Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Patriotism is always good

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Why do many people, many conservative and Conservative people, think patriotism is alright in small doses? How can one love ones country too much? It's like saying loving your parents or children or Mozart is alright in small doses but shouldn't be taken too far. It is also a very telling sign of the decadence of the rich world. That wonderful play Oh! What a Lovely War is partly to blame and that dreadful era the 1960s. Thank God the 1960s didn't happen in Romania.

2 comments:

  1. We were told by the elders of our parish that the 60s in England were superb: the World Cup, Swinging London, James Bond, football hooliganism, Mods and Rockers, Tom Jones, Trojan Ska, the Avengers, Jimi Hendrix (ignored in the US, hence the move to London) etc.. and only a very tiny and pampered minority went in for dodging soap, whining about the Vietnam War, poncing around Paris in 68 and listening to plagiarised dirge by Pete Seeger. Mind you, it is that pitiful minority which formed the political class of the 90s and later...

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  2. 'Oh What a Lovely War!' was the product of years search and study by card-carrying Stalinist communist Joan Littlewood in her theatre group for a topic that would form a Brechtian stage piece suitable for intensifying class hatred in Britain and rewriting the popular memory of history.

    Of course, the _real_ history of the Great War was much more complex. Britain's forces were the only ones that did not mutiny (because British soldiers did not spend weeks in the front trenches at a time), the death rate in World War I was the same as in World War II, most British people in 1920 thought the Great War had been a hard but worthwhile war that should have been fought, the war poets were regarded as unpatriotic and weak, the modern cliche of it as a pointless carnage only took hold with the World War I generation's _children_ of appeasers in the 1930s, when another war started to loom. That was also the time the reputation of the more nihilistic World War I poets started to rise.

    It is this false later perspective that Joan Littlewood so cunningly consolidated in the early sixties with her carefully-chosen piece of seditious stage work.

    Mark Griffith

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