the daily column

Bonfire Night

Think some celebrations are entirely random? You wait till you see Bonfire Night (a.k.a. Guy Fawkes Night) in England.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

The last four days or so – since Halloween really – fireworks have been going off around London, from various spots. Tonight, they’re celebrating in earnest, with fireworks going off pretty much everywhere, even from backyards.

When I asked for someone to tell me why, they said it was to celebrate the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot (1605), when a bunch of religious fanatics Catholics tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament with the honourable members inside, along with the King.

Far be it for me to question traditions, but celebrating it by… blowing up fireworks? You gotta wonder at the logic. Was there a surplus of gunpowder by any chance? I can imagine this didn’t go on too much during the world wars. Sounds vaguely like various bits of London are getting bombed on a regular basis.

And today, it would have been called a “terrorist incident” – bombs! religion! politicians! Will the Americans be celebrating 9/11 400 years from now with fireworks? (too soon?) :P Ah, you gotta love the English.

(on the other hand, Friday is Diwali – a perfectly good reason to blow up fireworks!)


NYGirlOfMyDreams If I did this for London, I would have one practically every week. (hey, I dream a lot, ok?) (Ed: He’s found her! But no “and we’ll be back for the rest of the story at some point.”)

(Ed2: For those still┬ástumbling across this post, the fairytale didn’t end so well)


Remember Haneef?

Remember the Haneef case? The latest should interest you. The skeptics of the government suddenly find themselves very, very right.



See how the spending is going in Election with the SMH Pork-o-Meter: So much for fiscal conservatism from either side, eh?