Tag Archives: Stalin

Face to Face

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“What’s your name?”

“Haven’t you guessed?”

We sat face to face under a cottonwood in the wash as the morning grew and the rocks turned from gray shadows to red yellow gold all around. A beautiful canyon on a beautiful morning as I sat with evil. We sat cross legged facing each other as if for a powwow. There was no peace pipe.

“Evil Man,” I said and I could feel this opening inside, an unclenching, fear dissipating and replaced by an acceptance of what was next. It occurred to me that something, some inner grip, had been clenched in me for a long time, but only now as it was being released. I felt open and ready for this.

“Evil, yes,” he said. “Power, yes. I am Satan, Santa, and Stalin come to earth to help those with certain gifts. To show them the way. You, my friend, have one of those gifts.”

“The ESP.”

“ESP,” he laughed. “Those are just tiny initials for a gift beyond your understanding that could change the world. Yet you run from that power. Why do you run?”

“It causes too much pain. I can’t be around people. At least not for long.”

“That’s because you shy from the power. No pain no gain. You’re playing a small game when you have the skill to play the biggest game of all.”

“What’s that?”

The sun was cresting the edge of the canyon and the orange light fell on his face. The skin was close shaven and smooth, rosy cheeks and thin prim lips. I could not see his eyes because of his sunglasses but I could see my reflection looking at his face. Him and me right there in his glasses.

“The biggest game of all,” he said. “The biggest game of all, and I don’t want to overwhelm you but I think you can handle it. You may even know it already. The biggest game of all is the battle for the souls of human beings.”

“That doesn’t sound like the kind of game I want to play.”

He sighed. “People for the most part want to be told what to think and what to do. They just don’t know it. They think they want freedom, but they can’t handle it. You have the power, the obligation, to help them to the right way.”

“I’m obliged?”

“Yes. Otherwise you will continue to wander aimlessly and fruitlessly from place to place, heartbroken, fleeing your obligation to help.”

There was a splash from upstream and a man appeared walking in the streambed. He came down the stream peering at the canyon walls and cottonwoods, a camera dangling and floppy hat flopping. Homo Touristicus. I couldn’t tell if I was happy to see him or if I should warn him away.

“Let’s see what Joe Blow from Idaho thinks,” the Evil Guy said.

The tourist heard the voice and turned toward us. “Hey there,” he said. “You fellows having some kind of powwow?”

“You could say that. We need you to settle an argument for us.”

“Sure,” he said. “Name’s Joe. From Idaho.”

“I’m the Evil Man,” the Evil Man said.

“Mountain Dude,” I mumbled.

Joe looked at both of us. “Those are some strange names. More like descriptions. I think I’m going to move on and get more photos.”

“Come sit, Joe. We won’t keep you long.”

Things seemed to slow and I felt stoned like I was observing this scene from up above on the canyon rim. It seemed like I couldn’t move without the greatest effort. Joe plopped down between us in the sand. “That was weird,” he said. “It’s like I was pulled down.”

“Let’s begin,” said the Evil Man with a thin smile.

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SLAP! Presidential Endorsement, Finally

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As the author of SLAP! and the leading advocate for aggro-parenting®, I’ve been asked repeatedly to endorse a presidential candidate. While reluctant to give a formal endorsement, I always direct queries to my book, especially chapter 8, “The Home: Not a Democracy.” Read an excerpt and see if you can figure out who I support for President.

The home is not a democracy. There is no equality in the home, nor should there be. There is one term that always tells me that things are completely out of control: “family meeting”. When I hear that, I know that SLAP! techniques are necessary. The only thing that gets worked out at family meetings is parental authority: it gets worked right out of the house! Giving a voice to all members of the family? Please. Did Stalin ask for input from farmers when he forced them to collectivize, capitulate and starve? No, of course not. You can’t get anything done when everyone voices an opinion. (See Chapter 9, “Papa Joe: The Archetypal Father). It’s okay to shout down ridiculous calls for “equality” or “justice”. “It’s not fair,” they’ll whine. “You’re abusing your power,” they’ll wail. Well, to borrow a phrase from the whiner’s lexicon, “No Duh!”

Children are stupid and you can easily play upon their fears to fortify your authority. Strangers (especially of a different race), bears, liberals, refugees- they can all be easily invoked to terrorize and manipulate small minds, especially when the child has never seen any of these monsters up close in real life. Their ignorance is your boon and you should always use it to get children to work against their own interests. For instance, Lily was just banished from the dinner table after she complained that she was being bullied by some mean girls, thrown up against a locker, grabbed by a boy, and couldn’t mom and dad call the guidance counselor, blah, blah, blah. Now she’s complaining about not eating. The rule is very simple: Complaining is not allowed at dinner! That’s the time to invoke the Syrians. They are coming. They are beaten down and starving. They eat the flesh of 6th graders. Lily has never seen a starving frightened Syrian refugee, so what the hell does she know? As Hitler said, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” (See Chapter 10, “Uncle Adolph: Looking Past the Holocaust”).

I know you’re thinking, “I knew it! Dr. Führland supports Donald Trump!”

Well, No Duh!

(Disclosure: This author is being vetted by the Trump campaign for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services.)

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Honor Your Inner Stalin

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New Year’s Eve day, pale sunshine and no snow. So, JJ and Carl hiked from the farmhouse to the top of the mountain.

“In 2015, I plan to honor my inner Stalin,” Carl said.

“That’s your resolution?”

“Yeah. I plan to honor all of me, the light and the dark.”

“Will that make you a better person?”

“I think so,” Carl said. “It will make me a more complete person. I think we repress the dark stuff and that’s where we get into trouble. It’s still in there and needs to be recognized.”

“But what about the genocide? And the Cold War paranoia?”

“Don’t you sometimes wish you had the power to wipe out certain people? Or populations? Aren’t you paranoid and suspicious?”

“All the time.”

“Well, there you go.”

JJ looked out over the town. They sat on a cliff above the valley and no leaves on the trees meant big views all around. Too many people and houses down there, even in this smallish city. Too many people burning fuels, making trash, fucking up the planet. Many just worthless parasites, taking up space.

“But,” JJ said. “You can’t just declare yourself and start the process. You need a plan.”

“I’m talking about my inner Stalin. The psychopath inside. I’m not going to hurt anybody. On purpose.”

“What the hell have you been reading?”

“Emerson. His big thing is that there’s Jesus in all of us. There’s Socrates in all of us. There’s a poet in all of us.”

“So, there’s a dictator in all of us, too.”

“Exactly.”

Some images of Stalin came into JJ’s mind. Uncle Joe at Yalta, sitting smug with a regal FDR and a fading Churchill. Military Stalin, pockmarked with that moustache, iron-willed and cruel, watching the tanks parade in Red Square. Hitler, with his fussiness and silly moustache seemed like a jester in comparison.

JJ said, “My resolution is to not live in comparison.”

“In comparison to what?”

“Other people. I’m sick of giving a shit what other people think.”

Silence, except for the distant and constant hum of cars on streets, cars on highways, and a few stray horns. “I didn’t think that was a problem for you,” Carl said. “You’re one of the oddest people I know.”

“There’s things I want to do. But I always talk myself out of them.”

“Such as?”

JJ looked out over the town and thought of taking a stand about something. A nameless dread about the Other was always with him and something or someone out there was to blame. Rich people? Religious fanatics? Patriots fans?

“Maybe I’ll start a Gulag,” JJ said.

“There you go. With my inner Stalin and your lottery money, we can make some changes around here.”

“Then you can have me shot after it’s up and running.”

“I’m way ahead of you, man.”
“Happy New Year, asshole.”

“Same to you,” said Carl. “And many more.”

 

 

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Thank You, Putin

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Two recurring dream segments I had growing up, one just returned last week.  Both are culminations of zany and menacing pursuit dreams, with me fleeing through forest, farm, and city.  The reasons never mattered as much as the absurd settings and hazy foes. Some of these from my life, some from history, some from the news, some from fantasy.  The chase always ended at one of two places, never both.

The first place, from my earliest dreams, has me hurrying along the edge of a newly plowed field. There is a man with a hoe and a brimmed hat working in the field, silhouetted black against a blue sky. I am in the trees, watching him, and I know what’s about to happen.  The man is working the hoe, ignoring me, until the moment he rises up and the hoe is a rifle.  He raises the gun, shoots me in the leg, and I stumble off, the chase resuming.  I usually wake soon after.  He always shoots me in the leg and I always know he’s going to do it.

But, this is not the dream segment that came back last week.

That dream segment has me running again. Same fleeting places, real and imagined. Same undefined foes. But, this time I end up on a balcony overlooking Red Square in Moscow.  Naturally, there is an NFL game going on down there where the Red Army used to march for review.  (Will probably march again.)  The Dallas Cowboys are always playing.  Don’t ask me if the quarterback was Tony Romo, Troy Aikman, or Roger Staubach.  The crowd roars and I stand where Stalin stood, where Putin stands, and watch America’s Team play forever.  I had this dream last week for the first time in maybe 30 years.  I am a child of two cataclysms of the 20th century, the Cold War and the Dallas Cowboys.

Thank you, Putin. 

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