TONGUE OF THE DAY

by Ross Sharp

Flicked over to Channel 7’s “Sunrise” program briefly this morning, and it’s a live cross to “Kochie” from  Turkey and he’s promising upcoming coverage of a “great ceremony” in the morrow.

It’s the Olympics for Dead People. Who came dead first. Who came dead last.

Professor Bruce Scates writing for The Age yesterday …

“The centenary should have been the time to widen the ambit of remembrance, to reckon with the aftermath of Anzac. A legion of blind and crippled and insane men and women, irreparably damaged by war, returned to Australia. For those who came home, and for the families who supported them, a new and equally exacting battle began: to raise a family on an inadequate pension, find work without an arm or eye, forget the nightmare of what one saw, and did, on Gallipoli or the Somme, Palestine or Flanders.

Promised a land fit for heroes, inexperienced men were set to work marginal land on worthless soldier settlement blocks. Promised the praise of a grateful nation, they faced the Great Depression. Many would survive the war, but not the peace. Throughout the 1920s, gassed men choked to death, cot cases perished in their beds, “nervy men” blew their brains out.  Far from uniting a nation, as we are so often told, the war tore us apart and left a legacy of trauma.

These harsh realities of the aftermath of war do not lend themselves to the rousing rhetoric of princes or politicians. They highlight the obscenity of what has become a parody of remembrance, Anzac as carnival, commodity and re-enactment, a brand sold by tour guides, breweries, and supermarkets. In 1915, the landing failed. In 2015, we failed that generation yet again.”

Have a nice day.

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