Red Friday

It's Dan today, not Jack. I can't figure out why the new Blogger layout tool won't show who's posting what anymore; I guess that's why they call it WYSIWYM, or "what you see in what you meant." Manual code is the only way to make sure, these days...

I'm jumping back into the fray to comment on the issue of the week: the red poppies of H.M.R.C. Legion versus the "white poppies of peace" being sold at that "earth's general store" place on Whyte Ave. The white plastic flowers go back to 1933, the red poppy symbol goes back to McCrae's poem in 1915, if not earlier.

I'm going to side with the Legion on this one. The white poppies send a clear message of disdain for the "remembrance" that Nov. 11 represents. This isn't armistice day anymore, not a celebration of the end of war; this is a day set aside to keep us from forgetting. The Veterans don't want to encourage violence or hate, but they do want to tell us the great cost of our freedom.

To those who wear the white poppy: You might not wear it with any ill intent, but that's how it looks to me. What are you saying to our veterans, that their warfare was in the wrong spirit? Are we ashamed of the violence with which our freedom was preserved? Who is this day set aside for?
Someone told me yesterday that one of the greatest freedoms we have is to express our opinions, and I agree. You can wear a white poppy, and you can (I think) manufacture these poppies as a derivative work without violating the copyright or patent of the Legion. That you have the freedom to express yourself was never in question: what's in question is the message you are sending.

The red poppies raise a few dollars for the veterans who served us; where does the money from white poppies go?

Furthermore, I'm wary of any attempt to dilute the meaning of any ceremonial symbol. I'm against those silly rubber bracelets—What does yellow stand for? White? Does anyone know or care?—and ribbons, too. Red sneakers and iPods are just silly, pretentious posturing as far as I'm concerned. A ceremonial, public symbol should have a unified significance, like the unambiguous meaning of a wedding ring. If we start putting white poppies beside red poppies, how long will it be until we have blue or yellow poppies?
What will be the significance of remembrance day when we can't even understand the significance of the colour red?
What will be the significance of our communion service if we forget the need for Christ's blood in the forgiveness of our sin?

[Edited for clarity, 11/11.][And for eyeskips. Nuts.][Ahh... I can't leave that up. I've got conviction, but I don't want to make this sound hateful.]

1 comment:

Daniel Jackson said...

Self-censorship is weird.
Sometimes I say things here that I shouldn't. I'm my own stumbling block. Should I leave that up for the world to see? Should I apologise for emotional outbursts that are so coldly calculated?
Should I stop writing my posts in notepad?
Why am I always asking questions, anyway?