July 31, 2013
Poverty, early death, child abuse, homelessness, abandonment, seeming stability followed by even greater impecuniousness, then arduous monotony punctuated by determination; although cause for state agency and mid-afternoon talk shows today, some variation of these motivators have historically been the spur for the greatest successes as described by everyone from Charles Dickens to Horatio Alger.
And succeed Harland did. One of the most curious experiences of my youth was finding even when McDonald’s was largely unknown, the Colonel had already colonized the Caribbean. You could island-hop all day and never find a Big Mac, but the kindly man in the white suit would be waiting for you on Antigua, Aruba, or Grand Cayman. It seemed as if everyone preferred Southern hospitality to a demented clown.
Although I now eschew his chicken for dietary reasons, I still love the Colonel. But then, I love America. I love tradition. And I love heroes. Alas, is there anything more anachronistic in these New United States?
If there is hope in the matter it is that such contemporary redesigns often revert to original concepts. And emasculating the Colonel has been tried before. First they hired an actor to play him. Next, they animated him. Finally, they are simply pretending he never existed. It may work, but my guess is that it won”t.
However much bureaucrats want to change this country and its culture, people will always value a gentile grinning face. It’s the kind of authenticity one can only perfect after many years of suffering.