JR'S Free Thought Pages
Remembrance Day Bullshit 2020
By JR, November 12, 2020
Every year on Canada’s “Remembrance Day” (Veteran’s Day in the US with the same horse crap spectacle) the conservative/liberal imperialist corporate capitalist oligarchs and their lap poodles in government use this solemn day, not as an anti-war opportunity to rage against the machine, but another opportunity to unleash a barrage of propaganda and bovine excrement about the glory and nobility of war.
Instead it ought to be a confession and revelation of guilt and responsibility by elites (who never put themselves in harm’s way) of a long standing fairy tale regarding the reasons for war. It ought to entail an apology by the elite conservative classes throughout history who orchestrated wars of mass murder and profited by them. It should be a day of shame and mourning and a strong statement of condemnation against those who were responsible and pleas to young people to NOT join the military – or the police - both of which exists to serve and protect wealth and power.
The great 1960s band CCR informed us about “fortune sons”:
We are expected to buy a poppy in honor of the young men who died for our “freedoms” and “democracy”, another pile of hot steaming bullshit. Even if you accept the highly dubious claims of our masters, surely one would ask: what “freedoms” and for whom? What “democracy”? These concepts are mere commodities, like everything else within capitalist social, economic and political arrangements. And did all these millions of young men die for the nauseating cesspool neo-liberal world of corrupt financial parasitism we suffer under and endure today in which six billionaires have more wealth than half the global population? Most people don’t even understand the concept of freedom which entails responsibility first and foremost. Democracy conceived as the “will of the people” is a cruel joke. And with pre-selected preordained careerist political candidates who have long forgotten the notion of “public service” as their election is sold to the highest bidder as is the case in all capitalist societal exchanges.
Watch the award winning 2010 documentary Inside Job about the 2008 global financial collapse if you still harbor illusions about the morality and sustainability of the neoliberal dystopia of rampant financial corruption, criminality and outright thievery. But were any of these bandits even prosecuted? Of course not; they were instead bailed out by the sock puppet governments throughout the world as we were once again bullshitted with “they were too big to fail”.
You should be able to watch this revealing and disturbing film here:
It’s been said that “the first casualty of war is the truth”.
Anyone who desires or is sufficiently curious to inquire into the real history of every war throughout history rather than the standard establishment whitewashed narrative, will come to understand that War is a Big Lie and a “Racket” according to America’s most decorated hero, Major General Smedley Butler who wrote the book “War is a Racket” in the 1930s. The powers that be, today our corrupt corporate and financial oligarchs, never miss an indoctrination opening to tout the military and nobility of war at every opportunity. Smedley Butler informs the reader most of what you need to know about the “Big Lie” of War.
Like much else that goes on in our capitalist countries with their cultures of greed and exploitation, when a political pimp who is ostensibly representing your interests proposes something “in the national interest” like bloated military budgets or another war, in concert with cuts to education, public health care and social security simply ask: CUI BONO?
When it concerns war, it’s certainly not the working class young men who fight and die in the rich man’s war who benefit. Someone profits. Guess who? Not my father, his brother or many others of my family, a few of whom fought in World War I and whose bodies have still not been recovered. Most of those who did make it home were either physically or psychologically impaired for life.
Professional sporting events are one of many venues this disgraceful nauseating spectacle of war’s deification commonly occurs. To the best of my knowledge, the US military has a contract with the NFL to display the military at every game. This endless indoctrination rubbish is non-stop, regardless of which news channel you tune to, including CBC and other corporatized or privatized former government owned news media that at one time often offered dissenting views.
During World War II my father and his only sibling older brother, convinced by the endless propaganda campaigns by both big business and the government (my mother told me how vile and pervasive this propaganda was during WW II), enlisted in the Canadian Air Force. His brother Arthur became a Spitfire pilot and was killed in North Africa in 1942 at the Battle of El Alamein; my paternal grandmother never recovered from his loss.
Subsequent to Art’s death, my dad also enlisted, ending up on a Lancaster bombing crew and after dozens of missions, was fortunate to make it home. He was on many bombing raids including the infamous fire-bombing (early version of napalm used by the imperialist Americans in Vietnam who murdered as many as five million South East Asian people) of Dresden in February 1945, a non-military target ordered by the war loving monarchist Winston Churchill which vaporized hundreds of thousands of civilians. The war was over for the Nazis following the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 but this was inconsequential for the revengeful blood lust Churchill. The Russians, as many readers may be aware won the Second World War (not the late arriving Americans as they like to claim) and paid a heavy price with between 25-30 million casualties.
Every member of my father’s Lancaster crew became life-long alcoholics, quite clearly traumatized by their war experience. The military of course is notorious for its boozing culture and it was families like mine who paid the price. My father died in 1991 at 71 likely due to his heavy drinking and smoking. My dear loving and strong willed mother who died in 2019 at the age of 94, kept our family unit together which I’m sure was the vocation of many heroic mothers in the post World War II era of psychologically damaged war vet husbands.
My dad loved the outdoors and took me with him on many fishing and hunting excursions from our Northern BC home but he rarely talked about the war despite my incessant inquiries. The regimentation and authoritarianism of military life he quite obviously despised. He spoke about the squalid living conditions and terrible food they were served overseas and especially the arrogance and pomposity of the Americans he met in Britain. He had a great sense of humor despite his pent up anger and frequent fits of rage following drinking binges, informing me that American soldiers were awarded medals for simply showing up on time.
Despite my dad’s alcoholism, he deployed his innate intelligence and solid work ethic to survive and provide security for our family but never set foot in the red necked haven of the Canadian Legion for his drinking rituals. Anything to do with the military, including participating in the fraudulent sacraments of Remembrance Day, he avoided like a plague. And he would never degrade himself by brandishing a silly “Veteran” license plate on his vehicle. I worked several summers from about the age 15 on the car lot at the Ford dealership my dad managed and learned a great deal about business, politics and war. The lot man who I worked with was a delightful character named Freddy Hasslacher who at age 14, was forced into the German Army and was eventually captured in 1945 by the Americans as a 15 year old. He told me about the horrors of the German retreat and the camp, especially the cruelty of the US soldiers at the prison camp; but he was eventually transferred to a Canadian camp and finally immigrated to Canada. He had some amazing stories he loved to tell, some about the brutalities he endured. He and my father became good friends; I learned a great deal from Herr Freddy.
My best friend in high school and I, in one of our many irrational dumb ass teenage moments decided to take a shot at the Air Cadets, which some of our equally radical and counterculture school pals we hung out with called the Air Head Cadets. But we had to find out for ourselves unfortunately. We were provided with horrible hand me down wool uniforms probably World War I vintage for which I was allergic. We lasted two days. After hours of marching and saluting, with some room temperature IQ asshole endlessly screaming at us, we could no longer tolerate the humiliation and demeaning experience. We resigned.
A Monty Python skit describes this experience with great humor, perfection and satire.