“Remember, remember the fifth of November for gunpowder, treason and plot” goes the old English rhyme about Guido Fawkes and his comrades, who came within minutes of blowing up The Houses of Parliament in the year 1605.
The British celebrate the failure of The Gunpowder Plot every November 5th with bloody big bonfires atop which “guys” – effigies of the plotter-in-chief sit and burn. There are also plenty of fireworks à la The 4th of July… only much colder! The celebration is known as Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night.
Skip forward 400 years and The Wachowski
Brothers Siblings criminally underrated film V For Vendetta, based on genius storyteller Alan Moore’s graphic novel re-introduced Guy Fawkes to a whole new, worldwide audience.
And less than a decade later, the Guy Fawkes mask had become synonymous with hacking group Anonymous, protesters and activism throughout the world.
But as of this weekend, there’s a new Guy in town (geddit – Guy Fawkes!)
As Trump was being sworn in on Capitol Hill and Sam Esmail was going to war with the first orange President across town, protesters smashed Bank of America, McDonalds and Starbucks windows, graffiti-ing and setting fire to a limousine before over 200 were arrested by a militarized police force.
Police in riot gear dispersed crowds and in this one photo from Canadian Broadcaster CBC, a woman in one of the Mr Robot masks can be seen helping a man who has been clearly sprayed with pepper spray in the eyes.
Obvious fan of V for Vendetta, Sam Esmail used the Guy Fawkes mask (crossed with the Monopoly man and Mr Pringle) as inspiration for Elliot and Darlene’s The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie mask and now the Mr Robot masks have made the leap from pop-culture to reality.
And when a symbol from your TV show is used as a symbol against the system in real life – well… that’s when you know you’ve made it.
So, as our favourite hacking show promises to tackle Trump’s presidency in Season 3.0, expect to see many more Mr Robot Masks on the streets in the future. Get used to see that militarized police force, too! There are strange times ahead but it’s up to us to stop America growing
There are strange times ahead but it’s up to us to stop America re-planting any Strange Fruit so, as Trump pretends to Make America Great Again, how about we Make Racists Afraid Again!