I’m not going to lie to you. I’m a little pissed off.
Why am I a little pissed off? I’ll tell you.
On the same day that a Canadian soldier was killed in Afghanistan, a big-name star died of cancer. Lucy the freaking elephant got higher billing than a bombing that killed a man and injured four other people.
Sure, I don’t agree with war. I hate war. I would much rather we all just sit around and talk out our differences and bake cookies together and yes I know that’s a ridiculous pipe dream I got from watching Too Much Star Trek, but seriously people, as that really famous person said, “give Peace a chance. If we don’t like it, we can always go back to fighting.” Don’t even start with asking me “what would you do if someone wearing a towel on their head broke in to your house and started raping your children?” because you know damned well my answer isn’t going to be “ask him/her to stay and bake some cookies.” I KNOW that most people think war and armed conflict is necessary. I don’t KNOW what the alternatives are. I just know that in my heart, in my warm, hippie heart, I know killing each other is wrong.
It’s really wrong.
In fact, it’s so wrong, superstitious people who believe in all kinds of ghosties and miracles and magic smoke all over the world have heard this from their Head Heebie Jeebie: “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. That’s pretty self-explanatory. And I was a hippie before I was religious, so I’m using that argument to back myself up, here. YES, circular arguments! I’m good at those.
Even atheists, for God’s sake (heh), who are moral, Good People will tell you that killing each other is wrong. At least, the atheists I know will. Sure, some will have caveats to that (“well if someone broke in to my house and started raping my children…”), but what can be more self-explanatory?
Survival of the fittest? You don’t get to use this argument if you’re superstitious, right? You can’t use a Darwinian argument to support your religious war? I don’ t know. This could just be the pissiness talking. So sure, the best way to ensure your religious belief/land claims/cultural group/dinner menu is the only one left on the planet is to kill everyone who doesn’t think like you do. That’d get pretty lonely and pretty boring pretty fast, IMO.
Anyway, yeah. Killing each other is Bad. And Wrong. There are no buts. There are no ifs. There is just the one And so far…So…can we just stop doing it? Please? There’s enough stuff out there that will kill us – viruses, taxi cabs, particularly hungry bears, insects ….clowns. We don’t need to add “each other” to the list. Really. It’s been done before. “Oh MAN. That is SO Roman. Cha.”
However, since I’m pretty sure nobody’s going to stop killing anybody because I asked them to (this is my crackpot theory: the bigger a group gets, the more it acts, on the whole, like a four-year-old…then a teenager…and ultimately, by the time that group attains wisdom and grace, it dies off of old age), I recognise that there will be armed conflict. I recognise that Canada is trying to provide security, protection, and hope to people all over the world. I recognise that we can NEVER do enough. There are far more people hating out there than there are Canadian soldiers able to talk sense into them. So I recognise that we have a military, and that we trust our elected officials and the Department of National Defense to choose the best ways for our military to help the world (and sometimes I really, REALLY question that judgement). I do, however, respect and honour the decision that Canadians make when they enter in the police force, Emergency Services, the RCMP, and the Military. I respect these folks an awful lot. First of all, because that’s a sacrifice I was never willing to (and will never be willing to) make. Secondly, because …well… you know what? There doesn’t even NEED to be a “secondly”.
And I’m pissy. I’m pissy because a Canadian had to die doing what he was passionate about. He had to die trying to help other people stop getting dead. He died in the love of and in the service of Canada. He sacrified his *own* life trying to make someone else’s life better. He, in more archaic terms, shed his blood for them.
So I think Private Patrick Lormand from the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment based in Valcartier, Quebec deserves better than third billing after a washed-up movie star and a geriatric fucking elephant. And those other four Canadian soldiers who were injured in the same blast, they do too. I know someone will say: “But that washed up actor and that geriatric elephant provided so much laughter and entertainment; doesn’t that count for something?”
Sure. That counts for sixth and seventh billing.