I struggle to understand how criminal damage and attacking people’s history is peace-making

I struggle to understand how criminal damage and attacking people’s history is peace-making.

I’ve just had a post through on the Networking for Peace mailing list: “Germany : Tear This Down – Eliminate Colonialism Now” which links to a site called TearThisDown.com (active link not provided on purpose). It provides a map of street names, monuments, stations and other public items named after people they disapprove of and demanding ‘TEAR DOWN THIS SHIT‘. They call for such monuments to be damaged, destroyed and have graffiti applied.

They clearly don’t care that people live in the areas where they intend to conduct criminal damage nor about the fear (and additional damage) it will create.

They clearly have not thought about social cohesion and how this kind of hate crime – which is what it is – creates divisions that will last far longer than the short-term fun and publicity they seek. This is not resolving differences, it is creating conflict.

This is a few people wanting to cause social upheaval and using it to raise mobs to go out and cause damage without consideration for knock-on effects and consequences is not making the world a better place. It is teaching people that anti-social behaviour is a good thing and that despising other sections of society and blaming them for acts that happened before they were born is progress.

It is just some people, fuelled by hate, creating power for themselves at the expense of others and getting other people to do their dirty work for them.

It’s just Kristallnacht in reverse.

I fail to see how this is appropriate as a “Networking for Peace” activity.

Cultural imperialism and Christmas

Last Tuesday, on the 17th of December, we went to Lidl’s for some bits and hot cross buns were for sale.

Every year for the past decade or so I have this moan about supermarkets selling ‘traditional’ hot cross buns at Christmas.  That (and calling every kind of cheese in existence ‘Cheddar’) really pisses me off about supermarkets beyond any normal level of annoyance.

Although raised in a Christian tradition, I’m not a believer so I’m probably not entitled to care, but it feels like cultural vandalism.

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Good Friday comes this month: the old woman runs.
With one a penny, two a penny “hot cross buns”.
Whose virtue is, if you believe what’s said,
They’ll not grow mouldy like the common bread.

Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1733.

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It is a centuries old tradition to have hot cross buns at Easter.  Not Christmas.  As you can see from the above quote, older than some references claim:

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Throughout England, special buns, marked with a cross, were made on Good Friday and eaten toasted for breakfast; they were referred to as ‘Cross buns’ or ‘Good Friday buns’.  There are references to the custom early in the 19th century, so phrased as to imply that it had been current for several generations (Opie and Tatem, 1989: 177).  The modern unvarying phrase ‘hot cross buns’ derives from the 18th-century street vendors’ cry:

Hot Cross Buns! Hot Cross Buns!
Give them to your daughters, give them to your sons!
One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!

A Dictionary of English Folklore, 2003.

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It does leave me wondering why I am so annoyed about it if it is not my problem.  But it does give me some empathy for those who don’t want soul-less and capitalist cultural imperialism thrust upon them, telling them their values, beliefs, traditions and way of life are wrong because some foreigner or rich corporation says so.  If I am so grumpy about this, what must it be like when your entire way of life is being challenged?

I have no faith, I am not religious, but I don’t think commercialism should be allowed to steal my Christmas, nor other people’s traditions.