Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Holiday Decorations before Remembrance day

It's November, so you know what that means... the season of hating on people who don't agree with you has begun! Every year around this time people start getting all itchy and angry and begin searching for something to be pissed about. It's as though the onset of cold weather and the upcoming holidays remind people of how much they hate their lives, as they are forced inside to spend time with their families who they have managed to avoid in the warmer months by taking up jogging or trying their hand at summer infidelity.

Among the things that get people in a tizzy is when folks start putting out holiday lights before Remembrance Day has passed...because as well all know it is a commonly known fact that veterans hate the holidays! And loving the holidays, what they represent to you as an individual, and just plain liking the look of your house decked out in holly jolly colours that distract from the fact that you haven't cleaned your floor in the last 6 months makes you a shitty, disrespectful person. You deserve to be berated on social media, you monsters!

Of course, this is not as ridiculous as the recent trend of telling Starbucks your name is Merry Christmas to trick them into putting Christmas on your cup...I mean, seriously? (If you haven't heard about this please google it. A Christian evangelist type is in a huff because Starbucks took reindeer, snowflakes and skating children off their cups (all very traditional symbols of Christmas, of course...) Oh! And Donald Trump agrees that plain red cups are anti-Christmas, so you know it must be true). But it comes pretty close when it gets to the point of people berating others on social media for rejoicing in the holiday spirit before November 11th.

I put up some decorations in my home this morning. Mostly I just needed to clear out some space in the cupboard, and my house looked kind of empty and boring after I took down all the fake cobwebs and hanging bats from Halloween. But one thing that didn't really even begin to cross my mind was "am I being disrespectful to our veterans right now?" Of course, I didn't put a whole bunch of lights on my house (I live in a multiplex) but I did put a nice holiday planter that VOMD's mother gave us out on the porch.

First, I should say that I totally get the inclination to join the military. We are indoctrinated into a world that sees war as a rational response to social, political and economic problems, and we are told that by joining the military we have the chance to fight for the rights and freedoms of our friends and family members at home. Obviously this is kind of nonsense...But it is nonsense that is easy to believe. But so as not to piss off some war-supporters, perhaps I should leave that at that.

Second, I actually do respect people who choose to join the military, and I respect the lives lost in war. But I wish that they had not died. I understand that they thought they were doing the right thing by going to war. I understand that our veterans have always had the best intentions (and that, in fact, many of our veterans of the 1st and 2nd world war, for example, did not have a choice at all). I wish that we didn't live in a country that teaches children that joining the military makes you brave and honorable, and that would call on its citizens to give their lives for corporate and political interests.

Third, every year I wear a white poppy for just one day to remember the lives lost in war but also with the intention of calling for peace rather than for war. I respect the lives lost, but I think that any compassionate, intelligent, and thoughtful individual would oppose war. The best way to respect the lives already lost is to find a way to solve our problems without more of our citizens (and the citizens of other states) having to die. Continuing to glorify war, and continuing to paint all military men and women as heroes is disrespectful to those who fought and died in all previous wars, and especially those who fought and died between 1914 and 1918 because they were told they were fighting "a war to end all wars".

So, with that, I will leave you to continue hanging tinsel while munching on a candy cane. Because I can. And because the holidays make me happier than war does. And because your tsk tsking me on Facebook has literally no impact on how I live my life.

Tomorrow I will respectfully wear my white poppy and I will take a moment of silence to remember those who gave their lives for causes they deemed worthy. I will donate to a charity for children of veterans like I do every year. I will also remember the innocent victims of all the wars fought over the last century. And I will send a prayer into the universe for peace.

Happy almost holidays!

And Happy Tuesday!


P.S. a great charity to donate to this year, if you are interested, is Canadian Hero Fund who provide scholarships to children and spouses of fallen Canadian soldiers.

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