Saturday, November 1, 2008

Guy Fawkes is in My Head

My brain -- and perhaps here I should say the brain, meaning the brains of humans in general, not my specific "the brain," lest I sound pompous and arrogant . . . now where was I?

Oh yeah.

The Internet.

The Internet, I believe, is much like the human brain. While we talk about taking trips down memory lane or "visiting" a web site, we haven't indeed gone anywhere except for the collection of neurons inside the skull or the collection of silicon and other elements inside that beige box on the desk. BUt within those carapaces (or at least connected to them via wireless internet) we have a vast world, a Sargasso sea of information, trivia, still shots, video, sound bites and other random bits of flotsam that, when consulted, can become part of a blog entry, a memory, a song. And, as on the Internet, once we get searching in the brain we often stumble upon some other word or image or sound that triggers additional searches until we've been sitting there, staring for hours, not really remembering why we started to remember in the first place but happy, in an odd sense, that the searches and tagging and such worked effectively for dredging up useless but fascinating pieces of information.

Why do I bring this up?

The Fifth of November.

All morning, thinking about the turning of the calendar, I had a snatch of a rhyme going through my head: "Remember, remember, the something of November." My brain kept repeating it over and over as if it were something very, very important. BUt because that's all my brain had on its EZ-Recall Memory Circuit this morning, I had to go to that backup brain -- the Internet -- to find the solution. Here it is:
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
I have no idea why this was so important to my brain this morning. But it was. And thanks to Wikipedia (which, at best, should be regarded as an adolescent brain, meaning it does contain a lot of information but most of it is likely inaccurate, misspelled, slanted or otherwise, in some fundamental sense, untrustworthy) I found the answer. And thanks to that long parenthetical phrase, I also had a sentence fragment. But I've fixed that. And a few other typos.

So the turning of the calendar brought to the surface memories of a rhyme made up about Guy Fawkes. I don't know why. I'm not English. I have friends in England, and we may well have discussed Guy Fawkes in some capacity or other, but why the rhyme, or at least the garbled first stanza, should stick in my head today and pop up like a hangnail demanding attention I have no idea. But the itch is now cured.

What I learned today: How to spell carapace.

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