Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Much has been made at least in my education of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which is all fine and good. I am told this new book is quite the read.

Nevertheless I am inclined to study not only the man who attempted to kill Hitler, but the one who actually succeeded.

Contrasting is fun, let's try it: Hitler the anti-Semite, Churchill the Zionist. Hitler the humorless, and Churchill the (it does not take too long to discover) hilarious. Hitler the teetotler, while Churchill enjoyed his first of nine daily whiskeys at breakfast (yet would remark "I have taken far more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me").

Hitler summoned what was worst in people, Churchill what was best. Churchill was married to "Clemy" for 57 years, Hitler to Eva for (quite literally) one day. And while Hitler claimed to be an artist and never produced, Churchill rarely bragged about it but was actually quite successful as a painter. His works sold well under pseudonyms, and Picasso even remarked that Churchill could have made his living on art alone. On his craft other than statecraft he wrote:
"When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject. But then I shall require a still gayer palette than I get here below. I expect orange and vermilion will be the darkest, dullest colors upon it, and beyond them there will be a whole range of wonderful new colors which will delight the celestial eye."
And continuing on the theme of the afterlife,
"I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is quite another matter."
If only I had to write that college admission essay again about a hero of mine... Of course all this information is thanks once again Dr. Fears whose praises I will continue to sing until I am joined in the chorus.