Lipton’s Journal/January 31, 1955/381
What-the-hell. What we are saying, “No matter what the hell which awaits us, let’s go on because we have to do this.” Shortened in life to “What the hell, let’s do it.” So true of Americans who have carried the English casualness into reckless casualness. That is why our heroes are always cool. The English gentleman is cool in stress, that is the great value to him—he sees death or a potential social disaster as the same thing. So English gentlemen were great on the battlefield; it was more a social situation to them than the end of their life. They had to be cool because to be cool is for the English the social imperative. But Americans are more primal; so for us to be cool in action is the basic thing. The Englishman sees death as a social situation. The American close to death and danger (dagger—danger) all his life for our greatness as a nation was the vividness of thein us, sees the social situation as death.