11 November 2011

Remembrance day

I wear a white poppy myself, at this time, but was moved by Slinkachu's post today.

6 comments:

Acerone said...

Interestingly, i read your post and viewed Slinkachu's image at the same time that this song was playing...

http://youtu.be/3XmuKtEh2so

An accidental juxtaposition that couldnt have come together more perfectly. Could it be the veteran that is singing the words of this song?

Geoff said...

Heidi and I wear white poppies

Felix said...

AcerOne's link got disrupted somewhere along the way in the commenting process.

It should be, I think, Portishead's Roads at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XmuKtEh2so

Ray Girvan said...

It's a difficult one. I don't wear a poppy. Red poppy: I don't buy into the Royal British Legion; its remembrance is too mingled with continuing pro-militarism (and I also resent the way it has become semi-mandatory - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6134906.stm). White poppy: I don't buy into the Peace Pledge Union, which seems unrealistically pacifist (i.e. not accepting the need for military as a precaution against attack by nations that don't buy into your pacifism). But I do donate to Help for Heroes, which is more about help at the personal level.

Felix said...

Ray: I'd agree with everything you say. If my resulting actions are slightly different, that doesn't reflect any difference in perception.

I agree with the British Legion's expressed viewpoint three years back, that it "doesn't have a problem whether you wear a red one or a white one, both or none at all"

I don't contribute to Help for Heroes specifically for various philosophical reasons, except through personal sponsorship of someone I know who is fundraising for them. But I do believe (alongside HfH, The Poppy Appeal, and others) that more should be done for those who have been injured in the course of doing what their society's (sometimes necessary) dirty work for it.

My view of militaries remains as I analogised it a while ago: simultaneously essential and the cause of many problems.

I confess that my wearing of a white poppy is partly a "counter balancing" action in response to the poppy fundamentalism to which you refer.

Also ... society (or our society, any way) tends to operate as a system of intermediate compromises between posited but never reached extremes. My wearing of a white poppy is primarily a positing of the opposite extreme to majority militarism, as an ideal toward which I would like to see us (humanity as a whole) shift its balance.

Acerone said...

The controversies about poppies have baffled me since secondary school.

I was always under the impression that red poppies were linked to remembrance day and represented our thoughts for those soldiers that had died during the 1st and 2nd world wars. It wasn't until i saw a girl in my class using Tip-Ex to 'white' her red poppy that i discovered the 'peace' poppy. She told us that it represented anyone who had died as a result of the wars - soldiers, civilians, families - and this seemed to me to represent a more inclusive memorial.

Many of use rushed out to find a poppy so that we too could white-up ours; im sure there was more than a little bit of 'wanting to be different' going on, but generally i think we did it for genuinely positive reasons.

Then early one morning we were suddenly called into an 'emergency' assembly where the Headmaster dressed us down, brandishing anyone who wore a white poppy as disrespecting those who had fought to give us the freedom we enjoyed. He was deadly serious and all who had been seen with white poppies punished with detention.

It amazes me to think that an opportunity to have an intelligent and very relevant discussion with 13/14/15 year olds was missed - after all, this was a school! Weren't we there to learn?!

I still feel hard done by, and I now wear no poppy...