It seems that as fast as one generation is spared cretinous military rituals of state and the dubious delights of ‘serving one’s country’, the klingons who perpetuate such big fibs conscript younger victims.
Today around 100 Manx kids will march about pointlessly as part of a sham ‘war memorial’ (see http://www.energyfm.net/cms/news_story_107671.html for more).
Like the UK government, the Manx one likes to pretend this fatuous, publically-subsidised pray-in has a point. It doesn’t, unless you count distracting us from wondering how they managed to screw up public services in years when obscene amounts of money could have rolled in to build them.
I’d also have to ask such ‘vets’, quite bluntly, how crap was the rest of your life that you need to commemorate a wasted adolescence several times a year – on the rates? I’ve seen the Sex Pistols and seen off the National Front, but I don’t need to dress up in bondage trousers with a bunch of balding sad-acts and march down Kings Road every pigging summer.
In fact, the funniest thing is I’ve probably seen more war zones and intervened positively in more conflicts than a whole platoon of today’s marchers. I did it by the simple method of taking an interest in world and social affairs and building up a network of like-minded friends in other countries. This is almost the bi-polar opposite of the ‘advice’ given to me at school by the kind of xenophobic tossers who perpetuate this twaddle so that they can queen about in a beret.
On the other hand it is exactly the advice given to me by my grandfather, who was crippled in the First World War and only survived it because he was rescued by a German soldier. He threw away his war medals after that war faster than the UK government threw him on the scrap heap, never went to an Armistice Day parade, and never had a bad word for a foreigner of any description that I heard.
Like my wife’s grandfather, he would have probably been delighted that I married the grand-daughter of someone who not only served against him but was also conscripted in the Second World War, and by all the evidence in letters home from the Russian Front we recently discovered found the whole situation as pointless, sick and stupid as my own grandfather. The even sicker thing – he hated the Nazis even more than the Allies did, and had only been conscripted for certain death at an advanced age as revenge for being a pre-war Communist Party member.
I sincerely hope that all this pseudo-patriotic nonsense finally dies out before I get a sad letter from a head teacher informing me that my daughter is expected to perpetuate this lie. The thing is, unlike the professional liars and muddle-headed loons who do, I have far too much respect for war victims to let her.
To those who think we should still commemorate the war I have a simple suggestion. Let your chintzy soldier statues fall down and replace them, if you must, with a simple image of a dead baby impaled on a bayonet.
If you can’t handle that, you’re not serious about why we need to remember the horrors of war and ‘inform’ the young.
So stop wasting our time and public money.
2 years ago