The Guy Fawkes from history wasn’t a hero.

It’s the 5th of November again (at least, it still is where I am). It’s a day that’s significant for certain web communities, which has to do with how much they like the movie V for Vendetta, which features a mysterious character in a Guy Fawkes mask. The character’s mysterious appeal has endeared him to the web group, Anonymous, who has used him as a sort of mascot character.

While the character from the movie might be interesting, the historical figure of Guy Fawkes is one whose ideals would easily conflict with those of Anonymous. If they were to learn about him, they may even wish to seek out a different spokesman.

Guy Fawkes was a Catholic terrorist who wanted to blow up the British parliament building so that he could help usher in a Catholic theocracy in the UK. His plot was thwarted, and Guy Fawkes was sentenced to be executed, though he would attempt to commit suicide in an effort to escape that outcome.

It’s for this reason the British recognize the 5th of November as the day Guy Fawkes was defeated, and they even developed a nursery rhyme to commemorate the occasion:

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot

That’s the basic form. There are more lyrics, some of which are quite scathing. One would get the idea that the British didn’t view him as a hero, at all.

One could ask Anonymous to pick a new spokesman. But if they did, they’d probably manage to scrape up one that’s somehow even worse.

But there are some winners among the possibilities.

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