Yes, believe it or not American readers, the 5th of November was observed long before Alan Moore and David Lloyd ever penned the now famous mask in the 1982 comic. Since the release of V For Vendetta the modern representation of the mask has been the primary image of every protest in the 21st century, but what was it like before? Well for starters, the 5th of November was not traditionally celebrated in memory of Guy Fawkes but more or less his failure to destroy the status quo in England.
Yes, back in the day effigies of Fawkes were set ablaze by children and fireworks set off along the streets to celebrate the triumph of British society and the discovery of the plot before it came to fruition. The event itself is referenced loosely in other pieces of literature besides the graphic novels such as John Milton's Paradise Lost and William Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Ironic that today several protesters don the mask of a man who was once burned on a yearly basis in memory of his ultimate failure. Want some more irony? Each year Amazon.com nets tens of thousands in sales of Guy Fawkes masks around the world. It's become the most popular mask sold, according to the site, and it's also licensed by Time Warner. Yes, that's right Occupiers/Anonymous, every time you purchase a mask you are effectively helping one of the companies you wish to go against. For those that may not like that concept too much (hopefully all of you) there are ample directions on how to create your own mask online.
So while the ultimate message of the popular graphic novel and movie is good and a great symbol of how a people can stand united and faceless against an oppressor...
Just remember remember come next November you may not know what you thought. For there once was a reason we let this old treason, fall away and be forgot.
Email Me: MickJoest@Geektyrant.com Twitter: @MickJoest
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