Week of August-September '99: FOR ONE NAZI, THE PARTY'S OVER.
If HELL really does have an Ironic Punishment Division -- as in "Treehouse of Horror IV," THE SIMPSONS' 1995 Halloween special -- its most senior staff scientists couldn't have engineered a more delicious fate than the comeuppance recently bestowed on DAVIS WOLFGANG HAWKE, the 20-year-old founder of neo-Nazi hate group the American Nationalist Party and failed organizer of early August's fizzled Nazi march on Washington.
You know what went down: After months of hoopla, the timid clutch of four Nazis who made the trip hightailed it rather than face the spotlight's glare and an assemblage of 200 counter-demonstrators and 1,500 cops in riot gear, declining Chief Ramsey's offer of a police escort and provoking brief talk of litigation to recoup the million-or-so cost of cordoning off 20 square blocks and forcing 1,000+ D.C. police to work their day off. The new breed of slacker Nazi, they'd rather bail than goose step. Their failure to lure more marchers than can comfortably fit in a VW Bug is especially profound as it comes against the backdrop of a boom market for wacko groups of the Freeman /Aryan Nation/Posse Comitatus/Republic of Texas/Elohim City/Tax Rebel/Christian Identity stripe. While those other klaverns inspire their adherents to rob, counterfeit, extort, murder, bomb, peddle Holocaust denial as a serious academic position, issue arrest warrants for public servants to stand trial in their bogus republics, commit God only knows what kind of gun violations, and go on the shooting "sprees" 'n' "rampages" (they're ALWAYS sprees or rampages) still fresh in our browser caches, frequently in service of the larger goal of destroying the established rule of law (the Zionist Occupational Government), these poor schmucks can't even rustle up a b-ball side's worth of warm bodies for a weekend DC road trip -- where, as long as you're here, you can go places like the Smithsonian and the National Gallery no charge. As POPEYE used to say, how embarrasskin'.
Ok, so nobody expected a turnout akin to the 40,000 hooded Klansman who marched unmolested down Pennsylvania Avenue in 1925 (if the Klan and the Nazis had a fight, who'd win? And who would we WANT to win?), but we'd steeled ourselves for at least a token showing, given the reputed slickness of the American Nationalist Party's website and their un-cracker-ish use of org-speak handles like "executive vice president" implying a membership out of the single digits. Turns out, nothing buys bogus legitimacy better than the web, where any crackpot outfit shallower than a notebook's TFT display that manages to rub a few bucks together each month can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with national institutions like THE NEW YORK TIMES and HOT XXX FACIALS.
But it gets better: Not only did the American Nationalist Party bomb (for them, the good kind of bomb) during a Nazi renaissance, but, in a confluence of ironies so hokey that no self-respecting novelist would dare take credit for it, founder Hawke then suffered a public spanking by his mother, PEGGY GREENBAUM, who proclaimed him "a coward" in the media. Turns out, Hawke was born ANDY GREENBAUM, as close to "Jewy JewJewJew" as is generally seen in nature. (Never mind his claim to be the issue of Mom's adultery with an "unknown father of German descent;" when you're hung with a moniker like that, and your Dad's named Hymie to boot (okay, Hyman), you might as well wear peot and phyllacteries.) This guy must have so much psychological baggage he'd need the Army Corps of Engineer to help tote it all around. This last twist takes the unintended comedy to new levels of pricelessness: Having first failed on a national stage, young Andy then has to grit his teeth while his cackling mother hauls out his baby pictures and shares them with the world. The most assiduous efforts to flee his ancestry as far as imaginable win him what is, at least in stereotype, a Jewish man's worst nightmare fantasy, public emasculation by Mom. To WIT MEMO, whose own mother worked in guilt like Vermeer in oils, it's the ultimate realization of PHILIP ROTH's infamous dictum that a Jewish man whose parents are alive is a fifteen-year-old boy.
Only WOODY ALLEN could come up with material this good, and, presciently, he already did: In "Oedipus Wrecks," his contribution to the 1986 triptych film "New York Stories," Allen's comically overbearing mother, who embarrasses him at will, ends up as a giant, spectral image hovering over Manhattan, regaling the city with tales of how her son Used to Wet The Bed, and admonitions to treat him kindly because He's Sensitive. WIT MEMO suggests similar sanctions for Greenbaum/Hawke, along the lines already established by Mom. Don't do him the favor of calling him a Nazi -he'd like nothing better. Let him be forever identified not as the would-be Teutonic Uberman of his dreams, but as the Boy Who Can't Go Swimming For An Hour After He Eats. So raise up your voices:
Andy, Andy . . . what could you have been thinking? Wouldn't it have been easier to just take a gun and shoot your parents right through the heart, for all you've done to hurt them? Saying those awful things about your mother, and dressing up like the bastards who did their damnest to destroy your people? Don't you know your Mother and Father worked their fingers to the bone doing what's best for you? And if you're going out, make sure you put on your coat; we don't care what the other storm troopers are wearing, young man, YOU'RE going to be warmly dressed.
IN OTHER GOOD NEWS: WIT MEMO was delighted to learn that Maryland state police, bowing to pressure and publicity, have finally agreed to re-open the case of those college kids who disappeared out in the woods a few years back while looking into that witch-legend-thing.Read WIT MEMO in
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