Happy 2014! Well not a terribly auspicious start to 2014 due to a range of issues I had no control over! Possibly this is a major defect in me-lack of control over everything? But I do like to be able to guide the car I am sitting in as I plunge over the precipice-call me old fashioned but I like things to be clear and positive and have a bit of a melt down when they're not!
That said, a number of close friends have had a dreadful start to the year with awfully sad losses of family members, some whose natural time to die had not arrived yet. So I took the time to list all the things which I am grateful for and gave myself a thump and got a grip. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Reinhold Niebuhr" That said it doesn't stop me from blowing a gasket about our friend Gove! Yes he has been at it again- spouting his unimaginative and reactionary drivel! This time its about World War 1 and Blackadder! He appears to believe that artistic interpretation is all wrong and gives people the wrong impression! So pardon me...did not millions die for no good reason? Was Blackadder goes forth not the most ironic and subtle version you have ever seen of going over the top? I think the rapid switch between the comedy and the pathos in the final scene is the most evocative I have seen and it illustrated in simple visual terms how awful and final it all was. I am afraid I did use Blackadder. But I also used "All quiet on the Western Front",the War poets (who were actually there) Pathe News, War diaries, Commonwealth Graves Commission and oral history...I believe you can glean a better view of history if you look at everyone's viewpoint-but that might be just me! As for it being a just war...well I don't think so- It was about imperialism and our response to it. And although the Alan Clarke statement about "lions led by donkeys" might not be the whole story-the generals did not show a massive understanding of modern warfare and technology and many men were lost unnecessarily and with very little thought. This man is so tunnel-visioned its scary! How he ever managed to inveigle his way into directing our children's education I don't know! But if he manages to present his twisted and perverted interpretation it will skew history completely. I can only pray that this government sacks him or he is hit by a bolt out of the blue before he does too much damage. I hope that his attitude is not allowed to taint the memory of my Granddad and his brothers who served in this atrocious war along with many others.