Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lest We Forget and Bitchslap To Tuesday

Tomorrow is a significant public holiday, ANZAC Day when we remember the contribution of service men and women since WWI. The day focuses largely on the debacle at Gallipoli during the battle with the Turks during WW1 when Australian and New Zealand Army Corps were forced through bad planning and silly arrogance to launch a suicidal assault ANZAC Cove. This day has almost become our surrogate national day with dawn services, cross city marches including current and ex-service people, shops and businesses closed until 1.00pm and then drunken celebrations including that age-old gambling game 'two-up'.

The sad thing is that the focus is so largely and squarely placed on this one battle that we forget the many other conflicts that our service people have engaged in and are still engaging in, particularly in East Timor, Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan. It's as if no other soldier ever fought except the 'Diggers' at Gallipoli which incidentally was an absolute disaster, an embarrassment, yet we still celebrate it.

Recently a number of old soldiers attended a ceremony in France to commemorate the thousands of Aussie troops who died on the French Front, particularly in the Somme. Not one consulate official from Australia, nor any dignitary (I use the term loosely - this is what happens to politicians when they leave the front bench) attended the event much to the chagrin of the elderly Aussies attending. Yet tomorrow, they'll all be out to March wearing their Vietnam medals or their father's and grandfather's gold badges of courage, mixing it with the vets, shaking hands and kissing babies. It's an insult to the solemnity of the event.

I don't like war, I don't condone it but sometimes you just get stuck in it. And when you do, it's important to support those who are or have been on the front line. So, I'll be watching the parade tomorrow and sparing a thought for our kids overseas no matter how small our contingent. It's important that we commemorate these events but a real shame that it doesn't stop history repeating - Lest We Forget.


Now, on a less profound level, I was pondering how different things might be if women went into battle, it would be more like preparing for the sales.

  • First, we'd design practical but attractive uniforms with a little metallic or lace trim.
  • We'd plan everything meticulously before-hand including a list of our expectations and a discreet exit strategy. Every soldier would have a clean pair of knickers (you don't want to be wounded with dirty underwear) and $50 in their pocket for a taxi home.
  • We wouldn't be afraid to ask for directions on the way to the front and would very probably get lost a few times before we actually arrived, cutting down actual battle time significantly
  • Once facing the enemy, we'd probably decide to have a little sit down, a Cappucino and some Raisin Toast to give us an energy boost before the assault.
  • We'd reapply the lip gloss
  • Change into our sensible shoes and wait patiently for the appropriate countdown before rushing over to the enemy screaming blue murder and flailing arms
  • We'd then determinedly bitch slap them to Tuesday, smearing their mascara and humiliating them into defeat.
  • We'd retreat, straighten our hair, slip into something more comfortable, reapply the lip gloss and go home to finish the washing, pick the kids up from school and prepare dinner.

Mission accomplished.

7 comments:

Brianf said...

I think it's kinda' cool that the Aussies celebrate the great loss of life that was WW1. Here we celebrate a national holiday called Veterans Day. The only problem I have with it is that it use to be called Armistice Day because Novenber 11th 1918 was the day the armistice was signed to end WW1. Nobody knows that. It's just another federal holiday. It was also my Fathers birthday.
There is a statue at Riverfront Park commemerating the local boys who gave their lives in that war that is in disrepair and every time I drive by it pisses me off.
My Dad was 2 when the Armistice was signed.

Baino said...

O Yes, we're very cool here . . . I've just finished my lunch and listening to your podcast . . mmm. I will have some myths to debunk tomorrow (public holiday for us).

The Brits still mark Armistice day with poppies and simmilar ceremonies. Get a neighbourhood task force together to clean up the memorial. It's important for me to realise that I'd be speaking German or Japanese if it wasn't for their sacrifice.

Is your dad still around?

Baino said...

Well you know what I mean . . .German in the first world war, Japanese from the Australian standpoint.

Brianf said...

First, we'd design practical but attractive uniforms with a little metallic or lace trim.
That is exactly why women aren't allowed in battle!

We'd plan everything meticulously before-hand including a list of our expectations and a discreet exit strategy.
Rules of Gunfighting #12,#13 and #14
#12 Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
#13 Have a plan
#14 Have a back up plan because the first won't work
and my favorite...
#22 Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

Baino said...

OMG there are rules for gunfighting? Should I be worried about you playing to the rules (plan to kill everyone you meet). You're a bit scary Bri.

I forgot to mention that we'd probably paint our guns to make them look pretty and have nice little dangly jewells on them like kids do with their mobile phones.

Remember though, it's a girly battle so the ammunition would be a powerful face cleanser or cooling cucumber mud pack.

Brianf said...

Of course there are Rules for Gunfighting!
See my post
http://brian223.wordpress.com/2007/01/24/rules-for-gunfighting/

Baino said...

Oh Brian . . wish I'd read that before my firearm post was put up . . . you are an enigma . . .I haven't quite worked out where the seriousness ends and the jokes begin . . .tell me your smiling . . .