I’m very sorry for my lack of posting activity lately (and very grateful to Sheri for picking up the slack), but I unexpectedly produced a sequel to my herniated disc (a long-running smash in 2008) about a week and a half ago, and it’s made sitting at the computer a grump-inducing ordeal. However, I’m heavily medicated at the moment, so let’s exploit this brief respite from lucidity and see what the under-medicated folks at RenewAmerica are raving about today.
Dressing like a WWII German soldier on weekends proves how rich we are, by Warner Todd Huston
First of all, despite all the chest puffing by sports-freaks and rock-music geeks who want to say that Civil War and WWII reenactors are “weird,” the very fact that there are such things as reenactors at all — not to mention sports nuts or music fanatics — is proof that westerners are well off, rich if you will. The existence of Civil War and WWII reenactors is great evidence that the United States is a success.
You can identify a nation of winners by their large population of sore losers.
Warner Todd Huston in undated file photo.
But first, let’s face the facts.
Well, first let’s face a mock firing squad and pretend we’re helpless POWs being gunned down by SS troops, because it’s Malmédy Monday! Woo hoo! We’re all going out for beer and pizza after the war crimes.
Civil War and WWII reenactors are not any stranger than people that wear those silly looking bicycling clothes with the pointed hats and the skin-tight little pants.
The fact is, people dress up in facsimile uniforms and pretend to fight on behalf of slavery or genocidal totalitarianism for the exact same reason bicyclists wear shorts: because they don’t want to get their pants caught in the chain.
They are no goofier than those nut cases that paint themselves in their team colors and spend thousands of their hard-earned wages on time-wasting sports games.
Sure. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent sitting around with my buddies, playing Madden Fort Pillow Massacre on the Xbox.
Reenactors are no stranger than model railroaders
Assuming the HO-enthusiasts hook up little cattle cars to their Lionel locomotives and pretend they’re transporting Jews for “resettlement” in the East.
And that is just the thing, isn’t it? That Americans have so much spare money and time to waste on hobbies really does show how successful we are as a culture.
We’re so filthy rich we can afford to recreate the last war we won just so we can pretend to be the losers. Seems a bit counterintuitive, but then I suppose it’s no stranger than being a misogynist transvestite.
Put it this way, how many people in poverty-ridden nations can spend $1,000 on a rifle
Well, if you’re a child soldier in, say, the Horn of Africa, they’ll often just give you a rifle. But I can see where those Americans who, through an accident of birth, were deprived of a chance to commit atrocities would be glad to drop a grand on a Westworld-like simulation.
…or hundreds of dollars on clothing recreating those of 150 years ago or more?
Maybe it’s just me, but I suspect if “Reinhard” Iott had been caught swanning about in a whalebone corset and a hoop skirt instead of an SS uniform, he’d actually be doing better in the polls.
How many poor nations have people that can afford to buy a $2,000 bicycle, or year after year spend thousands on tickets to sporting events? Well, we can and we do.
Yeah, although folks who ride mountain bikes for exercise don’t — as a rule — also sew swastikas onto their Lycra bib shorts and video themselves pedaling around the woods with machineguns and dummy grenades.
Further, Americans aren’t the only ones. Many European nations have their own contingent of reenactors. England has thousands of reenactors of the Napoleonic era — they even reenact the English Civil War and Medieval eras.
And Roundheads are much more offensive than the Gestapo. In fact, the Medieval Times restaurant chain is considering switching to a Third Reich theme, with the wait staff dressed as death camp inmates, because a lot of people felt the serving wench costumes were kind of tasteless.
But the truth is it is idiotic to assume that every reenactor fully accepts the ideologies, biases, and precepts of the ancients they are recreating. Civil War reenactors are not slavemongers. Germany army reenactors are not Jew killers.
When it comes to slavemongering and Jew killing, those who can, do. Those who can’t, re-enact.
Can you find some that are a bit goofy here and there? Sure
Unfortunately, they’re mostly found on ballots.
As we know, comparatively speaking Americans are wonderfully rich. Rich enough not to have to worry about living hand to mouth for the most part.
Yes, never in our history have Americans felt richer, or more secure in their jobs. Say what you want about the quality of Warner’s argument, you can’t argue with this timing.
They have time to indulge their hobbies.
Unemployment is a popular pastime, and I hear eviction is basically the new Hula-Hoop.
They have time to sit and dream of the past
Slavery and the Third Reich don’t have to be Lost Causes…as long as you keep them alive in your heart.
read books about history, or waste time listening to music, play chess, ride a bike just for fun and exercise (instead of it being their only form of transportation)
People who have to ride their bike to work can’t afford to spend the weekend pretending they’re making Lithuanian civilians kneel on the edge of a mass grave and shooting them execution style in the back of the head..
play sports and/or attend sporting events.
I thought this kind of thing was the backbone of American exceptionalism, just as Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eaton? Young men are mentally toughened and physically tempered through the healthy rough-and-tumble of amateur sports, preparing themselves for the rigors of school, business, and other competitive environments? But no, that’s a waste of money and as morally corrupt as wearing bike shorts! In a wealthy, advanced country, the only proper use of parents’ spare time is in dressing their boys in paramilitary uniforms, infusing them with the martial spirit of their Teutonic forebears, and sending them out to drill and ape infantry maneuvers. I bet Hitler wishes he’d thought to do that with his Youth.
So, sit back and think for a minute the next time you want to claim that reenactors are “weird.”
You misunderstand me, Warner. I don’t regard “weird” as a pejorative. I budget for weird, I embrace weird. Weird is the default around here. I merely claim that re-enactors are maladjusted bigots with a crippling fixation on past failures and grievances, who spend a lot of time and money compensating for the undersized Vienna Frank in their jodhpurs.
Ask yourself how weird it is that you can waste so much time on football, or baseball, or music, video games and movies. Then thank your lucky stars that you are an American and you have the free time and money to waste on such extravagances. And pray to God that Democrats don’t lay us so low that we truly are living hand to mouth like the poorest nations are forced to do.
Reenactors truly are a tribute to how great we are.
A nation’s greatness is measured by the strength of her pantomime Nazis. Or as Charles Wilson put it in 1953, “What’s good for General Burkhalter is good for the country.”