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09 November 2008

And so it goes


It's Remembrance Sunday here in Great Britain. A day for looking at the past, and yet all the poppy-bedecked talking heads on Andrew Marr's show were pointing more toward the future, even when they were referring to the theme of Remembrance Sunday; that's how it is when you perch on a cusp of history, on the Great Divide as it were, where the rivers change directions.
Last night, I received another group email from my old DSA comrade Dan F. in St. Paul. I read every word, and it made my blood run a little cold, providing a bracing counterpoint to the overwhelming waves of optimism of the past week. (I must confess, I still leak a few tears of joy and disbelief every time someone says "President-elect Obama" on the TV or radio.) The e-mail had the entire text of this Monthly Review article by Immanuel Wallerstein, "The Depression : A Long-term View". It made me a bit dizzy as well, an effect I last remember for certain that came from reading a dystopian novel by Samuel R Delaney.
Remembrance Sunday is about honouring all the dead of the Great War (World War I to modernists), the dead and wounded of all the other wars in between, the survivors and currently serving Forces men and women, in more or less that order. DH and I observed the occasion by watching last night an excellent film of a Pat Barker novel of the Great War, Regeneration. (Every year, I also give a few pounds the Poppy Appeal and then promptly lose my poppy. It's those stupid straight pins. I have a great suggestion for bringing the past into the present a little better and instead of flogging paper poppies with a straight pin, feature optional sticky-back glossy poppies that you can press onto your coat or shirt without making a hole. Just a thought.)

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