Sunday, Jan 12, 2003 by
Throughout the course of my public education I spent more than eight full semesters learning American history. I spent an entire half a year learning about great battles of the civil war. There were weeks spent over and over again, year after year, learning about the Founding Fathers in increasing detail. Apparently our teachers thought that what the person told us the preceding year about the founding of our nation just wasn't enough. We had to go back and hear it all again with some hot new info thrown in about the type of wood used in George Washington's fake teeth. I suppose that the intent was to engender a sense of national pride and a deeper understanding of American history. Instead all it created was a feeling that I was missing out on a lot of important shit that, I don't know, maybe countries other than the United States were party to. I may not be a genius, but I've known how to dress myself without my mom's help for almost five years. I'm pretty sure that everyone here in the United States with the exception of Native Americans - who we also learned almost nothing about unless we were at a moment in history when white guys were shooting them - is descended from people of other nationalities.What I'm building up here for you is a causal link. Like a person abused as a child grows up and abuses their children, or a person who did drugs as a kid grows up and manufactures drugs in a kitchen meth lab, I hunger for knowledge about history from a non-American perspective. Okay, that really isn't a very good causal link, but it's a pretty convoluted excuse to give for lying on the couch and watching The History Channel constantly. Grainy footage of tracers flying up to greet Japanese zeros from the decks of carriers and the pulse-pounding excitement of a German tank crushing trees with fake post-production sound added is what makes my world go round. If I were more secure in my sexuality I would have a framed picture of Roger Mudd on my wall with a pink heart drawn on it. Modern Marvels! My God, I never knew concrete could be so interesting! History's Mysteries! It's like riding with Indiana Jones and a little Asian kid in that coal car through the volcano!
I feel that the magic of television has introduced me to a whole wide world of history and information, but my greatest passions are those tanks and planes from World War II. If you're a regular reader of the front page of Something Awful you know by now that I drool over finely tuned German war machines like most guys drool over cars. To them it's all about platinum hubcaps, spoilers, and NOS. To me it's all about interleaved road wheels, anti-magnetic mine paste, and liquid-fuel rockets. The sound of a riced-out Civic is as nothing when compared to the blood-curdling shriek of a diving Stuka's nose siren.
I realize my tastes aren't for everyone, but there is an aspect of this fairly useless knowledge about Germany's war machine that has a broad appeal. Namely, the crazy shit the Germans came up with towards the end of the war. With the Allies chewing on their face and ass simultaneously, the Germans were desperate for a secret weapon that would save their country from ruin. More widely known "wonder weapons" like the V-1 and V-2 rockets gave hope to the German people that their faith in the syphilitic dogma of Hitler was not misplaced. Obviously, it was criminally misplaced, but that doesn't mean that shitbar's scientific elite didn't churn out some pretty hilarious comedy in the name of winning the war. So come with me on a stroll down memory lane to a time when men were men and other men were sub-humans who were herded into camps and murdered. Women were also men, except for the ones that were sub-humans.