Friday, 12 May 2017
-SM Stirling, The Sunrise Lands (New York, 2008), Chapter Nineteen, p. 462.
I am 68 which makes me an "old geezer" but it also means that I was born in 1949, after World War II. My problem is with some of the older geezers who were in the War.
(i) I hand an anti-fascist leaflet to an older geezer. He responds, "You can't tell me anything about fascists! I fought them!" I reply, "If you think that there is no current threat, then I can tell you something about them!"
(ii) In Northern Ireland, Orangemen march to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Sometimes, they try to march through Catholic areas. Discussing this with a Northern Irish work colleague, I tried to make this comparison: "Suppose I wanted to celebrate the Allied victory in World War II and I deliberately routed a march down a street where there were a lot of German households..." When I had got as far as "World War II," an older colleague interrupted, "You ain't old enough!" I replied, "If I ain't old enough to celebrate World War II, then these bastards ain't old enough to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne!"
To the second man, all that mattered was that he was alive during WWII and I wasn't. The issue of provocative marches was lost on him.