Say it Brother! Tell \’em the Truth!
The people in the crowd weren\’t yelling or demanding anything. They weren\’t waiting for anything to happen. They were present from sheer glee at being alive in this place at this time. They were there to experience the opposite of the existential anguish which has been the twentieth century\’s designer mood. And they were happy with the big, important happiness that – the Declaration of Independence reminds us – is everybody\’s, even a communist\’s, unalienable right to pursue.
Go on Brother, go on. Don\’t stop now!
The East Berliners had that glad but glazed look wjhich you see on Special Olympics particpants when they\’re congratulated by Congressmen. The man sitting next to me held a West German tabloid open to a photo of a healthy fraulein without her clothes. He had that picture fixed with a gaze to make stout Cortez on a peak in Darien into a blinking, purblind myope.
You say it!
However, the real change was the lack of fear, a palpable physical absence like letting go of your end of a piano.
The East German border guards didn\’t interfere. Instead they came up to openings in the Wall and made V signs and posed for photographs. One of them even stuck his hand through and asked would somebody please give him a piece of concrete to keep as a souvenir.
The hand of that border guard – that disembodied, palm-up, begging hand….I looked at that and I began to cry.
I really didn\’t understand before that moment, I didn\’t realise until just then – we won. The Free World won the Cold War. The fight against life-hating, soul-denying, slavish communism – which has shaped the world\’s politics this whole wretched century – was over.
The tears of victory ran down my face – and the snot of victory did too because it was a pretty cold day. I was blubbering like a lottery winner.
All the people who had been sent to the gulags, who\’d been crushed in the streets of Budapest, Prague and Warsaw, the soldiers who\’d died in Korea and my friends and classmates who had been killed in Vietnam – it meant something now.All the treasure that we in America had poured into guns, planes, Star Wars and all the terrifying A-bombs we\’d had to build and keep – it wasn\’t for nothing.
Take it to the close now!
I say, Shut-up you egghead flap-gums. We\’ve got the whole rest of history to sweat the small stuff. And those discredited peace creeps, they can zip their soup-coolers too. They think Mikhail Gorbachev is a visionary? Yeah, he\’s a visionary. Like Hirohito was after Nagasaki. We won. And let\’s not anybody forget it. We the people, the free and equal citizens of democracies, we living exemplars of the Rights of Man tore a new asshole in International Communism. Their wall is breached. Their gutstring is busted. The rot of their body politic fills the nostrils of the earth with a glorious stink. We cleaned the clock of Marxism. We mopped the floor with them. We ran the Reds through the ringer and hung them out to dry. The privileges of liberty and the sanctity of the individual went out and whipped butt.
You said it Brother, you said it.