Today in the UK, we celebrate blowing things up. Or nearly blowing things up.
Bonfire Night is so quintessentially punk; a bit edgy, transgressive at its very roots. Is tonight the closest we British get to wildness? Fireworks are a bit Malcolm McLaren, a bit KLF aren’t they? I don’t whether I am more awed by the pretty lights or the way ‘poor’ councils such as mine (Brent) will still plunder their paltry budgets and basically shoot wads of cash into the ether. I’ve never been clear whether we are celebrating Guy Fawkes’ gall or his failure? That’s the beauty of a fire festival; it can be both destructive and creative depending on how you look at it.
If I could build a bonfire this year it would be (highly dangerous as our postage stamp-sized garden is fence-to-fence wooden decking) made up of the year’s disappointments: several lottery scratch cards unpeeled to reveal their worthless core; rejection letters from employers and publishers; the packaging from knickers bought in a hopeful size-too-small; unopened jubilee bunting. But from the ashes, I would begin again, freer than before.
What are you throwing on the pyre tonight?