and good fun will be had by all

We’ll I’ve not had loads of uptake on the offer yet. So perhaps the theme music is wrong. How about the Royal Fireworks Music? That’s very English heritage theme park - and here’s a good authentic performance of it (with a really crazy conductor :laughing: )

But Polly still rocks!!! Yes indeed she does! And there’s’ no accounting for taste :laughing:

No! No! It can only be Polly! :smiley: I, for one, will be sure to “Remember, remember the Fifth of November…” and don’t be to surprised if a Yank or two turns up in London to celebrate with you. Thanks for offer and I’ll start a list of effigies to burn… :wink:

(I watched the movie “V for Vendetta” the other night with a couple of my older kids and really enjoyed it, though it’s certainly not a nonviolent movie.)


I don’t do movies. Why do I need the movies when I can have the real thing? :laughing: You are welcome free of charge Steve even with some anothers - but if the package holiday goes down well (and I have proper English accent which I understand goes down well so I can blag my way through it :laughing: ) - perhaps we could go into business together and run heritage package holidays from the USA to the UK for an English Bonfire Night; bring your own effigy of an exported and annoying English celebrity to burn while an Englishman on bended knee will ask your forgiveness with old fashioned courtesy for being of the same Rosbif spawn as Piers Morgan etc. Perhaps we could market an aftershave with essence of bonfire night captured in its scent and market Polly’s ‘Artificial’ as a ringtone. :laughing:

I’m all for it, Dick! What’s not to like? Bonfires, good music, good friends and (hopefully) good beer. :smiley:

So… for a limited time only, a new avatar. :wink: (It’s not a photo of Russell Brand, by the way) A bit too sinister to keep for long, I think…


Steve you look absolutely 'orrible! (Bit of a change form the sweet honey badger :laughing: ). But if you think that’s sinister, keep track of some of Johnny’s wilder avatar’s :laughing:

Hmmm - good beer? Well the normal fare is mulled wine on bonfire night - and a toast to Guy Fawkes with a glass. But we could get some heritage ales in. There are two I’ve seen with great names -

Old Davey’s Scrog and Dickey Doodles.

but there is a litany of past names to choose from if we want to doctor the labelling on some current ales

The Tinkers’ Treasure,
The Pedlar’s Jewell,
The Beggar’s Joy,
The Prisoner’s Loving Nurse. :laughing:

only stout and bitter mind you - none of this fizzy muck :laughing:

Oh and there’s baked potatoes in the embers course - yes that’s traditional.

Can’t wait :smiley:

I’m thinking of resurrecting my favourie avatar to date, the clerical gentleman with the little red horns :smiling_imp:. On second thoughts, perhaps he’s best left in his box :laughing: .

The Guy Fawkes mask thing is interesting. From what I can tell, it doesn’t look all that much like poor old Guido. Alan Moore has gone on record as saying that he’s pleased it has been adopted as a protest symbol. Although I do find it deeply ironic that, if Wikipedia is to believed, entertainment giant Time Warner gets a royalty from the sale of each official mask, as it owns the rights to the image. I don’t think Guido would have been very happy about that!

Time Warner!!! ‘O liberty , liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!’

Please do! I haven’t seen that one, yet. :smiley:

As far as the Guy Fawkes masks go, I’ve also read that they’re manufactured in sweatshops in developing nations… :frowning:

Guy Fawkes masks used not to look so smug and sinister - they made a boy you look seventeenth century rather than mass produced. If you tucked your trousers in your wellingtons and declaimed, ‘Gadzooks - I’ve been apprehended!’ the look was complete.

The mask used today seems to have been influenced by a Batman villain I think (is it the Riddler or the Joker?) So we need some genuine heritage masks too for this most genuine piece of post modern pick n’ mix celebration. The shopping list is getting longer - the package holiday price is going up :laughing: