This is going to be tricky.
First of all, I love charities ok? And all those associations that work to raise funds for causes our society would rather forget. They are noble institutions that whoever can spare some money should support. Done.
I also love commemorations of important historical events that contributed to the history of a country, especially if it’s a history of fighting for freedom. The 25th of April in Italy for instance. The 12th of November in the UK. The 4th of July in the USA and so on. It’s crucial for younger generations to be reminded that they owe their easy lives to the sacrifice of people who died for their country. Done.
Ok, so having said that…
I hate chari-fascism. And i’m slightly irritated by plastic poppies. I can’t accept to be made feel like I must show support for a cause at a very specific time and by wearing a badge. If you care about something you need no rubber band, red poppy or pink ribbon to prove it to the world. You don’t need to post a logo on your facebook status or wear a shirt. It’s your own personal business.
That’s why I refused to wear a poppy last week. Poppies in the Uk commemorate the British soldiers who died on the first world war and in general in all the wars of the XX century. They appear on people’s lapels at Halloween and disappear on the 12th of November after the official celebration.
Poppies, like all badges, are an easy way to settle our consciences. “Look, I’m such a great British citizen I wear this plasticky thing in honour of our dead troops.”
Sorry but I don’t fall for that. It’s too easy, to simplistic.
However, if this poppy wearing thing wasn’t IMPOSED on us it wouldn’t bother me too much. But it’s basically become compulsory. We all feel obliged to pay and display them like a parking permit…
Whoever appeared on tv the past two weeks wore a poppy. Everyone. No matter if it was a Brazilian footballer just arrived from Rio with no idea what that red badge is, as soon as he gets to the studio he’s immediately poppified.
The soccer team insisted they had to wear a poppy in the friendly match against Spain. Never mind they don’t know the words of the national anthem…
Whats the point? Caring for a cause should be a CHOICE. Not a duty. You can’t force me to wear a poppy because I’m Italian for instance and I don’t feel involved with the history of Britain. I respect the memory of its dead like I respect people who died for the independence of Congo. I would probably wear a badge commemorating the Italian resistance on the 25th if April, but only if I didn’t feel judged for not wearing it.
Caring isn’t a trend. If a cause is truly close to your heart you don’t need to wear a badge of honour. It will show in your life choices. If you care about people dying in wars only on the 12th of November, no poppy and no one pound coin donated to the “support our troops” charity will make you noble and patriotic.
And let me finish this post by mentioning another pet hate of mine: people wearing bright t shirts and obnoxious smiles stopping you in the street to ask for your bank details so you can start donating regularly to a charity.
I mean, really?
Charities, do you really think this is the best marketing strategy? Because I have news for you, it’s NOT. “Chuggers” (charity muggers) are hated by the 99.9% of the population.
First of all, they have zero common sense. You can see them spotting you from the distance, and no matter how fast you walk, how many children you’re supervising, how many bags you carry, how desperately late for work you look, or how hard you try not to meet their gaze, they would still attack you with their fake smiles and open arms, yelling, hey! How are you today?
Can you spare a moment?
No I can’t! I am terrible today, it’s raining, have five shopping bags and an umbrella, and I’m running towards the bus. What makes you think I have any time at all???
But it’s for children in need! He says, Don’t you care?
You see, now not only I think you’re a moron but I truly hate you with all my heart, because you’re trying to make me feel guilty. Like i’m a bad person. I am not a bad person but I don’t need to prove it to YOU right now.
Do you care about children in need? Do you care about terminal patients? How About lost puppies and earthquake victims?
What exactly do you want me to say? No, actually, I hate children, I despise puppies, wish all terminal patients a painful demise and i find earthquake victims boring, thank you very much. Can I now go home and order my african slave to bring me a grilled dauphin for lunch before I go out shooting polar bears?
Of course I care, but I don’t need to prove it to YOU idiots right now. What do you know about me? How dare you making me feel bad for not wanting to handle my bank details to the first nineteen year old chugger in a yellow t shirt? I do care but I need peace and quiet to decide which charity to help, when and how.
Honestly, charities, stop this nonsense. Your chuggers are everywhere!!! You can’t walk 200 meters without bumping into at least one. And if you pass the same spot three times they will harass you three times.
My default position is now, as soon as I see a chugger approach, I’d put on my most unfriendly face and shout NO! even before they open their mouth.
They get quite scared.
And if you think I’m Scrooge, so be it.