I Atticus Finch – Too Long for YouTube, again – Putting down a diseased arguement humanely


 [CCSA3.0 Atani Studios]

Operation Frantic: blood on the boarder lands                                     [CCSA3.0 Atani Studios]

Every once in a while I come across something said on the internet that is so egregiously backwards that it requires a reply so equal in incisiveness that it bursts the bounds of the host site’s normal reply mechanism and the social requirement for the polite give and take of civilized netiquette.  So, today you seem to be victim of another Too Long for YouTube breakdown because of some YouTube commenter who’s replies are so rabid in the defense of the Nazi cause I have momentarily let slip good taste – though hopefully not common sense.

At these moments I feel prompted to act in a way like Atticus Finch, in Harprer Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” when the gentleman lawyer is compelled to shoot dead with one well-aimed shot, a hydrophobic dog wandering the streets of his town before it can cause harm any innocent bystander – or itself continue to suffer with its fatal affliction.

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Poison in the Well of Culture-slightly off topic reflection on Collective Guilt


The Fifth Labor of Heracles, cleansing the Augean Stables – [The Twelve Labors of Hercules, 1808, colorized by Atani]

I’m a little OT today.

Richard Landes, who is a professor of history, particularly millennialism, at Boston University wrote recently at his blog The Augean Stables on the phenomenon of lethal narratives in the reporting of the conflicts between Israel and her neighbors, particularly the Palestinians in a post Poison in the Middle East Conflict.  Richard seems to have been touched off in this case by two cartoons by Chappatte, which you can find at the top of his post or at Chappette’s website.

Landes, in my opinion, though his research and scholarship are impeccable, can be a little touchy about these sorts of things, understandably being a Jew, and deeply concerned about how Jews, Jewishness and Israel are portrayed in the media [meaning often neither fairly nor accurately].  Personally I found the first cartoon which referenced the [absurd] allegation that Yasser Arafat was poisoned with Polonium by Israel [“we have found traces of poison… in the Israeli Palastinian relationship”] ironic, but not particularly lethal.  The second cartoon, which referenced the talks between Hamas and Fatah, I found a bit of an eye-roller, neither funny, nor instructive in any way.  I didn’t find either of them particularly malicious, though Landes took some umbrage at Chappette over them.

Landes proceeds to elaborate on the nature of lethal narratives within the context of the Israel Palestinian conflict, most notably the Al Durah Affair, one of the seminal events of the Second [Al Aqsa] Intifada.  Landes has made a formal investigation of the circumstances of the September 30, 2000 death of Muhammed Al Durah and subsequent media depictions which he describes as, “The first blood libel of the 21st century,” at his more scholarly website The Second Draft.  Which, by the way, if you think you know anything about what happened during the Second Infitada, have never heard the term Pallywood, or accept at face value anything coming out of the main stream news media from that part of the world you need to check out The Second Draft.

On any other day I would have followed the topic more closely as Landes continued [my bold].

The most powerful lethal narrative, the Muhammad al Durah story, was a nuclear bomb of cognitive warfare. It aroused Muslims throughout the world; it filled Israelis with horror and sapped their ability to defend themselves against accusations; and it thrilled various groups, primarily Europeans and Leftists, who saw it as a “get-out-of-holocaust-guilt-free” card, which freed them from any commitment to be fair to Israel.

However, the “’get-out-of-holocaust-guilt-free’ card” bit nearly tipped me out of my chair laughing.  I commented:

I absolutely loved your, “’get-out-of-holocaust-guilt-free’ card…” comment – I would pay for the copyright to that one – and so true.

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The Societal Scars of Slavery-Searching for Common Ground an Ongoing Dialogue


Cicatrices_de_flagellation

The Scars of Slavery, A man named Peter, Louisiana 1863 - source Wikimedia

I had a very kind comment from The Chiefio, regarding my previous post, A Comment on the Downfall of the Slavery Driven Expansion of the Antebellum United States, which was itself derived from a comment I made on a post over at his blog entitled Slavery Shrunk America.

As an aside – you can see immediately that The Chiefio and the Meme Merchants Consortium are operating on very different theories about titling posts.  Chiefio seems to be operating on the Norman Mclean [Scottish] model, and we MMC on the James Joyce [or Irish] model – oddly the MMC tends towards Scottish ancestry, and Chiefio Irish – go figure.

Naturally, my interests were somewhat tangential to Chiefio’s original post, which had more to do with how North South pre-Civil War political wrangling over the slave issue affected US expansionism southwards into Mexico, but we seem to be having some kind of a civil conversation on the subject – I’m loving it.  You can decide if its interesting to you.

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The Rosenstrasse Protests-Towards a New Theory of German Resistance, and Why We Should Care


Rosenstraße Berlin

Rosenstraße Berlin today - source Wikimedia

The Rosentrasse Protests

I concluded my previous post The White Rose of Munich with:

For all the world’s peoples, not just the German people, the Nazi state, the Holocaust, represents an important lesson to be learned about being human and how we as peoples have to learn how to deal with events of such enormous terribleness as the Holocaust or other genocides.  The example of the White Rose of Munich help us all see how it is possible.

Well, this is the thesis I have been working on since 2006, the German people working through their collective guilt and collective shame as time passes, new scholarship emerges and new art is produced.  Why should we begrudge the German people a few generations to work through one of the darkest chapters in human history when in America, a hundred and fifty years after the fact, we are still trying to figure out what happened to us as a people with the issue of slavery and our own little Civil War.

Then I watched the movie Rosenstraße and I was sent back to the drawing board.

So far so good – I have developed the thesis that The White Rose as a resistance movement, and so poignantly symbolized by the martyrdom of Sophie Scholl, was fundamentally a failure in its own time, but gained its true significance only in the post-war years, initially in Germany and for the Germans, and more recently in the rest of the world, and with profound implications for the evolution of human society.

I will now attempt to extend my line of thinking, though I must point out this is merely a first pass with this new version of the thesis.  Again, this discussion is not meant to be a movie review, nor is it strictly a scholarly discussion of the history.  This discussion deals with the notion that the movie, which while inspirational to my thinking, isn’t the history, but is a mirror of the development of modern German attitudes about their history.

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Victims of Their Own Oppression-Some Random Thoughts on Nazi Manipulation of Reality


Bundesarchiv_Bild_146III-373,_Modell_der_Neugestaltung_Berlins_("Germania")

I have some thoughts on the general subject of my previous post that did not really belong there, but might serve to expand the context in a useful way.  Books could, have been written on the subject, this post will not be one of them.  Necessarily there are many possible topics that I am not going to be covering, I will be presenting a smattering that were crossing my mind as I was writing the previous post.

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