Thursday, November 5, 2009

Greed and Terrorism

Having survived Hallowe'en – and the slobbering streams of costumed kids parasitically prowling for tasty treats – tonight we face the fireworks of Guy Fawkes Night.
This marks the infamous 1605 Gunpowder Plot, when a group of conspirators nearly blew up the British Houses of Parliament (and all within, including the king). But the baddies were arrested, tried and executed by being hung, drawn and quartered...all except for Guy Fawkes who avoided the gruesome latter part of his sentence by jumping from the gallows, breaking his neck and killing himself.
Guy Fawkes, 1605A very English tradition transplanted to NZ, it's slowly fizzling out here, but we'll still see hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of fireworks blasted into suburban skies from many backyards tonight.
I don't mind public fireworks displays, run as community fundraisers – the dosh goes to a good cause, there's a high calibre of pyrotechnics, and safety. But due to fingers being blown off every year, children blinded, animals hurt, fires caused... I'm in full support of a total ban on private fireworks use.
Gordon Gecko, from the 1985 movie Wall StreetConsider what we're subliminally teaching our kids at this time of year. On Hallowe'en, we let vulnerable youngsters roam the streets, expecting free food from every house. Stuff your faces, kids! Pig out! "Greed is good!" Gordon Gecko rides again! Who?? And every stranger is your friend...
And tonight on Guy Fawkes, I'd be amazed if many kids – let alone their parents – actually know the night's historical background: that our society is immortalising a murderous terrorist!
Greed and terrorism: two cornerstones of today's reality.
Ha! Maybe the kids are getting the right lessons after all...!

PS: 04 Nov.2011 - Now here's a weird twist: a descendant of the man who caught Guy Fawkes works as a fireworks expert!!

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