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  #201  
Old 02 February 2019, 12:29 PM
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Default RIP, Jeremy Hardy, one of the UK's funniest lefty comedians

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/01/a...uba/index.html
Quote:
first encountered Jeremy Hardy as a panelist on Radio 4's News Quiz, where he frequently reduced me to tears of hysterical laughter; I went on to buy the full back-catalogue of his old Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation shows and devoured them, going back for several re-listens.
One of my very favourite voices on the radio ever.
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  #202  
Old 02 February 2019, 01:23 PM
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Glasses

Thanks esprise me! The linked cheesish Mozzarella has calcium and potassium within my daily limits, so yay! I will look for the product.

Die Capacitrix, thanks for your good wishes.

WTG Sylvanz! May the home bring you much joy.


Morning
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  #203  
Old 03 February 2019, 12:24 AM
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Somewhat late, but my sincere sympathies, GM. So sad that your family is so stiff upper lip. I hope you have friends you can talk with.
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  #204  
Old 04 February 2019, 01:19 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

In my front yard (and back yard, and side yard, not to mention the street, etc.), I have 1.5 inches of the snow Seattle wasn't supposed to get this winter. I'm not sure if I am happy about this or annoyed. One the one hand, it means I can work from home (I've been wanting to, because I'll get more work done), on the other, Ferdinand does not like the white stuff until it's packed down, and getting him to stay out long enough to go to the bathroom is a challenge.

Seaboe
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  #205  
Old 04 February 2019, 01:33 PM
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We have to shovel aspot for our reluctant Chihuahuas. They still prefer going inside. Sigh
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  #206  
Old 08 February 2019, 03:00 AM
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I just found out that my friend D recently ended a two year relationship that she hadn't been able to tell anyone about. Apparently her boyfriend didn't like "his business" discussed so she wasn't allowed to mention it on Facebook or anywhere else.

She went out with me to me to a show at least once in that time, apparently she had to keep that secret from her boyfriend as well.

Unhealthyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
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  #207  
Old 08 February 2019, 01:12 PM
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The line “They shall not grow old” always leaves kind of a bad taste in my mouth. I understand it’s from a poem, but the way it’s pulled out to stand alone makes it sound like they ought to be thankful or something, dying young and whatnot. But you know what? The full poem ain’t much better.

Much as In Flanders Fields, less the final stanza, makes the author come off as some sort of pacifist or something. Really he just hated those damn Germans so much it would be distasteful to have school children repeat it.
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  #208  
Old 08 February 2019, 03:13 PM
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You'd think Seattle was expecting a blizzard that's going to last days, instead of a measly 4-6 inches of snow. Grocery stores were sold out of everything perishable, apparently (I didn't go look).

Seaboe
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  #209  
Old 08 February 2019, 04:26 PM
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Yeah, I was very surprised at the venom when I first read In Flanders Fields. I had always thought it would be more along the lines of hey, all of us dead here, it doesn't matter which side we were on. No, it is very clear that you are to keep on killing those Germans.
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  #210  
Old 08 February 2019, 04:54 PM
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In fairness, it's not like all those deaths happened because Germany and France had a little disagreement. It was an unprovoked invasion of France by the Germans.
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  #211  
Old 08 February 2019, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
It was an unprovoked invasion of France by the Germans.
Well, it was a bit more complicated than that. Plus the author would nominally have been there due to Germany's refusal to respect Belgium's neutrality. How things would have played out with the British Empire had Germany not invaded France through Belgium is, I fear, unknowable.
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  #212  
Old 08 February 2019, 07:04 PM
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Reading the comments again I don't think anybody was actually confused, but there are two different poems here:

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon (the one that the line "they shall not grow old" comes from).

Neither of them are really from the somewhat later anti-war tradition. McCrae (in 1915) certainly seems to think that the fight is still worth fighting, and Binyon (even earlier, in 1914) is well in the Glorious Deaths for Empire camp.

It's odd that although both those specific poems are quite famous, I (personally) wouldn't have been able to name McCrae or Binyon as WWI poets. I'd have thought of Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke before those two. Perhaps just my own ignorance though - I find poetry odd in general. There are some poems and poets that I absolutely love, but in general it tends to leave me rather cold and I have trouble seeing the point. It's a very personal medium, I suppose. And I tend to approach it too literally, looking for precise meanings, so it's only when a particular image or form of words hits exactly something that I understand that it works for me.
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  #213  
Old 08 February 2019, 07:25 PM
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It sprung mind after seeing the documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" is showing at a local theater. It strikes me as odd that poems, never mind the poets, that seem to glorify war should be used to memorialize a conflict that pretty much everyone now agrees could/should have been avoided by better statesmanship on the one hand and louder opposition on the other. With the caveat that loud opposition was not exactly easy in those days when even the US of A was willing to throw people in prison just for speaking out against conscription, even if they weren’t themselves evading the draft.

Now, if the documentary had been called "Half the Seed of Europe," that’d be something.
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  #214  
Old 08 February 2019, 07:34 PM
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I think it’s an intersting illustration of how the meaning of a peice of art can trancend the original intent and tone. the key passages “They Shall Not Grow old” inadvertantly stumble on a terrible and horrific illustration of the scale of the sacrifices made.

Hearing it recited whilst stood at services in the Cemeteries of the Somme, looking over all the headstones, both British and German, has a significant existential impact.
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  #215  
Old 08 February 2019, 07:46 PM
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Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of how a sort of death cult has formed around Remembrance Day and, in the US, Memorial Day, either. Too much beauty to it. All the poppies, the wreath-layings, the well-kept cemeteries and the headstones, even the somber music.

Think about the people gathered around the Cenotaph while the band plays Nimrod from Enigma Variations. If you've lost someone, you’ll remember them with or without the memorials and the ceremony, and probably more than one day out of the year. If you haven’t, what do you really walk away with, other than empty sentiment, which can be so easily exploited?
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  #216  
Old 08 February 2019, 10:27 PM
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Not sure how to put this and a bit worried it'll come out wrong, but here goes anyway --

I think it's really interesting how the attitude towards war, in general, seems to me to have changed over time.

I don't think that most people, heading into WWI, had yet the attitude that wars are utterly terrible things that destroy even the survivors, and that ideally shouldn't happen at all.

I think there used to be a considerable streak, through not only this but many other cultures, of the idea that wars were, not only sometimes necessary for a society's survival, but also somehow good for young men: that it made them better, sturdier, more moral somehow, to have gone to war, and behaved courageously, and stood by their friends and their community in the face of danger; and so that it was better for there to be wars, so that young men could have that experience. I ran into some of it, still, when I was young. I think this was part of the very strong reaction in the USA against protestors of the Vietnam war: not only were we casting doubt on the morality of that particular war, we were casting doubt on the morality of war in general.

The trenches of WWI must have put quite a dent in that: hard to argue that there was anything glorious about being gassed in a hole in the ground, or that the survivors were somehow better off for the experience. I expect that the American Civil War had put some holes in it, also: going up against air entirely full of bullets isn't quite the same thing as going up against individuals in hand to hand fighting. And then the death and maiming started coming from the air, from fighters who couldn't even see the ones they were attacking --

But I think those poems come out of an entirely different culture. We still find wars necessary, though we argue about which ones are necessary. We still praise the people ready to put their lives on the line -- risking not only death and physical wounds, but, as we now understand, major damage to their minds. But I think that in at least most places the modern world is a whole lot less likely to see it as right and proper, in itself, for every generation to send off the young and healthy, singing, to be praised for never getting to grow old.

I'm not sure whether McCrae specifically hated the Germans, at least if the only evidence is that poem. I had more the impression that he just thought the right and proper reaction to the death of soldiers was to march on to the next battle.
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  #217  
Old 08 February 2019, 10:35 PM
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Death Cult? Are you kidding me?

I lost 14 friends and colleagues in operations in the Balkans, Middle East and Afghanistan. The had many friends, all had families, and their loss impacted many.

My grandfather was wrecked whenever he told the story where his ship was sunk with all hands and the only reason he survived is he developed pneumonia and was taken off ship before it was torpedoed.

I take exception to the ONE DAY a year put aside to remember them as participating in a death cult.

Why should I pause and remember those lost on Sept 11 when I don't know a single person? Is that participating in the death cult too? What about the ceremonies commemorating the loss of SwissAir 111 where I knew no passengers? Death cult?

Why watch anything about Black History month when I am not black. Am I part of a cult? How about Pride? I'm not gay and I don't have gay relatives. Does that make me part of the Gay cult?

Very confused by your idea of a death cult around Remembrance Day.
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  #218  
Old 08 February 2019, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
Death Cult? Are you kidding me?
Nope.

Quote:
I lost 14 friends and colleagues in operations in the Balkans, Middle East and Afghanistan. The had many friends, all had families, and their loss impacted many.
Then I guess I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about the people who think the music playing at the Cenotaph sure is pretty.

Quote:
Why should I pause and remember those lost on Sept 11 when I don't know a single person? Is that participating in the death cult too? What about the ceremonies commemorating the loss of SwissAir 111 where I knew no passengers? Death cult?
Quite possibly, yes. Particularly if you appreciate it for the aesthetic value more than for helping to come to terms with your grief over the event. See, I do believe Remembrance Day had its place in the aftermath of WWI, when millions were newly dead and everybody knew somebody who wasn’t coming home. You could get some meaningful shared experience and maybe even catharsis through these national displays of mourning. But now?

Again, my hypothesis is that you either think about them all the time, or you don’t know a damn one of those being memorialized, even going across all wars. Either way, I don’t see the benefit in standing around, engaging in public displays of mourning to celebrate "Our Glorious Dead" once a year. And that’s just one very specific example.

Quote:
Why watch anything about Black History month when I am not black. Am I part of a cult? How about Pride? I'm not gay and I don't have gay relatives. Does that make me part of the Gay cult?
Nope.

Quote:
Very confused by your idea of a death cult around Remembrance Day.
I’m sorry to hear that. It seems we have a very different view on the likely level of participation and the degree of shared experience among the average bystander at these ceremonies, or perhaps we disagree on the value of having random people with no connection to an event standing around to memorialize it. WWI is a case in point because no one, and I mean no one, is remembering their buddy who stood shoulder to shoulder with them in the trenches and it's a vanishingly small number of people, relative to the scale and prominence of such events, who will have any memory at all of the dead.

So what in the NFBSK (pardon my French) are we (metaphorically speaking) all doing standing around at the Somme listening to century-Old poetry for? The dead can’t hear you, and even if we allow that they can, I’d imagine that they’re so far removed from the scene that they just don’t give a damn.

I think so much of this boils down to making a show of death and misery, memories and experiences of which are not shared by the bulk of people watching. IMHO, it belies the true horror of the loss andinvokes the memory of the dead in vain, to put it on display for public consumption like that.
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  #219  
Old 09 February 2019, 01:09 AM
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Here's screencaps of a Twitter discussion on whether Westerners should celebrate Lunar New Year: https://imgur.com/gallery/zG14x0R

The two sides pretty much boil down to:

AGAINST: Don't celebrate it unless you're from a country that traditionally celebrates it or you get invited by someone from such a country

FOR: Well you celebrate Halloween (Samhain) and you're not from a celtic nation/were invited by a celt so you're a hypocrite.


It's a weird argument. I don't actually know any Westerners who 'celebrate' Lunar New Year so I suspect that might be a bit of a strawman argument but the comeback is also weird because Halloween is not the same as Samhain, it's a Christian festival that replaced Samhain. If you're from a Christian nation then you get a free pass to observe Christian festivals as far as I'm concerned. (Christmas and Easter similarly replaced pagan festivals - Christmas trees and Easter eggs are based on old pagan traditions just the same as jack o-lanterns.)


On the other hand there's always a whole bunch of people who take any opportunity to throw a party and get drunk (ANZAC Day here in Australia is a good example, I also seem to recall people in the US throwing Dia De Los Muertos parties)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
It seems we have a very different view on the likely level of participation and the degree of shared experience among the average bystander at these ceremonies, or perhaps we disagree on the value of having random people with no connection to an event standing around to memorialize it. WWI is a case in point because no one, and I mean no one, is remembering their buddy who stood shoulder to shoulder with them in the trenches and it's a vanishingly small number of people, relative to the scale and prominence of such events, who will have any memory at all of the dead.
WWI and WWII still have a daily influence on pretty much everyone's lives, there's no "random people with no connection to an event" in this case.
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  #220  
Old 09 February 2019, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutter Monkey View Post
WWI and WWII still have a daily influence on pretty much everyone's lives, there's no "random people with no connection to an event" in this case.
Haven’t you ever heard And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda?
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