A Book to Win the Culture War

(Heritage Auctions, HA.com via AP)

If you’re trying to free someone you love from the Left’s mind virus and bring him or her back to realizing that men are men and women are women, and that tyranny should and must be resisted even if it’s perpetrated in the name of science, and that America as a free republic should be protected and defended, here’s a novel idea: try a novel. Appeals to reason are likely to founder on the fact that the Left’s dogmas today are fundamentally irrational and at war with reality, but instead of calling an exorcist just yet, try H. W. Crocker III’s wildly funny and sharply insightful Armstrong and the Mexican Mystery.


Armstrong and the Mexican Mystery is the third in Crocker’s absurd and yet dead-on fictional critique of our contemporary madness, following Armstrong and Armstrong Rides Again!. George Armstrong Custer, having survived the ambush at Little Big Horn, gets embroiled in a series of improbable and impossible adventures that provide a setting for Crocker, with the sharpest of rhetorical rapiers, to slip in a robust defense of Christianity and traditional values against secular humanism, the idolatry of science, and so much more that plagues us today.

Take, for example, “the gnomic Faucon: grey-haired, brown monk’s hood resting on his shoulders, pink-lensed spectacles giving a strange cast to his eyes.” The brown monk’s hood is a delicious detail in light of the religious reverence with which the Left regards Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the pseudo-piety of Fauci’s self-serving, counterfactual policies, always cloaked in the secular religious mantle of “science.” At one point, Custer describes this Faucon, one of the chief villains of Armstrong and the Mexican Mystery, as “the enemy of truth, justice, and the American way. His ideas are heinous to me. I do not believe in socialists, anarchists, or female agitators. And alchemists turning men into beasts is not progress!” Oh, yes indeed.

Custer adds: “I regarded Faucon as hostile to everything I believed in: my country, constitutional government, limited federal powers, honest administration, low taxes, the gold standard, the reconciliation of North and South, and, of course, marriage and all the eternal verities.” One of Faucon’s foes among his own agents, however, is determined to resist and defeat him: “Secretly, I have kept the faith of my fathers. I wish to do more: I wish to free my people. I wish to express my faith openly, to live as a free Christian man; to let my people see the sunshine and the moon.” But the sinister Faucon “has his agents.” In his lair is “a dark, green-lit corridor” decorated with placards that actually spoke, saying: “Obedezcan! Or Obedezcan la ciencia! Or Obedezcan al rey-filósofo!” (“Obey!” “Obey the science!” “Obey the philosopher king.”)   


Related: A Rollicking Novel for an Age of Absurdity

 Amid all this madness, there is another character who will likely appear immediately familiar: El Caudillo, “the Leader,” an aggressive and uncouth fellow to whom Custer refers as “El Claudio,” or “The Clodhopper,” but who has aroused the everlasting ire even of those who should be loyal agents of his government: “As we know, some in the government—many in the government…were quite willing to accommodate the rebels, and even preferred them to El Caudillo.” Yes, I remember something like that happening in the United States a few years ago.

Above all, it’s a wild, woolly story, and terrific fun to read, as are all the best of fiction books that carry a weighty message, going back to Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. As one might expect from a book whose main character is George Armstrong Custer, Armstrong and the Mexican Mystery is ultimately a book about a war, a war fought to do nothing less than save the United States of America and the Western civilization of which it is now the foremost exponent, as well as to preserve a healthy sanity and respect for basic reality. Crocker brilliantly parodies that madness of the Left while creating a mad environment himself, giving us a novel that is at once comedy as well as tragedy, science fiction, and political and social commentary, all seamlessly united in one rollicking package.

Amazon is currently offering a great Kindle deal: all three books in the Custer/Armstrong series for under $20, less than the price of one hardcover. Seize the day. When the malady is madness, here is a dose of mad sanity that just might be the antidote.



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