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More ceremony for the temple of the death cult

By johnboy - 17 April 2013 92

war memorial

The ABC reports on ever more elaborate rites being laid on at the War Memorial.

Speaking as someone who used to go to the dawn service back when it fitted inside the memorial* I’m increasingly disturbed by the trend this is part of.

The national anthem will be played, the public will be able to lay wreaths and a uniformed member of the defence force will read a short account of the life of one of the people on the memorial’s Roll of Honour.

The daily ceremony will end with the playing of the last post and it will also be streamed on the internet.

The Memorial’s director Brendan Nelson says he felt a more meaningful closing ceremony was needed.

It started under the Howard Government, the ever increasing fetishism of Anzac as the last veterans who could have told them off finally disappeared.

Conservatives have always liked the authoritarian nature of Christianity, but it’s imperfect for them.

That hippy preaching love, forgiveness and running the bankers out of the temple? Troubling.

Whereas a militaristic death cult immortalising the sacrifice of the young for the maintenance of the old men’s position of power?

Wrap it in a flag, play the last post, and bow your head as you walk past their name etched in bronze?

That’s more like it isn’t it?

* The author comes from multi-generational service family and is all in favour of remembering the fallen. But all things should be in moderation.


UPDATE: The memorial’s media release is available in full.

What’s Your opinion?


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92 Responses to
More ceremony for the temple of the death cult
1
Grimm 11:00 am
17 Apr 13
#

I’m also from a multi-generational service family, one of those generations being myself. People like the author of this sicken me. I’d call bullshit that they have ever had anything to do with the ADF, and are almost guaranteed to be a greens voter.

The people we remember on ANZAC day gave their lives so you could live yours in the way you do. Calling the ADF a “death cult” is just pathetic. You need an uppercut.

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2
FioBla 11:08 am
17 Apr 13
#

Iron Man 3 will be on screens that day.

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3
FioBla 11:16 am
17 Apr 13
#

Grimm said :

People like the author… are almost guaranteed to be a greens voter.

Egads! Revealed!

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4
enrique 11:28 am
17 Apr 13
#

Calling it a death-cult is a bit OTT… perhaps tone that one down a bit.

However, the glorification of the whole thing is getting a bit worrying. Last year I overheard some yr 6 kids talking about how ‘cool’ they thought it all was and how ‘excited’ they were that they were going to the service.

Nobody involved in a war who would have seen a bullet rip another young mans life & limb apart would ever think such things were very cool. Nobody should ever think like that.

Solemn remembrance? Yes, absolutely.

Fanfare and big-event marketing? …I’m not so sure it’s appropriate.

—–
On a similar topic, why isn’t it called the ‘Peace Memorial’?

Wouldn’t that send a better message? i.e. let’s celebrate the sacrifice these people made so we now have peace and stability… let’s encourage people to celebrate all the years of non-conflict… Yes, let’s acknowledge the terrible events that took place in the past, but let’s put more emphasis on the positives associated with friendships, negotiation, collaboration, etc. rather than continuously opening up old wounds. It would be a minor tweak but the future outcomes would be so much more constructive and positive.

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5
smiling politely 11:33 am
17 Apr 13
#

I heard about this on the radio this morning and my immediate reaction was that the new arrangements sound a bit over the top and jingoistic-y. There should be less ceremony and more silence. Less carry-on and more contemplation. You’ll raise ire with your choice of wording John but I completely see where you’re coming from.

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6
Jim Jones 12:10 pm
17 Apr 13
#

Grimm said :

The people we remember on ANZAC day gave their lives so you could live yours in the way you do. Calling the ADF a “death cult” is just pathetic. You need an uppercut.

No they didn’t.

WWI had precisely fe^k-all to do with ‘freedom’ and ‘our glorious way of life’ and all that rot.

WWII perhaps, but not WWI, and certainly not Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

This is not to diminish the work of the armed forces, but they idea that they ‘defend our freedom’ and our way of life is dependent upon their sacrifice is utter bullsh1t. Our ‘way of life’ and ‘freedom’ are more dependent upon politicians than soldiers, and more centred on economics than military excursions.

I’m all up for remembering the deaths of fallen soldiers, but lets not surround the day in meaningless jingoism with no basis in reality. A realistic look at who soldiers were and are is far more emotionally moving and important than this stupid hyperbole.

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7
p1 12:31 pm
17 Apr 13
#

Grimm said :

Calling the ADF a “death cult” is just pathetic.

While JB’s intentionally confrontational title irks me slightly, I find your post irritates and offends me more? Perhaps it is because you don’t seem to understand his post?

BTW, I also come from a multi generational service family. Seems many of us do.

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8
EvanJames 12:32 pm
17 Apr 13
#

Grimm said :

People like the author of this sicken me. I’d call bullshit that they have ever had anything to do with the ADF, and are almost guaranteed to be a greens voter.

Why do people from the conservative side of politics always resort to ad homs when disagreeing with an opinion?

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9
BimboGeek 12:37 pm
17 Apr 13
#

What Jim Jones said.

And also a reminder that soldiers aren’t actually hired to die for their country, although they are sometimes deployed to help the other side die for theirs. Generally you don’t get butterflies that fart rainbows just by sacrificing a few kids.

War doesn’t cause peace. In fact you could argue that the tensions that lead up to any given war were caused by the mess left by the previous war. Peace, prosperity and a positive way of life are the result of getting over the pain and working for pacific solutions to humanity’s problems.

It’s definitely important to remember the bad times, but sadly there’s little to celebrate, just many painful lessons to learn.

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10
thebrownstreak69 12:39 pm
17 Apr 13
#

Nasty stuff. What have you done, RiotACT?

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11
Rollersk8r 12:43 pm
17 Apr 13
#

You’re being ridiculous. I have many issues with the commercialisation of ANZAC Day, the flag and what patriotism means these days. Those issues have nothing to do with this. It is a war memorial, after all. It should be an honour for serving personnel to be chosen for the daily service – and it also should add meaning for those present.

I admit – it sounds over the top at first. However, it makes a lot of sense to start a tradition like this for the overwhelming majority of visitors who attend on the other 364 days of the year.

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12
Jim Jones 12:44 pm
17 Apr 13
#

It’s also particularly stupid that people feel that they have to preface statements on this sort of thing by listing their family’s involvement with the armed forces. That doesn’t sound like much of a ringing endorsement of ‘our way of life’ and ‘our freedoms’ if people’s opinions on any matter are validated by their closeness to the armed forces … (actually, that sounds a lot closer to the plot of Heinlein’s fascist state in Starship Troopers).

And it’s quite telling that your criticism of JBs post ends with a threat (even if it is a throwaway mock threat) of violence.

Even the disparagement of Greens voters is pretty funny. Are you implying that the diggers died for our freedom, but if anyone chooses to use that freedom to vote for a political party that you don’t like then all bets are off?

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13
Postalgeek 1:10 pm
17 Apr 13
#

In my opinion, you don’t fall into the moderate camp if you start calling the AWM the ‘temple of the death cult’. JB, you’re in danger of occupying the other ugly side of the pendulum.

Grimm said :

I I’d call bullshit that they have ever had anything to do with the ADF, and are almost guaranteed to be a greens voter.

Yeah, let’s drag bogan politics into a AWM discussion. You’re as bad as those you criticise.

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14
davo101 1:27 pm
17 Apr 13
#

Grimm said :

The people we remember on ANZAC day gave their lives so you could live yours in the way you do.

Yeah, pretty sure that if Australia had stayed out of all of those foreign adventures my life would be the same as it is now.

Grimm said :

Calling the ADF a “death cult” is just pathetic.

Care to point out exactly where in the post that the ADF is called a death cult? I think not quite understanding the concept.

Grimm said :

You need an uppercut.

Ah, yes, rational debate always the best way to sort these things out.

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15
qbngeek 1:28 pm
17 Apr 13
#

Grimm said :

I’m also from a multi-generational service family, one of those generations being myself. People like the author of this sicken me. I’d call bullshit that they have ever had anything to do with the ADF, and are almost guaranteed to be a greens voter.

The people we remember on ANZAC day gave their lives so you could live yours in the way you do. Calling the ADF a “death cult” is just pathetic. You need an uppercut.

You need an uppercut. I am also from a ‘multi-generational service family’ (including myself) and can tell you that the amount of people whose deaths directly protected our way of life is crap. I am as proud of our armed services as anyone and will always shake the hand of anyone who served or is serving and thank them for the job that they do. But my many still serving friends all the share the same opinion as me in regards to the marketing that currently surrounds the ANZACs and their legacy.

Less marketing and more rememberance is in order. I know I will not be at the AWM on ANZAC day, in fact I will be in Braidwood with a bunch of serving and ex-serving mates. We will be drinking, sharing ‘war stories’ and thinking abouut the mates we have lost and everyone else that has served in the forces whether they have lost their lives or not. In fact, try remembering their families as well and while you are at it, thank and hug some serving members partners for the sacrifice that they go through as well.

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