Tag: Nazis

Portland’s Neo Nazis

On the Media has a good interview with Wilamette Week repoter Corey Pein, one of the only journalists (maybe the only journalist) to have interviewed the Portland train stabber before the stabbing (interivews at right-wing demonstrations). He contextualizes the white power movement in Portland, a power center for skinheads dating back to at least the 90s (you may recall if you recently watched Green Room), the KKK before that, and the Oregon territory’s “whites only” status.

Pein describes the attacker as an avowed Nazi eager to commit violence against people of color and antifa activists — a man who had Vinlander tattoos, participated in skinhead forums, and spoke openly about being radicalized in prison. In other words, not a Bernie bro gone bad. He did root for Bernie because of an explicit desire to kill Hillary Clinton, but also presumably wanted to kill Bernie, since he hoped that all Jews (and the wrong sort of Christians) would be sent to the gas chambers. (Not an ironic Nazi. A Nazi.)

The whole interview is worth a listen. It’s 12 minutes.


Cultural Appropriation of Islamic Terrorism

I admit I often find concerns about cultural appropriation overblown, and think “what harm does it do, really,” but in this case…

Tampa man arrested for allegedly killing ‘neo-Nazi’ roommates for disrespecting his Muslim faith” (Courtney Connley, ABC News)

Arthurs stated that he had once shared a common neo-Nazi belief with his two roommates before converting to Islam, and that the shooting deaths were caused by [his roomates] disrespecting his Muslim faith.

Somehow I don’t think it’s Islam doing the heavy lifting on this guy’s propensity toward murder.

The fourth roommate (not killed, not the murderer) was subsequently arrested because the apartment contained explosive devices and he’d been “participating in online neo-Nazi internet chat rooms where he threatened to kill people and bomb infrastructure.”

Mind you, all of this is in the back half of the article. The front half is Arthurs saying “Allah Mohammed” (which I think is like saying God the Father Jesus?) and complaining about America bombing “his Muslim countries.” His. Because they’re his now.

For context, this takes place in Florida. Partly at a head shop.

As Florentine professor Olivier Roy has observed, we’re not seing a radicalization of Islam as much as we’re seeing an Islamicization of radicalism.

Victor Borge

As my uncle Rex points out, “wittiest guy ever and English was his second language.” One of the great comedians. If you need a laugh today, this video‘s first minute and a half alone will sort you out.

Gives me hope that I will one day be funny in Italian. But not Victor Borge funny, let’s not get ridiculous.

Jeff says: My introduction to Victor was at about age six on PBS’s “The Electric Company”. I never knew until now that English wasn’t his first language.

Romie: Born in Copenhagen. Was playing a concert in Sweden when the Nazis occupied Denmark. Fled to Finland and then the U.S. (on a U.S. army transport, no less, the last ship out before I think a blockade?) Did not speak a word of English when he arrived.

Rex: The year after arriving in U.S. he was doing comedy on the radio. In English. He learned English by watching the same movie repeatedly til the dialogue made sense. In two years he was a regular on the Bing Crosby show. After four years he had his own show on NBC! Amazing.

Holocaust Remembrance and the NeverEnding Story

In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, my I present a short essay I wrote about the Nazi-fighting message contained in the movie NeverEnding Story – which, lest you forget, was directed by Wolfgang Petersen right after he finished Das Boot. They look like big, good, strong hands, don’t they?

“Holocaust Remembrance and the NeverEnding Story,” on Medium

(Although I’ve added pictures and made a small edit to the lead in, I wrote the majority of the text in October because after all I am a futurist.)

Sylvia says: I totally agree with everything you wrote and you gave me new ways to look at the never-ending story. I would say that, yes Bastian is a hero, because he took strength within himself. He used the glimpse of a creator (as the human kind can be classified) to create an alternative solution, alternative to misery of life. When such tragedies the holocaust occur, any poet, philosopher or idealist rebel is salvation of the society, right then and there or in years to come. They can because looking at reality with creativity (wherefore out of the box) they are the only ones who can find a solution where the other well known solutions didn’t work, and the only ones who want to shout them out or at least the only ones who know how to shout them, just like Bastian who is the only one who eventually shouted to Atreyu because of his nature of thinking out of what society would feed him. If this makes sense

Romie: Yes, exactly. Even when there are smaller tragedies in my life, I find myself seeking out stories and music and art I haven’t seen before, because it is no comfort to return to what already existed for me until I can see it with new eyes.

Sylvia: I do the same, just browse and instinctively find a different perspective or morality/motivation.

Nic says: I feel bad that when I watched it recently my main thought was ‘Why doesn’t Atreyu just squeeze round the back of those laser statues instead of going down the middle? there’s loads of room…”

Romie: They could have lasered him anyway. Totes powerful.

Nic: My second thought in that sequence was that he actually seems to get through just by running, not really via self belief (they fire anyway, he just gets through in time first). Not that I don’t think running can often be a great substitute for self belief but I guess it would less inspirational so everyone in Fantasia has to pretend that’s what really happened.

Romie: I am a huge fan of running as a substitute for self-belief; another way of putting that is that I almost never ask myself “am I happy” because that doesn’t matter so long as the thing I’m doing needs to get done. But I figure in the movie it’s more of a demonstration of how hard it is not to let doubt creep in. (I’m betting plenty of those corpses tried the run technique and failed.) Even managing to be brave for one extra second is the difference between heroism and obliteration. Particularly as a kid, that makes it seem more achievable. It doesn’t matter whether I’m confident all the time; it matters whether I can be confident at the exact moment it’s my cue to step on stage.

Nic: I am genuinely happy at this interpretation.

The Mucha-Shaped Hole in the World

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, but really every day is Holocaust Remembrance day, because it’s a hole in the world that reaches into everything. Millions of noncombatants sadistically murdered by people who had looked into their faces and touched their bodies. Millions of people who were never born because their family lines were snuffed out. Millions of people who were displaced and ethnically and nationally recategorized when diverse cosmopolitan areas were sorted into us and them and them and them.

A couple of months ago, I did a curiosity search on Alphons Mucha, an artist I like, to see what he got up to after his Art Nouveau poster fame. Killed by Nazis. It sneaks up on you, how everywhere it is.

Mucha was a Slav, and when Czechoslovakia was created in 1918, he helped design their postage stamps, and the money. He was already halfway through a series of large-format paintings about important moments in the region’s history. (It took him 18 years to finish. You can see it in Prague.) When the Nazis marched across the border in the spring of 1939, Mucha was one of the first people dragged in by the Gestapo. It’s doubtful they thought they could get much valuable information from a 78-year-old painter, so it’s safe to say “interrogation” is a euphemism for what happened to this man who symbolized Czech identity, who was pro-intellectual, pro-Jew. He never recovered from his injuries. He died a few months later, officially of a lung infection.

It reaches into everything.


What Is Nazism? Is it Trump?

Nazism is the desire for a socialist safety net which is restricted to white citizens who practice “traditional” cultural values. It blames white poverty on nonwhite decadence and corruption – on racial defilement – and a government which allots resources to non-whites that should belong to whites. (Nazism is anti-poverty if you are the right sort of poor people. Otherwise, you are vermin weakening the state. In contrast to Marxist socialism, it does not believe in class solidarity.)

It calls for an authoritarian leader who will punish capitalists who are overly internationalist, and withdraw from any agreements to send money to foreign governments. It despises cities and cosmopolitanism, but would like to increase employment through large infrastructure projects.

To provide more living space for “our people,” who it says are facing an overpopulation crisis, it seeks expansion into previously unoccupied land, or land that belonged to an inferior race. Despite this population crisis, it insists that white women bear many children. Laws are written to increase their birth rate, discouraging contraception and banning abortion. It attempts to force homosexuals into sexual and social conformity.

It rejects the rights of man articulated in the American and French revolutions (democracy, individualism, and liberalism) in favor of elevating the values of duty, dicipline, and law and order. It blames unfavorable media coverage on a Jewish conspiracy. It exploits a modified Christianity for political ends, but its leader is not Christian.

I may have missed something in this summary, which is an attempt to understand (for myself) the politics of Nazism as it existed before the Holocaust, rather than to say “it’s just like now!” But what stands out for me is –

1. Although some Trump fans have a distinctly nazi outlook, Trump’s nascent government seems more Italian Fascist – much more pro-capitalist, not especially invested in anti-semitism in the early stages, fond of modernism and myth-making pageantry more than rural folksy stuff, with a central argument based on a shared great past (which happens to be racist when convenient) rather than a claim to racial purity.

2. When Trump wooed Bernie voters, he used the overlap between democratic socialism and national socialism (nazism). However, democratic socialism places class solidarity and anti-totalitarianism at its core, so the outlooks are not very compatible. Right-populism needs an outsider scapegoat. Left-populism demands broad coalition.