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On Sunday, November 5, 2006, the 401st Guy Fawkes Night was celebrated. Today, we bring to you the 51st issue of Big RED and shiny. The most significant change to Big RED for Issue 51 is the absense of the Forum, which we’ve humanely euthanized.

Issue number 51 is also my 4th issue as an Executive Editor. With the title of Executive Editor comes a series of new editorial responsibilities, which I am very excited about. For instance, Big RED and Shiny cannot endorse anyone running for public office. Big RED, as a non-profit entity—vying for 501(c)(3) designation—should, in our best interests, do nothing of the sort. Deval Patrick, the Democratic candidate for Massachusetts Governor is the proud parent of an art student. Tuesday, November 7, 2006, is Election Day.

Hey, I’m just sayin’.

Guido (Guy) Fawkes was a British Roman Catholic soldier who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament with King James I and most of the protestant aristocracy inside on November 5, 1605. Every subsequent year, the people of Britain celebrate the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ capture buy shooting off fireworks and burning him in effigy. In 2001, the 21st century’s analog to Mr. Fawkes, Osama Bin Laden, was burned in effigy in Lewes, England during Guy Fawkes Celebrations.

On 31 January 1606, after being tortured into confession, Fawkes was hanged, drawn and quartered. Luckily for Osama, the days of state sanctioned disembowelment are, for the most part, over; if he is ever captured it is very likely that he will only be non-lethally tortured before he is killed in a fashion more appropriate to a modern, humane and liberal democracy. Public hanging comes to mind, to which the two-time public enemy number-one, Saddam Hussein, was coincidentally sentenced on the very day of Guy Fawkes Night, 2006.

It might be sensational or even unethical to imply that the treatment of Catholics in England in the 17th Century is an accurate analog to the contemporary treatment of Muslims in the West, but there has never been a Catholic Prime Minister of Britain. The first and only Catholic president of the United States wasn’t elected until 355 years and two days after Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But hey, I’m just sayin’.

About Author

Christian Holland is an aspiring New York City-based essayist who likes writing about how New York City isn't the center of the world. He was executive editor and founding contributor of Big, Red & Shiny, and sat on the publication's board for V2.

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