Guy Fawkes is stupid. It's a stupid celebration of a stupid event.

Those who celebrate it inevitably celebrate it stupidly. We should find better reasons for burning stuff and better ways to burn. We should grow up and move on.

Let's begin with today's date. Exactly 412 years ago, Guy Fawkes was captured and his plot to blow up the British Parliament was nixed.

Since then, the British have marked the anniversary every November 5 by letting off fireworks and burning effigies of Fawkes.


Somewhere along the line, Kiwis apparently decided it's a little macabre to be gathering grandma and the kids in the backyard on a November evening for an almighty effigy burning, and that part of the celebration was quietly dropped.

But we still see fit to celebrate attempted terrorism.

But let's be honest. None of us really cares about the date itself or Fawkes' attempted plot.

We only care about fireworks. Otherwise, presumably, we'd be marking all sorts of attempted terrorist attacks. Can you imagine a Richard Reid day, when we all gathered and set fire to our old Nikes as an homage to the attempted shoe bomber?

Why not, at the very least, save fireworks sales for worthy celebrations? The Americans save them for July 4th and New Year's Eve.

If we really, desperately need to be lighting our own fireworks, I'd pitch a midwinter solstice celebration at the time of year when a few bangers are presumably the least likely to set anything else alight.

That brings us to safety. All it takes is one misfiring Roman candle, a munter with a Big Bang Box trying to impress his mates or an unexpected gust of wind and people and property are at risk.

When I was a kid, at least the danger of fireworks had a pay-off. If you wanted to be really unsafe and threaten your cousin's eyesight with a misfiring explosive, you could do it with something impressive. Buzzy bees and sky rockets: every suburban teenager was Kim Jong Un for the day.


But in order to make them acceptably though-far-from-totally safe, consumer fireworks have been regulated to impotence.

Household fireworks suck. They're not worthy of their names and certainly not worthy of the prices they command.

Guy Fawkes is a fizzer and a potentially dangerous one at that.

I'd much rather we saved whatever money goes into staffing our fire departments and buying lame explosives and spend it on a few more decent public displays instead.

Jack Tame is on NewstalkZB Saturdays, 9am-noon.