Those who read this blog regularly are no doubt familiar with my weekly attempts to get away from the slimy quagmire that is the political realm that I refer to as Motivation Mondays. Well, I've done some thinking and I believe it's time for a change. I will no longer be posting pics of that sort for the sole purpose of calling it "motivational". Instead, Motivation Monday will now be referred to, as the title of this post hints, Portrait of an American Badass. Shamelessly stealing the same premise used by www.badassoftheweek.com, I, your humble crusader for constitutional justice, will lay out in accurate and (hopefully) humorous detail the story of one particular icon of American history that I believe to be, in layman's terms, a badass, and why.
Appropriately, I begin with one of my personal favorites, the cherry tree chopper himself, former U.S. President George Washington:
Unfortunately, many of the younger generation are unaware of the awesomeness of George Washington from being lied to about him being an asshole in public school. Fortunately I went to a school where people actually taught you stuff instead of trying to use Soviet mind control tricks to get you to believe that tyranny is awesome, so I know a thing or two about ol' George.
Like many of our ancestors, George was an Englishman who emigrated over to the New World because he was way too awesome for the old one, and also because the British king was a douche who wouldn't let Washington own any property until he beat the royal crap out of some French wusses that actually for some reason thought they had a chance at fighting an army that wasn't composed of other French soldiers. Deciding to remind the French how much they actually sucked at waging war, Washington joined the British army as a Colonel, since his daddy had loads of money from owning plantations over in Britain and could pay for he commission. During his time as a colonel, Washington found out that the French and some of the local Native American tribes were acting all buddy buddy. George said "Aw hell no!" and charged in saber rattling and muskets blazing, blowing the heads off many Frenchmen and Indians alike, thus reminding the world that not only does France suck at warfare, they aren't allowed to be friends with anyone, ever (citation needed).
Sadly, the French only became bigger assholes after losing to Washington, so they went and violated the whole "No friends for you" policy the world had in place at the time and got together with more Indians that hated the British so that they could surround Washington's fort and make him surrender. Washington did so, but that was only because he had a far more awesome plan in the works. He let them have the fort, sure, but that didn't mean he had to let them keep their lives. Instead of just bitching about losing the fort and crying in his teacup, Washington carried out the two rules for a gunfight and decided to blow up more French heads like over ripe watermelons until the French finally ran home crying in their Crepe Suzettes, losing yet another war in a string of losses tracing back to Joan of Arc being burned at the stake, which still plagues them to this day. (Read: World War II),
But it wasn't until after the War of Beating France Like the Redheaded Stepchild They Are that Washington truly became more awesome than anyone else ever would be allowed to become. After another badass, John Adams (who will be covered in a future post) convinced all thirteen English colonies to tell King George III to go suck a lemon and leave America the hell alone, Washington was out there being his Mafia enforcer, forcing British generals to cough up their protection money or face "accidents", capice?
One particular incident of badassitude is Washington crossing the Delaware River in the dead of winter on Christmas Eve, 1776. Washington had retreated with the remainder of his army after unfortunately being beaten by the British, who were clearly using a cheat code of some kind since no one could beat Washington in a fair fight, ever (editor's note: might be an exaggeration). To do this he had to brave a near frozen river with ice chunks as large as small animals that could have turned his little twig of a boat into kindling if he hit any of them. After safely ensconcing himself in Delaware away from the Redcoats, Washington looked at the river and said "You know what? They'll never expect me to cross AGAIN!" And so he did. And, of course, the British were severely ganked by His Awesomeness, since they thought no one would be stupid enough to actually cross a river and interrupt their tea party.
Then there's that whole mess at Valley Forge. During the same winter in which Washington crossed the Delaware, after the crossing, Washington and his army found out that they were out of supplies and that it was cold. Really really cold. So cold that a lot of the soldiers who weren't as bad ass as Washington actually froze to death. But even as the others' teeth were chattering and they were jumping up and down trying to stay warm, Washington just looked at them all and went "What's the matter, you guys cold?"
After a few months of learning how to drill from a German officer that decided it'd be way more fun to beat up on the British themselves rather than work for them, winter ended and Washington's army came out bigger and badder, eventually leading to the defeat of General Cornwallis at Yorktown. Oh, and I think the French finally got up off their asses and sent us some ships or something, but whatever.