Tag Archives: war

Remembrance Day with Vasco’s Bones – Postcard #63

Remembrance Day with Vasco's Bones

From an olden church and (otherwise vacant) cenotaph at Fort Cochin, Kerala, India, Dave O – acknowledging an extended medical and death related hiatus – discusses the local history of colonization by Portuguese explorers, Dutch traders, then British Raj in the context of the colonization leading to exploitation, conscription and war with no meaning to local populace. Plus the meaning of reparations and the conflict of peaceful resistance – evidenced my Mahatma Gandhi beach a stone’s throw away – contrasted with continued wars throughout the world, shadowed by disposable tourism, economic and racial caste systems.

Recorded Nov. 11, 2016, Released 11:11 Nov. 11, 2017

Gather Round for Remembrance Day with Vasco’s Bones – Postcard #63  (37:11, .mp3, 192k, 58MB, stereo)

Also of note: Vasco da Gama’s bones, black knee-high socks, French generational losses, siege of Leningrad, Churchill’s mishaps, lost human potential of engineers, poets and lovers, MacArthur’s folly, Australia’s vulnerability, the emergence of regions over nation-states, Brexit for British Columbia + Cascadia, Catalonia and Scottish successions, work of raising a child, trappings of hubris, death by disease and guns, aggressive use of intelligence, forethought and diplomacy, and unfiltered view of sacrifice and life.

Cover art photo: By Dave Olson at Fort Cochin, taken by Lomo Sardine can camera with expired B&W film.

Roll your own Remembering 11/11/11:11

For the fallen, the resisters, the hurt and even the vanquished. #RemembranceDay #Poppy #NoMoreWar

Rabbit Holes of History: Norsemen, Dark Ages, Great War, War in Pacific etc.

*** Study Notes from Rabbit Holes including Norsemen, Dark Ages, Great War, and War in Pacific etc ***

Over the past while, whilst dealing with this illness, I’ve gone down deep into “rabbit holes” about various segments of history.

Went deep into Norse history from early viking expeditions to Orkneys and Hebredies in search of (literally) greener pastures, to invasions of Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia, Francia and expeditions to Russia including trading with Middle East – Also their steel forging skills – All through to the Norman invasion with William the Conquero. Then Viking voyages to North Atlantic away from Europe and to North America. Also learned about new satellite archaeology techniques used for finding settlement sites in eastern Canada. There will be remarkable discoveries in the next decade which will rewrite books.

Then went deep into “dark” ages to the founding of what is now modern western Europe – roughly from post-Roman to Charlemange. I was specifically interested in how a culture grows up around the ruins of a much greater culture. Like you’re a dirt farmer in what is now England and you look around at lovely aqueduct and empty baths while you try to figure out how to get clean water. Makes me wonder if we’re living in a “dark ages” or we’re the Romans.

Then deep into the “Great war” and the unrest and revolutions which happened in the aftermath which broke down monarchies and gave rise to nationstates… But also produced situations which led to what we now call World War II through rise of fascism, totalitarianism, communism and showed the falls of capitalism through the depression. Each of these flavors contributed in away to the events that transpired. (Also Hitler’s home movies and i’ve already absorbed everything about art theft during this era).

Then deep into the relationship between Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchhill and Josef Stalin and how they had to jockey amongst themselves to convince the others of the importance of their different priorities… Also deep into the north African campaigns through the desert – especially the desert expeditionary unit (mostly New Zealanders) who lived for months at a time in uncharted areas in difficult conditions to gather intelligence. They did receive a rum ration though.

And also I am continually unpacking my knowledge of the war in the Pacific… Most recently started with “Fall of Japan” a massive tome which chronicles – in great nuanced detail – the events in Japan from the day after Nagasaki bombing to the signing on Missouri (Aug. 6-30 1945).

As you might expect, lots of efforts to raid the palace, people convinced the emperor was a body double or coerced, dozens of ritual suicide by high-ranking officials, people going into hiding, renegade bands of soldiers holding tough, and back channel diplomacy actions trying to smooth things over for an inevitable fate. Including all the secret communication machinations used to finally get messages back-and-forth between the right people to effectuate the surrender and peace and landing etc.

Then watched film called Emperor – this began as MacArthur and his crew were landing at Atsugi after the signing and follows the story of a General Bonner Fellows who was tasked with determining whether Emperor Hirohito would be held to trial or not. Of course he had to wrangle between Tojo (who just had tried to kill himself but was “saved” in time to be tried and executed, and Kanabe (?), the previous prime minister, and all the militarists and hard core zealots who insisted on vague answers and didn’t understand that really they didn’t *really* want to try Hito but they needed an legitimate excuse not to do so.

Also Tommy Lee Jones as MacArthur wasn’t too bad actually, and they dramatized the famous meeting between the Emperor and The Supreme Commander with only one dedicated translator between them. And they re-created the famous photograph.

Then, I’m onto a book called “Supreme Commander: MacArthur’s Triumph in Japan” which doubles back over the previous bit and starts with the planning of the signature ceremony on the USS Missouri and into his landing at Atsugi and motorcade (with thousands of Japanese soldiers turning their backs in respect) and starting to issue his edicts to manage the situation and deal with a starving population.

Still working on this one.

A few notes include (from a civilian peacenik perspective):

The rivalry between Army and Navy is far more vast than I realized. We civilians think of the Armed Forces as fairly unified and not completely discrete, or/and even rival, units. Of course this is most evident in the rivalry between MacArthur and Nimitz but also amongst the rank and file – especially jr officers seeking to climb the ladder.

The Tokyo firebombings must’ve been even more miserable way to go then the Atomic bombs further south. Both suck. Also glad Eleanor Roosevelt pushed so hard to spare Kyoto from the bombs.

The Russians joining the war against Japan the day after Nagasaki and still expecting a seat at the negotiation table so to speak. Funny Russians.

The Chinese Reds filling the power vacuum left by Chinese army instantly after the bombs – even while the news was still travelling to POW camps around Asia. The commandants of the camps did not know quite what to think when Allied forces started parachuting in to demand release.

The two-men chosen by Japan to sign the surrender document: the diplomat with the wooden leg who had to get from the US Destroyer to a launch via a bosun’s chair, and then try to maintain dignity wall climbing up a ladder on the side of the Missouri while wearing a cutaway coat and a top hat.

MacArthur’s choice of guests to be on board at the signing was very specific and included the Canadian doctor (who signed on Canada’s behalf) who had done the surgery on the affirmation Japanese diplomat’s leg.

He also made sure to invite a bunch of generals who got their ass kicked in the war including the poor bastard who was left on the Philippines (Wainwright whom MacArthur greeted with a “Hey Skinny!”) when MacArther split to Australia, plus the British general who had to surrender Singapore when they were caught unaware.

As per above: Didn’t realize MacArthur had fcked up and ignored orders after Pearl Harbor. Stationed in the Philippines, he didntorder a full alert and, as a result, the Philippines was destroyed quickly by the Japanese who were well ready for the invasion.

MacArthur’s move of exiting the plane with no weapons was a powerful move. Oh also, MacArthur had Admiral Perry’s US flag expedited from the Smithsonian to have on display on the Missouri. Nice nuanced touch which was noted by the Japanese who, after the ceremony, discussed amongst themselves they would have treated their vanquished enemy so kindly and respectfully. They concurred that they would not have and that convinced them to cooperate with the victorious allies.

I’m interested to continue on with this work and to see how MacArthurs “Republican” views were instrumental in outline things like brewing and hemp production in Japan.

Vimy Ridge Diaries on Remembrance Day – Postcard # 61

Vimy Rdge Diaires

On Remembrance Day in sunny, brisk Vancouver, Ian Bell (fresh from a CBC appearance “On The Coast“) joins Dave to read from Grandpa Mark’s diaries written in the trenches in WW1 as a young Canadian. From the library steps with a flask of scotch, they reflect on the costs and motivations of war, importance of friendship and the ethereal experience of going “over the top” and facing the terror on the other side, plus anecdotes about capturing Germans soldiers and discourse on the importance of personal documentation to pass forward to generations.

Sit awhile for Vimy Ridge Diaries on Remembrance Day – Postcard # 61

Featuring:

Geoff Berner – Excerpts from “Maginot Line” Recorded live at the Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC, Feb. 28, 2009

Various artists (including piper Dave Ahl) – Recorded live at UBC Remembrance Day Ceremony, Nov. 11, 2009

Ian Bell reading from Grandpa Mark’s diaries

William Markle Pecover – Memory of Vimy Ridge

William Markle Pecover – On Being Bombed in Britain

Photo via CDN Veterans Affairs asks How Will you Remember? – Download Canadian historical war time photo and video packs, organized by theme and era, then remix and share via social networks.

Continue reading Vimy Ridge Diaries on Remembrance Day – Postcard # 61

Meandering Past Monuments of Remembrance – Postcards #49

Wrapping up the White Poppies for Remembrance series with a narrative late-night wander through Westminster, London, DaveO meanders past military monuments, victory squares, cenotaphs, palaces, royal parks, war museum, war chambers, riot fences, war protesters, churches, parliament and finishing at St. James park for a sitdown under a weeping willow to consider monarchy, individual rights and responsibilities, and the role of class division in waging war as London’s sirens, trains, and Big Ben fill the night.

Care for a stroll? Meandering Past Monuments of Remembrance – Postcards #49 (.mp3, 34:19, 28MB)

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Thanks to:

Jerry Garcia Band (with John Kahn), acoustic, Oregon State Penitentiary, Lonesome Prison Blues, Salem OR 050582 via archive.org

New Riders of the Purple Sage w/ Robert Hunter, April 8, 2006, Venue: Mystic Theater, Petaluma, CA
Source:
Schoeps MK4v > V3 > 744T @24/96
Lineage: 744T > Audobe Audition 16/44> CDwav > Flac16
Taped by: Pete Gilmore, Monkey Tunes
Transferred by: Dawne Sacchetti

Pete Stone – Golden Frontier via KEXP Song of the Day

Bonus: (links coming soon perhaps)

The Yuigers – repressed Muslim Chinese in Guatanamo

Moscow weather – winter 2006, winter 1812

Crimean War

More from London:

London Town Wander Night – Choogle on #46

Anarchy and Fungi in the UK – Choogle on #42

Joints on Brighton Beach – Choogle on #38

Peace to Soldiers and Strangers – Postcard #48

Back home on the North Vancouver porch, Dave reads from Clay Mcleod’s essay Why I Don’t Wear a Poppy while sending peace and resistance towards the decent lieutenant Magnum in Iraq and the Philippines along with earnest comrades at arms and peaceful strangers in war torn lands. Plus he admonishes the Canadian Legion for blocking the sale of white poppies while banjo-ist Wm. Lenker sings from the woodshed and The Grateful Dead leave this Brokedown Palace … on my hands and my knees, I will roll roll roll …

Sit for a spell with Peace to Soldiers and Strangers – Postcard #48 (.mp3, 16:58, 13MB)

Thanks to:

Clay Mcleod, “Why I Don’t Wear a Poppy” from the TheTyee.ca, Nov. 9 2005

Grateful Dead, Brokedown Palace, Dec. 06 ’92, Tempe AZ, (Hunter/Garcia)

Wm. Lenker recorded in his Steamboat Island woodshed by Uncle Weed

Meganpru for album photo (this peacelovin’ woman rolls in the volksvegan)

Bread the producer for albumart design

Bonus:

Canadian Legion hassling the Peace Pledge Union folks about selling White Poppies

Be sure to order white poppies early (shipped across the Atlantic) and read the loquacious discourse on this most critical of topics. Make no mistake, the way to honour ultimate sacrifice is to ensure no such future bloodshed is required from man’s inability to get along. And we (all of us) have a right to respect the fallen in a manner which suits our conscience and not a method prescribed by the Legion or anyone else.

Here’s Peace Pledge’s quick overview:Cenotaph in Vancouver

Last year The Royal Canadian Legion through it legal representative demanded that Canadian groups stop distribution them and that the PPU stop making white poppies available in Canada, or else. That was the gist, though expressed in more formal language. According to the RCL’s legal representatives, the white poppy infringes the Legion’s poppy trademark. The PPU replied at length; our central point was that we disagreed with their argument. We have not heard from them since but the Canadian shop at the centre of this complaint regrettably had to acquiesce. You can read more about this at http://tinyurl.com/2mc7pq where you can also find out about the white poppy project and the PPU.

Following the legal threats both the promoters in Canada and Canadians who bought the poppy from us hoped that white poppies would again be available in Canada this year.

White poppies in any quantity are available from us for dispatch anywhere in the world including Canada.

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Canadian Legion threatens White Poppies for Peace folks

White poppies for peaceThis is a case of copyright gone wild. The Peace Pledge Union based in the UK sell white poppies to citizens around the world who wish to show their abhorance and refusal to support war for any purpose. You can read more back story about the white poppies and red poppies for that matter at Remembrance Day Activities in Vancouver.

But the Canadian Legion decided it owned the rights to sell poppies of any kind or colour and threathened the peaceniks with legal action. However, they aren’t giving up and surrendering to the bully who is claiming an absurd trademark right though a Canadian supplier has been forced to stop selling the wee plastic mementos.

Here’s Peace Pledge’s quick overview:Cenotaph in Vancouver

Last year The Royal Canadian Legion through it legal representative demanded that Canadian groups stop distribution them and that the PPU stop making white poppies available in Canada, or else. That was the gist, though expressed in more formal language. According to the RCL’s legal representatives, the white poppy infringes the Legion’s poppy trademark. The PPU replied at length; our central point was that we disagreed with their argument. We have not heard from them since but the Canadian shop at the centre of this complaint regrettably had to acquiesce. You can read more about this at http://tinyurl.com/2mc7pq where you can also find out about the white poppy project and the PPU.

Following the legal threats both the promoters in Canada and Canadians who bought the poppy from us hoped that white poppies would again be available in Canada this year.

White poppies in any quantity are available from us for dispatch anywhere in the world including Canada.

In case you missed it, i recorded a spoken word podcast series based around the White Poppies i received last year and my brother’s involvement in the conflict in Iraq (now home safe – wish i could say the same for the rest). Still one more episode to go – trying to get it all done in less than a year ;-).

You can also subscribe to Postcards from Gravelly Beach in iTunes.

Be sure to order white poppies early (shipped across the Atlantic) and read the loquacious discourse on this most critical of topics. Make no mistake, the way to honour ultimate sacrifice is to ensure no such future bloodshed is required from man’s inability to get along. And we (all of us) have a right to respect the fallen in a manner which suits our conscience and not a method prescribed by the Legion or anyone else.

Honor by not fighting“The power of the white poppy lies in its questioning of the dominant – and fundamentally dishonest – view of war. More than that, it carries the hopes and demands of the mothers, wives, daughters and girlfriends of the men who for whatever reason and in whatever way were diminished by their participation in war. Their hope was that we would find less brutal social institutions to solve problems and resolve conflict. It remains for us to fulfill the wish.”

Waiting (and Resisting) in Baghdad – Postcard #47

A story about Iraqi resistance fighters and their personal motivations by a young writer called Waiting in Baghdad is the crux of the next White Poppies for Remembrance episode – read from the homeporch with a Welsh mining lantern and firetrucks rolling past. Written by Chris K, a player on a dave-coached in-line hockey team in Olympia Washington in 2002.

Hunker down for Waiting (and Resisting) in Baghdad – Postcard #47 (22:16, 21MB, .mp3)

waiting-in-baghdad
[bunker photo by Lt. Magnum, USN]

Music

Black Angels – First Vietnam War, Snipers at the gates of Heaven
Unknown (via Trauben)

Super Chiefs

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(Meta)Physical Conditions of the Environment – Postcard #46

Taking a Remembrance Day respite to enjoy a conscious discussion with ‘Trigger’ at Vancouver’s New Amsterdam Cafe, Dave O listens to the consequences and conditions of space, in tangible and gestalt senses, and reviews the paradigm shifts of Vancouver’s downtown Eastside ‘four corners’ – once one of the grandest intersections in the British Empire.

Later, he wanders and reads Walt Whitman [When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d] and Gord Downie [from Coke Machine Glow] to bring it ’round home for this part #7 of the White Poppies for Remembrance series.

Cross the street for (Meta)Physical Conditions of the Environment – Postcard #46 (18:47, 26MB, .mp3)

Postcards from Gravelly Beach White Poppies for Remembrance #7

Music by:

Drive-by Truckers “World of Hurt” via KEXP

Beethoven Sonata #14

Unnamed spacey something by Merlin (and/or Jahwah) via HempenRoad soundtrack

realism in the downtown eastside (by trigger)
Sketching the Chaos of the Downtown Eastside (trigger)

discussing the conditions
discussing the conditions (trigger)

downtown eastside discourse with trigger
downtown eastside discourse with trigger

dominion building from bus stop
Dominion Building behind Victory Park and Cenotaph, New Amsterdam to left

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Awakening to the Dawn of Potential – Postcard #45

Part 6 of the “White Poppies for Remembrance” series considers the opportunity cost of the lost human potential while at the Victory cenotaph in downtown Vancouver – along the way, troubadours sing about Providence, Joyful(ness) along with spontaneous percussion-scapes and city bus brakes.

DaveO examines the value of life with Gord Downie‘s swift deconstructions of existence from Coke Machine Glow, Henry David Thoreau‘s visionary stories of perseverance and the value of the mindfulness from Walden and a personal declaration of sovereignty and dignity from original Letters from Russia read in hospital to ole gramps.

Come along for “Awakening to the Dawn of Potential – Postcard #45” (17:51, .mp3, 25MB)

Awakening to the Dawn of Potential - Postcards #45

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Tune-age by:

Chris Jacobsen, “Providence” from “Houseboat” 1995 Spilt Milk Records (cassette)

Note: Chris is a quick-laughing, semi-salty, ukulele-playing, sea captain in knew in Guam in the 90’s – last heard from in Long Beach, WA or somewhere in Rhode Island – i should have a photo around here somewhere … Message to Chris: I hope to have a brew with you soon! Send a postcard.

Rock Plaza Central, “My Children, Be Joyful” from “are we not horses” Outside Music in Canada and Yep Roc Records in the States — rockplazacentral.com also features singer Chris Eaton’s Novels

See Also: KEXP Suggests Rock Plaza Central (MP3)
Note: Hear Rock Plaza Central songs or order a copy online at their Myspace HQ Rock Plaza Central
Note: they seem like nice enough lads – look for them in your town

Plus:
“New Shed Percussion Scape” by Dave Olson and Miss Sena of Steamboat Island, recorded April 2007

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