Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Old Lie

The Queen turns up

And all the pajandrums of church and state in their silly get-ups.

And of course the military all chingling with medals.

And the word glorious gets used a lot. As in "our glorious dead".

That's what upsets me.

We are still telling ourselves that death in war is glorious.

Here are the images from Falluja. And death in war is glorious.

And images of the coffins of Black Watch soldiers coming home, having been killed by suicide bombers. And death in war is glorious.

Wilfred Owen tried to spike our guns. It's one of the most famous poems in the language. It even gets taught in schools.

"The old Lie, dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori."

(Note that Lie has a capital "L")

But it doesn't get read at the Cenotaph. Not in this august company.

The Queen is wearing a black hat. Tony Blair is wearing a black coat. The military band plays Elgar. And death in war is glorious.
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