Freddie Bentley (described as a British reality TV star and “social media influencer”) says teaching kids about the Second World War could harm their mental well-being.
Snowflakes melt in glare of knowledge that there was a global conflict, that ended 74 years ago (in which 85 million died and whole areas of the earth were laid waste) – a war that shaped the history of the world for the rest of the 20th century and beyond.
The 23-year-old Brit says WW II was a “hard situation,” the knowledge of which hit him “like a ton of bricks.” The Blitz, Auschwitz, the Gestapo – it’s all so depressing, says the Brit twit with (we are told) more than 100,000 Instagram followers.
Let them play those gentle video games instead.
Maybe teach “a little bit in primary school,” but why dwell on something that could upset my generation’s mental equilibrium, Freddie asks? Better teach the kiddies about things that are relevant to their pathetic existence – like Brexit, the gospel of Greta Thunberg and getting a mortgage — than this blood-toil-tears-and-sweat stuff.
Because, cupcake, if it weren’t for men like Churchill and Montgomery and Eisenhower and Patton and their contemporaries, your generation would be goose-steeping and sieg-heiling all over Piccadilly, and the Swastika would fly over Buckingham Place.
It’s true; the details of history are depressing – wars, revolutions, genocide, poison gas attacks, mass bombings of civilian populations. That’s why we have to force ourselves to learn them.
Some are glorious too – Churchill defying his war cabinet by refusing to negotiate with Germany in May 1940, the armada of pleasure craft that rescued 338,000 English and French soldiers from the beaches at Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, D-Day, lifting the siege of Stalingrad, the Battling Bastards of Bastagone, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and the fall of the Third Reich.
Freddie and his contemporaries act as if democracy, human rights, the 40-hour work week, and material well-being all sprung from the head of Zeus full-grown, instead of being hard-won achievements that required millennia of struggle, sacrifice and suffering.
The world ends not with a bang but with fatuities. Reality is such a downer. Unicorns, fluffy pink clouds and rainbows for us.