Civilisation and Barbarism

I flicked through the Guernsey Press today for the first time in a couple of weeks.

Page 3 depressed me.

Why? Vandals. Barbarians.

Flowers and pebbles stolen from a community display outside the Town Church, and the wreath laid at the War Memorial wrecked and strewn into the road.

Vandalism and Barbarity

The word vandal derives from the Germanic tribe of the same name, the barbarian Vandals who raped and pillaged the glorious, marbled, ancient city of Rome.

The vandal, then and now, ignorantly raises their middle-finger to civility. This does not stop them from taking and enjoying the fruits of civilisation, they just smash a few windows and deface a few monuments on their way out.

Vandals, being barbarians, cannot help but to vandalise civilisation.

This sort of degenerate behaviour is quite commonplace on the mainland. Mainlanders, in the cities especially, seem sadly resigned to it. Our Guernsey Press pales in comparison to city sheets. Mention of vandalism and theft are few and far between; criminal column inches are occupied by the burglaries, the rapes and the knife crimes, which has become endemic to barbarian Britain.

I moved to the mainland five years ago – never to return!

And I then returned to Guernsey three years later – really, never to return.

So it is especially sad that I see the barbarity of vandals on glorious Guernsey.

One Precious Painted Pebble

Glorious Guernsey, a civilisation wherein families take the time to paint pebbles, to beautify our Town Church, and to brighten a dull and eerie time. Some left them in memory of loved ones lost.

It is the act of a vandal and a barbarian to steal them. On their part, we must assume ignorance rather than malice, lest we conclude they would deface the precious memories they represented, if they could. Thankfully, they can only physically smash and steal physical things.

That leads me to the pièce de résistance of the vandals.

Vandals trash the wreath ritually laid in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our civilisation, the fruit of which they greedily consume, without a care given to those who nurtured and defended it.

We don’t need a crystal ball to foresee that the perpetrators, are they to be caught, will be young or ignorant or drunk or – this my bet – a combination of the three. What we cannot foresee: what combination of caught, sorry, repentant, forgiven, imprisoned will they be?

Let’s end on another sterling sell for our civilisation: a replacement wreath was made and laid, subsequently adorned with flowers left by members of the public, and replacement pebbles are being painted and placed outside the Town Church.

Civility and beauty far outweighs barbarity on glorious Guernsey, and that is why we are proud to live here.

The War Memorial Wreath: Relaid and Revivified

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