31 May 2009

There's a Surprise


BNP in only pretending not to be racist shocker. I suppose that's why he's stopped saying stuff like this:

Edit: It's a good thing they're shit at it.

30 May 2009

Dein REICH komme, Dein Wille geschehe

Excellent, horrible, excellent article on British gulags in Kenya. One bit I take exception to:
Yet in Britain today, there is a blood-encrusted blank spot about Empire. On the reality show The Apprentice, the contestants recently had to pick a name for their team, and they said they weanted “something that represented the best of British” – so they settled on “Empire.” Nobody objected. Imagine young Germans blithely naming a team “Reich”: it’s unthinkable, because they have had to study what their fathers and grandfathers did, and expunge these barbarous instincts from their national DNA.
Hari is right that no German team would call themselves 'Reich'. But the main reason for this is that it sounds rubbish in German, as Germans are not nearly as prone to snappy names and titles. In fact, when Germans translate Hollywood film titles, they often have the full English title, with a lengthy German subtitle, for example 'Der Fluch: The Grudge'.

And he's made a typical anglophone mistake with this German word. The word 'Reich' is not quite so appalling to German speakers as it is to English speakers with German A-Level. For a start, 'reich' also means 'rich', so "Die Reichen" might be just the sort of thing a group of German yuppie twats would call themselves. Secondly, the word 'Reich' has a lot of variants. In second year at Uni, I got corrected for my use of the phrase "das Zweite Reich" - the second Reich. It's called the 'Kaiserreich' in German. As you might expect, only the Nazis numbered their predecessors one and two. Also, if you scroll down to the bottom of the list, you'll see us: 'Vereinigtes Königreich' - United King-reich. What you don't see on that list is our 'Weltreich' - the World-reich on which the sun never set. You even had the öster-reich-isches Kaiser-reich until 1918. And although 'Reich' does have slightly negative connotations, these are not so clear cut. Germans can't just refer to 'das Reich' in history as, as everyone who's ever picked up a history book knows, they've had three.

This is quite a common problem with lendwords. Germans have it too - whereas we have one word 'network', they have the German word 'das Netzwerk' and the fashionable slice of irritating business jargon 'das Network'. The latter refers solely to the irritatingly fashionable business practice of 'networking', meaning Germans can say just 'Ich habe ein gutes Network' where an English speaker might have to clarify, or use an alternative such as 'contacts' or 'connections'. This goes both ways, but with the weight of history's most hated regime on its shoulders. I remember an American colleague of mine, before I moved to Germany, wondering how the 'Deutsche Volksbank' could even consider using such a Nazi word as 'Volk' in their name. All I could say was that for Germans, the word is as normal as 'the people', and even more so, since they use it where we would use 'folk', for example 'Volksmusik'. And it's all part of our silly practice of taking German words from one specific era, using them solely in that context until they become short-hand for its ideology (often adding umlauts for good measure), then assuming we can just plug them back into German and they'll mean the same thing. And of course, until you've heard, read, written and spoken the word 'Reich' and its variants a few dozen times in German-language contexts, you won't even notice yourself doing it.

However, what's also interesting is the linguistic relationship between 'Reich' and 'Raj'. So he's not quite so out in the end perhaps.

28 May 2009

Luton is Al Qaeda's Ground Zero

Why, why did I look at Lionheart's blog again? Alright the quote in the title is, for someone who spent much of his childhood visiting relatives in Luton, undiluted hilarity*. But I want gifts that keep on giving, not arseholes that keep on shitting.

For a start, the post is riddled with lies:
Have you heard him mention one word about murderous Islamic extremism in Luton?
I would hope not, considering the only violence that accompanied the Anglian troops' homecoming was by counter-demonstrators. Lionheart quite clearly does not understand that there is a slight distinction between Islam and murder. He also tops it all off with a video by shameless liar Glen Jenvey.

And for a finish, look at his justification for the shop window broken during racist riots in Luton:
After speaking to Luton citizens who were present on the Anti-extremist protest on Sunday May 24th, about the events on the day, it was pointed out to me that this chicken and chip shop that was targetted, was attacked specifically because it was a local heroin front for the organised Pakistani Moslem drug gangs of Bury Park, Luton.

The police are powerless to shut these drug front and money laundering businesses down, so members of the Luton community took matters into their own hands on Sunday, and right or wrong, they smashed the windows of this shop out of desperation at the local authorities inaction about the problem of Moslem extremism of all forms in their community.
[...]
He [Luton's treasonous MEP] would rather stand up and protect Moslems who are aligned to militants, than the wider community, and then condemns normal citizens who have taken matters into their own hands because his own government is doing nothing about the problem.
Put aside the facts that Lionheart is giving the vigilante's classic justification, and that chucking a brick through a window isn't exactly going to bring down the local heroin trade, this is incredibly revealing about the nature of the entire protest.

Now the protest claims to oppose extremism, and March for England explicitly repudiates racism and actually mentions defending "innocent and moderate Muslims" in its mission statement. There was even an explicitly anti-racist sign there if you scroll right down, even if the guy holding it's getting a dirty look from a nearby skinhead. Yet by Lionheart's own argument the shop was attacked for its links, not with extremism, but with (alleged) drug-dealing. They clearly missed that crucial meeting, and were marching in a far more general sense, not against Islamic extremism, but against everything bad they could possibly link to Muslims or people of Islamic skin colour. No wonder a swarthy passer-by ended up with a bloody nose.

*Odd, I typed 'hitlarity' first time round. Is my keyboard trying to tell me something?

27 May 2009

The Grammar of Authoritarianism

Starting to notice an unusual upshot of the fall of Fascism and Communism and the prevalence of the liberal-democratic consensus. Don't get me wrong, I love all that liberal democracy shit, it's great, but the fact that it's ended up largely beyond criticism has had some rather fucked-up effects on our language. In modern society, saying "We oppose democracy and individual freedom" leaves you less popular than saying it was you kidnapped Maddie. So, whenever people oppose some kind of freedom, which they often do - though only for other people of course - they always have to phrase it in terms of freedom. I did a branespeak on one of these once, I've also found one on Lionheart's blog, via mail-hating Perec fan Anton Vowl, and again today on the Beeb. And of course, there's the ubiquitous "MY human rights" cuntwhine.

We'll start with Lionheart, being the outright simplest and the most blatantly hypocritical, says:
Another demonstration which has been given the green light by Luton Borough Council is planned for May 24th where a petition will be handed into the relevant people, demanding that Sayful Islam and his group be banned from Luton town centre.
He has a lot to say on the subject of freedom, which I can't be arsed trawling through, but among other things, he quotes Geert Wilders here as saying:
Ladies and gentlemen, the dearest of our many freedoms is under attack. In Europe, freedom of speech is no longer a given. What we once considered a natural component of our existence is now something we again have to fight for. That is what is at stake. Whether or not I end up in jail is not the most pressing issue. The question is: Will free speech be put behind bars?
and himself adds:
Thats why people say what they say on blogs like this one because it is still our right to say what we are thinking based upon the facts, its called FREEDOM of SPEECH, but a full page spread in the National news, come on what is this Country coming too
So Lionheart, staunch defender of free speech, is weeing himself in anticipation at a demonstration calling for the state to restrict a private citizen's freedom of movement based on his peacefully-expressed opinions. Now, I wouldn't go so far as to say that you shouldn't be allowed to say such things, but there should definitely be some kind of state recognition, like a trophy or something, for that kind of hypocrisy.

Next, the Proposition 8 cretins, and a Beeb-molester calling himself Ulysses S. Drivel. Ulysses wants the
Right to stop having the Government tell me I should eat 5 portions of fruit a day
and the decision to uphold state intervention reducing individual freedom
was hailed as a "victory for democracy" by Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative group that supported Proposition 8. "[The ruling is] a victory for the civil rights of clergy, county clerks and Californians across the political spectrum who did not want to be forced by the government to approve of same-sex marriage," he said.
I've put the verbs in italics. Look how complicated they are. Especially Ulysses'. Jesus. Serious rights like the right to express your opinion, the right to vote or the right not to be imprisoned without trial, passives and negatives notwithstanding, can generally be expressed in one verb - one action which you are permitted, or the state is forbidden, to do. The Pacific Justice Institute pulls of a deft little sleight of hand with "to be forced to", but as far as I know forcing approval out of someone is impossible. You get some very similar attitudes if you google "forced to tolerate", and waves of authoritarian paranoia with "force us to tolerate". Naturally there are exceptions, but when your grammatical construction involves the right to:
  • silence people you disagree with
  • stop members of the government talking
  • stop other people marrying in their chosen format
  • generally ban stuff you don't like
you're not defending freedom and you're either deluded or disgustingly mendacious if you claim otherwise.

Basically, once an idea becomes established, such as freedom, womens' rights (at least among women, anyway) or Jews being people and Nazism being something of a bad thing, you need to be very, very cynical when you hear these in any argument.

Edit: tidied up the quotes, added another one, thought of a better title.

25 May 2009

Little Bugger Gets Everywhere

Old school friend of mine took a medical knowledge quiz on the Face-Book. Did quite well on it (and I'd hope so too, him being a doctor and all). You'll never guess who the doctor was they used to illustrate the rank of "consultant":
Is it just me or is this guy a tad familar?

21 May 2009

אַ שײַנע שפּראָכ

לערנט סיכ יידיש

ווי וואָדי עלען

Very Good Article

Weird and depressing as it is that someone felt the need to explain why rape is bad, this article, though potentially triggering, does a really good job of it.

20 May 2009

What Scandal?

I cannot stress this enough. This expenses shenanigan: it's not a scandal. It is not a scandal. Scandals involve shock revelations, which require at least some kind of element of surprise. The revelations we have had from whatever gate-based name you want to give this story are as follows:
  1. That British political culture is opaque, secretive and deliberately obstructive.
  2. That politicians are on the make.
  3. That politicians are dishonest.
  4. That people milk their expense accounts as much as they think they can get away with it.
  5. That politicians, when discovered, scapegoat anyone they can to save their sorry skins.

Now is there anyone, anyone on the cynical little island I call home who did not already know all of these? The only reason anyone considers this a major story is because all five seem to have coincided, and at a time when politicians, especially the ones in power, are extremely unpopular. Only shock fact #1 is even vaguely specific to Britain, and I suppose there's a slight chance it may not have dawned on a couple of people.

And the most reasonable reaction from Westminster was immediately mocked and shouted down - that MPs were only acting within the system. Obviously, this is no excuse, but it's the obvious cause and the obvious solution. If you're upset about what the piggies are doing in the trough, move the trough. Changing the pigs won't help. Even getting thicker, more racist pigs in as a protest won't help. The only way the BNP would change British political culture is by covering their tracks more ineptly and beating up people who looked like Shahid Malik. We should remember, however, which party brought in the Freedom of Information Act that meant we could clamp down on this abuse. New Labour deserve credit for bringing in the act that bit them deservedly in the arse.

16 May 2009

Curious

Now I know the BNP are not actually racist any more, just concerned about people who aren't white. But I'm still concerned about antisemitic statements their not-at-all-racist-or-antisemitic leader may have made in the past, like accusing Jews (other than Uri Gellar) of having mindbending powers and, of course, having conspired to fake their own deaths in WWII. Now I'm sure the new Nick Griffin isn't at all hostile to Jewish people. In fact, he's eagar to leap to their defence when they are attacked by Muslims or criticised for blowing up Muslims.

I just find it a little odd that we never hear why he changed his mind. I mean, he explained the pragmatic reasons for repudiating antisemitism, but that was probably just to win the party faithful round to his new point of view. I'd be really, really interested to find out how he arrived at the conclusion that the Protocols were faked and the Holocaust was real and not the other way around. But wikipedia has nothing on his personal Damascene conversion, and when I did a site search on google, Jews weren't mentioned at all in relation to mindbenders, and there was nothing, literally nothing on the holohoax. You'd have thought, with all the claims not to be leading a racist, anti-Semitic, Nazi-sympathising party, putting something as important as a Public Order Act conviction for Holocaust denial behind him would be high on his priorities. You'd definitely think he'd go public with his retraction. After all, if he's going to use Jews as a stick to hit Muslims with, he doesn't want to risk looking a hypocrite.

So if anyone can find such an explanation as to why Nick Griffin stopped hating Jews and started worrying for their safety, I'd be really grateful.

15 May 2009

Out of the Way Yankee! A British Person Wants to Air His Opinion!

Alright, so it's none of my business really, not:
  • being American
  • being gay
  • being married
  • intending to get married
  • being gay married or intending to get gay married
  • being in the slightest bit interested in beauty contests
  • being a Christian or even religious
  • generally caring where other men put their willies
But I've still decided to wade into the Carrie Prejean debate. Here she is, bravely speaking to the press, despite having been silenced, and continuing to stand up for her beliefs, despite the incalculable risk a raised profile may pose to her career.
Now she invokes the idea of "freedoms", especially "freedom of speech" and being "punished" for her opinions. She also claims she didn't plan to be at the centre of a media firestorm. Your heart bleeds, doesn't it? Now I'm pretty sure she had hoped to be in the public eye, the thing with the photos is more a copyright and ownership issue, but it's the "freedom of speech" bit that gets me. She seems to think freedom of speech is the right not to be criticised for your opinions. She seems to think free speech means everybody else shutting their gob if they disagree with the content of your speech. Which is just like our politically incorrect brigade on my side of the pond. You know the ones. The ones who never shut up about being a silent majority and who you constantly hear complaining about their opinions being stifled. The "You can't even say you're terrified of Muslims without being called an Islamophobe" lot. Them.

So I think we need to clarify what freedom of expression actually is. Freedom of expression does not extend to:
  1. Shouting 'fire' in a crowded theatre
  2. Making public statements expressing fuckwitted bigotry and expecting not to be publicly vilified as a bigoted fuckwit

Another person, by the way, who utterly failed to understand this principle is Bill O'Reilly.

But to summarise: "Freedom of speech" does not mean "shut up".

12 May 2009

Fair-Weather Supporters and Armchair Fans

If there’s one thing I like more than niche opinions, it’s niche opinions with absolutely no sense of perspective or self-awareness whatsoever. So I was delighted to stumble on “National Socialism for Jews”:



That’s their real logo, by the way. And as far as I can tell they mean it. I actually rather like it, from a purely aesthetic point of view. Understated, nice Israel-blue swish, tasteful use of font effects; somewhere, there’s a talented graphic designer going to waste. But despite probably being a colossal embarrassment to Jews and National Socialists alike, they still made one very interesting point, putting them just behind a stopped clock:
The Jewish people have never had a friend in both fair and foul weather. Our allies have betrayed us, deserted us in our hour of need, and killed us in unprecedented numbers using crematoria and poison gas. To be Jewish is to know that wherever you go, you'll always have to watch your back.

I can’t really argue with that, especially if you look on it from the National perspective these Kahanist Nazis undoubtedly do. America promised liberty and justice for all, but when the pursuit of happiness involved a round of golf, it was often rather tricky for Jews. France was one of the first countries in Europe to offer full citizenship to the Jews, but then came the Dreyfus affair. Nineteenth-century Germany was so liberal towards Jews for its day that Herzl envisioned German as the language of Israel, Czech Jews came under fire for being too German, and one Jewish writer even claimed that all Jews were basically Germans. Then look what happened. And the Arabs and Muslims which we so often stereotype as virulent anti-Semites were, throughout the Middle Ages, more tolerant than and not nearly so pogrom-happy as Christendom.

But if you start to chop things up by ideology instead of country (as is often done by sensible people who don’t think Hitler had the right idea but the wrong race), it doesn’t hold quite so well. Historically, though naturally with a fair few exceptions, it has been the Left, the progressives, radicals and Socialists of their times that have defended and campaigned for and alongside the Jews for emancipation. So much so, in fact, that Jews were often characterised as agents of radicalism and left-wingers in turn as their stooges.

Israel has lots of friends at the moment. Lots of friends who claim to be sticking up for the Jews. Israel also seems to have a lot of enemies, who all seem to get accused of anti-Semitism, apology for anti-Semitism, or apology for the apologists of anti-Semitism. What’s unusual is that, apart from the seriously deranged, definitely very anti-Semitic Islamist groups, these enemies tend to be liberals, socialists, pacifists and internationalists. Groups typically known to defend multiculturalism and official tolerance, groups which, along with civil libertarians of all streaks, have historically been close allies to Jewish emancipation movements, and groups which you can’t really imagine Hitler making friends with. Though, of course, the Left isn't entirely behind Israel at the moment.

But let's look at some of the people Israel has backing it. The religious right, military supremacists, and a good handful of ultra-nationalists and self-affirmed “patriots”. These are generally not the groups who were good friends to the Jews before they got their own country. Historically, these are not the types who stick up for the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in their own country. Israel’s allies now include BNP members and, tacitly, its Holocaust denying leader, even Neo-Nazis who don’t bother pretending not to be Neo-Nazis. I’ve even seen a staunch ally of Israel, Bill O’Reilly, use the Promised Land as a stick to beat American Jews with.
Bill O'Reilly knows [Chanukah is part of the American festive tradition] and doesn't like it one bit, as evidenced by his response to a Jewish caller last December who said that he found O'Reilly's views on Christmas objectionable. O'Reilly told him to "move to Israel."


A while back, I read that Bismarck used to refer to Disraeli as the “little Oriental”. It seemed absurd to me. Not absurdly offensive, just absurd to see a British Jew as part of the “Orient”, when we now see even Israel’s Mizrahi Jews as part of the West. You see, something very weird happened in 1948. Suddenly, the Jews went from being a hated and abused minority to a constitutionally-protected majority and the dominant military power in the region, with a host of powerful allies. Sixty years is a short time to go from David to Goliath, and a lot of Israelis have maybe not fully adjusted just yet. The West definitely has. Now the Jews live like us, govern like us and, most importantly, fight like us, well, standing by them while they accidentally blow up Oriental civilians is as easy as supporting any other accident-prone act of imperial aggression. Jews who think the world has only sided with them because of what happened with Hitler and that their enemies hate them solely for who they are should be wary. Just as the left like to think of ourselves as champions of the oppressed, right-wingers do love to back a winner. How much is sympathy for Israel sympathy for the Jews and how much is it sympathy for a powerful state smashing a stateless people? Like I said, wary.

Now, I’ve heard a few of its supporters claim that Israel only has to lose one war on its own soil and it’s screwed, which I can well believe. But let’s imagine this scenario in a bit more detail. If the Jews of Israel got driven into the sea, some lucky ones would (hopefully) get on boats and escape elsewhere. Basically, we’re talking a large-scale return to the Diaspora, and not just the descendants of former Europeans and Americans, but also those of Jews expelled from Arab lands, who have maintained a lot of their cultural values. Now I’m confident that any sympathy for their adversaries on the mainstream Left would evaporate the moment Jews started drowning, despite some quiet and rapidly condemned mumblings about just deserts. Do Israelis really believe their new-found friends’ sympathy for the Jewish people wouldn’t evaporate the moment Jews stopped mowing down bad guys with their state-of-the-art weaponry? Have they noticed what the armchair Zionists in the British press usually have to say about immigrants and asylum seekers? Who do Jews think will be their friends, should they ever stop being an outpost of the civilised West in the savage Orient, and start being an outpost of the savage Orient in the civilised West? Should our image of modern Jewry ever change from muscular, Uzi-wielding heroes in olive-drab to boatloads of terrified refugees with missing papers and broken, accented English, I hope they don’t think Bill O’Reilly and Nick Griffin will still be the guys to turn to.

11 May 2009

What do you get if you lock three Mullahs in a room together?

Four opinions, it turns out. Very interesting article, unusual angle.

10 May 2009

Telegraph in Frankly Embarrassing Hypocrisy Shocker

Just stumbled on this smug partisan tirade on the Torygraph. Basically, it claims the Left doesn't care about conflicts where white people and Jews aren't the bad guys, with all the nasty insinuations of racism that come attached. An example of this spurt of straw-mannism and snobbery:
Arabs fighting Arabs, or Africans fighting Africans, are easily ignored, especially when it doesn't fit in with some ex-poly sociology professor's world view about western capitalist oppression of the Global South.

So I thought I'd look up the Telegraph's struggle for the causes he mentions. How many Torygraphers are blogging on the LRA in Uganda and their leader Joseph Kony, for example. Well, quite a lot it turns out. What about Ed West. How much does he have to say on it? Oh. Just the one article then. Those poor Africans. This is even more fascinating: if you look for posts on the "western sahara" one is on the very general topic of protest, where Western Sahara is mentioned in passing by a commenter, and the other four are all about Israel. It's almost like right-wingers actually don't give two shits about any of these places, and only mention them when they want to shout someone down for double standards and anti-Semitism.

05 May 2009

Absolutely Wonderful

I've actually found the funniest satirical blog in the world. A mixture of bad puns, smug self-importance, bad puns, amateurish photoshopping and bad puns. This horse's arse produces his works of rubbish partisan satire by:
1. Superimposing an unpopular famous person's face onto a picture,
2. Calling it a day.
That's less work than Eminem puts in.

This is the best one though, where he asks, "Does my arse look big in this?", photoshops Jacqui Smith's face onto an obese belly-dancer (note: the obese belly-dancer's arse is not actually visible in the picture) and then answers his own question with a bright red, resounding "YES!". It's brilliant. He could have just written JACQUI SMITH IS SOMEWHAT PORTLY and saved himself five minutes' work. He's not above that sort of thing, after all.

He does seem unhealthily fixated with Jacqui Smith being a cunt, which is odd, as she's the only New Labour Home Secretary I wouldn't use that word for, as as far as I'm concerned she's more of a slightly pitiable halfwit. Now Phil Woolas. There's a cunt.

Edit: I also weed myself just reading his tagcloud, and love the utterly pointless addition of the word 'twat', again in big red letters, to this, just in case we accidentally thought by mistake that G.O.T. likes Ed Balls instead of hating him (he doesn't like him, he hates him). It's the gift that keeps on giving.

02 May 2009

Good News from Israel

Firstly: Swine flu. Now if I was an adherent of a religion which considered pigs unclean, naming a disease after pigs wouldn't make me angry. It would make me insufferably smug. We may be on the verge of a global pandemic of self-satisfied Jews and Muslims, so semantics should be the least of our worries.

Secondly, Israel just got wiped off the map. Literally. Wasn't as bad as you expected, was it?

Update: Plus your fucked-up arthropods generate AWESOME HEADLINES.