|A Rollicking Novel for an Age of Absurdity|
JUL 2, 2021 6:00 PM BY ROBERT SPENCER
My latest in PJ Media:
Harking back to the not-too-distant past when education didn’t entirely consist of learning how racist and evil our forefathers were, H. W. Crocker III heads up his latest and arguably most riotous picaresque novel, Armstrong Rides Again!, with the Latin inscription Numquam concedere. That’s “Never concede,” kids, and after Covid-19, the 2020 election, the exaltation of perversion and insanity, the Reichstag Fire incident of January 6, and six months of Biden’s handlers stirring up war, inflation, invasion, and more, it’s a good motto for dissidents to keep in mind. In Armstrong Rides Again!, the chief refuser to concede is none other than George Armstrong Custer himself, who in the novel was not killed in the Battle of Little Big Horn, and is instead making his way through a post-Civil War world that is absurd enough to make our own almost look sane. Custer teams up with another real-life character, the nineteenth-century satirist Ambrose Bierce, and undertakes his travels with help from an Indian scout, Billy Jack, whose name is taken from the eponymous 1971 guilt-manipulation Western, one of the first of a long line of major motion pictures that spread the now all-pervasive mythology of saintly Indians suffering within a rapacious and unfeeling larger American culture.Armstrong Rides Again! is a marvelous antidote to such politically correct fantasies. In this world (as in the real one, though the fact is largely forgotten now), no group has a monopoly on good or evil, and even the most altruistic act is shot through with self-seeking. At the same time, the book is filled with sly social commentary, particularly when Custer makes his way to the fictional Latin American republic of Neustraguano (I’ll leave you to figure out what that one means).
Custer is there to come to the aid of El Caudillo, who lives in “el Palacio Blanco” and is “the hereditary soldier-emperor of Neustraguano; a defender of our nation and its faith,” whose enemies (including “a strange, spiky, herky-jerky figure,” a woman who “looked like a stage witch, perhaps touched with fever”) see him as “an exploiter of its people; defended by superstition!” This woman “works with the Indians on the borderlands. They suffer from a plague. The people wear bags as protection from it.”
A protest against El Caudillo is described by one of its supporters as “a protest for science—and against ignorance as represented by El Caudillo and that cathedral. Our nation’s square should not be dominated by a Church or represented by a monarchy—both relics of a dark, unenlightened past.” The foes of El Caudillo are found even within his government, for when the leader tells Custer how sorry he is that “the most attractive people in Neustraguano never have children,” such that his people, “over time, become uglier and uglier,” Custer notices that “the cabinet officers were rolling their eyes or burying their faces behind their hands.”
Is this beginning to sound familiar?
There is more. Read the rest here.