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Surely Jerry cannot be serious. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
Surely Jerry cannot be serious.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-one/10249760/Germany-intervenes-in-WW1-commemoration-debate.html.

I wonder what they shall expect of the 75th anniversary commemorations of the second half of their Championship loss and relegation.

Evidently, Professor Keynes, the peace was not Carthaginian enough.

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(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Every fifty, seventy-five, or hundred years, yes.

Yearly, we - Britain, I mean, not merely England - solemnly commemorate our dead, lost to us in defending King, country, right, and international order against an aggressive and militaristic despotism.

On significant anniversaries, we also, although saddened by those losses, celebrate victory over those forces.

It's something of a habit. The Armada, Minden, Blenheim, Trafalgar, Waterloo, 1945....

Edited at 2013-08-18 07:09 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Is this Protestantism?

I know that there are numerous Protestant denominations that regard Holy Communion as merely a memorial. The C of E, largely, like Rome and the East, understands that 'celebration' is different to 'party!'. I suspect that is where the linguistic hang-up inheres. The fact is, there is a difference and ought to be between Remembrance Sunday and a celebration of victory: see my response to Kitty, infra.

On the other hand, if I am to read you literally, I take it you lot shall be toning down the Fourth of July from now on, then, and letting the Japanese arrange the observances in eight years of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbour.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

That independence, however...

... depended wholly upon defeating British forces in the field. You are celebrating liberty and the triumph of good? Very well; then you are celebrating victory over a defeated foe in war. This is really quite elementary.

Well, the victories of 1918 and 1945 were also victories for liberty and good: and over forces a great deal nastier than poor mad George, that ass Lord North, and several of my connexions. There is nothing unseemly in celebrating the valour and the victory of those who served, and especially of those who died, in a just cause. Absolutely nothing whatever. In fact, it should be morally dubious, frankly, not to celebrate and commemorate that.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Tell me - as this confuses me, rather.

If independence - political liberty - is not a positive good, what is it? And if it is not, why seek it, preserve it, defend it, and celebrate having achieved it?
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Really.

Nothing about the tea party in Boston. Or King George. Or Hessians. Or the ringing denunciations in Mr Jefferson's declaration. Or annual re-broadcasts of 1776. Or readings of the Declaration.

I have been sorely misinformed, and my memory of visits is shockingly bad, then.

I'm certainly glad to know that Americans are, as you say, never, ever triumphalist.
taradiane From: taradiane Date: August 18th, 2013 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Really.

My gramps, God rest his Made In USA soul, teasingly referred to your lot as Limeys until his dying day. Oh to have had not one, but two grand-daughters who are raging anglophiles.... Union Jacks all over the place, used to make him so mad. It is, aesthetically, quite pleasing to my eye. I didn't grow to appreciate the Stars and Stripes until I got older.

I'm certainly glad to know that Americans are, as you say, never, ever triumphalist.

I literally laughed out loud.

I absolutely understand what you're saying. Celebration of Independence is, by default, recognition (and, well, celebration) that it was won via an ass-kicking heard round the world. I say that with love, of course. We didn't do what we did because we were happy with the status quo. We were quite unhappy. Was England evil? Eh. Dastardly? Well clearly the Founders thought as much.

Some of us Yanks do celebrate the Fourth with more than just picnics and fireworks, but actual discussion of what the day means for us as a country and as a people. There has been many a discussion in my family about why it happened, why the Founders did what they did (and wrote), and quite clearly that involves some smack talk about England. ;-) I've got a fair few history buffs in my family, and we're all very political creatures, so maybe we're not the norm.

But I'm one of those weirdos that keeps a pocket Constitution/Bill of Rights in her bag, so....
mshawpyle From: mshawpyle Date: August 19th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Shoot, we don’t go in for that stuff.

It’s not just that we don’t mention the Boston Tea Party, or Fat George, or Jefferson, or Adams, or Washington, on the Fourth.

Why, we don’t let sailors kiss women in Times Square on V-J Day, let alone take famous photos of it. We’re a right smart too modest to film a flag-raising on Iwo Jima. We never have tickertape parades for troops and generals. Old Confederates never got together; the GAR never marched through DC. Hell, 43 never stood in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner and 44 never took a “We got bin Laden” victory lap. As good, humble, self-effacing global citizens, we no more applaud troops in airports than we have a baseball championship limited to us and a few Canadians and call it a “World Series.” Speaking of which, we didn’t start singing “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch after 9/11 – of course, Kate Smith never made it big with that song, any more’n Johnny Horton had a hit with “The Battle of New Orleans.”

I mean, we never even celebrate other folks’ holidays. You go into an Irish bar on St. Patrick’s Day, why, you’ll never hear a word against the Brits. And Tex-Mex restaurants are just flat dead on Cinco de Mayo (which isn’t even Mexican Independence Day, just a celebration of their having curb-stomped the French to hell and gone, though they’re way too nice and solicitous of French feelings to mention it): no nachos especiales, no half-price margaritas or Tecate. Nada. On Texas Independence Day and San Jacinto Day, we all say really nice things about Santa Anna, too.

Jesus Christ and General Jackson, if you can’t be proud of having kicked Kaiser Bill’s ass – and that of the German Field Army, one of the finest fighting forces ever to go into combat – you may as well pack it in. Now, I’m an old straight-leg infantryman, and my dad was an old cavalryman, Korea vintage; but one of his brothers-in-law, one of my uncles on my mother’s side, was a Marine (and two of his nephews, cousins of mine on that side, were a Naval officer and an Army officer, respectively (’Nam), and one of Mother’s cousins went down with the USS Arizona at Pearl. And that’s the peaceable side of the family). You tell a Marine family it’s sinful to celebrate winning at Belleau Wood, you’re liable to get your head handed to you – on the good silver. And my own old unit doesn’t have a fleur de lis in its insignia because it makes a design statement: unless that design statement includes the 1918 Meuse-Argonne Offensive and spearheading the rest of the 29th ID on Omaha Beach in the rematch. A different company than mine in my old unit, by the way, you might recall best as “The Bedford Boys.” I’ll be damned if celebrating the victories those men died to achieve in 1944 and 1945, and their fathers died to secure in 1917 and 1918, isn’t worth doing.

I’m serious as all get-out when I say this. It is not immoral to celebrate the victory of servicemen who were fighting on the right side. It’s immoral not to.
tazlet From: tazlet Date: August 19th, 2013 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Bwah! As it is still the Bicentenary of the last time we kicked you around the block, I offer up the third verse of the Star Spangled Banner:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


The first verse of the Free State’s anthem:

The despot's heel is on thy shore,
Maryland! My Maryland!
His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!


And a little popular culture:

In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.


I admit you were distracted at the time, but that's no excuse for burning the Latrobe designed furniture in the President’s Mansion.
blamebrampton From: blamebrampton Date: August 19th, 2013 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Is this Protestantism?

That's just not true.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/04/spitfire-coffee-july-4th_n_3546675.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2013/07/04/taxes-and-independence-happy-fourth-of-july-2/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/04/bette-midler-posts-surprising-pro-british-4th-of-july-tweet/

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/dec/16/chris-belland/ (not the 4th, but related)

Jack English won't bloody stop mentioning the British
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ah1EbIOdAZE&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dah1EbIOdAZE

and neither will your other satirists:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/july4.asp
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/07/john-adams-july-2nd-prediction-4th-independence-day.html

Of course, some people don't mention it because they've forgotten it exists …
http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/t/video/celebrate-4th-july-interview-facts-satire-19558978

But the major reason I am raising a doubtful eyebrow with respect to your larger point is that I remember this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bush_mission_accomplished.jpg

That all said, wemyss's argument that the word celebrate in British English has a much stronger sense of rite, often religious, than it does in American English is the key one in this debate.
shezan From: shezan Date: August 19th, 2013 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whyever NOT?
germankitty From: germankitty Date: August 18th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I can tell you one thing -- nobody here would even dare to think about 'celebrating' any kind of militaristic achievement. And that has very little to do with having lost both wars, but more with the fact that we've had our fill of militarism from 1933-45, thank you very much.

Nationalism has become a dirty word for us, and I'm perfectly fine with that; similarly, having a military is a necessary evil, and nothing to be particularly proud of. The traditions of 'Service families', as well as a too-strong adherence to and dependence on authority and hierachies in the whole populace, were a big part of the problem, enabling the rise and endurance of Nazism ... and since the Allies so kindly rid us of them, we're not at all keen on getting them back. Been there, done that. Thanks, but no thanks.

Maybe we've learned the lessons of WW II a bit too well, but I for one am glad about it.

(For the record, nobody here cares anymore about losing the 1966 World Cup to England, either! ;-))
josephinestone From: josephinestone Date: August 18th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
(For the record, nobody here cares anymore about losing the 1966 World Cup to England, either! ;-))

LOL.
germankitty From: germankitty Date: August 18th, 2013 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, we don't -- it's the Brits who still make a Big Deal out of it! *grins*
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not all of us.

If ever you become a Test cricketing nation, then things shall matter.
germankitty From: germankitty Date: August 18th, 2013 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Not all of us.

LOL.

I'm sure the average German barely knows Cricket exists, much less what it's all about. Blasphemy, I know, but there you have it. :-)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

They think it's all over....

No one complains, I think, at that view on your nation's part. A solemn celebration of victory is no more riotous or jingostic than a solemn celebration of Holy Communion, however; and it is certainly preferable to having to commemorate a defeat that should have had dire consequences for all combatant nations and for the world as a whole. (Ask a Belgian.)
germankitty From: germankitty Date: August 18th, 2013 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: They think it's all over....

Oh, I expect there'll be some commemoration here, too -- the ubiquitous TV programming, rehashing history, maybe a solemn gathering of parliament, the government and whoever else is thought to be important enough to get invited to said gathering (probably in a church or somewhere in Berlin); there'll be speeches and dreary classical music.

But that's it. No flags, no parades, no ceremonies (except maybe a very unobtrusive laying of a wreath or two at those War Memorials that have survived since WW I; I don't think we ever erected any for the next one).
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

My dear...

If there is one thing above all that you lot are good at it - and there are in fact not a few - markedly undreary Classical music is surely that.
germankitty From: germankitty Date: August 18th, 2013 08:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: My dear...

*snerks* Not the kind that usually gets played at these types of events. Very funereal, and dirge-like.

And I remember from my childhood and early adolescence that both Radio and TV would broadcast nothing but Very Solemn things all day pretty much all through November -- starting with All Saints' Day on the first, Atonement Day (a mid-month Wednesday holiday, now abolished), plus two subsequent Remembrance Sundays. *shudders*

I don't mind classical music as such, but not when it's all "Missa Solemnis" and "Don Giovanni" and such. Give me Händel, or the Brandenburg Concertos any old day!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bach and Beethoven both...

... did 'solemn and sad' rather well, though.

As for Handel (who also managed that trick when wanted: Largo, anyone?), he had the good sense to become an Englishman. [Insert appropriately cheeky emoticon here.]
germankitty From: germankitty Date: August 18th, 2013 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's all fair and well if you happen to feel all sad and solemn, I suppose, but for days on end, for a whole month? For a child/teen, it was torture.

As for Händel ... see my icon!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, we mustn't depress the teens.

Should you like to borrow One Direction for the day? (Looks innocent.)

And we have the blue plaque for GFH. (A door down from where Jimi Hendrix lived for a bit. Now, THAT might have been a interesting cross-time jam session....)
germankitty From: germankitty Date: August 18th, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, ugh.

I won't switch stations/channels when One Direction is on, but even listening to a whole CD would be too much.

Händel/Hendrix? Interesting, indeed ...

Although, my Son-the-Metal-Fan has introduced me to a few pieces that mix medieval music with Heavy Metal (Corvus Corax, for example), and it's pretty good ...
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 18th, 2013 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

They're decorative with the sound switched off, though.

Although many fen I think are merely in it hoping for the all-male interband sex tape(s) to leak....

Speaking of gender-bending, there's always pipe-rock, a la the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, och, aye, rock on.

(And so, with a shout-out to mah Pepys, to bed....)

Edited at 2013-08-18 08:56 pm (UTC)
germankitty From: germankitty Date: August 18th, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: They're decorative with the sound switched off, though.

To a degree. The only ones I find really attractive are Louis and Zayn, though.
shezan From: shezan Date: August 19th, 2013 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Screw you too, Angela.
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