Why not just “a history” of heroism, you might ask. In the spirit of helpful correction, I offer that what you call history has been so hijacked by the leftists, so weakened under the influence of a kind of enervating, defeatist multicultural poison, that it hardly stands up to its own name without the thrust of conservative virility. (You will note, or at least the honest among you will note I merely used the verb hijack in its meaty metaphorical sense there, I am not literally calling the leftist intelligentsia that control the minds of our young patriots terrorists, though many of you will say I do.)
So for those who wish, I offer a brief, conservative history of heroism, since heroism laudandum est, and it is bonus to know the true heroes, and through them to understand what heroism is. I leave the Latin untranslated, since those that know will know, and those that don’t ought to avow themselves of this opportunity for self-improvement. I’m grateful, by the way, to my parents and to God, that I was granted the opportunity to work hard at St. George’s school, where we learned in that old-fashioned unashamed way, and I am unashamed to call it best, where we did not shade with calumnies the great men (I say men because they were men), simply because we found their values incompatible with our present “values,” of instant-gratification and laziness.
Do I rehabilitate noble Cato, Cicero, Caesar, Chris Columbus, daring explorer, great Washington, Wellington, W., for the benefit of the poor, who will be with us always, no, but as a guide, or a chastisement to the young men of substance who are sidetracked by the siren-call of sinful ease, and socialism. (For what is Islamofascism but a kind of socialism, wishing to blot out Western culture?) Although, we nod, and smile and hope the poor can learn some Latin and stay clean, and polite, to their betters. I am not afraid to acknowledge those Southern men who saw the New Deal with hanged heads, and whispered and sometimes fully throated said that the slave in the south was better off than the poor drudge wage-slaved in Boston, that Northern kind of capitalism, close-minded, small, for tariffs, while the Old South, international, open, traded free.
On colleges, one in a thousand will be brave enough to put up his head, and declare enough oppression. While the old queer-eyed professor, stinking of big-C Communism, and his hippie, dope-smoking protegees who dominate the tenure committees and demand obeisance to their fractured dreams. Our fathers were successful politicians, and men of substance, or married heiresses. We learned to look and act right, upstanding, straight, by God straight, and we never got the loose women to open their blouses for us, or blow clove smoke on our naked chests, or ride out to the beach and drop acid at night drunk on cheap wine, but we were polite. We offered helpful corrections, and told them they would get along well if they’d dress the part, and learned economics and how to nod and defer.
You want to say Columbus wasn’t the first to declare the globe round, that he chopped the hands off of the peaceful Arawaks, and that his men fucked their women, and that he raped the island and its people, and drenched the coast with blood for a few gold ingots that could be found. Listen to me, apologist, and cowerer, take Econ. 101. The world needs takers to grow, is what I have found. People need leaders, and heroes, or society will sink into the ground.
You’ll take anybody out back, a poet, a painter, that queer-studies major. The only way he gets you is by telling lies. Look how you all flocked to Clinton. Obama. All the same. All flash, and no real substance. Just cringing, and a big smile. You call them heroes. Well, you probably like them because they have no dicks. That’s right, you’re afraid of a real man. Next time, try somebody who wears a bow tie. Those zeroes wish they were like me, a real hero.
In the spirit of helpful correction, let me erect in your mind a worthy erection – take a man who is a success, you know, who had to work for his allowance, and get good grades, not like those food stamp moochers who parade down to the store to buy their lazy living things. I busted my ass, I’m busting right now to write this, for you. Take it. Take it from me. I won’t say please, but you’ll say thank you at last.
Benjamin Harnett (@benharnett) is a senior digital-infrastructure engineer at The New York Times, and publishes the newsletter, “Don’t Read Me.” In 2005, he co-founded the fashion brand Hayden-Harnett. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in The Brooklyn Quarterly, Wag’s Revue, and the Columbia Review.