An effigy, for those who are unawares, is a symbolic representation of a person or organization that then has something (usually bad) done to it as a symbolic and pacifist attack on the object or person the effigy represents.
I keep meaning to post this recipe, and I think Katrina is big enough and bad enough and leaves enough of us impotent to finally push me to posting it. (I've been living off borrowed pathos from Annti, Bellatrys and Amanda for a day or two now, I burned out my ability to keep sustained outrage years ago)
Music: Dresden Dolls
A long sleeved shirt, long pants, usually smart pants.
A balloon or some other simple object that can stand in for a head, if there is time I've done painted fired clay models of people's heads, which is especially cool as the burned remains tend to leave nothing but ash and the burnt clay head, but let's ignore that time consuming version for a second (because you tend to need to add a neck brace to stop gravity ripping it off in transport). Soccer and basket balls also work, drawing and sticking pictures of the hate figure on the effigy are also common so a felt tip pen/printer + internets connection are generally necessary too, though symbolic elements will often make up for the "head" lacking distinctive features.
NOTE: Basket and soccer balls can explode dangerously if the effigy burns in a certain way so it's probably best if you stick with balloons to start with, as they swell and pop before the actual rubber itself heats to a too dangerous level and becomes and dangerous projectile (seeing Bush's head swell until it pops is very apropos too, and funny when drunkled).
Papier Mache is another good "head" materials, mostly paper and paste stuck to the outside of a balloon you then pop and remove, It's the poor man's clay really as you can add three dimensional noses and all sorts to it, and it burns quite well.
Straw or a not particularly polluting filler are also needed in bulk, if you got countryside nearby just take it, though packing foam might do in a pinch (though greens will no doubt lambast me and you for suggesting that, it's not good for the ground and not good for ground water or the air you breath, burn on concrete only if you do use packing foam to minimize damage)
I buy most ingredients specifically from charity shops because A) It's cheap, B) helps a charity and C) most people you burn in effigy are inherently against giving to charity, so it works as another level of Fuck You to the whole affair.
Symbolic ingredients are where it starts to get a bit voudon on us, as these are the bits that connect the malice and hatred directed towards the effigy from you and your friends and redirect them through the ether (you think I believe this?) to the target.
Now when this is someone you know personally I'd tend to go for hair and fingernails, as well as favorite clothing and prized personal possessions. If that seems creepy, well the only people I've known personally that I've done this too have been one lovely charming nice guy who I retrieved a hand full of hair samples of from during an attempted rape, and the other was a boss who I managed to get a pubic hair (or two) off of when he whipped it out at me and threaten to fire me if I wasn't phallically social with him, he fired me the next day, after (and because) I retrieved the hair samples. So generally while theft and creepiness are involved with making a non-famous effigy, the people who deserve this sort of thing done to them as a form of stress relief for you are rarely undeserving of it.
Though I must insist that people try to stay legal, if only because you can't blame me if you get caught, I wash my hands of you.
famous effigies are easier of course, large generic symbols are what I tend to use, in George Bush's case, those fake cowboy hats that you can buy in most major metropolitan areas with that symbol of the office of the president drawn or stuck on it should do, as do fake horses stuck to the effigy's crotch area (try to add a surprised look to the horsey if possible, inflatable sheep sex toys aren't good enough) .
Another favorite of mine is to add little quotes from our mighty Fuhrer Prez (who I've burned at least 3 times in the last 5 years) , partly because there's a powerful medicine in pinning down and trapping someone's words in that manner, but also because some of Bush's quotes are so bone headed and original in their mind boggling stupidity that they pretty much could only come from Bush, even the best satirists of five different continents are unable to fake the rank idiocy in some of those quotes.
But what ever, make it as impressive or realistic as possible, cover it in chicken feathers and glue, make it look really smart and ready for business, whatever floats your boat (or drowns your ethnic democrat voters in Bush's case).
Using basic sowing skills, sow the pre stuffed shirt, pants, socks, gloves together with the "head" (which I've usually stuck on to the shirt collar with glue and staples when using soccer a basket balls, which tends to make it look a bit more bad ass than is ideal but hey, you're going to burn it). I generally add a moratorium to me or my friends drinking before the effigy is basically assembled (i.e. before the symbolic elements are added) so that gloves and socks end up on the right ends of the body, and the correct number of arms and legs are added and in the right order too.
The adding of the symbolic elements is usually when me and my helper monkey friends start drinking, because until you've experienced Drunken Glue Gun Fun you ain't lived I tells you.
The Burning Sensation:
Now I'm assuming (no doubt wrongly) that anyone weird and strange enough to do this are also smart enough to respect fire for the barely controlled force of death and rebirth that it is, but there are some things that need to be added anyway:
Location, Location, Location, make sure the effigy is burned far enough away from large sources of flammable material that a stray spark might start a bigger fire that might kill some one.
If you are so mind boggingly stupid enough to start a large forest fire or be inadvertently responsible for arson, You take responsibility dickhead, I again, wash my hands of you.
Be careful of winds, if there is very strong winds it will make it both very hard to set the effigy on fire as well as making it more prone to flaring suddenly and burning people who are sitting too close to "small" fire. Burn marshmallows on long sticks basically and be careful for long distant sparks.
Stop Drop and Roll are your favoritest words when burning stuff, so keep them near the forefront of your mind and use when necessary
But Above All Else...
...Bring lots of friends and have a good time, it is first and foremost a way of relieving stress, mourning and venting physically. God knows we need it after these last 5 years and will need for the next 5, so have fun as much as that is possible right now, and pick up where you left off tomorrow