REMEMBRANCE DAY: THE GLORIFICATION OF WAR

Remembrance day: See, there were the bad guys, and our grandpas were the good guys, who went and fought them so YOU could be free. War is such a wonderful thing- oh no- I didn’t really say that out loud. War is bad, bad, bad, naughty! Naughty boys running around with big expensive dangerous toys, hurting each other. Only there was no kind daycare teacher to take the toys away form them and make them stand in the corner.  War is bad, bad! Remember how bad war is- lets look at these glamorous old black and white photos and movies of these gorgeous handsome young blond boys who went off to FIGHT AND BE BRAVE AND KICK ASS just like action heros in Hollywood. Let’s not talk about the profits and the corruption, let’s not talk about booming industries and happy happy ugly capitalists with beautiful shiny golden money pouring into their pockets while those handsome stern young men were being mutilated and killed. Let’s not talk about the racism which pervaded every corner of the world, including Canada, let’s not talk about refugees and poverty – let’s just look at all these pictures of all these pretty shiny good boys fighting those other nasty ones, all to make these wonderful stories and oscar-winning films, all about Bad War. War is bad! Bad War! Go away War! oh- whoops- we’re doing war right now! What a funny coincidence! And the enemies this time round are are evil too! Can you believe that! EVIL EVIL EVERYWHERE! ALL THE TIME! We have to FIGHT THEM ALL! WITH OUR BIG SHINY TOYS! SUCH FUN! BLAST THEM! JUST LIKE HOLLYWOOD! So many amazing films, all winning oscars- all proof of how BRAVE AND GOOD we are and how NASTY AND EVIL those others are. Whoever they are. Let’s take another poppy. And let’s make an opium pie with it.

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4 comments

  1. Joe

    I was googling to try to find out the Halifax Remembrance day events, and ended up getting linked to your page. I think you have a lot of valid points (about the big business that has thrived as a result of conflict and the glorification of conflict through movies) but I’m not sure that I make the connection with Remembrance day and these other issues.

    Some of my family were put in Nazi work camps, shortly after immigrating to Canada, others were in Canada’s military during this same time.

    I have always thought of Remembrance day as a day to remember those who died, or were injured (physically or mentally). They did not benefit from big business, or from movie ticket sales. They just lost their arms and or legs.

    I think in general there is lots of criticism of Canada’s and other countries involvement in places like Libya and Afghanistan. These regularly get debated on the news and our politicians are questioned over their decisions. But it isn’t that often that the young men and women who died because the elected politicians send them overseas are remembered. So I think it is fair to have one day a year to remember the thousands that have died.

  2. Joe

    Just to be clear… they were in Nazi work camps and then they came to Canada, they didn’t come to Canada and then go into the work camps…

  3. thenewcomer

    Hi- yes, I understood your point.

    I don’t have a problem with remembering the thousands who died. But I do have a problem with the way it is framed- this kind of good vs. evil binary, as if the whole war took place out of a historic context- as if they were off to fight in Star Wars or something. I hate the way that so many other aspects of war remain unexamined and covert, I hate this incessant- “Look how wonderful we were! Look how bravely we fought” crap. Instead of harping on and on about how evil the enemies were, and how good the we were, I’d like to see more remembrance of the fact that war is evil, period.

  4. Joe

    I feel a lot more comfortable with the good vs evil and heroic Canadians vs the villains when it comes to WWII and Canadians volunteering to fight the Nazi’s overseas.

    All the recent events that have been producing vets I would feel much more conflicted about.

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