Bit of red paper on your shirt?November 08, 2010
I won't lie, I'm a tad worried about this post I'm about to write. It's serious, controversial and could well be personal for some people. But I had a chat with my dad and we both agreed that I should do it, for a lot of people's sakes, but especially for Jon Snow's.
What's the first thing you think of when you think of Remembrance Day? Poppies? Yeah, me too. Why? Because that's the flower that grew after World War I? Maybe. More likely though because everyone (on TV) wears a poppy around this time. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you shouldn't wear a poppy, but why have people suddenly thought it necessary to wear one? Why has Jon Snow been branded with a disrespectful title because he's not?
For the past week people have been offering poppies in the common room in exchange for a donation. I thought of getting one but whilst rummaging around in my bag for a spare 20p (er, hello, there were aeros in the venders and you know how I like my aeros) I pondered about why I exactly wanted one. My conclusion: Flowers look pretty, it will make me feel good, everyone else is wearing one. Not for the real reason, to remember those who bravely fought and risked their lives for us in war. I have a poppy on my Twitter avatar but I wouldn't have if I hadn't seen others 'wearing' it. For remembering, of course, but it looks nice too. Poppies should be personal, not a trend.
I've even seen people blinging up their poppies with sequins to make them glam.... Oh right, no complaints about that then? *facepalm* SURELY THAT'S WORSE THAN NOT WEARING ONE?!
Jon Snow won't wear a poppy until Remembrance Day and I don't have a problem with that. I squinted my eyes a smidge and got a bit fidgety when I found out but only because of the backlash that I knew it would cause. But I can guarantee to everyone who thinks he's a 'bad man' that he is one of the loveliest men I have ever met and, although yes he does stand his ground which could been seen as stubborn, would never ever want to hurt anyone's feelings. And I totally understand why he's done it! Every single person you see on TV at the moment is wearing a poppy, but there's no way in hell that it's on their own accord. No way. It's fixed on them just before they go on air so their image isn't put down. They're not necessarily wearing it to remember the brave, and to be honest in some cases they won't even know what the poppies are for. They're following the herd. "Don't be a sheep Louise, just cos your friends have iPhones doesn't mean you need one."
Jon is in no way disrespectful. He's speaking out and saying that he shouldn't have to wear a poppy just because people tell him to. He will wear a poppy on Remembrance Day and pay his respects in his own way. Good on him! "But he's setting a bad example." No he's not. For a start, his concluding film The Art Of War from Channel 4's The Genius of British Art series was shown last night. A film which he is deeply proud of.
Stripping the meaning away from the poppy, you're really wearing some red paper on you with some green plastic and if I was going to be really pernickety I could say that you're wasting trees. You don't need a poppy to remember. Grow your own poppies if you want one and just make the donation.
Lastly, there are some people who don't just remember the ones we've lost in war on one particular day or period of days. They remember all year round. They remember in their dreams. They don't have to remember because they are reminded every day that there's an empty place at the dinner table where a father, brother or son should be. They don't wear poppies all the time. Would you dare say that they are being impertinent?
Disrespectful? Why did you really 'buy' your poppy?