December 28, 2004

The Violent Bear It Away

Watched the film Patton recently & have been reading Victor David Hanson's biography of the same. Patton fascinates me because of his controversial "cruel to be kind" methodology. He captured or killed ten German soldiers for every one of his lost yet still was considered reckless and wild. He wasn't someone concerned for appearances; he'd rather the war end sooner rather than later, with casualties up front rather than strung out over a long period of time. (If Rumsfeld had gone into Baghdad without assuming it was a victory party we might not still be getting walloped by insurgents.) I was thinking too of spiritual parallels, of St. Therese of Lisieux who lived not long but intensely. There was something of Patton about her, a little warrior she was. Perhaps she would second the sentiment of Patton's line: "I am different from other men my age. All they want to do is live happily and die old. I would be willing to live in torture, die tomorrow if for one day I could be truly great."

I think George C. Scott looks more like George S. Patton than Patton himself. I was surprised to see his picture in an encyclopedia; he looked like a cross between Lou Holtz & my Aunt Mary. Appearances deceive, often intentionally. If Napoleon wasn't height disadvantaged the course of history probably would've been different.

No comments: