New 2017 Creative Proposal - Launching a National Campaign for the Artistic Renewal
of Canada's Misogynist National "War" Memorial as Canada's National "Peace" Monument
and transform it from a jingoistic military war memorial into a "Heart and Minds" monument
Another year gone with nothing done...
Very badly named - The Canadian War Museum
What's in a Name...?
Mindless conventions, mindlessly copied from past generations of people, linger on, long after they, and the historical events that rightly or wrongly, warped their mind set - and their national monuments - have passed on.
Two institutional landmarks in Ottawa should be renamed, to shed the old jingoistic baggage and reflect modern realities.
The National War Memorial should be reconfigured, as illustrated here, and renamed the National "Peace" Monument. So honouring the War Dead as having fought for Peace NOT to memorialize War. An alternative is naming it the "National (Canadian) Veterans Monument."
Similarly the National War Museum should have been renamed long ago as not a celebration of war, but as a documentation centre from the service of past generations of veterans.
Pass it on... Change the names of:
The "National War Memorial" to the "National Peace Monument" or the "National (Canadian) Veterans Monument"
And the "Canadian War Museum" to the "Canadian Veterans Museum"
A Veteran is a noble thing - a war is not, and never is, and never will be... so get over it...
|After a multi-phase and multi-year personal campaign, I initiated in 1999, succeeded in getting the Canadian Government to finally recognize "the South African War as an event of national historic significance," in 2005, and getting the dates for the war added for the first time, to Canada's National War Memorial, on Nov. 11, 2014, I announce a new campaign to retrofit and update Canada's National "War" Memorial, rebrand it at Canada's National "Peace" Monument, and bring a presently totally dysfunctional, outdated, and jingoistic war memorial into meaning for all Canadians - especially for women - in the 21st century. And all at minimal cost...
|The "Dirty Dozen" War Memorial
|John Goldi csc, is a credentialed Canadian historian (since 1966), and an international award-winning Canadian visual artist, having been a full-time professional film & television cinematographer, director, and editor, for some 40 years. He has won over 130 international awards for his work and was awarded a CSC - its highest honour - by the Canadian Society of Cinematographers "for outstanding achievement in the art of cinematography." (SOME PUBLICATIONS)
This page will be updated constantly to hugely expand the history of the monument and lay out in detail all the reasons why it's high time this out-of-date war memorial was rejuvenated to properly reflect the intentions of the original creator Vernon March in 1925, reflect better the values of modern Canadians, especially with regard to women in the Canadian Forces, and make it more ceremonially utilitarian.
A Failed & Flawed Monument - Canada's National War Memorial, a creative contract won by Vernon March of Farnborough, UK, in 1926, was "garaged" in pieces for 14 years, and for years after he was dead, endlessly dickered with, and not finally set up in Ottawa until late 1938.
All the while, other contractors filled in, negatively altering it in significant ways from Vernon's original design and intent.
In their on-going patriotic zeal, Canadians - with blinders fully in place for over 75 years - failed to notice that it is a disastrous failure, in many ways as a modern Canadian public monument, but remains a truly wonderful corporate ad for the Dumas Quarry and the overpowering might of Canadian granite.
The huge granite "Triumphal Victory Arch" acts like a giant guillotine or Veg-o-matic, chopping the monument into a frontal third of macho men who count, and a totally obliterated central and rear two-thirds - which includes the military women who died in service - who obviously don't.
Because of the monstrous granite obliterating arch, most Canadians have never even seen, let alone photographed over half of the 22 splendid bronzes Vernon created. Including those of "Tail-end Charlene," and "Tail-end Tillie," the nurses...
As a historian, I was offended that the 100th anniversary of the Anglo-Boer War - to which Canada had sent its first contingents, ever, to fight in an overseas war - had come and gone and Canada had done nothing to commemorate it, or officially recognize the service of over 6,000 veterans, and some 300 who died in South Africa. So I launched a massive promotional proposal composed of historical documentation, personal research and discoveries based on the largest on-the-ground research (by me in 2000) ever done on Canadian Boer War sites in South Africa, in 100 years, and a four hour video series, which I called, "To End a Century of Neglect," with concerned federal government ministries, demanding that the government correct a historical wrong. This letter was the response.
"HOLD YOUR FIRE!" - Before you shoot you are entitled to know that among my immediate family, al least a dozen members have actively served in the past, or are presently serving, for at least 16 different tours in the military, including in: the Army (4), Navy (1), Air Force (2), Cadets (3), Militia (2), SAR (1), RCMP (2), and Fort Henry Guard (1).
At least five were on active service in World War II; three on active battlefields. One has his name inscribed in the Book of Honour for World War II, in the Peace Tower, in Ottawa, Canada.
People should realize that just because one has a strong military background doesn't mean you are automatically right wing, redneck, and racist, or a sexual predator in waiting...
Thanks to my post-1999 campaign to have the Boer War recognized as an important Canadian historic event, and to have it officially recognized, for the first time, with proper official Canadian Government signage, this goal was achieved in 2005, when I received a personal letter, from the then Minister of Canadian Heritage, Stéphane Dion, assuring me had decided to officially designate, "Canada and the South African War an event of national historic significance," permitting the first official signage to be put up on South African battlefields and campsites where Canadians had fought in 1899-1902.
(In 2015 Stéphane Maurice Dion PC, MP, was honoured to become Canada's face to the world, as Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.)
My publicity campaign "To End a Century of Neglect," finally came to a successful conclusion on Nov. 11, 2014, when the dates for the Boer War were finally - OK so it's 115 years late - unveiled (added) to Canada's National War Memorial, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (OK. Tell Me All About it)
The Next Makeover Initiative - Retrofitting: Chopped Liver by Veg-o-matic
So, now that we've added the Boer War dates, let's slide that obstructionist "Triumphal Victory Arch" off the bronze tableau,
to the back of the monument... so that for the first time in 75 years Canadians can see and feel the full emotional power, the nobility, and majesty
of "The Great Response of Canada" and reveal it to be the most awesome bronze tableau in the world.
The dates took 115 years to accomplish; how long will this take?
Note how, by sliding the gigantic gloating "Triumphal Victory Arch" back, off the bronze tableau, it is instantly transformed into a low-key thematic "Door from a Canadian Hearth and Home," out of which emerges a "Hearts and Minds" Cavalcade of Canadians from all walks of life: "The Great Response of Canada."
The first, second, and third class compartmentalization of the figures in the monument has also ended.
This segregation element was in powerful evidence on Nov. 11, 2015. Everyone of course, wants their wreath at the front - where the dignitaries are, the TV cameras are, the important people go - not at the side of the granite arch, let alone behind it, where only the backs of the minor figures are visible. Yet all the First Nations wreaths were directed to be placed behind the granite arch on this side. The important people got the prime real estate up front; Aboriginals, were, as usual given the back of the bus real estate. This segregation of "wreaths that count" and those that do not, would no longer be possible with the "Peace Monument." All would get equally valuable placements.
The gloating "Winged Goddess of Victory in War" is now also pulled back and toned down in importance, and instead of honouring just the few men with guns below her - as presently - she now wishes "Godspeed" and honours to ALL figures equally.
ALL 22 members of the bronze tableau are now treated as equal parts of the whole. The "macho male" and the "gunmen" component is hugely de-emphasized and the other military support services are brought out and given equal weight, and prominence for the first time.
Especially the women.
Nike on high, now truly honours all members below her, not just the frontal "Dirty Dozen."
For the first time ALL figures are equally approachable, visible, seeable, photographable, honoured, and honourable.
8 meters more of equitable altar space is opened up on each side of the monument, added to the narrow frontal space currently always used. (In fact the sides are so impossible to use, because of the obstructive and monstrous granite arches, they are customarily fenced off from access or ceremonial use.)
The narrow-minded military "war" memorial has been transformed into a much more generically utilitarian "Hearts and Minds" peace monument.
And one Canadians can be truly proud of in the 21st century, not blanche at in embarrassment with the totally failed and flawed "war memorial" as it is currently configured.
The Gun Makes the Man and the Country - Like gloating Roman generals of millennia ago, Canada erected a "Triumphal Victory Arch," surmounted by a giant cheering "Winged Goddess of Victory in War," to brag about Canada's "Coming of Age" in jingoistic triumph, over the Hun on the bloody battlefields of Europe. And in 2015 still doesn't seem embarrassed by a public "War" Memorial that proudly brags about it all the world...
People seem to forget that the war it proudly commemorates, did wipe out some 25 million people, a huge proportion being civilians, women and children.
The monument - as presently constituted - says "BRAVO! Hey, it was worth it!"
Including the 64,000 Canadian war dead...
In 1994 Canada issued a one dollar coin featuring Canada's National War Memorial.
SORRY, BUT NO IT WAS NOT!!! NONE OF IT! ALL JUST MADNESS... Orchestrated by the same cabal of white European corporate and political cronies over only thirty years, when they followed this success with a second world war that incinerated another 75 million more, mostly women, children, and old folks. Hurray! Let's put up another gloating Triumphal Victory Arch...
Now do you see why, instead, the monument should be celebrating the patriotic volunteerism of ALL Canadians... And it should be retrofitted to express that sentiment, instead of - as it now does - celebrating gloating triumphant blood lust, however well earned with 100 million dead - mostly civilians -
in two World Wars
Which of course featured, big time, all that's wrong with Canada's hopelessly outdated and misogynistic National "War" Memorial, and establishing that:
- a triumphant war is the dominant theme established by a:
- hugely centrally domineering, gloating "Triumphal Victory Arch" surmounted by a:
- hugely dominating Greek "Winged Goddess of Victory in War," blessing the:
- hugely featured and framed "Dirty Dozen" men with guns at the front
- hidden, blocked, obliterated, minimized bronze tableau of 22 figures
- hidden, blocked, obliterated, minimized non-combat military services
- hidden, blocked, obliterated, minimized military women in the monument
- walls of granite establishing the "Victory Arch and "Victory Goddess" as "the war story" of this "War" Memorial, and:
- shutting aside, denigrating, obliterating, minimizing and dismissing totally, the "Great Response of Canada" - of ALL Canadians - as the supposed theme of this memorial.
NOTE: Canada is one of only a very small select group of countries in the 20th century, which built a modern version of the ancient Roman "Triumphal Victory Arch," to publicly gloat about military victories by the male of the species on bloody battlefields, those including:
- drug cartel massacre Mexico,
genocidal Fascist dictator General Franco in Spain,
North Korea's Kim Il-Sung family dictatorship.
(We note with interest that even the most pathologically gung-ho military fanatics in the US DID NOT erect such inappropriate and gloating Triumphal Victory Arches surmounted by Victory Goddesses, after World Wars I, II, or the Vietnam War.)
Those giant affronts to modern sensibilities can never be removed from public view.
In face-saving contrast, Canada's embarrassing monument
can be retrofitted: by sliding the "Triumphal Victory Arch" back behind the monument, and so transforming the jingoistic theme and meaning of the monument, to make it more true to the original intentions of "The Great Response of Canada," and to modern generations of Canadians.
Bravo to the Boys from Canada Post - Note how Canada's National War Memorial - as presently configured - always focuses on the "Brave Boys" - the macho men with guns at the front - as on this 2009 First Day Cover: three times... The main photo on the left, the overall memorial drawing, and the close-ups of the stamp itself. Canada Post is quite happy to play up the jingoistic triumphant "war" memorial," and the way it promotes the abilities of the macho Canadian men folk at blood sports. Canada Post clearly picked the pictorials to hype militaristic jingoism.
Right Wing Red-necked Jingoism at Canada Post - Below, stamp covers from Canada Post continues the same militaristic promotion with a huge photo spread on two pages featuring, the "Dirty Dozen."
"As new dangers to peace arise," is facetious at best, since the single biggest danger to world peace since 2001, has been the racist white Christian European CWILLKILL Coalition that has turned the Muslim Middle East and North Africa into hellholes of indescribable terror for millions of Muslims, killing hundreds of thousands and causing millions to flee for their lives. "the role of our military evolves on the world stage" is scathing at best as taking ownership by Harper's Government of Canadians in bloodletting, mostly of civilian Muslim women, teens, children, old folks, and wedding parties. The macho claim of "the courage of our soldiers" was NOT a what this memorial was supposed to be about. It was supposed to celebrate volunteerism of ALL Canadians to lend a hand when the country calls... NOT celebrate the keenness and ability of Canadian macho males to do bloodletting equal to the worst of the Americans.
Top Canadian General "Killer" Hillier
"Our job (Canadian Forces) is to be able to kill people" specifically "the detestable (Muslim) scum bags" in Afghanistan.
Tellingly this dashing commander - with his racist agenda and his dismissive disdain for
providing adequate medical and mental
health aftercare for his employees - ended
up killing more of his own soldiers than did
the hapless pajamahadeen he was fighting...
C'mon, let's give him the Order of Canada...
After all it's reserved for others - usually millionaires and their accolytes, who do the bidding for the Corporatocracy and their
cronies, and whose high-priced lawyers "arrange" it behind the scenes... Like Munk, Conrad Black and Garth Drabinsky...
Lest We Forget - Some 300 plus Canadians - both men and women - died while promoting the Harper and Hillier war against the Muslims. Harper and Hillier bragged Canadians suffered the highest per capita death rate of any CWILLKILL Coalition member.
Wonderful accomplishment, isn't it? For THEM...
In fact, if those 300 Canadian War Dead had been fortunate to have been born in virtually any other country of the world they would ALL be alive today - 99% of UN member nations refused to let their own military take part in the CWILLKILL campaign to shoot, bomb, or kill Muslims, as the Americans, Canadians, and a couple of other CWILLKILL members have been doing in: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Lebanon, Palestine, etc. In short, wherever they can find a Muslim wedding party to take out...
All 300 Canadian War Dead would, instead, be living productive lives for themselves, their families, and their country... Instead, their lives were totally maliciously squandered in a corporate and racist orchestrated war. That is what we should remember about their lives: totally squandered and wasted by a racist government in a ruthless drive for corporate, tribal, financial, and political gains for a few cronies.
Corporatocracy has long ago destroyed what was left of Democracy in Canada.
"Lemme Outta Here..." - It is a damning fact - always hidden by Government and its Mainstream Media war promoters - that Canadian soldiers committed suicide in astronomic numbers (c 160) during and after Canada's Afghan War adventure, far more than those who died in combat (138). AND NO, they did NOT opt out of Canada; they opted out of the Canadian military, and of consequences of being forced to take part in its racist war. Some 160 young Canadians in the military saw that death was the only choice Hillier and his corporate cronies left them with...
So the military brass, his/her own military commanders and their racist anti-Muslim war agenda - not the Taliban - was a more lethal adversary for a Canadian soldier sent to fight and die or get fatal dose of PTSD in Afghanistan.
In short, Canadian top General "Killer" Hillier killed more of his own soldiers than did the Muslim pajamahadeen he claimed to be fighting... And his homegrown victims keep right on killing themselves, in Afghanistan and at home, as he gleefully orchestrated their demise from the splendid safety of his office on the Rideau...
(NOTE: While 300 Canadian young men and women are in premature graves, and thousands more are physically and mentally scarred for life, eking out a bare existence with minimal health care, Hillier lives in splendid retired ease, with a fat cat pension, a fat cat civvy job, honours and corporate directorships etc... Who said war doesn't pay...?)
Thanks men... for that... "Ils ont donné leur jeunesse..."
Macho and Misogynist Mint - As late as 2006 the Royal Canadian Mint was still distorting Canada's National War Memorial as a celebration of macho military male gunmen. And selectively taking three iconic figures - of their choice - off the war memorial to enshrine on a silver coin, they took three gunmen. Ignoring some 15 other figures on the tableau who carried no guns.
And spurning - what else is new? - the only two women on the memorial.
Might we remind the Mint that a number of women also "gave their youth" in the Afghan War: Kristal Giesebrecht 34, Michelle Mendes 30, Karine Blais 21, and Nichola Goddard 26. And numerous others in Canada's other wars...
How can anyone with a brain, in the 21st century condone such a public humiliation of women who gave their all in Canada's wars? It's clear that for the Mint bureaucrats women just don't have the right equipment to be included...
|Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
|| For 75 years no Canadian - or anyone else - has ever seen her, though she has been on public display for all that time. Just call her "Tail-end Charlene," an “also-ran,” on Canada's National War Memorial, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
(You can actually see her, above, at the back of the bus, hunched over, in the shade, behind dozens of men, and walls of granite, where she's been buried and unnoticed for 75 years.
In fact she has been completely barred, over the decades, from even seeing the dignitaries that, because of the impossible way the monument is currently configured, only appear at the narrow front of the memorial, where all the photos are taken and the principal wreaths are laid.)
But "Tail-end Charlene," AKA "the Nurse," is not alone; neither has anyone seen, the other Nurse, “Tail-end Tillie,” the "Doctor," the "Stretcher-Bearer" carrying his stretcher, the "Forester" carrying his pike, the "Sapper" carrying his pick, or the “Pioneer” with his sledge hammer, and other fabulous bronzes that have been entombed, out of sight, behind giant obscuring walls of granite, and resulting dark shadows, on the monument, for over 75 years.
Tail-end Charlene and her colleague Tail-end Tillie, also dutifully bring up the rear, the proper social and military position for women when this bronze was designed in the 1920s, and at a time that men were not at all sure that even giving women the vote was that good of an idea. "Better get out of the way, lady, and let the men do the work," was the common sentiment of the time, among men.
And so the monument clearly seems to say in 2014.
So sending her to the back of the bus - behind a phalanx of men bristling with military hardware was easy to get away with in those days, and then finishing the job by totally obscuring her behind interfering and blocking walls of granite of a Triumphal Victory Arch, also seemed entirely fitting.
An Arch that was symbolic, after all, of a Victory that testosterone emboldened men had provided - along with 25 million dead, of course - while women had only been interested and involved in saving lives.
And Lest We Forget, brought to them by countless brave and anonymous stretcher bearers who risked life and limb daily to do so. In the monument they get equal status, right beside Tail-end Charlene and Tillie.
So for 75 years Tail-end Charlene has languished in total anonymity, trudging forward into the dark and gloomy recesses of the war memorial, behind a bunch of men out front, in the open, who take, and get all the glory, and the visual and photo attention from tens of thousands of Canadians who see the monument every year.
And that is exactly how it should be, say a lot of men.
You say, but that's what countless Canadian nurses do today, toiling on with dedicated anonymity in Canadian hospitals, while doctors, who buzz in for a couple of minutes here and there, get all the glory and dedicated TV shows...
Ok! But I believe that the best art shouldn't imitate life, but energize it, ennoble it, and rededicate social purpose to strive for better goals.
And the magnificent bronze of Tail-end Charlene could be rejuvenated to do exactly that. By being liberated from her tomb, by releasing her – and Tail-end Tillie - to public view and deserving equal status, for the first time.
Just move those damn granite towers out of her face...
And the Doctor's, the Forester's, the Stretcher-Bearer's, the Sapper's, the Pioneer’s; the dozen bronzes no Canadian has been able to see for 75 years.
So that Tail-end Charlene - and Lest We Forget Canadian Forces medic Kristal Giesebrecht of Wallaceburg, ON, the third woman killed in Afghanistan - become, and can be viewed, as an essential - not an also-ran - part of the Grand Cavalcade of Canadians who answered the Call, on the Vernon March tableau.
And so your daughter can be inspired by their sterling examples. As an equal in status, among peers on a National Monument. And in the Canadian military, in war and peace.
That nurses are NOT Tail-end Charlenes but dammit, far, far, more important than men with guns, just about any day of the week... and any time of the day, for all of us, at every single period of our lives.
What are they doing as cast-offs, at the rear of a blocked up National Memorial, when they should be exposed as anchoring corner-stones of what makes our society function every single day of the week, year after year. And especially during times of war.
Which could be done, instantly, just by moving the Triumphal Victory Arch behind Charlene and Tillie, and turn it into the symbolic gateway of a Canadian "Hearth and Home," out of which issued the parading Cavalcade of Canadian men and women in answer to “the Response.”
Charlene and Tillie would become the powerful anchoring cornerstones of the original tableau of 22 dedicated Canadian volunteers who answered the Call, whenever Canada called…
And It's time, I believe, that Canadians should retrofit Canada's National War Memorial to more fully release and reflect the full potential of what Vernon March originally envisioned in 1925. But got lost in the translation from one brother to another, and multiple construction sites separated by the Atlantic Ocean.
It's been done before; it can be done again; it should be done again.
Below With those goddam walls of granite all around, and Tail-end Charlene, buried alive in the dark recesses of Canada's National War Memorial.
And below that my idea for maximizing the power of Canada's National War Memorial and finally really allow it to reach its full potential as the finest and most moving "war" monument I have ever seen.
Left, Medical technician Kristal Giesebrecht 34, of Wallaceburg, Ontario, was the third woman killed during Harper's Afghan War, in 2010.
|"Tail-end Charlene," in the UK Foundry 1930
Orig. bronze - Size - 2.4 m high; weight 1.4 tons
Found - Ottawa, ON
Sorry Kristal... but your ultimate sacrifice is not honoured or recognized on Canada's failed and flawed National War Memorial, set up to display and feature the government's claim that macho men with guns are the ones who really count, and that women are just a bit of "collateral damage."
Blocked out - for the Ages - by massively obstructionist granite walls, and obliterating deep black shadows - a dozen statues of the "also-rans" on Canada's National War Memorial, including "Tail-end Charlene" and "Tail-end Tillie."
Out of sight and out of significance.
You know: your mom, your granny, your daughter, your auntie..., in favour of the "Dirty Dozen," the gun-wielding glory boys at the front of the memorial.
Bravo for the Boys - The frontal six are all gunmen - four riflemen and 2 (that's two) machine gunners. It gives an unfortunate impression of Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson charging out the front door of the French chateau in the "Dirty Dozen."
And because of the blocking effect of the obliterating guillotine that is Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch, ONLY THESE DOZEN OUT OF 22 BRONZES, ARE "THE MONUMENT" TO WHICH ALL CEREMONIES PLAY TO, and of which 95% of photos are made.
It also gives an unfortunate currency to the belief that what macho men do with guns is more important than what women do with nursing care of soldiers in war and peace.
Moving Sydney's obnoxious Triumphal Victory Arch back from over top of the bronze tableau would change these wrong-headed and outdated beliefs and impressions from continuing to be promoted by this old-fashioned memorial, therefore allowing it to better represent both the original intentions of the artist and architect and the beliefs of modern Canadians. And more truly reflect the sacrifices that women in the Canadian military have made through the ages.
When will Canadians start to recognize women as "Primus Inter Pares" on their National War Memorial...
instead of just allowing them to be buried alive as "also-rans," as "Tail-end Charlene," and "Tail-end Tillie," behind
obliterating and minimizing walls of granite, and macho men "who count...?" After 75 years, isn't enough, enough?
Move that damn "Triumphal Victory Arch" out of their faces... to the rear of the monument where it can serve as back-up
for the main act up front, an egalitarian display of ALL 22 bronzes, honouring ALL men and women who served...
|The Problem When Guns Make the Man - The Canadian Establishment's preoccupation for perpetuating the pathological American penchant for promoting men with guns, is evident with freelance Canadian gunman John Gallagher.
He clearly liked death-dealing guns and what you can do with them against people. And liked to be seen associating with them.
Like countless American role models he obviously only considered himself a "man" when packing lethally terminating hardware (hence the photo****), and cutting loose with it against some handy human target (behaviour wildly promoted by Canada's former top general General "Killer" Hillier, but politically incorrect to show in photos since the Canadian Airborne Regiment's embarrassing Somalia trophy photos surfaced in public).
**** Compare: I am 75 and have been shooting guns since I was 12 on the farm, some 63 years. I was a full-time hunter for many years in the far north routinely hunting moose, bear, caribou, ptarmigan, grouse, swans, geese, and ducks for food. I have routinely shot BB guns, .22s, .222s, .308s, .270s, .30-30s, and shotguns. I currently own nine (9) legal long guns. I was in Army Cadets for five years and the Canadian Milita for two, where I shot .22s, 303s, FNs, and bren guns on outdoor Canadian Army military ranges. And yet there does not exist anywhere in the world a single photo of me holding or posing with a rifle, pistol, or gun of any kind. Not one... (CADET COMMANDING OFFICER)
When Harper's Canadian military could no longer provide Gallagher with "legitimate" human targets - Muslim women, children, babies and men - to shoot at, Gallagher just quit the Canadian Forces and went overseas.
And joined a foreign group which gave him full range to cut loose with his weapon at his former human targets. (Instead of choosing to become a mechanic, a teacher, or going to school to become a doctor, and helping his fellow man, at home, instead of trying to exterminate him/her.)
Then like countless others, who chose to live by the sword, as a life goal, he was cut down, while young, so preventing him from, ever again, making a positive contribution to any human society. (He was killed by Muslims defending their "hearth and home," their religion, and their families from attacks by a European invader of their homeland, who had come from half way around the world to shoot up their country.)
Why does the Canadian Establishment (Postmedia, the Globe & Mail*** the military, the Legion, the police) promote him and seek to honour misanthropes like him, who like to indulge their personal pathology against their fellow man, and call them heroes? Like Justin Bourque who shot dead three RCMP officers (2014); like James Rozko who shot dead four RCMP officers (2005).
Well, somewhere in the world, some anonymous Muslim mother, child, teen, or elder - or some other terrorist - can thank God that there's one less person on the planet targeting his fellow human beings for extermination...
*** The Toronto Star gave this story the brief, dismissively perfunctory Canadian Press recopy that it deserved. Unlike Postmedia and the Globe who hugely embellished the story of the Canadian mercenary gunman with enhanced pictorial coverage, that reflected rather, the right wing extremist views of the corporate bosses that own, control, and direct the content of these redneck propaganda rags that masquerade as "newspapers." Dramatic examples of how ruthless media barons work overtime to influence the mind set of readers to their own retrogressive (often racist) way of thinking.
|Commemorating Victory in War by "Men with Guns" - Canada's totally inappropriately - but accurately - named National "War" Memorial - as unfortunately configured at the moment - showcases the "Dirty Dozen" men with guns at the front, framing them off from the also-rans in the military, the "nobodies" behind them (medics, stretcher-bearers, nurses, women, etc.) with a massive obliterating granite Triumphal Victory Arch, surmounted by a giant Greek "Winged Goddess of Victory in War."
Below, the women who served and made the ultimate sacrifice, hidden and minimized, at the "back of the bus," in favour of men with guns, who count, at the front of this dreadfully jingoistic and misogynistic "War Memorial." (As presently configured.)
The Canadian Establishment says the proper position of women in the military, and on national monuments, is out of sight behind men with guns "who count," and at the back of the bus behind mountains of obliterating and minimizing granite. (Men get all the attention at the front of the memorial.)
That's "Tail-end Tillie" above, immediately opposite completely-out-of-sight "Tail-end Charlene," neither of whom anyone has been able to see, let alone photograph for 75 years since this misogynist national memorial - as presently configured - has been erected.
Let's slide that damn obliterating Triumphal Victory Arch behind Tillie and Charlene, instead of hiding them behind it... and stop this national embarrassment once and for all...
Canadians should make up their minds - what do they want their National Memorial to feature and recognize: a few military men with guns, or the "Great Response" of ALL Canadian civilians, when their country calls...?
And when the wars were over, instantly - by choice - put down their guns and turned their hands, and hearts and minds, to some meaningful productive service on behalf of their fellow human beings. Is it not they who deserve to have this monument reflect their dedication, not that - as it now does - the macho bravado of Canada's male professional military combat soldiers?
Once upon a time this monument was officially called and awarded to Vernon March in 1926 to show "The Great Response of Canada."
It has been bragging about military males ever since and dismissively minimized military females.
An Entirely Different Breed of Military Hero - Canadian Civilian Soldiers
Left, three normal Canadian (volunteer) soldiers from World War II in a photo of which there are thousands, featuring three normal guys off civvy street representative of "The Great Response of Canada" in the Boer War, World War I, and World War II.
Unlike in the photos of those macho poseurs of the modern Canadian professional military - like Gallagher and other photos I've seen featuring grandsons of colleagues - which invariably show them all armoured up, with high tech automatic killing guns brandished before the camera, this trio poses without military adornments of any kind. Just the basic uniform - "Just doing our job, Ma'am." They're brandishing... their friends...
They didn't need to "show off" their macho military hardware. Hell they had other jobs - real jobs - back home on civvy street, which gave them their identity, their pride, their sense of self-worth. They didn't need a war to give them that... They were keen to go back to them - God willing - when the job was done...
That's Joe Barfoot on the right, in training at Summerside PEI, before he joined a Canso patrol aircraft looking for hostile submarines off Vancouver Island. He was killed when the aircraft crash-landed at Ucluelet BC after a patrol. This trio's patriotic civilian volunteerism is NOT represented by the "Dirty Dozen" fronting for Canada's National "War" Memorial.
|Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
"Godspeed..." - "THE HUSH & FINAL SOLEMNITY OF A NATIONAL TOMB" - "The paths of Glory lead but to the Grave..."
Creative Proposal for 21st Century and a New Generation of Canadians: the Artistic Rejuvenation of Canada's National "War" Memorial into a National "Peace" Monument
"Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last" - See how relieved "Tail-end Tillie" is, to be finally set free - for the first time, Primus inter pares - and be allowed out in the open sun with everyone else who counts. Even Nike seems pleased, and is offering her the crown of laurel leaves for the first time... instead of her backsides as she currently does in Canada's inappropriately configured National "War" Memorial.
|Orig. monument proposal
Found - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Note how, by moving Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch back and out of the way, the overpowering predominance of massive walls of towering granite is de-emphasised; the tableau of figures is instantly exposed, unified, and fully empowered for the first time; the middle and rear bronzes are exposed to full view for the first time, and the annoying chopped-up-liver feel of the tableau has been removed.
It now puts an end to the story shouted by the memorial for 75 years, of a blooded cavalcade of victorious Canadians, triumphantly marching under a Triumphal Victory Arch, on which the Greek God of Victory Nike, reaches out a crowning laurel wreath to honour the most accomplished battlefield hero below her.
The revised and rejuvenated monument now truly celebrates, instead, a cavalcade of Canadians from all walks of life, issuing out of the symbolic gateway of a Canadian "Hearth and Home," in a unified "Response" to the "Call." The overly jingoistic and militaristic Triumphal Victory March is gone.
Now, no one statue or group of statues takes precedence over any other; the "gunmen" in the front rank - the most prominent feature of the "old/present" memorial - can be effectively defused, in importance. All symbolic Canadians can now ALL be equally seen and appreciated from every angle. All their contributory functions are now, for the first time, equal in status.
|The nagging misogynistic feel of the old monument with burying Tail-end Charlene, and Tail-end Tillie at the rear - behind "men who count," and behind tons of obliterating granite and shadows, is gone, as they become integral and equal part of the cavalcade.
It is now quite possible to see them as "primus inter pares," first among equals, instead as they are now, Tail-end Charlies, inconsequentially relegated to the back of the bus.
And a six-fold increase in the amount of ceremonial "altar space" has been created, up from only ten feet at the front, with an additional 50 feet - 25 feet a side - of new useable ceremonial space uncovered and released that was unusable before and typically shunned because the massively obliterating Triumphal Victory Arch prevented side access.
In fact now the memorial, for the very first time has THREE equally important frontal altar areas not only one as before.
There is now a hugely expanded circumferential access for a much wider audience to feel involved. It's exactly what the Pope did with his main altar in St. Peter's in Rome.
And all the dates can now get equal status on the main pedestal, instead of just being jury-rigged on Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch. Note too how Nike, from the top of the "Hearth and Home" Door lintel now for the first time, holds out her laurel wreath - her blessing - for ALL the members of "the Response," not just the front "Dirty Dozen." (See below)
Overall, the monument now takes on a more solemn feel as a traditional tomb and headstone, rather than as an excuse to pile up a central massif of inartistic towers of Canadian granite to serve as a brazen ad extolling the virtues of the Dumas Granite Co. The granite now plays a more devolved, more supporting, and a partial book-ending role in the monument instead of a dominating, obliterating central one.
Veterans Affairs Proves the Monument is a Failure...
As late as 1982, this was the best photo that Veterans Affairs could come up with to grace the cover of its rededication booklet after new dates were added to the memorial for World War II and the Korean War.
It demonstrates exactly what's wrong with Canada's failed National War Memorial - besides the name - because It infamously features:
- a humongous aggregation of glorious - but obliterating - Canadian granite, that mirrors Canada perfectly - a huge wilderness country of trees and lakes, whose biggest and most dominating geophysical feature is the vast expanses of the Canadian Shield of rock and stone, oh, and with a few people thrown in... All the granitic excess ruins the memorial, not enhances it.
- Sydney March's gloating and architecturally huge Triumphal Victory Arch, as the main attraction, dominating and overpowering everything else to insignificance, especially his dead brother's "little" bronzes. OK, of course, if this was supposed to be a triumphant war memorial...*****
- the utterly anomalous, and overly huge "Nike," the classical Winged Goddess of Victory in War, renowned for thousands of years as "flying about" on the battlefields, urging on combatants to greater deeds of murder and mayhem, and eagerly bedecking the most successful at it with a glorious wreath of laurels...
- Nike looking down with clear approval on the "Dirty Dozen" men with guns directly below her, pointedly ignoring a dozen hidden bronzes you can't see - including both women - because, hey, they're not really important in a War Memorial. It's the men with guns who count, stupid...
- the "Dirty Dozen" men with guns framed off by the Triumphal Victory Arch, from the dozen other "irrelevant" bronzes behind them, the "also-rans" of no real "wartime" accomplishments, including the support services and all the women. In fact in the military, in peace and war, the uniformed support services vastly outnumber the minority who do the shooting.
- the Triumphal Victory Arch creates and divides the memorial into a three class honour tableau: 1st class - the featured and honoured men with guns at the front, the only ones ever shown in photographs; 2nd class - men in support services, virtually hidden under the obscuring Triumphal Victory Arch; 3rd class - women at the rear, behind huge obliterating walls of granite, behind the backs of men who count, and completely ignored by Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory in War, who has little time for women who are not warriors or combatants.
Certainly none of these "also-rans" will get a laurel wreath from NIke. Not in this monument. Hell, she has her dismissive back to them all...
We can thank Veterans Affairs for demonstrating what a failed national memorial this is. And how it represents old style macho male militarism from a by-gone age.
The Long Overdue Fix - Luckily, there is a fix, that can remove all these hugely objectionable failings. Move Sydney's damn Triumphal Victory Arch back, so Canadians can see the entire monument showing and featuring ALL Canadians who served, and honouring them equally as those who "count," not just the "Dirty Dozen" at the front.
***** King George VI at the dedication ceremony in 1939 did not think so. Not at all. He mistakenly seemed to think that this was supposed to be a "Peace" monument.
"It has a message for all generations and for all countries - the message which called for Canada’s response. Not by chance both the crowning figures of peace and freedom appear side by side. Peace and freedom cannot long be separated. It is well that we have in one of the world’s capitals, a visible reminder of so great a truth. Without freedom there can be no enduring peace, and without peace no enduring freedom."
I believe King George would welcome the name change from National "War" Memorial to Canada's National "Peace" Monument, as would all those who died, to bring it about. Blinkered by 75 years of mindless patriotic pride, people seem to forget that the Dead did not die to memorialize war in a monument, but to make Peace possible for all Canadians. Why do we insist on distorting their message, and misrepresenting the cause for which they died, with a "War Memorial?"
|Inside the brochure the macho and misogynistic message of the regressive military mind set is also on full display, with all the male gunmen and their toys receiving pictorial attention.
Do you see a woman anywhere?
There was a woman, just to the left of the wheel in the gun carriage, but she was carefully cropped out so a good pic of a "boy toy" could be featured instead...
|Why do we allow Veterans Affairs to put a macho male spin on a National Memorial that minimizes women as "also-rans," behind a wall of obliterating granite. When it is well known that women suffer more in war than men do. For those who die, it is all over in a second. And the grief of veterans for a colleague slain, pales beside that of women. Nothing can match their perpetual pain, and the unshakable grief, of a loved son, husband, father, brother, or nephew killed in action, which goes on and on for years and decades, can never ever be shaken off, and creates a destructive void that nothing can ever fill...
Bureaucrapic Sophistry from the Canadian War Museum
"The National War Memorial was originally conceived by Vernon March, an English sculptor, whose design was chosen from an international competition in 1925. His concept was of a monument that in no way glorified war or victory; rather, it was intended to commemorate the events of 1914-1918 on a more human scale.
“He didn’t want it to be a jingoistic military memorial,” says Dr. Laura Brandon, formerly Historian, Art & War at the National War Museum in Ottawa.
“He wanted it to speak essentially to the spirit of Canada putting its shoulder to the wheels, so to speak, and doing what was required. This is very much in line with the growing Canadian nationalist feeling of the time, which was developing at high speed in the wake of the First World War.” (ed - all emphasis mine)
- from a Postmedia publication in 2014 (Postmedia has for years, been a right wing, pro-war, anti-Muslim promotional propaganda publication, acting as a mouthpiece for some of corporatocracy's worst and most vocal war-mongers. It is owned by right wing American hedge fund manipulators.)
Government bureaucrapists are always spinning the version of the "truth" that their handlers are expecting them to publicize.
Brandon, the resident sophist from the Canadian War Museum is a good example of a dutiful public servant, who diligently works overtime to try to make the facts "on the ground" fit the desired corporate script. And so ends up looking, well, really dumb...
Brandon, speaking to Postmedia made several (typically old hat and spurious) claims about Canada's National War memorial. She claimed:
- it is NOT a "war" memorial, or a military memorial
- it was not designed to be, and is NOT in fact, jingoistic
- it's a "shoulder to the wheel" monument
- it only resembles - it is in fact NOT - a Triumphal Victory Arch
- it is surmounted by Greek goddesses for Peace and Freedom
- Nike is up top but is simply misinterpreted - like the "Triumphal Victory Arch"
- John McCrae's torch & his (war-mongering) poem are key features
Doing her dutiful best she still fails miserably in making a credible case. For one simple reason: because anyone with common sense can see it's totally ludicrous; the facts on the ground do not fit - at all - her bureaucrap "storyline."
"He wanted to speak essentially to the spirit of Canada putting its shoulder to the wheels, so to speak, and doing what was required."
Brandon is talking about what supposedly had been Vernon's intention about what the monument should represent.
In fact what was produced was a gloating, jingoistic, macho male
- named National
"War Memorial" featuring:
- a huge "Triumphal Victory Arch"
- a domineering Nike "Winged Goddess of Victory in War" waving her Victor's Laurel Wreath
- a military marching group of 20 males (2 women added as afterthought)
- a frontally dominating group of macho males with guns
- if you believe Brandon, add McCrae's "take up our quarrel with the foe" torch
Ask Brandon: if this monument is NOT just a mindless, bloody-minded, jingoistic, macho male war celebration, but as she claims, the "spirit of Canada putting its shoulder to the wheels, so to speak, in doing what was required," then why are only two - that's two - women featured, and in a minor role at the far end of the monument buried in total obscurity behind walls of granite and the backs of 20 - that's 20 - men who count?
I had always thought that women suffered the most in any war, while the boys were off to have fun, leaving womenfolk with ALL the family burdens, for years on end, and for thousands ultimately to to bear the unbearable, the death of a partner, husband, son, brother, etc. While they were at peace, and free of all earthly cares...
Brandon should do some research on war... and better yet on how war impacts and destroys the lives of women. For the 66,000 young males who never came back, guess how many countless tens of thousands of women were left, holding the bag, alone, for the rest of their lives...
"The granite monument, Brandon notes, resembles a triumphal arch; however, March didn’t intend to celebrate victory. In fact, the arch serves a wholly different purpose as a focal point for both the allegorical figures of peace and freedom that sit at the top, and the soldiers passing through it below." (Postmedia - Kates)
Brandon's gullibility and/or sophistry is in overdrive here - she can see "the Arch,", identify it, calls it correctly, then swerves - big time - into total fantasy land.
Of course it "resembles a triumphal arch" because, hey, that is exactly what it is, why it looks the way it looks, and of course, was intended to be, from the beginning, and nothing else. And is echoed - rather boldly borrowed or copied - from countless other war memorials and monuments in history, erected by victorious generals bragging about success at blood sports on the battlefield.
And there are no other visual, classical, or artistic parallels, either in art or history, that she could cite, or reference, as inspirational examples used by March, for the story she tries to spin when she claims "the arch serves a wholly different purpose..." blah, blah, blah.
And then Brandon, thoughtlessly adds, "soldiers passing through it below" as the final nail in her claim. Soldiers, for millennia, have marched in triumph under triumphal victory arches, exactly like she points out is the case here. They do not march under ladders, or under mistletoe.
Sorry Laura, even kids know that if it walks like a duck, it's not a dragon...
What you see is what you got; Canadians got a Triumphal Victory Arch with soldiers marching in triumph underneath a gloating Nike bestowing a victorious laurel wreath on the boys with guns below her. As they deserved to get, after the four bloodiest war years in history to defeat the Hun at the cost of 66,000 Canadian lives. Some huge national gloating was fully in order and quite socially and politically acceptable at the time.
The National War Memorial reflects that time, that generation, their political incorrectness, and no amount of sophistry will change the fact that Canadians are saddled with an embarrassing monument in 2016.
(I have mounted this page to suggest a decent solution to it all, because sophistry and government spin won't do it.)
Brandon & Patriotism
Brandon tries to cast the beliefs of the generation that created this jingoistic War Memorial into some benign form of patriotism, that some kind of noble or benevolent camaraderie - not jingoism, and war sentiment - animated them.
"This is very much in line with the growing Canadian nationalist feeling of the time, which was developing at high speed in the wake of the First World War.”
Tell Brandon not so.
Nationalism of the type she's speaking of, was developing all during the 19th century and accelerated during the Riel Rebellions in the 1880s. It revved up hugely during the Boer War when many thousands of Canadian volunteers, signed up and developed - as well as international war experience - a huge disdain for the British military, the British way of doing things, and gained a huge sense of their own abilities as unique and superior Canadians. World War I was only further accelerating a reality that had been feverishly developing in many ways for decades.
In fact the 1920s, benign nationalism Brandon speaks of, was new in only one way. It was now infused and animated with something entirely new and toxic - a huge and virulent anti-German racism.
Incubated and festering in the monstrous blood-letting of World War I, anti-German racism was at a fever pitch in Ottawa at exactly the time that John McCrae's jingoistic pro-war poem became famous in the do-or-die propaganda war against "the Hun."
In 1916 Canada's Parliament building (below a fabulous 1917 rare reverse glass) was burned to the ground, with loss of life. Everybody said it was sabotage by the Hun, and Germans were hunted and their shops burned and looted by vengeful racist mobs in various Canadian cities. In fact Germans had nothing to do with it, nor enemy saboteurs.
Anti-German racism was so pervasive that Canadians of Germanic origin feared for their lives and property from angry mobs, and felt they had to change their Germanic names - from Berlin to Kitchener - just like the Royals had to, changing Battenberg to Mountbatten. (Below rare early 1900s souvenir china, from pre-racist days, celebrating the Germanic heritage of Berlin, Ontario, dumped in favour of anti-German General Kitchener in 1916.)
The Peace that came did not end anti-German racism, in fact, it accelerated it, and institutionalized it, in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
Now that they had smashed the Hun the Allied Powers designed a Peace Treaty that was intended to crush the German and extort whatever of economic value they could seize for themselves.
The Allies were motivated totally by racism, malice, revenge, and greed.
In crushing a defeated Germany the Allied Victors and the Treaty they imposed on a weak and defenceless German democratic republic set the stage for World War II in a way that was nothing if not totally predictable.
Only a totally sophist historian like Margaret MacMillan, could possibly argue the opposite.
In fact within twenty years - thanks to the Treaty and its viciously punitive terms and the disastrous effects this had on German domestic life, virtually the same cast of characters who signed the treaty as Victors ended up in a much more vicious rematch against Germany for round two.
The causal links between the Wars are dramatic and direct, tying World War II, directly to the one-sided Allied orchestration and imposition of the treaty on Germany and Germans.
You can find the causes of World War II there, not at all, as a deliberately near-sighted MacMillan and her sophist historians argue, unpredictable and unique events, and personalities that arose in the 1920s and 30s.
Deliberate vengeance and anti-German racism was the motivating factor in the Treaty imposed on Germany, in the years after the war.
Racism, vengeance, and jingoistic pride at conquering and destroying the Hun in war and in peace, were what animated "hearts and minds" in the Allied countries in the 1920s. And no amount of sophistry from corporatocracy historians will change that fact.
And this mind set - nationalism, with jingoism and racism - was what motivated Canadians of the generation that contracted the War Memorial in 1926.
And if you don't believe it it, go look at the National War Memorial Canadians paid for in 1926. The proof is in the pudding...
Go to top right to continue...
Two prominent monuments the locals couldn't see: above: Hamilton McCarthy's fabulous Boer War monument beside Charlottetown's fabled Province House, and below, the Treaty Six monument in Treaty Park in downtoen Fort Qu'Appelle, SK.
Continued... from bottom left...
Once you convince yourself a duck is a dragon, and a Triumphal Victory Arch is something else, there's no telling where your academic pandering will lead you. Like towards seeing the two Greek goddesses atop the Triumphal Victory Arch as having something to do with Peace and Freedom.
Brandon describes Nike and Demeter as "the allegorical figures of Peace and Freedom that sit at the top."
More total and utter bumph... from a historian who has made Canadian war paintings of the World Wars her specialty, and so understandably lacks knowledge of the classics and art of ancient Greece and Rome.
When in fact, the main figure - completely in line with, and corroborating the Triumphal Victory in War Arch theme - is Nike, the Greek "Winged Goddess of Victory in War." Confirmed further by anyone who has studied "war" memorials around the world through the Ages - clearly Brandon has not - Nike has been put atop countless Triumphal Victory Arches in gloating triumph, by bragging generals around the world, exactly for that reason for millennia. Something which seems to escape Brandon and her delusional fellow sophists at the Canadian War Museum.
Brandon claims Nike is on the surface, an anomaly, and that her inclusion really means something else..."But if these details seem to contradict March’s stated intentions, Brandon adds..." And then obfuscates and heads off into dragon land again...
She never says what the hell Nike is doing up there in her scheme of things...
When in fact, nowhere else in the world, for thousands of years, has anyone ever claimed anything else for Nike, than as a gloating victory in war embellishment. Until the Canadian War Museum sophist came along...
Tacitus, two thousand years ago, saw these cynical Canadian government sophists coming when he wrote acidly:
“To ravage, to slaughter, to steal, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."
Canadians are well aware of the con they are being sated with:
Harperites claiming only 155 War Dead from Afghanistan, when it is 300 and counting;
Harperites claiming they are only "training" Kurds, Iraqis, Syrians, whatever, while they are actually shooting bullets, guns, and missiles and dropping bombs on Muslim wedding parties, all over the place.
Trudeauites claiming to "withdraw" death-dealing jets "responsibly" while they are sneakily doing exactly what (a more honest and forthright) Harper was doing: deliberately dealing death with equal venom on Muslim wedding parties, a long two months and counting after taking control of government and the triggers on war-mongering weaponry.
If Canadians believed that, in electing Trudeau, they are now immune from "Blowback" of the Paris type, that Harper's anti-Muslim war-mongering first imported into Canada, they are in for a surprise.
That Damning Torch
"The torch, she says, may bear some connection to the lines from John McCrae’s poem, "In Flander's Fields: “The torch; be yours to hold it high/If ye break faith with us who die.”" (Postmedia - Kates)
Brandon addresses the Torch held in Demeter's hand, looking for some meaning to tie into her storyline. She tried in vain to find a credible explanation for a war-mongering Triumphal Arch, and failed. And for a gloating Nike, and failed. Now she's floundering about trying to find a reference to it in John McCrae's poem.
And failing miserably, again....
John McCrae was Canada's top war-mongering poet of World War I. His fabulously jingoistic poem was written when he and Canadians were in mortal combat against the Hun in which hundreds of thousands had already been slaughtered, including a very close friend of McCrae's.
His poem became the most pro-war propaganda tool used to rally people in the Allied countries in World War I, urging them to grit their teeth, gird their loins, renew their efforts to fight the dastardly and savage Hun by signing up to fight or buying war bonds. Especially when the war dragged on, hundreds of thousands more died, and no end in sight.
Enter John's war-mongering poem.
"Take up our quarrel with the foe.
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours, to hold it high! if ye break faith with us who die."
Brandon - like sophists promoting this bloodthirsty poem have done for generations - carefully omits McCrae's blaring command to "take up our quarrel with the foe," that McCrae designed as the set-up sentence for "the torch" line, saying in translated prose:
"Hey, look! You gotta do something to help us fight over here. We're losing big time against the savage Hun. We're dying in vain and losing ground. Unless you enlist and redouble your efforts to help us in our fight all our dying will have been worthless. Because the Hun is winning... Our blood will be on your hands for not rallying to do a better job at backing us up..."
"In Flander's Fields" was NEVER a peace poem; it was never intended to be a peace poem. It came out of the racist, jingoistic heart of World War I, when the Allies realized that a war they had expected to last a couple of months was being lost at fearful cost in slaughtered young lives.
The poem, unlike genuine Peace poems penned by other poets, offers no quarter; no peace; no insightful views on the follies of war. Just a mournful emotional plaint for the dying, whose deaths will all have been in vain unless you enlist and help rebalance the slaughter in our favour...
It is a deep, from the heart, bloodcurdling cry, to join the slaughter. To make it worthwhile for all those who have already died. Victory against the Hun was what it was all about. The poem went hand in hand with the poster below and could be found at patriotic rallies on display together.
This poster could be found at "War Promotional Rallies" being used to beat up audiences, alongside McCrae's "In Flander's Fields."
In the end the Allies and Canada did win against the Hun.
And got a gloating war memorial whose central feature was a huge "Triumphal Victory Arch," surmounted by a huge Nike "Winged Goddess of Victory in War" and a raucous parade of soldiers carrying guns marching in triumph below.
And, says Brandon, a Torch, from a famous Canadian War Poet, symbolizing the rallying point for revenge to rededicate yourself with renewed vigour to step up the slaughter.
In fact the Torch, if Brandon is correct, is the crowning feature of Canada's War Memorial then Canadians have a war memorial (as presently constituted) that in jingoistic gloating need not take a back seat to any other anywhere in the world.
"No jingoist military memorial!" - absolute bummph Laura.
Here are the five key features you missed "seeing" about Canada's National War Memorial.*****
1 - The name - "National War Memorial," for a start. It's name is jingoistic and memorializes war... It is NOT commemorating SERVICE, or "shoulder to the wheel" as Brandon claims, but a memorial for "war." Or it would have a different name, like my suggestion - The Canadian Veterans Memorial - for those whose service it supposedly commemorates or The Canadian Peace Monument - for what Canadian veterans have served and died for.
Then there are the totally dominating architectural features of the memorial (as presently constituted) which are jingoistic and war-mongering, and are the arch and surmounting Nike statue, that dwarf everything below them.
2 - the central feature, the overwhelmingly domineering and gloating "Triumphal Victory (in War) Arch" duplicating and echoing those put up by victorious generals for thousands of years to gloat over exterminating their foes on bloody battlefields.
3 - the overwhelmingly huge and totally domineering Nike the "Winged Goddess of Victory in War" grandly bestowing a laurel wreath on the victors in bloody combat below. Used on this war memorial exactly as Nike has been used to adorn gloating friezes, jingoistic triumphal victory arches, and bragging monuments for thousands of years.
4 - a celebratory triumphal military parade under a Triumphal Victory Arch, crowned with victory laurel by a huge overweening Winged Goddess of Victory in War. As presently configured the theme of the monument is jingoistically plain as the nose on your face. It's just that - apparently - Canadians have failed to "see" the gloating obviousness.*****
5 - macho, military men with guns, showcased up front and featured on ALL jingoistic federal government coins, stamps, brochures etc. Women are always ignored, and shoved to the back as ignominiously inconsequential and out of sight as unimportant in war service.
6 - the McCrae "Flander's Fields" torch which McCrae used to symbolize the losing struggle - it's falling and failing - which he urged citizens in the Allied countries to uphold, with the Dead crying out for them to redouble their patriotic efforts to enlist and renew the slaughter. That if you don't, WE THE DEAD, will haunt you from the grave.
Tell Laura to do some research on the Government propaganda over the years on the National War Memorial. Look at Government propaganda on the back of postcards issued since 1939. To look at the 1982 Veterans Affairs brochure, at the commemorative coins issued by the Mint, and look at the commemorative stamps and folders issued by Canada Post.
As presently configured it is - and is designed by officialdom - to be a gloating, jingoistic battlefield memorial celebrating the bloody exploits of Canadian men at doing mayhem on battlefields.
All of which, of course, is illustrated and highlight in spades, by all these six key jingoistic features, not the total bumpb claimed by the deluded and ill-informed former Canada War Museum art historian.
Which reminds me she's an art historian echoing guess what - the Canadian War Museum. Another government institution with a terribly bad and outdated - but very telling - name. Invented, perpetuated by unthinking and unfeeling macho males.
***** Blind in Ottawa - Is Brandon's eyesight really so uniquely bad, or her brain really that disengaged. The answer is, no, she's typically Canadian.
Blind and from PEI - Brandon is an art historian who hails from PEI.
I asked a longtime friend and another PEI historian who stayed - he lived all his life near Charlottetown - if he knew of a Boer War monument anywhere on the island I could visit. He smiled benignly, gently mocking the dude from the big city, and with profound finality assured me: "No John, we don't have anything like that here."
And wouldn't you know it, the very next day I found a huge Boer War monument, with a fabulous statue (left) by a famous top Canadian Boer War era sculptor, right beside Province House and the fabulous George Hill World War I memorial, in the heart of downtown Charlottetown. The island historian had probably walked by it hundreds of times in his life but had just never "seen" it. Or given it any thought... Must be something in PEI water... Remember this is where Mike Duffy comes from and he can't tell if he's from here or there, or anywhere... He has to ask his lawyer...
Blind in SK - I spent quite a bit of time driving up and down the streets of Fort Qu'Appelle (pop 1,900) Saskatchewan, looking for a monument to an Indian treaty that was supposedly there. In desperation I finally stopped and asked an elderly couple raking leaves if they knew where a big monument to an Indian treaty was located.
They looked at each other with bewildered eyes, trying to be helpful. "No, sorry. Nothing like that around here."
I drove off and - I KID YOU NOT - four houses past them came to a substantial green park on a street corner, empty except for a domineeringly large monument to Treaty Four. These locals lived only four doors from a huge monument that had been at the centre of Treaty Park since unveiled by Prime Minister Robert Borden in 1915, but they had never "seen" it.
As another Canadian tellingly blogged, "I think aloud how crazy it is that I grew up only 15 minutes away Fort Qu’Appelle, and yet I had no idea that these monuments existed until a few days ago. Sometimes we are blind to – or maybe choose not to see – what is right in front of us."
But they at least the elderly couple had an excuse - hell they weren't professional historians, just locals.
Worldview in SK - In driving, across Canada with a giant and heavily overloaded U-Haul truck, late one rainy Saturday night, I blew another tire - the fourth by then - at Wapella, SK (pop 354).
A kindly couple, who were just closing up their service station, kept it open, while the man insisted on driving me around to see if we could find a replacement tire at that late hour, on a Saturday night.
It took an hour but we found one and he insisted on changing it for me. In the meantime his wife was entertaining my wife in the office, with stories about life in a small rural town on the prairies.
My wife - a big city girl on her way back to Toronto, after spending 14 years living and working all over the remote wilds of arctic and sub-arctic Canada, asked innocently enough, "So have you lived all your life in Wapella?" It brought an instant retort.
"Oh heavens to Betsy no!" Bristling with mild annoyance that anyone would just take her as a local girl. "I grew up in Whitewood!" she said with resounding finality...
Whitewood was 10 kms back on the Trans-Canada highway...
Whitewood has a population of 950, three times the size of Wapella. No wonder she thought she was a big city girl...
Decades later we still think of them all with great affection. They are the salt of the earth of Canada, not the high falutin', pompositing stuffed shirts, with their superior airs, living in Ottawa, and feeding off the public trough filled with the tax dollars provided by the "jes plain folks" in Wapella, Whitewood, and Fort Qu'Appelle.
Jingoistic, Militaristic, Chauvinistic, Misogynist, and Macho...
- a 1950s postcard shows, and tells it, like it is...
The Sad Decline of What Was Once Supposed to be a "Hearts & Minds" Memorial
Sophists, militarists, and government sleight of hand con men, have worked overtime to try to make a "silk purse out of a sow's ear," pretending that Canada's National War Memorial - as it is presently configured - is NOT what they themselves repeatedly call it - a "War" Memorial.
But a postcard from the 1950s (right) tells it like it is - and has been for decades - in clear, bold, and unmistakable terms: that a gloating military war memorial - NOT a "Hearts and Minds" monument - was deliberately configured by "establishment Canada." (The information published on the back of the postcard, right, was based on research provided by the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs. They gave the publicity slant to the monument as a "war memorial.")
1 - "War Memorial" - No bones about it - it memorializes war. Actually a "successful war" complete with gloating Triumphal Victory Arch and Winged Goddess of Victory. (Is there such a thing, with 25 million dead?)
2 - "Commemorates the valour of Canadians who fought" - Note two entirely military, combat, "fighting" words in one small phrase. Clearly the belief is that the memorial specifically represents, in the first place, the macho male Canadian fighting soldier. And presumably his great ability to do so, and his achievements with the rifle, the machine gun, the grenade, and the bayonet at close quarters, we assume, originally against the dastardly "Hun," and latterly, the wily Somali, and the mean Muslim.
In actual fact the monument was supposed to commemorate NOT bloodletting and the supposed great ability at blood sports by Canadian men, but represent the response of ALL Canadians - men and women, as well as support services - in dedicating their "Hearts and Minds" when their country called, which is why Vernon March called his monument "The Great Response of Canada."
So Vernon set out deliberately to design ALL the faces of his 22 figures to be neutral, not Rambo-like, mean, aggressive, nasty, etc. Vernon wanted to show "Hearts and Minds," of all Canadians, not the snarling faces one sees on a Canadian army bayonet practice range.
|THIS is the monument the Canadian World War I generals wanted: a giant granite "Triumphal Victory Arch, with a giant "Winged Goddess of Victory in War" on top, bestowing a laurel wreath on a few men with guns below...
The rest is just treated as inconsequential monumental detritus.
And hey, they got it... in spite of the fact it was totally politically incorrect... And by 2015, a total national embarrassment...
There is NOT a single drop of blood on anyone's hands in the tableau; contrary to the postcard and like-minded militarists, all the figures are shown departing for service, wearing their hearts on their sleeves, not returning in blooded triumph. Vernon was celebrating patriotic volunteerism NOT a willingness to do murder and mayhem. Or trying to show the world that the Canadian male had guts - second to none in the world - which has been, of course, the constant mantra loudly preached by military regulars to generations of impressionable young Cadets.
3 - "Huge bronze figures representing Victory and Liberty, surmount the tall granite arch" - The monument is, of course, totally dominated by a classic huge granite "Triumphal Victory Arch," used by nations for thousands of years to commemorate some great military bloodbath against some other unfortunate population or civilization. That too is clearly its purpose on the Canadian "War" Memorial.
There can be no other. Hey, we won! You lost...!
These arches, by themselves, commemorate achievements in war on bloody battlefields and with success in exterminating of foe populations - NOT, how many times do we need to remind you, of activities on the Home Front, where "The Great Response of Canada" actually took place? (The Triumphal Victory Arch of Titus in Rome celebrates the extermination of 1.1 (that's 1.1) million Jews in the sacking of Jerusalem.)
What other purpose could this mysterious "arch" possibly be for?
Vernon did NOT put a Triumphal Victory Arch like this into any of his other monuments. His Canadian contractors - mostly military bureaucrats just coming off the Victory over the Hun in World War I - were clearly determined to have it. And to have it made even bigger, and more dominating, which they did in the coming years.
And on top of the Triumphal Victory Arch is the crowning symbol for the entire monument. It confirms in overwhelming terms that "Victory" and winning - and having won - is what this monument is supposed to be all about.
The military and jingoistic cast to the monument is further enhanced by being topped off by the hugely dominating bronze of "Nike" AKA "Victory," the Greek "Winged Goddess of Victory in War" holding high her Victor's laurel wreath, above the heads of the men with guns immediately below her.
Bureaucrapese... Part 1 - Note how, in the photo and caption (above) from the Department of Veterans Affairs publicity web page on Canada's National War Memorial, it has through some ingenious bureaucrapic sleight of hand converted the (admittedly politically incorrect) Greek "Winged Goddess of Victory in War," (on the left) into a a more modernly acceptable, but totally fallacious, symbol for "peace."
Clearly Tacitus, writing in 98 AD, could already foresee this cynical Canadian government word substitution game, when he wrote acidly:
“To ravage, to slaughter, to steal, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."
And on Remembrance Day 2015 it is a telling description of what Canada and its warring white European Allies, in their racist rage, have done to the entire Muslim Middle East in the 21st century, plundering, bombing, burning, and blasting ancient civilizations and populations (women, children, babies, and men) into smithereens in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, Lebanon, Mali, and Niger, and creating millions of desperate refugees, and a scale human misery among weak, defenceless, non-white peoples unknown since World War II.****
**** Weeks after this was written came the completely predictable Paris attacks of November, Friday the 13th, 2015, which CNN's Christiane Amanpour repeatedly and quite correctly called "blowback," and President Hollande also correctly called an "Act of War," but in doing so inexplicably elevating the Paris killings from criminal acts of terrorism to legitimate armed combat (under the laws of war). He, and France, had of course been making indiscriminate real war on Muslim civilians with bombs, missiles, drones, and guns from 2001-2012.
Hollande personally upped the ante against them with aerial attacks in Syria in September 2015, quite predictably stirring up a hornet's nest among his own (I predict) huge population of Muslims. The billions of Euros the French have spent killing Muslim women, teens, children, babies, and men, (paid for also by France's huge population of Muslims in their taxes) really make the Paris killings ridiculously "small potatoes" by comparison.
Yes, the same toxic malevolence that caused the World Wars, and wiped out 100 million people in the 20th century, is alive and well in the very same seats of power where it all originated, and among the same class of people that prop up the Bushes, Obamas, Blairs, Camerons, Harpers, and Hollandes... The same cabal of white Europeans have collaborated to start off the 21st century to a rousing bloody good start... No wonder the military industrial complex loves these guys. (In Canada, Harper gave them billions - corporate directorships coming up...)
If there is a saving grace, in all this racist rage, it is that the European racists are no longer burning, frying, baking, incinerating, and vaporizing some 600,000 German women, children (76,000), and old folks, as they did before, but are concentrating their bombs, this time around, on non-white Muslim wedding parties...
Hollande's vicious promise to kill a lot more Muslims in revenge, means this is NOT a good time to consider getting married in Muslim countries, or plan an engagement or wedding party any time soon.
We note with interest that Hollande's targeted raging, racist invective, was eagerly echoed by Americans Obama and Kerry - BUT TELLINGLY NOT AT ALL BY QUEEN ELIZABETH OR THE POPE, WHO EXPRESSED ONLY PROFOUND SHOCK, AND OFFERED ONLY HUMAN SYMPATHY - as they would in a flood disaster - BUT POINTEDLY, NO ANTI-MUSLIM INVECTIVE SO FAVOURED AND EXPECTED, BY RIGHT WING RACIST AMERICANS AND CANADIANS (like the apoplectic and sputtering staff on the Toronto Globe and Postmedia, and raging, redneck, racist Rosie on the Star..)
Prime Minister Trudeau, so far, seems to be showing the intelligence of the Queen and the Pope, not the racists calling for Muslim blood and a stepped up bombing of wedding parties. But then that is why the racist Harper was dumped and Trudeau was resoundingly elected.
Give the Queen high marks for brains, not shared by the corporatocracy cabal of conservative establishment cronies she socializes with.
So do not expect terrorist bombs of any kind, at any time, at Buckingham Palace... or the Vatican...
or Canada's Parliament Hill...
But, need we add, this is NOT AT ALL a good time to plan a summer vacation in Paris...
Visit safe destinations instead: we suggest, the Queen, the Pope,
and Canada's beautiful Parliament Hill, completely safe, now that Harper and his racist cabal of anti-Muslim pro-war cronies are gone.
Veterans Affairs also fraudulently converted Demeter (on the right), the non-political Greek Goddess of Agriculture and Bountiful Harvests into a propaganda tool for their devious purposes as a symbol for "freedom." (photo & caption from Veterans Affairs web)
In fact the two Greek goddesses, Nike and Demeter, do not now, or have ever, anywhere else represented or been associated with "peace" or "freedom." Some Veterans Affairs bureaucraper just made this up.
In a word search of the giant Theoi Greek Mythology database web site of thousands of classical writings related to the Greek Goddess Nike, "Victory" or "Victor" scored 54 hits; neither "peace" nor "freedom" brought up a single reference or hit.
A similar word search for Demeter brought up not a single reference to "freedom."
It's clear that concocting these false characterizations for the two Greek Goddesses on top of Canada's National War Memorial, is part of what Veterans Affairs is spending its time doing, instead of looking after the mental and physical well-being of Canada's returned veterans and their families. No wonder some 60 have committed suicide since returning home from Afghanistan.
Veterans Affairs also ignored, and did nothing for 115 years to get the contribution of 6,000 Canadians who volunteered for the Boer War - and Canada's first ever military expedition overseas - given official recognition. Nor recognition for the 300 who died in service to Canada. (Until the Rt. Hon. Stéphane Dion ordered it done in 2005.)
To pound home the Victory theme Nike is hugely oversized compared to all the figures below her. In fact in the original maquette, when the Triumphal Victory Arch was much smaller, Nike dominated the monument even more.
Now with the giant Triumphal Victory Arch hugely expanded and Nike's giant and overwhelming presence, they ARE THE MONUMENT, dwarfing, obliterating, overshadowing, and minimizing the bronzes below.
"Victory in War" NOT commemoration of "Hearts and Minds" is what this "War Memorial" - as presently configured - is all about.
Just note how in every photograph of the monument this is the featured, dominating, commemorating thematic unit, with Victory looking down on a small group of men with guns, who are featured, framed up and blocked off from the also-rans behind them by the giant obliterating walls of the Triumphal Victory Arch.
THAT IS THE MONUMENT, AS PRESENTLY CONFIGURED. The rest, below the arch and behind it, is all just treated dismissively, as inconsequential monumental detritus.
This deliberate, direct, and close juxtaposition of goddess only with the combat heroes, echoes the theme in the postcard, and hugely recognizes and pays homage to the valorous Canadian gun-toting fighting male.
"Victory" as presently configured in the centre clearly has her back to all the non-gun carrying figures, including especially the two women (nurses) at the far rear of the tableau. Nike is portrayed as a Margaret Thatcher-like goddess with cojones, giving the brush-off to women not up to her combative standards.
4 - "Every branch of the fighting services is represented" - The postcard intimates again that this monument was, above all, designed to represent the "fighting" services. Which is not at all the case; it was supposed to represent ALL Canadians who volunteered their "Hearts and Minds" when their country called, not just those willing to do the actual murder and mayhem. (It reads like something General Hillier would write and approve: "The job of the Canadian Forces is to be able to kill people." (Gen. Hillier)
This was NOT supposed to be a regimental promotional vehicle but to represent the "Hearts and Minds" of hundreds of thousands of men and women who came off civvy street to volunteer.
5 - "Figures marching through the archway" - Here goes that bellicose military drumbeat sounding again, and the sound of the tramping of aggressive military males is conjured up for this war memorial.
In fact "marching" is NOT what this memorial was supposed to be about, or a sound to be evoked in the viewer, though as presently configured, one can easily mistake Canada's National War Memorial as depicting a triumphant "Victory" march, accompanied by resounding bellicose "Hurrahs!" as an approving Nike waves her crowing laurel wreath on high...
In fact a close examination shows that Vernon has the figures all walking randomly, just as their individual "Hearts and Minds" responded to the call at different times.
6 - "Uniforms, arms, and equipment on the figures are accurate in every detail" - Oh, bully! Another example to show that the military was hugely heavy-handed in trying to turn the monument into a war memorial to promote a victorious macho military agenda. It won't do if they are not dressed according to regulations... (No Mother
Goose sorry "Mother Canada" for them; no Walter Allward grieving Spirit Figures - like at Vimy - would do for them.)
This was only a parade square soldier's conceit, of pompous generals who stayed far behind the lines, directing the bloodshed, and who all survived, with great pensions to a ripe old age, a war that killed millions of grunts.
Up where the dying was being done, soldiers wore all kinds of clothes and equipment, whatever was handy to help them survive. Was the dress code in effect when they were blown up, eviscerated, shot or ground into the mud, never to be found again?
If the military was so damn interested in accuracy why didn't they insist on a few bronze corpses or parts of corpses included in the monument? Now that would have been militarily accurate. But perhaps not the best propaganda to display. It might turn off future recruits...
For 118,000 Canadians we especially remember on Remembrance Day, and many of us, every other day of the year... So, even for the grunts who died, the war memorial is failure, in fact a travesty of how they lived their final days, and how they left this earth - in pieces, and they and their uniforms shredded to bits...
To sum up, the postcard press, for generations, has said this monument, as presently configured, is exactly what government bureaucrats say it is, a "war" memorial commemorating fighting soldiers. In fact a sanitized pro-war monument.
Despite all the falsification about Greek Mythology and Greek Goddesses that Veterans Affairs and its apologists are trying to fabricate in the interests of political correctness. It's going to take more than a few fabricated words of bureaucrapese conjured up by bureaucratic sophists to turn this failed and flawed monument into a monument Canadians can be proud of in the 21st century.
Because you can't fool history - or the postcard press. Or this assessment.
In 2015 Canada's National War Memorial is clearly in urgent need for a national make-over, to turn a macho military war memorial into a genuine "Hearts and Minds" peace monument, and to keep up with the times. Hillier and Harper are gone; now is the time to right a historical wrong.
The time has clearly come to remove the gloating "triumph" that this failed war monument presently exudes in spades.
Which, luckily, can be done easily, and cheaply...
Just by sliding that damn grotesque Triumphal Victory Arch back, out of the way, behind ALL the figures, so immensely de-emphasizing both its importance, and those of its two gloating Greek Goddesses.
Godspeed... - And by converting it thematically into a "Doorway from a Canadian Hearth and Home," from which emerges the deathless Cavalcade of "Hearts and Minds," which was what it was supposed to be all about in the first place, and NOT a showcase for a small group of macho military men with guns featured and framed in granite up front.
Another plus: in its reconfigured mode you can now start calling it Canada's "National Peace Monument," something you can't do with the jingoistic presentation of the present National "War" Memorial.
Lest We Forget
Let us remember, on Remembrance Day, as the mainstream media swamps us with all this anti-Muslim, anti- Arab rhetoric
- though most of us hypocritically chose to forget -
that the "superior" white European race ruled the world in 1900,
and was smugly hectoring the non-white, non-Christian peoples of the globe that they should follow the example
of their religious, racial, and political "betters."
Their "betters" produced - all by themselves,
in only thirty years - the two worst wars in human history,
that killed off some 100 million people,
mostly women, teens, children, babies, and old folks...
(The lucky ones starved to death.)
This same crowd, whose mainstream media toadies - in our day - pillory Jihadi John with his knife, as Satan personified, for beheading a few men, and ISIS for the burning alive of one (1) Jordanian pilot (captured just after he had finished a bomb run that incinerated Muslims), had developed the world's worst ever human extermination machinery - the Atom bomb - and used it with a racist vengeance to incinerate, at Hiroshima, at a single pop, an entire city of some c 80,000 defenceless Japanese women, teens, children, babies, and old folks. And then did a repeat at Nagasaki (c 75,000 civilians).
This is called balance in western European journalism...
These remain, by far, the worst single acts of human genocide - virtually all civilian Japanese women and children - in human history. Far, far surpassing even the most vicious handiwork of Adolf Hitler on his worst day of human extermination...
The other parallel worst single acts of genocide against civilians are also American: carpet fire bombing of Tokyo
- incinerating 100,000 civilians in one day,
and/or the British/Canadian carpet bombings of Germany:
- incinerating 100,000 civilians plus, in three days (Dresden)
incinerating 42,600 civilians in one week (Hamburg)
"Churchill is the greatest child-slaughterer of all time. He slaughtered 76,000 children." Historian Jörg Friedrich, commenting on the mass fire-bombing of German civilian areas in World War II, which in all incinerated 600,000 plus, "Hun" women, children and old folks in the last couple of years of WW II.
Since 2000, exactly the same crowd of white European Establishment elitists, are now turning their superiority
in the Art of War and Bullshit,
with a venom against the Muslim world, incinerating and shelling the pajamahadeen and their womenfolk in burqas wherever they offer themselves as targets in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Palestine, Mali, Niger, and Libya.
With 1.6 billion Muslims in the world (some 23.4% of the world's population) they have lots of work to do, far into the future...
President Obama has gleefully established new world success records in genocide
for wiping out Muslim wedding parties with his drones, in multiple countries.
So the same genocidal crowd, which utterly defiled the 20th century as the worst in human history,
is already leaving its malevolent racist imprint on the 21st century...
And then dares to brag about the genocide on their gloating monuments, as Canada does with its National "War" Memorial
(as presently constituted.)
Guess if this Corporatocracy and their soldiers will make a better success of this century than they did of the last?
Bureaucrapese... Part 2 - (above: From the Veterans Affairs web site.)
"No suggestion of glorifying war...?"
So, then how come the domineeringly huge "Triumphal Victory Arch" used specifically, for millennia, by gloating governments to brag about having vanquished or eliminated one population or civilization or other? And used for no other purpose?
How come the "Triumphal Victory Arch" message of triumphant military conquest is allowed to totally dominate, minimize, and obliterate, to third-rate status, the "Hearts and Minds" message of "The Great Response of Canada" bronze tableau?
How come the huge, oversize, "Winged Goddess of Victory in War," Nike (aka Victory aka Victoria) used for millennia by gloating generals to surmount their military memorials bragging of bloody conquests, is given primacy of position and dominates the entire "war" memorial?
It sure as hell is not accidental...
How come the "Dirty Dozen" macho men with all the guns, are featured up front, and framed off and showcased by the massive granite Triumphant Victory Arch, away from the obliterated, and minimized "also-rans" hidden behind them?
Why are the military women, already relegated to the back of the bronze tableau, further obliterated, minimized, in the national monument, by being beshadowed, and overshadowed, as well as hidden behind a giant "Triumphal Victory Arch" deliberately positioned to honour and feature the men with guns up front.
Why is Nike, the "Winged Goddess of Victory in War," deliberately positioned so that she turns her back on the women, and other non-combat volunteers on the bronze tableau?
"Blowback" for the "CWILLKILL Coalition"
(Coalition of the Willing to do the Killing)
Islamophobia Run Amok - The "CWILLKILL Coalition against the Muslims" was cadged together with bribes and threats by the US, following the 9/11 attacks, to make its intended genocidal war against the Muslims look like an internationally approved action, when it was anything but.
(Obama and his war-mongering acolytes on Capitol Hill in the US, in the mainstream media everywhere - repeatedly pontificate, every chance they get, that 65 members in CWILLKILL are "involved" in the war against the Muslims, when in fact the vast overwhelming majority, refuse to be involved in shooting, bombing or killing Muslims, who are, after all, fighting to defend their own homelands.
And Obama lets his slip show that the 65 are just fake publicty cover-ups for a US and Israeli vendetta against Muslims. When a CWILLKILL council of war was held to discuss the planning for carrying forward the war against ISIS in Jan 2016, the Defence Ministers for only seven (that's seven) countries were allowed to attend: US, France, UK, Italy, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands. That's right: a tiny rump of all lily-white European Christians, without a non-white brown or black or a Muslim nation anywhere in sight. Clearly this is a race war, and has been, from the beginning...
The other, missing 58 so-called CWILLKILL members, are snubbed as irrelevant, and just public relations cover-up when feeding publicity to the mainstream media.
PERSPECTIVE - Despite all the conspiratorial Mainstream Media BS, the worst terrorist in American history remains home-grown Timothy McVeigh, whose per capita kill rate success (196 victims) handily exceeds that of the 9/11 perpetrators (157 victims each.) But McVeigh's anti-government attack was relegated to "criminal" status while the Establishment - the Corporatocracy - cannily saw a way to use the 9/11 pajamahadeen hijackers to jump start multiple wars against Muslim countries and peoples in order to funnel trillions of taxpayer dollars to corporate cronies, while achieving military industrial corporate agendas overseas at the same time.
To do that they cleverly branded them "terrorists" - Muslim terrorists.
At its activist and orchestrating heart CWILLKILL is the same cabal of white European Establishment corporate conspirators (in the US, United Kingdom, France, Italy) that brought you World War I and II.
continued - top right
Only a telling tiny few members of CWILLKILL actually agreed to participate in shooting, bombing, droning, incinerating or otherwise killing Muslim women, teens, children, babies and old folks, or wedding parties, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, or Syria etc. Mass killing is something which Americans uniquely revel in doing abroad and at home.
Germany glaringly and resolutely refused, utterly, to help with any of the clearly targeted racist killings of Muslims, anywhere, either from the air, or on the ground, in any of the US and Israeli-originated wars against the Muslims (2001-2016). And so did Canada under Liberal Prime Minister Chrétien. As a result, tellingly, neither Germany or Canada under Chrétien, were targeted for domestic blowback violence, which in stark contrast, had been meted out, big time, against the hometown populations of the leading CWILLKILL activists: the US (2997 plus victims), United Kingdom (56 plus victims), Spain (191 victims), and France (142 plus victims).
Canada did finally receive some blowback, but only after the racist Prime Minister Harper decided to join the CWILLKILL Coalition activists, with his hand-picked general "Killer" Hillier shouting from the rooftops, that "our job (the Canadian Forces) is to be able to kill people," noting specifically the Muslim "detestable scum bags" as he called them, in Afghanistan, which he and his troops targeted.
(When Canada finally stopped killing Muslims in Afghanistan it made Harper unhappy. So he started make CF-18 bombing runs in Syria, incinerating countless Muslim women, teens, children, babies, and old folks. This was great because when you kill people from 50,000 feet up, the locals can't hit you with their rifles. Best of all you never have to see the death throes of babies in their mother's arms. Canadians killing Muslim civilians this way in the Middle East continues under Prime Minister Trudeau at the end of 2015.)
So Canada, and its modern professional career military - totally different from the Canadian military of World Wars I and II, which was entirely made up of civilian volunteers - has proudly bagged its fair share of Muslim women, teens, children, babies, old folks, and wedding parties with guns, and rifles on the ground, and with bombs and missiles from the air.
With the result that, in 2010, the world congress of peoples as represented in the United Nations, resoundingly refused to grant Canada an honorary seat it requested on the Security Council. The first time Canada had ever been shunned for this honour by the peoples of the world in the history of the UN. Canada, under Harper, was universally seen as a racist toady of the United States, and its CWILLKILL Coalition, and its pathological Bush-fabricated, and Obama-Clinton perpetuated, war against the Muslims.
"BLOWBACK" & MR. TRUDEAU...
Prime Minister Trudeau, so far, seems to be showing the intelligence of the Queen and the Pope, not the racists calling for Muslim blood and a stepped up bombing of wedding parties. But then that is why the racist Harper was dumped and Trudeau was resoundingly elected.
Give the Queen high marks for brains, not shared by the corporate cabal of conservative establishment cronies she socializes with.
So do not expect terrorist bombs of any kind, at any time, at Buckingham Palace... or the Vatican...
or Canada's Parliament Hill...
But, need we add, this is NOT AT ALL a good time to plan a summer vacation in Paris...
Visit safe destinations instead: we suggest, the Queen, the Pope,
and Canada's beautiful Parliament Hill, completely safe, now that Harper and his racist cabal of anti-Muslim pro-war cronies are gone.
The trouble with Trudeau - is "Beholden" Trudeau... Right out the gate Trudeau was uncomfortably waffling about his supposed "anti Muslim-war" position.
Most Canadians and 1.6 billion Muslims world-wide (23.4 % of the world's population), had (mistakenly it appears) thought that Justin Trudeau shared the mind-set of former Prime Minister Chrétien, and refused to take part in a racist war against Muslim women, teens, children, babies, old folks, and men, like was being principally conducted by the CWILLKILL Coalition of the US, Britain, France, and Spain, (Coalition of the Willing to do the Killing), and Israel under the excuse of 9/11.
Everyone was gullibly building houses of cards, under the belief that the old Canada - once universally respected around the world - was coming back, all based on Trudeau's claim to withdraw Canada's death-dealing, missile launching and bombing jets from further destroying more Muslim houses, homes, and archaeological heritage sites, and decimating Muslim populations, a mission to which they had been sent by the openly racist anti-Muslim former Prime Minister Harper.
Canada Scorched by the World's Nations - In 2010, Governments, world-wide, seeing Canada's racist participation in a war against Muslims under the Harper government, had responded massively, by causing Canada to lose its first ever free vote after requesting a seat on the Security Council of the United Nations. It is the worst black mark Canada had ever received in history from that organization representing the peoples of the earth.
*** NOTE: Only days before the UN vote Canada's toadying Mainstream Media was widely predicting that Canada had the "vote in the bag" and would win a seat. I had been predicting since 2008 - for over two years - that Canada would NEVER win the vote, which it ended up losing massively, exactly like I had forecast.
Trudeau's positional waffling, during his election campaign, was clearly due to backroom Liberal bagmen advising him they counted heavily on attracting racist, right-wing voters to get elected, raised alarm bells, with his curious case of "double-speak" right out the gate, with a jello anti-war message - causing observers to ask "hey, is he for the war or against it?"
He raised more alarm flags about his genuine (Chretien and Canadians were clearly anti-war) anti-war sincerity when he started to qualify his claim to "withdraw jets" from their work at bombing Muslim populations, with the hedge to do the pullback "responsibly." Which of course offers a perfect out for "never" because, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, "conditions have changed."
His throne speech in December 2015, was notable for NOT referring to a "withdrawal" of the jets...
Multiple anti-Muslim racists and pro-war jingoists (it's hand-in-glove in Canada and the US) like Rosie diManno, and Richard Gwyn (both were really really nasty) of the Toronto Star, seeing the glaring vulnerability in Trudeau's clear ethical, moral, and political waffling, pounced with a vengeance, scorching him for his "first big blunder," in saying he will withdraw his (Muslim wedding party exterminating) jets.
(Racists love and deliberately target Muslim wedding parties - from 15,000 feet up jets do this very effectively, because Jihadi John's knife can't reach them there - because they fear that non-white, non-Christian Muslims will outbreed white Anglo-Saxon Europeans. Their aggressively racist propagandists frequently cite a dangerous breeding rate of 8 Muslim children per family, compared to 1.4 for "Europeans."
In Dec. 2015, a colleague circulated this anti-Muslim slur in a strongly racist article as an informational warning to a large group of like-minded, fearful and strongly anti-immigrant, rural Ontario fiddlers that I routinely play with. I fiddle at numerous rural Ontario bluegrass and fiddle festivals every weekend, from May to September, and hear these and similar racist sentiments widely, constantly, strongly, and openly bandied about between tunes and songs. Liberal party bagmen advising Trudeau were angling for these votes.)
Blowback Alert - I wrongly suggested - in pre-election early November 2015 - that under Trudeau - taking him at his word - saying, that with him pulling back the planes from bombing Muslim women, children, teens, babies, old folks and wedding parties, that Canada was safe from CWILLKILL "Blowback" attacks from angry organized "terrorists" - foreign or local - of the kind visited on Paris on Nov. 13, but also the US on 9/11 and later, and the UK, and Spain.
I spoke too soon and freely confess it.
CWILLKILL Blowback on 9/11 in the US - 2,997 plus killed for years of US anti-Muslim CWILLKILL terrorism and killings in various Muslim countries.
CWILLKILL Blowback in Paris - 142 plus Parisians killed by perpetrators who publicly said the attacks were payback for France' CWILLKILL bombing of Muslim civilians in their own homeland. CNN's Christiane Amanpour also repeatedly said it was "blowback" - her word - for France's bombing. It's not rocket science, especially when the perpetrators publicize the motive: France bombing Muslim populations in Syria. And when CNN's senior international correspondent legitimizes it as "Tit for Tat."
CWILLKILL Blowback in Spain - 191 people killed in Madrid in 2004, for the Spanish government waging war with the US CWILLKILL Coalition against Muslim populations.
CWILLKILL Blowback in United Kingdom - 56 Londoners killed in bombings in 2005 for the UK bombing and killing of Muslim populations overseas as part of Butcher Blair's activist membership in the CWILLKILL Coalition.
CWILLKILL Blowback in Canada - The only blowback deaths in Canada have so far resulted because of the CWILLKILL foreign policy orchestrations of former Prime Minister Harper.
Hurrah for Harper - Canadians have been victimized by the mentally deranged, "lone wolf" extremist nut bars of the kind Harper and his racist foreign policies triggered and unleashed at home against Canadians in October 2014: by Zehaf- Bibeau (one victim); by Couture-Rouleau (1 victim). Their victims are the first ever political "assassinations" in Canadian history tied to Canada's foreign policy (by Harper himself).
Welcome Tools of the Corporatocracy - Harper and his mainstream media toadies elevated these two clearly mentally-off, self-motivating perpetrators to national and international cult status as so-called international "terrorists" just to fuel his Establishment corporatocracy agenda to funnel billions into war profiteering for corporate cronies.
The hapless mental incompetence of two murderers, elevated as supposed "lone wolf" "terrorists" was clearly demonstrated when one perp used a car to suddenly just wildly hit a couple of men in uniform; only an idiot would call that "planning" or forethought of any kind, let alone an act of terrorism. Or a diabolical politician...
The other perp used a really super dumb, lever action, 19th century antique rifle. The .30-30 was technology invented in 1894 - that's 1894 - and could only hold seven bullets - less than most modern pistols... And - you won't believe this - BUT AFTER FIRING ONE ROUND IT TOOK BOTH HANDS AND ARMS TO BRING EACH (THE NEXT) BULLET INTO PLAY... Now you try doing that, while running, and with people grappling with you...
If nothing else it shows the inane naivety of the average Canadian that Harper, the government, police and the Mainstream Media were able to suck them in, get them to overlook all that, and publish instead that the perp was a dangerous, diabolical, international terrorist - when he was just a hopelessly inept and delusionally mentally off nutbar who killed a man in uniform with an antique gun and then ran amok.
But then a nutbar was of no use to the Canadian establishment and its accomplices in the Mainstream Media who were desperate to find a poster boy to advance their corporatocracy agenda of fostering a terror threat to Canada. To accomplish that they needed to put the fear into Canadians that Canada was under attack.
Zehaff-Bibeau was clearly deranged and a hapless idiot, unlike Timothy McVeigh in the US, who was cool, calculating, rational, and a damn dangerous fanatic. And others in Canadian society.
But the cool and calulating Prime Minister Harper hugely played him up while he willfully and deliberately ignored and down-played the far more real and dangerous home-grown killers, that appeared under his watch, the Timothy McVeighs in Canada, who ARE A REAL DANGER TO CANADIAN SOCIETY, because they did not help him to advance his corporatocracy agenda against Muslims.
Bourque who killed three RCMP officers;
Roszko who killed four RCMP officers;
de Grood who killed five in Calgary's worst ever mass murder;
Lam who killed eight in Edmonton's mass murder.
All multiply more dangers than either Zehaf-Bibeau or Couture-Rouleau ever were, or could be, and ALL ON HARPER'S WATCH...
We could also recall Lépine who killed 14 women (in
Harper also ignored Canada's own home-grown knife-wielding decapitators: Vince Li, and Luke Magnotta preferring - you won't believe this - to focus on Jihadi John overseas as a more dangerous knifing threat to Canada and Canadians... de Grood knifed five to death in Harper's home town..
Harper also was also hugely dismissive, as irrelevant, the c 1,200 missing and murdered Aboriginal women along the Highway of Tears, and not warranting even an inquiry...
Hell no bucks in any of that for his corporatocracy cronies, slavering for war contracts...
The Day After Blues - Trudeau, out the gate as Canada's latest Prime Minister, made numerous instant decisions, to reverse policies instituted by the previously much-despised Harper Government.
But about calling an instant end to the Canadian bombings of Muslim wedding parties - NOT A WORD. Then it turns out that Trudeau had allowed the bombings, and the killing of Muslim populations to go on, the day after. And the day after that, and... Finally saying that by March 2016, some five months later, he would/might stop the bombing aka killing of Muslims.
Talk about double-speak: posing as a liberal and humanitarian while keeping on bagging Muslim wedding parties to impress your right wing base, your corporate cronies, and your CWILLKILL partners.
But what about the hundreds of dead Muslim women, children, teens, babies and old folks, incinerated in the meantime? Can Trudeau give them their lives back? (He doesn't need to. His lawyers will tell him "just say you"re sorry." And "I take full responsibility for it.")
Will it erase world-wide Muslim anger? Or the continuing contempt for Canadian toadyism as US lackeys, at the United Nations?
And prevent serious blowback to Canadians at home, or when they travel abroad?
Remember at its roots the problem has always been - Trudeau. He did NOT emerge in a democracy because he was the best that Canada has to offer for the top job in the country. He was hand-picked by Liberal Party backroom bagmen because of his illustrious Dad. Without his name you would never, ever have heard of him.
It's why, out the gate he has always shown that he is uncomfortable in his own skin - because he's not; he's in his father's. That's why he personally presents himself as "waffling" all the time, a failing neither Prime Minister Harper or NDP leader Mulcair ever had. Because both are totally passionate self-made men.
He knows he was picked for promotion by the same Liberal backroom party bagmen who had picked Michael Ignatieff to hopefully put them back in power where the money (the taxpayer's) was.
Canadians saw that move for what it was and took a visceral dislike for a hand-picked party bagman they were asked to vote for. Canadians saw that as no democracy at all. The Liberals dumped Ignatieff.
But with Justin many Canadians were "celebrity" sucker-punched - against their better judgment - by Justin's connection with a much-admired father.
The party bagmen behind Trudeau are watching to see which way the wind blows on the jets to see how far they'll let Justin keep or abandon his promise, because the right wing racist journalists on all Canada's mainstream media organs are howling about the promised withdrawal from killing Muslims and bombing their wedding parties.
They were no doubt heartened when CWILLKILL bombs killed over 130 members of a wedding party (over 80 women) in Yemen in September 2015. They just wish Canadian jets had been able to do it.
It is a "persuasion technique" against Muslim men which the CWILLKILL Coalition copied from Israel, which has used civilian extermination with great success in Gaza against its Muslim populations, successfully bagging hundreds of children alone (547 by UN count) in their last missile and bombing assault on the civilian areas of Gaza City (1,492 civilians by UN count) in August 2014. The triggering event - I KID YOU NOT - the deaths of three Israeli civilians...
Of course, civilian extermination was also used with great success by the British, Americans, and Canadians in World War II, when their mass bombings of German civilian targets incinerated some 600,000 plus mostly women, teens, children, babies, and old folks, in German civilian population centres - including some 76,000 children burned by bombing. (overall c4 (four) million German civilians killed.) (NOTE: The British began the heinous genocidal practice of repeatedly carpet bombing civilian areas of German cities in 1939 and early 1940. The Germans started retaliating in September 1940, with the Blitz, but the entire year long campaign killed only 40,000 British civilians - the number of German women and children wiped out by the British bombers in a single day at Hamburg in 1943.)
We've already mentioned incinerating Japanese civilians with great success - only a single bomb each time - at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which remain - by far - the single biggest acts of mass extermination of human beings on the planet ever accomplished by anyone, including Adolf Hitler.
Hopefully Canadians, at home or abroad, won't be targeted for blowback in the interim...
Because in early 2016, Canadian jets are reportedly very heavily involved in bombing Muslims, in the thousands of bombing sorties and no doubt continuing to have significant successes in bagging Muslim wedding parties in Iraq and Syria...
Just like their fellow CWILLKILL Coalition partners the US.
The US taught Medecin Sans Frontiers doctors a lesson - it killed nine of them - for daring to treat Muslim "terrorists" and other pajamahadeen wounded in their hospitals. The telling comments from readers, after the story, praised the bombing: "Bravo to the US. Serves the doctors right for aiding terrorists..."
It's the same crowd - like diManno, Blatchford, Wente, Gwyn, etc. who urges Trudeau to keep right on bombing those Muslim wedding parties. After all, they're Just fake weddings anyway, just acting as covers for "terrorists" in wedding clothing...
Luckily, with 1.6 billion Muslims world-wide, there will be lots more wedding parties coming up. And with the CWILLKILL Coalition bombs, missiles, and drones targeting Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, and Palestine, a bewildering but mouth-watering choice of human targets is available.
Plenty of opportunity for Canadian jets to vaporize Muslims, allow Trudeau to placate his right-wing base, and please all the Mainstream Media journalists howling for Muslim blood...
|“The Response” “War” Memorial
A “Choking Feeling” at Canada’s National “War” Memorial
I happen to believe that Canada’s National “War” Memorial, with its fabulous central tableau of 22 powerful figures in bronze - originally mostly designed and executed for the winning competition in 1925, by British sculptor Vernon March (1891-1930) - is the most emotionally moving war memorial tableau in the world.
Potentially… And, I’ve seen lots…
But there’s a huge problem…
I mean, it chokes me up every time I see it…
But I mean that, in a bad way, an unintended way, an unfortunate, inescapable way, but luckily, NOT in an incurable way…
Every time I approach it, and want to “engage,” expecting to have an emotional encounter with the bronze figures in the throes of their patriotic passion, I am prevented, rebuffed, rejected, blocked, by the monument itself, specifically those damn interfering, obliterating, dividing, granite walls of the support columns for the central “Triumphal Victory Arch.”
I believe including the “Triumphal Victory Arch” in the original design competition was Sydney’s idea (Sydney March 1876-1968) – architecture was his baby – and it was he who re-designed and enlarged it after his much younger brother Vernon died prematurely in 1930.
So the huge centrally dominating and obliterating granite towers and connecting granite bridge, should rightly be designated as “Sydney’s Triumphal Victory Arch.”
It was a bad, bad move, on Sydney’s part, I believe, in trying to please critics and his Canadian contractors. For a whole lot of reasons.
It turned what was supposed to be a solemn national monument into a hopeless mush of unwarranted, unwanted, and by 2015, hopelessly outdated and ill-suited contradictions.
Above, from a CBC website (the photo and caption) is a posting featuring all kinds of errors about this being the winning design - in fact it's a years later remodel - and more bumph about allegorical figures of Peace and Freedom. There is NO figure of Peace or Freedom. The main goddess on top is Nike, the classical Greek Winged Goddess of Victory in War, who for centuries has been perched atop gloating Triumphal Victory Arches honouring bragging rights about prowess in blood sports. The Canadian War Museum steered the CBC wrong as it has done many others, like James Lorimer.
Choked Up Walls of Concrete - There is only one other place in the world where I get that same choking feeling: at the Peterborough Lift Lock (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada) where two similarly central towers of unaesthetic concrete totally block the view of the basin and boats in the middle and rear of the lift lock.
What? You say! You don't see my Aunt Tillie in her boat back there behind the towers, in the back of the basin?
Well there, at least, there is an excuse; the two central monster cement towers physically support the huge basins full of water, ships, and boats as they go up and down, from one height of land to another. Without those massive columns of concrete there would be no lift lock to carry tourist boaters over the incline.
Damn! No matter from which way I look I just can't see Aunt Tillie hidden in behind those massive vertical piers of stone... Now I know where I've had that feeling before; at Canada's National War Memorial, where "Tail-end Tillie" is buried for the Ages among the canyons of granite...
You learn to love them once you understand that they are absolutely central, absolutely necessary, absolutely indispensable, as the key part of a wonderful Canadian historic first: the largest structure ever built in the world, at the time (1904), out of unreinforced concrete.
In 2015, it remains the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world.
You’ve got to love those massive walls of concrete; who cares if you can’t see around them – hell, by looking at them, you’re looking at the story… And history.
Not so with the National “War” Memorial’s two central monster towers of intrusive, obliterating and interfering granite.
Remove them and nothing would be lost, and a lot would be gained. And after 75 years, to my mind, it’s high time that was done.
Because, no matter from which side anyone approaches the monument, wanting to “see” the tableau figures, and “feel” the story they seek to tell, and the enveloping power of the displayed group, it can’t be done.
I just can’t do it; and neither can anyone else.
No one can get around those damn interfering blocks of towering granite, throwing their weight around and blocking all access, physically, visually, and emotionally, by hugely getting in the way of “visitation,” as well as always casting huge, dark shadows across the central and rear dozen figures.
And that feeling of rejection involves over half the figures in the tableau – about a dozen in all, that neither I – nor anybody else either – can “get at” or get involved with, physically, photographically, or emotionally.
But I can certainly physically “feel” the rebuff, the rejection, every time I come close. And it doesn’t get better with the passing of time, having seen the National “War” Memorial many times now since I first saw it in July 1960.
I can testify that after 55 years, the feeling of rejection, entirely the result of Sydney’s hugely intrusive and obliterating granite Triumphal Victory Arch, does not dissipate, but grows only stronger.
And then it gets worse…
The feeling of rejection happens, not only on the basic visual or emotional plane, but extends into and creates numerous other problem areas as well: intellectual, thematic, artistic, utilitarian, human rights.
And I don’t get that from any other memorial or tableau of statues I have ever seen: not at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington, DC, the WWI Memorial in Charlottetown, PEI, or the many military, equestrian, and figural historical monuments or memorials I have seen around the world, in Europe, Africa, Asia, or America.
No matter from which side I come up, to engage the figures, those damn obtrusive, granite arches get in the way of the emotional punch it’s supposed to evoke from me, of empathy with generations of past Canadian men and women who gave their all for their country.
Who said women are best photographed from the rear? Sorry but this is the best picture we can give you of a woman on Canada's National War Memorial. We suggest you go to the front and take a picture of men with guns... You know, the people who count... But before you go, do stop and look at all the lovely Canadian granite behind which "Tail-end Tillie" is buried alive...
Which is what this monument was supposed to be about back in the 1920s when it was set up to illustrate the “Response” of ordinary Canadians in answer to their country’s “Call” on the eve of World War I.
Instead the hidden bronzes evoke a consistent, continuing, and powerful “response” of annoyance.
I just can’t experience the damn thing, get involved with the damn thing, I can’t photograph the damn thing, I can’t engage emotionally with what I know Vernon March intended to put up there, but I just can’t “see” it or get it. Or feel it…
And frankly, neither can anyone else. For exactly the same reason.
I believe potentially the finest and most emotionally moving war memorial in the world is frankly, a presentation disaster, and has been for 75 years. And is certainly even more so in 2015…
But, here’s the good part – it can be fixed.
And Canadians should insist it be done.
And by doing it – it’s entirely physically feasible because of the way it is constructed and can be done at minimal cost - Canada’s National “War” Memorial will have a glorious rebirth of power and meaning, and become far better than it is currently, as Canada’s National “Peace” Monument.
And display far better for future generations of modern Canadians than it has for the past 75 years.
I know for a fact that Vernon would approve.
Offering only gains, and creating no loss, or losers…
Except grousing from Sydney, that his monstrous “Triumphal Victory Arch” which has totally overwhelmed the monument’s emotional bronze tableau for 75 years, has been rededicated as a “Doorway from a Canadian Hearth and Home” and moved from its previous domineering and obliterating central position to serve as a secondary “back-up” position behind the bronze tableau of figures.
Which dammit, doesn’t anyone get it? They were supposed to have been the story the monument tried to tell all along…
The good news: it would only take a few dollars to retrofit a National “War” Memorial into a National “Peace” Monument, and so correct a whole lot of historical wrongs, that have been ignored for too long in this presentation disaster of a monument.
Here’s the why and the how.
“The Response” AKA Canada’s National “War” Memorial in the 1920s
Thematically this was originally supposed to be a “Peace” memorial to commemorate the 61,000 Canadians who died in World War I, and all those who answered “the Call” at their country’s hour of need.
It was NOT intended to be a gloating war memorial to trumpet winning a triumphant bloody Victory over the “Hun,” or to display and showcase blatant bragging rights for military gunmen – the current presentation configuration of Canada’s National “War” Memorial.
Instead, it was intended to commemorate the lost generation of Canadians by representing ALL of them as part of “The Response” when Canadian men and women from every walk of life were asked to answer their country’s call for service overseas, and when over 600,000 men and women did so.
This was supposed to be their monument. To their public service.
Seen another way, the monument was supposed to capture a patriotic “pre-war” fervour - if you will - of Canadians issuing forth from Canadian homes to answer “their Country’s Call.”
It was NOT supposed to capture or celebrate a jingoistic “postwar” moment, with a triumphant parade through a gloating Triumphal Victory Arch – the theme, as presently configured, which it now clearly evokes.
Vernon & Sydney’s “Twofer” National “War” Memorial
In selecting Vernon March’s design for Canada’s National “War” Memorial the Canadians got two artists for the price of one: young Vernon the artist, designer, and carver, of the original 19 bronzes in the figural tableau, and his much older brother Sydney, the architectural designer and construction supervisor of the Triumphal Victory Arch.
(Since Vernon died while the original bronzes were still being cast in England, and nine years before the monument was even finished, and finally erected for the first time in Ottawa, Canada, the monument really has the imprint of his older brother who supervised the numerous changes to the monument and the final construction and design as it now is displayed. Vernon never saw it assembled; its first test "set-up" was not done till two years after he died.)
Alas, it also means Canada got TWO monuments for the price of one:
- a wonderfully evocative and unified tableau of 22 large figural bronzes “The Cavalcade,” (mostly executed by the sensitive Vernon, a renowned sculptor of monuments around the world), which ended up, however, being hugely dominated, obliterated, diminished, minimized, by a second monument:
- a huge gloating and overwhelmingly monstrous “Triumphal Victory Arch” composed of endlessly interfering and obliterating walls of granite, surmounted by a huge Winged Goddess of Victory in War, (executed and hugely expanded after Vernon’s death by Sydney) which immensely overpower the message and dominate everything, and is, in fact, the central and most noticeable component of the “war” memorial.
Canada’s Schizophrenic National “War” Memorial
In Canada’s National “War” Memorial, the way these two individual monuments are currently displayed, they fight each other for attention and loudly compete for meaning, message, and relevance.
The present placement and configuration of Sydney’s “Triumphal Victory Arch” totally destroys the original meaning of the “Response” of ALL Canadians volunteering to be of service to their country.
Instead it transforms Canada’s National “War” Memorial, into a raucous jingoistic military march led by a featured group of male military gunman passing through a huge and gloating Triumphal Victory Arch, surmounted by a monstrous Winged Goddess of Victory in “War” holding forth a wreath of laurels in recognition and celebration of Canadian blooded warriors celebrating “Coming of Age,” behind a gun on the battlefield, and defeating the “Hun.”
NOTE: In other countries they do not have this conflict and “fighting for primacy” problem. They made do with one thematically focused memorial: France (1806-1836), Mexico (1910-1938), and North Korea (1982), each patriotically settled for a huge, ultra-jingoistic and gloating, and ultra-macho Triumphal Victory Arch, only (they have the three biggest in the world).
A case in point: France’s Arc de Triomphe celebrates the glory of Napoleonic era battles and lists the names of scores of generals who are individually lionized for the Ages in huge inscriptions. Not the hundreds of thousands of obliterated French soldiers who died to make the generals famous.
Counterpoint: the Arc does not at all symbolize the message like that of the US “Vietnam Veterans Memorial” in Washington, which lists and memorializes NOT the name of US top general William Westmoreland, but the names of some 58,286 of the US Sacrificial Dead, erased and obliterated on his watch. Note too: it is NOT called a “Triumphal Arch” like in France or a “War Memorial,” like in Canada, but a Veterans – a people centred – Memorial.
In the same era that France set up the Arc de Triomphe, Haligonians, in Nova Scotia, after the Crimean War, followed the French example in 1860, with their down-sized version in erecting the gloating Sebastopol Triumphal Arch, which is Canada’s second oldest war memorial. Though alongside the large celebratory inscriptions of the bloody battles of a war which claimed over 1 million lives, they also added - in smaller script - the names of two locals who died.
These Triumphal Victory Arches all share two central and common features: they echo a multi-thousand year tradition of gloating about their bloody triumphs on battlefields in war. They glorify war, and especially success and triumph in war, as a necessary and worthy pursuit for a nation.
And they remain the only monument; there are no secondary figural displays or tableaus of bronze statues beneath Triumphal Victory Arches. They are designed to be huge and dominate the landscape, and echo the gloating victories of the triumphant armies on the battlefields. (Unlike the US Vietnam Veterans Memorial which is a very solemn, sad, low-key, and almost unobtrusive low profile construction.)
Hey, the Triumphal Victory Arches say, the victory is the thing. Winning is what this is all about. The collateral damage in dead is a bit unfortunate, of course,***** but in the last analysis, really worth it. But let’s not dwell on that, OK? Triumphal Victory Arch Monuments are to celebrate, NOT having your druthers…
***** A case in point is Obama who says he regrets "a few" Muslim wedding parties – well it’s actually more than a few – he has accidentally – he says - obliterated with drone strikes. But, he cautions Americans it’s all for a greater good: wiping out the Muslim pajamahadeen who dare to stand against white racist European invaders in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. It will all desecrate the 21st century for the Ages, just like the same bunch desecrated the 20th century by wiping out 100 million people – mostly civilians - in World War I and II. And then memorialized these “wars” with monuments.
But many others did NOT want a gloating blatantly jingoistic “war” monument, and chose NOT to erect an old-style Caesarian and Napoleonic “Triumphal Victory Arch,” opting instead, for a tableau of bronze figures, like the American Marine Corps, in selecting Felix Weldon’s fabulous tableau for the Iwo Jima Memorial, in Washington, DC (commissioned in 1945).
They wanted to memorialize the individual human story, of World War II, not the nation’s massive success in bloodletting. And the same a generation later with the emotionally moving Vietnam Veterans Wall ending a conflict where American generals bragged openly on the nightly news that they were winning because they had immolated with napalm, and wiped out over one (1) million “Gooks.” Extermination was their winning strategy. It would be adopted a generation later and publicly promoted by Canadian General "Killer" HIllier.
Other Canadians also picked the human story in picking George William Hill’s fine tableau of bronzes for the Charlottetown, PEI World War I memorial (unveiled 1925).
And the Newfoundlanders with the magnificent bellowing caribou (by British artist Basil Gotto) at Beaumont-Hamel, France.
We show how these veteran-centred monuments would have fared if they were also suited out with a secondary monument, notably with Sydney’s gloating Triumphal Victory Arch, like it is currently displayed across Canada’s schizophrenic National “War” Memorial.
A National War Memorial with a Split Personality - So Canada’s National “War” Memorial is burdened - and destroyed to my mind - by what is essentially a two-element construction: there is a cavalcade, in a unified base tableau, of 22 coordinated bronze figures, many obliterated and enveloped by a starkly constructional-looking, and huge monster arch of blocks of granite, that sits intrusively across it.
The archway’s only job: besides being a gloating Triumphal Victory Arch, celebrating prowess in military bloodletting, is to serve as a pedestal for a huge statue of Nike, the Greek Winged Goddess of Victory.
Nike personified “Victory” for men engaged in warfare and traditionally was depicted as flying around bloody battlefields, rewarding the most successful combatants with glory and fame, symbolized by a laurel wreath she bestowed on the brow of the most victorious involved in martial mayhem on fields of gory.
Which is why the Russians when they erected their huge Triumphal Victory Arch gloatingly put Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory in War, on top of their monument. Their excuse is that they did it in a more bloody minded Age, a full century before...
That is also Nike's promotional role on Canada’s National “War” Memorial as well. Nike is shown looking down on the “Dirty Dozen,” the frontal group of a dozen Canadian gunmen, immediately below her and holding out a laurel wreath to honour their triumph at bloodletting.
Nike pointedly has her back to the “also-rans,” the military support services and women, two groups, which together make up the majority in the military, but are always denigrated by the combat soldiers, for not being up to snuff like real warriors who fight.
This was certainly evident in the Afghan War where combat troops demanded a separate medal from that given to other Afghan veterans to distinguish that they have “balls” while the rest don’t.
Note: this was NOT done in the Boer War, nor in World Wars I or II, when everyone in the entirely Canadian “volunteer” military of the time got the same medals. And didn't complain about it.
Remember too that in spite of what you are told, there are many other ways that the Canadian military of both World Wars differed hugely from Canada’s modern professional force. (Comparing Veterans of Canada’s Wars)
So there are, in fact, two monuments commingled on Confederation Square: one the Triumphal Victory Arch, which in many other places in Canada and overseas, serve as complete monuments in themselves (like the Roman Arch of Titus, France’s Arc de Triomphe, Halifax’s Sebastopol Monument, etc.), without any other supplementary adornments, additions, or competing distractions.
The second monument, “The Response,” is a unified display tableau of 22 bronzes that is complete unto itself, like in other places around the world – eg. the Iwo Jima Memorial, Washington, DC, the War Memorial in Charlottetown, PEI, etc. None of these have Triumphal Victory Arches over top of them, hiding, obliterating, shadowing, or minimizing the tableau of bronzes.
(We show elsewhere how all these fine bronze tableaus would look today if they had been retrofitted with Sydney’s Triumphal Victory Arch. The disaster they averted is only apparent on Canada’s schizophrenic National “War” Memorial.)
In fact the original bronze tableau and the present granite arch in Canada’s National “War” Monument were born continents and years apart, with the bronzes being cast in the UK, towards 1930, and the granite triumphal victory arch not cut and constructed in Canada until 1937. They were mated as a combined unit for the first time, the following year in Confederation Square.
It was to my mind, not a happy marriage. Far from it…
Luckily, Vernon March the original guiding genius behind the creation of the monument, had died in 1930, in the midst of the bronze casting, and never saw the final three bronzes carved or cast. And he never saw Sydney’s hugely expanded Triumphal Victory Arch, which is bigger, wider by three feet, bulkier, and taller by six feet, than the one he originally designed. The concrete support columns were also hugely thickened, outwards from the plinth, so that they are now deeper than wide, and unlike they were in the original design. They now hugely push away and obstruct access from the sides of the monument.
That’s putting a hell of a lot more granite in your face... And over Vernon’s artwork…
Comparing the two generations of the monument, in photos taken from exactly the same vantage point, shows how the expansion of the enlarged Triumphal Victory Arch has obliterated Tail-end Tillie at the rear of the memorial.
And is responsible for expanding and changing Vernon’s supposed “Response” from “Hearth and Home” tableau, more into a gloating and jingoistic war monument featuring a military cavalcade on a triumphal march through Sydney’s overweening and overwhelming Triumphal Victory Arch, beneath a huge and wildly approving Winged Goddess of Victory in War.
I am fairly certain Vernon would not have liked the overall monument now, which for over 75 years has featured and given pride of place to a massively intrusive and obliterating construction of granite twin towers designed and installed by his brother Sydney, who had a personal passion for architecture and construction.
It appears Sydney clearly wanted to leave his mark, over the work of his long departed much younger brother, and that he did. All you can see anymore are domineering towers of granite.
Sydney created a massive obstruction which hugely hides or obscures, and diminishes the artistic power of the March family’s 22 bronze figures, which were, of course, what the story was supposed to be about in the first place.
Not Sydney’s damn Triumphal Victory Arch…
In the early 1920s, Sydney - and Vernon too – were both involved in thinking of “war monuments,” and were clearly aware of Rome’s Triumphal Arch of Titus, of France’s triumphal Arc de Triomphe – for a century the biggest Triumphal Arch in the world - and that Mexico was building an even bigger one. Both had clearly seen troops returning from the Boer War and marching through the streets in triumph under huge temporary Triumphal Arches. Which is why the Triumphal Arch concept was added to their submission idea for the competition to win the contract for Canada’s National “War” Memorial.
Something in the Air - Canadians in Halifax, Toronto, and Vancouver had built huge Triumphal Arches for the triumphant soldiers returning from the Boer War to march through surrounded by cheering throngs. Alas, those were only temporary structures of wood, branches, and cloth.
So jingoism and racism were hugely promoted by the media, politicians, and the corporate bosses. Someone had to take the blame for all the dead and bloodletting; It might as well be the loser...
So Triumphal Arches were in the air during the Boer War. Now after another devastating war, that saw the 300 dead of that war, jumped to 60,000 in the Great War, were Canadians any less deserving of having a large permanent Triumphal Victory Arch of their own?
So the problem started when Vernon was still alive and he caught the Triumphal Arch bug in the jingoistic euphoria of vanquishing the Hun in the early 1920s. But it all got much worse when he died prematurely before the monument as it appears today was finalized.
Sydney expanded the size of the triumphal arch just as the public taste for gloating about war, and the bloody-mindedness, which embraced Triumphal Victory Arches - which celebrated war as a glorious victory over the enemy as a “good thing” - started to dissipate in more modern times.
In fact I have not found another memorial by Sydney where he succeeded in convincing his clients to accept a similar monster Triumphal Victory Arch over top of it. Even though he succeeded in selling them other versions of Nike holding a Laurel (Victory) Wreath.
Clearly, nobody else wanted Sydney’s damn gloating Triumphal Victory Arch. Not once the jingoistic and vengeful mind set of the post-war world began to dissipate, with the sober realization that “glorious victories in war” had wiped out some 25 million people…
Not entirely true. In North Korea they set up the world’s largest Triumphal Victory Arch in 1982 in honour of, guess who? Why President Kim Il-sung...
Only Canadians ended up with this notorious obstruction on their National “War” Memorial. Thanks to war sentiments that still animated Canadian politicians and generals who were advisors in how this monument should be configured and displayed in the 1930s.
Luckily, because of the way Vernon original designed the monument it can be easily, and cheaply retrofitted to remove the historical objections and restore and make it reflect a more meaningful and less objectionable message for modern Canadians.
It’s time to move the Triumphal Victory Arch back off the tableau of bronzes, reconfigure it as a “Doorway from a Canadian Hearth and Home,” or remove it entirely…
And so reconfigure and rededicate Canada’s National “War” Memorial as Canada’s National “Peace” Memorial in honour of those who served, and those who died.
The some 100,000 who died in Canada’s wars DID NOT DIE TO PROMOTE WAR, CELEBRATE WAR, OR WANT WAR MEMORIALIZED.
They died to promote PEACE. That was their wish for those they left behind.
And a first step towards that is to rededicate the “war” monument to PEACE.
And a first step towards that is to reconfigure Sydney’s damn Triumphal Victory Arch into thematic conformity with that…
Flight Sgt. Joe Barfoot's name is inscribed, for evermore, on the Books of Remembrance on the second floor of the "Peace Tower" on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada, along with the names of the other 118,000 men and military women who died in service to Canada. Joe was from Toronto.
(WE'LL ALWAYS MISS YOU JOE...)
Below: The central "Peace" Tower of Canada's Parliament that honours their memory and the task they died to bring about - "Peace." Which is why the tower is named as it is, instead of "War Memorial Tower," or "Warrior Tower," or "Military Tower," "Soldier's Tower," "Paratroop Tower," "General Hillier's Tower," or "Victory Tower." Or something else equally inapplicably militaristic and degrading of what this rare band of civilians died to do for all Canadians.
Remember Joe and virtually every other name on the Books of Remembrance was a civilian, one among the many who downed the bell, the book, and the broom, in order to answer the call.
They were not career soldiers, always parading with guns at the ready. When a soldier comes running, it is his duty to smartly "Do or Die." It's his paid profession and career.
When a civilian, like Joe, comes running for war duty, it is a calling of a far, far higher order...
And a sacrifice, too, of an unbearably far higher order...
Joe left a bride bearing a child after only a few months, and never saw either of them again...
Isn't it high time that Canada's National "War" Memorial, was rededicated as Canada's National "Peace" Monument?
|The Life History of the Canadian Triumphal Victory Arch
Probably the only photo in existence of the original model of Vernon March's Triumphal Victory Arch as he proposed it in 1925. (The Canadian War Museum's maquette is NOT, despite what it says, the original one.) After Vernon's death in 1930, this original Triumphal Victory Arch was hugely expanded to dominate the memorial even more. That later expansion is what the maquette at the Canadian War Museum shows (left), NOT the original maquette (above) which features a reduced Triumphal Victory Arch.
Where did Vernon get the idea and inspiration for saddling his tableau of bronzes with this granite monstrosity? You can follow his creative mental processes below, in the years after the Allies had won a huge victory over the "Hun."
You ask? How can anyone contemplate proposing a "Triumphal Victory Arch" to memorialize a "Victory" that cost 25 million lives...? Hey, gloating victorious armies and peoples have done it for centuries. The Aussies had no problem at all, after World War I, with doing that - see below. And neither, it's clear, did the Canadians...
The Triumphal Victory Arch of Titus 98 AD celebrating the killing some 1 (that's 1.1) million Jews during the campaigns that resulted in the sacking of Jerusalem. Erecting monstrous Roman Triumphal Arches became favourite models used by artists and peoples to assert public bragging rights about bloodletting by one civilization over another.
The Wellington Arch, the first Triumphal Victory Arch of the post-Napoleonic world, was set up in London, UK, in 1825 to honour the Duke who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Gloating at bloodletting was the order of the day. So the monument first featured the largest bronze ever cast, of the mounted Duke sitting on top.
Even two centuries ago the public complained it was literally "over the top" in taste, but not removed till after the Duke died in 1852. The grossly excessive equestrian was replaced with a more tasteful quadriga driven by Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory in War, the traditional goddess preferred on public monuments by those - like Canadians on their war memorial - who like to brag about their prowess at blood sports.
The Wellington Arch fiasco offers Canadians a telling precedent to avoid: that is, allowing the military authorities to direct the creation and display of public monuments, that are supposed to belong to and reflect all citizens. Letting this happen, originally, in the case of the Wellington Arch, imparted an unseemly and inappropriate military, chauvinistic, and jingoistic feel to a public monument that soon fell out of favour with changing times.
And in the case of Canada's National War Memorial - similarly badly displayed for the last 75 year - serves only to distract mightily from a memorial that was supposed to reflect an emotional commitment of the heart by a now lost generation of Canadians.
The British found the courage to reconfigure a national monument to conform with changing public taste in the 1850s, and remove the militaristic Duke to Aldershot military camp.
Canadians should find the same courage in 2015, and move Sydney's damn Triumphal Victory Arch behind the monument - instead of continuing to allow it to grossly and aggressively bestride it - so removing, at one fell swoop, all the multiple negative consequences that have resulted from its unfortunate positioning for the past 75 years.
Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe (1806-1836) celebrating his generals' victories - their names and battles are glorified on its walls - which cost some 2.5 (2.5) million French soldiers and civilians their lives. On top is also a quadriga driven by Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory in War.
The Russian Empire's Triumphal Victory Arch in Moscow (1829-1834) which is the counterpunch to France's Arc de Triomphe, and memorializes its victories over Napoleon. The total casualties resulting from these three (above) gloating Victory Arches was between 3.5 to 6 million dead soldiers and civilians. It is crowned by an extra large seiuga driven by Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory in War (the same goddess that is on top of Canada's National "War" Memorial Triumphal Victory Arch).
The Sebastopol Triumphal Victory Arch in Halifax, Nova Scotia, erected in 1860 to glorify the victorious battles of the Crimean War which killed over a million soldiers and civilians. (Canada's second oldest war memorial.)
A temporary Triumphal Victory Arch set up to honour the bloody battles and commanders who routed the Métis from their ancestral homes, in western Canada, and made their lands available for occupation and development by more "civilized" and "establishment preferred" Anglo people from eastern Canada. Like most Triumphal Victory Arches it celebrates generals and bloody battles - the agents, NOT the victims of war. It also brags about racism and victimizing minorities.
The Canada Triumphal Arch in London, UK, erected to welcome Lord Kitchener back from South Africa at the end of the Boer War in 1902. It memorializes the first modern war which saw civilian (Boer) women and children die in the tens of thousands, at numbers equal to combatants - some 26,000 Boer civilians.
The Triumphal Victory Arch erected in Toronto below Queen's Park in 1900, bragging of all the bloody battles where the Canadians, in their first ever expedition in a war overseas, visited death and destruction on a "primitive" distant farming peoples some 10% of whose population was wiped out.
Triumphal victory arches commonly brag about subduing inferior races. Luckily many of these were temporary, and so the blight was removable and people could get on with developing progressive thoughts without reminders of their racist past.
Not possible with stone or granite Triumphal Victory Arches; they have to be razed, or moved to purge past public postures that are no longer politically correct. (Luckily a move is possible to redress this historical indiscretion with Canada's permanent "National War Memorial.")
And Canadians could take their Triumphal Victory Arches and public bragging rights home. Here is an original photo and frame that preserved the temporary Boer War Triumphal Victory Arch and the gloating Victory over the Boers in a Toronto home for over 100 years... It stood to reason with this family, that twenty years later, its members would also want a gloating Triumphal Victory Arch included as part of their World War I memorial celebrating their victory over the "Hun." Hey, everyone was doing it, even though they claimed they were not...
Rogues Gallery of Gloating "Triumphal Victory Arch" Builders
in the 20th Century
The Brash Politically Incorrect Aussies - The gloating Triumphal "Arch of Victory" - so-called by brash Aussies - erected in 1920 in Ballarat, Australia, with the word "Victory" hugely emblazoned to signify defeating and conquering the "Hun" in World War I. The same lingering jingoism was no doubt a considerable motivating force when Canada decided it wanted a gloating Triumphal Victory Arch of its own during the same time period.
The Brash Politically Incorrect Canadian Militarists - The Canadian "War" Memorial's gloating Triumphal Victory Arch, erected in 1938, crowned - like many other gloating Triumphal Victory Arches - by a hugely prominent Nike, "Winged Goddess of Victory in War." And looking down with pride, below her, on the "Dirty Dozen" men with guns at the front, who had shown the "Hun" a thing or two on bloody battlefields, and - so the story goes - thereby apparently established the Nation's manhood and credibility...
Oh, and another thing! Luckily Canada is bi-lingual officially. Which prevented the military bureaucrats of the 1930s from copying the Aussie model and engraving the Triumphal Victory Arch full of "Victory" and "Down with the Hun" inscriptions. Doubles of everything would have looked silly. So only the TWO official languages policy prevented the Aussie desecration from happening here. Still revenge was in many hearts. So they put a giant Winged Goddess of Victory in War, on top, to speak in unmistakable terms for them. For those who might fail to "get it" from the already huge and domineering "Triumphal Victory Arch."
The Home of Drug Lords & Mass Murders - The Mexico Triumphal Victory Arch - the tallest in the world - erected in (1910-1938) commemorates the bloodbath that was the Mexican Revolution, and houses bones of heroic generals like Pancho Villa.
Genocidal Fascist Dictator General Franco - The Triumphal Victory Arch of Spain, erected by Fascist General Franco (in 1950-1956) to memorialize his bloody victory over the forces for democracy in Europe's bloody prelude to World War II. Crowned by a more sedate Minerva, the Roman Goddess of culture, wisdom, medicine, the arts, schools, and commerce.
Communist Family Dictatorship - The Triumphal Victory Arch of North Korea - second tallest, to Mexico, in the world - erected in 1982, in honour of President Kim Il-sung's role in leading resistance to the Japanese from 1925-1945. A backwards step, in memorials, to the cult of personality, generals, and heroes, instead of commemorating the victims.
The following celebrities have already agreed that moving the Triumphal Victory Arch is a no-brainer, great idea...
For more on who they are and why they are keen to see "Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch" moved, see below...
OK, we admit it! Some are strongly opposed to our attempt to rejuvenate Canada's War Memorial...
|Renowned Kingston, ON, artist Margaret Sutherland who is famous for making a bold attempt to paint the first official portrait of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, by showing him "exposed, " entirely nude surrounded by rows of fawning faceless corporate cronies, mostly from the armaments and fossil fuel industries. With nary a veteran among them.
"I'm grossly offended that you would even consider using that awful gloating Victory Arch to cover up my painting. It's a deliberate act of censorship. As well as a diabolical attempt to cover up a historical truth, however awful it may be to you. Please do not promote this idea."
We are sorry Margaret. Just chalk it up to "collateral damage."
(SEE details of why Margaret is grousing below)
|Former Canadian Forces chief, Gen. "Killer" Hillier was outraged to hear of our proposal to move back the Triumphal Victory Arch, in an attempt to de-emphasize the leading "Dirty Dozen" - the men with guns - that would, he says, hugely "distort" what the Canadian Forces are all about.
"Out job is to be able to kill people," he notoriously barked to the media when it questioned what his war aims were in Afghanistan. It's an idea he borrowed from his "hero," disgraced and failed US Gen. William Westmoreland of Vietnam "Gook body count" fame. Hillier was, of course, referring to Muslim "scumbags" as he called them, not Vietnamese.
Meaning Hillier wants to keep the "Dirty Dozen" in the place of honour, prominent in front, and women and nurses at the rear, "ready to provide other services the deserving fighting men up front may require."
For those who want some General Hillier memorabilia:
CLICK ME TO THE
"Killer" Hillier "MUFF"
"FART" & "POOP"
|Colonel Russell Williams, formerly the top colonel of the Canadian Forces, and Commandant of CFB Trenton, wrote from his jail cell, to complain of our "dastardly attempt to besmirch the reputation of Canada's men in uniform," strongly complaining that "left-wing pinko journalists like you do more than anyone to defile the uniform of Canada's Forces," and to "stop it."
He says he does not give interviews but "enough is enough" with the Forces taking "too many entirely unwarranted hits lately" and he couldn't stand Idly by without expressing his "personal disgust and outrage" at those trying to denigrate, in any way the uniform of the Canadian Forces.
FYI - Williams long a model and poster boy for the Harper Government and the officer corps of the Canadian military, is in jail for being a serial girl's panty stealer and women's underwear model, a serial rapist, and serial murderer.
None - thank God - were carried out while he was in uniform, as he thoughtfully removed it before he set out on his midnight romps.
|Major David Yurczyszyn, and former Commandant of Canadian Forces Base Wainwright, sent his apologies for not being able to attend this year's Remembrance Day ceremonies - he's in jail for a rape he committed on Remembrance Day 2012.
But he wrote an urgent email saying that his absence would not stop him from doing his duty to protest anyone who seeks to denigrate the uniform of Canada's fighting men, as he alleges we are trying to do. "My God, if the officer corps of Canada's Forces won't be up front to defend the honour of the institution where would that leave us all?"
FYI - Yurczyszyn had previously been charged with keeping the morale of his brother officers up, by projecting porno movies before groups. Which is probably why he was later promoted to become Base Commander of CFB Wainwright.
|General Daniel Menard, Canada's former top general in Afghanistan during the late war, did not send us a note and laid low - on Remembrance Day - figuring that was his best option, after first being embarrassingly fined for negligently shooting off his rifle by mistake.
Shortly after he was finally fired and returned home in disgrace, because, though a married man himself - forget personal ethics or morality or the military prohibitions against adultery Canadian officers are supposedly honour bound to obey - the general repeatedly boinked a married corporal with children, on his staff.
The general clearly believes women in the military have their uses...
But that boosting their prominence on the National War Memorial, at the expense of men in uniform, is a clear desecration of the uniform he wore.
FYI - Last we heard, the CBC was costing out a TV series called "The General and the Corporal" about life in the "new" Canadian military. He will be retained as the technical advisor.
Retrofitting the Ottawa Triumphal Victory Arch to "Improve" two other famous war memorials:
Charlottetown, PEI and the US Marine Corp's "Iwo Jima" Memorial in Washington, DC
George Hill's Fabulous War Memorial 1925 - Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Felix de Weldon's Fabulous Iwo Jima Memorial 1954 - Washington, DC, USA
Like most Canadians I have visited both these famous memorials: George Hill's fabulous figures in front of Province House, and the superlative Iwo Jima tableaux. You get a fresh and stirring view, no matter which side you look at them from, and so people pose for pictures all around them.
But I think I have found a way I believe we can improve on them... A possibility which was just inadvertently overlooked when they were erected...
I ask you. How much are they improved by adding Ottawa's iconic Triumphal Victory Arch across their middles?
(Both Canadian Triumphal Victory arches shown to scale)
|That Mother%*#?@* Statue - There are many who suggest that entirely removing the gloating "Triumphal Victory Arch" surmounted by the gloating "Winged Goddess of Victory in War," bronze, from the Ottawa "War Memorial," is the only way to go.
They ask, why do the same people, who can't get Canada's main national monument right - it's in the same league as North Korea's, General Franco's, and the Mexican Drug Lords' gloating "Triumphal Victory Arch" - get approval and national tax money to plan another one?
They failed to keep the War Memorial from being the huge national embarrassment that it is in 2015, and now start desecrating the landscape by putting up another even bigger ill-advised monstrosity...
People with insight suggest this is the perfect historical opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, by placing the granite arch over the Harper/Parks Canada/ Corporate Canada branded "Mother
Goose Canada" monument.
The two "war memorials" are shown together (not exactly to scale) but it gets the idea across. The hands would still extend but this could be an advantage: to placate opposition from environmentalists, bird feeders and suet logs could be hung from the fingers, so hopefully convincing this vocal opposition group that this monumental project is really for the birds.
|A New Job for Three Dreary Dullards in their Dotage - This would also create another year-round full-time job for a needy Canadian: to top up the bird feeders...
We suggest Rex Murphy - yes he who provides a regular dump for Compost Media. He supports the statue project; he also has a lot in common - topsides - with his feathered friends. No we don't mean feathers...
It would render Canada another great service: get this insufferable windbag out of Ontario, off CBC Radio, and off CBC TV.
If he can't handle this job any better than he has his other ones, we suggest sending him Peter Mansbridge and Brian Stewart, as assistants. They should have been retired to an old fogies home over a decade ago, and yet still come to dish out dull and dreary inanities and drool in their dotage on CBC's utterly dreadful Remembrance Day wake. And you guessed it, all three on the public purse... Yes we are polite... Next year, I predict, these two will expire before your very eyes. (Reliable sources tell me that apparently to prevent this very real possibility, CBC has already contracted for a resuscitating crew and equipment to be on standby for next year...)
Actually a lot of people have already offered to help pay for a bench to be placed beside "Rex" above, for the trio of old CBC fogies to sit as they feed the pigeons while they bore each other, and the birds - thank God no longer CBC viewers - to death.
An embarrassing example: Mansbridge droned on saying "The monument was built to commemorate the veterans of the Boer War," a historical falsehood of the worst kind. In fact it was NOT built for the Boer War, at all, but not till 39 years later, for WW I veterans. In fact a key point is that Boer War veterans were specifically NOT commemorated on the monument till 2014, when the oversight was corrected as a result of my initiative. None of which the doddery old anchor was aware of. And the canard was not even immediately corrected by the snoring Stewart beside him who also didn't have a clue about the utter BS that his old pal was spouting. (Understandable: when you've been as long on the public tit like these two have - their entire adult lives - all you really give a damn about is picking up your retainer on the way out...)
|Giant Guillotine or Triumphal Victory Arch? - Note how the granitic monstrosity of the Triumphal Victory Arch just overpowers, dominates, and minimizes the finest tableau of bronze figures in the world, treating them as so much chopped liver.
In fact the monument looks more like a gauche advertisement for the Dumas Rock Quarry at Rivière-à-Pierre, Quebec which provided 503 tonnes of rose-grey granite for the memorial.
The photo shows clearly that the memorial makes a powerhouse statement about the majesty of granite, like the Peterborough Lift Lock is an ode to the glory and might of poured concrete.
It's oh so Canadian! Indicative of a people who love rock, fish, water, and wilderness and have only lately become aware of the finer things in life, like Vernon March's glorious bronze sculptures.
Whereas a proper French or British family looks forward to a day at a museum, a Canadian family loves nothing better than going for a camp-out to guzzle beer, and zoom about wildly in noisy watercraft, in between taking time to catch, or trap, or shoot to death defencelss game or fish in the wilderness.
Below two other iconic memorials that might be immeasurably improved with Canada's Triumphal Victory Arch
|Dachau Death Camp Memorial, Munich, Germany
||Prime Minister Harper's First Official Portrait, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Another Triumphal Victory Arch Failure - I have seen the unnerving and moving Dachau Memorial. I believe the Triumphal Victory Arch does not help to promote the central bronze tableau, but hides so much the message is lost or devalued.
Really Now Margaret ! - I have always considered Kingston, Ontario artist Margaret Sutherland's painting of Stephen Harper "exposed," - intimating that when stripped down to his bare essentials, he is nothing more than a smug, self-satisfied and corpulent nudie surrounded by an ever-changing, shuffling parade of faceless fawning toadies, shamelessly slavering for the billions he has to dispense in tax payer dollars - as over-the-top. I mean, can anyone believe such a thing? And she claims, he seems to love the attention of unelected men in suits...
A Secret Backer - But wait a minute! My proposal "to move the blocky arch" has found an enthusiastic backer from the most unlikely source.
You guessed it: the Prime Minister's own wife, who told us - through an anonymous intermediary, of course - that if we are ever going to succeed in getting rid of the Triumphal Victory Arch at the National War Memorial - apparently she believes it's a good idea - and we put it up to auction, she would be eager to make the opening bid.
Apparently she wants it to cover Margaret Sutherland's painting of a man she sometimes dares to call "Steve" or apparently even "Stevie."
Said the intermediary, insisting her anonymity be preserved, since she's not authorized to speak on behalf of the "First Lady," who apparently confessed that "she has to look at the subject matter of the Sutherland painting far too much already, than is good for one's health. That a good dose of circumspect modesty would do everyone a world of good. And she believes that putting the Triumphal Victory Arch over Sutherland's painting would go a long way to making Canadians - and her of course - happy."
She may be on to something, of course, about Canadians having already seen far too much of a Prime Minister who was only elected by 23.7 % of the popular vote.
And that the 76.3% of eligible voters, who chose NOT to vote for Harper, are enthusiastically shouting, "Bring on the Triumphal Victory Arch?"
Hello; My Name is Laureen - For those of you who haven't heard of her before, or wouldn't recognize her if you bumped into her, the Prime Minister's wife is named Laureen. I think that's how she spells it...
Reluctant Biker Babe - Before she became a fervent supporter of finding a new home for Sydney's obliterating Triumphal Victory Arch, Mr Harper's wife was mostly known for riding a motorcycle - but only side-saddle, thank you... Though some have quoted sources, who should know, that this was merely a stunt, done to attract the votes of the unsavoury biker crowd. When one is down to only 23.7% of the popular vote, you need all the help you can get.
An Apology to Mrs. Harper - This Arch is the only one not done to scale, because if it were, its eight foot width would have totally obliterated the Prime Minister. Something Mrs. Harper had insisted on - we believe disingenuously - for "historical accuracy."
But we couldn't bear to wipe out Margaret's cute little pooch - the polar opposite of a man who is famous for wearing a perpetual smirk or sneer - so leaving a modestly circumspect, and less objectionable part of the Prime Minister's hirsute anatomy exposed.
Nevertheless, if Mrs. Harper proves to be the winning bidder on the Triumphal Victory Arch, she can put it where she wants.
A guess where it would end up? Over the marital bed at 24 Sussex Street...
A word of caution: she had better hurry; at this time next year she won't be in it...
Will she take it with her when she packs? You can bet on it...
An Apology - For the inexcusable blurry portion in the middle of Margaret Sutherland's iconic portrait. But we have it on good authority that there were just not enough pixels there to render even a minimal image.
Below two other iconic memorials, most of us have seen, that might be immeasurably improved with Canada's Triumphal Victory Arch
|Queen Elizabeth II, on Parliament Hill, ON, Canada
||Samuel de Champlain by Vernon March, Orillia, ON Canada
That's Queen Elizabeth mounted on a tepid-looking horse on Canada's Parliament Hill, and Vernon March's own fabulous Champlain at Orillia. He won the competition at the age of 20 in 1912. A dozen years later this fabulous talent won the competition to create Canada's National War Memorial.
(All Triumphal Victory Arches are to scale.)
Win Some; Lose Some - OK, OK, we agree with you, that the Queen's tepid equestrian is immeasurably improved when framed in Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch.
It's also our candidate for becoming first in line to be melted down when metal is needed in aid of the next war effort that Canada's politicians have on the books.
But I'm equally certain that Vernon would NOT like Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch over top of his fabulous Champlain statue. And neither would the good folks of Orillia. So, get rid of it here, Sydney, and find a better place for it...
Two more placements for Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch...
|Beaumont-Hamel Memorial to Newfoundland Dominion's Dead, France
||Boer War Memorial, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
What a magnificent caribou, by British sculptor Basil Gotto, braying in agony over the loss of hundreds of Newfoundlanders in a single charge across the field below. Couldn't it be improved with a judicious framing by Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch?
Right the fabulous equestrian that I think is the finest in Canada - after Vernon's two, on the National War Memorial - this done by Canada's own super-talented Louis-Phillipe Hébert.
How much do you think it would gain, if tastefully framed by Sydney's grandiose Triumphal Victory Arch? We'll let you see the possibilities...
(All Triumphal Victory Arches are to scale.)
On a per capita basis Newfoundlanders probably lost more people to gain the final victory in World War I, than any other "Canadians."
None deserve the Triumphal Victory Arch more than they do.
So Beaumont-Hamel is the perfect place for it.
Don't you agree?
Guess Why? In fact we have not been able to find a single one of Vernon's other fabulous monumental sculptures anywhere around the world that he ever saddled with another gloating "Triumphal Victory Arch." Canada's schizophrenic National "War" Memorial, is the only one...
It's unique alright - rendered uniquely inaccessible, for a start...
A mother falsely instructs her two children that "men with guns" make the difference in our society, not volunteer efforts of men and woman rising to answer the Call in a monument supposedly contracted to depict "The Great Response of Canada." Hell her children don't even know women are represented in this monument. They're all buried alive in the back of the bus behind walls of obliterating, denigrating, minimizing granite.
A Macho Memorial for Combat Infantrymen - Here are some classic views and "usages" of Canada's National War Memorial, with Sydney's massive granitic guillotine chopping off the rear two-thirds of the monument and the other dozen bronzes from view, in favour of featuring the "Dirty Dozen" up front.
Note how, everybody, as a result, totally spurns the side of the blocked up memorial, let alone what's behind the huge Triumphal Victory Arch, where Tail-end Charlene and Tail-end Tillie are buried alive.
Often ceremonial organizers even put a fence across the entire front to prevent access, or to enforce disinterest in the sides and back - OK we agree they're awfully and totally inaccessible at present, thanks to that granitic obliterating monster pile of interfering stone.
Note too how the memorial usage is focused, as always to the front ten feet of the memorial for no good reason, other than the granite walls of the arch block them out from the sides and back.
See below how this narrow, restrictive front-sided "usage" of a memorial is totally at odds with every other war memorial everywhere else in the world, where equal access to all sides of the tableaux, is built into the presentation format.
Note how all the wreaths are placed in front of the "Dirty Dozen."
Not a one in front or beside "Tail-end Charlene" or "Tail-end Tillie" who stand in for Nichola Goddard, 26, Michelle Mendes, 30, Karine Blais, 21, and Kristal Giesebrecht 34, all snuffed out before their time... on your watch...
The classic view as always taken by millions of tourist cameras: the "Dirty Dozen" at the front, surrounded by mountains of obliterating and framing granite, and interested tourists. And two-thirds of the rest of the monument and the dozen bronzes - and all those of the women - on the tableau, denigrated into nothingness. Treated as immaterial and inconsequential "also-rans."
If this monster arch were moved back behind the 22 bronze figures, the woman in the picture would be able to show her children the two bronzes of nurses now hidden by the towers of granite, instead of ingraining them with the belief that the people who count all carry guns and are men... And allow her to instruct them with an alternate gospel: "They also serve who only stand, and... nurse, and..." In fact honour properly the two-thirds of the Canadian Forces, who are not combat infantrymen.
Note how, because the monument, as presently configured, is so inaccessible and totally uninteresting on the sides, officials commonly even fence off the objectionable, inaccessible, user unfriendly sides to the monument so deliberately cutting people off from Tail-end Charlene and Tail-end Tillie and all but the leading gun-toting members of the "Dirty Dozen"
- triumphantly framed off by walls of granite from all the "also-rans" behind them - who always get all the wreaths and all the attention...
|The Pope Shows Canadians the Way - Like many Canadians I have visited the central altar at the Vatican where I noticed instantly that the Pope, who knows a bit about how to put on a spectacle before crowds, wouldn't be caught dead with this narrow frontal kind of restrictive altar platform to work from.
Note how the Pontiff, rather than blocking the sides of the main altar in St. Peter's, with some kind of huge obliterating Triumphal Victory Arch, has instead, opened it up, giving the sides of the altar equal status and interest as the front.
And allowing a semicircular positioning of participants. Instead as in traditional churches, stacking people along a narrow front, the length of the church. (The back is even open and "accessible" to allow the support staff (the choir) a great view of the ceremonies.)
Says the Pope, stop being so provincial. Move that damn Triumphal Victory Arch back and do it the way we do it in Rome, opening up 25 feet more of usable accessible altar space on each side.
And on Remembrance Day, allow you to use a much more inclusive semi-circular ceremonial platform and audience participation format.
Below note how the circumferential altar platform allows a lot more people to feel involved - on three equal sides, instead of just one narrow one - with the smallest frontage - as in Canada's War Memorial.
|Note how the Pope has not allowed a Triumphal Victory Arch to obliterate the sides of his main altar, so giving a wonderful circumferential feeling of involvement to audiences on all sides of the ceremony.
|"The Dirty Dozen" on
National War Monument
Don't laugh. It's exactly the feeling I get every time I approach what is potentially the most moving war memorial I have ever seen.
And that's always when I, like everyone else does, come in from or to the front, because it impossible to "see" anything from anywhere else than from there.
Seeing the "Dirty Dozen," is a strangely distracting feeling to emanate from a war monument that was supposed to be dedicated to Peace, and feature a cavalcade of all kinds of Canadians, without favour, answering as "the Response."
Not just troops tramping in triumph through a monstrously intrusive and gloating Triumphal Victory Arch.
And not a group of gunmen bursting out through a Triumphal Victory Arch..
Am I the only one who has "seen" Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, and their gun-wielding cohorts busting out when they look at the "leading dozen" as now displayed on Canada's National War monument?
|The Dirty Dozen - Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch as we've already established, chops up the cavalcade of Canadians into a featured frontal group of a dozen bronzes "of men that count," out of 22 in the tableau, and a dozen who don't.
And, given decided prominence out of that frontal group of men, are six leading macho gunmen: four riflemen, and two - that's TWO machine gunners.
(For comparison: at the far rear, a single stretcher and a single stretcher bearer, when there were far, far more of each, at the Western Front, than machine guns and machine gunners. And who saved a lot more Canadian lives to return home to their families, than any machine gunner. So who's a more deserving "hero?")
Meaning that "Sydney's Triumphal Victory Arch" puts a lot more emphasis on men making mayhem, as heroic figures, than it bestows on the other supporting Tail-end Charlies and Charlenes in the monument.
The offending arch has created that unfortunate feel by suggesting there is a preferred hierarchy in the Canadian Forces; men with guns are the heroic leaders, women and support troops of various corps, are just non-essential followers, basically "hangers-on.".
|Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
|Tpr Karine Blais, 21, of Les Méchins, Quebec - 2nd Canadian woman killed in war zone in Afghanistan, 2009
|Orig. Québécoise Canadienne - Image Size - Larger than Life-size
Found - In the hearts of Canadians everywhere
|You'll find her symbolically remembered at the back of the National War Memorial, alongside Tail-end Charlene, Tail-end Tillie, the Stretcher-bearer, the Pioneers, the medical corpsmen, etc. Moving that damn Triumphal Victory Arch behind them, instead of in front of their faces, would end the insult.
If General "Killer" Hillier tops the preferred hierarchy of heroes, Canadians like to see themselves as portrayed as - for the Ages - then leave Sydney's huge framing arch to define that truth, focusing on the predominance of the frontal gunmen, and leaving the lesser beings behind, defined forever, as also-rans, in war, and in the Canadian Forces.
Like women, the medical corps, and other support troops deployed in Canada's wars, including Afghanistan.
Think Nichola Goddard, 26, snuffed out before her time...
Think Michelle Mendes, 30, snuffed out before her time...
Think Karine Blais, 21, snuffed out before her time...
Think Kristal Giesebrecht 34, snuffed out before her time...
Think of them just as dismissive "collateral damage."
Of course, you could easily defuse this unfortunate emphasis on the frontal "Dirty Dozen" by moving the Arch back and so de-emphasizing the front group by bringing out into the sun, and into equal communal play, the other dozen bronzes in the tableau.
Yep, just by moving Sydney's Damn Triumphal Victory Arch back... and symbolically, turning it into an exit gateway of a Canadian "Hearth and Home."
So restoring the integrity of Vernon's original vision of "all Canadians - men and women - responding to the call," not just the "Dirty Dozen."
|Ottawa's "Dirty Dozen" - Leading the charge, in what is supposed to be, a cavalcade featuring "the Response" of all Canadian volunteers, are a macho group of six steel helmeted gunmen.
On the far left a rifleman; near left, a Lewis machine gunner; then another rifleman, with another right behind him; beside him is another rifleman, and then a kilted Highlander, carrying a Vickers machine gun.
These six death-dealing heroes give the character to the memorial because everyone else is minimized and marginalized by the huge interfering Triumphal Victory Arch.
(Peering out behind is an air mechanic to soften the aggressive feel of a war monument, which was supposed to be a "Peace" monument.
It is a fact that 99% of the photos now taken are of the "Dirty Dozen." The other dozen or so of heroic bronzes are unseeable and so unphotographable.
Moving the Arch back would hugely de-emphasize the warlike feeling the monument now exudes, by releasing to public view and restoring emphasis to all the other services supposedly featured in the tableau: nurses, and members of other corps: forestry, engineering, railway, sappers, pioneers, service corps, which, alas, are now hidden or minimized.
It would restore the original intended feeling of a communal cavalcade of equals in "The Response."
It was not always thus...
When Women Were Shoulder to Shoulder 1939-1945 - Look at this fabulous poster that would make any daughter, any woman - hell any Canadian - heart, burst with pride, showing women marching shoulder to shoulder, with the fighting soldier in the back...
Not a sign of denigrating misogyny here...
"An integral part of the Canadian Army," is how the Canadian government and the military advertised women as being.
It's the complete antithesis of how women in Canada's National War Memorial are now displayed.
Tail-end Charlene and Tail-end Tillie are nowhere in sight, just rudely cut off to also-ran status by Sydney's Damn Triumphal Victory Arch.
Why can't Canadians make the War Memorial reflect the sentiments, reflected in these World War I and World War II posters?
The good news is, that it can be done: just move Sydney's Damn Triumphal Victory Arch back off the tableau of figures so granting all 22 of them equal status - the original intention back in 1925...
When Women Were Shoulder to Shoulder 1914-1918 - A World War I poster showing a tableau of Canadians that is gender and occupationally neutral. It's an earlier "shoulder to shoulder" representation of civilians in all walks of life involved in "The Response."
Both Canadian posters from two wars display a gender neutral form of partnership that all of us could feel comfortable with, and pass on to our children and Posterity.
Shouldered Out of the Way 1939-2015 - Unfortunately this "feel" is NOT AT ALL what is emoted by Canada's National War Memorial, the way it's currently displayed, with Sydney's huge Triumphal Victory Arch ruthlessly compartmentalizing the monument into a preferred featured frontal group, "The Dirty Dozen," and the women as "Tail-end Charlenes" and "Tail-end Tillies."
The Uprising: Diego Rivera 1931 - At the very same time that the March brothers were sculpting and casting "The Response," in the UK, here is how Diego Rivera, the renowned Mexican socialist artist, chose to depict women's role during conflict, NOT as some also-ran "Tail-end Charlene," but as a full and equal partner in the front rank of bravery, here taking an aggressive stance as one fends off an armed soldier and protects her baby at the same time. I don't think you would have been able to get a "Dirty Dozen" painting or sculpture, that was originally supposed to celebrate the courage and role of both men and women in times of national peril, out of Rivera.
He respected women too much.
|Once A Proud Member of the Canadian Medical Corps, the Nurse, whose face was last photographed here in 1930. Since 1939 she became Tail-end Charlene, with her face totally obscured and her status minimized, on Canada's National War Memorial, by Sydney's huge, obliterating granite Triumphal Victory Arch.
Rivera produced an iconic image of Mexican womanhood during times of conflict that will endure for the Ages as a national - no, an international - treasure.
Rivera has shown Canadians the way: that the National War Memorial should represent Canada and the views of Canadians, not be a promo for the denigrating macho views of men in Canada's military about the role and importance of women, especially those in the services.
Deathless Service - In our day, when selfless medical workers lay their lives on the line every day to help save those of ebola patients, Canadians should remember there were others, just as selfless, long before them.
During the Anglo-Boer War, after the Battle of Colenso, Canadian Head Nursing Sister Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue, from Quebec, worked to exhaustion tending to hundreds of wounded and dying British soldiers in Natal. She refused to take a break, and died of resulting complications in March 1900. Marie-Élise Michaud, was only 31.
Three hundred people attended her funeral. Her body was escorted by the Dublin Fusiliers of Bugler Dunne fame.
Below Canadian nursing womanhood as currently displayed, completely marginalized as an also-ran by Sydney's gross and obliterating granite Triumphal Victory Arch.
Tail-end Charlene and Tail-end Tillie - Just how much longer are Canadians willing to stand for this, before they insist the offensive Triumphal Victory Arch be turned into a symbolic gateway of a Canadian "Hearth and Home,' and move it to the left, behind the gun carriage. So that Canadians can see the entire tableau of 22 bronzes, each getting equal statues in a cavalcade of Canadian volunteers communally issuing forth as "The Response."
Or they can leave it as a wonderful advertisement for Canadian granite... and the macho gun-toting males in the Canadian Forces.
Meanwhile, back in the 3rd Class Section of the Monument...
Canada's Eternal Shame - Is this misogynist presentation, and Tail-end Charlie placement, really the best that Canada can manage for the many women who have served or made the ultimate sacrifice while in the military?
Will the day ever come when Tail-end Charlene and Tail-end Tillie, see the light of day...?
And Canada's women in the military, who gave their all, are granted full and equal dignity on Canada's National "Peace" Monument?