May 23, 2011: I had a long, detailed dream about Hitler last night. It was quite vivid, and just a bit odd, because I've never dreamed about Hitler before.
Like with most dreams, now that I'm trying to recount it, the sequence and many of the details are sketchy. I can tell you that Hitler was riding on a bus, seated at the back. It was modern times -- at least modern dream times, because Hitler was an old man, though I guess reasonably not so old as he would be were he still alive now, so perhaps it was circa 1975 (which kind of makes sense, because as many of you regular Blah-ugh! readers know, I've been watching a lot of "All In The Family" episodes lately, and I think the better part of my mind is staying rooted in that period.)
(NOTE: 1975 is, in fact, a very interesting year, and I believe may well date the demise of modern civilization, but I don't have time to talk about that right now, so you'll just have to take my word for it.)
Anyway, back to Hitler. So it came to light, somehow, that I knew he would be riding on this bus -- it was some sort of tour or something, and while he had a kind of celebrity status in the dream, I think his being there was more recreational. I think it was taking place in Germany, or certainly Europe, and his presence was known, but overall I don't think anyone was making a big deal of it. But I decided that a good friend of mine, who's a big World War II buff (and a bit of a minor anti-Semite, actually) would really love to have his autograph (Hitler being an important figure in that war, as some of you know), so I thought I'd try to get him one. (What's interesting, I realize as I'm writing this, is that I actually got this same friend an autograph from Mina Souvari (sp?) when I lived out in L.A. -- having run into her at Whole Foods in Santa Monica -- so it's kind of a natural dream extension, if you think about it, though I don't mean to equate Souvari to Hitler, for in fact she was very nice, and obviously Hitler wasn't.)
In the dream I struggled to decide what it might be best to have Hitler sign, for I had paper, but I also thought a book might make the autograph more valuable, and as it was a dream, I suddenly had limitless volumes at my disposal. (Again, as I'm writing this, I realize my son and I were over at a memorabelia shop this week, and spent some time looking at how much certain celebrity signatures sold for.) Anyway, I considered asking him to sign a favorite Hermann Hesse volume -- two, in fact, because I was considering that his signature might be worth something one day -- but then I realized that, even though Hesse was German, he was something of a liberal thinker, and I didn't want to offend Hitler. (How's that for some weird, radical story title: "Offending Hitler"; I could see a film starring Michael Caine and Courtney Love.) And isn't it just hysterical how I'm concerned with offending Hitler in my dream. I mean, am I the pathetic product of a celebrity-awed nation or what?!!
Anyway, anyway, the dream gets sketchy after that -- as it it weren't sketchy enough already -- and I don't think I actually got the autograph (although I feel like we spent a few moments on the bus together). But what's interesting to me was the realization in the dream -- a quite vivid realization -- that I saw that Hitler would be forgiven everything if he had a chance to publish his memoirs and, perhaps, go on television, and in the dream I started hoping he would die before he got a chance to have his book published.
And it's true, isn't it! It's G. Gordon Liddy revisited, and Nixon, who we put on a stamp after all the embarrassing atrocities of his presidency, because he got older and we're a stupid culture with the damaged attention span of acidheads.
But this is HITLER, I hear you saying, and I can't/shouldn't be making such comparisons. (Hey! Don't tell me what I should or shouldn't do ... Matt!)
No! In fact, the comparisons are completely justified, and despite the breathtaking extremity of such a prediction, I think it's absolutely true. Were Hitler still alive today, he'd write an apologetic autobiography, make appearances on the Fox TV talk circuit, become a born-again Christian while serving his three years in prison, and then very well could end up running for governor in some midwest state. Therein lies the weird, profoundly prophetic, perhaps twisted but, owing to the madness of post-1975 modern times, completely believable fact of our reality -- Hitler -- despite being the pinnacle of the evil man, could find that skin-deep redemption in our backward times.
Quentin Crisp called it so eloquently (as a gay man will) in his second book, "How To Become A Virgin." "Just go on television," he said, and all will be forgiven!
I saw it in my dream so clearly -- the sour, silly-mustached fanatic no longer as threatening as he was in the WWII newsreels, demurely replaced by an aging, timid vision of contrition, just riding a bus, trying to get along, aware of his shortcomings, like a Watergate burglar, or an arms-dealing Reaganite, or a philandering U.S. senator, or a girl-drowning Kennedy, and on and on ...
And what would the name of his book be? Perhaps, "After The Furnace Fires," or maybe, "I'll Forgive Jew, If Jew'll Forgive Me." Who knows?!
Oy!! As Margaret Hamilton said in her most famous role, "What a world, what a world!" I just hope I sleep better tonight!