Wipers Times is a classic example of how the English allow subversion to maintain a status quo.
Wipers Times was a newspaper written in the WW1 trenches in Ypres. Wipers being a play on the word Ypres, the town where the soldiers were fighting. In truth it was a battlefield.
The Wipers Times was written as a mocking and satirical take on the events in the trenches. It illustrates the principle English tradition of free speech. Despite having the potential to undermine a life and death war situation it was tolerated.
At face value it is a display of democracy and tolerance almost to the point of insanity. Did the Germans read the Wiper’s Times? Might they have taken courage from it? Did they think that the English were giving up? Or just gone mad?
The French and the Germans would have banned the Wipers Times. It would not have been tolerated. The English High Command back at base hated it. They wanted it to banned. But the Wipers Times never was.
This is one of the reasons the UK has never had a revolution. The ruling classes have a canny knack of allowing freedom of speech, and expression. This is advertised as a gift of democracy. They look good. They have given something up. They have compromised.
This is the difference between between being recognised and being censored.
Psychologically it is well recognised that recognising and listening to feelings gives them perspective. Recognition and acknowledgement takes the heat out of feelings.
Not recognising feelings builds resentment. Angry energy that collects to burst out. The energy of revolution.
Banning the paper might have heightened and increased the feelings. Possibly to the point that soldiers would not fight? Allowing a satirical paper to express the futility and stupidity of war recognises the feelings. The feelings are lessened. The war continues.
The programme makers and writers in the tradition of Private Eye think that they are exposing a subversive true story. In one way it is. In another way it isn’t. To create a safety valve for strong feelings lets the show continue. Status quo is resumed. Soldiers keep fighting. Soldiers keep dying in one of the most senseless wars in modern history. A clever trick.
The Wipers Times subverts the Wipers Times.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2013
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.