Will age ever weary the subject?

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by von Poop, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Many of us in Canada, with French heritage, also travel to Normandy to see where our ancestors originated.
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The current WW1 buzz has got me thinking about this again.

    Perhaps strange that we put so much interest into a war where all the combatants are now dead.
    Maybe at a cost to surviving veterans of other C20th/21st wars?

    I don't know, and I'm certainly not asserting such - just a passing fancy.
  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    My guess is that the overarching reason for the obsessing about anniversaries is as much to do with politicians having photo opportunities and a good reason for even more TV documentaries and dramas etc as the genuine need to remember and reflect etc. According to a friend of mine who was in the first wave to land on the Normandy D-Day, every day is an anniversary. Lots of us were in Normandy recently for the 75th but, in my case and no doubt many others, that was to remember my late father and his comrades. Interest will gradually wane through later generations: when was the last time you celebrated your great great great ad infinitum uncle bert who fought and won at Hastings in 1066?
  4. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day von poop.adaministrator.05 july 2009.11:41 am.re:will age ever weary the subject?i dont think so.we are still very interested in ww1,and a new generation will take over the interest of there father,lest we foget.regards bernard85
  5. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I doubt that interest in WWII will fade completely, or even decline much from the current level. Of course most people forget history as soon as they learn it, but there will always be a sizeable active and motivated minority to keep interest alive. My personal impression is that interest in it in this country has markedly increased in the last 15 years or so. However much some may decry them, such pop-cultural ventures as Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and the Call of Duty games have played an important part in making a younger generation at least aware of the war. Such works have lots of flaws, but you have to begin somewhere. My own interest began with toy soldiers and war comics and just proceeded from there. A lot more veterans were alive when I was a child also, but the fact is that most of them weren't saying much. When I was born, the war was only 14 years in the past and most veterans were middle-aged or even young men more occupied with living their lives than re-living or telling of experiences many of them would rather have forgetten. In a lot of cases (some of which I know personally) I think veterans have only really opened up to others as they have gotten older. They have been dying off horribly fast, but now that we have oral history collections and interested researchers their stories won't die with them. In addition a great many private papers and classified records that were unvailable when I was a kid have now been unsealed, and historians are learning more now about the war than they probably did in the 30 years after it ended. All that will provide fodder for many years to come.

    And of course the human interest will remain too. Whatever else it was WWII was one of the most dramatic events in human history, and for those who simply love a good story it will always fascinate. Our own Civil War ended 149 years ago, and we are still engrossed by it, investigating it, and debating it. I don't see why WWII should be any different.
  6. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    It will be interesting to see what happens after the Great War Centenary has passed. Some people think that following a big surge over the 100 year anniversary period there will be a massive drop off in interest. At least one person I know involved in tourism in the Ieper area is convinced that school battlefield visits will dwindle away. This may happen sooner rather than later; there has arguably been a Great War overkill of tv programmes in 2014 and people may already be getting fed up with it. I have spoken to some folk who pretty much assume that the 100th anniversary commemoration has now finished. A lot of museums for example have staged their big World War One exhibitions covering the whole war this year and don't seem to be planning major commemorations of e.g the Somme in 2016. There is also the factor with the Great War, mentioned on other posts, that there tends to be a concentration on certain well known aspects of the conflict which have pretty much been exhausted.
    My impression is that interest in World War II has gone into temporary eclipse but should re-emerge once the present World War One frenzy has passed.
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Oh, Google trends, how I waste my time on you...

    This could easily have gone into the Semantics - 'WW2', or 'WWII' ? thread, but is possibly more amusing here.
    Massive caveat: These are relative results by time period. Not sure they tell us much about specific levels of interest, just peaks in searches. Trends.

    WWII & WW2 Worldwide web searches since 2004:
    Google Trends


    And since 2010 (perhaps a better indicator with the web being firmly 'mass market' entrenched in that period. Sat in people's pockets on phones etc.):
    Google Trends

    last five years.JPG

    The interest by nation's quite interesting (viewable on the links), though it's all very basic and presumably language-specific so it's hard to draw conclusions without a much wider linguistic input (I just might).
    A relative (it's all relative to itself) peak in 2015, maybe a nice round DDay anniversary?
    And that 'November bounce' is visible in all the site statistics I can view for this place.

    And some Ngrams, which I think look at what's been digitised into Google books, so I'm never quite sure about it.
    WW2 & World War 2:
    Google Ngram Viewer

    World War 2 ww2.JPG

    Second World War:
    Google Ngram Viewer

    Second World War.JPG

    Not so much sign of wearying yet...
    (Might have a shufti at WW1 searches with the centenary and all. Yes, I'm that dull.)
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
    canuck, PsyWar.Org and CL1 like this.
  8. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Each year appears to have a similar trend line. Assuming that relates to anniversaries, D-Day, Nov. 11th, etc.
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I started tagging them and got bored. :unsure:
    The peaks are indeed things like Armistice day, DDay, German surrender etc.
    Interestingly if you switch view from worldwide to UK then the DDay peak falls away quite a lot. Faintly reassuring as I always hope there's interest beyond that specific event.

    The Welsh lead the 2016 & 2015 way in relative UK interest by region:
    Google Trends
    (Population relativity playing it's part here.)

    And when you switch to 'City' view, for some reason Bathford, a small village in Somerset tops the relative charts...
    Either there's a substantial Internet node located nearby, only one WW2-obsessed person uses Internet in a tiny amount of houses, or one of you lot live there...
    Come on, admit it. You're skewing these statistics.:
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
    canuck likes this.
  10. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    How come Leeds doesn't top the list?.....you know who you are
    4jonboy likes this.
  11. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Well he's never there, always at Kew:-P
  12. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    True...I hadn't thought of that!
  13. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Nice to see Hull at number 7, some of us are in the East Riding of Yorkshire. (you know, God's own County :))
  14. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    I think the digital age, together with increasing volumes of documents made available to the public will ensure the Second World War will remain of interest for a long time. The fact that no family remains untouched by the conflict, ( or the First World War) embeds it into our folk memory. In earlier wars, soldiers were buried where they fell, commonly in unmarked graves, and there was little written evidence of their service. Today we can sit in the comfort of our homes, surf the web and compile files of information about our relatives, their regiments,ships and the actions they saw. Web sites such as this make it all possible to remember them
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    What do we think on this lately?
    I think the WW1 centenary has been... a bit weird... Wonder how/if the WW2 centenary will be handled.
  16. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    I would imagine they get a few people in to discuss what should be ,and how to cover it the same as for the WW1 centenary below.
    Partnerships seem to be the way to promote the centenary
    First World War Centenary - GOV.UK
    Unthinking remembrance? Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red and the significance of centenaries
    https://orca.cf.ac.uk/109704/7/Unthinking remembrance Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red and the significance of centenaries.pdf

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  17. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead,
    Put crépe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song,
    I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong

    The stars are not wanted now, put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.
    canuck likes this.
  18. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    What a load of complete rubbish and written in a pseudo-scientific style that is almost impenetrable.

    "yet at the same time there were repeated, high profile framings of this installation that resorted to problematic nationalistic, yet seemingly seductive, essentialisms."

    The progressives have applied the euphemism of “unthinking remembrance” because, in their minds, you folks have so clearly been remembering it all wrong and you've been infecting the attitudes of young people.

    "our research found that young visitors especially seemed to uncritically repeat the archaisms of ritualised memory discourses, normalising a set of discursive formations which may continue to frame remembrance into the future."

    You obviously present a challenge to the authors: " ritualised memory discourses are difficult to disrupt. They are gendered, encultured and sedimented".

    Still, they seem optimistic about being able to "diversify perspectives about the past" and eradicate your "familiar tropes".

    History can and does evolve but in this case there is a clear agenda to move away from the 'gendered history' and focus on the '
    amplification of previously marginalised narratives'.

    Dedicated to all you UK forum members who worship the "cult of the centenary".
  19. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    It's an academic paper full of jargon. If you picked up a trashy pulp novel would you complain it was written in a trashy pulp style?
  20. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I like trashy pulp novels. At least they have no pretensions to profundity.
    canuck, von Poop and dbf like this.

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