There is no thought too crass, no anniversary too sick, that the media and their friends in the political class won’t celebrate.
‘Celebrate’ is an odd word in the English language, because it can mean both ‘remember’ and ‘enjoy’. From what I’ve seen of the papers today and the Westminster soundbites, we are low in remembrance but high in enjoyment. Lots of tabloid pigs are grunting their fractured prose out into the environment today, because it is a century since the First World War began.
More than 65 million men from 30 countries fought in The Great War. Nearly 10 million died. That figure is greater than the population of Hungary, and much more than that of Austria.
More than 75% of Russian troops were wiped out. Thismay have something to do with the high preponderance of unarmed peasants involved.
French Second Lieutenant Alfred Joubaire wrote in his diary about WWI just before he died that “Humanity is mad! It must be mad to do what it is doing. What a massacre. What scenes of horror and carnage! I cannot find words to translate my impressions. Hell cannot be so terrible! Men are mad!”
Millions of soldiers suffered “shell shock,” or post-traumatic stress disorder, due to the horrors of trench warfare. Shell-shocked men often had uncontrollable diarrhea, couldn’t sleep, stopped speaking, whimpered for hours, and twitched uncontrollably. While some soldiers recovered, others suffered for the rest of their lives.
On Christmas Day 1914 (when the War was due to be over) troops along 2/3 of the Western Front declared a truce. In some places the truce lasted a week. A year later, sentries on both sides were ordered to shoot anyone who attempted a repeat performance.
During the Battle of the Somme, the British Army suffered 60,000 casualties in one day. Not one inch of territory was gained beyond the very short term.
On June 28, 1914, a Serbian separatist shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Russia and France sided with Serbia, and Germany supported Austria-Hungary. Thanks to Edward VII’s Entente Cordiale, Britain came into the conflict on August 4th 1914.
Ten million deaths as the result of two obscure Royals being assassinated. Even madder than $23 trillion being spent thanks to the stupidity of perhaps 45,000 people in investment banking a century later.
Not only was there no idiocy with which Homo sapiens would refuse to engage in the pursuit of tribal pride in 1914, there is also no expense the human race will spare in order to bail out the clown élite who consider themselves superhuman in 2014.
Thus proving that we rarely make the same mistake twice; we simply choose to m1815ake different ones.
And this, it seems to me, is what the politico-media class wants us to celebrate.
Well, I don’t see why we should stop there: here are some other upcoming centenaries:
* Sunday, 18 June 1815 – Battle of Waterloo. Victory of European royal families over Napoleon Bonaparte, an early Republican.
* October 1716 – Austrians declare war on Turkey, desecrate Belgrade.
* Autumn 1720 – Japanese confirm the existence of Europe, begin process of producing very small things no European can work.
* Summer 1919 – foundation of the Nazi Party by locksmith Anton Drexler.
* February 18th 1921 – British troops occupy Dublin, lots of Irish folks variously shot, starved, tortured etc etc.
* December 13th 1937 – Japanese massacre of 300,000 innocent Chinese in Nanking (Nanjing), the former capital of China.
There’s a lot to be proud of when it comes to humanity. But there’s an awful lot more that would be better forgotten. August 1914 should be remembered as an outstanding piece of lunacy. This sort of thing is sick: