Return of the Hood

We tend to think of our common, American past, as a series of moments of shared quaintness — pocked with unimaginable lightning strikes of violence that we’d rather soon forget — and so we have.

Where once we cringed at the white robe, and the Hitler salutes of those Anti-Americans who were landed, and living among us, we now have them — fresh faced, cauterized, and smelling of Pine-Sol and Mothballs — all around us, Heiling Hitler, but not the rest of us; seeking a clawback return to a time they never knew, and a place they never dwelled, and yet, they seek validation, and exclusive membership, in a grog of hate that bears the sealing wax impression, and the tacit approval, of our President of the United States of America.

Continue reading → Return of the Hood

Coloring History: Should Facts Remain Black and White?

Every so often, we get someone who steps forward to decide our shared, national, record of events isn’t good enough in standard black and white — and so they take the task upon themselves to “convert” the established, memed, facts of black and white history into their color-coded version of hues — to reset, in their mind, what really happened.

This modernizing filter of alleged aesthetic and absolutely craven creativity is just as disturbing to me today as it was 30 years ago when I was an undergraduate Freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln taking a film class with the great Dr. June Perry Levine.

At the time of Dr. Levine’s course, Ted Turner was in full-burst mode in his effort to “colorize” old black and white movies and television shows by adding color to give them new life on his cable channel.

Turner’s effect was horrible and gross as skin colors were orange and backgrounds were dark blue and clothing was all a shade of a mossy green: Time travel at its complete worst.

Adding new color to old black and white images is like repainting a fresco of Christ.  The ultimate effect of each effort is the shared shameful same.

Continue reading → Coloring History: Should Facts Remain Black and White?

The Fallacy of the Nazi Label

Quite frequently when people engage in political arguments, they get increasingly aggressive. At some point they almost always use an analogy that is so completely useless and yet overused that when it is used online it has been memeingfully associated with a name — Godwin’s Law — which states that the longer an argument goes on online, the more likely that someone will invoke a Nazi analogy.

Continue reading → The Fallacy of the Nazi Label

An Anti-Semitic Encounter in Kew Gardens

The history of anti-Semitism stretches back many years and has existed more or less just as long as the Jewish people have existed. Our own holy scriptures are replete with stories of our people being persecuted for attempting to live their lives as Jews and it is a story that has repeated itself over and over again — year after year, decade after decade, century after century. Empire after empire, regime after regime have attempted to annihilate the entirety of the Jewish people and failed miserably in their efforts.

Continue reading → An Anti-Semitic Encounter in Kew Gardens

Dumb Like Me: Populism as Political Punishment

Here is a headline from the New York Times published on November 21, 1922:

Continue reading → Dumb Like Me: Populism as Political Punishment

Internet Hitler

Could the Internet have stopped Hitler?  If we all blogged about the Beer Hall Putsch — or if we revealed the precision of the train schedules and the suspicious smoke swirling from the Treblinka ovens — could we have stopped the killing of the Jews before the ghosts reached tragic proportions?  Nobel prizewinner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio believes it possible:

Continue reading → Internet Hitler

Dan Quayle with a Ponytail or Hitler in High Heels?

With Sarah Palin now on the Republican ticket — she is being mocked for her duplicity and for her rather fascist want to create one set of rules for the rest of us and another set of rules by which only she and her family are allowed to abide.  Some on the internets are satirically calling her “Hitler in High Heels” and “Dan Quayle with a Ponytail” and I find that comedic flaying fascinating on many levels as the parody image below suggests…

Continue reading → Dan Quayle with a Ponytail or Hitler in High Heels?