Last night, I retired to bed (who says that? I do.) around 9:30 and flipped through our hundreds of channels. Nothing on, so I ended up watching the Military channel. An odd choice, no doubt, but the show looked to be something on the relation of war and civilization and struck me as interesting.
But – the faceless narriator talked continuously about Prussia. Prussia and Austria. Well, who gives a crap about Austria? I don’t. But as I lay there, kitten arse in my face, I realized that I had absolutely no idea what the fuck Prussia is. A country? Certainly no more. A geographical location? Uhhhh. So I text my closest friends, a simple missive, expecting one of those great minds to reply with elucidating words to ease my confusion:
Sara (9:43pm): What the hell ever happened to Prussia? Baffling.
Aimee (9:46pm): Ross Gellar wants you.
My sister calls me immediately, but only to offer the wholly unconstructive, “What is wrong with you?”
Without the help of my trusted loved ones, I pry aforementioned kitten from under my chin and plod downstairs to Wikipedia this information. At this point, the knowledge is necessary to a restful sleep. Obviously, I’ll now share with you these little nuggets of Prussian history. No need to thank me.
1. Prussia is kinda Germany. That’s all you need to know. Really.
2. Fredrick II of Prussia (or the Great, to you) was an all-around alright guy. He was pen pals with Voltaire, who we know and love (don’t we?) and was a great patron of philosophy and the arts.
2. The reason you don’t remember poor ole Prussia? In 1934, the fucking Nazis abolished Prussia as a state. Yeah. And then, the allies kinda agreed. I get the feeling that Prussia was a bit of a pain in the ass. Trust me on that.
3. Some people still sing the virtues of Prussian values (these include: perfect organization, discipline, sacrifice, rule of law, obedience to authority, reliability, tolerance, honesty, frugality, punctuality, modesty, and diligence). I’m guessing the people that sing these virtues are people who, like, dig these really boring points of character. Yeah, you guys sound like a real laugh.
Now you know.