Category: rant


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?

Spoilers!

If you are a fan of spoilers, or are the kind of person that enjoys spoiling other’s enjoyment, then this blog probably isn’t for you. So bugger off.

 

Still here? Ok!

 

spoil·er (ˈspoilər), noun. plural noun: spoilers
Definitions:

  1. a person or thing that spoils something.
  2. a flap on the wing of an aircraft or glider that can be projected in order to create drag and so reduce speed.

In this case, we’ll be talking about the former, a person (or thing, because some of these people could be considered “things”) who spoils something. These days, it usually refers to movies and TV shows, when something big or unexpected happens and someone can’t hold their wad and tells other people.

Recently, I had two run-ins with the idea of people “spoiling” something…

 

The other day at work, after a co-worker got pissy about doing something he had offered to help me with, he threatened (comically geeky threaten) to see “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” at a premiere and tell me everything about it. I laughed him off and told him, and I quote, “That shot don’t bother me.” I’ll explain why a little later.

A day or so afterwards, I read a posting on Facebook about a show, revealing a major surprise. Sadly, one of the people connected to the posting hadn’t seen the episode in question and had the surprise ruined for him.

Sadly, there are people out there who like to spoil things for others. They often try to cover their asses by saying “Spoiler Alert”. But I’ve noticed there seems to be this mentality among a few people who MUST be the first to see something, know something, and share that something, whether we want to hear it or not.

I don;t know why people feel the need to do this. Maybe they have similar problems in other aspects of their life. Maybe they’re premature ejaculators. Maybe they weren’t breast-fed enough. Maybe they just can’t hold their shit together long enough and be satisfied with the knowledge that they know something before others. Personally, I think it’s a mix  of lack of discipline, restraint, or some childish impulse to one-up everyone else.

There are ways to deal with spoilers. Here are two examples I have thought of…

 

1. Not care. When I told that guy “That shit don’t bother me.”, I meant it. I’ll still see a movie, especially a highly anticipated movie like GotG Vol 2, even if someone tells me everything about it. Why? Because one putz telling me about a movie, and seeing it, are two very different things. And I’ll still enjoy the thing that got spoiled because I’ll see how everything came together to make the big twist or surprise. In fact, the University of California did a study on spoilers and how they affect people’s enjoyment of a movie, according to UC San Diego psychology professor Nicholas Christenfeld. He said that…

“If you know the ending as you watch it, you can understand what the filmmaker is doing. You get to see this broader view, and essentially understand the story more fluently. There’s lots of evidence that sort of this fluent processing of information is pleasurable; that is, some familiarity with a work of art enables you to enjoy it more.”

There are other studies revealing the same thing, so spoilers may not be that bad. But I can understand the deisre of some to not know, and that is their right.

As for me, even if I’m told a spoiler from a TV show or movie, and I don’t see that show or movie for a while, I’ll forget about the spoiler. And even as I remember, I look forward to what will happen. I also tend to forget/ ignore things said to me by people who are acting disagreeable.

 

2. Avoid mouthy, spoiler spewers like the plague. Not easily done in this social media world, but it can be done. But it is a lot of hard work.

 

There is a 3rd option, but it involves killing, so skip that one.

 

People will spoil cool things for you. That’s a fact. We just have to deal with them as best we can, or not deal with them at all.

As for the spoilers themselves, if you must tell people about something, keep it simple, be vague, leave hints, and most importantly, don’t ruin stuff for people.

In fact, just keep your mouth shut.

Chapter TK

Question Everything

AROUND and ABOUT

... I M O ...

Kate Heartfield

writer and editor

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