Sunday, February 26, 2006

David Irving

David Irving is a fuckhead. His holocaust denials are pathetic and he is deserving of public scorn. However, I must take offense to his 3 year prison sentence for this. I do so on 2 fronts. First, freedom of speech. Historians must be able to say what they want to. Hell, all of us must fight for this right. It's an old axiom that free speech cases are always fought for the least deserving people. This is certainly true in Irving's case. But 3 years in prison. Why? Even for someone as stupid as Irving, this doesn't seem necessary. In fact, won't this set him up for martyrdom as much as anything? What is the point of this exactly? In a time when Europe is experiencing all kinds of racial strife, is the Austrian government really making any kind of statement here except for singling out Jews as the one group you can't talk bad about.

And this brings me to the second defense. On "Fresh Air" the other day I heard an interview with one of Newsweek's Middle Eastern correspondants. I don't remember who exactly but it doesn't really matter. He brought up this case and said that for Muslims, imprisoning Irving for saying the Holocaust doesn't exist while Europe publishes blasphemous cartoons of Muhammad screams hypocrisy. Whether or not it is in fact hypocrisy may be fairly irrelevant, as is the fact that Austria and Denmark are 2 different nations. For much of the Islamic world, Europe is a single entity and they are not going to split hairs to find differences between Irving and the cartoons.

So to summarize, politically the imprisonment of Irving is stupid. In addition, it is offensive to any notions of free speech.

Anthony Lane on Revenge of the Sith (Again)

I love Anthony Lane. In his original New Yorker post on Revenge of the Sith, he savaged the movie, hilariously sending up Yoda's syntax (among other things) and ending one paragraph with the classic line "Break me a fucking give."

In his overview of the films of 2005 in the January 16 issue (yes, I'm woefully behind on my magazine reading), he again takes on Revenge of the Sith, writing:

"I did laugh at the end of "Revenge of the Sith," but that was from pure relief, much as the people of Stalingrad gave a bitter, mirthless grin when the siege was finally lifted."

Not being a Star Wars guy, I find this hilarious.

In other notes from this article, Lane discusses the lack of comedy in today's films. I wonder if this is true. Clearly, we are not in any golden age of comedy. Most comedies are flat and boring. I'm going to see His Girl Friday today so maybe I'll have more to say on this later. I do find it an interesting observation.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

South Carolina--Yeah!

Check out this story about South Carolina's attempts to attract international tourists. I know that if I were a German, I would love to spend my vacation in South Carolina. I thought I'd give that glorious state a few suggestions on attractive tourist sites:

Guided tours of Bob Jones University. Come and see the Christian center of America! Be told how bad you are! And by the way, check out the white people on the website. I mean, they are white! If you click on the site often enough, you can even see the school's one black student.

What about the Pitchfork Ben Tillman home? Show the world South Carolina's long historical tradition of tolerance! Such as this Tillman speech from 1900:

"We did not disfranchise the negroes until 1895. Then we had a constitutional convention convened which took the matter up calmly, deliberately, and avowedly with the purpose of disfranchising as many of them as we could under the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments. We adopted the educational qualification as the only means left to us, and the negro is as contented and as prosperous and as well protected in South Carolina to-day as in any State of the Union south of the Potomac. He is not meddling with politics, for he found that the more he meddled with them the worse off he got. As to his “rights”—I will not discuss them now. We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be equal to the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him. I would to God the last one of them was in Africa and that none of them had ever been brought to our shores. But I will not pursue the subject further."

And we can pair that with a visit to the home of Strom Thurmond! We can hear about how ol' Strom did so much for the whites of America. And see salacious diary entries about how much he loved fucking his little black wench. Man, is it fun being white!!!

If these sites are all successful, maybe our friends from South Carolina can develop a driving tour of lynching sites around the state. It could be the "Protection of White Womanhood State Driving Tour." No doubt each road sign would have a noose, or perhaps a pair of castrated black testacles.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

God Bless Them, One And All

Just a quick post to say that my new best friends are book buyers. I had all these worthless textbooks laying around in my office that companies had sent me to get me to use them in class. I looked through them but stayed with what I already use. So a book seller just came by and wanted to buy them. I said, why not. Didn't figure I'd get much but it was better than them cluttering up my office. I give up 6 and I get freaking $90. It's like my birthday, except I don't get any older!

I mean, this is the basic deal:
Book Buyer--"I would love to give you a lot of money for a product that is valueless to you."
Me--"Um, OK."