“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Black and Red poppies.

I thought that I had said just about all I had to say about the WW1 commemorations already but Remembrance Sunday, the poppies at The Tower and the latest offering from Martin Wright and the usually spot on Black and Red TV force me to come back to the horrors of war in general and WW1 in particular. Having performed a first rate hatchet job on idiot Brand's Wevolution Booky Wooky ( well at least Martin had the patience to read it which is more than I would have had.) the old class warrior goes on to denounce the ceramic poppies in the Tower moat and Poppy Day in general. I think that it's important, but sometimes difficult, to separate the horrors of war and the politics that lead to wars from the soldiers who fight them. I can see nothing wrong with remembering the fallen and understand that it's some consolation to families of the victims of more recent wars. I can feel this without in any way endorsing the pomp and hypocrisy that surrounds Remembrance Sunday. As for Poppies, I can see nothing wrong with supporting an ex-serviceman's charity. As well as remembering the fallen of two world wars we might also remember the shockingly disproportionate number of rough sleepers who are ex-military.
I had a look at the poppies at the Tower the other day and thought it a spectacular enough art installation and, gutter press endorsement aside, if it raises a few bob for disabled ex-squaddies so much the better. While I was there I paid a visit to the Merchant Navy War Memorial in Trinity Square. All those names. All those men who lost their lives in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. I always find such visits moving.

1 comment:

Dr Llareggub said...

Completely agree with you. Politicians try to use events like Remembrance for their own agendas, whether on the nationalistic right or the oikophobic left, as did the Guardian arts critic who dismissed the plastic poppies as trash.
But so many of the ordinary folk whose family members were killed in the carnage have attributed a different meaning to the poppy symbol, one which shows respect for the poor buggers who were caught up in the conflict. We can appreciate the two minutes silence without endorsing any of the politicians and royalty strutting around the cenotaph.