« June 2006 »

Memo to Ted Junker: WOW.

I cover a lot of wannabes in this column. Wannabe fascists, wannabe apologists, wannabe assholes. The kind of people that get compared to Nazis. But you can't compare Ted Junker to a Nazi.

That's because Ted Junker actually is a Nazi. An 87-year-old, unrepentant former SS officer living in Millard, Wisconsin. Not a wannabe. Not a basic-cable weekend showing of "Apt Pupil". A Nazi. And the lesson we can learn from Ted Junker is that the Nazis were some dumb motherfuckers.

The reason we are learning about Ted Junker right now is that Ted Junker is weeks away from accomplishing the ultimate fucking redneck fucking backwoods fucking unrepentant Nazi stunt in the history of the species. Something that makes a 40-foot Confederate flag look like a "think globally, act locally" bumper sticker. Something that makes Michelle Malkin's "yay internment" book look like an Archie comic.

On June 25, Ted Junker will open his pro-Hitler museum, lovingly constructed on the back 40 of his rural Wisconsin farm.

This bears repeating, because the full majesty of it may not have sunk in.

On June 25, Ted Junker will open his PRO-HITLER MUSEUM, lovingly constructed on the BACK 40 of his rural Wisconsin FARM.

Now, being pro-Hitler is not an easy position to hold. To be pro-Hitler, you have to believe one of two things. Either you think all the horrible things Hitler did weren't actually that bad, which makes you an asshole of the highest order, or you think Hitler didn't actually do all the things he's blamed for, which makes you an idiot, Mel Gibson's dad, or both.

Ted Junker is not Mel Gibson's dad, so the plaques inside his museum informing us that "Not one person was gassed to death in the Third Reich" makes him an idiot.

He's got a lot of plaques. Whoever runs the plaque-making shop in Millard, Wisconsin must be having a banner year. There's a plaque on the front containing the text of the First Amendment, which is a pretty wily move for an idiot Nazi from rural Wisconsin.

But my favorite plaque in the whole place is the one that seems to give us Junker's mission statement in free verse. ACTUAL PLAQUE TIME!

"Before you pass judgment / Give careful and equal / Consideration to both sides. / Have courage / To stand for the truth. / The truth shall set you free.

It's like Junker's built himself a giant, concrete, Nazi No Spin Zone in the middle of fuck-all. And the best thing is, I didn't just compare Bill O'Reilly to a Nazi, because that would be uncivil. I compared a Nazi to Bill O'Reilly, which is an entirely different beast.

I have no sympathy for Ted Junker. He's a deluded old man who hasn't found a better way to come to grips with what he was a part of, and why. But I also have no sympathy for Sugar Creek town chairman Loren Waite. Don't ask me why the Sugar Creek town chairman has jurisdiction over Millard. It's the rural Midwest.

Anyway, Loren Waite and his fellow officials did not approve construction of a Hitler memorial museum. They approved a tractor shed. I assume they took Junker at his word, because let's face it, if you can't trust an octagenarian SS officer, who CAN you trust? But now they're stuck with a Hitler museum in their backyard. And now that he's been outfoxed by a senile Nazi, what is Waite's concern?

"As long as it was just on his back 40, that was one thing, but now that he's gone public, we're afraid of what's going to happen here,">

And thus Waite stakes his philosophical claim on the ages-old question: If a Nazi museum gets built in the woods and nobody hears it, is it really there?