Part 5 of the White Poppies for Remembrance series continues with Dave at Victory Park, this time reading the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by General Assembly Dec. 10th, 1948) with riffs about tolerance, human relations, common understanding, and mutual respect – including a healthy sampling of articles on brotherhood, privacy, special treatment for mothers, plus a commentary about refugee status, and the illegal nature of torture and humiliating treatment.
Then brings it ’round home with a snippet from H.D. Thoreau’s Walden about sovereign man being the origin of the political state while accompanied by lively jazz (via bootleg cassette) featuring Joe Williamson and cohorts in Banff from way back playing about Peace to the Children of our Universe and Common Market offering up replenishing Refresh(ment) live on KEXP.
Declare your rights for: Righteous Declarations for Humans (128k mp3, 13:24, 15MB)
Finding Victory Square in post-ceremony calm, Dave settles onto a bench for lost sailors with some bagpipers to chat about John Macrae’s “Flander’s Field” poem and mull the tension between remembering noble effort and embracing jingoistic behaviour. This conundrum is evident in snippets of an essay by Stephen Osborne – The Poem and the Poppy – which relates the amazing grace of drinking gin with Gramps who was there – ‘in the void.’
Rather than rambling on, … please note the endnotes for both sides of the argument. I encourage people to learn more about what is going on as decent people fight for refugee status and their right to not-kill and be killed for an illegal, immoral and unethical war. The situation is vastly different than Vietnam era (no more draft and extradition treaties are in place) but eerily similar (particularly as the war continues to escalate out of control).
Part 3 of the White Poppies for Remembrance series (recorded Nov. 2006) features reading from the Dhammapada by Siddhartha Gautama while waiting for the Seabus heading towards Victory Square. Along the way, Dave talks about conscientious objection and military service evaders in Canada, mercy and the state of the downtown eastside.
Page France sings Chariot, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sings about Mercy, (both found on KEXP S.o.t.D. podcast) and Bill Janovitz from Here Comes a Regular score lays down some background groove – plus some Andean flute, soulful saxriffs and American Pie wisdom from Clayton the seabus busker along the way.
In case you aren’t checking out the Postcards from Gravelly Beach spoken word literature podcasts i brew up (they ain’t for everybody i suppose), you may want to check out a wee series i am (finally) editing from last Remembrance Day (Nov. 2006).
Come on along as i start with a bowl of oatmeal and trek downtown to (ostensibly) congregate in some ceremony and end up hanging out reading the goods in Victory Park, at New Amsterdam cafe plus Gastown alleys and finally back on North Shore porch. Topics include white poppies, peace, non-peace, aggressions, human rights and human potential, art and culture, the conditions of the Downtown Eastside and life of a resistance fighter.
Not quite the regular Postcards from Gravelly Beach style but whatever, … check out the fist two episodes which sorta set the stage for the next half dozen episodes.
Embarking on a White Poppies for Remembrance Day series, Dave reads the role of King Agamemnon from the Oresteia by Aeschylus written in the 6th century BC. The King returns to Argos by chariot, with a captured royal concubine in tow, and tales of plunder and pillage after defeating Troy… and is then met by his conniving wife.
Music by Joe Williamson, “Arco Hotel” music for double bass. Recorded New Year’s Day 199?, Amsterdam, NL
My brother Lt. Magnum (USN) is in Iraq and recently traveled to Kurdistan and says,
“I am in Irbil (sometimes spelled Erbil.) It is Capitol city of Kurds (you know, in Iraq, they have Arabs and Kurds) – you should look for it on a map. Kurds have culture closer to Turkey. Also, Irbil is a lot closer to Turkey than to Baghdad. The camp is run by the Korean Army. Only about a dozen Americans here.
I flew down on a Japanese Self Defense Force C-130 painted pastel blue. My Japanese buddy, Major Natori, hooked me up. Today I got a tour of a vocational school and a hospital that the Koreans built here. I met lots of really friendly Iraqis who are getting an education. A lot of them speak English really well and even make jokes.
This place is so nice. Lots of hills and green grass. The air is very clean and clear. Maybe like North Dakota from pictures I’ve seen, or Mongolia.
It is fun being with the Koreans. I ate lunch and dinner at the Korean cafe. For lunch I had bulgoggi and the red hot spicy soup that Kaito likes. It has meat and tofu and big green onions. For dinner, it was mackerel Korean style, two types of KIMCHI, and beef with Toppogi mochi. And rice is sticky rice. It is delicious after all American in Camp Victory for 4 months!
I will be at one of the events (undecided but likely Stanley Park) with podcast-o-rator in hand to chronicle the event and wearing a white poppy for peace provided they arrive by post from the UK (Globe and Mail, CBC). Bear in mind, i respect this day as a somber occassion and in no way wish to diminish anyone’s hardship or beliefs, however, i sincerly believe the best way to honor dead soldiers sacrifices and grueling, unimaginable hardship is to avoid war and tyranny in all forms through conscious application of deliberate peace.
I am also planning up a special Postcards from Gravelly Beach podcast with a story about soldiers by a young fella i used to coach in in-line hockey, musing from Lt. Magnum’s blog, words from Thoreau and Gandhi and maybe Dalai Lama or Dhamapadha, my own Letters from Russia and a few snippets from some local media essays and perhaps a wee bit of Robbie Burns with a dram for the dead ones like last year. We’ll see how it goes.
Anyhow details (and thanks to Mr. Barefoot for again doing my research for me ;-0)…
The following Remembrance Day Ceremonies usually start 30 minutes before the 11 am moment of silence. Check local Legion Branches for further details.
Remembrance Day Ceremony November 11th at Memorial Park South Sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #16 at 11 am located at East 41st Avenue and Prince Albert Street.
Remembrance Day Ceremony November 11th at Grandview Park Cenotaph Sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion #179 at 11 am located at Commercial and Cotton Drives.
Remembrance Day Ceremony November 11th at Stanley Park Sponsored by the Japanese Canadian War Memorial Committee at 11 am at the Japanese Monument near the Stanley Park Pavilion.
Remembrance Day Ceremony November 11th at Victory Square Major representation by civic officials with music at 11 am at Cambie and Hastings Streets. Come view the recent restoration work at this lovely downtown park.