Category: Life


Remember, Remember, the 11th of November

I originally posted this in 2015, and I think it is still relevant.

I hope you paused and remembered at 11am this November 11th, or even better, went to a War Memorial to pay your respects.

 

 

The other day, a friend on Facebook posted something about respecting our veterans. I responded with the following…

“If people wanted to convey respect to Veterans, they wouldn’t have ANYTHING to do with Christmas until AFTER November 11th. IMO”

This was the following response…

“What does hanging christmas lights have to do with respecting those who fought for our freedom? Multitasking respect and daily tasks isn’t that hard. I have family members who are veterans and they hang their lights when it’s easy to do. Does that mean they are disrespecting themselves?”

I didn’t feel like going into the details of why my comment is actually kind of important to me for three reasons…

  1. I usually don’t respond to people’s reactions to my comments because some may have too much time on their hands and suddenly, I’m faced with a novella of a response as to why they are right and I am wrong.
  2. opinions are just that, opinions. I have mine, others have theirs. Yet people think having a differing opinion is an attack on theirs. In which case, I don’t have time to deal with them.
  3. I have a blog! I can ramble on about why I think putting up Christmas decorations before November 11th is wrong and disrespectful!

Lets get one thing straight first, I dig Christmas. My fervor for it may have waned as I’ve gotten older, but the nostalgia of that time of year, the music, the movies, and that whole peace on earth and good-will so-on-and-so-forth is great. But last time I checked, Christmas is on December 25th. Christmas Eve is on the 24th. That’s it! Two days! It isn’t frickin’ Hanukkah!

Yet retailers seemingly want to make it a two month orgy of commercialism and gaudy horrors. Sure, I like some gaudy crap as much as anyone else, but having it stretch out from November 1st to sometime in June with that lazy prick of a neighbour FINALLY takes down his Frozen-themed inflatable snow-globe-y thing is frickin’ asinine!

In American, Thanksgiving is at the end of November, which is perfect timing to start the Christmas, but that shit doesn’t fly in Canada, when Thanksgiving is in October! If Halloween wasn’t in the mix to decoration-block Christmas, then we’d have Joyous Yuletide for three-plus months! As it is, Halloween is getting as decoration-silly as Christmas! Remember when it was just a Jack-O-Lantern? Ah the good ol’ days.

Thanks to Halloween, Christmas is pushed back to November, right? Not exactly.

November 11th is Remembrance Day, also known as Veterans Day in America and Armistice Day in Europe and other parts of the world. Up here in Canada, November 11th is an important day, when we honour those who have fought for this country, remember those that have died, and thank those who are still with us. We honour men and women from every significant conflict, right up to the present day. Hundreds of thousands of people gather at various war memorials across the country to pay tribute to the people who fought for the freedom we enjoy today.

For the most part, everyone is well aware of Remembrance Day and its importance. But I find it disheartening that retailers, and in-turn, those that shop at those retailers, seem to want to get the jump on Christmas, everything else be damned! It is like, an unnecessary distraction. And for what? So the retailers can line a little more money in their pockets? Its like, over-looking grandma and grandpa for the cooler uncle or aunt. Why deal with somber remembrance and the ugly face of war, when we can buy a bunch of Olaf dancing Christmas stuff!

In short, we aren’t giving our due attention where is should be. People may nod and say “yeah, I know about Remembrance Day. I’m wearing my Poppy!”, as if it were a chore that you are forced to do like some spoiled little brat. November 11th isn’t about us. It is about them. The Veterans, their families, and those affected by their loss. It is about remembering that, yeah, what we have, this freedom to spend stupid amounts of money on The Walking Dead tree ornaments, was bought on the sacrifices and lives of those that came before us. It isn’t about just wearing a poppy, or reciting “In Flanders Fields”; although those are important. It is about stopping for a moment and thinking about what came before us, what was lost, what was gained, and how grateful we all should be.

It is NOT about putting out your fucking Christmas decorations 6 weeks before Christmas because you don’t like doing it in the cold, you lazy bastard! Can’t you wait until November 12th to put your gaudy crap out on the lawn?! Thanks to Global Warming, November ain’t as cold as it used to be! “What about the elderly? They shouldn’t go out in the cold to hang up Christmas decorations?” No, they shouldn’t. So go help them!

Can you tell I’m tired of the lazy frickin’ excuses? But, in all honesty, this is all just my opinion, my thoughts. You can put up your Christmas decorations whenever the hell you want. Just remember, when in 20 years or so, you are celebrating Hallowmas, or All Hallow Christ’s Eve, starting sometime in August, that I told you this would happen.

So, how can we stop Jack-O-Claus from breaking through our walls with his candy-cane chainsaw? But making sure people remember November 11th. Up here in Canada, not all of our provinces have a statutory holiday. I have an idea how to make it a national day of remembrance, with specific conditions…

  1. Remembrance Day holiday ALWAYS falls on November 11th. No moving it to make long weekend and such.
  2. All businesses are closed the entire day.
  3. Kids still go to school during the week, but for special Remembrance Day ceremonies. They can be excused for the day if they are going to another Remembrance Day ceremony.
  4. If a business wants to open on November 11th, they can only do so after Noon. Also, half of the profits made that day MUST be donated to either a local Veterans group, or to help support federal Veterans groups.

Most would probably think this is a bit much. But I think of it this way. All those Veterans you see, from the old man in the wheelchair, to the young woman missing a leg, perhaps both suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), to the family who rarely get to see loved ones because they are posted around the world, they have already sacrificed so much. How can we not do the same?

Letter to… Me

Dear Blog Followers and Regular Readers;

Hi.

How are ya?

How was your summer?

Mine was… meh.

You see, at the beginning of the summer… or so, I decided to stop writing blogs because I wanted to focus on my writing. There was two problems with this plan.

First problem, I didn’t do it. I worked on a few things, mostly character creation and development, and a smattering of rewriting. But nothing overly new was created. So my thought that my blog writing was taking away from my prose writing was a bust.

Second problem, there was a lot of stupid shit going on in the world for me to ignore. Trump (or as I prefer, #Drumpf), kept sticking his foot in his mouth and showing us that the character of the President of the United States in Stephen King’s book and David Cronenberg’s movie of “The Dead Zone” was potentially prophetic. Then there was that Lochte putz, green water at the Olympics, people and the media jumping on the Nate Parker: Rapist bandwagon, the surprisingly dismal summer movie run, my hatred of having to choose a movie seat at Landmark Cinemas, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t think of right now. But there were a few!

So now its September and I haven’t accomplished half of what I hoped. And with the Fall TV season coming soon and no hope of getting a new satellite TV provider with a PVR, the Ottawa Redblacks leading the CFL east, and Ottawa Senators’ hockey starting up again, I will once again be torn between doing what I’m supposed to do (writing) and what I’d like to do (the things I mentioned before). All of this doesn’t even include the eventual purchase of the Nintenndo NES Mini Classic that comes out in November!

Fortunately, thanks to the magic of TV on DVD/ Bluray, I can just watch the shows later on. Thing is, I still have to watch The Flash season 1 and iZombie season 2, not to mention some less urgent TV series to enjoy, like Dark Angel and Xena season 1.

But there is a mantra that has been reverberating in my brain recently after the purchase of “More music from the movie Gladiator”. One of the lines from the movie plays during a demo version of The Battle, called “Gladiator Waltz”, where Maximus says, “What we do in life, echoes in eternity.”

When Russell Crowe says it with his usual gravatas, add to that the powerful, triumphant music, it really made the idea stick in my head…

“What we do in life echoes in eternity.”

Some people take this idea to heart and, whether intentionally or accidentally, make it happen. Others will just say their kids will be their echoes in eternity, not realizing that many of the people thinking this can’t remember anyone before their grandparents, or care nothing of history, even their own.

It has always been my hope that what writing I can do will be that echo/ my legacy. Whether I am successful or not, the stories I create and write will hopefully carry on and maybe even live on after I’m gone.

That piece of music, those words spoken, have reminded me of what I want, and more importantly, what I’m NOT doing. If I am to make a better life for myself, or at the very least, give myself the chance to have a life that I want, I have to live by those words, or die by them… eventually, not right away or anything.

So once again, I muster up my inner fortitude, remind myself of my goals, and most importantly, execute! Drive! Desire! Achieving my goals! A thousand points of light! etc etc.

 

Ok, sorry, got a little too motivational speaker there with the stereotypical diatribe of words and phrases. I’ll keep it simple with “What we do in life echoes in eternity”.

Ok, not “simple”, but I imagine hearing the music and it helps.

What also helps? Remembering all the people who supported me. They know who they are and I am eternally grateful. That includes those who stop by and read my blog. Thanks. If you want more, I’ll get back to my weekly rambles.

Another thing that helps; those who marginalized me, disregarded me, ignored me, and those who didn’t take me or my dreams seriously. It may not be very altruistic, but turning that negativity into a positive can be excellent fuel for the fire.

Wish me luck folks, and I’ll be seeing ya weekly… more or less.

Sincerely,

Me

Chapter TK

Question Everything

AROUND and ABOUT

... I M O ...

Kate Heartfield

writer and editor

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