November 5th in England means ‘celebrating’ “Guy Fawkes Night” (aka Bonfire Night). Which, in practice means buying really expensive fire works and lighting them, pretty much everywhere. In your street, in your garden, on your roof terrace, as long as there is only the sky above your head, light one up!
Councils, around the UK, also celebrate “Guy Fawkes Night” by spending loads of money (Cuts? What’s that?) on very expensive fire works and lighting them up, in their own private gardens: Parks.
Yes, this is an evening, or a couple of days actually, that people should enjoy. People should feel happy on this day. Regardless of the fact that they don’t really know what they are celebrating as “Guy Fawkes Night” is not much of a clue, people are supposed to look up, and think WOW. Because fireworks are colourful and noisy, a combination of adjectives which apparently makes them beautiful. A beautiful evening, a beautiful spectacle, exactly what people want, right?
Those “celebrations” also mean an experiment in civilities de-regulations. 3am? What the heck, it’s Guy Fawkes night! Let’s light one up, or 2, or 3, in this tiny residential street! Because people are good at that: civil disobedience when it does not matter whatsoever.
So folks do that. They turn up in huge numbers, bring the kids, the babies, the dogs, the parents, the booze, anything they find really, they take it with them for this special evening celebrating the fact that King James I survived an attempt on his life by Guy Fawkes. Yes, in England, we celebrate the fact that Kings don’t get killed.
We also celebrate “The Queen Jubilee”, “The Royal Wedding”, we wear poppies in November to remember those who died during the “Great War for civilisation” aka the First World War (this day “remembrance day” was dedicated to…King George V, another King, who else?, on 7 November 1919) as well as many other things worthy of a celebration. Or I should say, “We” the people, celebrate things that have been deemed worthy of a celebration by “Them” our leaders.
Because that’s exactly what those “celebrations”, “Days”, “Bank Holiday”…are about. Celebrating “them” the 1% most powerful. The most interesting aspect of this, the grander and more machiavellian part of this idea is that we are supposed to celebrate those things without ever thinking of what they really mean. Why think? The world is complicated, your life is tough, your job takes too much of your time. So don’t think. Not today, in fact, never. Ban this word from your vocabulary altogether. Thinking is just not fun, not worth it, not ‘in’, not fashionable. Just enjoy yourself, celebrate things that we have told you to celebrate, that we force you to celebrate. Do celebrate them to the full. Enjoy the colours, the noise, the exuberance. Enjoy being surrounded by people that have also stopped thinking. Show solidarity with them! Enough skepticism. Skepticism is hard to write, to pronounce, to fathom. Not nice, not colourful, not noisy enough. Skepticism off your vocab too! Wow! You feel so much better already, don’t you?
Because you are supposed to.
One day, we will all join hands to celebrate “The day of the sheep”. Solely dedicated to us, the PEOPLE!