Posts Tagged ‘version’
Like Richard Nixon — scandals and character aside, certainly the most interesting president we’ve yet — I love Patton. Like most kids of my generation and my father’s, I know him only through George C. Scott’s rendition.
Good stuff. Partial transcription follows.
Men, this stuff we hear about America wanting to stay out of the war, not wanting to fight, is a lot of bullshit. Americans love to fight – traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle.
When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble player; the fastest runner; the big league ball players; the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win — all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed.
That’s why Americans have never lost, not ever will lose a war, for the very thought of losing is hateful to an American.
Imagine my glee when, after the obligatory mid-movie Google search, I found that even this was a little on the tame side. The original, such as it exists, is a lot more graphic.
My men don’t surrender. I don’t want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he is hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight. That’s not just bullshit, either.
The kind of man I want under me is like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Lugar against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand and busted hell out of the Boche with the helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German.
All this with a bullet through his lung. That’s a man for you.
And then there were his cuss words.
Don’t forget, you don’t know I’m here. No word of the fact is to be mentioned in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell became of me. I’m not supposed to be commanding this Army. I’m not even supposed to be in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the goddamn Germans. Someday I want them to raise up on their hind legs and howl, “Jesus Christ, it’s the goddamn Third Army and that son-of-a-bitch Patton again.”
We want to get the hell over there. We want to get over there and clear the goddamn thing up. You can’t win a war lying down. The quicker we clean up this goddamn mess, the quicker we can take a jaunt against the purple pissing Japs an clean their nest out too, before the Marines get all the goddamn credit.
This is the kind of speech that makes me want to get back into the teaching gig. If only I had both excuse and opportunity.
Oh wait. I do.
I read dystopias and apocalyptic fiction. Those are by far my favorite genres. The other day, I found a real gem in some fictional footnotes in one of them.
Jack London’s “The Iron Heel” quotes John Burns, a British labor leader around the turn of the century. He was visiting Chicago when a reporter asked him what he thought of the city.
Chicago is a pocket version of Hell.
Naturally, this made some headlines at the time, prompting another reporter to ask him some months later if Burns’ opinion had changed.
Why, yes. Hell is a pocket version of Chicago.
I shared this canard with my master teacher. She had her own response.
Chicago’s always been a rough town. If New York City is the Grand Dame of American cities, then Chicago is the rough-and-tumble juvenile delinquent. Even now, Chicago has an air of respectability, but that’s just a thin veneer — there’s still some roughness around the edges.
This comment inspired a series of personifications.
Boston — Matronly great aunt with some progressive whims.
Los Angeles — Irresponsibly extravagant 530-pound second cousin, whose mobile home is characterized by tchotchke and a 42-inch flat screen TV.
New Orleans — Barfly with a heart of gold, but one who will still take the guys upstairs.
San Francisco — Weird kid sister with an esoteric, artistic side and an eye for free love. May have once been a kid brother.
Washington, D.C. — Girl scout with such charisma that she gets away with having her overpriced cookies as a front for high-risk futures trading.
Any others in this tradition?