“Surrounded by white men.”
Let’s be real here - Americans these days don’t really have much to be proud of. Even the old stories we cling to about our noble founding have started to fray and unravel around us. But there is one little-known fact about Americans that nobody can take from us, and that we should wear with pride.
The Catholic Church has a heresy named after us.
Americanism refers to a group of related heresies which were defined as the endorsement of the separation of church and state. It was thought that these doctrines were held by and taught by many members of the Catholic hierarchy in the United States of America in the 1890s.
The Americanist heresy is characterized as an insistence upon individual initiative which the Vatican judged to be incompatible with what was considered to be a fundamental principle of Catholicism: obedience to authority. Moreover, the conservatives were anti-republicans who distrusted and disliked the democratic ideas that were dominant in America.
There you go kids - the American Catholic tendency to not give two shits what the Pope thinks has a historical precedent.
(Oh that and the Catholic Church hates democracy. Well, before its whole Vatican-II-castration, anyway.)
This passage probably doesn’t get quoted very often at the Teabag meetings.
Phoenix war worker Natalie Nickerson penning her Navy boyfriend a thank you note for sending her a Japanese soldier’s skull he gathered as a souvenir while fighting in New Guinea. (Photo by Ralph Crane//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
The US Sailor with the Japanese Skull by Winfield Townley Scott
Bald-bare, bone-bare, and ivory yellow: skull
Carried by a thus two-headed US sailor
Who got it from a Japanese soldier killed
At Guadalcanal in the ever-present war: our
Bluejacket, I mean, aged 20, in August strolled
Among the little bodies on the sand and hunted
Souvenirs: teeth, tags, diaries, boots; but bolder still
Hacked off this head and under a leopard tree skinned it:
Peeled with a lifting knife the jaw and cheeks, bared
The nose, ripped off the black-haired scalp and gutted
The dead eyes to these thoughtful hollows: a scarred
But bloodless job, unless it be said that brains bleed.
Then, his ship underway, dragged this aft in a net
Many days and nights - the cold bone tumbling
Beneath the foaming wake, weed-worn and salt-cut
Rolling safe among fish and washed with Pacific;
Till on a warm and level-keeled day hauled in
Held to the sun and the sailor, back to a gun-rest,
Scrubbed the cured skull with lye, perfecting this:
Not foreign as he saw it first: death’s familiar cast.
Bodiless, fleshless, nameless, it and the sun
Offend each other in strange fascination
As though one of the two were mocked; but nothing is in
This head, or it fills with what another imagines
As: here were love and hate and the will to deal
Death or to kneel before it, death emperor,
Recorded orders without reasons, bomb-blast, still
A child’s morning, remembered moonlight on Fujiyama:
All scoured out now by the keeper of this skull
Made elemental, historic, parentless by our
Sailor boy who thinks of home, voyages laden, will
Not say, ‘Alas! I did not know him at all’.
Camp guards collected so much escape equipment that they established a “Kommandant’s Escape Museum”. Local photographer Johannes Lange took photographs of the would-be escapers in their disguises or re-enacting their attempts for the camera… Security officer Reinhold Eggers made them a regular part of Das Abwehrblatt, a weekly magazine for the German POW camps.
Oflag IV-C was the Celebrity Fit Club of German prisoner-of-war camps during the Second World War. “Celebrity” because the camp hosted the VIP contingent of Allied POWs, mostly relatives of high-ranking Allied politicians. “Fit Club” because the lengths to which the camp inmates went in their attempts to escape are on the level of the absurd physical challenges faced by the show’s contestants. The difference, I suppose, being that they were POWs trying to escape to freedom, instead of rehab washouts trying to reignite their 15 minutes of fame performing dog tricks in front of a national audience.