Friday, 12 November 2004

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day bugs me.
Not because of what it is, but rather for how we approach it. I find it interesting that the focus of Remembrance Day has shifted to WWII. Some may say that is more out of practicality, more living veterans were in that war, the original vets of Armistice Day are almost all gone now. I think though that it has as much to do with the fact that, as I heard on a program the other day, it was one of the few wars that had to be fought. It was about liberating people from tyranny. It was about the deaths of millions preventing the deaths of millions more. It was, in many ways, a 'just war'. Isn't that what we remember, the giving of lives for us (and others) to have freedom? For that war, it is an appropriate sentiment I suppose.

But the original day, Armistice Day, marked the end of WWI. (The end of it, that was the point) WWI was not about freedom. It was not about honour, or a higher cause. It was more akin to a schoolyard fight with deadly and cruel weaponry substituted for rock pitching. 'We'll show you our country rules!' 'yeah well you may have lots of guns but ours are bigger' 'You stink and you're gonna get it now'. Millions upon millions of people died as a result. It was the most catastrophic event in modern history, with so many other world events merely being fallout. For what?

So the label of fighting for freedom being applied to that war or anything to do with it has always irritated me to no end (Actually the war itself makes me angry-perhaps that is why my disposition is so snarky on this). I find it rather trivializing to the people who died there, whose lives were permanently scarred there, that when we come to remember there is all this talk of how noble this was and how we should remember as a way of saying thank you. Thank you for what? Being forced to become the fodder for a silly argument between a bunch of other countries acting like petulant children? I am not saying we shouldn't recognize that many of the soldiers were noble, brave and honourable; they were. But the cause was not. There was no 'cause', only death because well 'every generation needs it's little war to distinguish itself.' And it's pointlessness is compounded by the indescribable horrors associated with it-war tactics so awful attempts were made to outlaw them.

One thing the war and it's combatants did give us was the desire to think twice about going to war. It is not glorious, and it is not always a necessary evil. It was a total turning point for the way we thought about war. There is one thing to be thankful for, to remember.

Of course the second thing it showed us indirectly was that war is indeed at times a necessary evil. Had WWII started in 1935 or 36, it probably wouldn't have been WWII, but no one wanted another Great War or another lost generation. You can't blame the people for being war-weary. But each threat needs to be debated on it's own merits. People were being enslaved and murdered. Should something have been done? Well I suppose only if one hopes that another would do the same for them. Total pacifism is often as unconscionable as reckless bloodshed.

However fact is that the second World War was merely act 2, the horrific result of the events of the Great War. So even that returns us to the stupidity of such a war. Stupid. There's something to remember. These men died for nothing. Isn't that stupid? Isn't that wrong? That is what the original Armistice Day was about-remembering an entire generation crushed and fallen, so disillusioned they became the "lost generation". Yes there was thankfulness too-but for the fact that the theatre of battle was closed, not that people had been in it.

My great grandfather was there, a pinky finger away from lying in one of many mass graves. My grandma doesn't remember him talking about how they fought for freedom. She remembers him unable to enter a church because he had murdered. She also remembers him saying that if they wanted a war, why didn't the leaders fight themselves instead of sending kids to do it. My dad says that in fact he never talked specifically to any of them about the war. He would go back there sometimes; he was 'shell-shocked' and full of shrapnel. He was traumatised and burdened for the rest of his life by what he saw and experienced there.

This too needs to be remembered.

Tuesday, 9 November 2004


Since it has come to my attention that several people are now creating creepy secret shrines to me, (as per N'ness) and that they will soon be churned out enmasse like cheesewheels and cotton underwear by the lovely Walmart, I feel I should post some ground rules for the Cult of lemur.

Eat Bannock everyday. No love for bannock means no love for Lemur. Anyone who would dare tread upon the sacred nature of bannock is a heretic, and is hereby anathematized.

Never keep other people's mail art for a really long time, and then drop of the face of the earth. This will get you a long stint in purgatory.

Hijack other sites and threads to delare your love aliegance to lemur whenever possible. You will gain extra indulgences to give away.

Absolutely under no circumstances should one describe the eyes of the lemur as b**dy. This is the most dastardly type of blasphemy and will be subject to severe punishment

Okay those are the vital ones, I will think of more later.

Oh yes and thunderstorm-19 is hereby the first bishop of lemuism.
As you all know prophets are always freaky outcasts therefore larrissa is gifted as the prophet. Heheh.

Saturday, 6 November 2004


Well working on arty projects for the most part, which is fun. I'm almost all caught up on the things I need to do; then I can concentrate on the things I want to do. :c)
I think I will make a bannock map (long story) and post it to N'ness. I have also been working on a picture for Aves-I think Richard will like it. I am going to tint some gesso green and gesso a panel tonight I think. Would you believe I've never used a gesso ground in painting? I am going to look it up for pointers and then like everything, go for it. It's always fun to try something new.

Tuesday, 2 November 2004


originally uploaded by char111.
Working on Christmas presents finally!
Since I won't be working by December, I am definitely going to have to get off my arse and make presents. I have two more cheques to come, but I'd rather conserve as much as I can.
This Mjolnir is for my brother. Making a Mjolnir out of wood only makes sense if I give the background. We had a tree in our yard that was hit by lightning twice. It finally fell down this year and my brother wanted me to make him something from it. Since mjolnir is the agent of lightning, that is what I decided to make.
I had no idea how hard siberian elm was going to be to carve, or even how to carve it, but after browsing the web I decided I needed an angle grinder-this was what everyone seemed to use. We had an old one that my brother picked up at the neighbours when they abandoned their place (they also left weapons like crossbows. Fun for the neighbourhood kids!) Anyway, the cord had been destroyed so I had to get a new one. I actually asked for an angle grinder for my birthday just to do this project-I got a nice one-dewalt with a removeable handle sos I can make it left handed. Leftifiable tools are always good.
I had to figure out what I was doing, Mjolinor suffered a little for this-it started out quite a bit bigger, heheh. But once I learned how to handle the angle grinder, it got much easier.
So my first piece of wood carving. I'm actually pretty pleased with it. The small size actually works for me (it is only about 3.5" tall)-pocket sized. :c)
I still have to make a twin for my other brother, but it did not take as long as I thought it would, maybe three or four hours all together. Yay for angle grinders!
(BTW Mjolnir means lightning. It is the hammer of Thor, the Norse god of thunder.)

Monday, 1 November 2004

Even more pissing around. A prairie lily I drew. Posted by Hello