Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Questions

Before we progress to a new topic as requested by Cheryl who is getting sick of the single thing and I too am at my wits end with it all - this issue now falls to you - those who know me and those who don't - ask my anything... within acceptable content of course, considering that I have already covered topics on global warming, Dobson, globalization, Eric Volz, Las Vegas, tattoos, veganism, online dating/meeting, feminism and I'm sure a whole lot else - willing to rehash but I figured we should go into new realms... a sort of Mark Driscoll kind of thing here - ask a question or propose a new topic. Suggestions - favorites, fears/phobia etc.

There is something I would like to ask of you - do you wear a poppy? Poppies and Remembrance Day as a whole get the short end of the holiday run up due to Halloween, Daylight savings and the American Thanksgiving for those on the other side of the border. I have one, haven't worn it this year - I understand they serve a two fold purpose - income for Vets ( for the record I support that) and public indication of Remembrance. However, as I become more adamant in my pacifism, dislike for war I find it hard to walk the line between understand the sacrifice that was made - and forced via conscription and my own feelings about war - the wars of today - Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq - and to a lesser extent the "War on Terrror," less often referred to as the second Cold War/Oil Control War... I understand the Mennonite perspective and I am from a family that has more or less permanently disowned/removed from the family record a great uncle who ran way and joined the effort - he died in Italy, a victim of friendly fire. My father out of guilt, out of obligation, out of the memory attends services every Remembrance Day and spends the afternoon in the Legion. My grandfather in recent years has expressed concern that he didn't work to aid in some way - not fighting, but rather aid work or whatever was needed... he too feels torn now. My Opa however spent his last years reliving the horror of his actions fighting for Russia.

Vegans in Vancouver and other cities are organizing a Food Not Bombs campaign again and for myself the poppy still remains stuck to my cork board - my feeling is either I feel confident enough to support for the entire year or I don't at all...

Thanks to Eric for the photo inspiration and thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/11325782@N03/ for the amazing relevant photo

8 comments:

Eric said...

You know the Peace Pledge Union in Britain sells White Poppies in answer to the Red Poppy Remembrance day thing. Wonder if anyone in Canada does the same?

http://www.ppu.org.uk/whitepoppy/index.html

Jenn said...

I have heard of them, but I've yet to see them here - maybe I'm going to have to whip up my own. And I have to say you've just made my day... even better it's been a really stinky day and about to get worse in less than a hour - midterm...

cheryl said...

i don't know if they wear poppies in the states, eh....i'm pretty sure flanders fields' author was a canadian. i was talking to andrew some time ago - asking the significance of verterans day, or memorial day or whatever the heck the call it here, and if it lands on a specific day since it's different fromm canada....he guessed no and that they were just trying to even out their holidays so none were too close to each other (thereby avoiding the whole halloween rolls into thanksgiving complex i guess).

i wondered, if you're a pacifict, how could you watch buffy? is buffy okay because they use bows and arrows and wooden daggers rather than guns?

Jenn said...

Buffy is the blip on the violence radar... but one it's science fiction - rife with magic realism if I can borrow a lit term, the whole blood gore thing is like non-existent and well I just don't see it the same as say playing a first person shooter game, or watching Sin City or even moving like Children of Men - not a bad movie, interesting concept, but the violence . As far as I'm aware Nov 11 is more "universal" than just Canada - definitely includes all the Commonwealth because it is related to WW1... but I would need to go check my History textbooks - brush up on the details

Shawn said...

You know I am a veteran. You also know I do not like war at all. I was a combat medic in the Army and I didn't like war then. I like it less and less the older I get.
One thing we have to remember as I saw you named everything after the Vietnam war, is that all those wars had coverage that was live and that never happened before. In previous wars they showed people what they wanted to show them.

Anyway, what kind of music do you like(I know, deep question)?

How do you counter balance love and mercy with taking such hard stand on issues?

Shawn said...

And in the states we call it Veteran's Day. They have parades and stuff to honor the men and women. It is a Federal holiday. We also do not wear Poppy's, I learner about it on NPR and I saw something about it Tuesday while watching a Liverpoole football(soccer) game. So it is a British thing, obviously colonial British thing.

Jenn said...

I didn't include WW1 - because it was mandatory conscription, it was also a primarily nationalist war started with an execution, in a time where nationalism, xenophobia, colonialism and racism etc were still rampant, and the idea of war was not necessarily supported, but seen as a viable option, so sure I guess tack it on to the list. WW2 is a two fold type of war, prior to US involvement the purpose was to deal with the encroaching German presence, the Holocaust and all that only vaguely conceived - the essence was in that case - bully running rampant, and considering there was no NATO force etc - that was the way it was addressed. Post US involvement - Pearl Harbor, Japan etc and the acts that lead to the "fight for democracy" fall into the category of the wars mentioned - where the purposes reek of knee jerk reaction/colonialism - this whole anti-Communism/anti-other for the sake of control - and in the purpose sacrificing the lives of their population - for something they really know little about. Sure you can argue that if we didn't nuke them somebody would have done it to us...but from what I remember the US was the only one with a weapon of that capability - so the act was more of you can't fight us if your country is ravaged.

Grace and mercy - well, sure I take a hard line, but see here's where the Internet does fail me - if in a conversation I wouldn't be screaming and yelling at you - dialogue - in the purposes of learning would be how I go about these things - I'm not going to change my mind on the core of the issue but I may be swayed into the fringes. Grace and mercy are words with independent meaning grace to you means one thing where to me it means another - a topic to be discussed at a later time - going to have to think about how to tackle that one.

Jenn said...

Hmm, I was thinking about this whole topic because I know my answer was likely unsatisfactory - and this attmept will likely be so, Regardless I am a pacifist - I don't believe violence solves anything and feel that non-violent movements are key to changing social structures and thought. The purpose in noting the wars that I did was that those were not "communal" acts against an aggressor, they were predominately the act of one country against another in an age where there are better options other than obliterating the social infrastructure of already lower SES/Non-Industrial countries and killing civilians. A time where we also stand back and watch Darfur continue - without aid or public education. The issue fundementally comes down to control and resources and that's where the greater issue is - in wearing a poppy I can't distinguish that I sympathize with the loss of Vets in WW1 and WW2 - pre-NATO, and I don't accept the actions of Industrialized nations post WW2. Clearer?