[bigbangtango] Re: [Paleopsych] Morality

Val Geist kendulf at shaw.ca
Sat Mar 26 18:20:22 UTC 2005

Now, now Garry, not all the Lutherans I know are big hugs. Some are religious thugs, extremists every bit as pathetic and pitiful as religious thugs with other labels. However, the worst I only met on this continent, where I first became aware of the Lutheran split into two factions, one truly mindless in its religious zeal. They are as representative of Germans as the Klu Klux Clan is of Americans. A collection of pitiful creatures both and neither of great interest to me. And, yes, the protestant north of Germany does abound in less humor than the Catholic south, where I have most of my contacts, but they do share historically a rich ethnic humor just the same. But again, humor is a wonderful human attribute that transcends ethnicity despite a rich sample of Jewish jokes, Polish Jokes, Newfie Jokes....Come to think of it what I will miss about Communism is the loss of Communist jokes, you know the 25 year, 10 year, 5 year varieties (if you got caught telling the first type: 25 years in jail! ...the second: 10 years in jail.. etc). Nazi and Communist jokes both debunk authority in a juicy fashion, and though I appreciate both, its nice to know that they will be appreciated less and less as time goes on. I am a great fan of Mark Twain (his debunking of the German language is truly priceless, almost as good as his debunking of the writing style of James Fennimore Cooper). I read and re-read - in German translation - Tom Sawyer about 12 times, and got a shock reading it in English: the German translation was funnier! My heroes in humor transcend nationality and I am a fan of all of it. We do not remember heads of states as humorous, but Germany had one, Fredrik the Great, a king who wrote and conversed in French, who wrote 32 books, crossed swords with Voltaire, wrote classical music good enough to be honored by the Toronto symphony with a night of his compositions, adored by Napoleon for his military skills, but remembered best of all for his humor. In the Seven Years War, he first fought at Rossbach against the French and defeated them. A contingent of French officers stood under guard in the evening, clearly not in the best of mood. A lonely horseman approached them, and they recognized the king who had defeated them. Fredrick halted, tipped his hat to the French officers and a hush fell over the dejected crowd. "Gentlemen" the king said. "I was expecting you. But not so many and not so soon". At war with France, and yet he was the rage in Paris! War humor? Maudlin! The humor of this wonderful American, then a youngster marching with Patton's army, moves me to tears. And it moved Patton to white rage who wanted Maudlin court-martialed for his cartoons. This young man saw not the enemy as the evil, but war itself within which friend and foe were caught helplessly, and he had - ongoing! - the courage to portray it as such. The great Will Rogers once said in his cow-boy humor that at all times there is somebody somewhere who does in dead earnest what brings smiles to the faces of the rest of us. Maudlin must have been listening, for he debunked his country's war propaganda....despite his superior's rage! That's what heroism is all about. That kind of humor could not thrive on the other side, alas, but it was present. Germany has a rich history in humor going back to medieval times: Till Eulenspiegel, Simplizius Simplizissimus, Baron von Munchhausen and there is no shortage in the recent. "The Captain of Koperick" a true story debunking the Kaiser's military culture, set as a play by Carl Zuckmayer, a WW I hero decorated with the highest German military honor, the Kaiser's "Pour le Merit", a Jew who had to flee Germany and spent the war in the USA. Humor and tears are not far apart. And it's not because you laugh till you are in tears! After all, the court jester was valued because only he could say the truth to the king! "Weisspferdl" (little white horse) was a wartime humorist on stage in Munich. He appeared one night on stage with three pigs: a boar, a sow and a piglet. "Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce to you the Family Mann! This is Boy Mann, this is Frau Mann, and this" and he pointed to the big, fat boar " is Hermann!". he was promptly hauled off to jail for insulting Hermann Goering. After his jail time he appeared on stage. In trot the three pigs - a turmoil broke out in the audience! "Ladies and Gentlemen, whom have I brought with me?" The audience roared "Die Familie Mann". Quieting the turmoil he shouted "No, No. This is not the Family Mann. These are merely pigs, pigs and nothing else. An this" and her pointed to the boar" is the goddmned fat hog I sat three days in jail for!". Weisspferdl is dead now, but the citizen of Munich erected a small stature of him and he is well remembered. And Germany is a culture that has suffered a lot of suppressed truths, and humor is one way to let it out. Sorry that you had such run in with Lutheran sour pusses. Cheers, Val Geist

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "G. Reinhart-Waller" <waluk at earthlink.net>
To: "The new improved paleopsych list" <paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 8:25 PM
Subject: Re: [bigbangtango] Re: [Paleopsych] Morality

> How interesting that all the Lutherans you've known give hugs.  I've 
> known quite a few (Germanic through and through) and most of them barely 
> smile.  Yet, to each his own. 
> Sadat was assassinated.....guess there were a few who didn't connect 
> with his message.  Sad though about his death.  Apparently the timing 
> then was incorrect to denounce Iranian ayatollahs.  I even doubt if 
> timing would now be correct. 
> Why would Luther or anyone be self-righteous towards the poor....that's 
> like claiming to be emperor of ice cream.  Luther could not relate to 
> poverty. 
> The German welfare state will be the downfall of the country.....what 
> with worker expectations of high salary, long vacations, pre-paid 
> benefits, etc. the country can no longer sustain its workers.
> Regards,
> Gerry Reinhart-Waller
> Val Geist wrote:
>> Sorry, Garry, but I have known Lutherans that were open-armed and 
>> damned nearly saintly, and they were no exception either. In fact, I 
>> have in my life never quite connected attitude with religion. Anwar 
>> Sadat's type of Islam is what I had been acquainted with via Rudyard 
>> Kipling. That was, obviously, some time ago. I remember Sadat's angry 
>> denunciation of the ayatollahs in Tehran.. and the his assassination 
>> at the hand of Muslim extremists. However, back to Martin Luther and 
>> his disciples. Luther himself was not self-righteous towards the poor, 
>> quite the contrary. He, although a ward of nobility, denounced their 
>> callousness towards peasants. And, by golly, he never minced words! 
>> (Kein frohlicher Furz kommt aus einem verzagten Arsch! = No happy fart 
>> escapes a timid ars!). The German welfare state did not arise from any 
>> catholic leanings, but from hard-headed protestants under Bismarck's 
>> leadership. I think you did set up a bit of a straw man there. Cheers, 
>> Val Geist
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "G. Reinhart-Waller" <waluk at earthlink.net 
>> <mailto:waluk at earthlink.net>>
>> To: "The new improved paleopsych list" <paleopsych at paleopsych.org 
>> <mailto:paleopsych at paleopsych.org>>
>> Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 12:34 PM
>> Subject: Re: [bigbangtango] Re: [Paleopsych] Morality
>> > Show me a full-blooded Lutheran who is open armed and I'll show you a
>> > half-breed.
>> >
>> > Gerry Reinhart-Waller
>> >
>> > Buck, Ross wrote:
>> >
>> >>I have known many counterexamples to that stereotype...
>> >>
>> >>Ross
>> >>
>> >>-----Original Message-----
>> >>From: paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org 
>> <mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org>
>> >>[mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org] On Behalf Of G.
>> >>Reinhart-Waller
>> >>Sent: Friday, March 25, 2005 3:15 PM
>> >>To: The new improved paleopsych list
>> >>Subject: Re: [bigbangtango] Re: [Paleopsych] Morality
>> >>
>> >> 
>> >>
>> >>>>BTW I think that the root difference between liberals and
>> >>>>     
>> >>>>
>> >>conservatives
>> >>is that liberals tent to respond to the less fortunate with
>> >>sympathy/pity and conservatives respond to them with contempt/scorn.>>
>> >>
>> >>Could be the religious card which determines how people respond to those
>> >>less fortunate....Catholics like to hug and Lutherans stand with arms
>> >>folded.
>> >>
>> >>Gerry Reinhart-Waller
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> 
>> >>
>> >> 
>> >>
>> >
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