There is of course endless – and becoming routine as a result – talk of The Homeland. I cringe every time I hear such. Because I remember when that term was used only by actors playing Nazis in films – or by actual Nazis themselves. The Heimat. And, of course, Heimatsicherheitsdeinst. Literally, Homeland Security; for those not historically hip, the SD was Germany’s internal political police and feared even more than the better known Gestapo. It was headed by a man whose nickname was The Hangman: Reinhard Heydrich. The man who called together the Wannsee Conference, whose right hand man was Adolf Eichmann. A lovely example for Americans to emulate, eh?
Except, of course, most of them are not even conscious of it – of the sickening farce in which they’re playing the lead role.
And there is all this Hero Talk. Especially as applied to the state’s authority figures – to its enforcers. Hmmm. I vaguely remember something… oh, yes. The Hero of the Soviet Union. This was the USSR’s most coveted award – and it was awarded to the state’s top-tier enforcers – the men (and some women) who most mercilessly stomped and murdered and lined up helpless victims at the edge of a ditch.
I’m 46. When I was a kid, such talk – like talk of the Homeland by Americans – would have singled you out as some kind of freak. A person not quite right in the head – like the Neidermeyer character in Animal House. A penile deficient bully who finds his outlet as an ROTC cadet commander. Or a mall security guard.
Or, something much worse.
Well, we’ve arrived at much worse. The Homeland abounds with Heroes.
And talk of freedom, too – which is an excellent barometer of exactly how little freedom we actually have. Because so few people have any respect for it – or even comprehend the idea.
To them, as per Orwell, freedom in the sense of being left in peace – and leaving others peace – really is slavery. There’s no gain in that. No outlet for the urge to control and dominate – to assume the yin-yang role of masochist and sadist; of dominatrix – and dominated. There’s no security; no in loco parentis.
To child-minded adults, this is scary. Hence the need for Heroes to protect them. And for a Homeland to make them feel safe.