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Haruko Haruhara On April - 25 - 2011

My thoughts are bouncing all over the place today, so I will put them all here rather than a bunch of posts in O/T.

First, Today is Anzac Day, a very important holiday in Australia and New Zealand, commemorating the “birth” of both nations at the terrible Battle of Gallipoli in 1915-1916.

World War I was the first war that involved the two fledgling nations, both of which had been semi-independent for only about 10 years. The Brits still called the shots during war, however, and sent wave after wave of Aussie and Kiwi soldiers into the Turkish guns. Thousands were slaughtered. The assault failed. It was a pointless battle in a pointless war, but out it came a lot of pride in two counties, who decided “never again.” Never again would they allow themselves to be machine gun fodder for the British.

This is a very young Mel Gibson (before he got *too* weird) starring in a very good Australian film about Gallipoli:

This is the New Zealand National Anthem. Notice how the first stanza is often sung in Maori

Secondly, there was a long discussion on PPOV yesterday about intolerence toward faith. I saw a shocking exchange yesterday on another Web site (no, not HP, an actual liberal Web site). The names of the posters aren’t important, so I won’t post that. I didn’t want to post this on Easter Sunday because I thought it might be too upsetting:

Happy Easter

“Fuck you fundamentalist, go peddle your Christian delusional bullshit somewhere else!”

If i offended you then i apologize, I was just being nice.

No, your delusional ass wasn’t trying to be “nice” to me or anyone else, just look at the fucking history of just about anywhere missionaries have went in order to “save” primitives from there “ungodly “lifestyle, in reality, you are trying to promote, and being a spokesman for, the greatest bullshit story ever created, religion, Woods you -for just once in your miserable fucking life- stop perpetuating antiquated bullshit? The reality world of the 21st century, is sick of it, would you please begin to appraise the concept, that we can all get along without God, and actually love care and love one another, without the completely artificially created concept of “God”?”

Now, I have NO idea if there was history between these two posters, but I looked at the one poster’s history, and he seemed benign enough to me. It appeared that it was no more than one poster taking a ridiculous amount of offense to what seemed like a harmless sentiment of “Happy Easter.”

It really upset me, for a couple of reasons. For one, if you’re a non-believer, what is so hard to simply ignore the post. It’s not like the guy was being preachy. He simply posted, “Happy Easter.” Why is that so offensive? I looked at his response, and I couldn’t help but feel he’s every bit as close-minded as someone like Fred Phelps or Terry Jones.

The second thing is it’s this kind of ginned up nonsense on the Internet where right-wing Fundamentalists get their talking points that “all liberals hate Christians” “All liberals are anti-God.” You see that crap posted A LOT over on “that site.” When so-called liberals react like this to a simple, “Happy Easter” it accomplishes nothing but to give fodder to that talking point.

Thirdly, you have probably seen me post about all the snow here.

In case any of you were thinking I was exaggerating, this is the hotel we are going to in September. This photo was taken three or four days ago:

April 21

Categories: Speakers' Corner

65 Responses so far.

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  1. ADONAI says:

    Australia, India, South America, United States.

    England does have a knack for uniting entire groups of people in opposition to them.

    Obviously they’re uniters. Not dividers.

  2. Caru says:

    Gallipoli is one of the many reasons why I’m not Churchill’s biggest fan.

    • zampano says:

      Yes — but Kitchener bungled just as much as Churchill in the Dardanelles and didn’t lose his job over it

    • Haruko Haruhara says:

      Actually, to this day, there are a lot of Kiwis and Aussies who despise the Brits in general over Gallipoli.

      Never forget!

      ” width=”200″ alt=”poppy” />

      • Khirad says:

        Can we blame you?

        Hi Aussies and Kiwis! How’d you feel about being the new Highland regiments?

        Can’t let too much good English blood spill, after all.

        But, that was quite a while ago and the English aren’t quite so snobbish anymore in how they delegate missions. The British Services are also much more integrated and consolidated (which isn’t the best thing if you’re like me and mourn a few missing Highland regs *sniff*).

        Of course, it’s in the past.

        But boy do I understand where that sentiment came from!

        • Haruko Haruhara says:

          Gallipoli had a lot to do with that change in mentality. Gallipoli and the Ardennes.

          “Be a good chap and go in there and soften up those Jerry/Johnny Turk positions for us, will you? We’ll hang back here and watch. Make a good show of it! God save the King!”

          “YOU go first, Kimosabe!”

          • audadvnc says:

            The USA did the same thing to the Soviets in WW2, hanging back until June 1944 before going head-to-head with Hitler.

            • bito says:

              I believe history shows that the country was very divided on the US entering the war, hard to believe , there was a time when the US was reluctant to enter in foreign conflicts. The US also entered WWI late.

            • zampano says:

              Not an entirely fair comparison. The Brits hardly held back at Gallipoli (unless you go with the cinematic version)

      • Kalima says:

        A lot of countries have strong feelings about other countries during and after the war. I was 9 years old when I first arrived in the U.K. people hated me because I was German.

        Hate is a very strong word to fling at generations of people who had nothing to do with any wars, or hadn’t even been born yet. Holding grudges against a people of a country for past injustices is futile, and old wounds can never hope to heal. I really think that the word HATE in its true form should be examined more closely before it’s used, and forgiveness, even if that forgiveness can’t be expressed or felt to the full extent, is nevertheless a path to personal healing. Hating is such a sad and empty way to go through life, the people we hurt the most are ourselves and those we direct our hate at.

        Many bad decisions have been made in the past which have caused many to lose their lives, even now, and if the whole world should hate, then there will be no more world as we know it. If the Brits haven’t apologized, then they should have, as with any country whose past includes atrocities that are hard to comprehend, I just don’t think that holding a country of people responsible for the past is a way to go. I’ve been on the receiving end of a deep rooted hate against a country at a time that I had no idea where this hate was coming from, and believe that for all of us, the hate should stop.

        • Haruko Haruhara says:

          Oh, I agree, I was just saying there is still a lot of bitterness in Australia and New Zealand toward the UK for Gallipoli … I mean it was 96 years ago.

          It reminds me of a time we were telling someone about going to a Japanese peace garden in Portland and this old guy, who was in the Marines in WW II just went on a tirade about the Japanese and all the atrocities (“they chopped off Americans’ heads”) they committed, etc., etc., and I thought, “My God, after 60 years, he can’t find forgiveness…?”

          Some people can’t let go, I guess.

          • Kalima says:

            No you are right HH, some of the older generation still can’t let go, I understand to a certain extent because of the things that some may have witnessed, war is a terrible thing, and people do terrible things to others, I just believe that with most things, there needs to be a time to move from from the past before we can hope to build a better future, and that hate is all consuming.

            A personal example is when my mother decided to marry again to what her family thought of as an English man, my stepfather is actually Welsh, and he has never lost his accent to this day. My mother was the last of 15 children, and only one of them, an older sister, turned up for her engagement party and later her wedding. She never forgot this, but later forgave the others.

      • zampano says:

        The casualties on ALL sides in the Gallipoli campaign were unspeakably horrendous.
        That debacle cost 80,000 Turkish lives, 44,000 British and French lives,8,500 Australian and almost 3,000 New Zealand lives.
        To this day, the Turkish army has no 57th regiment — out of respect for the fact that every man in 57th was killed.
        For the people of any country to “despise” each other a century and several generations later serves none of us.
        We should have moved on — but clearly, as we merrily bombard Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, rattle our sabres at Iran and star Mel Gibson in truth-warping blockbusters from Gallipoli to Braveheart — we haven’t learned a thing.

        • Khirad says:

          Absolutely, I’ve written on the affect this had on Turkey in the past, as well. It’s a very deep scar for their country, as well.

          • Haruko Haruhara says:

            Really? I have to read that.

            I always thought Gallipoli was considered a great victory for the Ottomans. At least that’s the history we were taught in the West.

        • Haruko Haruhara says:

          Oh, I didn’t say I necessarily agreed with the sentiment. It’s like Southerners who are still mad about the Civil War.

          Interestingly, there’s a lot of forgiveness between the Turks and the Aussies over the battle. A lot of joint commemorations, etc. But, there are still hard feelings toward the British for sending so many Aussies to certain death.

          • zampano says:

            Those “hard feelings” are misdirected.
            Divide and conquer is, after all, the MO of the MIC.
            They rub their hands in glee at such nationalistic resentments.
            FWIW: 21,000 Brits were cannonfodder at Gallipoli too. Not to mention the French and the Sikhs and the Gurkhas. Not to mention the fact that the Ottoman “victory” cost almost twice as many lives as the Allies lost (and triggered Ataturks metoeric rise to power).
            It’s CLASS warfare, Haruko — but as long as people still buy into such divisive nationalistic crap, shored up by historically inaccurate Hollywood movies, there will be cannonfodder galore for as many wars as they care to make

  3. whatsthatsound says:

    All you atheists can go caroling with this song on Atheist Eve (which comes right after Godless Friday)

  4. Mightywoof says:

    I’m shamed to say I’ve never heard the NZ National Anthem HH -- it’s lovely and absolutely brilliant that it’s also sung in Maori!! You probably know that Canada has a French version and an English version and I so wish we were enlightened enough to sing one anthem in both official languages (I think we also need a third language to represent the original peoples)

    What everybody else said about the ignoramus and his rant on a simple Happy Easter :roll:

    I saw Gallipoli when it first came out -- great movie! As was Breaker Morant.

  5. whatsthatsound says:

    I make a motion that there should be an official Atheist Day.

    Seriously! Think how cool it would be. Atheists could have a special day, and could wish each other “Happy Atheist Day!”

    Meanwhile, believers with a bug up their butt (like the above non-believer most definitely has) could get all upset at them whenever they wished that to each other. They could tell the atheists who write it that they’re going to hell, just go Medieval on the poor slobs.

    It would all even out that way.

    • PocketWatch says:

      wts -- I could be called an atheist or an agnostic, or maybe a pantheist or something, but the sad truth is, all the organized religions have it all over folks that have no religion….

      No holidays! No Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, St. Patrick’s Day, Kwanza (is that religious?), and so on. I don’t know the Jewish or Muslim ones, so forgive me, but the principle is the same…

      No days off, no forgiveness at work for having to observe this or that, not even Sundays off! And, having to cover at work for all those other people that take time off for religious reasons.

      I say atheists and non-believers are de facto discriminated against for this reason and need to organize and file suit immediately!

      I would have fun watching Pat Robertson’s head ‘splode right out of the TV machine!

    • zampano says:

      I’m with you on that!

  6. Buddy McCue says:

    Good grief!

    No way a simple “Happy Easter” deserves that response. I’ve never observed Easter myself, but I can’t imagine gong off on somebody like that. Incredible.

  7. KillgoreTrout says:

    Wow, such a visceral response. It reminds me of a homophobe taking such great and mean lengths to degrade and insult gay people. Doth this person protest too much? His almost violent reaction to a simple conveyance such as Happy Easter is psychotic. This person acts as though Christianity is out to get him. How sad.

    • jkkFL says:

      KT, isn’t that the tone of the nation right now?
      The animosity and hatred is palpable.
      I just can’t accept that this is merely political.. there is something else at work here.

    • zampano says:

      Yes, remarkably visceral. I can only imagine that these two posters do indeed have some “past history” of which we know nothing — perhaps on an entirely different site. Otherwise it makes no sense. Most people are happy to exchange these kinds of greetings at the appropriate times, even if they have a different faith, or none at all.

  8. Khirad says:

    I saw an article in this weekend’s paper about Anzac Day and how Turkey’s tourism actually gets a boon off of the annual pilgrimage. I thought that was nice, but really, I was just surprised it was that time again. Have you really been with us over a year now?

    To the rant, chill out dude, it was just a felicitation.

    This goes out to the Australian 16th Battalion

  9. foxisms says:

    I think it’s fairly safe to say that intolerance breeds intolerance.

  10. escribacat says:

    Haruko, It’s interesting and unfortunate that intolerance is not just the purview of rightwingers.

    • zampano says:

      No, sadly, it isn’t. But labelling people as “left” and “right” in such matters is not always helpful. While we concentrate on the very obvious danger of the fundamentalist right, we ignore at our peril the strong evangelizing / prosletizing movement that professes to be “liberal” or “left”, and yet does just as much harm in the world (“reaching the unreached”) as any right-wing fundie movement. A recent newsletter from one such supposedly “liberal” Christian organization (YWAM — look them up if you haven’t heard of them) for instance, even described the Japan crisis as an “opportunity”:


      • Kalima says:

        I’ve lived in Japan for over 30 years and would have to say that they would be out of luck. The Japanese have survived for centuries without an organized religion, their beliefs are grounded in tradition and culture.They are very tolerant of other religions, but there is very little curiosity to join.

        Sorry, where are my manners, a warm welcome to The Planet.

        • zampano says:

          Thank you for the welcome — just testing the waters here. :-)

        • zampano says:

          Well, that’s a relief. Not for want of trying though. Without a hint of irony (nor any apparent awareness of the incredibly rich aesthetic and artistic tradition of Japanese culture), YWAM Tokyo proclaims:
          “We believe that God wants to release a generation of Japanese who know the deep affection that Jesus has for them… We believe that worship, prayer and the arts need to be joined to communicate God’s heart to those who have lost a sense of beauty in their lives.”

          • Kalima says:

            Well they are certainly trying, but I hope that they are not holding their breath, Japanese believe in a God-Kami sama, just not every day, week or month. They visit shrines once a year at New Year, again tradition, when they want to pray for an easy birth, great results in exams, and so on. The other religious ceremonies are births, marriages, laying new foundations for a new house or building, and of course death and funerals. I’m afraid the finding of our Christian God would not be as easy as this group might think, the Japanese are just fine as they are.

            I”m Roman Catholic, and the very last thing I thought about when I married my Japanese husband in London was to make him one too.

            I wonder how long they would last over here, the Japanese have a habit of being very polite, they often say yes when they really mean no, it could be quite frustrating.

            On this note I will wish you a good day and a good night from over here.

  11. kesmarn says:

    HH, I loved the earnest “tough guy” faces on the team during the singing of the New Zealand national anthem…which is really quite cool!

    On all that snow: I’m going to officially quit complaining about all the rain we’ve gotten lately. I’ll take the rain. Please!

    And, last but not least, on to the anti-religion rant that you had the misfortune to encounter elsewhere, HH (poor you!). I know you may find this hard to believe, coming from me, but this person cracked me up. I mean — really — how comical is it to totally lacerate someone for simply wishing a happy holiday to the readers and then to announce that we don’ need no steenkin’ God to help us to “get along” and “love care and love one another”? 😆 That is hilarious! What warped version of “love” is this person referring to?

    That’s like the cartoon of the parent pounding on the little kid and saying with every blow: “This…will…teach…you…not…to…hit…your…brother!!!”

    You betcha! Preach that looooove, atheist!

    It would take a lot less time to simply post: “Attention, all people of faith. Please vote Republican. Thank you.”

    I love and respect atheists who have come to their state of non-belief through thought and study. I’m always interested in their explanations of how they came to hold the beliefs they hold or don’t hold. I don’t think they should feel obliged to keep silent about their beliefs, which are as valid as anyone else’s. I believe in separation of church and state. I don’t believe in prayer in public schools.

    I also believe people have a right to post “Happy Kwanzaa,” “Blessed Eid,” or “Happy Chanukah” online without becoming victims of verbal assault and battery.

    And it would be awfully nice if folks who wouldn’t dream of using the “n” word, referring to a woman as a c--t, or a gay person as a f-g, who wouldn’t think of insulting Muhammad or using pejorative stereotypes about Jews, would display the same sensitivity toward Jesus (not “jeebus”) and Christians who are trying to help further the progressive cause.

    Oh — and the person who posted the screed against Christianity might want to learn the difference between “their” and “there,” how to use a period to end a sentence, the difference between “would you” and “Woods you,” and the fact that there is no such grammatical construction as “have went to.” After all, if he/she wants to lecture people he/she regards as so vastly inferior, it’s very helpful not to write as though English is his/her second language.

    • jkkFL says:

      Kes, you rock!
      Brilliant post.

      • kesmarn says:


        And do I feel silly. I went to hit the “Reply” button and accidentally gave your comment a thumbs up. Vain much? 😆

        I mean you totally deserve thumbs up anytime, jkk, but…

        Never mind. I’m babbling again…thank you! 😳

    • zampano says:

      Thank you, Kesmarn… very well said. I have no problems whatsoever with people of “faith”, as long as they, too, are willing to respect the different faith or spirituality or atheism, as the case may be, of others. Nor do I have any problems exchanging holiday greetings with friends, colleagues and neighbours — whether it is Eid or Hannukah or Easter or Divali or Beltane. So the sheer fury of that exchange suggests to me that this may simply be a case of two commenters who have clashed over something in the past. It sounds personal.

    • bito says:

      Wood you beleeve there talking when we gone to the store? They don’t even no how to talk good English. :-)

    • Haruko Haruhara says:

      Thank you, Kesmarn.

      To be honest, I have posted, “Jeebus,” only because sometimes on HP, “Jesus” would go to pending, so I typed “Jeebus” to get around the filters. Then I figured out how to beat the filters and I don’t have to do that anymore … and now I have all these people pestering me how I did it and I can’t tell people for fear HP will ban me for telling. Their JuLiA software is getting more sophisticated.

      I also am guilty, when I have seen some ignorant fundamentalist spouting about the Bible and gays, to post stuff like, “Bigotry makes your blue-eyed, blonde-haired baby Jeebus cry.” It’s my way of letting them know I do NOT agree with their interpretation of Christianity.

      That’s my confessional. :)

    • Kalima says:

      😆 kes, you tell em! People who start a sentence with the words “Fuck you” need some anger management therapy. I could see the spittle flying, and was looking for my brolly.

      I don’t know how this therapy actually works, but I remember seeing a funny Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson film about it some years back. :)

  12. Kalima says:

    I saw the Mel Gibson film many years ago, in fact it was the first time I had seen him, and he was good in it.

    To the comments you posted HH, I’m not offended. I feel rather sad for the person who had to spill so much hate just because someone wished them a Happy Easter. I did it here, there was no malice intended, it’s just something I’ve done all my life. For this person then to accuse the person who said it of being a RW Fundie is just so ridiculous to me, they could have been, then again maybe they were not. The spewing of hate and bigotry they continue with in their comment, speaks more to their own personal problems and mental state. I found it more childish than anything else, and grew used to seeing, but never understanding it during my two years on HP. After much initial amazement over the fact that the religious beliefs of anyone could produce such venom against another person you don’t know and will never meet, I just avoided all posts there that dealt with religion. The rabid comments were just too sickening to read, and the lumping of all Christians in with your American Fundies was in my opinion very shallow and of course very ignorant too.

    I wonder if this poster has ever joined an Easter Egg hunt when they were a child, or received presents at Christmas and enjoyed them, if so, I find them extremely biased and hypocritical.

    The snow, that much snow, in April is quite amazing. I hope it’s gone by the time you get there.

    • Haruko Haruhara says:

      Thank you, Kalima.

      Yeah, I was really upset when I saw that post. I was just gobsmacked by it. Unbelievably rude.

      • zampano says:

        Hookay – I’m just curious: what exactly was it that upset you most about this exchange?
        Was it the use of strong language?
        Or was it the disrespect towards religion?
        You don’t provide a link or name the commenters – which is fine. But part of the exchange (“..for just once in your miserable fucking life- stop…”) strongly suggests an ongoing animosity between the two commenters, so “Happy Easter” – innocuous as it sounds – may just possibly have been a deliberate provocation or a trigger referring to some argument we know nothing about.
        For instance, a few months back, I saw an exchange on another site where a commenter merely said “Hi, how’s your best friend?” – and it provoked a similarly visceral response, which seemed totally over the top. (Unless of course, you had witnessed the previous exchange on another thread: the seemingly “angry” poster had spoken of losing his/her best friend in the 9/11 attacks, and the seemingly “friendly” commenter had mocked him/her – and was now taunting him/her again).
        Sometimes exchanges on these forums get very heated for reasons we cannot discern.
        So, although this did provoke some interesting comments, I wouldn’t read too much into it.

        • Haruko Haruhara says:

          I dunno, it’s possible, but I am taking it at face value. I looked back through their posting history before posting this and I couldn’t see a conflict between them. Maybe with different socks.

          • zampano says:

            Don’t get me wrong — I wasn’t trying to downplay it. It just seemed very odd.
            Maybe somebody just didn’t get enough chocolate bunnnies…

        • kesmarn says:

          Even if the words “Happy Easter” were meant to be a deliberate provocation to this particular person, how silly was it for him to walk right into it? It takes two to play that middle school game. Why feed the beast on a public forum where others aren’t privy to the past history of the posters?

          It makes him/her look like the guy who’s furious with his bully boss but expresses that by beating his wife because she smiles as she says “Good morning.” (“She asked for it. She’s laughing at me”…?)

          All in all, a sad, juvenile way to pass time.

  13. coveark says:

    Wow, where are you at ??

    That was not my comment though.

    I had never even heard of Gallipoli until I saw the movie………. It tore my heart out….heartbreaking……..I had no idea about such things at the time………fast as a leopard……….

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