Führer Furor

3 06 2008

There was once a time in Germany where its leaders forbade the mere act of thinking certain things, where censorship reigned for fear of the influence of new ideas. No I don’t mean 1938, it is happening now, in 2008. More than sixty years since the fall of Third Reich, Germany appears to be wrestling with its Nazi guilt as Madame Tussauds announced its new wax museum will showcase a figurine of Adolf Hitler.

Hitler waxing poetic?

Many in Germany are outraged that Tussauds would dare include Hitler in an exhibit of world leaders in the Berlin Wax Museum set to open in July. Johannes Tuchel, editor of Gedenkstaette Deutscher Widerstand, a memorial for opponents of the Nazi regime stated the sentiment clearly, “It’s tasteless…A waxworks museum is meant to entertain and to amuse. It’s not appropriate to have a Hitler figure there.” He further elaborated his feelings, ““It’s embarassing that this part of German history should be exhibited like this. There’s also the danger that young people could try to take pictures with Hitler.”

Upon reading this morsel I was shocked. I had heard that Germans share a guilt over the Nazi era. I figured most felt no such feelings. I harbor no feelings of the so-called “White” guilt for sins of my great, great, great, great grandfathers. Should African descendants feel guilty for the sins of some tribes who sold other tribes into slavery? Its hard to say yes, isn’t it? The Nazi-guilt has made it illegal to use swastikas for any use unless explicitly shown in an attempt to satirize or distance one’s self from the National socialism movement of the 1930s and 40s. This is the case despite the fact the Nazi’s hold no rights over the image. They co-opted the symbol, just as Rome did with pagan imagery in their rise to power, in order to acquire authenticity through the use of historical symbolism. You can find references to it use many uses here. Buddhism, a philosophical religious tradition that focuses on self improvement through meditation, embraced the inherited symbol. Depending on its orientation, it means either universal harmony, the balance of opposites, or love and mercy. For the Hindus, the symbol can mean anything from the universe to a compass or even represents the god Surya.

How many young students in Germany will ever know this? As embarrassed generations take the paint brush to the mural of history, other important historical elements are white washed along with Nazism. History must be retold to avoid the mistakes of our fore bearers. Madame Tussauds will depictv Hitler in a diminutive manner where he “will be hunched over a desk in a dimly lit bunker,” according to a museum spokesman. Perhaps this is a concession to the German people, an attempt to avoid hostilities. It didn’t work.

In fairness, Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit did request via letter that the display include historical facts abouts the crimes Hitler committed. The JTA said, “An unscientific, interactive survey in the Berlin Tagesspiegel daily newspaper showed that 57 percent of about 1,400 readers agree that ‘Hitler is an historical figure, thus belongs in the show,’ while 43 percent said ‘Hitler should stay where he belongs – in history books.'” There are indeed signs of a loosening on anti-Hitler policies and opinions across Deutschland, although it is still illegal to show artwork glorifying him.

Madame Tussauds’ forthcoming exhibit will do a great service to Germany and humanity at large. Forcing later generations to confront the sins of their fathers for education’s sake will hopefully insure us from ourselves later. This is not the case yet, ahem, for Darfur. Stephan Kramer, general secretary of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said, “Trying to erase Hitler from history doesn’t work and is counterproductive,” and he went on to point out seeing Hitler hunched over may help “demystify” Hitler. Finally, the Madame Tussauds in a statement provided the most obvious point:

[Hitler’s rule] stands for an important, though also appalling, turning point in the development of modern Europe…To ignore Hitler’s role in this era would allow a strange gap to develop in the German and Berlin history that we show from [19th century chancellor Otto von] Bismarck to the present day.

Politicians, historians, radicals, moderates and ignorant citizens please put down the white out and embrace the past we may better our future.

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Peckman’s Alien Looks a Fake!

30 05 2008

Finally, an image, if not the video, of Jeff Peckman’s alien has been released. The Verdict? Looks a fake to me. You may recall that the video itself was authenticated, but the Colorado Film School teacher had no way of authenticating the alien itself. Some in Hollywood, say such an animatronic alien might cost upwards of $50k. Who has got the time when you’re focused on setting up your E.T. Commission? Anyway, here’s the picture, what do you think?

Creepy?  Not Really

From ABC News:

“It’s the best evidence I’ve seen,” said Peckman of a roughly one-minute snippet of footage he showed this morning in Denver. “If people believe it, it’s really significant.”

***

I’m wondering what if people don’t believe it? Peer acceptance and belief seems Peckman’s greatestest concern. However if the alien life-form shown in the video does exist, then society’s belief is not a requisite.  Maybe reality says it is a fake and “if people believe it” then their belief somehow benefits Peckman. I can’t see an explicit profit motive yet but I think it’s there somewhere. Maybe if people believe he will get the 4,000 signatures he needs to get his Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission on next November’s ballot. If he then gets the votes he needs to create the commission, perhaps public dollars will flow into his unidentified flying coffers.

Then again, maybe he is right.  Maybe WE are the crazies and he stumbled upon the most compelling evidence of alien interaction with us lowly earth-bound creatures.

Maybe not.





PROVEN: Aliens do exist!

29 05 2008

What else could make tomorrow, your already wonderful Friday, better than proof of extraterrestrial life? Thanks to the BBD’s friend Tommy “Just-Wants-to-be-Famous” Smith for bringing this to my attention, via The Huffington Post. Tomorrow you should stay tuned to see the video proving the existence of alien lifeforms apparently recorded by Denver local, Jeff Peckman.

Jeff PeckmanRecently Peckman (pictured left doing his best E.T. impersonation) has been working on an initiative to create the Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission (EAC) for the city of Denver. According to the Rocky Mountain News (see original), Peckman’s commission would “prepare the city [of Denver] for closer encounters of the alien kind.” Jeff Peckman will be holding a news conference tomorrow to show members of the media his exclusive look at the 4 foot tall creature supposedly looking around AND blinking…whoa.

According to the report, an instructor (maybe not a professor?) from Colorado Film School closely reviewed and authenticated the video. Peckman says he will also offer other compelling evidence at Friday’s press conference.

This sort of pro-active citizenship is admirable, fighting conspiracies and creating new commissions to better prepare us for the challenging possibilities of our future. However it may be awhile before we get to lay our eyes on the proof. Peckman has entered into an agreement with EAC supporter and documentarian Stan Romanek, to exclusively include the footage in Romanek’s upcoming film. (The film supposedly exists, there is no mention of it on his website.)

I’m excited to see Peckman’s clip, if at least to lay to rest those vicious rumors first set forth by Fire in the Sky. Wait, didn’t M. Night Shyamalan and Mel Gibson already prove aliens exist? This is old news..





Guns, Boobs, and Beans

20 05 2008

If you have looked around the retail landscape in the last five years, you surely noticed Starbucks’ omnipresence. On every street corner you can enjoy a quality, hot cup of their latest exotic brew or perhaps one of their truly delicious breakfast sandwiches. Starbucks’ impressive domination of the market yields different affects for espresso shops competing for your dollars. For the ‘Mom and Pop’ shops so often the darling of the anti-business hippy media, when a Starbucks up-and-locates next door, it actually serves to benefit the flailing cafe. The overflow traffic from the obscenely long lines filters next door, where a cheaper cup of coffee comes without the wait! For those shops further away, you have to brew your own luck.

That’s exactly what some clever cafe owners did just south of Seattle. (Why always Seattle with these coffee ideas?) Cow Girls Espresso in Bonney Lake, Washington, changed their cafe uniforms to include two pieces with a healthy dose of skin, and “business has never been better.” Wearing nothing but bikinis, young women are serving up the locals’ daily fix at joints as cleverly named as Hot Chick-a-Latte. When some media attention naturally came their way, one articulate barista observed, “You see people-you know-out on the lake in their swimsuits and I don’t see how it’s any different, right? We’re just making coffee!”

Well one mother was not having it after her child noticed a nearly naked espresso dripper (?) wearing nothing but panties and pasties. Mom was outraged (Pop was excited) and organized a community protest and bla bla bla, whatever… Don’t you know sex is bad?

Recently, I was playing Grand Theft Auto IV where the current mission asked my avatar to chase and assassinate some lowly scum who hadn’t kept up his protection payments or something stupid like that. A mother and her 10 year old son came by the house for a visit. She asked if he could play too. I mentioned (selfishly) that the game was practically X-rated, to which she asked, “What does that mean? Sex or Violence?” Both, I thought, would have been accurate, but given his presence I said that the game was mostly violent. “Oh,” she exclaimed, “that’s ok then!”

How can that be? What is it about violence that is “ok?” Why is seeing a remarkably realistic character with his head blown off by a remarkably realistic gun in a remarkably realistic New York City better for the development and edification of our youth than a female body (or any body for that matter)? I have never understood our nation’s love affair with gore, fear, death, and vengeance. Meanwhile so many live in true fear of sexuality, love, nudity as art, nudity as pornography. To many, sexual obscenity is the devil incarnate.

Why is SEX more obscene than VIOLENCE in our communal consciousness? I thought ‘thou shall not kill’ (#6*) comes before ‘thou shall not commit adultery’ (#7) and ‘thou shall not covet they neighbor’s wife’ (#10). There isn’t even a mention of lust in the Ten Commandments. So the assumption that our being a bless-ed “Christian” nation doesn’t sufficiently explain our blood lust.

Dangerous or Divine?

Dangerous or Divine?

For the last century and beyond, moral crusaders have told us what is acceptable and what is deplorable. The very same people that demanded Tropic of Cancer be banned 1938 for its being “a cesspool, an open sewer, a pit of putrefaction, a slimy gathering of all that is rotten in the debris of human depravity,”[2] successfully demanded assault rifles be legal again in Washington DC. I propose it is time to visit our priorities and ask ourselves: what is so horrible about the naked body? What about sex scares us so deeply? Remember, the flesh that God so painstakingly created is only now covered by clothing because we ate of the tree. It seems odd that the apple didn’t carry with it information on the impact of violence on humanity-something God left for us to learn ourselves. A class we signed up for, slept through, and failed.

Anyway, I got to get back to GTA IV, this guy owes me some money and I’m going to introduce him to my old Russian friend, Mr. Kalishnikov. I guess all I’m saying is, why not put a little T&A in your tea and coffee?

Peace! Please?

Z.





“The Book of Horrible Questions” – Smith and Doe

14 05 2008

So there I was minding my own business at work as another remarkably usual Tuesday came to a close when a colleague sent me a link previewing The Book of Horrible Questions by Smith and Doe.  This is not your everyday coffee table read.  It may even be too twisted to read on the toilet (for those of us, namely men that do read while on the porcelain throne). 

 

At first you are teased with juvenile calculations of your greed: 

 

Easy enough, I suppose for $100 Million I would suck it up for a painful two-day death.  However, the book travels further asking questions of the reader that perhaps are better left unasked… 

I’m thinking sawing off a breast far exceeds the pain of a crushed testicle, and I’m a guy.  That said, the responses to the above questions are reported by Smith and Doe: 53% of men would see their sisters brutalized, while 47% would opt for one fewer walnut; 78% of women would have their brothers committed before any harm came to their breasts (22%).  Thank God I have no sisters..

 

Although released in the dark ages of 1999, you can still pick up this gem for a mere $10.  Good reading.

 -Z-





The Slow Jerk (NSFW)

14 05 2008

One of the best morsels to come from The Whitest Kids You Know.  Thanks to YouTube for the easy access.  Watch. Laugh.

-Z-