|Alois Schicklgruber, DDS|
Then I hit play on 'Meet the Hitlers,' a documentary about people sharing the name 'Hitler.' Produced by Morgan Spurlock. Not a bad documentary at all. The doc introduces audiences to a young, blonde high school girl in St. Louis, a sardonic old man named Gene Douglas Hitler who was born so early in the actual Hitler's rise to power his parents almost named him Adolf (Gene Douglas apparently prefers to be called 'G. D. Hitler' for reasons I'm not sure he understands), a man in Germany who was brought up by his parents to believe his was Actual Hitler's nephew and has, accordingly, lived a celibate life with few--if any--personal attachments in hopes of assuring the Hitler name dies with him, and a journalist in search of Actual Hitler's Actual remaining ancestors: three brothers descended from Actual Hitler's half-brother Alois, jr.
Alois, sr., was Actual Hitler's dad, of course. Alois, jr., was Actual Hitler's half-brother. In the 'Meet the Hitlers' documentary, a journalist traces Alois, jr., to 1940s United States, where young Alois makes a point of renouncing his more famous brother, becoming a US citizen, then changing his name to something--anything--other than Hitler. Alois sires children, and those children--three boys--pledge to never splooge out heirs. If the documentary is to be believed, those three boys are now living in a weird Long Island compound together.
Like one does.
Now. The thing about this documentary about people named Hitler--even when they aren't named Hitler any longer--is that it made me curious. While forcing my husband to watch it, I ended up tuning half of it out as I searched the internet for Hitler's dad.
Hitler's dad, it turns out, was not named Hitler. Actual Hitler's dad--and therefore Hitler himself--was named Alois Schicklgruber.
What's more, when he did eventually change his surname--he was nearly 40 before he did that--he wanted to be called 'Alois Hiedler.' In a stunning act of inefficient German governance, however, a clerk noted the name-change as 'Hitler,' and that's how a Schicklgruber eventually became one of the worst mass-murdering assholes of modern times.
Perhaps if Actual Hitler had been Actual Schicklgruber, most if not all of the 1930s and '40s would've been more pleasant. Who knows.
Anyway. So my husband and I finished that documentary, and I was still in the mood for something--anything--to watch. I settled on--after a groan from the husband--'My Friend Rockefeller,' which I am still watching. Or will soon be watching, as the husband fucked off to take a long shower 20 minutes into the Rock-doc, and I decided to stop the doc for a moment to write.
Like one does.
"My Friend Rockefeller" is about a man who created himself virtually out of nothing. He got into the best parties, circled around the best circles. Failed, as it were, upward by convincing people he was someone he was not, and worthy of being included in a social class he wasn't a part of.
Ten minutes into Rock-doc, I announced to my husband, "I think I see a pattern."
"Mmmm?" my husband grunted. He was playing a game on his computer.
"We started off with a documentary about the Lindbergh baby, where they suggest Charles Lindbergh himself may have had a hand in his son's kidnapping and death. Eugenics and all that. Then we go to a documentary about people named Hitler which never once mentions the fact that even Hitler wasn't named Hitler. Hitler was also, by the way, either a vegetarian or not a vegetarian--there are conflicting reports about that--so we don't even really know what Hitler was made of. And we don't know all that much about the actual man. We know his persona, sure, and we know he wanted to be an artist and he hated Jews and was Jewish even though he had a false story created to cover up his Jewishness, and whatever."
"Well, yes. I think I'm subconsciously--although now consciously, since I'm saying it--trying to work out what the fuck we're doing with a fake businessman in the White House."
"Whose family is all about eugenics," the husband added.
"Who believes in eugenics."
There was a beat of silence, during which we could hear the dog licking his own asshole as if it were a Tootsie-Pop.
"I'm going to take a bath," the husband announced.
"I mean, can you imagine a President Drumpf?"
"A long bath," the husband amended.
"So who is this man? As with Hitler, we get glimpses of a personal life, but they aren't true insights into the man. Like Hitler, he's spent decades building a facade. Not even an image, really, like with actors or whatever. An actual facade, using words built on nothing very substantial."
"Maybe a bubble-bath."
And so here we are: me in the middle of a masochistic, existential documentary binge; my husband taking a bubble-bath. And a dog still giving his asshole the attention it deserves.
A Faux Schicklgruber running the country.