RL61 - Neighborhood Stick Fight

This week, Merlin and John talk about:

The Problem: We could all benefit from some local bloodsport, referring to neighborhood stickfights.

The show title refers to John’s idea that wars should always be fought in person and if we would have neighborhood stickfights, many of the violence problems would solve itself.

This topic has also been covered extensively in RL164

It is early! John drove all night. He was in Portland last night until 1:30am, drove home for 3 hours in the rain storm and hasn’t really been to sleep.

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

Ted Nugent (RL61)

John got Ted Nugent’s Wango Tango going in his head, it just popped in there. Ted Nugent has a flair for a hook, but he does not have a lyric-writing flair because he is a fucking idiot. He has only gotten by because his guitar can shoot the balls off of a rhinoceros at 150 yards (135 m) and he seems like he has a lot to prove mainly to himself. Also he needs a punch in the nose, and by that John means a crossbow.

He lives in Michigan or some Midwestern upstate place and he became the legal guardian of his teenage girlfriend who was 13 by going to her parents and saying that this is going to go one of a couple of ways and they should just make him her legal guardian. They did and he was walking around with his fully teenaged girlfriend. In the 1970s you could play with a lot of shit.

They were together for a long time in a Mary Kay Letourneau situation and when the young person gained her maturity, they stayed together, whether happily or if it was a chained-in-the-basement situation John can’t say, they never invited him over. Merlin says that if somebody walks in, smiles and puts a sidearm on the table, it changes the conversation. Being in an upstate home filled with weapons will over time change your perception of what is okay and you get a little bit of the Stockholm syndrome.

Merlin's dad being in the NRA (RL61)

John has never been shot. Merlin’s late father was a sportsman who taught gun safety classes and was an Eagle Scout, a real outdoorsy guy. In his generation the NRA was a safety organization and people would be in the NRA because they didn’t want people to die. It was a funny time in the 1960s. He was also in Ducks Unlimited which is an early conservation group because you didn’t want the ducks to die so you could still shoot the ducks (see RL279, RL289) The Republicans used to be good guys.

Carrying a gun and dancing with John’s sister (RL61)

One time John had a good friend who worked the crab boats during the heyday of the crabbing era in Alaska where a 18 year old guy could make $50.000 in three months, just crazy amounts of money! They went to a bar together and he asked John’s sister to dance. They danced for a little bit up close to the stage where a band was playing Reggae Ska.

At a certain point he realized that he couldn’t dance as well as he wanted with the gun tucked into the waistband of his pants and he took the gun out and put it on the stage to be able to dance better with John’s sister. John was in the bar, it didn’t escape notice, the band was a little freaked out, but they kept Skaing away. John’s sister thought it was hilarious.

This is a good buddy of John's who was just suffering through a period of compromised judgement, which in his case lasted 15 years, where he had no judgement of any kind. Maybe this says all you need to say about Alaska in the 1980s, but he was not expelled from the bar, the song did not stop, they finished dancing and he put the gun back in his pants and the night went on. It wasn’t a needle across a record situation.

People who don’t know how to drive in difficult situations (RL61)

People think they understand their world. They have constructed a bunch of make-believe rules about how things go and when things diverge from that they get super-freaky, which is why those people are super-freaky a lot. They think it is safe to drive 19 mph (30 km/h) on a Highway. Last night John was dealing with those people for 16 hours because it was raining like crazy and Seattle drivers are already terrible. The rain is not a thing they are unaccustomed to and when it really starts coming down people get into a mode of ”The safest lane to be in is the fast lane, and the safest speed is 40 mph (65 km/h)” Neither one of these statements is true and the safest lane for them to be in is their own driveway with the engine off.

John was trying to get around town in a hydroplaning situation and cars were hydroplaning on 4 inches (10 cm) of water on the roads. When your car hydroplanes you do not touch the brakes, you do not panic, you do not shit your pants, but you just keep going and you will be fine. No-one seems to get that and all those people should have just stayed home. If you can’t get to where you are going safely, stay home and take a day off from work. Watch TV, make some nachos, but do not imperil people.

Merlin suggests that there should be service roads along the highway that could be used as a putt-putt version of highway driving for people to get acquainted with the highway. We would build Junior Highways over to the side, but then the Tea Party would have some referendum that reduces the taxes on car tabs so that we couldn't afford to have a guy in a booth who is like ”Sir, you with the Maserati, you can drive the normal freeway, but you my friend in your Volvo sedan, you are on the Junior Highway!"

Merlin would like to resent the suggestion to have a person there because it is stupid and costly and it is anti-Supertrain. One can tell a lot about what you will do in the future based upon what you have done in the past. There is the angry guy with no penis who has imagined themselves in a lot of fights and who naturally assumes they would be great in a fight, but they have never been punched in the nose. They are not a black diamond lane guy. Merlin is talking about a lot of guys in track suits in the United Kingdom with shaved heads. They are called Chavs, maybe that is ping pong, but track suits denote different things in different places, even within the state of New York.

Different TSA lines for different experience levels (RL61)

The problem with TSA in airports is that this is the green line for people who have never left the house before, who had a frontal lobotomy, who have 14 kids, or who are escorting 30 grandmothers on their first trip from Singapore. The blue lane is for the people who are generally competent people who have been on an airplane before, but maybe they don’t know where their keys are, and then there is the black diamond lane for people who travel with no luggage at all, they are fucking ninjas and CIA agents, they are Rock stars, and they are moving!

TSA sets up this system, but they do not appoint the simple person who stands at the head of the line and says ”Miss, you are not a black diamond traveler, let’s be honest, please move over here into this area!” The black diamond travelers have a look on their face. Merlin is not by and large a competitive person, but he becomes extremely competitive mostly with himself in that line and he went 3 years without causing a beep.

John doesn’t even use a bin anymore, but he hucks his keys through the X-ray machine and then he is through the fucking thing. They don’t even wave him through, but he picks the pocket of the guy who’s job it is to wave you through and has the guy's wallet and four passports in his hand, and ”get the fuck out of my way”, but then there are 14 grandmothers from Singapore right in front of him who have never been on an airplane before and they are all bringing holy water from Lourdes.

It is farcical how many things you get to do with the most basic testing or approval. In mountain climbing or martial arts, if you come from another dojo and say that you are a green belt in Taekwondo, they are not going to put you up against a 4-year old Chuck Norris, but you will have to show some moves and they will tell you what belt you got. We have poured a lot of money into the TSA and there is a lot of thinking on the front end, but not a lot of thinking on the back end, and it is all hell-breaks-lose once you get past that area and everybody is running around with their belts and their shoes, sitting down, confused.

Someone should be there grading people and that should go onto some kind of permanent records. Not wanting to be totalitarian, or being a Pol Pot, but Merlin is just saying! If you say that you are pretty good, but it takes you 45 minutes and you had souvenir gun powder, next time you are going to be in a different lane. John would even give you a tattoo, like grading beef: Choice, Prime, Chuck. John doesn’t know what the lower grades are, but it is a black art and a lot of it is just BS.

John loves the idea of tattooing people because the next step is hurling them into a Soylent Green machine. This is why Hitler & Stuff is such a popular part of their podcast, because Merlin is kind of an eugenicist and John is a totalitarian genocidal maniac, but a calm thoughtful one and he has good days! If you have a cardiopulmonary system you need pulmonary and you need cardio: You need a heart and lungs. As a genocidal maniac you are going to want a eugenicist right next to you, maybe with very small glasses, to lean over and whisper in your ear ”Let’s not do tattoos, let’s do a kind of a passport thing!” - ”Oh right, passport thing, good!” Merlin would fail in most meritocracies, but the fact that he accepts his place in the meritocracy makes him better than almost everyone.

Even though it drives him bananas Merlin tries his best to make his kid be as good at line as he is because nobody is good at line anymore and he will still go into the stupid family lane because he is a gentleman. The fact is that there is nobody there who is verifying that anybody deserved to be there in the first place. Merlin and John do not like tattoos, although there are probably a lot of people with tattoos listening to this podcast who want their tattoo choices validated by John and Merlin. John gives a blanked validation to everyone who is listening: ”Your tattoo is amazing!” Merlin thinks that John sounds like he just came from Portland.

Kobe beef (RL61)

Kobe beef is a total jam-up, just like Copper River Salmon which is a real thing, just not the thing they make it out to be. All places where they ask you if you want one Kobe Beef Bangers or Shooter’s Slider, first of all that is not Kobe Beef, because every piece of the fucking beef has a god-damn serial number. Merlin forgot he was going to quit cursing. There are not enough air-quotes and there literally cannot be that much Kobe beef. It is beyond Champagne, but increasingly the places that are being straight up with you are going to say Kobe-style beef.

Major cities on the West Coast vs the East Coast (RL61)

Is the dream of the 1990s still alive in Portland? John thinks it is getting pushed further and further South and it might be in Salem now. There is a reason why there is no major city between San Francisco and Seattle! Portland doesn’t qualify and Eureka is not a major city, but it is a place where they had circled the wagons, nailed the wagons to the floor, and called it a town with a name that made people want to go there. Along the same distance as between San Francisco and Seattle there are 100 million people living on the East Coast in a Megalopolis, but from San Francisco to Seattle there are more sheep and more turtles than humans.

There is weed, there are death cults, there are Republicans, and then you move into beards. There are lumberjacks and ex-lumberjacks, but it might like with Marines that there is no such thing as an ex-lumberjack. Maybe some lumberjacks saw the light when they were out there chopping down a tree: They realized that the trees are their friends and they started Trees Unlimited (reference to Ducks Unlimited and Merlin's dad) where they want to make sure to keep the trees alive so they can keep cutting them down. They built a platform up in the tree and Wavy Gravy is out there living in a bus somewhere. Merlin has been at a party with Wavy Gravy and he seemed very self-involved, wearing a tight eye shirt, which is his brand.

Expired coupons at the Walgreens (RL61)

Merlin spends a lot of time at Walgreens because he needs to get a variety of things, for example his prescriptions and his ice-cream. John has been to Walgreens with Merlin, he knows how he is and he even bought a cape there. When Merlin goes to Walgreens he is the eye of the tiger: "Get in and get out!", but they make it worse and worse all the time. It seems like the Point of Sale devices get more complicated with more breast-cancer buttons and there are more dingusses that Merlin has to interact with. He just wants to give them this money and wants them to let him leave.

There are always people who don’t know how to run the card and which way the stripe goes, although there is an illustration telling them. There is always at least one 60-year old Chinese lady arguing about an expired coupon, which seems to be a tentpole of their culture. We are all in this line and just want to get our ice-cream and move on with our lives. There should be a separate coupon-arguing kiosk. The problem is that in Florida that lady is a 60-year old Jewish lady because there is a 60-year old lady thing that transcends all cultures all across America, arguing about expired coupons for things she doesn’t need or want.

The UFOs under the North Pole who are controlling the world governments are probably sending out these scouts. First they changed the cash registers so they are impossible to figure out, then they are removing real human beings from cash registers, and little by little we are funneled into a built-in frustration machine to prepare us for living aboard Alien cattle ships that are going to take us away. Our compliance is going to be required on those ships and this is how they are breaking our spirits.

It could also be a Jeffrey Dahmer situation where the aliens have dripped acid into their frontal lobe and made them not into compliant sex slaves, but into coupon automatons. They hand them a coupon and tell them to redeem it, but they have taken away some crucial part of their brain.

For all we know they could be clones! They are all the same size and they all have bucket hats. They could be another species, like goats who have taken a human form. The store manager they are arguing with is probably also a clone and the entire thing is a cash-and-play, a tableau just to make you have an emotional reaction, killing you softly with their song.

Merlin wonders if he himself might be a clone, but John cannot imagine that if they would have cloned somebody that they would have started with Merlin. What life form would have been the starter in the petri dish that would have produced Merlin unless something went horribly awry? Like with Gary Busey, it was "Oops!" and it fell off the table and they scraped it all back into the thing and got some other stuff in there.

Merlin can be very critical of people who don’t know how to do line, but he wants to be open to improvement opportunities and to whatever the future holds for him. The point of this podcast for John has been to prepare Merlin for his eventual role as a rebel leader, which goes against Merlin’s self-identity, but John feels like that this is what the forest is telling him. John is trying to de-program Merlin and now the cat is out of the bag, but Merlin thinks it will be okay.

Merlin has been a passive-aggressive person in the past, it is something he still struggles with, but sometimes he and his daughter are standing in line, one of the clone people will come up with their expired coupons, shuffling toward the clone manager, and Merlin will say loudly ”Hi! We are all waiting in line back here! Everyone here is in the same line! Hi!” Nobody likes waiting in a line, but as soon as we stop waiting in line like Americans everything will start to decline.

Maybe Merlin is so comfortable waiting in line behind these shuffle clones because he has not been adequately harmed to know what he should or shouldn’t be doing. Talking to John for an hour once a week is the moral equivalent of having your aunt and uncle who raised you charred and left smoldering outside your underground hut on a dessert planet. It is John’s hope, but he is not doing a good enough job. Merlin thinks John is doing great and the sand people travel single file to disguise their numbers.

British people not complaining about bad beer (RL61)

Last night John was in a bar with a bunch of British people. The Portland bartender came over and one of the British people asked for a Pilsner. The bartender said ”We have 42 beers on tap, but the closest thing we have to a Pilsner is an ale that I think you will find is really light” John was listening to this conversation and said ”Don’t get that! Whatever he is saying right now, that is not what you want!”

The bartender had not answered the question. The answer was not ”Here is an Ale that tastes like a Pilsner”, but the answer is ”No, we don’t have what you want!” The obsequious bartender convinced the British person, a member of a British traveling Pop band, to try this Portland-style beer that is made out of cranberries and is very hoppy, but you don’t taste the hops, and is very yeasty, but you don’t taste the yeast. You know what, fuck you!

As the beer came, the British person tasted it and found it reprehensible, it was the worst thing he ever had. John said ”Send it back” - ”No, I’m fine” - ”No, seriously!” - ”I’m British, I will endure this beer” - ”Barkeep! Come here! This beer satisfies no-one at the table” - ”What do you mean?” - ”How does it sound like? No-one likes this beer!” Everyone at the table was from England, all they were all looking at their fingernails. ”What would you like?” - ”A Pilsner!” - ”We have it in bottles!” - ”Voila!” and the beer went away, bottles of Pilsner came, and it was like the seas parted and fishes turned to loaves or whatever happened in that crazy book.

It was not that John appeared as a magician, but as an American, and they were like ”Wow, that was incredible!” They resisted the urge to apologize to each other or to their fingernails or whatever it is that people do when they are uncomfortable and don’t have any agency, but what happened was that this terrible beer that had been filtered through somebody’s dreadlocks went into the sink, and the Pilsner that the guy had the whole time, but was in a bottle, arrived at the table.

On one hand John was dealing with Portland, which is so far up its own ass that it can’t even deliver a beer when somebody orders it, and on the other hand was this table full of British people who were suffering from 1000 years of drinking bad beer and not complaining about it.

The Battle of Hastings (RL61)

The British have been through a lot! Their grandparents made it through the Blitz, which was a pretty tough go. John has been reading a lot about the Norman conquest which was an interesting time. The hight of his deep-inside-the-university era coincided with a time when the people at his university were disparaging of the great man theory of history.

They said that history has always been the story of great men, but that is bullshit! There were no great men, but history is forces acting over time. There is a certain kind of inevitability to history, and these people we think of, like Stalin or whomever, are mostly irrelevant because it is really the geopolitical and economic forces that are moving history through time.

John always pissed on that idea, but the Battle of Hastings is one of these moments where some guys lost a fight and England was forever changed. The winners were just a few thousand guys who marched to London and said ”We killed your kind, we won that battle, we are in charge now, and this French guy is your new king!” and for the next 300 years they spoke French in Royal Court. These guys were the new Dukes and Earls and they took all the everything. It happened on one day and then everything was different. That one moment! The English! My God, the stories they can tell!

The Normans talked to the pope and had a pretty good case for why they were entitled to the English throne. The pope said ”Yeah, sounds good!” and when they showed up in England they were carrying the flag of the pope. King Herold and his Danes saw the Normans land with the pope flag and they were like ”Fuck! They got the pop flag!” and they started to doubt themselves, because they did not have the pope flag.

It was their place, but not having the pope flag means that God is against you and they really seriously doubted themselves. Maybe God didn’t want them? What also happened in 1066 was Halley’s comet, this crazy star with a tail up in the sky. What did it portend? The Normans showing up with the pope flag was strike two! If you won’t even send a bad beer back that you didn’t order, you are going to be unmanned by the appearance of a pope flag and a comet!

Showing up with a pope flag at a party today wouldn’t accord you very much extra mojo, but if you would show up with a 9.4 on Pitchfork, people would question themselves. What would it cost to get Travis Morrison a pope flag? There is nobody who deserves a pope flag and a French army more than he does! He should march his narrow ass over to Chicago with a fucking pope flag and an army. Merlin will never forgive them!

The Normans had a cavalry on horses while King Herold of England and his British, who were actually Danish, didn’t have any horses, but they had the technology of a shield wall where they would stand really close to each other and put their shields up. The Normans had never seen this! They each had never seen each other’s war techniques! At the time you could go into war and the way people screamed and carried their shields might just completely destroy your morale and totally throw you off.

The Normans were existentially and technologically unprepared for dealing with this. They were used to swooping down with their horses, everybody would run, but when they came to this shield wall that just stood there, the horses didn't know what to do and just stopped so the British could hit them with spears and the horses ran back.

The Normans had archers and the British had literally left their archers behind because they couldn’t move as fast, or something. A rain of arrows came down and basically all the British had was this shield wall, but it was very effective and they fought back and forth all day long. This was an era where people fought battles that lasted 30 minutes. They went in, kicked your ass, you had a leather hat, they hit you with the sword, the leather hat didn’t do anything and you were dead. You had limited resources and if they made just a couple of good holes in a flank it might be all over. They fought all day, nobody was really winning, but they were brutalizing each other. At the end of the day people got tired.

The turning point of the battle was when the Normans did another attack on the shield wall, they pretended to run away, the British broke the shield wall to pursue them down the hill, and the horses swooped around to cut them off and then ”Oh fuck!” The shield wall was impenetrable, but in a situation like this the burden of proof was on the Normans. They were the invaders and if they couldn’t get past the shield wall the British were just going to push them into the ocean. It was just one battle! 5000 guys here, 5000 guys there, and the whole history of the West turned on this day.

The Normans said ”We win!” and they marched their pope flag all the way across the country and ”Here we are! You guys clear your furniture out, we are taking everything!” and that was it. Carrying a thing like the pope flag around gave them respect from that odd King Herold, let alone just some country bumpkin somewhere, some Hobbits living in Central England. The pope must have probably felt stronger than ever about the flag bearers at that point. Everybody heard that story and was like ”Pope flag: Respect!”

Part of Merlin wishes that public TV was still good, because you could have a James Berg style run on there. You could have some independent production on cable, but… let’s reinvent it! All of John’s and Merlin’s friends have NPR shows now! For years NPR was this unassailable tower, this ivory tower full of (inaudible) and now you just waltz in there and say ”I’m a guy with a mustache! Give me a public radio show!” and they do. Merlin has an inoffensive sardonic whit, he and John could do this!

The invention of tanks (RL61)

The problem with the AT-ATs seems obvious in retrospect: Early tanks were more than just trucks that were difficult to maneuver, but they got treads pretty early on. They made their introduction in WWI and a tank with wheels was going to get mired down while treads were one of the big innovation. There was no battle between the Monitor vs the Merrimack of tanks, but tanks were pretty fully realized pretty fast.

What tanks didn’t have initially was big guns. They were just a house with machine guns that you could move into the other guy’s front yard and only later did they realize that they could put a big canon on this, too. They were fighting in trenches and they were thinking how to break this stale mate, because both sides had a trench and every time you would send somebody out in the middle they got turned to hamburger. So let’s put a metal house on a bulldozer, what about that? Or we put machine guns on it, we drive it over their barb wire and we just park there and shoot them. Good idea! That was Joe Tankersteen, that is where tanks got their name!

Lincoln (movie), Gangs of New York, There Will Be Blood (RL61)

John has not seen the movie Lincoln yet for a lot of reasons. He likes for the smoke to clear before he goes to see a Daniel Day-Lewis movie. There are a lot of reason why somebody like John would be suspicious of it, but he is not and he will go see it. He is the Colonel Kurtz of Hollywood and he goes way past those De Niro inhabit-the-role kind of guys. To prepare for the Lincoln role he lived in a log cabin in Illinois for 25 years. The movie starts out like Saving Private Ryan with a really gruesome Civil War battle.

The only redeeming feature of Gangs of New York was Daniel Day-Lewis. It was a terrible movie, but Daniel Day-Lewis was transcendent. If they had cut everything else out and just showed Daniel Day-Lewis for 30 minutes, it would have been fine. There Will Be Blood has a crazy-making violin sound at the very beginning of the movie and it turned John against the film for the whole rest of it. It was a terrible sound to start this movie with and he objects! A sound can put him off a film, like a lot of other things.

Neighborhood stick-fights (RL61)

War should always be like the Civil War battle at the beginning of the movie Lincoln where you really get a sense what hand-to-hand combat really means: You are just sitting there, hitting somebody on the head and stabbing them with a knife until they die. The more we are technologically able to get away from war the more it becomes ridiculously easy to blow people apart. The person on the receiving end of a Sidewinder missile fired from a drone by an US Air Force captain who is sitting in an air-conditioned trailer outside of Las Vegas Nevada is just blown apart and the guy who fires the missile suffers no consequences.

Rather than to upscale and supersize war, we need to return to an era of neighborhood stick-fights. We need to institutionalize this in America, we need to stop playing Football for one, which is a tremendous distraction, and all that energy could be better channeled into neighborhood stick-fights. It would have to be sticks that you can find in your neighborhood and you should not be able to Amazon Prime a better stick because that defeats the purpose. Joining the team will be 100% voluntary.

John could put up posters in his neighborhood that say ”Neighborhood stick-fights!" and all of them in Rainier View would be getting a little gang together and go down the hill and have a stick-fight on the Football field against all of these assholes in Columbia City and Hillman City. Who would show up to that meeting? Every asshole in the neighborhood! It would be a self-selecting process and the people who would be interested in being on the stick-fighting team would be the violent idiots who are precisely the people you would a) want fighting on your behalf, and b) the people in the neighborhood that you would want to get killed or injured.

It is a natural selection process! They would pit neighborhoods against one another in self-selecting voluntary stick-fighting teams fighting literally with organic, locally sourced sticks, whatever stick you could find, until the other team is too injured or dead to continue. Afterwards you can keep the other teams's sticks if you like those better, like when Beta Ray Bill gets Thor’s Hammer. John would have multiple languages on that poster in a non-faggy way, like Vietnamese and Spanish. You wouldn’t get a lot of Hispanic stick-fighters, but there would be a few, and there would be a lot of Vietnamese guys showing up!

People would show up mostly for the stick and the fight, but Merlin wants to know more about the people who are there for the neighborhood part. That is when you are going to have the surprising old and lame ladies show up and say ”I don’t want to have to fight with a stick, but I fell very strongly about our neighborhood!” These will be neighborhood situations and once you have pulverized Hillman City, the little old ladies will come out and kick them in the groin, or whatever little old ladies do, or they come argue with them about an expired coupon.

The winner of that fight will go on to the regionals and fight Cherry Hill, although there are just a bunch of Seattle U students up there and nobody would fight, but West Seattle would be a hell of a stick-fight. Would Aldermen come and wear robes? Absofuckinglutely! If you would do these stick-fights periodically it would clean out all the bad blood. You got to have a war every few years. The victorious Seattle stick-fighting team would take on Portland’s top stick-fighting team and you would just go all the way to the Super Bowl of stick-fights where presumably every year there would be Pittsburgh vs Oakland, but instead of Football it will be stick-fighting where you are literally beating each other to death.

If there was shit like that going on there would be a lot fewer invasions of Iraq and many fewer morbidly obese men buying era-official Football jerseys, all these assholes, all of your NRA guys, and all of your Ted Nugents! The problem of Ted Nugent would have been solved 25 years ago because he would have felt compelled by his constant macho rhetoric to proof himself on the stick-fighting field and he would have gotten his ass handed to him by some guy who had had his frontal lobe dissected and was potentially a clone.

Ted Nugent would have been impaled on a stick 25 years ago because the clone wanted it more! Like Moose from Archie. Nugent against Moose! When was the last even halfway decent Ted Nugent album? It coincided with about the time when he should have died on the stick-fighting field and somewhere in Detroit there would be a pope flag with Nugent’s face on that had been dipped in his blood and they would be fighting for him to this day. Imagine how that city could be revitalized if they would pick up some sticks!

The Horst-Wessel-Lied (RL61)

If a feisty beloved old lady in John’s neighborhood would get killed in a stick-fight, John would have a pope flag on his hand, a mandate, a martyr, a Golgotha. He could bind it to his flag pole and Rainier View would be unstoppable! In the song Horst-Wessel-Lied they tarded up a story about Horst Wessel supposably being killed by jews, the most violent of all people, and they did a We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions thing with Deutschland Über Alles and the Horst-Wessel-Lied where the lyrics are pretty bad.

They took an old song and ”Oh, somebody killed Horst Wessel!”, which was basically John Denver’s career. They sing it in that (Leni) Riefenstahl movie and people knew the words. John would need a Hort-Wessel-Lied for his beloved old lady in the neighborhood that people could sing at neighborhood stick-fights, and you want to dip that flag in her blood.

John goes through the translation of the Horst-Wessel-Lied with Merlin. It is pretty rough Nazi propaganda. Can you imagine being a Weimar era genius and having to hear those lyrics? Being Kurt Weill and having to sit around and listen to that shit? So many of the artistic geniuses of that decade created so much amazing stuff with such ease that should have lasted 1000 years.

You are in your fin de siècle apartment with beautiful (Gustav) Klimpt paintings on the walls, you are taking a little bit of snuff off of your extra-long pinky fingernail, and these ding-dongs are out in the street marching-singing this asshole-song! Merlin argues it might not sound as great in English, but those are terrible lyrics. A lot of specificity went into that, but it was not really that historically useful and it was not really that rousing. A fucking Hitler flag over every street? That part came true, though.

The brown uniforms were probably left-over summer-uniforms from World War I that they got for pennies on the dollar, they were doing Das Thrifting. The innovation was not the brown shirt, but the black tie. It is a smart super-duper-gay look. With brown shirts you look like a lion tamer at the zoo, but you put a black tie on that, it really pops! John hates the fruity hats! There is a whole book about the homo-erotic aspect of it, they would never say it was deliberate, but the SS uniforms, man!

One of their main tailors was Hugo Boss. He didn’t design the Nazi uniforms, but the Hugo Boss company was one of the main manufacturers of Nazi uniforms, leather trench-coats and stuff. Those ties were made by Bayer (the Aspirin makers), Krupps made the hats, Braun made the shirts, Volkswagen made the shoes, and nobody made the trains run on time. John needs a pope flag! For a while he thought it was going to be a life-sized Boba Fett helmet on a popsicle stick, but nobody rallied to him!

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