Tag Archives: nazis

Evan & Gordon Talk/Culture War Correspondence: Is It Okay to Punch Nazis?

EVAN: Ladies, gentlemen, and the rest, it has been almost two whole years since we released a “Culture War Correspondence”, the feature formerly known as “Evan and Gordon Talk”.

You can thank/blame my co-writer for its momentary revival, and I’ll let him be the one to introduce the topic for this week-

GORDON:  “Is it OK to punch Nazis?”

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Some of you may remember back in November, when alt-right spokesman Richard Spencer was clobbered during an interview with an Australian news channel, an event which prompted many across the nation (and indeed, the world) to ask that very question.

EVAN: When you first broached this topic with me I remember saying “Is the answer not ‘always’?”, to which you responded “Not by my book, no.”

That in turn led to me greenlighting this whole thing, because I think that may be as much a surprise to our readers as it was to me at the time.

GORDON: I guess part of that stems from who you define as a “Nazi”. I mean, sure, there’s the folks who stomp around in jackboots with swastikas tattooed over their chests…

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…But there’s plenty of folks- including Richard Spencer, who totally is a Nazi- who claim to be simple “White Nationalists”. As if there’s any ****ing difference.

I guess that’s to say I probably wouldn’t lay the almighty smackdown on someone’s bigoted grandma, y’know?

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Unless you cut me off in traffic one more time, Helen…

EVAN: It sounds like your stance, if you want to really boil it down, is to attack the able-bodied or “those who can take it.”

GORDON:   I don’t know if I’d say it’s about attacking those who can take it. Not that I’m in favor of wailing on the feeble (something that the Nazis, for the record, are all too eager to do), just that I don’t view someone’s bigoted grandmother as an actual threat.

If Agnes winds up pulling off the retirement-home-putsch, that might be another story.

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It’s not like the Fascist leadership in Germany, Spain, and Italy were all hip youngsters…

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Benjamin Netenyahu: Holocaust Denier

Readers, we interrupt your regular horror-themed post to bring you news from the Middle East- where, for anyone not keeping up, things have started heating up (even in this cold October).

Past weeks have seen a surge of violence on the streets of Jerusalem, as a spate of stabbings has left 8 Israelis and 56 Palestinians dead. Tensions continue to rise in a cycle of attacks and brutal retaliations, leading many to question if the region will see a 3rd Intifada in the coming days and weeks. With the looming threat of an all-out uprising, many within the region and internally have urgently called for peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netenyahu has not been among them.

Speaking at the World Zionist Convention this past Tuesday, Netenyahu proclaimed to his rapt audience that (and I quote):

Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time – he wanted to expel the Jews.”

-BBC World News (I’d link you to the YouTube clip, but I don’t want to give those racists the hits)

Netenyahu would go on to claim that it was only after meeting Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti (high-ranking Islamic religious scholar) of Jerusalem, that the “final solution” was implemented- Netenyahu claiming that Hitler only began the holocaust at the behest of the mufti.

And that is…

…just so ****ing stupid that I don’t even know where to begin.

I mean that every single word of that is wrong. And not just wrong but so obviously and categorically wrong. The wholesale murder of Jews/Roma/homosexuals/the disabled/communists/etc. was already well (as in years) underway by the time the mufti met with Hitler. Historians both within Israel and without, and across the full political spectrum, have poured their collective derision on Netenyahu’s barefaced lie.

-Everyone on the planet.

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5 Classic Films I’m Going to Force My Kids to Watch

Okay, I realize I don’t have kids yet, but I probably will eventually, so bear with me. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way watching movies have changed. When I was a kid everything was on VHS. You owned a few (or a lot) of movies and you watched those over and over until you could pretty much recite them by heart. If you were lucky, on nights when a friend came for a sleepover, you might get to go to the video store, where you would get to spend hours perusing the shelves for the most interesting-looking VHS. Unfortunately, my kids probably won’t have that experience.

I’m basically being the millennial version of this right now.

Even if there are a few video stores kept alive purely on nostalgia (like the one in Victoria, B.C.), John and I aren’t the kind of people who would bother buying a VHS or DVD player when we could just hook up our computer to a TV. So my kids will probably never have to watch the same show twice (unless they want to or I make them). Between Netflix and YouTube, there is an endless world of movies available. However, rather than let them just watch the newest flashiest shows around, I’ve officially decided I’m going to make them watch the classics with me. Here are a few movies that will be at the top of my list (for this particular list, I’ve decided to leave out cartoons to focus on the live-action films that have stayed with me through the years).

The Princess Bride

When I was a kid I LOVED The Princess Bride. The only thing was, I did not pick up on any of the sarcasm. In my little kid brain it was just this magical tale full of adventure, passion, and rodents of unusual size.

As an adult, I get to go back and laugh at the dry humour peppered throughout.

Yet somehow, even though I now know it’s a comedy, and I can laugh almost the whole way through the movie, the ending still gets me. In fact, I think it’s still one of the most poignant revenge plots I’ve seen.

You all should know how this line ends.

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How We Look At Hitler

Recently, my roommate has introduced me to an Australian series by the name of Danger 5, a parody show mocking the camp and melodrama of 1960s spy and WWII shows.

I’m usually not a fan of the saying “it’s so bad it’s good,” but there’s really no denying that Danger 5 captures the aesthetic (or lack thereof) of the genre it’s mocking perfectly. Heck, I’d put money down that if you were to slip in an episode of Danger 5 in with Hogan’s Heroes, Mission: Impossible (yeah, it was a show first), and Matt Helm you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Like those shows, Danger 5 follows a pretty set formula. The international band of agents are briefed on some new ploy by the Axis to achieve world domination (such as using dinosaurs to invade Holland- I kid you not) and are ordered to infiltrate the Nazi headquarters and sabotage their diabolical plot.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Evil

In an early Shame Day post I called a particularly reprehensible political lobby “what cancer would look like if it were a social movement.” While I continue to stand by that statement (this group was pulling the exact same ploy against Muslims that Middle Ages Christians used against Jews), a commenter did assert that I had gone too far, stating “as wicked or wrong as you think these people are, they remain human beings.”

It’s got me back to thinking on a subject that’s long held my interest- namely the issue of evil. You’d think it’d be pretty straight forward- right is right and wrong is wrong- but let me get right into an example.

Was this guy evil?

No question. Hitler and his followers aren’t simply evil- they’re the go-to example of evil. They’re our baseline for evil. Everything vile and nefarious is measured against either Hitler or the Nazis.

So what about this guy?

Columbus’s long-list of achievements (discovering America not being one of them) read more or less as a chronicle of genocide, slavery, and theft. It’s well known, certainly at this point, that Columbus was a greedy, narcissistic, tyrannical, and corrupt man. Even with streets, cities, a holiday, and even an asteroid commemorating him, surely we can all agree that this guy was evil. Not on the level of Nazi Germany, but still indisputably evil.

But what about him?

Yep, that’s Thomas Jefferson. President.  Founding Father. Author of the Declaration of Independence.

Slave owner.

Not just a slave owner, but an abusive one- carrying on an affair with one of his slaves (that slave also being his wife’s half-sister), getting her pregnant multiple times, and then promptly allowing his own children to spend the rest of their lives as slaves.

Pretty depraved, eh? If I did any one of these things, I’d be called out as a first-rate ******* (and rightly so). I’d be called evil, and that would be telling it like it is.

But let’s move on.

Is this guy evil?

That’s J. Edgar Hoover, founder of the FBI, which he oversaw with about the same leadership you’d expect from some Stone Age self-proclaimed god-king. Hoover was an egoistical, jealous, paranoid man who used the FBI to advance his own political agenda. In addition to all of this, Hoover was a rabid racist, and struggled long and hard against the Civil Rights movement, targeting MLK Jr. in particular, as well as spearheading a campaign to undermine the Black Power movement of the 1960s. Would you call this guy evil?

Ok, what about them?

Yes, the average American family (not pictured above), or heck, even just the average American? Our money goes to supporting companies that use sweatshop labor. Our money goes to supporting companies that recklessly destroy the environment. Our money goes to supporting corporations that push objectifying ads (especially, but not exclusively, in regards to women).

Our taxes go to supporting dictatorial regimes (such as former Egyptian president Mubarak), racist and apartheid states (such as Israel), and even states that utilize child soldiers.

Where does that put us?

Now all of that is simply to illustrate the apparent complexity of the issue. Evil is evil, yes, but pinning down exactly who is and isn’t evil becomes a little more complex once we look at someone other than the Nazis. Jefferson was instrumental not only to the founding of this nation, but to the establishment and perpetuation of the core concepts of democracy and human rights- even to the point where Martin Luther King Jr., a man whose ancestors Jefferson owned– wound up quoting him in his iconic I Have a Dream speech.

Likewise, there’s the issue with the average American. Almost none of us would actually be able to manage a sweatshop, or put an assault rifle in a twelve-year old’s hands, at least, not in person. Despite this, our economy is built on the backs of Bangladeshi kids working for twenty-five cents an our. Our security (we are told) is predicated on us coordinated with nations whose human rights records are drenched in blood (*Cough*China*Cough*Saudi Arabia*Cough*Columbia*Cough*). The vast majority of us either don’t know or don’t care; not enough to raise a voice in protest, anyhow. Again, what does that make us? We might not be ourselves actively implementing imperialism and violence and despotism, but we still do rake in the rewards and howl for more.

We could try arguing innocence by virtue of not being the ones pulling the trigger on any of this, but the truth that history has taught us over and over is that simple knowledge of an injustice creates moral culpability. To ignore injustice equates with committing injustice. We simply can’t escape it.

Not without risk of being hunted down by zealously religious Irishmen…

And maybe that’s the answer. Maybe we can’t be so picky about where we draw the line between right and wrong. Maybe the answer is sweeping judgment. That’s not meant to be some fire and brimstone-esque statement, that’s simply a fact of the matter. You’re not good and evil only when you embark on a mission of genocide- you’re a participant in a viciously evil system until such a time as you act otherwise. You’re part of the problem until you’re part of the solution.

That’s not to say that you have to be flawless. You’re not going to be able to do that (neither am I, for that matter)- in part because we’re human, and in part because the world we live in simply isn’t going to cooperate. But people, we can at least try. I don’t think making an effort to not totally **** up the planet and all that’s in it is really all that much to ask, do you?