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shewhomust

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A scattering of poppies [Nov. 11th, 2015|10:25 am]
shewhomust
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  • At County Hall on Monday evening for a consultation event, I'd estimate that maybe one in ten of those present were wearing poppies. Impressionistic, anecdotal, unscientific by all means: but at a moderately formal gathering, not selecting for any particular point of view, wearing a poppy was the choice of a respectable number, but still a clear minority. And as far as I could jusge, there wasn't any bias towards those who were there in a professional capacity.


  • Yet you could get the impression from watching television that the poppy is universal, if not compulsory.


  • As you could from the ludicrous antics of Downing Street's PR people: adding a poppy to a profile picture in November, as they would a Santa hat in December, observing the seasonal niceties.


  • Once upon a time, wearing a poppy was a sign that you had made a donation to charity. Actually, it still is. It shows respect for the dead of past wars by contributing to support veterans of wars past and present. It isn't diminished by wearing a white poppy ("never again!") alongside your red one (I saw this once on Monday). Is this function undercut by wearing a perennial poppy - an enamel badge, or that very attractive crocheted bloom?


  • I don't know when I last saw a poppy seller. Admittedly, I haven't been out much recently, but I didn't see anyone selling poppies in Durham on Saturday, the day before "Remembrance Sunday".
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fjm
2015-11-11 10:39 am (UTC)
I noticed yesterday that coverage was low. In the meeting I am in, not one of the 14 people is wearing a poppy.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-11-11 12:34 pm (UTC)
Are we talking academics? I wonder if that's significant.

It's so tempting to start explicating these observations, but I know I'd be attributing my own reactions to other people: has the semi-compulsory nature of public poppy-wearing backfired? Are people reacting against the bullying of Jeremy Corbyn? Any evidence?
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[User Picture]From: ylla
2015-11-11 12:39 pm (UTC)
Mine is on my bag, and I think a lot of people have them on their coat, so they're presumably less visible anyway in jobs where you don't automatically wear a suit?
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-11-11 03:22 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting variable. Do you think you are seeing as many as in previous years?
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[User Picture]From: anef
2015-11-11 01:52 pm (UTC)
I was at a charity meeting yesterday and there was pretty much 100% coverage. They are mostly worn at our office (firm of accountants). I wasn't wearing one but just because I hadn't got round to buying yet.

I thoroughly approve of the long life ones - they don't fall off, they don't waste resources and you can recycle them next year.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-11-11 03:25 pm (UTC)
I wasn't wearing one but just because I hadn't got round to buying yet.

Where would you normally buy yours? And were you late because that opportunity hadn't arisen, do you think, or just because...?
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[User Picture]From: anef
2015-11-11 03:32 pm (UTC)
Actually I have plenty of opportunities - there have been sellers all week at King's Cross, and my office has a box on the reception desk. But I wanted to get one of the badges and this required an actual conversation with a seller, which I hadn't got round to. I finally managed it yesterday evening.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-11-11 04:34 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you found what you wanted!
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2015-11-11 04:44 pm (UTC)
I always donate but I never, ever wear a poppy.

Squaddy's daughter married to a squaddy's son- nuf said.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-11-11 08:28 pm (UTC)
Ah, that's another angle!
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2015-11-12 11:45 am (UTC)
Not to mention Quaker and pacifist.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2015-11-11 08:24 pm (UTC)
I don't know when I last saw a poppy seller.

I interacted with some yesterday, but I realize that is not diagnostic of anything in your area.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-11-11 08:45 pm (UTC)
I was just reading and nodding sagely at your post.

Nothing here is diagnostic of anything else, but I'm interested at the scatter of data points people are contributing.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2015-11-11 08:51 pm (UTC)
Nothing here is diagnostic of anything else, but I'm interested at the scatter of data points people are contributing.

Fair enough! My mother always buys and wears poppies for Remembrance Day; I believe her parents did the same. My father, to the best of my knowledge, does not.
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