Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


Many thanks to my friend ideealisme for drawing my attention to this article on poppies by Robert Fisk.  Like Fisk I didn't buy a poppy this year and like Fisk my feelings on the subject are somewhat blustery and incoherent. I think they're that way because the subject is just too big and too enormous and too distressing. Perhaps the easiest thing would be to tabulate them.

1. The Great War was the stupidest- most monstrous thing- we (meaning us Brits) have ever got mixed up in. Wearing a little red flower doesn't begin to deal with it.

2. Wearing a poppy has become a badge of social conformity- of fitting in- and so very largely meaningless. Fisk gets cross about everyone on TV wearing one- and so do I.

3. The people who sell poppies usually wear berets and I don't feel happy about supporting anything that smacks of militarism. The Great War was a crime of militarism- a failure of that whole way of thinking- and I'd rather our commemoration of it was kept clean of flags, medals, hymns, royal personages, politicians, berets, marching feet and any talk of heroism.
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