Gore Vidal Quote of the Day XIII
“I was born eight years after the end of the First World War. As I was growing up, it was well remembered that we had got nothing out of that war in Europe except an attack on the Bill of Rights at home and, of course, the noble experiment, Prohibition. Young people often ask me, with wonder, why so many of us enlisted in 1943. I tell them that since we had been attacked at Pearl Harbor, we were obliged to defend our country. But I should note that where, in 1917, millions of boys were eager to go fight the Hun, we were not eager. We were fatalistic. In the three years that I spent in the army, I heard no soldier express a patriotic sentiment, rather the reverse when we saw the likes of Errol Flynn on the screen winning freedom's war, or even worse, John Wayne, known to us by his real name, Marion, the archetypal draft-dodging actor who, to rub it in, impersonated a Flying Tiger in the movies.”
--Gore Vidal, “How We Missed the Saturday Dance,” Newsweek, January 11, 1993
John Wayne and Paul Kelly in “Flying Tigers” (1942)
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