White Poppy Red Poppy

It’s that time of year again. The white versus red poppy argument, debate, whatever. And every year I have the same discussion with one of my wonderful young friends who is a committed pacifist. We discuss this ever year and probably shall forever!!
When I first went to England and was invited to the Regimental Remembrance Day commemoration at Westminster Cathedral by a British Brig. Gen., I noticed British people wearing white and purple poppies (not within the regimental compound I must say). I didn’t know what the different coloured poppies meant at the time. I later found out that white was for “Peace” and purple was for all the animals KIA in the Great War.
The white poppy was first introduced in 1933 by the Women’s Co-operative Guild in the UK. For me, the white poppy reminds me of the opium poppies of Afghanistan. While I admire the sentiment of “Peace”, I find the symbol less than appealing. Narcotic addiction is the scourge of our world and the cause of so much heartache and violence, particularly to women and children. Further, our veterans are deeply hurt by the rejection of one of their very sacred symbols. And in the Great War – the origin of the poppy symbol – MANY pacifists were killed in action too.
All one has to do is go to the Friends Archives in London (the Quakers) and read the war records of their ambulance corps etc. and one will see that tho pacifists, these men and women put themselves on the front line for the love of their God, their service to their people, and their commitment to a pacifism that could not stand by and simply protest, but rolled up its sleeves, got dirty and sometimes injured or killed. I have read the Quaker Ambulance Corps records from the Great War and have learned of their shell shock and post-war illnesses and deaths. These people wore the red poppy too.  Originally some pacifists (I take issue with the concept of pacifists too, but that shall wait for another day) wanted the red poppy to include the message “No More War”.
Finally, as a scholar of war and a war artist, I challenge the binary of war and peace. While ‘war’ is overt, the daily violence of the ‘peace time’ world towards women and children (and this includes economic violence), primarily, and in every culture, attests to the false binary of war and peace.

Stressed and Depressed gets robbed

There are several ironies at work in this story not the least being that the name of the pot shop is Stressed and Depressed. I’m trying to ‘unpack’ that name – to use a PhDism. Does the name of the shop imply one can purchase stress and depression via the substances on sale, or does one purchase relief from stress and depression via the substances? Or is it stressful and depressing purchasing the goods? Certainly it’s stressful and depressing getting robbed!!!!!!
The name, btw, reminds me of shops in Moscow that I visited circa 1990 (before the coup). Then shops were simply called “Milk” or “Juice” or “Shoes” – glamourous – and guess what each shop sold? I was there in a time of food scarcity and the breakdown of the communist distribution system. Black market and McDonalds were the only way to go because one lined up in the “Milk” lineup and guess what, when you got to the front counter they were sold out! McDonalds had just opened a few years earlier (by a Canadian) and offered the only clean food in town. We went once just to get the placemats in Russian, otherwise we lived off of bread and Pepsi (Pepsi had the nation’s franchise – in those days it was Pepsi and bread with Marlboro cigarettes and American dollars for currency). Once we ate a “traditional Russian meal” in a restaurant clearly run by the Russian mafia (the goons watched over us and the men’s room was clearly an exchange place for junkies), and the medical student amongst us identified the shiny silver meat as horse intestine! Yumm!!!!!! But I digress.
Anyway, so here we have a “medical” marijuana shop being jacked by three pretty stupid thieves – I mean did it take long to make up those disguises, imagine what Halloween costumes they could pull together – and the cop shop has captured two of them and is looking for the girl. Somebody, btw, should sit her down and make her watch the entire five series of Orange is the New Black without a break. So the copshop is investigating and the Crown is pressing charges and I’m not even sure where the “medical” marijuana shop thingy sits in our legal system. I mean isn’t pot kind of a central symbol and reality of “Outlaw” culture. Last time I looked “Outlaw” meant outside the law.
Okay, I’m sounding like some reactionary here. Truth be told, I wish they’d legalise and regulate pot so we get the taxes on commercial crops, and people can grow their own. Maybe then people will be less stressed and depressed. Or maybe more. But at least this stupid $hit won’t happen any more because pot will be sold in the drug store or the liquor store or ??? I really don’t care. All I know is that if it’s legalised it will be like cigarettes and people will have to stop smoking it in their apartment bathrooms or near buildings etc. and I won’t have to have to walk through any other people’s haze.
Wow is all I can say about this story. Wow.