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Glorifying Violence

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Message Paul Titterton
The news in the Guardian (June 18) that 'The government has been secretly awarding honours to senior figures in the US military and foreign businessmen' shows the importance we Brits attach to honoring people. Arise Sir George"..

There is also a lot in the news just now about 'glorifying violence' and I assume it mainly concerns anyone else who glorifies it, because we Brits have been at it for hundreds of years and do it better than most.

I heard a story about the youngest recipient of the Victoria Cross a century ago. He was eighteen and when his maxim gun had jammed had bravely relied on a standard high velocity rifle to continue shooting the unfortunate Pathans, or whoever we were "supporting" at the time. He was cashiered for insubordination. He could cope with third world guys with spears, but not being told to get his flippin' 'air cut.

You are more likely to do your bravery when you are young and vulnerable and fear of a sergeant outweighs any feelings of fear of, or sympathy towards, your fellow human beings. "Right lads we are about to walk across no man's land, and I would like you chaps to consider coming with me." will not get results. "OK, you shower of girl's blouses, I will personally shoot the last mincer out of this trench." is likely to work, as long as the last guy who dared to debate the proposal, has not yet been removed from the barbed wire.

Do we make ploughshares or wait until the next generation comes along, all spots and trying not to look like a female article of clothing in front of their mates and start all over?

We glorify violence all the time, we promote people who are adept at slaughtering the biggest number in the best way and we give them medals as if their promotion was not enough. We make war movies shamelessly and don't think this is weird. We sometimes give the movies medals as well. That's glorifying violence.
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'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.
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