woensdag, november 26, 2003

Queen OKs Sex Change Weddings

The Independant reports men and women who have had sex-change operations will be able to marry and adopt children for the first time under a change to the law to be announced in the Queen's Speech today.

The Gender Recognition Bill will allow transsexuals to tear up their birth certificates, which record their original sexes, and apply for fresh ones recording their new genders.

This of course, comes as wonderful news to a certain President of the United States because everyone now knows that George W. Bush is in fact, a black transsexual named Wilma. This explains his otherwise inexpliquable trip to England recently: to lobby the Queen for transsexual marriages and to begin plans to move to England with his wife and first lady, that tough Hombre, Laura Bush. It certainly beats Jail for the Bushes.

Of course, not all the news is "good" news. A bitter battle over the future of the Scottish parliament will be sparked today when the Queen's Speech opens the door to Holyrood reform. By the way, Holyrood is not Engrish for Hollywood, it is the The Queen's official residence in Scotland. The annual speech, which reveals the Government's agenda, will include plans to reopen the Scotland Act that set up devolution.

The main aim of the move is to take out a clause which would slash the number of MSPs from 129, in line with plans to cut the number of Scottish MPs from 72 to 59.

Coming on the heels of the Dutch 6-0 thrashing of Scotland last week, it spells bad news for those who believe that if it's not Scottish, it's crrrraaaaap!



Whilst developing creativity,
also cultivate receptivity.
Retain the mind like that of a child,
which flows like running water.

When considering any thing,
do not lose its opposite.
When thinking of the finite,
do not forget infinity;

Act with honour, but retain humility.
By acting according to the way of the Tao,
set others an example.

By retaining the integrity
of the inner and external worlds,
true selfhood is maintained,
and the inner world made fertile.

The Tao Te Ching
A Translation by Stan Rosenthal


On a completely different note, here are a few choice, hideous photos, via rotten:

Michael Jackson's mug shot


some poor bloke who did not quite make it all the way across the railroad tracks


A final update on the World Cup of Rugby:

Rugby fans downed 37m pints.

The United Kingdom has one of the highest excise taxes on beer in the European Union. Estimates are than more than one million pints a day are being smuggled into Britain by increasingly organised criminal gangs.

It Must Be The Local Water:

Fat Buddha says:

"My two year old has taken to telling anyone who will listen "Bush go home!", at least when he isn't enquiring "you want a peice of me?". He doesn't get it from me."

My kind of kid.

dinsdag, november 25, 2003

England Wins!

Ah yes, jump on the bandwagon! Rugby has given England its first chance since 1966 to celebrate winning a world championship in any sport.

And let's just say that the accomplishment is enough to merit knighthood. England's coach, Clive Woodward, is already being called Sir around these parts, as is the nation's biggest hero, the soon-to-be, Sir Johnny who is rapidly replacing footballer David Beckham as England's biggest sports marketing entity.

Of course, Becks and Sir Johnny have already worked together doing Adidas commercials so, who knows, maybe they'll like, rule England if England win the Euro 2004 Championships in Portugal this summer.


The World Values Survey is a worldwide investigation of sociocultural and political change. It is conducted by a network of social scientist at leading universities all around world. The survey is performed on nationally representative samples in almost 80 societies on all six inhabited continents. A total of four waves have been carried since 1981 allowing accurate comparative analysis.

The World Values Survey has produced evidence of gradual but pervasive changes in what people want out of life. Moreover, the survey shows that the basic direction of these changes is, to some extent, predictable.

According to surveys, Nigeria is the happiest nation in the world, (could it be the joy of all letter writing? After all, the Nigerian's are famous for their Nigerian Spam Blog, while the United States is only 16th on the list for overall satisfaction. Actually, England has leapfrogged everyone since Saturday afternoon's victory over Australia and by now, must rank number one happy, as they say in Chinese carry-out menus everywhere.


If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. Otherwise, you might end up on the FBI Shit List for malcontents and protesters who refuse to love the beloved leader, George W. Bush and his beloved wars.


If you want to stay off of the FBI Shit List, perhaps it might be handy to memorize these 25 Rules For Being a Good Republican

1) You believe that drug addiction is a moral failing and a crime, unless the addict is a millionaire conservative radio jock which then makes it an "illness" and he needs our prayers for his "recovery".

2) You believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.

3) You believe that the US should get out of the UN, and that our highest national priority is to enforce the UN's resolutions against Iraq.

4) You believe that government should stay out of people's lives but it needs to punish anyone caught having private sex with the "wrong" gender.

5) You believe that pollution is okay, so long as it makes a profit.

6) You believe in prayer in schools, as long as they don't pray to Allah or Buddha.

7) "Standing Tall for America" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

8) You believe that a woman cannot be trusted with decisions about her own body, but that large multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind with no regulation whatsoever.

9) You believe that you love Jesus and Jesus loves you, and that Jesus shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary.

10) You hate the ALCU for representing convicted felons, but they owed it to the country to bail out Oliver North.

11) You believe that the best way to encourage military morale is to praise the troops overseas while cutting their VA benefits.

12) You believe that group sex and drug use are degenerate sins that can only be purged by running for governor of California as a Republican.

13) You believe it is wise to keep condoms out of schools, because we all know if teenagers don't have condoms they won't have sex.

14) You believe that the best way to fight terrorism is to alienate our allies and then demand their cooperation and money.

15) You believe that government medicine is wrong and that HMOs and insurance companies have your best interests at heart.

16) You believe that giving free health care to all Iraqis is sound government policy but giving free health care to Americans is socialism.

17) You believe that tobacco's link to cancer and global warming are "junk science", but Creationism should be taught in schools.

18) You believe that waging war with no exit strategy was wrong in Vietnam but right in Iraq.

19) You believe that Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney was doing business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

20) You believe that government should restrict itself to just the powers named in the Constitution, which includes banning gay marriages and censoring the internet.

21) You believe that the public has a right to know about the adulterous affairs of Democrats, while those of Republicans are a "private matter".

22) You believe that the public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades but that Bush was right to censor 28 pages from the Congressional 9.11 report because you just can't handle the truth.

23) You support state rights, which means Ashcroft telling states what locally passed voter initiatives he will allow them to have.

24) You believe that what Clinton did in the 1960's is of vital national interest but what Bush did in the 80s is "stale news" and "irrelevant".

25) You believe that trade with Cuba is wrong because it is communist, but trading with China and Vietnam is good for business.

Source: unknown

woensdag, november 19, 2003

Da Bush Has Landed!

The man whom London Mayor Ken Livingstone called " the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen" has arrived in London. Maybe that's why London is deploying 14,000 cops on the streets.

The Spectator has a nice Hail To The Chief homage, complete with silly photo:

"Buckingham Palace is not equipped to cope with George Bush. The 100 new telephone lines and elaborate satellite networks that inevitably accompany an American president are causing dismay. One courtier expressed alarm that they will disrupt domestic communications in the palace, above all committing the cardinal sin of interfering with the Queen’s favourite viewing, Channel Four Racing and Coronation Street. A palace source says that White House security men wanted a Black Hawk helicopter, identical to the gunships used in the Gulf war, hovering above the palace throughout the period of the presidential occupation, ready to shoot down with awesome fire-power any suicide bomber or terrorist seeking to crash a plane into Buckingham Palace. The Queen rejected the idea on the grounds that it would be ‘too noisy’. "

For up-to-the-minute information on Dubya's whereabouts and body parts, have a look at Chasing Bush.

or, Bush Flies to Fortress London

And, of course, in your free time, there is the ever-popular Impeach-Bush-Now

So when you're bored at watching the protesters shot down by over-zealous American secret service agents, you can all sing along to Bush's "Bomb":

Wanted to buy you shiny red things
Thought I'd be with you until the end
How did I know that I would be there
Blow me away
See if I care

Death of a future
Goodbye to my friends
Wish I could see you all again
Family hollow
Family real
Wish you were here see how I feel

Kill a man
Kill a girl
Kill a man
Kill a girl

Jekyll in you
Brins out the wired in me
I have no defense
I'm all that you see
The night is a bomb blast
The night is on fire
Sing with me in the gasoline choir

And you say you want to change our minds
I've paid for your belief with mine
Of all the bravest stands in ti;me

You stoop so low you'll never rise

dinsdag, november 18, 2003

The Metamorphosis of Lovers
Robert Marteau

On all sides the night cracks & splinters
And lovers find themselves covered in feathers
With grains of salt between the fingers.

Lovers are thirsty in their drained beds
For all the moisture has left for the sea
And in the window the roosters are pouting,
Pecking in the glass the last stars.

Lovers who carry white plumes and knives
Bleed these cocks in an earthenware bowl
Spead the blood that they may sleep,
Sleep in the chalk circle your arms seal.

maandag, november 17, 2003


Radical Surgery

Uncle Sam blows a hole in the chest
of Iraq to kill cancer cells
instead of simple radiation,
drunk on patriot juice, waving his rifle

he applies shaving wounds
toilet paper dabs with an artery burst
gushing blood like wildcat oil veins
on the walls, across eyelashes,
beneath the shoes, poured
like concrete molds
into the subconscious;
an underworld of parasites
raining rouge and profiteers.

The patient explodes upon the table.

Car bombs go off in the abdomen,
snipers fire at blood clots,
every sect sets foot
to fight for space
in the sudden Twister game,
where the space is going

He spackles up the arm pits
and wraps the forehead
while blood continues pouring out;
tapped at the Oktoberfest,
carried out by men of principles
questionable but for their enormous arms
which carried enormous jugs
of blood to drink in celebration
"There's plenty of blood to go around!"

The donors line up with contracts
and in the hot sun, filled with flies
and sandpaper, enlist themselves
for another stab at surgery,
for the wounded beyond recognition
and the history still repeating
at the dinner table, take two aspirin
and call me in the morning
for the cure for indigestion.


the tailor clears his thread
and runs a needle through his throat.

ik ben tegen.

prayer that slithers like bad oysters
introduced and misguided

de waarheid

will fall in on deaf ears so
the screaming will mean nothing

illusies, slangenbezweerders

when stopping this hand,
cette main se trouvera demain
again because the cycle never ends:


in the old years the old loves
will drip like leaky faucets
and the bones will ice over

voor grijpgiers

the remains never discovered remain
the thread that holds together
the strand of thought
you could do better.

The Neocon Architects

"The Neocon Architects will, in time, be more popular than spaghetti. They will boggle the eyes with spectacles of war and killing, they will bleed societies and kill their mothers. And they will raise their bloody palms to the skies, shrug their shoulders and say: 'At least I tried'...."

-- Alfredo Van Nucci, 11th century Glasic Poet

Otherwise, keep yer mout shut.

Smartlappen Festival, Utrecht

In search of a small weekend diversion, take the plane from Birmingham to Amsterdam and the train to Utrecht to visit the Smartlappenfestival 2003.

Of course, the main reason is to see friends, revisit old habitats like Cafe de Stad to watch the ever-wonderful Tranen met Tuiten and hang out in Cafe Marktzicht to watch The Cactus Cowboys do the business, make you moan and drink the ole Oranjeboom faster.

If was also good to be back and to watch the Dutch humiliate themselves by losing 1-0 to Scotland in the Euro 2004 playoffs.

Best of all, the Blues Estafette Vredenburg-Utrecht where for one small price, you could see the following live all day long on Saturday:

Howard Tate, Lou Pride, Charles Walker, Billy Lee Riley, Chick Willis, Fillmore Slim, Little Freddie King, The Spaniels, Ray Campi & The Supro Kings, Long John Hunter & Tom "Bluesman"Hunter - Brothers In Blues, Linda Shell & The Blues Thang, Joe Turner & His Memphis Blues Caravan with Karl Davis(vocals), Geno Parks with The Rhythm Rockers, Sam Taylor, The 100% Chicago Blues Tour featuring Little Smokey Smothers, Lurrie Bell and Matthew Skoller.

Beroep: Buschauffeur
© Ome Cor / speciaal geschreven voor het GVU, sponsor van het Smartlappenfestival

Als ik mijn dienstriem pak en mijn bus inroetsj
En van de garage naar mijn startpunt rij
Dan voel ik me als een koning in een gouden koets
Ik geef een poepie gas en ik voel me blij

Ik draai mijn hand niet om, om een gelede bus
Volgepakt achteruit te rijden
En met de Galgenwaard of een nachtelijke klus
Kun je mij af en toe best verblijden

Pas op! (pep pep) zwenkt uit!
Hier zit een beroeps achter de ruit
Ik lijn van Lombok tot Lunetten
Wat ze maar op de richtingsfilm zetten
En ik ben trots op wat ik ben
En dat ik ons hele stadsie ken

Ik steek mijn hand op naar mijn maten
Op het Ledig Erf geef ik ze de vijf
Maar ik raak echter wel in alle staten
Omdat het rooster nooit hetzelfde blijf

Pas op! (pep pep) zwenkt uit!
Hier zit een beroeps achter de ruit
Ik lijn van Lombok tot Lunetten
Wat ze maar op de richtingsfilm zetten
En ik ben trots op wat ik ben
En dat ik ons hele stadsie ken

Als ik dan thuis land, na een dag vol ritten
Horen ze enthousiast mijn verhalen aan
En dan ga ik met een glimlach pitten
Omdat ik morgen weer de weg op mag gaan

Pas op! (pep pep) zwenkt uit!
Hier zit een beroeps achter de ruit
Ik lijn van Lombok tot Lunetten
Wat ze maar op de richtingsfilm zetten
En ik ben trots op wat ik ben
En dat ik ons hele stadsie ken

donderdag, november 13, 2003

Thoughts of the Day

"To be stupid, selfish, & have good
health are three requirements for
happiness, though if stupidity is
lacking, all is lost."

— Gustave Flaubert

Would You Take A Bullet For A Man Who Isn't Really President? via Bloggerheads

ROMA - Ecco l' elenco dei 16 militari italiani morti oggi in Iraq (12 carabinieri e 4 dell' esercito) e dei due civili.

Domenico Intravaia: 46 anni, di Monreale, appuntato dei Cc in servizio al comando provinciale di Palermo; sposato e con due figli di 16 e 12 anni. Lascia anche l' anziana madre, il fratello gemello e due sorelle.

Orazio Majorana: 29 anni, di Catania, carabiniere scelto in servizio nel battaglione Laives-Leifers in provincia di Bolzano.

Giuseppe Coletta: 38 anni, originario di Avola (Siracusa) ma da tempo residente a San Vitaliano, in Campania, vicebrigadiere in servizio al comando provinciale di Castello di Cisterna (Napoli); sposato e padre di una bambina di due anni.

Giovanni Cavallaro: 47 anni, nato in provincia di Messina e residente a Nizza Monferrato, maresciallo in servizio al comando provinciale di Asti. Era noto con il soprannome di 'Serpico'. Lascia la moglie e la piccola Lucrezia, 4 anni.

Alfio Ragazzi: 39 anni, maresciallo dei carabinieri in servizio al Ris di Messina, sposato e con due figli di 13 e 7 anni. Era partito in luglio e sarebbe dovuto rientrare a Messina sabato prossimo: i familiari stavano già preparando la festa.

Ivan Ghitti: 30 anni, milanese, carabiniere di stanza al 13/mo Reggimento Gorizia. Era alla sua quarta missione di pace all' estero, dopo essere stato tre volte in Bosnia. Lascia i genitori e una sorella.

Daniele Ghione:, 30 anni, di Finale Ligure (Savona), maresciallo dei carabinieri in servizio nella compagnia Gorizia. Era Sposato da poco. Era stato ausiliario dell' Arma, poi si era congedato e iscritto all' Associazione carabinieri in congedo.
- Pubblicità -

Enzo Fregosi: 56 anni, ex comandante dei Nas di Livorno dove viveva con la famiglia. Lascia moglie e due figli, un maschio, anche lui carabiniere, e una ragazza che studia all'Università.

Alfonso Trincone: 44 anni, era originario di Pozzuoli (Napoli) ma risiedeva a Roma con la moglie e i tre figli. Il sottufficiale era in forze al Noe, il Nucleo operativo ecologico che dipende dal Ministero dell' Ambiente.

Massimiliano Bruno: maresciallo dei carabinieri di origine bolognese, biologo in forza al Raggruppamento Investigazioni scientifiche (Racis) di Roma. Viveva con la moglie a Civitavecchia. I genitori e un fratello vivono a Bologna.

Andrea Filippa: 33 anni, torinese, carabiniere dall' età di 19. Era esperto di missioni all' estero che lo tenevano costantemente lontano da casa. Prestava servizio a Gorizia presso il 13/o Battaglione Carabinieri. Viveva a San Pier D' Isonzo insieme alla giovane moglie, sposata nel 1998.

Filippo Merlino: 40 anni, originario di Sant' Arcangelo (Potenza), sposato. Con il grado di maresciallo comandava la stazione dei carabinieri di Viadana (Mantova).

- Massimo Ficuciello (figlio del generale Alberto Ficuciello), militare dell' Esercito;
- Silvio Olla, 32 anni, Isola di Sant' Antioco (Cagliari), sottufficiale della Brigata Sassari.
- Emanuele Ferraro, militare dell' Esercito
- Alessandro Carrisi, militare dell' Esercito.

- Stefano Rolla, regista cinematografico, produttore della "Gabbiano Film". Stava facendo un sopralluogo per un film del regista Massimo Spano
- Marco Beci, 43 anni, operatore nella cooperazione internazionale, originario di Pergola, nelle Marche.

woensdag, november 12, 2003

"I was worrying a lot about the screen," Kasparov, 40, said. "I knew before this match that I could have some psychological problems with this technology."

Gary Kasparov draws first match against X3D Fritz Computer

Bureau of Statistics...

Shot for desertion: 266 soldiers, 2 officers
Shot for cowardice: 18 soldiers
Shot for disobedience: 5 soldiers
Shot for sleeping on post: 2 soldiers
Shot for quitting post: 7 soldiers
Shot for striking or violence: 6 soldiers

— British Army Official Statistics, 1918


The hyena with polished face & bow tie,
In the office of a billion dollar
Corporation devoted to service;
The vulture dripping with carrion,
Carefully & carelessly robed in imported tweeds,
Lecturing on the Age of Abundance;
The jackal in the double-breasted gabardine,
Barking by remote control,
In the United Nations...
The Superego in a thousand uniforms,
You, the finger man of the behemoth,
The murderer of the young men...

— Kenneth Rexroth, "Thou Shalt Not Kill",
written in response to the death of Dylan


Anarchists and Subcommandante Bush

THOUSANDS of protesters are planning to storm Buckingham Palace in an attempt to humiliate President George W Bush when he stays there during his State visit to Britain next month. (um, don't think he's going to need any help humiliating himself once he opens his mouth...)

Anarchist groups are secretly planning to swamp tight security at the Palace by sending thousands of protesters over the walls at the same time.

They are using the Internet and text messages to organise the attack on the Queen's residence - where the US President and his wife Laura will be staying.


The Stop the War Coalition and the Muslim Association of Britain hope that 100,000 protesters will take to the streets. Scotland Yard has cancelled all leave for the three days Bush will be in London.

About 3,800 British police will be involved in the security operation, in addition to up to 250 armed US Secret Service agents.

Sir John Stevens, commissioner of the Metropolitan police, is in a position of acute sensitivity. While the White House is insisting on maximum security, Livingstone's office has made clear to Scotland Yard its insistence that those who want to are left free to demonstrate. One source said: "The view was expressed that a legitimate protest must be facilitated."


British police have refused to comment on media reports that White House security staff have demanded vast central London exclusion zones for President George W Bush's visit, which starts next Wednesday.

With all police leave cancelled, up to 100,000 protesters vowing to take to the streets and with Prime Minister Tony Blair attempting to quash anti-Bush rhetoric, London's Metropolitan police commissioner admitted the visit presented an "unprecedented" challenge.

"It's going to be a big test for the Met in terms of what we have to do to prevent an attack on the president, any member of the royal family and any member of the cabinet," said a spokeswoman for Scotland Yard police headquarters.

"We have to balance preventative measures with allowing people to demonstrate in a peaceful manner."

The police acknowledged that having Mr Bush, Mr Blair and Queen Elizabeth in the same place at the same time presents a tempting target for would-be attackers.

The Lord Mayor of London Ken Livingston says and exclusion zone that would take in the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace and Downing Street during the visit would cause unacceptable economic disruption.

Mr Bush will stay with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Anarchy in the UK

dinsdag, november 11, 2003


by Richard Wilbur

It is a cramped little state with no foreign policy,
Save to be thought inoffensive. The grammar of the language
Has never been fathomed, owing to the national habit
Of allowing each sentence to trail off in confusion.
Those who have visited Scusi, the capital city,
Report that the railway-route from Schuldig passes
Through country best described as unrelieved.
Sheep are the national product. The faint inscription
Over the city gates may perhaps be rendered,
"I'm afraid you won't find much of interest here."
Census-reports which give the population
As zero are, of course, not to be trusted,
Save as reflecting the natives' flustered insistence
That they do not count, as well as their modest horror
Of letting one's sex be known in so many words.
The uniform grey of the nondescript buildings, the absence
Of churches or comfort-stations, have given observers
An odd impression of ostentatious meanness,
And it must be said of the citizens (muttering by
In their ratty sheepskins, shying at cracks in the sidewalk)
That they lack the peace of mind of the truly humble.
The tenor of life is careful, even in the stiff
Unsmiling carelessness of the border-guards
And douaniers, who admit, whenever they can,
Not merely the usual carloads of deodorant
But gypsies, g-strings, hasheesh, and contraband pigments.
Their complete negligence is reserved, however,
For the hoped-for invasion, at which time the happy people
(Sniggering, ruddily naked, and shamelessly drunk)
Will stun the foe by their overwhelming submission,
Corrupt the generals, infiltrate the staff,
Usurp the throne, proclaim themselves to be sun-gods,
And bring about the collapse of the whole empire.

maandag, november 10, 2003

Adieu, Dylan

1953 -- Welsh poet Dylan Thomas dies, age 39,following a six-day coma brought on by drinking 18 straight whiskeys in a New York tavern. At the funeral parlor, a friend looking down at the body with its rouged face & garish suit, carnation in buttonhole, says: "He would never have been seen dead in it."

"I hold a beast, an angel, & a
madman in me, & my enquiry is as to
their working, & my problem is their
subjugation & victory, downthrow &
upheaval, & my effort is their


The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead & halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.

The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose's quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.

The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
& famine grew, & locusts came;
Great is the hand the holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.

The five kings count the dead but do not soften
The crusted wound nor pat the brow;
A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.

— Dylan Thomas


zaterdag, november 08, 2003

The Sax Bit
Ted Joans
(This poem is just a poem of thanks)

This bent metal serpent holy horn with lids like beer
mug/ with phallic tail why did they invent you
before Coleman Hawkins was born ?
This curved shiney tune gut/ hanging lynched like/ J
shaped intitial of jazz/ wordless without a reed when
Coleman Hawkins first fondled it/kissed it with Black
sound did COngo blood sucking Belges frown ?
This tenor/alto/bass/baritone/soprano/moan/cry &
shout-a-phone ! sex-oh-phone/tell-it-like-damn-
sho-isa-phone !What tremors ran through Adolphe
Saxe the day Bean grabbed his ax ?
This golden mine of a million marvelous sounds/black
notes with myriad shadows/or empty crooked tube of
technical white poor-formance/calculated keys that
never unlock soul doors/white man made machine saved
from zero by Coleman Hawkins !
This saxophone salvation/modern gri gri hanging from
jazzmen's necks placed there by Coleman Hawkins
a full body & soul sorcerer whose spirit dwells eternally
in every saxophone NOW and all those sound-a-phones
to be

donderdag, november 06, 2003


Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Day here in England which calls for large bonfires throughout the towns and villages of the land and loads of fireworks.

Even our little village hall in Blackwell had a huge bonfire and fireworks display, along with hotdogs, jacket potatos and of course, ladles full of mulled wine which tastes, in essence, like hot sangria. Yum!

Guy Fawkes was one of the masterminds of The Gunpowder Plot, which was a conspiracy to blow up the English Parliament and King James I on Nov. 5, 1605, the day set for the king to open Parliament. It was intended to be the beginning of a great uprising of English Catholics, who were distressed by the increased severity of penal laws against the practice of their religion.

An alleged newspaper account on January 27, 1606 outlines the criminal/terrorist plot and reports the conspirators were found guilty of treason.

"To the charges - in brief, that the eight defendants, together with Catesby, Percy, the two Wrights, Tresham, and the three Jesuits Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond (alias Greenway) and John Gerrard (all killed in the pursuit), did traitorously conspire to kill the King and the Queen and Prince Henry; to raise sedition and to produce a miserable slaughter in the realm; to cause rebellion and to subvert and change the government and true worship of God established in the Realm; and also to invite foreigners to invade the Realm and make war against the King - all surprisingly pleaded not guilty, despite the extreme notoriety of their previous confessions. This prompted Chief Justice Popham to ask Guy Fawkes how he could deny the indictment, considering he was captured in the cellar with the powder, and never denied his guilt before, to which Fawkes responded that he disagreed merely with certain details of the indictment."


Of course, the Gunpowder Plot Society is exhaustive on the matter. In the interim, I've been reading a great book by Antonia Fraser on the subject called, predictably enough, The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605.


I guess the only thing I don't get is that this is basically a big party about a failed terrorist plot that mimics what might have happened had the terrorists succeeded. 36 barrels (approximately 2500kg) of gunpowder, concealed under a store of winter fuel. Not very becoming behavior for a nation which is supposed to be against terrorism. It seems unclear if this is a celebration of the execution of a terrorist or a celebration of the spirit of the attempted terrorism. Especially because Uncle Dubya might not be happy about it if he ever finds out.