Tuesday, April 13, 1982

Poor human nobodies


Nanna P. came mid afternoon, and at teatime I felt tired and queasy, so I retired upstairs and slept until seven.

The Falklands crisis seems to be deepening. I treated it as a joke at first, a big game, but now it's getting just a little bit frightening. Dad rushed in for the news, enjoying the sights of battleships and children singing “Rule Britannia” with a grim sort of enthusiasm. He’s totally confident of a British victory and the crushing defeat/humiliation/massacre of the 'cowardly gauchos'. He waxes jingoistically over diplomatic moves, regarding mediation as a sort of weakness. I remained silent as he put on Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance.

Suddenly, Mum was crying, alarming me with her despairing rhetorical questions: “Why don’t they learn? You’d think that after two wars already this century they’d learn. It’ll be the women and children who suffer again, . . .” and Nanna P. agreed: “Ruddy politicians!” Mum's plea for peace so hopeless and innocent in the face of our organised system of government that makes war inevitable. But I felt frustrated, because if only they’d see that theyre reinforcing what I’ve always tried to argue for but get shouted down as a na├»ve Utopian communist or idealist. They refuse to approach what this line of argument logically leads them towards, and retreat from the Truth because it doesn’t fit into their ‘scheme.’

Dad, in his affronted and perplexed way, asked Mum, “What do you mean by ‘they?” and ranted on: “I'm waving the flag because no one else will do it for us! We can’t keep being walked over in the world,” and cited Hitler and Eastern Europe, missing the wider point completely.

It was a vile, tense atmosphere.

After Mum and Dad had left the room, Nanna P. said quietly, “I don’t understand your Dad; what’s he ever gained from war?” I wanted to shout BECAUSE THE COUNTRY MUST COME FIRST! WHY ELSE? To hell with life and poor human nobodies who die like cattle! Don’t you realize, Dad?! This is the true “enemy of the country” if only you could see; not politicians of the left (who’re all part of the same cancer) but the government and institutions that encourage our dreary grey work-oriented existences, feeding us with mindless mass-produced TV opiates. It's there, with the ordinary people (not the Government or institutions). that the true spirit of this country lies

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