Afghanistan,  Trots

Seymour on the “evil” Military Wives Choir

If you want reassurance that Richard Seymour and his fellow SWPers will never come close to achieving power in anything resembling a democracy, read his latest post at Lenin’s Tomb venting his contempt-verging-on-hatred for, um, British soldiers serving in Afghanistan and their wives.

The Military Wives Choir is concentrated evil. It is vicious, stupid and banal. It is the worst form of sentimentality. Their husbands murder Afghans for queen and country, and they murder music for the same righteous cause. Wherever you are, soldier boy, know that the love of your counterpart is so strong, so thoroughly adequate, that it is apt to suddenly materialise into a substance able to “keep you safe” from the foreigners you are busy subduing in the rough hinterlands. Yet at the very same time, this love is so elevated, so ethereal, so much above the humdrum and quotidian, that it is almost as if her heart will, as it were, “build a bridge of light across both time and space”. Oh, but there is more, cherished mercenary, much more to say on this love. For its cosmic ordering is capable of reducing the distance between Nottingham and Helmand by various simple expedients. Your hearts will “beat as one”, for one. This while your amour holds you in her dreams each night “until your task is done”, O “prince of peace”.

Seymour is referring to a choir comprising wives of soldiers in Afghanistan who appeared on the BBC TV show “The Choir” and have released a song, “Wherever You Are.”

He goes on to excoriate Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian, who dares to find something (shudder) encouraging and sweet about it.

(It would have been nice if the choir had included a few husbands of female soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. But still, what kind of person does it take to call something like this “evil”?)

Seymour concludes:

We cannot afford to be complacent about such ordure. We have to destroy it, instantly, utterly. It won’t do to simply buy a few Nirvana singles to get them to the top of the charts instead of Military Wives. That won’t even work at this point. We have to start confronting this military fetishism wherever it insinuates itself in daily life. The ‘help for heroes’ boondoggle should be noisily boycotted; anyone collecting money for military causes in a bear outfit should be mercilessly ridiculed; young air, navy and army cadets sent out to pack bags at Marks and Spencer should be told exactly how and where to get a life; the poppies should be burned – not just a few, in a symbolic Islam4UK-style action, but all of them in a mass cremation of postcolonial bunting; and any family members who actually sign up to wear a uniform of the armed forces in Afghanistan or anywhere else should be shunned, not loved. That’s a map of our kulturkampf for 2012.

One can only wonder what the 1962 version of Richard Seymour (a frightening concept in itself) would have said about the Shirelles’ hit song “Soldier Boy.”

But by all means, Seymour and company. Pursue, with all the vigor you can muster, your kulturkampf against working-class soldiers who are doing more than you ever could hope to do on behalf of human freedom. I can’t wait for the backlash.

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