When I was young (back in pre-historic times) I was what today would be described as a straight edge kind of guy. No drinking, no smoking. (And no vegetarian - hey, I wasn´t completely a saint, you know.) I am happy to say I still do not help the tobacco industry make a profit out of other men´ s cancer, but the drinking... well, I´ll make it easy for me and blame the Movement.
Now what is this man rambling on about, you may ask. Is he just a senile old fart going down memory lane? Get to the point, will you! OK, the point is this: When I, in the beginning of my "career" in nationalism, declined an offer of alcoholic beverage from one of the more thirsty comrades (and of those there seemed always to be plenty), I was taught this lesson. It might have been from a drunk, but you know what they say about drunks and children. He said: "Never trust a person who does not touch alcohol. You never know his (or, I guess he meant too, her) real character and views. Such a person tries to be in total control, and even though he (or she) might be an honest and good guy (or gal...) you can never tell for sure. A person dipped in alcohol may smell foul and sound bad, but somewhere amongst those drinks and that babble, you can see that person´s real character."
Is this a commercial for booze or what? Nah, I am not against such per se, but in this case, I´d rather take my old drunken friend´s wisdom a bit further, and into a more appropriate field. I am writing about trust and true character. How can we trust our fellow comrade to be just that, a real comrade, if he or she is never put to the test? I know I have just written an article back on page 1 about the importance of comradeship and my wish to put a permanent end to all gossip and speculation concerning our fellow fighters. But this does not mean that our comrades never have to prove themselves. How much of a comrade are they that fateful day when Mr Mediaman decides to expose them, and Mr Bossman decides to let them go, and Mr or Mrs Spouse decides not to follow them? It is easy to be a big-mouth in the safety of those cellar vaults draped by the flags that never see the light of day and among "friends" that never are introduced to anyone else than the cellar cells. Real life confrontations with your non-political lover, neighbour, work mate or - God forbid - the front page, is another matter.
Not so long ago, under the remarkable and totally unique leadership of Marcel Schilf, there was a golden rule that separated his organization from many others in Scandinavia: the people should never hide or be ashamed of their views, and the real activists should never back down when confronted with the dreaded word of exposure. Schilf and his closest men (and women) lived by that rule. Himself, he died by it. Others lost everything, following that commandment. Still, B&H could hold its head high in its perpetual war against cowards and anonymous profiteers within the "movement". I pray those days of pride, self sacrifice and honour did not die with their foremost representative.
So hear my prayer and go out in battle - not like sneaking "smarties" and criticizing smart-asses hiding in the safety of the shadow of anonymity - but like true comrades afraid of nothing and no-one, standing up for your beliefs, above the rest and confronting the lenses of the evil eye with a shrug and a white fist!
Hammer - known from TV...........