Apropos of today’s murderous attack aimed at young girls in Manchester, I just saw this post on my timeline by Brendan O’Neill, Libertarian Editor of SPIKED magazine…..
People telling Manchester not to “give in to hate”. This is always the first response of the chattering class to terrorism: “Oh shit, what will stupid people do in response to this?! Will their inner spite and racism be unleashed??” They seem to fear their fellow citizens, especially the white, working-class ones, more than they fear Islamist murderers. Well, I think a bit of hate, or certainly anger, would be pretty fitting right now. [end].
I haven’t yet read the comments attached to the post. No doubt Brendan will not be castigated by his fan base, but I dare say that much criticism will be forthcoming from other sources, condemning him for fostering hate. In such a now common atmosphere of anguish caused by Islamist activities, certain sections of society prioritize their reaction in the form of warning against hatred carried out by words or deeds. The first reaction is to jump to the defense of innocent Muslims to ward off unjust victimization. Those sections of society range from church spokespeople to Islamic organizations to the loony Left and political leaders.
It is not they, nor the incident itself, which prompts me to plonk a few words down.
Every one of us knows love, even if we don’t bother to define it in its various levels and types. We love. We love people, animals, locations, hobbies, our personal stuff; our gods. Many love their Creator God. Love is so intense, especially when our love is for family and friends. The nub and the rub of this is our reaction to any harm done to those we love so passionately. When our great love is hurt, in pain, unjustly treated or suffers in any way, we endure a natural reaction of sorrow and pain ourselves and want to right the wrong done. The emotional – and natural – reaction towards the cause of our loved ones’ suffering is HATE…. the counterbalance of love.
In our PC age we have succumbed to the re-configured and adjusted meanings and connotations of words and to the value placed on them. “Discrimination” is now negative. “Judging” is now wrong. “Carbon” is our enemy. Enter our word du jour, “Hate”. We Joe and Jill Averages rarely have the propensity to evaluate the indoctrination we have been subjected to, such that we have been directed away from the true meanings and roots and purposes of many terms that once fitted the bill. They fitted the bill because they were sensible and appropriate. “Hate” is entirely appropriate as the natural action/reaction response to whatever has attacked our “Loves”. In a similar way, we may burst into laughter at the incongruous, yell out to relieve pain, jump for joy, clap a good performance. When a loved one is harmed, we are supposed to hate the cause for that is our stimulus to act, just as pain is the stimulus to take remedial action to protect the body from further damage.
What is at stake here is what this hate causes us to do. It ought be remedial action or a saving action. I suggest that the ‘wrong’ involved here would be a reaction of revenge or unjustified violence. Enough communal or collective hatred ought inspire a collective or societal reaction. Obviously, we have a justice system to secure some recompense, but what about ensuring that we learn from any ugly event and to take steps to prevent it from happening in future. I would suggest that this is our failing today and that the hatred should never have been permitted by our leaders to fester to a point of many of us harboring a bigot’s hatred.
The government should become as an embodied lover who protects the loved one, not an entity of appeasing, gutless ideologues who are full of fake ‘reasonableness’. When it comes to protecting your beloved car, or stepping in to save your pet poodle, or ultimately to protecting your children, somebody will get hurt. Somebody will get physically hurt, or emotionally hurt, or have their rights restricted – necessary to protect one’s own. Sometimes you have to punch someone in the face.
I was 6, too young for the grandparents to explain to me who was in the photo in the hall and why he was wearing a funny hat they called a slouch hat. Mum said simply: “He is just someone who died in the war. Now go outside and play”. His story had to remain a mystery because my Grandies both died that year, but I do remember the bomb shelter that the neighbours had built and the gas masks that hung in the shed.
That photo remained a mystery but it prompted the penning of some lines many years later…………
I gaze down the hall At that picture on the wall, I seem to do so many times a day.
Their battle’s now been won, As they sing in the sun Silent odes to peace that’s come their way.
Aware not of the living, but the dead, I wear furrows ’bout my head, And nightmares are the stuff of my sleep.
Had I but predicted What my fears had depicted, My mates may not be buried now so deep.
I wish that I could go To be with them, for I know I am merely waiting for my time to cease.
But I craved for the fight. Now that picture oft in sight, Shows my loss and their fate: Rest In Peace.
FROM LEFT: Pte Nick Namnik, 2/7th batt. [my father] Pte. Antonio Namnik. Cook. [wounded twice in PNG and returned to serve both times after rehab.] Maj. Dr. Kevin Fagan. [Assisted Weary Dunlop at Changi POW Camp. Brother of Roy Fagan, Deputy Premier of Tasmania. ] [my second cousin]. Pte. Tom Riley and brother Lt. Les Riley of 4th Field Regt. served together from Tobruk to Damascus. [my mother’s brothers].
BLESS ‘EM ALL, BLESS ‘EM ALL, THE LONG AND THE SHORT AND THE TALL ……………….
Going through some anguish many years ago I went on a private retreat at a convent in the tiny town of Dardanup W.A.
In the chapel was a painting of Mary, the mother of Jesus, looking through a window at the vacant crosses on Golgotha upon one of which her son had been crucified.
My meditation thus was on the three who had stood forlornly watching their beloved suffer until he expired: His Mother, John the beloved disciple and Mary probably of Magdela. The rest of His band of Apostles had not attended – deserted by His closest friends. I knew the feeling.
But my feelings were as nothing compared to those three nor to the desolation that Jesus must have felt. Amid His suffering, the Messianic Lamb could find the strength to counsel the thief on a nearby crucifix, to forgive those who were doing this to Him and finally, to anoint His mother as the Mother of His Flock in the person of John: “Mother, behold your son”.
The singular person with the dual Natures – Divine and human, became our Savior. Yet, my focus was the thoughts and emotions of the desolate threesome whom He loved so much and they in return.
I sketched a facsimile of that picture and penned these words applicable to each of them:
[From the Anthology: Verse and Worse. Pubished & printed by Emily Zimerle, 2013]
Andrej Yakovlavitch Namnek, farmer businessman from Riga, Latvia, traveled by rail to the Great Rus for the purpose of negotiating the best price for his latest milled stand of birtch and reindeer pelts that his workers had amassed over spring.
Top left: Archpriest Ivan Namnek [martyred by Communists for not divulging the confession of the local mayor]. Top centre: One of many documents attesting to work in Siberia. Top right: Map of Andrej’s & Marie”s journey. Bottom left: cover of my novel on their life. Bottom right: Andrej Yakovlavitch Namnek.
He loved St. Petersberg for its culture and modernity, although he was not so enamoured of the palatial excesses of the ruling classes, nor was he a Russophile since his own country was occupied by Russians – not to mention the Germans. What he did love though was the Bohemian harpist and soprano he had met backstage of the Cyrilian Palace Hall following her performance with the Prague Ensemble. Naturally enough, she was the reason he delayed his return to Riga.
Of the Orthodox Faith, Andrej was not so immersed in it to let any religious difference stand in the way of courting this Catholic girl, Marie Subrtova, from the village of Hradec Kralove in Bohemia,the daughter of Vaclav Subrt and Anna Hampl, stable managers and basket weavers. Nevertheless, he was proud of his second cousin, Ivan Ivanovitch Namnek who had just become an Archpriest in the local diocese, [and was later martyred by the Communists].
Turmoil was becoming common in those final years of the 19th. century; what with that young Lenin addressing rallies about St. Petersberg having just left the Jesuit seminary. He and Trotsky, revolutionaries both, and bound to cause trouble. Of course my grandparents could not have foretold the Bolshevik Revolution just twenty years away, but still there were skirmishes – usually put down with Cossack swords.
It was at one such melee that Andrej became caught up and found it necessary to shoot one of Czar Alexander’s constabulary for which he was sentenced to Labour Camp in Siberia. Fortunately there was no death penalty in Russia. Andrej found himself assigned to working on the telegraph which was being constructed concurrently along with the Great Siberian Railway, engineered by that great engineer Witte but which in practice was beset by short supplies, faulty equipment and hellish living conditions. For 10 years Andrej worked with fellow prisoners but was often free to mix with the indigenous peoples, descendants of the American Indians, the Shamans and other exotic aborigines.
The Sino-Russo war was the catalyst for his freedom as his enlistment in the militia gained some freedom under an indenture of service. While he had survived the bears, wolves and weather that had taken many of his friends, he found himself in Mukden on the day that the Japanese invaded through Manchuria and routed the Russians. Andrej survived that attack too and so came to marry the beauty who had waited for him to be released from servitude. Their firstborn was named Albert after the Archbishop Crusader who had bought civilization to Latvia, 900 years earlier.
Marie and Andrej would have five children whom they would name with the letter A, Albert, Andrew, Antonio, Amelia and Adolph [my father]. They determined to settle in a land of peace – Australia, but their travels there took some time for the giving of births and for Marie to play to audiences. Adolph, the last born was born in Singapore. [Amelia died as an infant, and Andrew returned to Bohemia and was never seen again].
The family of five arrived in Melbourne in 1912 and it wasn’t long before the neighbours in North Melbourne would gather outside Marie’s window at night to listen to her rehearsing for her upcoming performance in Surabaya, Indonesia, along with the troupe she was part of in Singapore.
At that time, Islamic terrorists were active in Indonesia, driven largely by a Muslim Cell operating out of the Dental Faculty of the Aceh Medical College. They were determined to bring Sharia and Islam to dominance, following the invasion of Muslims from Middle East and the Sub Continent some 800 years earlier. [Today Aceh Province is under Sharia rule and Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world].
Marie Namnek, my grandmother, was killed by an Islamic bomb attack in early 1913 in Surabaya.
Andrej Namnik [spelled now with an “i” since handwritten records were easily mis-recorded], was no sooner a widower than Child Welfare came a’knocking and whisked his 3 young boys away to Daylesford to be fostered. Adolph was fostered at age 4 by the Vanzetti family who still run the local bakery. By 18 he had won the B&F in the Ballarat Football League.
Andrej worked for the Robertson Timber Co., mainly from Warburton and throughout Gippsland. Just 2 years after his arrival at age 58, he enlisted in the A.I.F. for the 1st World War – but was rejected on medical grounds. He passed away while Adolph and Antonio were serving in PNG, at the Little Sisters Of The Poor in Northcote.
[The Novel: The Bear and The Diva is available on smashwords,com].