Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day on the 11th, Foreboding Day on the 12th

Today is almost over, more "untold" stories from the two World Wars (especially and more often, from WWI) have just been told, and the Federal government is just wrapping up its orgy of myth/nation-building. The memory of the horrific and unimaginable sacrifices by soldiers, in any war and IN any conflict, somehow gets lost amid the grandstanding and pomp of our politicians, particularly this year, who have used these last few days to bask in reflected glory, and to advance ideas of military intervention, in eastern Europe and in the Middle East. Interventions that don't take in a holistic view of the conflicts, but rather,  short term actions that touch on the symptoms but not the causes, of these conflicts. Short term is easy, long term is hard work and messy.
Arguably, Remembrance Day, to me, is the most significant holiday of the year. The only two words that need to be uttered on Nov 11th are: Never Again. But of course, things happen, again, and again. Our collective DNA is  hard-wired with instructions to go to war, to fight, to self-destruct even, as a society. 
"Lest We Forget". But we always, always  forget, the very next day.

So I suggest another holiday, right after November 11th. Let's call it Foreboding Day. Just after the warm, fuzzy, glow of bagpipes and wreath-laying, emotional stories and veterans' interviews, we need a  shock to our system. Remembering the past is useless, even dangerous, when we delude ourselves that we won't repeat the past. We always do.
Foreboding means, "implying or seeming to imply that something bad is going to happen". Well, somethings are happening: resource wars (all the wars right now are for resources) brought on by drought and dwindling resources. Famines, disappearance of species, outbreaks of hitherto rare/dormant diseases, are attributable to, in whole or in part, to global warming. Population displacement, environmental degradation, the list goes on.
Foreboding Day is NOT a waystation on any Doomsday Clock. The Doomsday Clock is a half-empty glass. Foreboding Day is a half-full goblet. There is always hope, and there are many of us who do small things and big things... but there's not enough of us. 
November 12, Foreboding Day: a day dedicated to shocking us out of our stupor, denials, and inadequate empathy.

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