A Memorial Day Observance
My feelings about holidays that commemorate and accept war as a historical inevitability are complicated. I realize that millions have sacrificed their lives in acts of service to the nation. That’s a deeply honorable choice, worthy of great respect. However, wars aren’t really winnable, any more than executing murderers prevents murder. Military conflicts are a tragic leftover of our slow cultural evolution, a technologically amplified version of behaviors other animals express when establishing territory and group hierarchy.
Norman McLaren, one of the finest directors of experimental short films who ever lived, put it more poetically than I can in words. Here’s his 1952 film “Neighbours”.