That time of year has come around, once more. When we honor the souls who made the ultimate sacrifice, affording us the lives we currently take wholly for granted. And so it goes. Like the poppies growing row upon row, we follow the script year after year. Go through the same ceremonies and pageantries, followed by a whole lot of nothing. Well, at least until next year.
Speaking of traditions, even I have developed a remembrance day tradition of my own. Since debuting this blog onto the net back in early 2013 (just after my second foray into twitter the month previous), I have had a remembrance day related post for every single year.
These posts vary in substance, from my gripes and complaints about this day in the context of my life and work to fairly long-form explanations of my views on wearing a poppy, and of the whole thing in general. If I were to boil it down:
1.) People don’t have to follow the established method of remembrance in showing they don’t forget
2.) There are bigger fish to fry than Christmas lights on or Christmas related items out before November 11th
To start, it had been a good post-Halloween season. Once the Halloween season has gone by, normally poppy seasons starts to take hold. From a few here and there to every single person on a Canadian live television show having them as seemingly a rule (with the real world generally mirroring this). Also in this time period is generally when I will almost inevitably come across something dumb that is in the context of November 11th and circulating on social media. For example, my 2015 post.
Despite this seemingly unbreakable rule of thumb, this year was shaping up to be pretty good (despite some fairly obvious potential triggers). Back before Thanksgiving, I noticed that one of our local dollar stores (interestingly, a store that made headlines (and my post) last year) already had Christmas stuff out in back aisles. And even before Halloween had passed, other stores were starting to slip the Christmas stuff front and center as well. All the ingredients of a future annoyance article or social media post.
Even with this however, it was all quiet on the western front. To the point where I thought we may actually get through this without any nonsense. And then I open up my local forum 2 days ago and found an angry post about people putting on their Christmas lights before remembrance day.
Better luck next year.
While this indignation has always come across as silly (and a tad bigoted) for me, it occurred to me that there is a whole other dimension of which we are dealing with now.
I like to keep myself connected to the news, so I hear a lot in a day, a week, a month. And in the last 2 to 3 years, I am noticing some patterns that are TO SAY THE LEAST, areas of concern. One does not even need individual stories to get this across. Just play scary terms bingo.
- white nationalism/supremacy
- fake news
- civil war
That last one was mentioned on a CBC program called The Investigators, by a fellow who claimed that Canada should get ready for such an outcome. He couldn’t exactly tell us what that entailed.
It’s entirely possible that I get far too much of this stuff. Bill Maher is right in his observation that this year (the last 2, really) have been painfully long, and yet have gone by so quickly.
Which brings me back to the ever elusive point of this post.
In one of my past writings, one of my criticisms has been in the status quo collective sentiment that is we care and lest we forget, until the 12th of November. Then it’s off and running on the holiday preparation horserace, then back to blissful normalcy come January 2ed and beyond. This is also blatantly visible in how most regard veterans and veterans issues. Most tend only to care about their well being when someone points out (incorrectly) that foreigners get more money than veterans. If only every day were remembrance day, veterans and homeless (the other political football of the chronically unplugged) would have the resources they need!
On top of that, is the paradigm of modern society. The drastic rightward shift of not just (seemingly) the whole of the liberal democratic western world, but also the amplification of extremists of which were once kept in check by a proud American presence of domination. We are rapidly approaching a seemingly anything goes paradigm, and I’m fairly certain that 99.9% of those doing the marching have NO idea what they are getting themselves into.
Or to put it another way, it’s starting to feel very late Weimar republic-esk. And we may be on the cusp of a major recession.
Poppies and ceremonies and fields of flowers growing row on row. What was it that these people died for, again?