Monthly Archives: August 2002

It's Nazi time!

People regularly get upset with me because when I bring up problems with Catholicism, or the US military, or megacorporations, or any other totalitarian group that seeks to extend its influence past where liberty allows. I stand accused of not going to enough effort to mention all the good things these groups do, as well as the overwhelming problems they've caused.

First of all, that's not my responsibility. Second of all, if I am bringing up negative issues that I feel are important, sugar coating it or trying to say “well, but that's ok because they also did this nice thing” simply is not relevant in that discussion. For example, let's take the following hypothetical passage:

The Nazi party in Germany did wonderful things for Germany and the rest of the world. The Nazi party revitalized Germany's economy, which continues to be one of the driving forces of the world economy. They then built the autobahns across Germany, which America then used as an inspiration to build its own highway system. The Nazis built the Volkswagen Beetle which revolutionized auto transport and how we think about personal transportation. In addition, the Nazis developed synthetic fuels and oils far ahead of anyone else.

The Nazis held a world-class Olympics, and produced an amazing film by Leni Riefenstahl showcasing, among other things, the phenomenal performance of American black athlete Jesse Owens (along with others such as the Nazi's partially Jewish hockey team). While the Nazis showcased Jesse's performances, the Americans complained that Hitler had not personally appeared to shake Jesse's hand, while at the same time, the American president had not done so either, and Jesse was denied even basic civil rights at home.

Nazi scientists did aerospace research which defined the space age, and without their help and research data, America would never have been able to get into space, let alone even come close to keeping up with the Soviets. In addition, Nazi scientists revolutionized many aspects of American technology, and allowed America to become the leading world nation for the next fifty years.

Unfortunately the charismatic leader of the Nazi party, Adolf Hitler, likely contracted syphilis (although some suggest his symptoms actually suggested Parkinson's Disease) in 1908 and later went insane and sunk into an anti-semitic lunacy that eventually caused him to lose the war. However, most Nazis were unaware that this holocaust was actually happening, and if they did would not have supported it.

All of the above is true, as far as the facts of history are concerned. Does that mean it tells the story that should be told? If I told you a story about the holocaust and the genocide of the Hebrew peoples during the war but didn't include the above (and many, many, many more good things as well), would that be somehow misleading you? Would you send me hate mail telling me that I'd only told the “bad parts of the story” in an effort to perpetrate my own hateful anti-Nazi rhetoric?

How about if I said “oh, it's OK to be a Nazi if you disagree with exterminating the Jews?” Or how about if I said, “oh, but most Nazis are nice people — I know plenty of nice Nazis that would never hurt anyone.” Or how about if I say, “but killing Jews is just a perversion of Nazi ideology — it doesn't represent the true 'faith' at all.” What about if I said, “oh, but that was a long time ago, it was a mistake and we wouldn't do it again.”

Again, those statements could all be seen as true as well. Doesn't make them right though. Please keep that in mind next time you read about torture by the military, corruption in big business, molestation by the church, or any number of other things you might read here or elsewhere…

Losing a Hand (2)

This morning I changed the email server that BMEshop is talking to, so hopefully all problems with email there are now resolved. I also completed the layout on Ed's book; now it just has to be proofed and then it's off to the presses. Here are a few sample pages:

In a few minutes I'm heading off to check out a couple digital print houses that deal with short run books (as well as to return six or seven shirts to the printer — don't worry there's still lots and every one here is perfect).

It's like the crusades!

While the response in the BMEshop forum has been overall positive — as in “print the shirts” — I've gotten a fair number of negative responses both in the forum and in private messages. People seem to be worried that it will “give tattooed people a bad image”.

This shirt is clearly humorous and in jest. I seriously doubt that many of you are literally getting tattooed for Satan, and only the most foolish untattooed person could believe such a thing. Furthermore, any person who would believe such a thing already has such a negative view of tattooed people that this shirt isn't going to make a whole lot of difference. Have a sense of humor folks!

On top of that, mal pointed out, “I'd rather be associated with Satan than the alternative in Judeo-Christian mythology. At least Lucifer had the guts to stand up for what he believed in, even if it meant angering a vengeful, petty, supposedly omnipotent being.”

That's true — even reading the Bible (the “victor” gets to write the history, so realize it's only “one side of the story”) it is very clear that Satan is representative of freedom, whereas God represents a benevolent slavery. Now, I'm not telling you this to convert you to Satanism, I'm simply pointing out that on a philosophical level, tattooing and Satan are very clearly linked if we're to play that particular game.

I also got a few complaints about the current BME cover (the new school Virgin Mary tattoo). For those that want to complain, first let me remind you that many people would not consider this sacrilegious at all — abstract representations as well as nudes have been popular during many periods of Christian art. In addition, I have posted “traditional” Christian imagery as cover pieces a number of times this year already.

For the humor impaired I'm considering running the following shirt:



Well, let's look at the news. I guess the story that's been flying around lately is how the US cheated in the last war games exercise — which I should point out sucked over $250 million out of the economy. The reason they did it is clear — when it comes to standard troops (not elite forces), the US consistently looses every military Olympics it takes part in. (Another link). The main complaint in this case: the whole thing was scripted.

Big surprise there, ha. Those of you who've served either in the US military on active duty, or have served with UN peacekeeping forces know that when it's a US camp, there are typically days notice of when the media is going to arrive, and events are staged for the benefit of the camera. Now, I'm not demonizing the US alone when I say that — I saw Robert Young Pelton speak a few years ago about how revolutionary (aka terrorist) forces in South and Central America did exactly the same staging for the benefit of the media.

In any case, seems like a waste of $253 million. Better off with those lame — but also overly expensive — ads that they placed during the superbowl (“remember, if you smoke pot, you support terrorists”).

More worrying to me though is the story I mentioned yesterday about the continuing collapse of the US economy. As I mentioned the Saudis have withdrawn as much as $200 billion in investments and others are following suit. The US trade deficit was over $37 billion in June, and the US dollar is falling against foreign currency. Even Canada, often America's lap dog on invasions has said they want nothing to do with this “war”. In addition Saudis are beginning to file lawsuits against the US government in retaliation for the media abuses.

Then there's all the freakout about al Qaeda using a puppy to test chemical weapons on — assuming we believe the tape is even genuine, which I have my doubts over. You can find a more robust analysis of this issue here, but suffice it to say that the US military kills, according to PETA, “at least 320,000″ animals every year, in “the most painful [experiments] conducted in this country”, at a cost “in excess of $100 million annually”. That's right. $100 million of your tax dollars go to torturing over three hundred thousand animals to death every year, including killing five monkeys a day.

That's really been the game lately — find an atrocity to blame on your enemy, but ignore the ones, usually far greater, that you've committed yourselves. So what if America and Indonesia brutally murdered 200,000 simple tribal peoples in East Timor — after all, they're brown. So what if America helped the Khmer Rouge kill about two million Cambodian citizens in a bloody genocide that Kissenger and others still go unpunished for — after all, they're yellow. Al Qaeda killed 3,000 redblooded American patriots, so if you even think about bringing up the previous two, you've got your priorities wrong!

On the warfront, we've got Rumsfield playing the “shoot now, ask questions later” game. I'm not even kidding — he's actually said that he feels that they should attack without proof, “just in case”, and playing the quite obviously fraudulent “Iraq = Nazi Germany, and if we don't invade now, they'll take over the world” bull. I don't know why people don't see through this… Is the average person in America simply so uneducated about the world and its history that they believe these lies? Are Americans actually taught that they won WWII to preserve democracy for the rest of the world? I've even had a number of Americans tell me that they won the war of 1812, and that they were taught it was to keep out the French?

I'll rewind for a moment to the civil war — the above reminded me because right after the civil war the first thing the new US government did was scrap all the private and state schools and forced students to learn only the history that they permitted (I'm serious). Anyway, the civil war killed more men per capita than any Western war ever has (something like 20% of all men in America died — that's approaching the bubonic plague in effectiveness). The reason that people were willing to die was that this was during the birth of democracy. People genuinely believed that their government represented them — that any attack on their government was an attack on them personally. I think that America may be one of the only places on Earth where people so deeply personalize their government, but strangely enough, without an actual representative government. Just remember all those people who died needlessly next time your thinking starts going along the “my president, right or wrong” line. (End of interjection).

I should also mention Ashcroft I suppose. His latest thing is blocking both the House and Senate judiciary committees from reviewing his counterterrorism policies. Folks, you need to get this psycho out of power! Remember, this is the guy that has been very public that he thinks condoms should be made illegal. You've got some scary leaders right now…

Finally, I wanted to point to this story. A few of you have taken objection to my views because you are in or have family in the military. Even though Bush is pouring more and more money into the military (which largely ends up in the hands of mega-wealthy defense corporations who use this money to sell top-of-the-line weapons to “the enemy” — remember that weapons sold on the foreign market generally outperform the stock gear sold to the US military on account of aftermarket modifications), he is continuing to reduce veterans pay.

Well, I'm typed out.

PS. If you haven't checked it out already, I recommend The Memory Hole.

I almost forgot the title

Rachel has said that she wants to get a station wagon. I think that Corrie convinced her. I'm trying to convince her that a Volvo 1800ES is the way to go. The Volve 1800ES was a “cool” sporty hatchback/stationwagon that came almost twenty years before the import racer scene or cars like the BMW M Coupe.

While I'm linking to things on eBay, I did see two little fellows that I thought were worth mentioning. I've been seeing Pulses show up pretty regularly lately, which is surprising considering (a) that they're very rare, and (b) they're not a kit that people tend to sell. This little cutie really cracked me up too.

I imagine a lot of people are going to be having big fun this weekend… I'm definitely starting to lose my spot as the guy that hosts big BBQs; this weekend is both the Dallas, Texas BBQ and the UK BBQ in London, both expecting 75+ people. Have fun, and please send in pictures!

Guns

Thanks to tribe for letting me know about this. I know there aren't a lot of members in Italy right now, but those of you that are definitely need to be aware of http://www.associazionepiercers.it/, the “IPGA: Italian Piercer's Gun Association”. Roughly translated, here is what their mission is (obviously): “The IPGA means to promote the use of the gun to do piercing.”

The pro-gun lobby is gaining strength in North America as well. They have already taken successful potshots at the APP, and have began nipping at BME as well, making threats that if BME doesn't publish pro-gun stories it could take legal action. (Don't worry, it's not going to happen).

I'm not sure that there's anything we can do to legally stop things like this, but at a minimum, if you are getting pierced, and you have friends getting pierced, friends don't let friends get pierced with a gun. All arguments about the health and safety issues aside, by getting pierced by a piercer you support the body piercing industry. When you get pierced by a gun, you take $25 away from the body piercing industry. So if we're going to get sued if we tell you about the health reasons, please don't forget the financial reasons as well.

Well, time to go down to Artik and see what's up with the BBQ tiki shirt… I'm dying to hear how the London BBQ went and how the Texas BBQ went so I hope people wake up and post about them soon!