Glory Be To The Fallen – Remembrance Day Special

Trigger Warnings – Talk of war/death

I wanted to do a post to honour this day of Remembrance Sunday in which we commemorate the First and Second World Wars and all the lives that were lost in the name of freedom and the end of tyranny, the brave men and women that sacrificed themselves to make the world a better place and how we wear the poppy as it was the flower that grew upon the battlefields after the First World War, a poetic contribution from nature in how beauty can return to a world ravaged by war if we only look for it. I have conflicting views on the idea of wearing a poppy, some say it is a symbol that has come to encompass the wars in the Middle East that aren’t so cut and dry as “These guys are evil, we have to stop them being evil” and as such, politicians justify their wars by making pretty speeches about honour and patriotism, whilst others say the poppy doesn’t stand for the innocent lives, only the soldiers and generals, as if romanticising and idolising a history of bloodlust into heroics when it was more a feud between individuals that cost the masses their lives. I don’t know what to feel for whilst I’m left-winged and very anti-war, I’m very much in support of the efforts of armed forces, past and present, and I am a patriot deep down.

War is often seen as romantic and poetic and as an artist myself, I can see, heck I grew up with war stories colouring my impressions of humanity and in these tales of ancient heroes and warriors I saw the noblest of traits – sacrifice, duty, honour, principle – traits we may not say in our day to day lives. The soldiers tell the tragic tale of the pointlessness of their fight, how they must kill men with whom they bear no quarrel for the sake of fat old men they’ve never met and that no matter how bloody the war, it is the poor men who had no desire for this conflict that must die, never the generals or the leaders, only ever the men out in the field. Religion, land, freedom, war has come to mean many things for many people and is as true of humanity as breathing and eating, it is what separates us from beasts is our brilliance at killing each other.

So what does this poppy mean? Is it really a touching memoriam to the fallen heroes or is it glorifying death and sacrifice when really we should think of the war as a great shame brought upon us by corruption and greed? Are the soldiers brave or stupid for dying for such men? What of the innocent, do they not deserve remembrance? I will never approve of war, though I read the stories and admire the men, it saddens me to my very core that such great men had to die for the world to progress and even now, many good people die and the world still insists on this cycle of hatred and ignorance. I think of the British people saying how their grandfather didn’t die to make Britain a home for Polish people, no, your grandfather died to fight against people who didn’t believe in freedom and equality for all, your grandfather died shooting racism in the face because it had no place in the world and his sacrifice was to keep Britain free of tyranny, not immigrants. I have no right to say this but I honestly think if my grandfather were here today, it would not be the growing racial diversity that troubled him, it would be the unbelievable class divide and the fact that we haven’t seemed to have learned much since then when it comes to the whole let’s-not-kill-each-other-en-masse deal.

The poppy, therefore, to me, means what the wearer interprets it as meaning and this is where I must stand against my left-wing allies and actually exercise some national pride. Patriotism is no bad thing, it’s nice to support your country but what led so many to oppose Hitler was when he started thinking his country deserved more than others did, when a man was willing to kill in the name of racial prejudice and hatred to create a white super race. I wear a poppy, and I’ve decided on that, as it is not a glorification of war and sacrifice, it is a way to say you remember the lessons that history tried to teach us and that in our heart, you wish for a world in which we no longer bear arms against one another. I wear the poppy as a way of saying a silent thank you to the men and women who died for us and no those soldiers didn’t die for glory, for the war, for medals, they died because they believed in something so strongly they would rather give up their life than give up what that belief meant to them and in anyone, British, German or whatever, that is admirable, so many of us talk big but when confronted with death, we would buckle, we would cry and beg and sell our souls but these people – they flipped the bird to the reaper because they did their part and that was what mattered

Soldiers are heroes but not because they fought in the war and fought the good fight that the posters told them was glorious or because they killed their enemies in bloody conquest and became decorated veterans, soldiers are heroes to me because for the most part they are good people. Sure, there are exceptions, there are bad examples of any kind of person and some people, when given a gun, are not as responsible as they should be, but these people saw something that mattered more than their own well-being and were ready to do anything to make it a reality. Fathers, brothers, sons – they didn’t fight because they wanted to kill people, they fought because they wanted to ensure a safe future for their mothers, sisters and daughters, for their grandchildren and their grandchildren’s grandchildren, they fought for peace and freedom. However, all sacrifices made are worthy of note and so not only are the soldiers heroes, the innocent must be remembered and mourned, the fathers who outlived their sons, the children who never played in the streets, the people who died simply for their religion or sexuality, all must be remembered and mourned

The reason we remember them is not just out of grief and mourning, or out of duty and honour to those who died that we might live, we remember them because we must be inspired by them to create a world in which we need never again cry for those who died for us, we must constantly strive to make a better world, a without war, the very world warriors die in an effort to create. Remember them, mourn them, be inspired by them and let no more names be added to their ranks

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The Humourless Revolution – Guy Fawkes Night Special

Trigger Warnings – Strong language and vulgar imagery at certain points

Remember remember, the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot, I can think of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot. The spirit of rebellion lives on tonight, or so it should, but in an age of modern politics gone wrong with fear and anger making our decisions for us, perhaps the word revolution has lost its meaning in the western world, particularly if one is to turn to the example given by that blasted comedian who thinks himself the next great leader of our age. Yes, him, Brand, a nemesis most unworthy of the attention and yet you cannot help but give.

The social media campaign to ridicule Russell Brand using Blur’s “Parklife” song is an amusing one, indeed his overly fanciful rambling does sound like verses ripped from the song and the fact he even resembles the singer in terms of voice and rhythm does not help his case. I am probably the wrong man to make this point but he uses a lot of big words to say a lot of nothing and the fact that his entire revolution has crumpled at one joke goes to say something for its substance. Oh politics, the denizen of the humourless, funny that a second-rate comic should end up there. A subject that is serious can also be the subject of humour if one has the heart, for what is life without laughter and if the world is to quietly serve under men without happiness then how can we expect to be happy under them? Brand, you throw clever words around to dance around the fact you have a weak argument, yes the system is corrupt but asking for an alternative without an idea as to what is akin to refusing to eat, starving and blaming God you wasted away – be a vegetarian by all means but if you can’t eat what’s being served, do please suggest what you’d prefer rather than stare at the meat angrily.

UK Politics has devolved into a game of mockery and humiliation, with funny little upstarts like me poking fun at famous names, who catch wind of it and kick up a fuss and this is a problem, not because the mockery exists. You see, every idea in the world will be mocked and made fun of, every person alive is the butt of a joke at least once in their life and it is a lesson in patience and acceptance for us all. I used to be the butt of a few jokes, still am, and my response was much akin to Farage’s responses to Boyle’s Twitter heckling, it was dry cruel retorts meant only to hurt someone. Alas, a duel of wits is no longer if when your rapier strikes the opponent, they scream “Fuck you” and pull out a shotgun. Banter, as we like to call it, is a game, it is cat and mouse, it is an art to be enjoyed by the artists and the viewers, had Farage honestly engaged Boyle with some genuinely witty remarks he might have won a few points in popularity as a straight up down-to-earth bloke but he opted to be a total tosser and came off the loser because picking a fight with Frankie Boyle is probably a worse idea then asking your partner to use a cactus instead of a dildo for the bondage session.

Russell Brand and Nigel Farage get far more attention than I like and being a topical man, I have to keep up to date with these assholes or risk disappearing into obscurity and being left to write silly posts about comic books or television from twenty odd years ago. The issue they both face is one that most politicians face, they claim to be voices of the people but bear no resemblance to them and whilst Brand started out an ordinary enough fellow, his obsession with burbling out the contents of a dictionary at every opportunity he has to speak means people disconnect from what he says and just clap because they assume it’s clever when it’s actually just a paragraph that sums up as “I don’t like politicians very much”. Well fuck, I could’ve said that, anyone with two brain cells to rub together good, you don’t make that point stronger through bigger words, believe me. I know I use big words myself but not so many my point doesn’t reach my audience and I simplify my point afterwards just in case you couldn’t keep pace.

As for Farage, well, a man who wants to be “a politician you would share a pint with” doesn’t take well to banter and this contradicts the image. Farage, the charismatic charmer, the fun-loving playboy with fast cars and big cigars and enjoys a good chuckle as long as it’s never at his expense, never ever ever laugh at Farage or he’ll call you a left-wing Muslim bastard child of crazy drugged up terrorists or something equally bizarre and offensive. I consider myself a respectable and intelligent man but ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I happily play the fool and let people poke fun at me because it’s much more satisfying to laugh along at these things than be the twat who kills the buzz by getting huffy. A voice of the people needs to be a person we can honestly relate to and whilst Farage did a good job of that by visiting pubs and talking about the good old days, he reminds us he’s not one of us when he whips out a pricey cigar or goes off on a crazy rant about immigration that any decent person cringes at.

Oh sweet revolution and reform, how you tease us, goading us with such flimsy supplements as we choose between stupid twats or charmless twats because whilst Farage lacks substance, the other parties lack a face we can even stand looking at, let alone stand beside. Charismatic leadership is a hard thing to find in the UK and at the moment the charismatic ones are all charisma and no policies, besides Kipper policies such as handguns in Britain, reductions to maternity leave and a big fuck you to the EU, you know, the guys that enforce our rights to paid holidays and buy our exports so our economy actually has some money. I know we don’t always feel it in the pocket but we’d notice it if it wasn’t there, trust me.

Sadly, even this article lacks much substance, it is a mere tickle in the ribs for some whilst reminding them I don’t like Farage and Brand very much and whilst I would go on for so much longer, I’ve gone over 1000 words and articles beyond a certain length don’t do well and given this past week has seen my popularity wane significantly, I won’t dig a deeper hole. Sad times we live in but let us hope and pray we one day find politicians like us, charismatic and likeable folks with an honest commitment to the wellbeing of the British people. I know I am dreaming but all great things begin as dreams, except for bacon which began as a pig

Right War

I think it is fair to say that as far as ranting goes, I’m never alone. I may rant and rave at a variety of subjects, from the philosophical to the stupid, but the subjects are not exclusively discussed by me and I’m not the only one that gets so expressive. As you may know, my style model is influenced by the works of Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell and to a lesser extent, Eddie Izzard and it is because of these three men, I find myself drawn to expressing anger in the form of humorous rants. Now today, I’d like to come onto a topic that has had women ranting for ages, the inequality between sexes. Before the penis-wielding section of my audience, switch off and go to watch football, or find uses for said penis, I’m not here to give a pro-feminist backhand to the male population regardless of whether or not one is in order. You see, my true objective here is to take on both sides in this war and ask the question ‘Shouldn’t we have resolved this by now?’

OK, having effectively alienated both genders, allow me to explain myself before I find myself strung from the town walls by my underwear with profanities tattooed across my bare chest. Nobody can deny that throughout history, women have had to bow down to men simply because men said so and this has led to women being forced into sewing buttons, cooking meals, being faithful to cheating liars and so on, and thank the heavens that for the most part, this is no longer the case. A majority of women in the western world are free to have a career, an education, divorces and even to be less than faithful themselves without being ostracised by the entire town (Though she may hear the word slut being thrown around in her direction for a while). I realise that not every woman in the world has the freedom to choose what she wants in life, with arranged marriages still in practice across the world and many women still living a life of subservience to male oppressors. In my opinion, men and women give each other too much crap but women are probably more justified, having faced over 2000 years of laundry and washing up without being allowed to question it. I support feminism and I like a woman who isn’t afraid to think what she thinks, whether a man is involved in her life or not. Men, don’t switch off, this gets more interesting for you later on. As you can probably guess, I don’t speak for women’s rights and I’m not the most informed man on the matter, but I’ve seen enough boys and girls to realise that both genders are guilty of a bit of sexism and some unnecessary shit-brewing towards one another.

I’m gonna start with what we men do wrong to women, and oh boy, I’ll be here for a while. Primarily, most women would agree that man’s biggest drawback is the unbreakable bond between the balls and the brain, and how the latter never quite shuts the former up with great success. Men, let’s face it, our eyes pay more attention to a woman than our ears do and in some cases, somebody working downstairs sees it fit to salute the young miss. As fun as it is though guys, sex isn’t what runs the world. I’m gonna get some rude remarks thrown my way but hear me out fellas, your head gets you more head. I blame the media really, for giving us guys unreal representations of women and a generation will grow up thinking that to get a woman to like you, you have to treat her like an old carpet – walk all over it and take it to beat it. Moving on, I find that men generally perceive their sex as the better sex, the gender with the muscles and therefore, the decision making. Once again guys, muscles don’t rule the world either and appointing yourself boss is not the same as being a good leader. If anything, money and intellect rule the world and women beat us on the intellect thing hands down so yeah, when in holes right? I don’t hang around too many guys because by default, each member of the male population thinks he’s something bloody special. Admittedly, I’m a tad arrogant too but that’s just in general, and doesn’t involve me blasting out ‘Wench, make me a sandwich!’ Everyone has expectations higher than a lightweight teenager under peer pressure and it only causes damage to everybody’s egos when we find out that the reality of romance and sex isn’t something straight out of Hollywood but can be a long and awkward experience.

Women, you aren’t off the hook because you give us men a hard time and it’s not always justified. A great deal of men do store their entire personality in their testes but if you paint every man with that brush, you effectively cut us out of the picture and if you’re not a lesbian, this can be a lonely existence. I frequently hear the turn of phrase that all men are the same but unless you’re an omniscient super whore that’s sampled every man alive at least once, you can’t say that with any certainty. However, if you aren’t calling us all binge drinking abusers of your love for us, you flip the switch and expect Prince Charming to materialise out of thin air and woo you with such sickly sweet charm, Romeo and Juliet suddenly becomes as crude as South Park. I speak for all men of genuine romantic interests in females when I say that we do our absolute best and not all of us have a vocabulary befitting of Oscar Wilde. Romance is not an easy business and considering us men usually have to do the wooing part, involving somewhere between a week and six months of hard work and sacrifice to potentially get our due credence, you might consider cutting guys some slack. You may have a money maker in your pants, but that alone is no reason to assume you are the goddess of every man’s dreams and if you take it as your right to make the rules and work your man to the bone, expect him to consider wandering off in search of something easier.

Feminism is a funny subject in general, having met many women who don’t identify as feminist because they feel that in their privileged lives as independent white women who have never known a life of laundry and loveless abuse, they don’t need to burn panties on flagpoles and give vicious speeches on castration. I suppose that’s fair enough and to be honest, some feminists get on my wick for their constant anger towards me for having a penis. I didn’t choose my equipment ladies, it was there when I got here. I just wish that this wasn’t still a subject for debate and that everyone had equal rights to do whatever the fuck we want to do with ourselves, because we need to recognise that we are all human and we have to get along for now as we only have the one planet. By the time we spread to colonies across space, we can all go our separate ways with different laws and moral values but for now, let’s call every man and woman equal and stop being total twats.