I began writing this blog about a year ago as a narrative of one old sailor trying to describe how he is working toward a dream. Sailors are generally free thinkers and prefer to live outside of any box, often much to the consternation of bureaucrats, politicians, CEO s and those who choose conformity as a way of life. I have found plenty of support and occasionally criticism about the regular insertion of ideas running against the grain which appear in my writing. Sometimes I hit a nerve and receive disdain and rebuke. That, I think is a good thing which encourages new insights and expanding thought. An old friend who is a sailor, and a very seasoned one at that, took deep exception to my last blog and my anti-military remarks. (Our exchange can be found in the comments section of this blog) He did not understand that I hold a deep empathy (But NOT sympathy) for military people throughout our entire human history, the ubiquitous lambs led to the slaughter. From my own personal loss, I mourn all lost lives, both in body and in spirit in conflicts around the world; and certainly not just on one day of the year.
Even a cursory study of history shows how it is the naive youth of our populations, those already in a mindset that they are invincible and immortal and so go off to better the world, vanquish the enemy and are certain they will return to a full life with a fair maiden. I challenge you to find a veteran, who is actually willing to discuss his combat experiences, who will tell you that they knew they would probably be killed or maimed and so went to war anyway. Invariably, they will tell you that they believed they’d be home again. Further inspired by the hype of his or her military commanders they went to war knowing they would be coming home glorious heroes. Of course, millions were wrong. Remembrance day is all too often used as a day to glorify our war dead, and the heinous crime of war. There is never mention of the millions of innocent civilians, who are also lost in man’s eternal pursuit of greed and power.
Never, never on Remembrance day is the futility and stupidity of our incessant warlike nature considered. I have no lack of respect for those who nobly and bravely served and serve our country, both dead and alive, even if their intentions may have been misguided. They did their best, they gave everything.
But when will we bloody learn? I say that in dire concern that we are well on the way toward a third world war. And folks just won’t look up and see it! As a writer, I am a devil’s advocate who encourages open thinking and questioning minds. I will not apologize for refusing to say “Baa.” If I can save or improve one other life by encouraging the use of the intellect we are born with, then my efforts as a writer are well rewarded.
The following is a quote I just received from a friend. Although written almost sixty years ago, it is very timely and profound. Thank you Mike!
“When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self – sacrifice, you may know that your society is doomed.”
Ayn Rand ‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957
On a cheerier note, the same friend who has just excommunicated me, recently forwarded me a YouTube link to a group of three British singers calling themselves ‘Fascinating Aïda.’
These not-so-young ladies are a wonderful blend of neo Gilbert and Sullivan and are elegantly rude. Their humour and music is uplifting and a celebration of fully emancipated feminism and humanism. Do yourself a treat and check out their video ‘Cheap flights’. I challenge you not to laugh, gaspingly. Go ahead, it’s good for you.