Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And now for something completely different

The ‘One Day in History’ campaign has an interesting little project:

'One Day in History' is a one off opportunity for you to join in a mass blog for the national record. We want as many people as possible to record a 'blog' diary which will be stored by the British Library as a historical record of our national life.

Write your diary reflecting on how history itself impacted on your day - whether it just (sic) commuting through an historic environment, discussing family history or watching repeats on TV.

Hopefully, if you join in with this project you will construct your entry without the lack of attention to detail as demonstrated above.

I have been tempted throughout the day to post something subtly facetious and submit it, in order to mislead future generations. A conversation with Liz where she contemplated handing over the throne to Terry Wogan. Or perhaps a discussion on the campaign to build a space docking station on the village green.

Instead, I will be cheating by diverting from my usual nonsense and posting something for posterity that will make bugger all difference - but if we don’t try then we have no defence for our cynicism.

91 years ago this week, my uncle was killed in a totally senseless, I mean even more senseless than the average senseless, military action. He was barely twenty years old. He and countless other ill-prepared and naïve young men were sent over the top in a futile and virtually impossible attempt to dislodge some opposing troops from a heavily fortified position on higher ground. They ran across some mud, and were killed by machine gun fire. This week they opened a new memorial to the men who died at that time.

He is also commemorated on a monument in Loos, France, together with over 20,000 other dead young men.

91 years later we are still sending our young men to be killed in senseless wars. (Nearly all wars are totally senseless, some of them more senseless than others). The only thing we have learned is how to kill people more efficiently, but have sacrificed any notion of discrimination in doing so.

If you are reading this, you will be aware that there is nothing original in the content and sentiments. Indeed, I suspect that what I am writing could be written, albeit more lucidly, by most of the regular readers of this little outpost of insanity. The point is that the families of those killed in the Great War would have had no way of understanding why grief had been inflicted upon them. Today, in the wars around the world, there is the same bewilderment about why men are sent around the world to kill and be killed for no purpose. There are those who profess to justify and promote war, just as there always have been. If you are reading this in the year 2742, then they will probably still be among you. I am with the bewildered. I hope you are too.

Next time on this journal, we will return to the topics of men with turnips up their arses, or some major breakthrough by physicists to do with the nature of existence that is of no moment to anyone, or a detailed explanation by me of some facet of history, religion or literature.

Harry Phillips 1895 - 13Oct1915


Richard said...

I did it earlier. It was the wrong day as I can honestly say history had no tangible impact on my life today whatsoever. Not that I could see, anyway. It probably would have done had I been bothered to get all philosophical about it. Bugger. I've just thought of something, I'll have to go back and do it again.

Pamela said...

I am assuming that I'm not eligible to write something for your historical blog-time capsule, as I'm from across the pond.

However, you may place me firmly in the stop the insanity club right now.

Vicus Scurra said...

Pam - nothing on the site to say that furners are excluded - get your entry in.

Dave said...

I have no desire to be remembered by history, and so refused to play. I did apprecaite your thoughts though.

Vicus Scurra said...

Help me out here, can anyone remember who posted the comment before this one?

Geoff said...

If it's not too late, I'd just like to say that yesterday our internet connection was down.

tom909 said...

Bollocks to blogger I say. I wrote a really long comment and it wouldnt post it. Sod it. I am annoyed now!

tom909 said...

The bastard posted that poxy comment - I hate blogger now.

raincoaster said...

Please, please tell me you used leet speak when you did that blog?

c00l lol!!!!!

I suppose blogging that you spent the day blogging would be too meta?

Frontier Editor said...

Now that colonials are elgible, I'll bop right over and post something . . .

surly girl said...

i know i'm about to say something really, really crass, given vicus' post.

but i never said i was anything but shallow.

we've got until the 31st, or something. let's all pick someone "famous" and do a day in the life to really screw the demographic. bagsy jordan:

Wednesday. Calories 0, Cigarettes 489, Screaming Rows With Peter Andre 17. v v Bad.

Got up. Checked tits in mirror. Decided I was fat. Rang Dr Fox. He assured me I was gorgeous, underneath. I'm not sure quite what that means but I giggled a bit anyway. He's nice, Dr Fox. I'm not sure he's a real doctor, but he IS clever - he always knows what's in the charts.

Thursday. Calories -175 (threw up Special K bar), Cigarettes 0 (read in Grazia they make you fat), Screaming Rows With Peter Andre 0. I wonder where he is?

Got up. Checked belly in mirror. Decided my tits weren't big enough. Rang Benny Hill. The man on the other end said my tits were fabulous and gave me an address to come round and he would prove it to me. He seemed nice.

Friday. Calories 4500, Cigarettes 137, Rows..who?

It turns out Benny Hill is dead. That wasn't him at all. No matter how much I scrub, I still don't feel clean.


Cherrypie said...

That was really quite moving. I like you when you are being sincere ( I like you when you are being wickedly subversive, quirkily weird and downright crotchetty so I doubt it will come as a shock). x

Kyahgirl said...

you said it very well Vicus. what a fucking waste of life it is. what would I do if someone wanted to send my son or daughter up a muddy hill to be killed? It doesn't bear thinking about.
what have we gained and how far have we come? humans are not going to evolve fast enough to prevent wiping ourselves out. I'm even depressing myself.

(loved surly's diary entry. she's a tart but awfully funny. )

realdoc said...

Hear, hear vicus. Why is this so much more moving coming from you? It just is that's all.
Will anyone ever learn anything from history? I come from Northern Ireland where the only thing we've learnt from history is to repeat it on a monotonously regular basis.

Frontier Editor said...

Elgible: it's a wonderful blend of frangible and eligible, which probably means that one has the opportunity to shatter neatly to expose the ordnance inside.

Vicus - after analyzing Adam's reference to 'visting relatives,' I'm concerned that he may well have meant 'fisting relatives.' In that case, Tom Cruise may very well have cracked him up.

ziggi said...

Vicus - a great and emotional post - thank you

FE - Dave needs your Elgible for his stone - have you patented yet?

Frontier Editor said...

Ziggi my dear, I've decided to make Elgible open to all the world's people as a matter of humanity and altrusistic concern.

Sheryl said...

We salute you Harry.

Carmenzta said...

Vicus, wonderful post. Unfortunately, history teaches us nothing since humans are like cattle, every generation has it's percentage of idealistic and courageus young men, sacrificed for the worst reasons or even worse, for no reason at all.

emkwak - The call of a duck with a speech impediment.

Carmenzta said...

Before anyone attacks: I dedided to offer up the term "courageus" to the world.

Vicus Scurra said...

Thank you all for your kind words and additions to the language.

Anonymous said...

History may teach some people some things like how to do things.
For example, why turnips?
I'm sure some would like to know.
Tried and true?