Red poppies

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Red poppies

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:47 pm

Ironic and offensive that what was originally an anti-war symbol has become a pro-war one, justifying and gloryifying every despicable invasion by warmongering England.
Goebbels would have been proud of the relentless propaganda perpetuated by politicians and self-serving veteran organisations (backed by arms dealers), and not at all surprised by the compliant public's acceptance of all the guff.
The famous become pariahs if they don't toe the mob line. Royals wear the rotten things every time they go out in public (of course they would). TV presenters are forced to wear them (or suffer a mob backlash).
Ironic too, that those who genuinely hate war and all the waste and suffering it causes are the very ones who are revolted by the red poppy circus.
The pro-poppy mob is exactly like the white feather mob of WW1. Irony in the extreme.

''Order of the White Feather: My 'coward' grandfather
After reading, in quick succession, four books about the men who fought the war, I took out a box of flimsy, yellowing letters, and tried yet again to imagine what my grandfather went through.

He had three small daughters, which saved him from conscription, and his attempt to volunteer was turned down in 1914 because he was short-sighted. But in 1916, as he walked home to south London from his office, a woman gave him a white feather (an emblem of cowardice). He enlisted the next day. By that time, they cared nothing for short sight. They just wanted a body to stop a shell, which Rifleman James Cutmore duly did in February 1918, dying of his wounds on March 28.

My mother was nine, and never got over it. In her last years, in the 1980s, her once fine brain so crippled by dementia that she could not remember the names of her children, she could still remember his dreadful, useless death. She could still talk of his last leave, when he was so shellshocked he could hardly speak and my grandmother ironed his uniform every day in the vain hope of killing the lice. She treasured his letters from the front, as well as information about his brothers who also died.

She blamed the politicians. She blamed the generation that sent him to war. She was with Kipling: "If any question why we died, / Tell them, because our fathers lied." She was with Sassoon: "If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath / I'd live with scarlet majors at the Base, / And speed glum heroes up the line to death ... And when the war is done and youth stone dead / I'd toddle safely home and die - in bed."

But most of all, she blamed that unknown woman who gave him a white feather, and the thousands of brittle, self-righteous women all over the country who had done the same. And there were thousands of them, as Will Ellsworth-Jones makes clear in his fascinating account of a group of conscientious objectors, We Will Not Fight. After the war, Virginia Woolf suggested there were only 50 or 60 white feathers handed out, but this was nonsense - as Ellsworth-Jones's diligent research shows.

Some of his stories still have the power to make the reader angry. A 15-year-old boy lied about his age to get into the army in 1914. He was in the retreat from Mons, the Battle of the Marne and the first Battle of Ypres, before he caught a fever and was sent home. Walking across Putney Bridge, four girls gave him white feathers. "I explained to them that I had been in the army and been discharged, and I was still only 16. Several people had collected around the girls and there was giggling, and I felt most uncomfortable and ... very humiliated." He walked straight into the nearest recruiting office and rejoined the army.''



https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... emembrance
Last edited by vegetariantaxidermy on Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

mickthinks
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Re: Poppies

Post by mickthinks » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:59 am

I grew up—was brought up—respecting the poppy symbol and Remembrance Day. I've gradually come to distrust it enough to boycott it. Donating to the British Legion and wearing the red poppy is no hardship, and conscientiously objecting to it is nothing as compared to the sacrifice made by those who enlisted or were drafted to fight The Boche, and by those who refused. but the social pressure to conform to the norm is probably as great.

i am incredibly and awfully respectful of the soldiers who fought in both wars, indeed all wars, but I no longer interpret that feeling as gratitude. Gratitude is a validation of the endeavor.

Grief is the only appropriate emotional response, I think, and since that isn't the chief emotion expressed by poppy wearing or at Remembrance Day ceremonies, I can't in all conscience participate.

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Sculptor
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Re: Poppies

Post by Sculptor » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:42 am

mickthinks wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:59 am
I grew up—was brought up—respecting the poppy symbol and Remembrance Day. I've gradually come to distrust it enough to boycott it. Donating to the British Legion and wearing the red poppy is no hardship, and conscientiously objecting to it is nothing as compared to the sacrifice made by those who enlisted or were drafted to fight The Boche, and by those who refused. but the social pressure to conform to the norm is probably as great.

i am incredibly and awfully respectful of the soldiers who fought in both wars, indeed all wars, but I no longer interpret that feeling as gratitude. Gratitude is a validation of the endeavor.

Grief is the only appropriate emotional response, I think, and since that isn't the chief emotion expressed by poppy wearing or at Remembrance Day ceremonies, I can't in all conscience participate.
I wear a poppy every year. A white one.

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