12 Nov 2017

History of the Great War and the Stories Behind It

Yesterday was the 99th anniversary of the end of the Great War: Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, Poppy Day, Veterans Day. Whichever name and vernacular we apply to it, it remains that the ending of WWI summons questions around whether WWI should ever have been started in the first place. Does the official story not center around the assassination in Sarajevo of a mysterious Archduke nobody amongst the populace had ever heard of: Franz Ferdinand? Did we have to escalate this into a World War and sacrifice 41 million people in the process as some form of retaliation? Or was there actually more than meets the eye?

War journal of French soldier Louis Barthas (1879-1952)

Those four years stood as the biggest wipe-out humanity had ever experienced in its entire History. August, 22nd, 1914 was the bloodiest day in French History, with 27,000 French soldiers killed. WWI tolled the end of times and destroyed the courageous, patriotic, hard-working young able men and their families, neighbourhoods and countries at large. Those who survived would never be the same again.

WWI is no shrinking violet territory. It is utter brutality. The scope of its horrors defy the imagination of even the most seasoned amongst us.

Hell on earth in a way we, 3-4 generations later, find hard to fathom in our relatively cocooned existence. The Great War was a bloodshed beyond comprehension that the French poilus (WWI soldiers) described laconically as grande boucherie.

Journal of Jean Galpin (1892-1915), lieutenant at the 119e French Infantry Regiment

Holocaust on the battlefields, in the trenches, across the blitzed-out towns, out at sea and up in the skies. It was the first all-encompassing war: on land, off-shore, underwater and airborne. WWI catapulted the West into the XXth century and heralded the rise of the nefarious military industrial complex and the coming of age of ruthless dynasties which have been calling the shots in the shadows of world governments and banking institutions ever since: the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers.

One year short of the centenary, we can safely argue from the comfort of our homes whether we can find 99 reasons why there shouldn't have been a war. In no way though would this resurrect the dead and heal the injured. The best we can do is to keep on honouring the brave and hold a flower in our hearts for the fallen. Pledge not to forget them and draw lessons out of the meaninglessness of war and the abject cruelty it inflicts upon the innocent that the elites summoned to fight their game of chess out for real.

Illustrated science lesson on sea mines by school teacher Aimé Vincent (1867-1933)

It serves to have at least a rough understanding of the war, its battles and key dates, from a historical perspective. But what is of greater service, in my book, is the collective of individual, personal stories and snippets of insightful information gleaned out of those who lived and/ or survived the War, soldiers and civilians alike, and which they passed down. Our duty today is to ensure those accounts, anecdotes, letters and other memorabilia are preserved and shared amongst us, and especially to the younger generations. By doing so, we keep alive the memory of those ordinary folks with ordinary lives who extraordinarily got thrusted onto the geopolitical scene and put their lives on the line for all of us.
 
Their patriotism, nationalism, the pride they held in the Nation State, means we stand here today in pacified nations which we can still call our own.

Each one of my four great-grandads, Louis, Marcel, Antoine and Joseph, fought in the Great War. I do not hold a personal detailed account of their whereabouts during the Great War as such but I remember a number of anecdotes. Those stick in the mind. For instance, Antoine and his comrades being out of drinking water in the trenches at some point had no other option than resort to drinking their own wee... On the Chemin des Dames front, Louis and his comrades were forced to imbibe strong potato liquor as way of Dutch courage when they could no longer fight their way across trenches and minefields, a desolate landscape that resembled nothing more than the death plains of the afterlife.

Illustrated war account by Marius Astier, accomplished in 1927

To stop indulging in our self-importance is paramount. We owe our WWI elders the respect and remembrance they deserve. We owe it to them to have honoured and served our nation the way they did, with infallible pride and bravery. We must make it our mission to not allow for our history to be edited by the Ministry of Propaganda. Oppose the deriding of national pride and its bizarre amagalmation with fascism and white supremacy. Support those who seek the truth and fight corruption on our behalf, whether as private entities, public figures or members of the Alternative media.

Now caught as we are in our First World problems (sic), the European Union Ponzi Scheme and DC Deep State, Cultural Marxism and its institutions engineering the hostile take-over of our society through globalisation stealth of our once-sovereign, Christian, economically-solvent, industrial powerhouse Nation States — would we be able at this point to regain enough bravery and nobility of heart to stand up to a horde of flag-burning millennial brats, and serve our emperiled nations should a call to arms be deemed necessary tomorrow in order to save them? This is no chess game: the ball is in our court.

2 Nov 2017

All Saints' Day Survivor

In the Christian calendar, November 1st is a celebration of the dead, All Saints' Day, a bank holiday in France. Traditionally families purchase chrysanthemums, heather or cyclamens (usually impressive potted displays) and take them down to cemeteries in order to fleurir les tombes, flower their (loved ones) graves. Needless to say, florists and garden centres make a tidy profit that gears them up into the festive season, by then less than 8 weeks away!

Mum's the word! (June 2017)

You guessed it, All Saints' Day has been co-opted into a consumerist feat, with a sea of floral displays that pours out of the flower shops onto the pavements and inflates in volume by the day, in the run-up to November 1st. Then plants migrate from flower shops to car boots and from car boots to the tombs, and before Christmas most will have migrated from the tombs to the cemetery bins - in heaps! Incredibly wasteful and downright ridiculous but this is the way it has been programmed into the French.

Because sadly family values in France are not as sacred as they once were and catholic religion has taken a nosedive, graves are rarely visited, although All Saints' Day remains the one and only yearly reminder still anchored in the collective psyche that encourages the modern busy Christian to pay graves a visit - and leave a proof of their visit behind, in the shape of a big fat chrysanthemum that battles it out for space with other relatives' mums! Don't you bother watering your offering because par une opération du Saint-Esprit, by the Holy Spirit intervention, pots will somewhat self-water or at least absorb little morning dew they can in order to survive the run-up to Winter if they don't get knocked off the tomb by the competition and the elements and roll down the alleyway like a poor cosplay version of Jackie Chan to end up wedged between the tool shed and a bench.

Chrysanthemum to the left, nasturtium to the right, under the watchful eye of Némo! (Sept. 2017)

Life as an All Saints' Day chrysanthemum is all about survival: it's mean out there. Tampered with genetically in order to yield all sorts of crazy colours and patterns, chemically fattened up in order to grow fat and fast like a Christmas turkey of the floral kind, produce blooms ten a zillion that will magically burst open in time for the Day of the Dead. Showtime in the graveyard but by November 2nd there is no-one left around to admire the flowers! Then the draughty unforgiving graveyards take a toll on their petals into a crumpled-up, dried-out worn-out affair. Lack of care its toll, and the trip to the bin is a short, disdainful and unceremonious whack and go.

Through this tale of doom and gloom interspersed by a brief showtime stint and casting couch moment on the florist's shelf, one of those mums I saved from the basket of deplorables. Now it takes pride of place on my south-facing terrace, pampered and watered and whispered to! I saved it from my village's overflowing cemetery bin last December as I was gingerly walking past with Tickle, casting a sideways glance in search of a discarded, unloved, unrequited empty flower pot container (or filled with a dead plant) which I could save from trash and call my own and take home to repurpose into a pot for my Winter seedlings.

Pride of place! (Nov. 2017)

The mum was totally dried out, a browned-out crispy sorry sight! I took it home, disposed of the dead twigs and stored the pot with the soil in it in the cellar for a good month, almost forgetting about it. Then one day I noticed a shoot on the surface of the soil and then another one! I took the pot out onto the terrace, took a long hard look at those incredible green shoots battling for survival. I watered them and witnessed the gradual resurrection of the mum! It has since rewarded me with several flowerings. It is currently a feast of multicoloured blooms of white, canary yellow, orange and magenta red, a rainbow of delight! Let me tell you: I am the proud mum of one proud mum!

The moral of the story: when everything looks dead and done, give it another go, it might surprise you!
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