Friday, June 29, 2012

The Bridge On The River Kwai, Incidentally

This really is one of the bridges that the Japanese built to supply their troops in Burma through the port of Bangkok.  The rounded sections are original; the longer, flat topped sections in the middle were built after the war to replace sections destroyed by American bombing.  Therein lies a tale.

It's not that Thailand wanted to declare war on America and England in 1941, in fact they had zero interest in that course of action.  When push came to shove though, the Japanese wouldn't take no for an answer.  So after a few days of terror bombing and a serious invasion by Japanese troops, the Thais decided that a Friendship Treaty was a better way to go.  Thailand retained a big measure of autonomy internally, and was not required to supply troops for the Japanese war effort, but they were forced to declare war on America and England.

This is a mural from the war museum near the above bridge.  (Not the bridge in the movie, that one was further up the river near Burma, but another bridge on the same railway.)  Those planes bombing the bridge are supposed to be American, although by the shape of them and the red star markings they look more like Russian Yak 9's.  We bombed this railway in many locations, including in Bangkok itself, in the Bangkok Noi neighborhood where the train terminus still is.  We bombed the port facilities too.

Here's the punchline: somehow America always comes out as the bad guy in all of this.  We were bombing the Japanese war effort, and Thailand had declared war on us first so you'd think we were in the clear for a little bombing.  The Japanese bombed them too, and shot up the place, but they usually get a pass.  And why all of the residual hostility?  After the war, the English wanted to hang Thailand out to dry with the Japanese, but we said no, we're just going to let it drop, we forced the English to go along.  Where's the love?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Now That Makes Me Mad

This was a Facebook post by a fellow named Joe Madison, so whatever you do, don't give me any credit for it.  I found it on a blog that I like called "The Book of Cletis." I do wish that I'd written it though, and I endorse the concept, and the feeling:
"You Didn't Get Mad"
Since Obama's regime, all of a sudden, folks have gotten mad and want to take America Back...BACK TO WHAT/BACK TO WHERE?
After the 8 Years Of The Bush/Cheney Disaster, Now You Get Mad?
You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq...
"You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
You didn't get mad when we spent over a trillion dollars (and counting) on said illegal war.
You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.
You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.
You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.
You didn't get mad when they didn't catch Bin Laden.
You didn't get mad when Bush rang (unintentional deletion)
You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.
You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.
You didn't get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the 1%, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks.
You didn't get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.
You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.
You didn't get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.
You finally got mad when a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.
Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick... Oh, Heck No!"
Back to Khun Fred here . . . 
I usually steer clear of politics, I'm depressed enough as it is.  This caught my eye though, and I thought that it was worth sharing.  

Thailand's Got Talent S.2 14/14 ปอนด์ ดวงใจ 17 Jun 2012

Give her a minute to get rolling, it's a minute/thirty before her shirt comes off.

This has turned into quite the little scandal over here.  The woman judge walked out, because it's all so shocking when this stuff happens in public.  Many people were/are highly indignant about the whole thing.  Plus, the word is that the show paid the painter woman 10,000 Baht to appear and do this act ($300).  So even other contestants are a little bit gripped about that.  Seems like a bargain though, for the show, and good P.R. for the woman, this thing has been all over the media, and every media, for a couple of weeks now. 

"In public . . ."  That's the key.  Just don't let on that these things happen, don't let the word get out.  If it all stays on the down low, then pretty much anything is okay, and happens.

Disclaimer:  It is true that most Thai women by far, the overwhelming portion, are very, very modest and would never consider doing anything like this in their craziest imaginings.  Wouldn't consider doing any of the other wild things that go on either.   Wouldn't even consider wearing a bathing suit that didn't have a high collar, long sleeves, and covering down to the knee as well.  A bunch of proper ladies they are, by and large, and you'd better hurry up and knew that if you ever find yourself here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Grass Is Greener At The Beginning

The grass at Wimbledon is a great metaphor for life.  In the beginning it all looks so perfect, so shiny and green and new.  Everything wears out pretty quickly though, and before you know it there's big rough patches all around.  At the end it's all ground down, worn out, and really it all looks like shit. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Al Green - I'm A Ram

I have nothing clever to say about this song, or Al Green.  Lucky for me, there's no need to say anything.  This cut says it all. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Joe The Plumber: Gun Control Caused The Holocaust

Joe The Plumber: Gun Control Caused The Holocaust: pSamuel Wurzelbacher, famously known as ‘Joe The Plumber,’ is running for Congress this year on a platform of party-line Republican reforms, including gun control. But while it’s only natural that he would make a campaign advertisement around the issue, the tack he took is rather unusual — Wurzelbacher has a new advertisement in which he [...]/p

. . . Khun Fred here.  If you're like me, you often find yourself considering the stupid shit that happens in the world and wondering how stuff like that could happen.

Slavery in America, it's stupid and counterproductive, how does that shit happen?  Hitler's weirdly casual, almost supernaturally unjustifiable, colossally stupid plan to kill all of the Jews in Europe, how does that shit happen?  Well, now we know!  Thanks Joe!    

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Wild Strawberries"

"Wild Strawberries" is a nice movie made by Ingmar Bergman back in the way back.  Story: the nearness of death makes an old doctor contemplate the value of life itself, you know, the universe and everything.  I remember enjoying it, I enjoyed the pleasant confusion of watching Bergman movies in my youth. 

This guy is not only a doctor, but some kind of really high-achieving doctor, an award winning doctor.  But of course he's not happy at first with his life, not happy about his relationship choices or his parenting experience.  What does it all mean?  Not so much, maybe.

Me, I think it's all much easier in the long run if one has a life of low achievement to look back on. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mott The Hoople - Sweet Jane

This is a great song by lots of people.  Covered all over the place, even Lou Reed covered himself a couple of times on this one. 

Didn't David Bowie produce this album?  The whole album is great.  Mott's guitar player, Mick Ralphs, sounded as good as anybody, great feel and great, great tone.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Civilized Bodies; Barbarous Souls

I'm re-reading "Moby-Dick" now, and boy it's quite the little knee-slapper.  I have the Norton Critical Edition, which is great, I love those things, half of the book is commentary, original reviews, personal letter of the author, etc.  At least half of what I read are mere page-turners, best-sellers, Railway-Novels, popular-fiction, but I do enjoy some real literature once in a while.

Mr. Melville got into big trouble for writing "Moby-Dick," it really ended his career.  People, lots of them, objected to his positive descriptions of what were called "savages" in those days; and his less than fond descriptions of Christian missionaries.  Some contemporaneous individuals got it though, or agreed with Melville through polygenesis.

One guy got it big time, writing anonymously for the London Observer in 1849.   It's a mightily abbreviated inclusion in the appendices of the Norton.  "Civilized Bodies; Barbarous Souls."  He writes of a voyage by the English ship, "The Highlander," traveling from the British Isles to New York City, a "New York Packet" no doubt, all sail and not too big, with a weather deck, three masts and some holds below, and lots and lots of rope holding the whole thing together.

The cargo?  "[P]oor Irish emigrants," this was the time of the Great Hunger, the Potato Famine, and the Highlander was evidently one of the infamous "Coffin Ships."  

"Five hundred human beings crowded in the hold of a vessel without ventilation, except at the hatches, without comfort, without cleanliness, without adequate food . . ."  The writer, to his credit, finds very disgusting the "cupidity of the captain" and the commercial instincts of the owners and shipping agents, who provide "no warning of the hardships in store for them at sea."

Inevitably, people got sick and died, as fever spread through the holds.  "[E]very day the tribute of mortality was paid to the stormy deep - six, seven, eight, nine and ten bodies of a morning, were thrown overboard."

But I'm not here to complain about the bad things that happened to the Irish long ago, no I am complaining about the bad things that we still do, with the same combination of knowing, unknowing, and commercial excuse making.  I might as well be bitching at the air and the trees for all of the good that it will do, but it's true.

The author laughs at the pretense of the White man, thinking himself better than the Cannibals and the Savages, and the "Turks" of the world, wondering, "may not some of them go to heaven before some of us?"

"We may have civilized bodies, and yet barbarous souls.  We are blind to the real sights of the world; deaf to its voice; and dead to its death.  And not till we know that one grief outweighs ten thousand toys will we become what Christianity is striving to make us."

Yes!  He even talks about our TOYS!  I will leave it to you to decide which deaths, and what sufferings imposed, are rendering us un-Christian these days.  There are plenty to choose from.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guitar Slim - The Things That I Used To Do

Yeah, you deserve a break today, and here it is.  Guitar Slim, the "Bluesman" with the "Soul Band," and a little Rock n' Roll too. 

Slim wrote the book on showmanship, anybody'd tell you that.  Buddy Guy says that after he'd seen some big time acts he decided that he wanted to sound like B.B. King and put on a show like Guitar Slim.  Slim had a guitar cord that was like a hundred feet or something, so he could walk through the audience all over the place and still be plugged in, no wireless in those days, the Stone Ages. 

Listen to the count in this song too, all of you musicians out there.  He goes a little nuts with the time there, towards the end.  Dropping chords and such.  Some guys say, "follow the chart," and other guys, the really deep guys, say, "follow me, sideman, and if you give me any shit, I will break your fingers." 

Monday, June 11, 2012

La Bamba - Ritchie Valens [cc]

I'm posting this partly because it's a great song.  Partly.  Mostly I'm posting this because it's interesting that comments for this video were disabled because the column filled up with hate-speech.  That's a problem.

It is a great song, isn't it?  And an unusual hit, being sung in Spanish, a little like "Sukiaki," or "The Israelites," something out of left field, not the usual AM radio fare for the time, and I can tell you.  An American boy though, born in Pacoima, up in the valley by North Hollywood.  He died a few months shy of his eighteenth birthday, after a couple of hits.  So why all the hating?  This now popular anti-immigrant thing, no doubt, misdirected at an American boy, as so often happens.

This song still has worldwide appeal, witness the hit count.  Last year at one of our team-building seminars I was asked to sing it on Karaoke night.  No one had a clue what it all meant, but it was a request and everybody had fun.  Like I say, interesting. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Blue Danube Waltz -Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra

I've been to several concerts now by the TPO, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra.  Their home auditorium is at Mahidol University, and it's a beautiful, small, great sounding theater.  It's mostly Thai musicians, with a sprinkling of Japanese and Chinese, and a couple of Farang too.   Maybe I'm not a connoisseur (maybe!), but I think these guys are first rate.  

These concerts are a great bargain (I hope that's not too crass to mention).  Three hundred Baht (ten bucks), one hundred for students, and every seat is front and center.   This one happens to be a little "Top of the Pops"ish, but that would not work as a general assumption.  They tackle modern, difficult and very serious stuff too, and what seems to be a complete catalog of your Beethovens and your Mozarts. 

Yesterday I saw the National Symphony Orchestra, a different outfit.  They were good too.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bangkok Audi Museum Piece

Man, this thing is cherry, and straight too.  Late '60's?  Couldn't be newer than early '70's, and it's beyond showroom, almost to concurs d'elegance!  Parked out front of the National Theatre in Bangkok, the event was a concert by the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Thailand. 

The concert was great by the way.  There are a few really first class orchestras here.  Maybe I'll find something on the 'Tube and share it. 

That Old Fuck You Money

Back in my day, “Fuck You Money” was that sum of money, which when it once was obtained, would enable the newly rich person to say a big, heartfelt “fuck you” to virtually the entire world. Fuck bosses, fuck convention, fuck working, fuck what people think, fuck it all, I’m good. Back then about a million would do it.

In today’s economy I suppose it would take at least fifty million, much less than that and you’d still have to be careful. Would fifty million cover it? I am at two distinct disadvantages when it comes to financial computations. First, I’m a little out of the loop; and second, I was never in the loop.

Back in those simpler times the whole idea of Fuck You Money was really just a dream, nobody was expecting it to happen. I mean, the odd scheme might have occurred to us, but really we had no shot of obtaining it and we didn’t really worry about it either. It was a dream, a dream of avarice, an unobtainable dream, I guess just saying “dream” covers it.

Now it’s very, very different. Fuck You Money has become a goal, not a dream. In today’s “your on your own” world, the “zero-sum” world, where greed and financial considerations for everything have become enshrined as our new religion, money has become the be-all-and-end-all of everything. Comedians no longer wish only to be funny and make a living, they want to make that Fuck You Money. Film makers are no longer satisfied with making good movies, they want that Fuck You Money. No one is satisfied supplying a good product and insuring prosperity for themselves, their stockholders, and their employees, the goal is Fuck You Money (for themselves, fuck the stockholders and the employees). Entertainers, sports stars, entrepreneurs, they all want it. Individuals who lack the necessary good ideas become politicians, hoping that the Fuck You Money will fall out of the tree on them, the tree of people who do have the talent and already have the Fuck You Money.

It doesn’t look like it's liable to change any time soon either, so get used to the new “Fuck You” world.

Vehicles Sublime And Slightly Ridiculous

The bike on top is not a Harley, but it is a powerful reminder that the Harley-Davidson name has totemic significance.  In a similar vein I often see Isuzu pick ups with Mercedes stars in the grill. 

The bike on the bottom is a beauty, I'm pretty sure that it's an MZ, maybe from the '70's.  They were made in the Czech Republic, I see them around once in a while.  (This one had no identifying badges on it, could be a Chinese copy I suppose.)

Another Fine Sight To See

Just walking along yesterday, in a part of town I don't get to much, and I happened to pass this place.  Built by Rama IV I think, his statue was featured prominently.  He's the King from "The King and I," father of the children in the show and movie.  Didn't look like Yul Brenner, but still a handsome man, and a great king.  You think it was easy for those guys to hold off the English and the French? 

Like I say, everywhere I look. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How To Approach A Dog

The familiar dog (“canis familiaris,” or something to that effect) is not a person, but he thinks himself a person. No one discourages a dog from this misapprehension, rather the opposite is true. People through uncounted eons have encouraged dogs to think of themselves as our helpmates, even more, as members of our families. For a modern dog, the highest station in life is membership in a human family. They take this position very seriously too, more seriously than most humans do.

So one never approaches a dog as a total stranger to the dog, the dog already appreciates the bond of kinship that is now firmly established as the natural order of things. This does not mean, however, that you can just walk up to any old dog that you see and treat him in a familiar manner right off the bat. The dog has been accustomatized to humans in general, but not to you as an individual. There are niceties that must be observed.

It has been said that dogs are like children who never grow up. They never learn to talk, for instance, and the physical doing of many things that are within the power of a man are denied a dog, things like mathematics, or driving a car. But dogs are a little bit like children, they have a lot in common. For one thing, both dogs and non-verbal children are much smarter than we give them credit for. For another, both dogs and children know very well that many things are beyond their capabilities, and that they need our help. For this reason they share a desire to ingratiate themselves to us, the better that we may provide them with food, shelter, comfort, acceptance and love.

Dogs and babies go through a very similar process when first encountering a strange human. They regard the human intently and desire to establish as fast as possible whether this is a nice, cooperative human, someone who will share his food and his prosperity, or is this one of the selfish and abusive humans, the world containing both types in abundance. This is Question One for the dog or baby, the research done with babies along these lines is fascinating. Babies merely cry if startled, but dogs are liable to bite you, so it is more important, in a way, how one approaches a dog.

Don’t run up to the dog, it’s always best if you can get the dog to come to you. Usually this can be done by sitting down close to the dog and letting your hands hang naturally. Mumbling pleasantries can be helpful, but the most important thing is to be relaxed. You can approach the dog if you have to, but don’t be too quick about it, and never appear to be circling around the dog. That’s stalking behavior, like you were planning to make a nice lunch out of the dog. You can get fairly close; at that point it’s a good idea to squat down to the dog’s level.

Then you can extend a hand, but extend the back of your hand, not the palm, and not too close to the dog either. Let the dog get a whiff of you, let him inhale your relaxed, inoffensive manner and get used to your smell. The dog has powers of smell, and the cataloging and remembrance of smells, that are truly supernatural. Let him realize that he has no bad memories of your smell. Give him a minute to accomplish this.

Never, ever, extend your hand beyond the line of the dogs eyes, and never suddenly grab to scratch the top of their head or their neck in these early stages. That’s how people get bit. While it is true that just about any dog wants you to love him, and ideally give him food, many dogs have suffered abuse from humans in their pasts and the experience has disposed them to bite first and ask questions later. So go slowly.

The dog may lean forward to nudge your hand. If this happens, you may rub the back of your finger along his lower jaw. If the dog continues to regard you from a distance, you may turn your hand over and extend the palm to him, not touching him yet. This is still in the process of him getting you know you by smell.

Most dogs will respond to the palm, the dog may even lean forward and lick your hand. This means that the dog has decided that you’re okay, and the licking means that he has further decided to ask you for food. Even a nudge though is enough to signal that the dog has decided that contact with you is safe. At this point you can use one finger to rub under the dogs chin. It’s still a little early to be grabbing him behind the neck.

If the dog seems to enjoy the rubbing under the chin, if he leans into your hand, it’s okay to start scratching his neck and probably even okay to scratch him behind the ears. By now the dog will be following you around and looking very pleased with his new friendship. The provision of a little food item at this point will seal the deal, probably forever. If you give a dog food in an affectionate manner, the dog will remember you forever, and fondly.

Most of what I know about dogs I learned carrying the mail for the Post Office in Jamaica, Queens. Not the best way to learn, but the training was intensive. I’m no “Dog Whisperer,” but I’ll stand behind the advice that I’ve offered here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wilson Pickett - Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

Oh, come on, you know it's true.  Wilson's the man.  This one was covered by the Rolling Stones, and of course in the early pre-Beatles 60's every single band in America, Black or White, covered "In the Midnight Hour" and "Mustang Sally." 

If you want to have some real fun, find the cuts that Wilson recorded with the Ohio Untouchables, Robert Ward and the boys (who went on, without Robert, to become the Ohio Players).  "I Found a Love" would be a good place to start. 

DAMNED - New Rose (1977)

This song is so much fun to play!  You need to play it loud, of course, so loud that your ears whistle until next Tuesday. 

Still the greatest band name, and album name in history:

Band:  The Damned

Album: Damned, Damned, Damned

Not A Medicine

I bought some nice tea the other day, "Pride of Ceylon" tea from the Heladiv company.  "Since 1867."  It's good stuff. 

It's so interesting though to see the different national styles of self-promotion that go along with packaging a product for sale.  In America one is limited to vague value judgments, like "Mmmm good!" or "the best to you each morning!"  Making health claims is not allowed.  That injunction doesn't exist in many counties, including Sri Lanka ("Ceylon") for instance. 

So the Heladiv tea claims on its box:

"Tea is rich in anti-oxidants.  The anti-oxidants protect the body against cancer and cardiovascular diseases.  Tea also assists in lowering cholesterol.  Medical research suggests that tea promotes helthy teeth, skin and bones and also assists in reducing cholesterol.  Tea is not a medicine for ailments, but drinking tea regularly will help maintain good health." 

All for twelve cents a cup!  Not bad for a drink that's not even a medicine. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Gasquet, Or It Was Anyway

I just watched the end of Murray v. Gasquet on the replay, and Murray pulled it out after losing the first set badly and looking for all the world like he was dying of something painful in the process.  This is interesting stuff. 

Murray won 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.  It looks like a curb stomping after a slow start when you look at it that way. 

The interesting part was Murray's behavior.  I don't really care for the guy, sportsmanship is not his forte.  He exults too much when he hits a winner, and powerfully curses his bad luck without giving credit where credit is due.  He curses (literally) and stomps around.  There wasn't too much of that today, or recently, maybe somebody talked to him about it.  But today there was something new.

Through the early stages of the game, after some bad shots he would grimace and grab his back, like he was trying to stretch something out, something painful.  In an earlier match he had even had the trainer come out to massage him.  But the way he played today, in the last three sets anyway, he was not in any detectable distress.

I think it was a display of gamesmanship, or should I say Gamesmanship, a winning theory put forth by English humorist (humourist!) Stephen Potter in the great "Potter on Gamesmanship."  Murray's mock ailment was played to great effect, and it seemed to have the desired effect on poor Mr. Gasquet.  Potter suggests that before a game, the Gamesman should complain of some invented ailment, playing for the sympathy of the opponent and lulling the opponent into a false sense of security.  The concept is stretched out to fill a very entertaining small book. 

It's almost certain that the back thing was an act.  Towards the middle of the match the acting would be followed by Murray smiling up at someone in the stands, someone, presumably, who was in on the joke.  Then the troublesome back disappeared altogether in two hours of very athletic play.

So, what's up with that?  

Caetano Veloso Billie Jean

Another great cover version for the archive.  Maybe two!  This has a nice "Eleanor Rigby" fade at the end. 

French Open Update

I'm just watching Andy Murray v. So-and-So Gas-K here, and all I can think of is Monty Python.  It's like Mr. Bean v. Jacques Tati, these guys are both cartoon characters.

So there is, thank the Gods, still a measure of fun in the world.  Look for the good, I always say, although you might not think so.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Other Life

I have a comment life outside of this blog, and sometimes I wonder if it rises to the level of "blogging by proxy."  The reason is that I generally wish to keep things here in a lighter vein, unless the anger really rises within me and I vent too strongly without taking time to check the impulse.

Here's an example of a recent comment that I made on another blog:

"Sabrina makes good points, as usual. "The powers that carry over . . ." indeed. My point would be that these powers now exist outside of the body of the president, they have an independent life of their own.

So maybe the questions this year, or any year, when judging candidates, is who might do the most to cooperate with this super-executive, and who might take steps to mitigate the problem?

And the idea that there is no difference between the parties does not, I think, hold water. They, and the politicians that they put forward, do still tend to push the polity in different directions. There is still a choice. Not, perhaps, the choice that we would hope for, but the choice that we have.

So Steven: I do not believe that these are powers that President Obama has taken for himself; rather they are powers that existed before him and to which he is bound. Yes, I hold against him the drone strikes, and much else, and the collateral damage, but I believe any new president these days has the riot act read to him immediately, and is shown a line to toe. We wouldn't want to experience any unanticipated helicopter crashes, now would we?"

So yes, I think there is a choice between President Obama and Mr. Romney.  An important choice.  It may be akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, we might be sunk already, but we need to stay to our due diligence and do the little bit that we can to avoid the future that many of us are afraid is coming.  

And yes, to be clear, I'll be voting for the president.

A Bit Of Fun At Mr. Hitler's Expense

Thais can be a little tone deaf about the Third Reich.  Last year a high school up north used the Nazis as the theme for their "Senior Week," with swastika flags everywhere and kids dressed up as cheerful SS officers.  The school thought it was all in good fun, at first.  Then they were mightily surprised when word got out and the shit hit the fan internationally. 

So I came across this shirt display at the mall the other day and found these two Hitler themed shirts.  To be fair, they're both more mocking than admiring of the old boy.

So what do you think?  Bad taste?  Is there even such a thing anymore?  

At least they're disrespectful, that's something.  I see Hitler books in the stores all the time.  I can't read Thai well enough to figure out the point of view, but the covers look serious.  I knew an autistic kid years ago (also up north, is it a thing up there?) who was fascinated with first-person-shooter video games and the Nazis.  He was even studying German, he was way into it and a good student, he was autistic, not stupid.  His only question when he found out that I could speak German was, "tell me about the Einsatzkommando." 

Who are we kidding?  There are lots of bars in America where one of these shirts could get you curb stomped for disrespecting the local hero. 

More German Culture

A nice display featuring this BMW.  Very clean.  It's probably a 250, could be a 175 cc, I forgot to examine the cases.  Early- to mid-Sixties is my guess.  It was all part of the shirt display that included the Hitler shirts, above.  Coincidence?  Probably.