January 11, 2012 - While Don sits on his post posterior pondering life, we have picked a "Best of Column" from his archives. Feel free to call him lazy and suggest further column ideas by e-mailing, Don@ShermanPublications.org
* * *
I like to read as much as the next guy. I also like history. So when I get to read a history book like I am currently enjoying, it's nice to notice similarities between two differing time periods.
A reporter-like-type, as I live and experience life, I am supposed to also observe, find comparisons and draw conclusions. (That's why I'm not a reporter-type, rather only reporter-like. Reporters ain't supposed to draw conclusions in their writings. A reporter-type's job is just report the facts. Which is another reason my mug appears on the opinion pages, not news -- but pardon moi, I digress . . .)
While reading Micheal Dobbs', Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America, I laughed out loud. Not because I thought it was funny that the genius of American intelligence work (infighting between the FBI and other US intel groups) gave a German sub three hours to un-stick itself off of a sandbar only a couple hundred yards off Long Island. No, I didn't laugh because eight, five-foot-six German-Americans planned on crippling America's industrial abilities as America was getting into WW 2. No.
I laughed when I read a passage stating during WW1 Americans were so whizzed off at the Germans, that we struck them right out of our lexicon. Slash! Whack! Gone they were. So let it be written, so let it be done!
In the American vernacular of almost 100 years ago, sauerkraut became Liberty Cabbage. Frankfurters became Hot Dogs. If you were a patriotic chap when ordering ground beef on bread, you wouldn't tell the friendly fellow with the paper cap and white apron behind the counter, "Mac, give me a hamburger, medium rare."
Nope, you'd say to the dandy, "Bud, serve me up one of them Liberty Sandwiches with a little pink in the middle."
Where I am going, I believe, is obvious. This all sounds vaguely familiar.
Like New York Yankee great Yogi Berra said, "It's like deja vu all over again." Seems to me, not too many years ago we Yanks got cranked when the French were acting like -- well the French -- over our wrecking Saddam Hussein's day. In the official U.S. Congressional Menu, the listing for French Fries magically appeared one day as Liberty Fries.
The point is, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
You say potato, I say spud. You say French Kiss, and even though I am a red-blooded American of patriotic stripes, I still call it Giving The Tongue.
Hey, it's America, who cares what we call things and what folks think of us? We don't change. The world has to admit, America is great. Heck, it's only in America a guy who was born poor and given the name Marion Morrison could one day rise to become the pop culture's icon for masculinity, toughness and good ol' American rugged individualism. (As I type, a larger-than-life, color portrait of John Wayne wearing a white cowboy hat and tan leather vest looks over my shoulder. We won't go into the smoking, drinking and womanizing of the man born Marion at this particular juncture in time and space. The Duke's still cool in my book.)
What I am wondering is why do the pointy-headed socialists of the world shake with indignant rage and call Americans intellectually inferior beings whenever we do something that upsets their snobbish sensibilities? (Wow, that was a mouthful.)
Newsflash! We are the world's spoiled-kid.
And, it just so happens we have the good fortune of geography, lots of people, jobs and big world-wrecking weapons.
We don't change. We am who we am. The world should accept us for who we are. It's part of our childlike charm that when we feel teased or belittled, we stick out our tongues, grab our balls and go home. Nanny-nanny poo-poo.
Gosh, do you think our arrogance makes other folks cringe?
* * *
For those who enjoy a well-written piece:
a) Why did you read this?
b.) Pick up a copy of Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America. It's an easy read and interesting, ta'boot.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org