Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lest we forget

[edited 9.20am Sunday 24]

There have been so many words wasted(?) discussing the ‘commemorations’ of  historical events this weekend so have very little to add.

 Christopher Pearson (Weekend Australian Apl 23, 2011) looks at the “Search for the real man in the gospels (the only pedantic quibble that I might have with the article is that some scholars refer to the “1ST Century Nazarene rabbi” as Yeshua ben Yoseph, not “Jesus”, or “Christ“) and Ricky Gervais (same publication) makes a good case for atheism,
[OK, am having trouble finding the direct links.. update, found the original article by Ricky Gervais. Found link to Pearson article]

As for ANZAC day .. Am still trying to understand, read up on, the origins; and significance to “modern” Australia.

Have to admit, though, that it is a particularly “emotional” day; for me.

While cannot lay claim to any ancestors who actually participated in the Gallipoli landings on April 25, 1915 - nor am I aware of any who fought or died in the “Great War” 1914-1918 (that conflict could not have been referred to as “Word War one” until the second world-wide conflict of 1939-1945) - but yes, my father died in 1945 - and to be more pedantically specific - believing that he was part of a Nationwide effort to defend Australia, Australians, and their ‘way of life’ against Japanese Imperialism.

Which also gives me a personal perspective on the results, and subsequent long-lasting ramifications of armed conflict. (Wars may end .. but the children, grandchildren, et al: of widows,  always remember).

That reminds me .. Was listening to Phil Adams the other night when he interviewed Buffy Sainte Marie.
She wrote, and sang, the original words for “Universal soldier” which was, apparently, made ‘popular’ with a particularly pallid version from a singer by the name of ‘Donovan’.
(there is an interesting mention during the interview that Buffy Sainte Marie’s version was ‘suppressed’ by presidential pressure).

For those who ‘can remember’ - listen to the interview; Buffy reprises a rather more ‘passionate’ original rendition.

For those who have never heard the original, or seen the words …

He's 5 foot 2 and he's 6 feet 4
He fights with missiles and with spears
He's all of 31 and he's only 17.
He's been a soldier for a thousand years

He's a catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain
A Buddhist, and a Baptist and Jew.
And he knows he shouldn't kill
And he knows he always will kill
You'll for me my friend and me for you

And He's fighting for Canada.
He's fighting for France.
He's fighting for the USA.
And he's fighting for the Russians.
And he's fighting for Japan
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way.

And He's fighting for democracy,
He's fighting for the reds
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one, who must decide,
who's to live and who's to die.
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him,
how would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He's the one who gives his body
as a weapon of the war.
And without him all this killing can't go on

He's the universal soldier
And he really is the blame
His orders comes from
far away no more.

They come from him.
And you and me.
And brothers can't you see.
This is not the way we put an end to war
                            (ends with unresolved chord)

[um, OK, pinched the words from the 'net', so am not claiming 'accuracy'  .. or you could go to].

"without him Caesar would have stood alone"

Lest We Forget.


Davoh said...

.. and yes, i know. Buffy Sainte Marie is currently in Australia on a "promotional" tour .. but hey everyone has to earn a quid somehow. Would, frankly, prefer to throw money her way - than subsidise the Pentagon.

Gerry said...

I concur with the sentiments expressed. Thanks for sharing them, Davo.

Davoh said...

No probs Gezz .. but an interesting sidelight. Had some conflicting thoughts when i saw the image on the cover of the WE Oz magazine ..

"Warrior Class. Fearless, loyal and modest, VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith is the modern embodiment of the Anzac tradition"

From the collar up - he looks almost exactly like my son, similar age; but not in the ADF.

Davoh said...

.. and have a sneaking suspicion that he prefers 'male' companions .. um.

Vest said...

Pushing 85, I like the elders in my Assoc who are much more wobbly than me have given up the marching thingy and can't get up that early in any case, but for those who can have a great Anzac Day.

Davoh said...

yer, Vesty. Am one of those 'orrible people - one year too old for the Vietnam draft. Too informed to 'volunteer'.

I still have an enormous admiration for "those who served".

Did, however, put father's service medals on left breast and march with the 'civilians' in Adelaide 2004.

Bittuva rabble, really.

Davoh said...

Correction: un-earned medals are carried on the 'righthand side'.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Very powerful with a major kernel of truth. As she was singing during my younger times I often didn't agree with Buffy philosophically but I never heard a song by her that didn't move me. Great voice and deep sincerity. Weather I believed or not, I always knew she did.

Davoh said...

70+; Peace and goodwill ..

.. but would your 'founding fathers' have been able to prevent the massacre at Wounded Knee?

Am not excusing Australian history. There were quite a few "massacres" here; conveniently shoved under the carpet of "christian charity".