Billy Idol and Mick Fleetwood were on ginger madcap, zany, ginger wacky fun-jock ginger Chris Evans’s hoot-fest on Friday 7th November and Welsh warbler and dead-eyed Stepford Wife Katherine Jenkins put it to Bill, ‘would you ever entertain the troops’, to which (as if he’d say otherwise or the jingo brigade would be on him) he spluttered, ‘Well, yeah’. What is he expected to say? Ol’ Jenko, got an album to sell have you, Christmas, one for the old dears? Throw in that ‘Dover’ one, ‘we’ll meet again …’ We were then treated to her alley-cat rendition of Laughing Len’s ‘Hallelujah’ (secular hymn?) all lip service and servility. Anyhow …
So, the war to end all wars, the ‘Great’ War approaches its centenary (the start of it anyway, we’ve got four more years at least of our elected representatives reminding us of the sacrifices made, they didn’t get slaughtered in vain, the perpetual wars waged ever since in the name of freedom and democracy illustrate this perfectly, Gammon Head Dave, Gideon Gump, Ed-wood, Nige Facade and the other tub-thumping tosser, Neil? Ned? Ideological cover is provided by all parties with weasel words written by committee and delivered dispassionately, they preach and they pray and then they propagate more misery and death.
The poppy’s meaning has been decontextualised and nefariously appropriated; its current use has echoes of the Nazis inversion of the swastika, something insidious is at work: poppy fascism. More Orwellian appropriation, all participants are dead and so are their truths. When there’s no one around to question ‘facts’ and events, to say ‘Hold on, that’s not HOW it was’ then the story can be (re)written any which way that suits the suits. And it is.
We have the Royal family and its adherents, all faux-emotion, lacking in empathy. ‘What did you do in the war, Saxe-Coburg Gotha?’ ‘Vee avoided der bombing by our own family’. Funny how Buck House wasn’t bombed.
This article by art critic Jonathon Jones articulates perfectly the logic-bending thinking behind this ‘art’ wherein only ‘our’ boys, ‘our’ dead are worth remembering.
Not the Boche, not the Hun, not Jerry, not the Krauts, not the Frogs, not the Wops, not the Russkies. Only Tommy, then and now and forever more. But, but, not those Tommies who, traumatised by the horrors deserted ony to be shot. Are they remembered as a ceramic poppy?* How does this display of fake poppies convey the horrors we’re reminded of through literature, poetry and music, its symbolism appropriated and repackaged and resold.
But, what’s being sold, a version of history to legitimise interventions, validate coups and to question or query renders you disrespectful of those who gave their lives then and continue to do so now (for the corporate entities that are continually carving up the world with their land grab, territorial positioning, natural resources thievery.
Unsurprisingly Jones attracted opprobrium and brave threats from keyboard warriors and such estimable veracity organs and propaganda merchants as The Daily Mail and Evening Standard. The irony bewilders.
And then there’s this, a fine example of inversion, lyrics tweaked to subvert its original message, akin to the neuro-linguistic programming so favoured by the (s)elected elites.:
Other examples have been the X Factor’s rendition of Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ which was transformed from a love letter to Berlin encapsulating the Cold War and its harsh divisions into an ode to those who had chosen to enlist for Queen and Country, aware that they might come to harm and even die fighting battles on behalf of the totalitarianism disguised as democracy we are master proponents at exporting. No heroes of mine.
Then, in 2010 Status Quo reimagined their cover of anti-war song ‘In the army now’ rejigging the lyrics to make it a show of solidarity for those who were slain or even worse came back injured and wounded only to find their benefits cut and society shunning you. Don’t worry, James Hewitt’s lad’s organised an egg and spoon race for you, the usual sponsors will benefit and you’ll receive your 15 minutes before being cast aside as a blight on resources. (N.B. This does not apply to those of the Officer class, natch)
Food for thought http://stopwar.org.uk/news/ten-lies-we-re-told-to-justify-the-slaughter-of-20-million-in-the-first-world-war
I suspect (nay, believe) that there’ll be much more to say about this.
Lest we forget …