Poppy Irony

Lapel PoppyNovember 11 is almost upon us and the lapels of Canadians are a virtual bumper crop of poppies. Since the 1920’s Canadians (and citizens of various Commonwealth nations) have been wearing the poppy to symbolize remembrance of the soldiers lost in the 1st world war. Since then, there have been several more wars (conflicts, police actions, etc) and we now wear the poppy to remember all of the brave Canadian soldiers who have paid the ultimate price.

I was thinking about the current situation in Afghanistan and of the job we have sent our troops to do, to help make the country safe, (no debates here about the worth of the mission or whether and when it should end, just the reason we went in the first place.) And then the irony struck me.

Imagine a brand new Afghan immigrant to Canada living through their first Remembrance Day. What do they see Canadians wearing to support their troops? Poppies! Which to them would be symbols, not of remembrance, but of drugs, death, corruption and the Taliban!

It just goes to show that the very same thing, a simple flower in this case, can represent wildly different things to different people.

I wonder if the Canadian troops (or at least the officers) are wearing their poppies this week, and what kind of looks they must be getting from the Afghans they are there to protect.

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This entry was posted on Monday, November 5th, 2007 at 8:47 am and is filed under Observations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Poppy Irony”

  1. Bill says:

    Typical abstract leftard reasoning…play to the lowest common denominator…think everyone is as morbidly anti-intellectual as you green commies?

    I suspect an Afghan immigrant has more life experience and reality planning that the entire membership of the green party.

  2. Jordon says:

    What an incredibly well reasoned argument. First, may I suggest that you actually look up what Communisim is all about and then compare that to the free market philosophies of the Green Party. You’ll find that Communists would find Greens quite distatsteful.

    I agree that Afghan immigrants would have a great deal of life experience. However, they would not necessarily be familiar with all of our cultural idiosyncracies. I simply find it interesting that one symbol can mean two very different things in different cultures, and that this particular symbol might cause some Afghans to ask some good questions of our soldiers. Like, “Why are you wearing a poppy when one of your goals is to destroy all of the poppy crops in our country?”

    BTW, I wear my poppy proudly and I have nothing but respect for anyone who chooses to make the military their vocation.

    I don’t know to which lowest common denominator you refer, but let me assure you, I have no interest in the lowest common anything. Sadly, as your oh-so-eloquent post demonstrates, public debate in this country is approaching an all time low.

  3. val says:

    LMAO… ah dear.

    What exactly makes someone anti-intellectual? I always figured it would be the inability to question existing norms and the assumptions that our rather damaged society is built on.

    … but I guess I was wrong.

    Oh, nope, wait, I wasn’t. Here is the Wikipedia answer:

    “Anti-intellectualism describes a sentiment of hostility towards, or mistrust of, intellectuals and intellectual pursuits. This may be expressed in various ways, such as attacks on the merits of science, education, or literature.”

  4. GreenDude » Archive » Left? Right? Where do I fit? says:

    […] been referred to as “left-wing” by one person, in a response to my previous post on Poppy Irony, (actually he called me an anti-intellectual leftard, to be more precise.) It got me to […]nn1

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