Monday, November 11, 2013

Poppycock- Why rememberance rituals make me see red

Excerpts from Robert Fisk :
On the briefest of visits to London, I was appalled to notice that our television presenters and politicians and dignitaries have almost all resorted to stereotype by wearing those bloody poppies again – even though I suspect most of them would not know the difference between the Dardanelles and the Somme. How come this obscene fashion appendage – inspired by a pro-war poem, for God’s sake, which demands yet further human sacrifice – still adorns the jackets and blouses of the Great and the Good? Even Tony Blair dares to wear a poppy – he who lied us into a war, which killed more people than the Battle of Mons.
I know all the reasons they give us. We must remember our dead. “They” died for us and our freedom. The cost of sacrifice. Remember Passchendaele. Never forget. At school I used to wear a poppy – without the leaf which now prettifies this wretched flower – and so did my Dad who, as I often recall, was a soldier of that Great War, in the trenches of the Third Battle of the Somme, 1918, and at Cambrai. But then, as 2nd Lieutenant Bill Fisk grew older and became sick, he read the biographies of that most meretricious of officers, Earl Haig – butcher Haig of the Somme, whose wife gave her name to the original poppies – and came to regard the wearing of these sickly and fake petals as hypocrisy. He stopped wearing the poppy for 11 November, and so did I.

It appears I am not alone.

At Ypres four years ago, I was honoured to give the Armistice Day lecture just before 11 November; but I did not wear a poppy and politely declined to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate – that “sepulchre of crime” as Sassoon called it – and I discovered, as the clergy purred away beneath the names of the 54,896 Great War soldiers with no known grave, a headstone atop the city’s old medieval wall. Nothing could equal the words which his family had courageously inscribed above the final resting place of 2nd Lieutenant Arthur Conway Young, who died on 16 August, 1917: “Sacrifice to the fallacy that war can end.”
 So is there not some better way to remember this monstrous crime against humanity? The pity of war, as Wilfred Owen described it, must, for individuals, have a finite end, a point when time – looking backwards – just runs out. British men and women – and children – who visit the Somme battlefields and their vast cemeteries, still cry, and I can understand why. Here lies indeed the flower of youth cut short, only just over a generation distant. But we do not cry when we visit Waterloo or Agincourt. At Flanders Fields, the tears still flow. But not at Flodden Field. Who even weeps for the dead of the Boer War? No poppies for them. Only when you move into religious ecstasy can the long dead touch our souls. Watch the Christians walking the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem, or the Iraqi Shia remembering in the oven-like heat of Najaf and Kerballa the martyrdom of Imams Ali and Hussain. The tears splash down their clothes.
Perhaps in war, it’s the names that count. Dead soldiers had no gravestones before the Great War, unless they were generals, admirals or emperors worthy of entombment in Saint Paul’s or Les Invalides. The soldiery were simply dumped into mass graves. At Waterloo, the remains of the dead were shipped off to England to be used as manure on the fields of Lincolnshire – sometimes tilled, no doubt, by their unsuspecting farmer sons. So much for our remembrance of the “thin red line”. No posthumous glory for them.

NO gravestones for the cannon fodder. Buried in mass graves or shipped back to England to be used as manure for the fields

Wyndam Lewis, the master of Vorticist art who became a soldier at Ypres, wrote of the Great War that it “went on far too long… It was too vast for its meaning, like a giant with the brain of a midge. Its epic proportions were grotesquely out of scale, seeing what it was fought to settle. It was far too indecisive. It settled nothing, as it meant nothing. Indeed, it was impossible to escape the feeling that it was not meant to settle anything – that could have any meaning, or be of any advantage, to the general run of men.”
Tolstoy caught the other side of this “non-meaning” of war in his critique of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. An “event took place”, he wrote in War and Peace, “opposed to human reason and human nature. Millions of men perpetrated against one another such innumerable crimes, frauds, treacheries, incendiarisms and murders, as in whole centuries are not recorded in the annals of all the law courts of the world, but which those who committed them did not at the time regard as being crimes.”

 In Flanders Field. A poem I recall regurgitating as part of my state sponsored indoctrination. Oops sorry, my 'education'

For they are better, surely, than that terrible, almost orgiastic poem by the Toronto doctor John McCrae who died in 1915, and whose words inspired the armies of poppy-wearers. “In Flanders fields, the poppies blow/ Between the crosses, row on row...” McCrae begins – but then his dead soldiers exhort the living to “Take up our quarrel with the foe…/ If ye break faith with us who die/ We shall not sleep, though poppies grow/ In Flanders Fields.” The poppies were there to remind us of our duty to kill more human beings.
And what did I see on television a few hours before writing these words? Why, the mayor of Toronto – McCrea’s own city – admitting to the smoking of crack cocaine. “I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologise,” he burbled to us all. And what did I see in his jacket button hole? A bloody poppy!
 Ahhhhh..... Rob Ford. Shakes head. So many issues. So little time.

 Remembrance Day suggests to me that society as a whole is insane.  People wear poppies and pay lip service to previously implanted memes like "fighting for freedom" and "honour" 

Where is the honour in invading other peoples home lands, terrorizing them in multiple horrific manners while reassuring the brainwashed back home that this is being done to bring freedom and democracy to those being attacked, maimed, raped, pillaged and killed?  

The acceptance of this obviously discordant group think speaks to how very well perception management, mind control  or brainwashing works. Not just on individuals but on entire societies. 

The continuing acceptance of this discordant group think, reinforced year after year in a ritualistic fashion, is what keeps the masses not thinking, not questioning, just shuffling blank faced along.

Brainwashing The application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaign or repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation.

Stop shuffling along.


  1. I borrowed one of your great statements for my post today. Thanks for telling the truth.

  2. Finally someone says what I have been saying for years.
    I hate watching and listening to politicians who blather out that we are remembering those who fought for our freedom. Let's not forget that wwI was fought by colonialists and imperialists to keep their control over others. While France was fighting in the first and secnd war they were occupying half the planet along with Britain and murdering people at will, whose freedom were they fighting for then.
    Did the us veterans from Iraq fight for American freedom, I am sure half a million dead Iraqis would question that.
    Why is hypocrisy a western trait?

    1. "Finally someone says what I have been saying for years"

      Whew, I am truly not alone :)

      I half expected someone to come here and tell me what an ingrate I am for not honouring people who 'fought for my freedom'
      Well I would, if someone actually did.
      What Canadian bombed the shit out of Libya for my freedom?
      Answer: None did
      What Canadian killed Afghanis and were involved in the molestations and abuse of Afghan youth and prisoner abuse, so I could be free?
      Answer: None

      These soldiers were used for pipelines, corporations and banksters and they served up the abuse of their masters-their true leadership- onto people who were no threat to me. Or Canada.

      'Why is hypocrisy a western trait?'
      Good question.

  3. A veterans memorial is under construction in front of city hall in my town. As a vet. myself, I am torn on how to look at it. Is it really in honor of those who have 'served' or is it bragging from the corp. world on how many suckers they brainwashed into taking the bullit for them.

    or looking at the Pentagon. I no longer see a massive construction accomplishment with a task of leading our armed forces, but as a pentagram as the center for leading the few brave we have left in this country to a sacrifice for the corp. god called a dollar.

    Should I be sad that I can no longer be proud of wearing that uniform? NO.

    Today my pride comes from the fact I don't need some stooge to give me orders to act in support of my country. With the knowledge I have gained and the gift of a bit of wisdom, I can see who my real enemy is and they are weak. They have no courage to stand up to me. They use desception and hired guns because if they meet me they know they can not beat me. For the battle in my mind they have lost.

    I am and this is my pride.


    For those in Syria fighting in and with the SAA, what an honor to truely serve for their country.

    well done. I also hear of around 1500 terrorist down around Allepo and more captured.

    1. "Today my pride comes from the fact I don't need some stooge to give me orders to act in support of my country. With the knowledge I have gained and the gift of a bit of wisdom, I can see who my real enemy is and they are weak. They have no courage to stand up to me. They use desception and hired guns because if they meet me they know they can not beat me. For the battle in my mind they have lost."

      Now, you I can applaud. Someone who is seeing past the lies used to control us all. The lies, perception management and misdirection used to shape a society that does not serve the people, only a bunch of psychos in leadership positions who are leeching off of the rest of us (because we allow it)

    2. Ooops almost forgot...

      The Syrian Army. An army that is truly serving it's country
      Defending their homes. Their families. Their neighbours. Their communities. In battles that must be horrific and gruelling for them.
      This is the soldier worth honouring.

  4. can anyone confirm assasination in Iran??

    not a word on PressTV or FARS.

    1. I did hear something about this but cannot confirm it myself

    2. Anonymous November 11, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      An article here:

      вот так

  5. I consider 11 Nov. Armistice Day, a day honouring peace, not the later propaganda holidays the west adopted after WW2 when it went to all war all the time mode, and switched the holiday to one proagandising war to support their never ending wars.

    вот так

    1. "I consider 11 Nov. Armistice Day, a day honouring peace"

      If only.sigh.....

  6. Hey Penny, you are not alone. You can count my father in as well (you know his background). When I was younger and still somewhat indoctrinated I asked my father why he didn't go down to the cenotaph on Remembrance Day. I asked him to go with me, thinking he would jump at the chance. Wow was I wrong. He said he didn't like any of these 'memorials', there was no honour and the emphasis was misplaced. At the time I didn't get where he was coming from. I do now.

    I believe he caused a bit of a stir yesterday at the nursing home when they tried to get him to participate with the rituals. (Good on him I say!!) When they asked me I said 'He was never into the worship of false gods or ideals, hence he isn't interested in the propoganda).



    1. Hey buffy

      glad to know the old guy is kicking around. made me smile
      once done this reno we will have to catch up

      And your reply

      "'He was never into the worship of false gods or ideals, hence he isn't interested in the propoganda"

      Right on the money!

  7. Good piece Penny. This vet concurs...ben

  8. whatever are they teaching kids these days? A Silly Joke On Jimmy Kimmel's Show Has Turned Into A Matter Of Geopolitical Importance

    The joke occurred on October 16, when Kimmel held a “kids’ table” segment on the government shutdown. “America owes China a lot of money, $US1.3 trillion. How should we pay them back?” Kimmel asked.

    One child suggested “killing everyone in China.”

  9. Mint Press News
    14 hours ago
    Disturbing video: Rebels in Syria take over churches and turn them into torture chambers while spreading their extremist political ideologies in the name of Islam. Click on this link for video:

    Syrian Muslims and Christians can only defend themselves through graffiti against these foreign fighters that originate from Al-Qaeda Iraq vying for power.

  10. You can always count on the SNC to damage itself more than Assad ever could.

    During this meeting to create a government in exile, Ahmad Jarba (head of the SNC) got into a slapping fight with Free Syrian Army spokesman Lu'ay Muqdad. Muqdad then called Jarba a "shabbiah" and said the voting process was similar to the Baath Party. When one Western representitive noticed that no women were elected into this government in exile, the SNC picked a random woman sitting in the audience and named her "Minister for Families".

    But anyway what does it matter what the SNC does? The Jihadists never recognised the SNC, now even the FSA is refusing to listen to them. The only thing the SNC controls is the buffet table in their Istanbul hotel.

  11. brian: thanks as always for keeping me up to date

  12. "One child suggested “killing everyone in China"

    psycho child

    1. I stand corrected james
      a psycho society can only produce psychotic children

  13. Cognitive Dissonance...coming to an empire near you