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This IS me (by schwitters)Default


There seems to have been quite a bit of nastiness surrounding poppies this year, both from those in favour of wearing them and those against, and it was saddening me a great deal.

Then we - voluntarily, without any pronouncement from management - held the two minutes' silence in the office, and were hushed and solemn and united for 120 seconds. I spent the time looking out of the window at the distant trees, rather than at my screen, and was awed, as always, by the thought that the world has been doing this every year since 1919.

(On transport services in nearby Croydon, silence was held for an extra minute in honour of the casualties from Wednesday's tram crash.)

Here's a family member's lucky mascot from the First World War (must've worked!), which lives by my bed now.

Lucky black cat


What's with the argument over wearing poppies if there seemed to be no problem before? :S
It's been controversial for a long time; I think I'm more aware of it this year because of Twitter, which is the home of petty spats about everything.

The FIFA thing I know nothing of - I don't understand why it's suddenly a problem, either.

Edited at 2016-11-11 02:13 pm (UTC)
It's best to avoid Facebook or Twitter. ;)
Twitter's Mute function is a wonderful thing.
Not having Facebook or Twitter's even better. :p
I don't think they're suddenly a problem, they're just (possibly because of the year that's in it?) warier now of political symbols than the last time the matter came up, in 2011.
I unfortunately read that first as 'warrier'
This is not an attempt to convince anyone of my opinions, just to give a personal explanation.

As someone whose opinion on this has shifted over recent years, I've got less comfortable with wearing a poppy as it seems that the social, media and even political expectation that You Will Wear One has increased. I have no problem with recognising the sacrifice of those who've served, but I've started to feel that the freedoms they fought for are better expressed by choosing not to comply with those pressures. I'd rather give the money and not wear the poppy (unfortunately this year I didn't do either - mea culpa).

For almost all, I think wearing the poppy is a genuine act of remembrance. But genuine acts can be subverted by politicians (of any party) who want us to continue to support dubious actions overseas because we support the personnel involved, but who do limited amounts to restore a viable peace, care for those displaced by war, or look after those who've served us once they come back.

Just how I personally feel about it - hope it doesn't offend anyone who feels differently. I respect, and have previously shared, your choices, and I might again in a more relaxed political climate.

Edited: fixed a grammatical error.

Edited at 2016-11-11 09:37 pm (UTC)
That is perfectly reasonable, and I respect it (thanks, too, for taking the time to write all this down). Funnily enough, I feel I've seen the opposite: condemnation as some kind of drum-beating militarist if you do wear a poppy.

What's been getting my goat, I think, is what I perceive as mockery of people who have chosen to express their feelings through poppies but perhaps do not know very much about history, or people whose commemorative display is deemed inappropriate (e.g. putting a poppy on a dog's collar). It feels mean-spirited.

But I am definitely behind the freedom to wear none, or one, or several in different colours.

Edited at 2016-11-11 09:44 pm (UTC)
Yep, those would annoy me too. Both the condemnation and the mockery, even if they're directed at others, are belittling your honestly-held beliefs, and that's no good.

It's unfortunate people tend to pick sides on issues like this, when I think what you and I agree on is the most important thing: the freedom we've been given and remembering the sacrifice of those who've given it to us. The specifics of how we choose to do that matter much less.
And thank goodness we still have that. I hope we can hold on to it.
Being an American, I'm not offended.

There's a difference between doing something symbolic (like wearing a poppy) and doing something meaningful (like helping returning vets). While the former is a nice gesture, it's not required but doing the latter will make a huge difference. :)
Hence some people choose to give money to the British Legion, who sell the poppies, but not actually wear one.

As well as raising money for veterans and their families in need, the Poppy Factory employs ex-servicemen and women.
Which goes with my point with something meaningful, like hiring veterans upon their return. :)

Apparently in the England-Scotland game yesterday, the vast majority of fans refused to wear the poppies. :S

I think the problem is that the Poppy has been hijacked as a political weapon for far right groups and been taken up as a means of abuse if for whatever reason someone might be wearing them.

It has?
That's one reason I think it's important for people who aren't like that to continue wearing one.
So what do those groups do? Do they shout people down if they're not wearing them?