Friday, November 14, 2014

Just watched the Sainsburys Christmas advert. (4 million views so far).
The picture above shows the French cemetery at Verdun, where 15,000 French and (French) African soldiers are buried. In the centre of this cemetery is the large building known as the Ossuary, which is literally filled with unidentified bones found on the battlefield (estimated at 130,000 remains but farmers still find bones in the fields each year). Additionally Verdun boasts an American cemetery with 14,000 dead, and several German cemeteries.
Verdun today has a population of 20,000. The Western Front stretched for up to 400 miles.
How DARE Sainsbury's use this massacre to sell groceries? I can't believe this advert is even allowed to air, it's so offensive.
The story of the Christmas truce is sad because
a) Young men fighting on both sides had much more in common with each other than with the people who sent them to fight and in 1914, there were all kinds of temporary truces and fraternisation around the year- not due to the holy magic of Christmas but to basic class solidarity.
b) As the war went on for year after year, most of these 'truces' -Christmas, football, chocolate and all- stopped, perhaps partly due to the devastating effects of new weapons like poison gas, the lessening of hope, the endless pointless deaths.
When you watch this advert as I'm sure you will have to endlessly for the next three months, think about the other 364 days of mindless slaughter. And remember ‪#‎Christmasisforsharing‬ is pointless unless we unite the rest of the time against our real enemies. ‪#‎WW1isforsellingchocolate‬

1 comment:

woodscolt said...

Not just new weapons, but the full might of the establishment was thrown behind preventing soldiers from sharing any solidarity with the other side. Clergy preached sermons denouncing the truce. Officers and men were threatened with court martial or shooting for treason.