Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday Rantings

In between suffering bouts of what Major Bloodnok used to refer to on the Goon Show as the 'old poona kruts, (three buckets full of 'em)', various things have set me ranting to myself and anyone else within earshot.  The first was the depressingly predictable and entirely manufactured 'outrage' over Top Gear filming car stunts 'near' the Cenotaph.  Apparently it is disrespectful to our war dead. At least, according to the usual retired Colonels and headline writers of the Sun, Express and Mail.  Do fuck off!  The Cenotaph is located smack bang in the middle of the street. Hordes of tourists walking down Whitehall pose for photos near it every day, buses, taxis and cars drive past it all the time, none of them acknowledging Britain's war dead or observing atwo minutes silence - surely that's just as disrespectful?  We really have to stop this fetishisation of the fallen of past wars, treating them and their memorials with the kind of reverence the ancient Egyptians reserved for the dead Pharoahs and their tombs, (which, incidentally, our ancestors happily ransacked - so much for respecting the dead, eh?).

This continued deification of the war dead only serves to continue the glorification of war, with its clear implication that there is something worthwhile and heroic about dying in battle.  In my experience, the only people who invest in the glorification of the fallen - through the guise of 'respecting' them - are people who have never actually fought in a conflict and seen the horrible realities of war.  Growing up, I had a lot of uncles, gear uncles, grandfathers and the like who had served in World War Two, seeing action, receiving medals and the like.  Actually talking about their experiences, let alone glorifying them, was the last thing they wanted to do.  Likewise, they mourned their friends who didn't survive, but didn't lionize them as fallen heroes, just ordinary people who were unlucky.  Unlike retired Colonels who have probably never fired a shot in anger, but have happily sent other people into combat, but like to bang on about how 'heroic' allthose boys they've sent to their deaths were.

The other thing which got me ranting was an overheard conversation in Sainsburys whilst I was shopping.  A mother was telling her daughter that she couldn't have some chocolate bar or other for her lunchbox, because chocolate wasn't allowed in school!   For fuck's sake, what sort of world are we living in when children can't eat chocolate in school? Really, have we become a nation of killjoys?  Now, this chocolate ban could be for supposed 'health' reasons, whereby the food Nazis decree that children must be forced to have only 'healthy' things in their lunch boxes, a concept I object to on principle.  It is an appalling restriction of children's freedom of individual choice: if they want to eat fatty foods and drink sugary drinks, that's up to them.  Besides, fads in what is and isn't 'healthy' to eat and drink seems to come and go on a weekly basis.  Not only that, but anything that twat Jamie Oliver champions can't be any good.  Alternatively, the chocolate ban could be down to one of those 'food allergies' which seem to proliferate these days.  I seem to recall that there was a school in Wales which banned chocolate because one student had a 'chocolate allergy' which was activated by the mere presence of chocolate, even in its unopened wrapper, anywhere on school premises.  Oh do fuck off!  I've never heard such bollocks in my entire life!  Stop trying to spoil children's fun with your made up attention seeking 'allergies'!  You can guarantee that some pushy middle class mother is behind this cobblers. Doubtless running around wailing 'Won't somebody think of the children' whilst demanding that Easter be cancelled unless chocolate eggs are replaced with painted hard boiled eggs, so as to ensure her child is protected, but every other child is ensured a miserable Easter.

That's the trouble these day:, middle class parents - they're so determined to make their children 'special' that they virtually insist that they have some kind of 'condition', be it dyslexia or made up allergies.  In my day, kids had real, potentially life threatening allergies and ailments, like allergic reactions to bee stings, or asthma.  And while I'm still in rant mode, what's with that bloody Admiral Insurance ad?  You know the one I mean: the new one with the female admiral.  It's not the fact that the admiral has had a sex change that I object to, it's the fact that she's got the wrong rank insignia.  For fuck's sake, in any navy in the world, three rings on the sleeve denote a commander - three full ranks below even the most junior admiral!  Even in the merchant navy, (where there is no such rank as admiral), three rings don't denote the most senior officer grade, instead signifying (if a deck officer) First Officer (or Chief Officer, Executive Officer or First Mate depending on the employing shipping line) - second in command to a ship's Captain. Thank God I've got that lot off of my chest!  I feel so much better!



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