Guido.

You may have noticed that I didn’t make my usual happy Guy Fawkes Day post yesterday.

I was a little tied up in the morning at Wurstfest. Though I got home in the afternoon with plenty of time to make a post, by that point I’d been overtaken by events. It just didn’t seem right to make that post.

However, I ran across this article last night (by way of the Hacker News Twitter) and thought it was worth sharing. Especially this part:

Ottery St Mary goes one step further. As well as the traditional West Country style carnival procession and a bonfire, they also burn tar barrels. The hardy competitors – who have to have been born in the town – don’t roll the barrels through the streets, a tradition suppressed in other areas in the 19th century, but run with the burning barrels on their shoulders until the heat becomes too unbearable or the barrel breaks down.

“Let’s carry burning barrels of tar through the streets on our shoulders! What could possibly go wrong!”

From Ottery St. Mary’s website for the event (note the URL):

This event becomes very crowded and you are in close proximity of fire and burning tar barrels. If you are scared by flames and do not like being in crowded areas then this event is not for you!

I’m not making fun of these people: the event sounds like a lot of fun to watch from a safe distance. I would love to see this in person some day. And you have to like any event that says, “Don’t get dressed up: wear sensible clothes and shoes.”

4. You must watch the barrel movement at all times, the barrel could change direction at any given moment.
5. Do not attempt to run from the barrel as it approaches just take a step back and lean away from it, attempting to run away will cause a crowd surge and could cause injury to fellow spectators and the participants.
6. Do not attempt to touch the lit barrel as it passes. You may cause yourself and others serious injuries.

7. Do not taunt Happy Fun Burning Tar Barrel.

Mike the Musicologist mentioned something to me last night that Charles C.W. Cooke supposedly said, though I haven’t found a link to it yet:

If he was alive today, Guy Fawkes would be a member of ANTIFA. Discuss.

Edited to add: And you may ask yourself, “Is there video of the running of the tar barrels in Ottery St. Mary on the Internet”?

Of course there is. This is from 2012.

One Response to “Guido.”

  1. Fawkes would approve of Antifa’s tactics (though he’d probably find them chicken-livered and half-hearted), but not their goals, since they have nothing to do with bringing England back under Catholic rule…

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