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Milton Keynes, U.K.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Guy Fawkes Day: we are in Milton Keynes, England, at the home of our good friend, Don McLean, of Action Beat. Tonight will be a new sensation; it will be our first overseas show when we don’t have to feel embarrassed about being American.

Don was just explaining the history of Guy Fawkes to us, and how he attempted to blow up Parliament in 1605. The fuse to his many kegs of gunpowder failed and he was caught. He was tried, and then hung and subsequently drawn and quartered. A tradition formed thereafter of burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on the date he was caught. Fireworks have come to be a part of the celebration as well, but they convey an opposing symbolism, according to Don, that suggests the unrealized possibility of blowing up Parliament, which for many contemporary socialists in the U.K. seems like a pretty keen idea. So the traditional festivities for the day now hold dual and curiously opposing meanings… though for most, like July 4th in the U.S., the day is just an excuse to set off fireworks.

a switch plate and power outlet in Milton Keynes, U.K.