Do you suppose any copies of that article still exist anywhere, or did Reader’s Digest find a way to bulldoze all the evidence into sulfuric acid and spray it over Death Valley?
It was shortly before World War II, written by a British satirist who mercilessly harpooned all those who were urging Britain to prepare for war. I remember one of the “clever” bits. England got all excited because Italy’s dictator, Mussolini, called Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain a “stiff.” The tension dissolved when translators discovered the word Mussolini used was “Il stiffo,” which, they explained, was a nice compliment in Italian. The aggressively complacent author concluded by begging the readers to shift their attention to the “real” vital concerns of the day – like dog shows, horse shows, flower shows, etc.
I many times wondered where that writer took cover from all those German bombs so few months later and whether or not he included that piece later in mailings to editors as examples of his geopolitical savvy.
That article burns as a warning light I deliberately ignore as I ape the attitude of that unfortunate writer. He was proven a fool. I now take my chances.
My inbox seems more and more aflame with articles quoting un-named insiders warning Americans that the Obama administration is secretly-but-ardently preparing for “organized disorder” intended to warrant the imposition of martial law so the presidential election can be canceled and Obama can continue to rule “indefinitely”! Details seem to be amazingly abundant. The deliberate violence will be just bad enough, you see, to make the American people grateful for the martial law. And the government is allegedly stockpiling everything needed to build and maintain “concentration camps.” And on applications for the military they’re now asking questions like, “Would you forcibly take guns from your fellow Americans?” Also, “Would you kill them?”
At this point I should emphasize I’m as opposed to this administration as I can arrange to get, but I’m totally unconvinced by all such talk. In fact, if brain scientists are looking for a real “complacent” to study – one who actually says, “It can’t happen here!” – I’m their man, provided it pays at least as much as jury duty.
Yes, we’ve let ourselves become dull, lazy and ignorant over the years. But not that dull, lazy and ignorant. This American population is plenty smart enough to tell real public disorder from a staged, oversized “October Surprise.” And if we’re not smart enough, there’ll be plenty of wagging tongues, whistleblowers and true patriots clued in and doing their bit to inform and defend America. Stick the fork into this American turkey and you’ll see we’re not done yet. Far from it. If you’ve forgotten the “shellacking” the real Americans handed the quick-change artists in 2010 and the breathtaking Republican victory for prankster-liar Anthony Weiner’s congressional seat inside New York City in 2011, just consider the lopsided defeat of gay marriage in North Carolina May 8 of this year. How much of that vote was plain old repudiation of Barack Obama? Plenty!
Once, during a newspaper strike in New York, a colleague of mine literally limped into the office stunned, almost unable to speak. He’d just passed the Times building and seen a sign announcing “The New York Times will not publish until further notice.” Multiply that shock by a few thousand and you’ll have the effect of “The presidential election of 2012 will not be held.”
That lacks “validity.” “Austerity” has validity to a Greek, even when he’s burning cars to avoid it. “Crop rotation” has validity to farmers worldwide. Canceling the American election has roughly the validity of “Come with me and I’ll give you candy!” Not one single American will be taken in by it.
Completely forgotten about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 is how many thousands of Soviet soldiers gave their weapons to the freedom fighters and disappeared. Are you surprised? Doubtful? Don’t be. How else do you think the real Hungarians were able to topple Communism and keep it toppled for 10 glorious days until massive Soviet reinforcements arrived? The Soviet army summarily executes those who commit such behavior. Yet thousands simply refused to fire upon the Hungarians. Bashar Assad’s Syrian opposition gets most of its weapons from defecting Syrian soldiers. If Soviets and Syrians defect in such meaningful numbers to do what is obviously right, will American troops nonetheless conclude, “Gee, I guess it’s time for us to go kill our own people to save the country”? If there really is such a sinister plan, it will collapse under the obesity of its own absurdity.
By the way, this American population is the best-armed on earth. A few Gestapo-wannabes writhing in agony on the welcome mat outside the homes they went to hit would do much to dim the ardor of any “New Order.”
President George W. Bush’s timing was wrong. Now is the time for “Bring it on!”
That little 5-year-old girl won our hearts during the Vietnam War when she asked her father, “What if they gave a war and nobody showed up?”
Well, what if traitors to America gave a repression and even the clean-speaking American troops suggested they go perform a highly acrobatic and agile-if-obscene act upon themselves?
Barry Farber, a New Media legend, tells compelling stories of his unique life in his new book, “Cocktails with Molotov: An Odyssey of Unlikely Detour”