Even now, just short of midnight, the night air is hammered at intervals by a Pavlovian cacophony of bangs and barks, as fireworks erupt to the distress of dogs and other animals. For around a week the Valley has sounded like a warzone, the repetitious clattering in the skies shuddering through house windows and menacingly echoing the tragic violence currently engulfing half the world, a nightly serenade of bomb-like banging, as selfish oiks stick two fingers at the rest of us and subject all and sundry to disturbance, all in the name of a national pastime. Nothing to do with its historical roots, the contemporary Bonfire Night is simply a pointless exercise in money wasting, vandalism, and intentional animal cruelty. All my life I have racked my brains and failed to think of a single benefit from bangers, to think of one single reason anyone would detonate them. Anyone who has ever taken care of any animal during one of these unpleasant evenings, will know the shock and anxiety suffered by many domestic pets - I have seen large Alsatians and guard dogs jumping in alarm. Most animals have hearing ranges far excessive of humans, and the damage caused by bangers can be indelible.
We are led to believe that many British households are currently strapped for cash - yet some are evidently drowning in money, enough to set fire to, and are determined to harm others in the process. The panic caused by fireworks causes many wild animals to abandon their nests and burrows, resulting in infants separated from mothers and starving to death, while waterbirds and fish are known to die due to ingesting firework debris. Many animals are traumatized, become strays, or exhibit life-threatening behaviours. The damage caused to habitats by fireworks can be serious, light and chemical pollution can cause irreparable harm, while many humans also suffer a great deal of unwarranted stress. Clearly, anyone persisting in the use of bangers is either mentally sick or simply moronic, and it is high time the authorities put paid to their destructive habits.
Blasting through the night
like abusive drunks on trains
they startle dogs and rupture
whatever peace remains
in this unquiet age.
Frightening animals everywhere,
ignited by the ignorant
who, like obnoxious schoolboys,
love to play at war, enjoy
the heartlessness of noise,
these detonations are the calling cards
of a bloated generation,
nasty, twisted, thick bullies,
drunk on their own self-importance
and with money to burn,
hating non-humans and imposing
cacophony without cessation -
just another yobbish symptom of a sick, declining nation.