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Tolstoy, the Circassians, and Lincoln
April 4, 2013 8:29 AM   Subscribe

"But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world. We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock and as sweet as the fragrance of roses. The angels appeared to his mother and predicted that the son whom she would conceive would become the greatest the stars had ever seen. He was so great that he even forgave the crimes of his greatest enemies and shook brotherly hands with those who had plotted against his life. His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived..."

(Hat tip to the inestimable Lazenby.)
posted by Iridic (18 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Brilliant.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:43 AM on April 4, 2013


Very moving. Did not know about Lazenby and I'm glad I do now. Thanks for posting.
posted by Currer Belfry at 8:44 AM on April 4, 2013


FYI, if you click the "home" link at the bottom of that article, you're presented with a screen-size painting of a very nude, very lovely woman which, while it may be suitable to your own sensibilities, may or may be to those at the next computer.
posted by resurrexit at 8:45 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the catch, resurrexit. I also forgot the requisite comic sans warning.
posted by Iridic at 8:53 AM on April 4, 2013


Well, if I'm to be fired, I regret nothing.
posted by resurrexit at 9:13 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's all very good, but what does that have to do with the Cardassians? Did they meet Space Lincoln somehow?
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:27 AM on April 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


I knew the blurb was going to be about Lincoln 2 sentences in. Oh, Lincoln... America didn't deserve someone as good as you...
posted by bleep at 9:55 AM on April 4, 2013


My father as a young Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Iran in the early 1960's, was chosen from among the other volunteers to travel deep into the remote tribal Caucuses to deliver an official portrait of a great American hero venerated by an isolated tribe. It seems that the tribe had heard of the great deeds and the tragic demise of John Kenndy and asked that a representative of the United States, not a diplomat or military official, but of Kennedy's own Peace Corps bring them a portrait to be placed among their holy of holies, their sort of spiritual hall-of-fame. My father got to know many of the tribesmen which lead to further forrays into the mountains as a guide for others including photographers from National Geographic.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:18 AM on April 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


"That's all very good, but what does that have to do with the Cardassians?"

Thats Circassians, from the formerly independent mountainous country counter clockwise along the black sea from Georgia
posted by Blasdelb at 10:37 AM on April 4, 2013


Yeah, haven't you ever watched Keeping Up With the Circassians?
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:03 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


never mind
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:04 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by No Robots at 11:19 AM on April 4, 2013


It tells you everything you need to know about a certain class of American revisionists that they revile Lincoln.
posted by Justinian at 12:24 PM on April 4, 2013


It is fashionable to denigrate great men in order to prove that there are no great men.
posted by No Robots at 12:30 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Which is funny, because it seemed to me that one of the theses of War and Peace was that there were no great men, only illusions created by mankind to justify the present/future/past. But I suppose someone's greatness in a moral sense is different than his greatness in a political sense.
posted by selfnoise at 12:33 PM on April 4, 2013


I think that Tolstoy's position would be that Napoleon was not morally great, and therefore he has no political greatness, either. His apparent political grandeur is in fact the grandeur of the French nation. In the case of Lincoln, you have moral greatness that manifests itself as political greatness standing above the nation.
posted by No Robots at 12:46 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


FYI, if you click the "home" link at the bottom of that article, you're presented with a screen-size painting of a very nude, very lovely woman which, while it may be suitable to your own sensibilities, may or may be to those at the next computer.

There's also an excerpt from an obscene poem.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:04 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Short news story about Circassians in Jordan today.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:37 PM on April 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


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