|Something's been lost in translation here|
Recently I had a minor musical triumph but doubt anyone’s interested. Honest, making music beats listening to it. Not that the two are necessarily alternatives. Making music causes the listening ear to become more sensitive.
I’m recalling a warm day in 1955. June-ish. Before many of you were born. I’m holding an antique Lee Enfield rifle with a metal spike attached to the muzzle. The spike is an evolution of the sharp-edged sword (a bayonet) which British soldiers, fighting in The Great War, attached to their Lee Enfields. Resolutely I shut my mind to the sort of wound such swords would have made.
Five metres away (though they were feet in 1955) is a wooden frame surrounding a straw-filled sack. The sack has seen better days.
An RAF corporal instructor, sweating like a cart-horse, staggers into a jog-trot, roars something incomprehensible, and lunges his spike-equipped rifle at the sack. Spike and rifle muzzle project from the rear of the sack and the CI roars again. Approvingly.
Countries accumulate military personnel to defend against forceful threat. Note how reality is turned into an abstraction. Actually: to kill the threateners. I was later to maintain airborne radio equipment, not to kill. But that’s a fib. Radios helped guide planes to drop bombs which blew others to bits. Some threatened, some didn’t. Even RAF cooks indirectly participated in the killing. Keeping pilots and bomb-aimers nourished to meet the exigencies of their trade.
Later I had a go at the sack but my spike did not re-appear at the back. I suspect I moved slowly and, had it been for real, I might have come off second best.
Hey, I’m not preaching pacifism. But neither am I preaching war. I’m for sack attack. We all need to know just what war is. No euphemisms.