Rants and Observations
The recent D Day celebrations in Europe exposed some who fraudulently claimed participation. Others claimed deeds beyond the reality. Psychologists explained that exaggerating one’s deeds of daring do is common. Those who do so may even come to believe them, or they create an exaggerated or false reality to hide their traumas. Shakespeare recognised that old soldiers relate their deeds ‘with advantages’ in Henry V.
We can see this in many exaggerated memoirs of the Special Air Service and those of US Navy Seals. The writers were likely brave men, with an opportunity to sell books. Hilary Clinton falsely remembered being under fire in the Balkans. Lyndon Johnson claimed he was a hero on a bomber raid against Zeros. He was decorated, but his aircrew saw him as just a passenger. John Kerry remembered events that those who were there did not.
This may all be part of the fog of war or PTSD. Some see an opportunity to cash in reputationally or financially. Largely this is driven by the propaganda needs of the various combatants.
All media stories need careful evaluation. ‘Who benefits’ is always the critical question.
Some of us write about our exaggerations or fantasies of our time in the military.
This BBC Documentary is a must see for anyone who includes murderous characters in their books or who has those enticing inclinations.
In a nutshell, many/most murderers have a mixture of 'the warrior' gene, (30% of the population); were abused and unloved as children or suffered damage to their brains, through head trauma.
This fits the idea that we succeed or fail, murder or not as a result of scientific determinism or luck. Free will either does not exist at all or allows only minimal manoevre within our predetermined destiny.
The only great thing about Great Britain today is that it continues to nurture eccentrics. Whilst the world and Britain are swirling down the toilet, mad dogs
and Englishmen focus on esoteric niceties.
Professor William Fitzgerald expounded to the Horatian Society, a group that venerates the Latin poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus. He is better known as Horace.
The much quoted translation of his 'Carpe Diem' is incorrect. Indeed, it has been quoted by aggressive business thrusters as 'Sieze the day'.This is the opposite of Horace's intention.
A more accurate translation is 'Savour the day.' This has the opposite meaning. It is more in line with hippy, Buddhist or meditative behaviour. In modern parlance, Chill!