Friday, November 30, 2007

Worst American Birthdays

I'm sure there are plenty of deserving souls for the honor, but G. Gordon Liddy is definitely one for the books. From the blog, Lawyers, Guns, and Money:
As a child during the Great Depression, Liddy quivered with glee at the sound of Adolf Hitler’s voice on the radio. As he recounted in his autobiography (appropriately titled Will), the Fuhrer’s words filled him with hope and delivered him from fear.
Hitler’s voice called out calmly, in low, dispassionate tones, but as he spoke of what his people would accomplish, his voice rose in pitch and tempo. Once united, the German people could do anything, surmount any obstacle, rout any enemy, achieve fulfillment. He would lead them; there would be one people, one nation, one leader. Here was the very antithesis of fear -- sheer animal confidence and power of will. He sent an electric current through my body and, as the massive audience thundered its absolute support and determination, the air on the back of my neck rose and I realized suddenly that I had stopped breathing.
Hitler taught Liddy that if nations could be “lifted out of weakness,” so might a puny asthmatic boy like himself. To condition his body and soul for a long life of struggle against weakness, Liddy embarked on a fascist-inspired campaign of personal growth. He stood defiantly on railroad tracks, challenging oncoming trains to run him over; he scaled trees during storms and baited the lightning; he killed chickens and ate rats to prove that he could overcome his aversion to death and his fear of vermin.
I killed and killed and killed, and, finally, I could kill efficiently and without emotion or thought. I was satisfied; when my turn to go to war came, I'd be ready. I could kill as I could run -- like a machine.
This of course is the caliber of man considered worthy of mainstream media exposure, where he's been given free reign to transmit some rather extreme right-wing authoritarian views.

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