Saturday, September 17, 2016

THE BLOODY RED BARON -- Or, The Story Of A Discordian Saint

LOOKS PRETTY ORDINARY, DOESN'T HE?  Well, he's not.  Behold Roman von Ungern-Sternberg.  He's an aristocrat of of German and Russian extraction, but with an unexplained Jewish-sounding surname; like Hitler after him, this whiff of Judaism about his ancestry probably helped encourage a lifetime of Jew-baiting, Jew-hating, and -- after he laid his hands upon the axle of his destiny -- extermination of any Jew that crossed his path. He carried a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and apparently believed every word it said.  So right out of the box he's got a good-sized internal contradiction.  One of his many biographers, James Palmer, describes it in The Bloody White Baron as "internal discord."  Many of us have that going for us, but oh, what this man did with his!

It almost goes without saying that he was a decorated soldier of the Great War, the most cataclysmically Discordian event of the previous century.  This was a man who failed at everything until he discovered combat.  He loved it so much that he was known to skip into battle.  (That alone should earn a guy his wings as a Discordian saint!)  And here's a funny thing about him:  he was apparently such a friend of the battlefield that he became bulletproof.  He wasn't a candy-ass like Hitler.  He took bullet after bullet in combat, but like George Washington before him, the story goes that he simply shook the spent shells out of his shirt and kept fighting. This is supported by a variety of eyewitness accounts.  In fact, he was almost the only survivor of the combat unit he belonged to.  Unlike many other battlefield survivors of the Great War, he didn't come away loathing any suggestion of combat; in later years, when he was making war on anyone who crossed his path whether it made sense to or not, he never went home to refresh himself with family and friends.  He never needed to get away from the field of battle; he often needed to get back to it.  He often went for a stroll among the rolling skulls and rotting bones of his victims when there was nothing else going on.  You know, just to get his head together.

He apparently never got a scratch until he decided to, in front of the firing squad that finally ended his career. 

This guy was rumored to be a reincarnation of Genghis Khan, and I'm here to tell you he was a great candidate for the job.  He appeared to love all things Mongolian, and when his chance came he headed over there so he could take over as the next Khan.  Apparently, he has entered the pantheon of Mongolia as a bit of a god himself, whether or not the locals believe he was really the next Genghis.  At the same time he has become a minor deity in the firmament of the Far Right, with the likes of D.C. Stephenson, Heinrich Himmler and Rush Limbaugh.  They would look up to him far more if they were educated enough to find books about him.

He was a fan of pure Chaos, not of red tape, record-keeping, financial planning or any other kind of bureaucracy; he burned ledgers and records and preferred to surround himself with a swirl of mysticism.  Tibetan Buddhism of the Mongol sort, the kid with candles flickering ominously around statues of tusked, bloodstained deities crushing screaming victims underfoot was very much to his taste.

But it seems to me that the only deity this guy really honored was Our Lady of Chaos.  When your own men turn against you because you're so weird and crazy, it's not because you are, as some would have you think, such a great Buddhist.  When people who knew you can't agree on your hair or eye color -- whether or not you had a big scar on your forehead from that duel you fought -- or whether you look like this

or this

or this

...well, it all smells like unadulterated Chaos to me.


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