Guy Fawkes image inspires through time, holiday

Clarion, Pa.- You may have noticed that this issue of The Clarion Call had more investigative stories for your reading pleasure and information base.  The news is something journalists are supposed to take seriously with a strong ethical fiber.  This conscious edition was suited for publishing on Guy Fawkes Day.

It is important to note that it is primarily a holiday celebrating the lasting presence of Parliament in Great Britain, so “Bonfire Night” as they call it is most heavily enjoyed in the United Kingdom.  On the date of Nov. 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes and fellow conspirators against the English government and King James I failed to execute a plot that would have destroyed the parliament building with gunpowder Fawkes had stockpiled.

An anonymous letter led to the man being caught and the entire plot being unraveled and thwarted.  While Fawkes himself is not typically seen as a hero or a good man of any kind, his image has been perpetuated as a symbol for activism throughout time.  Pop culture has helped to solidify this phenomenon by featuring the mask of Guy Fawkes in prominent movements.

Activist organization, and some-would-say ethical hackers, Anonymous use the mask as their primary icon of dress as it doubles in meaning by keeping the group’s members fittingly anonymous.  The mask was also idealized in the 1988 graphic novel “V for Vendetta” and the 2006 movie adaptation.

For these reasons, the image of Guy Fawkes is a reminder to many to uphold truth and justice through action in writing, reporting and protesting all in peaceful, legal ways.  Some might consider that quite ironic considering the man Guy Fawkes, but it is his image that has gone on to stand for something bigger than what he was back in the early 1600s.

The idealism associated with Fawkes’ image is what causes activists and journalists alike to want to spread the truth and hopefully do it fairly.  If you ever are aware of news around you or happen across a prominent story, you are encouraged to contact The Clarion Call at (814) 393-2380.

If you would like to learn more about Guy Fawkes Day, you can stop by a special presentation given by history major Michael Dorrenbacher.  The lecture is at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 and will be hosted in Hart Chapel.

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