Britain, like most of western Christendom, celebrates Christmas with ornamented trees. The British mark Remebrance Day for World War I on November 11 by wearing paper poppies. A shopping mall in Salisbury, England, has ingeniously combined the two events by making a giant Christmas tree out of paper poppies.
One tweet described the red tree as an oddity, saying: "Christmas and Remembrance Sunday, together at last in one oddly conceived package."
Another comment described it as "tasteless", while a further tweet said it was "disrespectful". But the Royal British Legion said it was "grateful to all individuals, as well as any shops, pubs and other commercial enterprises, which choose to show their support for the Armed Forces Community".
There's something about the way monumental paganism remains an emergent property of the British condition, even (especially) when it's trying to do blithely inoffensive corporate promotional material.
MARKETING CONSULTANT: George, something's come up about the sign by the poppy tree. It's Selfridges. They object to some of the text.
GEORGE: What now?
CONSULTANT: It's the line that reads "KNEEL BEFORE THE BLOOD TREE! FUCK BEFORE THE BLOOD GOD!" They're wondering if it could say "copulate" or "make love" instead of "fuck".
GEORGE: (sighs angrily) There's always something.
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Everyone raised in my hometown learned to recite In Flanders Fields in school. Every year, as November 11th, Remembrance Day, drew near, we were taught about the First World War. We made poppies. We prepared for a concert to honor our veterans. Elderly men with often vacant, watery eyes would visit our classrooms and talk […]
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