Sunday, November 17, 2013

David Mitchell's article about poppy wearing in the Observer

Perhaps I am stupid, but I struggled to follow the argument in David Mitchell's article about poppy wearing in the Observer today:

His narrative starts by condemning glam poppies (yes, I agree they are vulgar) then muses on the origins of poppy wearing (making mistakes that undermine his argument) and then concludes that Charlene White must have a right not to wear a poppy when reading the news.

The vulgarity of ostentatious celebrities (among which we must number David Mitchell himself, since his weekly page in the Observer is an exercise in vanity justified for no other reason than that he is a celebrity) has no relation to the grief of 1919, which in turn has no relation to the right of Charlene White to make offensive political statements on the public service element of commercial broadcast media.

The three issues are entirely separate and should not be conflated.

"No victory arches" says David Mitchell.  Except that there are dozens of victory arches throughout the United Kingdom.  Has he never seen the triumphant Victory Arch at Waterloo Station?  and

" triumphal parades" says David Mitchell.  Oh how ill-informed this man is.  There were triumphal parades EVERYWHERE, including in my former home town of Luton where the celebrations (yes, you read that word right celebrations) excluded the ordinary people who responded by burning down the Town Hall

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