Saturday, August 22, 2015

Late night war movies and little children : a cautionary tale

My parents always liked to put us small ones to bed at an ungodly early hour, right up into High School age.

One exception, for no reason I could ever discern, was when I was a small child (between the age of six to almost ten) when our family was living in 1950s Victoria and Vancouver and owning a reliable TV.

I was the eldest child, but obviously still not very old, when my parents made me sit up late with them and watch late night TV, ie the TV movies presented between 9pm and midnight.

(Made me , I repeat, because as a life long scaredy cat, I was not begging to watch scary war movies, believe you me.)

My takeaway lesson, as a wee child, was that WWII consisted mostly of armed uniformed men strafing civilian refugees on the road, bombing civilian homes, torturing civilians in POW concentration camps, torpedoing without warning civilian liners or blockading and starving civilian cities.

That is when they weren't putting hapless civilian hostages up against walls to shoot as reprisals for civilian resistance action.

I wasn't just a tiny child, I was tiny even for a six year old child and as a constant newcomer to my schools was often the bullies' target.

I saw WWII as a lot like elementary school, but with guns; big guys beating up little people.

Natural penicillin, made by the sort of tiny slimey no counts you might see on dank basement walls, was the only hero this tiny child could see in these war movies, saving kids like me here there and anywhere from deadly infections, be they from bombing injuries or simply brought on by hunger and fatigue.

If my book on WWII (Upending) sounds more than a little familiar to this tale from almost sixty years ago, blame it on my parents....

No comments:

Post a Comment