“This is art designed to improve humanity,
but it has the opposite effect because — it’s a lie.”
— The Furious Energy of Liberty
Is this the story of parental involvement, a good-sport dad just connecting with his son through wholesome historical theatre?
An election year already notable for its menagerie of extreme and unusual candidates can add another one: Rich Iott, the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite, who for years donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments.
What about said exculpatory son btw, and whatever he learned from his dad as Nazi in their family time together? (I’ve wondered the same about father-son bonding over guns meant for killing life, especially in the name of pro-life politics.) Is it fair game for citizens and voters to ask ourselves such questions as we get to know more about a person in private family life?
Or maybe nothing personal should be the pivotal point when we’re evaluating the candidacy of someone to represent our American values in Congress. So publicly then — is this story more about being innocently tone-deaf to American culture, or being perfectly attuned to unAmerrican culture?
See the Atlantic for the whole power of story.
Eleonore Lappin, the noted Austrian historian, writes that soldiers from the Wiking division were involved in the killing of Hungarian Jews in March and April 1945, before surrendering to American forces in Austria.
“What you often hear is that the [Wiking] division was never formally accused of anything, but that’s kind of a dodge,” says Prof. Rob Citino, of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas, who examined the Wiking website.
“The entire German war effort in the East was a racial crusade to rid the world of ‘subhumans,’ . . . It sends a shiver up my spine to think that people want to dress up and play SS on the weekend.”
How many parts self-expression and freedom of association? What’s the proportion of history being studied and professed?
Is it most like real community theatre, in which case it would be unfair to hold the role against the actor? Maybe. I could buy that as the parent of kids who love history and theatre and specifically historical theatre.
When my little boy builds a Lego guillotine and relishes chopping off Lego heads after playing a theatre part, does that make him a monster and me as his mother responsible?
What do you think?
See also School theatre and citizen censorship — where does the audience role come in when what’s playing out is the art of democracy itself?