I’ll leave it for the birds to pick the salvageable bits out of Jason Michael Morgan’s vomitous screed (“Ride On, Proud Boys!” September 2019) and restrict myself to some much needed correction of this horrendously anti-cultural, anti-Christian, and therefore anti-Western (in the only sense in which “The West” has any real meaning) diatribe. The apparent answer to Antifa and their excesses is to set up a golden phallus for all nations, all creeds, and all sexual perversities to bow down to and worship. As long as people are well-mannered and decidedly masculine we can all apparently shelter under the moth-eaten and bent umbrella of The West. We can make up myths of our own to support this New Age, reborn pagano-judeo-christianity.
All poisons come from “The East,” and the National Socialists were apparently just a jealous subsidiary of Bolshevism Inc. Forget completely that both of those leftist strains had their origins in the French Revolution.… The Bolshies also apparently taught the backward Nazis how to physically eliminate minorities despite the fact that all minority groups present in the Russian Empire were disproportionately represented in the Communist Party and all were united in the massacre of Eastern Christians of a predominantly Slavic background. Morgan might look to Solzhenitsyn for these inconvenient facts.
The Germans had no doubt forgotten the lessons from their own crusading history, wherein the first group of German crusaders turned back after satisfying their greed and bloodlust by slaughtering all of the Jews that they met on the first couple of hundred miles of their march. There was also the Northern Crusade to look to whereby they annihilated the entire Prus people and had the same intention toward the Russians only to be spanked by that pesky St. Alexander Nevsky. Nevsky had a choice between fighting or appeasing either the Western crusaders or the eastern Mongols. He made the right choice in paying off the Mongols, who were satisfied with just gold.
So, after the Proud Boys crush the serpent’s head of Antifa they’ll settle down to being caressed into gentleness by the nurturing manly hand of The West. And the prophet Robert Bly will lead the way. Robert Bly? Really? Try reading Aesop’s fables instead, Mr. Morgan, especially “The Lion and the Boar,” and you might come to some vague understanding of what Antifa and the Proud Boys are really all about—and who stands to gain from the resulting mayhem.
Is this the direction that this magazine is to take? In the same issue you ran excellent articles by Paul Gottfried and Wayne Allensworth only to be followed by this adolescent drivel. If Jason Michael Morgan ever wants to make a valuable contribution to this magazine I suggest that he start by reading the past 30 years or so of it. He might begin by concentrating on the excellent contributions of the late Claude Polin.
—Michael Strenk Sayville, N.Y.
Mr. Morgan replies:
I hereby proclaim Michael Strenk an honorary Proud Boy. He saw a melee, dove into it, and threw his elbows and fists with such wild abandon that dervishness was transformed into sublime art.
I am unable to comment on the content of his letter, I am afraid, because whichever Chronicles piece he is referencing it is surely not mine (did he read my article, or just fall into a trance after seeing the title?). Likewise, I would very much like to say something about Paul Gottfried, Wayne Allensworth, and Claude Polin, all of whom I completely respect and admire. But this avenue, too, is closed, as I fail to recognize any of those good men’s work in Mr. Strenk’s Zatoichi slashing. And Mr. Strenk’s views of the Crusades, alas, are so close to those of Oprah Winfrey and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that Mr. Strenk surely did not hope for an intelligent response to what is essentially regurgitated Howard Zinn.
But, considered solely as performance art, I think Mr. Strenk’s letter ranks very high indeed. The “golden phallus” touch—appearing nowhere in my original essay, and therefore all the more invigorating due to its sheer gratuitousness—put Mr. Strenk’s letter over the top as the best piece of fan mail I have received all year. Fan mail? No, it is an utterance for the ages, a Proud Boys-worthy Sufi-dance of impromptu Zoroastrianism. Mr. Strenk, whoever you are, you are one of us, and I am proud!