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Ut oh.

It is never a happy thing to capture the attention of the Daily Mail.

The effigy burned at the bonfire every year — the Guy, as it were — is usually a satirical portrait of one of that year’s numero uno pains-in-the-ass. Burning the figure is a two-fingers-up to the pope or the prime minister or whoever got on local society’s collective tits that year. Rye goes one further and generally starts the bonfire by blowing up the guy with a grand, window-rattling boom.

This year, Rye Bonfire Society decided to do something else. Instead of an effigy, they made a large three-poppy display on the front of the bonfire, in commemoration of the WWI centenary. They didn’t blow it up, they burned it in what I imagine they thought of as a sort of grand and honorable Viking funeral.

Unfortunately, burning, snatching, crumpling and otherwise disrespecting poppies has become the Brit equivalent of flag burning, so the display hit some people wrong. They — the organizers — should have seen the likelihood it would be so.

Still, I am an unfan of the Mail, a shit-stirring rag. It’s pretty lousy to make a big deal of this; Rye is the last place that would deliberately disrespect the Great War. I’d hate to see ‘our side’ become as tetchy as the opposition about unintended slights.

November 12, 2014 — 9:19 pm
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