Monday, December 28, 2009

Affirmations

John Rogers, at Kung Fu Monkey, re-runs an older, yet timely column that addresses the question: "Wait, Arent You Scared?"
His answer?

Errr, no. And if you are, you frankly should be a little goddamn embarrassed.


In the days after the latest failed attack, while the usual fear-mongers are telling us this is all Obama's fault, and idiots on CNN were demanding to know why he didn't go on TV that very night to hold our hands, hand us our blankies, and tuck us in, it's refreshing to find someone else whose attitude is "Hey, man the hell up, already!" My favorite passage:
Maybe it's just, I cast my eyes back on the last century ...

FDR: Oh, I'm sorry, was wiping out our entire Pacific fleet supposed to intimidate us? We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and right now we're coming to kick your ass with brand new destroyers riveted by waitresses. How's that going to feel?

CHURCHILL: Yeah, you keep bombing us. We'll be in the pub, flipping you off. I'm slapping Rolls-Royce engines into untested flying coffins to knock you out of the skies, and then I'm sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.

US. NOW: BE AFRAID!! Oh God, the Brown Bad people could strike any moment! They could strike ... NOW!! AHHHH. Okay, how about .. NOW!! AAGAGAHAHAHHAG! Quick, do whatever we tell you, and believe whatever we tell you, or YOU WILL BE KILLED BY BROWN PEOPLE!! PUT DOWN THAT SIPPY CUP!!

... and I'm just a little tired of being on the wrong side of that historical arc.

Damn straight.

Which leads us to our inspirational book recommendation. I just finished one of my Christmas presents, a book by Ben Thompson entitled BADASS. Subtitled "A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders Who Ever Lived." Written in a rollicking, hilarious style, BADASS details the careers of some of history's greatest ass-kickers, both well-known (like Genghis Khan), and some more obscure (like "Mad Jack" Churchill, the British Commando who went into battle against the Nazis with a longbow, a quiver full of arrows, and an honest-to-God broadsword strapped across his back).

Check both out, and let them remind us all that, in Rogers' words:

God gave me a brain, and a modicum of spine. Taking something seriously, and panicking over it are two different things.

4 comments:

Fran said...

I am suddenly deeply enamored of
"Mad Jack" Churchill! Seriously.

"Badass" sounds like an amazing book. Thank you!

And thank you too for injecting a dose of rationality into these proceedings.

JD Rhoades said...

I am suddenly deeply enamored of
"Mad Jack" Churchill! Seriously.


I can dig it. From the book:

One night, he single-handedly took forty-two German prisoners and captured a mortar crew using only his broadsword. He simply took one patrolling guard as a human shield and went around from sentry post to sentry post, sneaking up on the guards and then shoving his sword in their faces until they surrendered. His response when asked about how he was able to capture so many soldiers so easily:

"I maintain that, as long as you tell a German loudly and clearly what to do, if you are senior to him he will cry 'jawohl' (yes sir) and get on with it enthusiastically and efficiently whatever the situation."

Now if that's not hardcore, then nothing is.

David Terrenoire said...

To paraphrase Monty Python:

"See, this is what I'm on about."

I've rarely been as ashamed of my country as I am now as so many of my fellow citizens, heirs to Nathan Hale, Sergeant York and Carlos Hathcock, shake and shiver at the thought of our nation being brought to its knees by a bunch of ragged, deluded criminals.

Grow a pair, America, and STFU.

Kate Hathway said...

"Mad Jack" Churchill shoulda been cloned!