“CODOH” – Where everything is.
SMITH’S TALK IN TEHRAN at Iranian Holocaust Conference in 2008
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Occurs to me that being in Baja is already south, but then that's how it is with these inventive colloquialisms.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I took this Steinbeck quote from Information Clearing House Newsletter a few days ago. It was only a moment ago that I noticed the year of John’s death. 1968. The instant I noticed that date memory flew me back to Saigon. It was the season of the Tet offensive. At that time, penniless as usual, I was sleeping in somebody’s garage. I don’t recall who it belonged to. There was the cement floor, the reed mat, and the rats that ran about at night once I turned off the light.
One night some of us were hanging out in the garage when one of Steinbeck’s sons showed up. He was something of a journalist/tourist, not much different from myself. If the son was Thomas he would have been 24 years old. If John, he would have been 22. I was 38. Usually it was me who was the star in that garage. But that night the Steinbeck kid took over the show. He was on top of his game, he was interesting, energetic, and kept us all laughing for some two hours. And then he was gone. It was a fine appearance. I expected to hear about him in the days to come. Didn’t work out.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
When I told her I didn’t really have any health issues she laughed and said she liked to have social visits with her patients. She asked me about a flu shot. I told her I hadn’t had a flu shot in maybe 20, 30 years. I take care of that stuff with my supplements. I’m a vitamin freak. She wasn’t impressed. I told her the name of the company I deal with mostly, Life Extension Foundation. I mentioned that the board of directors of LEF is made up largely of medical doctors.
She laughingly said: “Medical doctors what to make money too.”
“What a cynic,” I said.
“What" she said? “You’re seventy-nine years old and you’re not cynic yet?”
“Not me. I’m a romantic.”
We were both laughing. She pressed the flu shot on me. She wasn’t laughing. I thought well, who knows more about this stuff, me or her?
“Okay,” I said.
We bantered on a bit and when I was leaving her office she said with a real sincerity: “Thank you for agreeing to get your flu shot.”
Sure. There was nothing to it. That was Tuesday. On Friday as I was going to bed I discovered a hint of something going on in my throat. I started taking a lot of anti-oxidant supplements. By the next afternoon I understood I was getting a cold. I went to a local pharmacy to pick up something that would dry up the nose so that I could sleep that night. I took them but they didn’t help. Awake coughing and sneezing all night.
Now it was Sunday morning. I had to drive to the other side to the VA in La Jolla where I would stay overnight and keep a previous appointment with the pain clinic on Monday morning. I worked in the morning, then started north. Took two hours to get across the frontier. Made it to the La Jolla VA and signed in. Lodging and Emergency have the same waiting room. It was kind of embarrassing because it was only a cold, but I asked if I could see a doctor. The male nurse at the desk asked what the problem was. I explained it was not an emergency, but that I have been through chemotherapy, my white blood count is low, and I didn’t want a simple cold to suddenly explode into something else.
He agreed. He signed me in, and what I later found to be a decision made on his own recognizance, gave me a ticket to get a chest x-ray while I waited to see the doctor. I did that and it wasn’t long before I was in a doctor’s office telling the lady what the story was. She said colds like this, viral infections, come and go. Not much to do with them. It was the bacterial infections that were of some concern. As sort of an after thought I mentioned the x-rays.
“Oh,” she said. “I didn’t know you had x-rays.” She left the office and awhen she came said I had a bacterial infection in the lower lobe of the right lung. She would give me an antibiotic called moxifloxacin.
“It’s a heavy antibiotic,” she said, “so follow the directions carefully.” And then she was gone. Another twenty minutes and a young Chinese pharmacist brought me the pills, gave me some instructions, and I was finished.
The time line:
Tuesday the 17th: I get my first flu shot in 20, 30 years.
Friday night the 20th: A cold catches me.
Sunday afternoon the 22nd : the lower lobe of the right lung has a bacterial infection.
It’s probably coincidence.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I googled Ellroy and looked for an excerpt from the book. I found one. Part I, a section titled “Wayne Tedrow Jr. (Las Vegas, 6/14/68)” The language was simple and direct and loaded with information. It was in too much of a hurry. Not for me. What’s the hurry?
I watched a video of Ellroy giving a talk about the connections in his childhood that tied together for him the 1947 murder of the Elizabeth Short, who became known as the Black Dahlia, in South Central Los Angeles, and that of his mother Jean Ellroy, a tart I suppose, who was found strangled with her own nylon stocking in El Monte, California in 1958. James was ten years old when his mother was strangled. His talk (I can’t find it now or I would link to it) was professional, idiosyncratic, and good. Nothing messy there.
I myself recall very well the murder of the Black Dahlia. I was seventeen years old then, living in South Central where she was killed. I can’t remember a bigger story that year. Of course I didn’t read the papers, didn’t listen to the news on radio, and didn’t talk to anyone who did so there was no reason for me to remember the other stories.
One evening Mother, Father and me were having dinner with Aunt Grace and Uncle George in a one-room house with a kitchen on Hawthorne Boulevard at 110th street. The Black Dahlia story came up. It took me a moment but pretty soon I understood that Uncle George was saying that his son had gone to the police and confessed to having murdered the Black Dahlia himself. Mother and Father were astounded. Aunt Grace didn’t say anything. Uncle George didn’t want to go on about it. He was slumped down in his chair at the dinner table shaking his head slowly from side to side. I understood by a word or two that the claim of Uncle George’s son to having murdered the Black Dahlia was unbelievable. I had never met Uncle George’s son. Now I kind of understood why. He had gone his own way. I remember thinking it a funny story, but knowing not to laugh.
The time came when James Ellroy decided to try to solve the Black Dahlia murder himself. He failed. It was never solved.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I was surprised even at the time about how foggy I was about the Eisenhower ad. No reason, other than that we were talking about YouTube for weeks, working out the technology for it—we had some problems with the computer we are using—we sort of did it yesterday morning without any real planning. I just decided it was time to stop talking about it and do it. In twenty minutes we were set up and the camera was rolling and Hernandez was laughing. You can talk forever about doing something. I’m as guilty of it as most others.
Memory recalls Sam Konkin. A friend from my romance with 1970s and 80s libertarians and their ideals regarding intellectual freedom that had touched my heartstrings. A few years into the 1990s, maybe earlier, the party people had won out over all the rest, I was into revisionism, and the party hacks, as party hacks will do everywhere, chose to distance themselves from revisionist arguments regarding the Holocaust story. It was a different story in the 70s and 80s.
Anyhow, Sam used to say, “It’s better to get it done than to get it right.” That can’t always be the way it should be, but sometimes it can be. That’s how it was for me yesterday. Now I have my toe in the water. I actually feel encouraged. We’ll see what comes of it.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Anyhow, this morning we uploaded Real Player and had our first back and forth on camera. We are still working on the concept for the “program.” It’s in my mind that I would just like to talk to somebody. Why not the folk who come here, or who use The Forum or the CODOH Library? Some of you know me, most don’t. It might be better if more of us knew more of us.
The trial run we did this morning lasted five minutes. Hernandez said it was very messy. I was surprised at how old I look. Here in the house, in our bathroom mirror where I see my image most every morning and night, I look a lot better. Maybe the camera was too close. Vanity, thy name is Smith. I have to get used to the idea that I’ll be 80 years old in a couple months, that I’m fat, and just not as pretty as I was 40 or 50 years ago. What can I say?
Tomorrow we’ll take a second run at an interview and I expect to send it on to those of you who have signed up for CODOH Updates and News. Nothing deep, nothing complicated, just a “How ya doin’” a couple times a week along with, hopefully, a lead to a relevant story. I may not be able to much improve it, but maybe I will be able to add a little something to the “human face” of Holocaust revisionism.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The hole Mafong cut was an inch and a quarter, inch and a half in diameter. The size surprised me. There wasn’t much blood, though some did run down into the right ear and that was a bother. Mafong said the cancer had not reached the bone. “Not close,” he said. Which was what most concerned me. Then there was the skin being pulled up and down, 30 stitches, instructions for my wife on how to clean and dress the wound, and then for the rest of the afternoon and evening there was the headache and the feeling ga-ga but needing to run some errands. We made it back down to the house just as the sun disappeared.
And so it goes.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
“It is characteristic of Stirner’s writing that the thread of thought is carried on largely by the repetition of the same word in a modified form or sense.”
The sentence made me think, maybe for the first time, to tell my blog readers that I have chosen to not talk about the depression and anxiety I have been gripped with the last weeks. A long time ago, when I was serious about keeping a journal, that is the sort of thing I felt obligated to record. It was a matter of principle. Now I see it as being a burden on my reader. That a blog cannot carry the weight of too much real confession.
And then thought asked: but what is the connection here?
On the one hand the thread of thought is carried on largely by the repetition of the same word in a modified form or sense. On the other I am aware that I have chosen to not burden my readers with the depression. Where is the connection? What is the connection?
I haven't the slightest.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Why? No idea.
Today it’s really too obvious. With the fact of my coming death becoming more palpable, no matter that it might be ten, twenty years down the road, the concept of death moves slowly into thought. Thought has reflected on the darkness and is fearful of entering the place where thought will no longer exist. When I leave the market thought observes that light has been replaced with darkness, and in that split second the body constricts itself around the heart. It is thought that put the conundrum there. The body doesn’t care. The body has no interest in light, or in darkness, or in the ending. Only thought is interested.
Saturday evening and I drive downtown, walk as far as I can, then go to the little bar at Vince’s fish restaurant. It may be something of a new routine after losing El Cigart to the recession. Ten years of Saturday evenings at El Cigart and now it’s gone. Big business, big government in their endless embrace, forever failing. So now it’s Vince’s. I drink a couple three bottles of Casta, a new dark beer, and watch the boxing match.
I would like to watch both fighters, giving each equal attention, but I can’t. I am always focused on one or the other. I go back and forth. It’s too complicated to see all at once. Sometimes I try to watch only the gloves, but I can’t do that either. I watch one pair of gloves, then the other. Sometimes I think about how there are those who speak of boxing as a savage sport. The aim of each is to hurt the other. I would argue that it is not savage because it is practiced without anger.
When we fire-bomb a great city, or nuke it, that too is done without personal anger, so is not savage. Killing others is an intricate part of advanced human culture. Anger is not necessary, it’s neither here nor there. You can participate in burning alive 40,000 people without feeling anger. You do it because it was a mission given you. You have nothing against the individuals you help burn. So it’s not savage. It’s a key expression of advanced human culture.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
“We should do a biopsy,” she said. “Are you up for it?”
“Can you do it now?” I didn’t want to have to make an appointment.
“Yes,” she said and called a nurse. They have a special room in dermatology where they just do biopsies. There wasn’t much to it. An injection of an anesthetic in the side of the head, followed by a little sawing and a small bandage. They’ll call me in a week or so once the results are in and have been considered. And there’s an appointment in 30 days or so.
Doctor Han told me that this would not make the same kind of trouble for me as the lymphoma did. Squamas cell carcinoma doesn’t often spread. I won’t need chemotherapy or radiation. Nothing dramatic will happen.
“Good,” I said. “That last cancer was a real bother.”
Doctor Han was busy with her paper work and didn’t have time to horse around.
Now the folk who front for Holocaust Inc. at Harvard and other intellectual centers around the nation will be able to use this information to suggest a reason for my asking the questions I ask. “That's what you do when you have head cancer. It drives you to ask hateful questions."
I can see the logic there.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tomorrow it’s to the other side for two nights at the VA in La Jolla where (during the day) I will be examined from top to bottom and tested and interviewed and get an injection in the left knee. If the injection in the knee works I’ll be able to walk a mile or two three or four times a week and that will help me lose weight and be good for me generally. The last time I got an injection in the left knee the good Dr. Han found a swollen gland in the throat and sent me to the VA in La Jolla to run some tests. Cancer. So these left-knee injections can be dangerous, but I’m going to do it anyhow.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Saturday it was the same, except that I realized that around the heart there was a kind of floating anxiety. Nothing profound, but there it was. For me, it was unusual. I’m not much taken with anxiety. Like I told one of my doctors, I think I’m too shallow to have worried much about the cancer. But Saturday I understood that I was in a state of some kind of depression. The realization surprised me. I was depressed, and I felt anxious. That isn’t me. And I was largely closed down. Standing alone, apart from my wife, my daughter, the grand kids. I was reading Boswell’s Clap, but that didn’t help.
Sunday morning I decided to tell Irene what I was feeling, anxious and depressed. She had already noticed that I was “bien lelo,” or maybe “out of it.” So Sunday morning I would pick her up at her church down the coast at Las Gaviotas and while we drove back to town I would tell her. It would be the first time in some 35 years that I would ever have told her anything like it.
When she got in the car and strapped Lil Brad in the car seat in back and we were driving north I could not bring myself to say anything. After awhile she said in Spanish, “Gordo, estas bien lelo.” I agreed, but I didn’t say anything. I had nothing to say. We drove to town and had lunch in the big, square, outdoor food court where there are clowns and Brad can play. While we were there at our table the subject of her doctor’s appointment came up. She feels something in the right breast that is not right. She’s been in remission from breast cancer for 12 years, but when she mentioned the mammogram I felt the anxiety come up. It came up very strong.
That was two days ago. Things are more or less the same. My state of being, if I can put it that way, appears to be passing through some kind of phase. I am going to suppose, I don’t know what to think, that it has to do primarily with the work. I have invested a lot of money over the last three months which has provided no new income. A good part of the expenditure was for Internet outreach. I see now that I probably chose to test the two most inappropriate lists available for such testing. I chose them as a revisionist, rather than as a marketer/businessman.
I have not talked about this stuff with anyone. Until now. I already feel a little better. Get it off your chest, Brad. I think maybe getting it off the chest helps me stay good no matter what’s going down. Usually. That’s part of it. The other part is that I don’t think about things over much. I just go ahead, do this, do that. There’s no end to the thinking. Consider the holes in or not in the roof of Krema II. Twenty-five years on and we can still talk about the holes in the roof of Krema II. With regard to life, the issue with thinking is that it’s always from yesterday, a moment ago. From memory. No thinking without memory, yet memory is never there in the moment. When anxiety passes over the heart it makes its move without asking permission, there is a moment of awareness without thought, and then it’s time for memory to kick in.
I wrote the above two nights ago without finishing it. I don’t recall now where I was taking it. But that was two nights ago. Yesterday the Harvard story broke. I was busy. Today the story was building. CNN got in touch, a reporter from The Boston Free Press, some students. Busy. Sometime during the day I realized that there was no anxiety, no depression. I’m pleasantly distracted with the work. A life of distraction. At this stage of my life, maybe that’s the ticket. I suppose that has always been the ticket. Do something. Do this, do that. It gives you the impression you’re alive.
Still reading in Boswell’s Clap. Turns out I’m not so interested in the medical analyses of literary men’s afflictions as I had expected to be. I do like the biographical outlines of the characters analyzed. At the same time it’s interesting to find how uninteresting is the madness of Collins, Cowper, and Smart as exhibited in their poetry. I can’t bring myself to even begin the chapter on the neuropathology and psychopathology of Swinbourne’s masochism.
Ober does tell a charming anecdote about Chekhov, who died of tuberculosis.
“Chekhov died in Germany in 1904. When his doctor wanted to apply an ice bag to his chest, he looked up and said: ‘One does not put ice upon an empty heart.’ He then asked for a glass of champagne, drank it, and died. His body was returned to Moscow in a train marked ‘Oysters.’”
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I am aware of the sub-text here. In a small way I am a literary man, one who has a couple three afflictions. It can be kind of wonderful reading a text by a third party that is self-referential throughout, in certain ways. Boswell didn’t just have the clap, he got the clap again, and again, and again. He was perfectly aware that he was getting the clap by going to whores. He understood as did everyone else then and now that that is where you were most certain to get the clap, but for 20, 30 years he chose whores and the clap over a modest wife and good health.
I cannot say that I never got the clap. I spent years knocking around Korea, Japan, central Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Okinawa and a good part of the 48. It had to happen somewhere along the line. There was a young lady in Bangkok, very pretty, who did me no favor with her favors. Once? It can happen to the best of us. But a dozen, 20 times? James Boswell was a little crazy about the clap, in a uselessly crazy way.
Nevertheless, he may be giving me a theme that I can write about, have an excuse to write about. We’ll see.
At this moment memory recalls that even in Boswell's early years as a journal keeper there were pages torn from his journals, sometimes single leaves, sometimes bunches of pages. Someone was hiding something. It may have been James, or it may have been another who had access to the journals and got rid what they wanted to get rid of. Can’t do that here very well. Once it’s posted, it’s posted. I’ll have to be circumspect.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
My reader pointed out that Europeans do not speak in “feet” but in “meters,” which would make the chamber much larger and make Bombas story more rational. He had a point. I went to the chapter in Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist where I had ridiculed Bomba’s testimony along with those who, like George Will do not ridicule it. There I found that I had quoted Bomba as he was quoted in Claude Lanzmann’s film “Shoah; An Oral History of the Holocaust.” Lanzmann is a European too, but he had used the term “feet.” So this wasn’t really an error of fact on my part.
You can read the full chapter I have on the stupid exchange between Claude Lanzmann and Abraham Bomba here:
The second charge of my having stated an error of fact is a different story. I did. In my latest little book, The Man Who Saw His Own Liver, I write about the day long ago in Korea where I, how should I put this, executed a Chinese soldier who had suffered a wound that blew off the top of his skull, exposed his brain to the light of day, and who was being used for the amusement of one of our guys who was poking a straw into the bloody organ. I wrote that I placed the muzzle of my M-16 to the temple of the Chinese and killed him. In my old age, when I wrote those lines, I had gotten my wars mixed up. In Vietnam it was the M-16. Although I was in Vietnam as a freelance journalist, and while there were two occasions when I was given an M-16 out of necessity, that was Vietnam. But in Korea we used the M-1, not the M-16. I stand corrected.
Monday, August 10, 2009
By 11am I was driving south from La Jolla, half-asleep. Stopped in Chula Vista at Starbucks and ordered a regular coffee with three shots of espresso. It was tasteless, but it did its work. Picked up my wife at our American mail drop in San Ysidro, did some banking, went to Henry’s Market where I bought another sleeping aid, one without melatonin which I think I have a negative reaction to, then we stopped at a Chinese buffet-style restaurant. It was a nicer place than we expected, the food better than we expected.
I was sitting facing the front windows which looked out across a few parking spaces, across the street and another parking lot to a little strip mall. There were palm trees in each of the parking lots on either side of the street, their green fronds moving softly and without let in the soft breeze beneath the pale blue sky. While the trunks of the trees were deeply rooted, strong and stable, their fronds never ceased their easy movements with an intricacy that was far beyond my ability to follow in any detail. It was a simple, complex scene of great beauty.
On our side of the street, beneath one of the beautiful palms, there was a filthy beggar with a shopping cart full of trash, probably his possessions. He looked like some kind of Hispanic guy who had been in the oven too long. It was as if, with my eyes raised, I could see the beauty of how the earth is, while if I lowered them I could see the filth that men bring to the earth. The beggar held up a sign to any car that passed in the lot that read: “HELP.” Some drivers did help with a few coins.
While I watched him with a rather casual curiosity, I found that this filthy man had a smile that was beautiful beyond any expectation I would have had. It was more than beautiful, it was a beautifully joyful smile. It didn’t matter if you donated to him or not, if you only passed him standing there in his rags you were given the beauty of his big, wonderful, toothy smile. Sometimes he laughed his thank-you and that laugh added to the charm of his face. While I watched him through the window from our table inside the resturant I felt myself enchanted, enchanted somehow in the same way as a few moments before I had been enchanted by the beautiful complexity of the green palms moving in the early afternoon air.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
“That’s funny,” he said in his Romanian accent. “Yes. But do you know what day it is? This is the day that Anne Frank was arrested.”
I didn’t know. If you ask me who Sylvio is, I won’t say. He’s one of my Jewish informants and I want to take care of him. He always has something interesting to say, something comic, something I don’t expect.
Sylvio’s call put memory on alert, as does most everything else. This time memory recalled that it was at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam where David McCalden first came to doubt the orthodox Holocaust story. He was on vacation with a couple guys and was doing the Anne-Frank-House tour. When he was upstairs in the quarters where, so the story goes, the Franks hid from the Germans, when he looked out the back window over the green filled with trees and bordered with windowed houses, it did not seem real to him that the Franks and others could have hid there secretly for month after month and after month. Looking at the neighborhood geography, as it were, the story did not compute.
Until that moment David McCalden had believed the H. story in its entirety, as almost all of us had. From that afternoon on, he began to doubt. And the more he looked into the story, the more he doubted. Until he came to America, hooked up with Willis Carto at Noontide Press, and had the original concept for The Institute for Historical Review and then the Journal of Historical Review, which at the beginning he edited himself. It became the international center for Holocaust revisionist studies.
Sylvio called again yesterday but I was too busy to talk to him. Too busy with what? No idea.
The market where we do most of our grocery shopping here in Baja is called Calimax. The other night I noticed that they have a new floor manager in the evening shift. I was sitting on a bench by the door, waiting for my wife when he came over and asked in Spanish if I needed coffee. At first I didn’t understand. I understood the words, but why was he asking me? Then I understood that my wife had asked him to ask me. I told him no, we didn’t need coffee.
But what I noticed was that he was a David McCalden look-alike. It was surprising how much he resembled David physically. Even his smile reminded me of David. I have seen the floor manager several times since. Each time I see him I feel a small pain in my heart.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This afternoon I drove around the corner to see Dr. Arciniaga. He walked me through my neuropathic leg pain over the last ten days with injections and some pills. The worst of it is over. The left knee still keeps me from walking. He asked me what was wrong with my face, which is all broken out with bloody scabs. I told him the face was rotting. He appreciated the joke. Still, he wanted to know.
I explained that it was not an infirmity, but the cure for one. Dr. Go had found a place on the forehead and one on the left cheek that suggested they could become cancerous, so I’m on a self-treating procedure where I rub an ointment all over the face twice a day, twice a week, and it burns the bad stuff off. The face looks something like a pizza. The other night Irene and I were in Wal-Mart in Chula Vista and I was at the magazine rack. A Mexican couple with a young boy, maybe eight years old, passed by. The boy took one look at me and said to his father:
“Look at that old man, Dad. Look at that old man. What happened to him?”
I thought the kid was referring to the fact that my hair is white. It only occurred to me this afternoon that he was referring to my face. This is the seventh week of the treatment and I sort of forget what I look like. Another five weeks and I’ll be just as pretty as I was before.
This evening I walked over to McDonald’s where the light is good and finished reading Last Call at Elaine’s by Brian McDonald. It’s the first book I’ve read from cover to cover in a long while. I think I was taken by all the name-dropping in a place where I went one afternoon about 1994. The weekend I was in New York to do the Donahue Show. One of the things that struck me about McDonald was his ambition to be a writer, a successful writer, and to be known as a successful writer. I have never been ambitious in that way. My lack of ambition to be a famous writer could well explain my failure to become one. Part of it anyhow.
As I was walking back to the house, limping, thought turned to the campus tour that Hernandez and me had talked about with such interest this morning. We had one good idea after another. Now, all in all, thought suggested that it might be better to find a way to do something on YouTube. No appreciable cost. No traveling. Nothing strenuous. I’m not certain where I am physically. I’m going to ask Dr. Go about the white blood count business. I have an appointment with him Monday next.
The problem with YouTube is that two, three, four minutes is about as long as anyone wants to watch anything. This suggests that there will be another interesting back and forth with Hernandez tomorrow morning. Two heads. . . .
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Today I took issue 164 of Smith’s Report to the printer. I’m a week ahead of last month, two weeks behind where I should be. Still, it's to the printer, and that’s something.
I’m reading Last Call at Elaine’s. My friend Bob sent it to me from Queens. I’d never heard of it. There’s no need to read it. I’m liking it. Published by St. Martin’s Press, I’m surprised at how carelessly it was proofed. The story of an alcoholic bartender turned writer. A simple tale. My sort of thing.
I may have to change the way I sleep. Give up trying to sleep through a night. More than three, four hours at a stretch. Can’t do it. I've always done it, now I can't. Result—I’m tired. First it was the cancer. That’s over for the time being. Then it was the neuropathic pain, the twisted sciatica nerve where I used so many pain meds that for seven weeks I couldn’t wake up. The worst of that is over.
Now it’s three to four hours awake, then I need to sleep. Trying to fight it, can’t. Why fight it? Change the routine. Do what’s necessary to get the work done. Need to start walking again. Osteoporosis in the left knee, left hip. It’s the knee that will keep me from walking. My primary care doctor, Mrs. Singh, tells me the osteoporosis is “everywhere.” Hasn’t hit the brain yet. But then, if it had, how would the brain know?
On the one hand I want to let it be known what the situation is, that’s what I do, on the other I am afraid it will discourage readers from supporting me, the work. Still, it’s what I do. I spill the beans. That’s pretty much what I have done from the beginning. Spill the beans.
Two Saturdays ago in the evening I was at the bar at Vince’s fish restaurant watching the boxing. It was my first night out in two months. I was alone, very weak, could not walk well, but after a couple dark beers I felt pretty good. In the middle of a good light-weight fight between two Hispanics I do not know, the brain remembered Truman Capote. Don’t ask. No idea. I met Capote one night at the Bodley Gallery on East 60th in New York. Late 1950s. I was an employee there, it was a very small gallery, but I don’t recall that we chatted.
But there at the bar in Vince’s it was not Capote in person that the brain had recalled, but an image of him that has been reproduced many times. I think he’s reclining on a couch, holding a pencil, a paper pad, and a drink. He’s writing. He used to drink to write. It helped him. There I was at Vince’s bar. I had not been writing for several weeks. Now I was drinking. The next thing might be that I would be writing. I suppose that was what the brain was trying to organize for me. We'll see.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Meanwhile, the index to articles that have appeared here since February 2008 will remain. Nothing will be lost.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The archive contained, viewers were told, some 50 million pages of files, documenting the fate of 17 million people, requiring 16 miles of shelving to store. The International Tracing Service, run by the Red Cross, was its custodian.
Host Scott Pelley explained that here were found the “detailed records of millions ... who died in the [Nazi concentration] camps.” And, to illustrate just how meticulous Nazi officialdom’s record-keeping was, Pelley noted how meticulously even the presence of lice among camps inmates was tracked and tabulated. Chief archivist Udo Jost, Pelley’s tour guide, called the Nazi lice inspector a beancounting perfectionist who had documented the size of the lice as either large or small or medium-sized.
Scott Pelley, moved by curiosity (he said), then asked the most obvious question: Why had the Nazis kept all these detailed records -- “If they were gonna murder these people anyway, why keep the paperwork?” He addressed the question to Paul Shapiro, Director of Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
Shapiro’s explanation: “Because they wanted to show they were getting the job done. So, in terms of people whose destiny was to be murdered, recording how well that was being done was very important.” And there
you have it: The Nazi minions who did the hands-on killing were intent on impressing their superiors with their homicidal diligence.
Except ... except that earlier in the show, somewhat blandly and glibly, we had been told that, in point of fact, “the Nazis did not write down the names of those executed in the gas chambers at places like Auschwitz.”
Which, of course, flatly contradicts the stated reasons why the Nazis had allegedly kept such meticulous files on their victims: “Because they wanted to show they were getting the job [of exterminating them] done,” according to Shapiro.
Considering how the theme of the programme was the Nazis’ devotion to
maintaining exhaustive records and how two former Auschwitz inmates “60 Minutes” interviewed for it described witnessing relatives sent off to the mass execution gas chambers, Pelley was astonishingly incurious about why it was that those deaths by gassing (millions, supposedly) at different killing sites should remain nameless victims, whereas in one scene the archivist Jost impressed Pelley with the fulsome documentation detailing the executions by bullet of some 45 prisoners over a 90-minute time-span.
It doesn’t compute. It’s as if the NFL was not even bothering to televise the Superbowl, without telling fans why, but instead simply re-playing a few of the highlights of the season just ended.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
He soon moved away to Montreal. Neither of us made any effort to stay in touch. And I did not hear from him for 37 years, although I did occasionally hear about him from his younger brother: that he’d holidayed in Denmark, that he’d bested his brother in a real estate deal, and so on.
Then out of the blue, I got an email from him. He made plain his surprise on hearing that I was a diehard Holocaust revisionist. He hoped this did not also mean I was an anti-Semite, anti-Semites being a tribe of ignorant, superstitious folk. He reminded me his father was an Auschwitz survivor. I had not forgotten. But then, I also remembered his bemused smile as he recounted the time his father had run out on his creditors.
He told me that the friends in our old circle, who knew something of my revisionist activism, reckoned I must be “nuts.” He seemed taken aback by the diehard nature of this activism and wondered why I had not instead devoted myself to ridding our world of one or more of the social ills that afflict it. He provided me with a checklist of some of the usual problems: hunger, poverty, disease, substance abuse, war. Old Albert (let’s call him) sounded quite moralistic.
What a difference in tone between this older man and the younger man I once knew, the amoral hedonist who looked to “score” in shady business deals, and was not above delivering a racist comment or two about Arabs and others. It was obvious that he’d grown in the intervening years.
He said he had fond memories of me, that he remembered me as likeable, and again owed to feeling perplexed by my life choices. Then he challenged me to a debate on the Holocaust. Clearly, he was eager to get engaged in one.
That was nearly three years ago. I haven’t yet replied to his invitation. I don’t know if I ever will. I’m so busy, you see, with my charities and what-not.
That said, Albert did wish me well; and, of course, I wish him well, too.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
A new circuitous law had enabled the Lithuanian court to try the accused via short-circuit TV in his sick bed in the hospital ward, while his lawyer pled his case in court.
Thus, the lawyer for accused Nazi war criminal Kazys Gimzauskas argued that his client was unable to participate in his trial on any meaningful level.
Gimzauskas stood accused of sending scores of Jews to their deaths as a police officer in Vilnius during the 1941-44 German occupation of Lithuania.
At the same time, the case of 92-year-old Aleksandras Lileikis, another alleged Nazi war criminal, was also being heard to gauge whether it could resume. The Lileikis case was first heard in 1998; the accused, wheelchair-bound and sporting a neck brace, began gasping for air after pleading not guilty to the charges levelled at him; then was rushed to the emergency ward at the hospital.
Jewish groups, like the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who really aim to put the PR show in Shoah, are hitting a lot of speed-bumps with all these latter-day, show-trial theatrics. So it will likely be with the coming trial of John Demjanjuk in Germany.
The accused, who is very ill, will hardly look the part of a cigar-store Nazi. It will be harder to identify him with radical evil. And, who knows, perhaps he may unwittingly -- or wittingly, this is, after all, Demjanjuk’s second trial -- do things that will defeat that very purpose.
At the start of his first trial in Jerusalem in February 1987, on the charge of being “Ivan the Terrible” of Treblinka, Demjanjuk, about to enter (or to exit -- I can’t recall which) the paddy-wagon that ferried him to and from court, paused and looked over in the direction of the world's TV cameras. He waved genially, and with a disarming bonhomie declaimed, “Hello, Cleveland!”
You would’ve thought he was just a tourist in the Holy Land, or an out-of-towner, footloose in Donald Trump's Big Apple, excitedly greeting folks back home via the medium of the “Good Morning America” (GMA) TV show.
Anything but a Nazi ghoul, who stood accused of having gassed to death roughly one in six of the Six Million Jews typically alleged to have died in the Holocaust.
1. “Lithuanian Court Reopens Nazi Trial,” AP-NY-04-25-00 1035EDT.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Kaellis argued that James Keestra’s ideas of a Jewish conspiracy, being essentially “a delusional system” of thought, was unworthy of any legal or intellectual scrutiny, and deserved to be understood as a mental disorder predicated on “a finding of criminal insanity” requiring incarceration -- long term, if necessary -- for the purpose of remedial medical care.
Kaellis anticipated that an analogy might be made between his viewpoint and that adopted by Soviet psychiatrists who had diagnosed dissenters as suffering from “creeping” or “sluggish” schizophrenia before detaining them and forcing them to undergo treatment. However, Kaellis was quite emphatic -- the emphases in the text cited below are his -- that the two could not be compared:
“It is NOT insane to oppose a totalitarian and repressive system of government; it is worthy and heroic. But it IS insane to promote a delusional system of race hatred (sic). These conclusions undoubtedly outrage a civil libertarian given to relativism and subjectivism, but they are correct and necessary for maintaining even a pretense of belief in a system of ethical democracy.” 2
So-called “creeping” or “sluggish” schizophrenia was said to be especially pernicious, given the sufferers would often exhbit no trace of abnormal behavior, save for a strong attachment, say, to the matter of human rights or world peace -- or Israel in the case of Jewish refuseniks so diagnosed.
Considering how a quantum leap in all manner of intellectual dissent is occurring within the U.S. socio-cultural matrix and elsewhere across the Western world, what with the “Birthers” (who insist President Obama was born in Kenya) and the “Truthers” (who say 9/11 was “an inside job”) and those who claim the Apollo 11 moon landing was a hoax, not to mention the grassy knoll conspiracy buffs and, of course, Holocaust revisionists, we have to wonder how soon it will be before beleaguered governments start calling on the psychiatric establishment for Soviet-style remedies in order to stanch the flow of such raw conspiratorial effluvium.
A thumbnail sketch in Time magazine describes CODOH’s Bradley Smith as a college-circuit pamphleteer “who spends most of his waking hours in Holocaust denial.” An obsessive-compulsive, perhaps? We can see how shrinks on the government payroll could make hay with a throwaway line like that. 3
1. Eugene Kaellis, “Civil Rights, Uncivil Wrongs,” Viewpoints, Volume XIII, Number 7, Autumn 1985.
3. Leon Jaroff et al., “Debating the Holocaust,” Time, December 27, 1993.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
May 20, 1996, Canadian edition of TIME magazine, and signed by one Safa Jawad Mekkaoui, from Saida, in Lebanon.
It was written in response to the Qana Massacre, when over 100 Lebanese civilians were blown to smithereens by Israeli artillery as they sheltered in a UN compound. Observers on the ground report they were certain the Israelis deliberately shelled the compound, in spite of knowing women and children were huddled there.
“Israel mercilessly kills women and children and then blames the victims themselves for their ghastly deaths because they refused to yield to Israeli threats and leave their home and their land. A people who never allow the Holocaust to be forgotten now find it 'acceptable' to murder as horrendously as the Nazis murdered them.”
The writer points to a danger for the Jewish psyche engaged in a relentless and obsessive evocation of the Holocaust: There is a contradiction to be satisfactorily resolved.
Bill Clinton was said to be an effective leader because he was able to isolate and compartmentalize diverse aspects of his life. Thus, at 3:00 p.m., he might schedule a tryst with Monica, talk affairs of state with Madame Albright at 4:00 p.m., order a bombing of Iraq at 5:00 p.m., and meet for coffee with Hillary at 6:00 p.m. in order to discuss a problem Chelsea might be having at school (as good parents will), and so on, without any sense of contradiction.
Such a knack for compartmentalization might be possible for some for a while, but not for an entire people, where the insurmountable contradictions will begin to overlap and accumulate.
Now imagine that while engaged with Monica Clinton was suddenly floored by the realization that she and his daughter Chelsea were but a few years apart in age, and that the next time he arranged a tryst with his young mistress -- did I mention Monica was Jewish, from a family of Holocaust survivors? -- he experienced feelings of acute unease, such that whenever he held Monica spontaneous, guilt-inducing thoughts of daughter Chelsea occupied his mind, and that whenever he saw Chelsea, Clinton was likewise reminded of Monica, and left feeling emotionally disarmed by these unwelcome, intrusive thoughts, by a poignant sense of “double exposure.”
It's this sense of “double exposure” that, I think, will bedevil the collective Jewish psyche, with its twin obsessions of Israel and the Holocaust, as we go forward.
Israel, with its martial spirit, is the Orwellian boot stamping on a human face; while the Nazi Holocaust casts Jews growing old in its dark shadow in the role of a tortured face forever being stamped on.
That is the sort of double bind that's at the heart of dissociative mental disorders, of which denial is a common symptom.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
In fact, the only ones to die in the U.S. airstrike were just ordinary Iraqis. At the time, and since, these civilian deaths elicited little interest or concern compared to rampant speculation by Western opinion- and decision-makers (both in and outside the U.S.) as to whether or not the Iraqi dictator and two sons had actually been killed in the bombing raid.
The dismemembered bodies of the dead Iraqis in the Baghdad suburb were a non-issue, really; unnecessary to even list them as "unfortunate" collateral damage. They were, to borrow a phrase often used by Professor Chomsky, unworthy victims.
We need only recall how cavalierly Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State, dismissed the deaths of half a million Iraqi children in a May 12, 1996 broadcast of an interview she did with Lesley Stahl on the public affairs programme “60 Minutes.”
Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it. [sic].”
A little over a year later, Madame Albright toured Yad Vashem, Israel’s great Holocaust memorial museum. She inscribed the following in the guestbook:
"As your guest in this sacred place, moved by love, I pray for an end to intolerance [sic], the nurturing of knowledge and a coming together in peace. Madeleine Albright. September 10, 1997."
The news coverage of the event that I watched on American TV did indeed show us a woman who was visibily moved by the Yad Vashem exhibits. I saw her dab away tears.
And, I thought: Now there is a lady who can distinguish between worthy and unworthy victims.
Monday, July 20, 2009
On page 20 of Harvard professor Samuel Huntington's book Who Are We, he states:
"The infuriating inescapability of identity is well demonstrated in the work of the distinguished social theorist Leon Wieseltier. In 1996 he published a book, Against Identity, denouncing and ridiculing the fascination of intellectuals with that concept. In 1998, he published another book Kaddish, an eloquent, passionate, and explicit affirmation of his own Jewish identity."
Different strokes? Well, I guess!
Earlier this July, famed Canadian lawyer Edward Greenspan wrote a passionate op-ed that argued in favour of due process and in the presumption of innocence against the backdrop of the disturbing allegations that pop star Michael Jackson was a child molester.
Greenspan: "Everyone is presumed to be innocent and is, in fact, innocent unless and until the government proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." 1
Twenty-five years ago, Greenspan argued the opposite, calling for a broad vilification campaign to rouse public hostility against any person accused of Nazi war crimes in order to prejudice the case against them.
He advocated that the "pictures of the war criminals should be published in a book listing all the allegations against them and widely distributed to bookstores, libraries" and even - wait for it - the "homes of their neighbours." 2
Back then, Edward Greenspan’s egalitarian "everyone" would not have literally included everyone. Now?
Toronto lawyer Alan Young, Jewish like Edward Greenspan, is on the record as favouring coercion to enforce intellectual conformity among those holding dissenting views of history, especially Holocaust doubters or skeptics or “deniers” who he finds grossly offend against his own grasp of history. Young:
"For crimes of supreme stupidity we need Clockwork Orange justice -- strapping the hate criminal into a chair for an interminable period, and keeping his eyes wide-open with metal clamps so he cannot escape from an onslaught of cinematic imagery carefully designed to break his neurotic attachment to self-induced intellectual impairment." 3
History buffs may recall the kind of "Clockwork Orange justice" Young advocates was routinely employed by KGB officers in psychiatric wards in the Soviet Union against dissidents of all stripes, including, of course, Jewish refuseniks.
The quaint thing about Young is he often appears on radio and TV shows to discuss legal affairs, and often cites his deep concern for the human and civil rights of the accused without any fear of being challenged. He’s a protected species, you might say.
1. Edward Greenspan, "Jackson not guilty: King of pop cannot be remembered as a pedophile," The Calgary Sun, July 6, 2009, p. 15.
2. "Greenspan Attacks Inaction on War Crimes," The Jewish Times (Toronto), 10-23 February 1984.
3. Alan Young, “Hate criminal needs deprogramming,” Toronto Star, March 28, 2004.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
In March 1994, the late Doug Collins published a typically acerbic column in Vancouver’s North Shore News; this one under the header “Hollywood Propaganda.” Here Collins had -- to quote Canadian Jewish Congress talking-head Bernie Farber -- “clearly crossed the bounds of decency” by satirizing Schindler’s List, the Holocaust blockbuster by director Steven Spielberg, by calling it Swindler’s List.
Soon after, B’nai Brith Canada, the CJC’s sister organization, lodged a formal complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Commission against Collins for his temerity. Among its other sins, his March 9 column had referred to the huge Jewish influence prevaiing in Hollywood; the columnist predicted that Spielberg would win an Oscar for Schindler’s List because of it.
Two weeks later, Collins wrote a follow-up. Spielberg had, sure enough, won an Academy Award. In it, he explained to readers why he called the Spielberg movie Swindler’s List: “[E]ven the wife of the dead hero has said he was a scoundrel.”
Which brings us to the disgraced investement maven, Bernard Madoff. Thousands of people and dozens of charities, many Jewish, were bilked of millions by the veteran Wall Street investor. Media stories of Madoff’s “giant Ponzi scheme” abound and the broad spectrum of his victims has often been reported on with headlines unself-consciously declaiming “Swindler’s List.”
Prime example: An item in the Jewish Journal’s on-line Christmas Day edition, bearing the subtitle “Wiesel Foundation lost ‘substantially all’ its savings.” The article wistfully describes how a charity founded in the name of Nobel laureate and Auschwitz internee, Elie Wiesel, had invested virtually its entire fund with Bernard Madoff and in consquence was now bankrupt. I
ronically, Steven Spielberg has also been included as a Madoff victim in “Swindler’s List” news items.
Oh, and . . . Joel Stein writing in the Los Angeles Times (Dec. 19, 2008) asks: “How Jewish is Hollywood?”
Stein’s answer: “Jews totally run Hollywood.”
Even the late Doug Collins had not been nearly so unabashed.
Friday, July 17, 2009
I see John Demjanjuk is back in the news again, on trial in Germany for what he allegedly did in Sobibor 66 years ago. This time around, though, his accusers have held off saddling him with a World Wrestling Federation-like moniker. It was "Ivan the Terrible" during his 1987-88 trial in Jerusalem. Now? So far nothing . . . Perhaps they sense that any such garish embellishments will only add to the farcical dimension already present in the latest chapter of the John Demjanjuk saga?
A person close to the family told me many people did not buy into the demonization of John Demjajuk back then. During the 7 years John spent on Death Row in Ayalon Prison in Ramle, Israel, between 1986 and 1993 he received a million pieces of mail, he said, the great bulk of the it being friendly and supportive.
New York Times scribe (and Zionist shill) Thomas Friedman tells the story (in From Beirut to Jerusalem) of a young Palestinian whom he befriended and spent time with, trying hard to tutor regarding the evil that John Demjanjuk supposedly embodied. The youth, according to Tom, was having none of it. That Demjanjuk had allegedly killed a lot of Jews, he seemed to feel, did not necessarily qualify him as an evil person.
That happened in Jerusalem, 20-odd years ago. About this same time, Elie Wiesel was beginning to notice that, surprisingly, the authors of "hate mail" sent his way were unabashed about signing their real names, and even including their actual home address and telephone phone number. Such was their degree of confidence! If grassroots confidence was growing back then, it must be stratospheric by now, comparatively speaking.
Jump, cut to the present . . .
Last fall, Corus Radio talk show host Charles Adler put on the table discussion of a quarter-billion-dollar funding for a human rights museum in Winnipeg. Virtually all the callers were disinterested in spending money for such a project in these difficult times. Some went further. One groused that, "You know that it'll be yet another Holocaust museum in all but name." Another said that given the hardship of the times, it was a waste of taxpayer money and better spent on bread-and-butter issues. One said that if we had to have one, then "locate it in Toronto" for the sake of higher cost-benefit. Conspicuous by their absent was the usual range of emotions elicited when the talk turns to Man's Inhumanity to Man: sorrow, pity, outrage, contrition. "Compassion fatigue?" Chuck seemed unimpressed by how that segment of his show went down.
As for Mark Weber's January essay downplaying the significance of Holocaust revisionism, its appearance, as Robert Faurisson was quick to point out, was immediately followed by the Bishop Williamson Affair, rocking the Vatican and leaving hairline cracks in its marble flooring, with YouTube viewings of the controversial infamous TV interview the bishop gave running into the hundreds of thousands. Back in his cell in Mannheim Prison, the stoical Ernst Zundel must have been amused to watch the epic cast of characters joining in on this latest Holocaust soap opera.
In fact, even the revisionist-friendly voices burbling in Tehran were drowned in the noise surrounding the papal fracas.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 -- George Orwell's fateful year -- until 1993. During those nine years in office his popularity steadily declined. A decade after he left office, Mulroney reinvented himself as a latter-day paladin of Jewish causes, standing tall on the ramparts of public opinion, fending off the spectre of anti-Semitism that is the by-product of Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians.
In 2003, he delivered speeches and published op-edders under the heading "Israel is the new Jew," which garnered rave reviews in the very Israel-friendly National Post. It was a transparent strategy to varnish and market his image. But in fairness ol' Mulroney always had a soft spot for sundry Jewish causes.
While leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, he had promised old friend and neighbor, Edgar Bronfman, President of the World Jewish Congress, that once elected prime minister he would diligently investigate the allegation that since 1945 several hundred Nazi war criminals, all flying below the radar, had settled into sedate lives in Canada.
In 1987, as PM, Mulroney delivered on his promise, with a controversial retro-active and extra-territorial law that spurred the red-coated Mounties into what to a lot of Canadians seemed like McCarthy-ite witch-hunt for old immigrants with any whiff of the Third Reich about them. In fact, now that 20-odd years have passed, the number of those Nazi war criminals successfully prosecuted in Canadian courts turned out to be a small handful of Nazi-era collaborators; just a few "small fry," as they say.
Today, in what seems like a metaphor for the democratic political scene everywhere, Canada's former PM has since been hauled before a parliamentary ethics committee and Justice Jeffrey Oliphant's commission of inquiry to answer questions about secret cash payments in the hundreds of thousands of dollars he received in hotel meetings in 1993 and 1994 from German arms-dealer Karlheinz Schreiber, an agent and middleman for Thyssen Industries -- Mr Hitler's munitions provider, were any reminders needed.
Herr Schreiber is wanted back in Germany to answer multiple charges of bribery, corruption, fraud, and tax evasion; in Ottawa, the capital, Canadian Justice Department officials are set to give him the heave-ho any day.
Last May, Mulroney spent several days thrashing about desperately on the witness stand in a bid to salvage what little remains his badly tarnished reputation and prime ministerial legacy. It didn't look good, it didn't look good at all.
And Mulroney did a lousy job explaining why h'd accepted a few hundred thousand dollars in cash-stuffed envelopes, put them away in a safe at his Westmount mansion in Montreal, then waited six years to declare the cash as income to tax auditors, and only after details became public.
Nowadays a rank smell of sleaze clings to the man; his personality is radioactive. I dare say, he shouldn't expect an invitation to deliver the keynote address at any B'nai Brith gatherings any time soon.
Mulroney appears to have earned the moniker he acquired during his decade in Canadian politics -- Lyin' Brian.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
And then the brain has been elsewhere. Where? Still have an issue with the pain meds on the one hand, and not being able to sleep on the other, the two together making me more torpid than is usual with me. I think I’m finished, for the moment, with this post. I see no real reason to even post it.
I’m going to close down here. I told Irene that I am going to quit the computer every night at 10pm and do the other stuff around here that needs doing. Throwing away stuff, getting rid of books. The local Red Cross will take the books for its thrift shop. And then there’s all the paperwork I have saved. Got to get rid of most of it. And then there’s the ordering of supplements from Standard Process. It’s best to do that via telephone, but they have banker’s hours back there. Maybe tomorrow.
We revisionists may question professors about gas chambers, about Dwight D. Eisenhower’s peculiar, self-serving memory, we may drive the professorial class and Jewish elites crazy, but really we live very ordinary lives. We live in neighborhoods where some malcontent is poisoning the dogs, nine dead dogs in ours this month, but so far no kids have eaten the poisoned salchichas thrown into neighborhood driveways and yards and life goes on.
I wonder about those men who spend their days contemplating heaven and hell, the big issues. The brain was wandering around there for a moment, trying to identify a couple such men. It went to St. Augustine then it went blank. When it came back to this life thought suggested that I turn to George Orwell, his biography, which I have around here someplace. I am not certain Orwell ever thought much about heaven or hell either one. So why did the brain come up with his name? That in itself is a big issue. How memory works. Addicted to suffering, to the avoidance of suffering, to the exploitation of suffering.
And there you have the predicament of the professorial class, the Jewish elites. Addicted to the Holocaust. Addicted to the avoidance of discovering what did not happen during the Holocaust. Addicted to the exploitation of the Holocaust to further their own desire/s.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Consider this passage from Norman Finkelstein's 2000 book, The Holocaust Industry; it appears on page 61.
Here the poli sci professor discusses Israel Gutman’s reaction to the exposure of Binjamin Wilkomirski's book Fragments as a literary fraud, a bogus memoir by a Swiss gentile posing as a Jew
with Baltic roots. Israel Gutman was the director of Yad Vashem and a lecturer in Holocaust studies at Hebrew University; he was also a former inmate of Auschwitz; in short, a Holocaust survivor. But, according to Gutman:
"[I]t's not important" whether Fragments is a fraud. "Wilkomirski has written a story which he has experienced deeply; that's for sure.... He is not a fake. He is someone who lives this story very deeply in his soul. The pain is authentic." So it doesn't matter whether he spent the war in a concentration camp or a Swiss chalet; Wilkomirski's not a fake if his "pain is authentic": thus speaks an Auschwitz survivor turned Holocaust expert."
This, of course, happened several years before Misha Defonseca’s “memoir” Surviving with Wolves,
a fictional account of her life with hospitable wolves in the Ukrainian woods who cared for her as a Jewish runaway hiding from the Nazis, was likewise exposed as a fraud; ditto Herman Rosenblatt’s moving account of a Holocaust romance, Angel at the Fence. Would Gutman have also given them his seal of approval, greenlighted their decision to engage in pure fiction, but palm it off as the real thing? That said, now I’d like to avail myself of the same kind of poetic license Israel Gutman gave Wilkomirski (real name Bruno Grosjean) . . .
Two 11-year-old boys named Peter and Klaus sit out on the back porch on a hot afternoon in Peoria, Illinois. We are into the Dog Days of August. Klaus is leafing through an old family album and showing Peter, the boy next door, photos of relatives from the old country. That country is pre-war, undivided, 1930s Germany.
Understand that Klaus would normally not be spending time with Peter. Klaus is an athlete, he is a sportsman, whereas Peter is a nerd and a geek, a bookworm.
Klaus points to a young man in a double-breasted suit, with dark, slicked-back hair. "That's my Uncle Otto; he died in Auschwitz," he blandly tells Peter.
His companion, while not Jewish, recognizes the name as a World War II military history buff and is startled -- startled by the name Auschwitz, and by the fact his neighbours are Jewish. Peter had
no idea; the Scheuers had given him no clues of their Jewishness. In fact, didn’t they attend services at the local Lutheran church?
Although the temperature is over 100 degrees Peter is suddenly feeling cold. His mind is swarming with the indelible images of the emaciated stacked-up bodies of hundreds of dead concentration inmates beling bulldozed into pits (he had seen Alain Resnais’s documentary Night and Fog on PBS Television and, sensitive soul, been shaken to the core).
Klaus continues blithely poring over the photos in his family album and so fails to notice the look of immense pity on Peter’s face. In fact, Peter does feel immense pity for Uncle Otto, and all the other victims of the Nazis, but also a sense of horrified fascination.
Peter’s mind has a capacity for total recall. An invisible finger has depressed a playback button, and a mental movie starts running in Peter’s mind. It pictures an old unreconstructed Nazi standing on the witness stand; he’s a slightly demented Donald Pleasance-like character. This is after the court has sentenced him to death for his part in wholesale Nazis atrocities. He declaims to the judge:
“Hang me if you must! I regret nothing; I merely did my duty as an officer of the Reich. But when you do, look up and you will see my legs dangling, dancing upon the millions I sent to their graves. Heil Hitler!”
Peter is not one to pry, but he cannot help himself. He can’t stop himself; his morbid curiosity is too hard to resist. He breaths deeply, and takes the plunge. “How did your Uncle Otto die, exactly?” He asks Klaus, then braces for a harrowing tale of a young man in the very prime of life being forced at gunpoint to enter a homicidal Nazi gas chamber, alongside thousands of his fellow Jews.
His young neighbour, retailing the fact as one of only mild interest, replies with a shrug: "They say he broke his neck after falling from a gun tower."
Peter: “ . . . “
Here, as Mark Twain tells readers of Tom Sawyer, let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
A magazine review of a new film about Anne Frank starts out: “Holokitsch. That is artist Art Spiegelmann's word for the banal and manipulative uses to which the Holocaust has been put in popular culture. Holokitsch reduces an egregious crime to the mechanics of cloying melodrama - dewy-eyed victims and sneering villains." 1
Three years later, Gabriel Schoenfeld weighs in on that very theme with an op-ed bannering “The Holocaust as kitsch” by remarking that among “40 fun things to do” in St. Petersburg, Fla., "Remember[ing] the Holocaust" was No. 11 on the list. Tourists to St. Petersburg, so inclined, might drop by their local Holocaust museum, where for $39.95 they could pick up a scale-model replica of a Polish boxcar the Nazis had used to send Jews - and others, too, of course - to the concentration camps. 2
For Schoenfeld, this was yet another in a series of telltale signs of the increasingly nonchalant way the memory of the Holocaust was “now being summoned in the United States.” Old, post-war taboos were fast disappearing, replaced by a five-and-dime nonchalance.
For Dick Meyer, broadcast journalist wth NPR, such casual and self-indulgent nonchalance is part and parcel of a general social trend across America. In Chapter One of Why We Hate Us, he lists many of the off-putting aspects of this behaviour. One example: “I don’t like people who go to the Holocaust Memorial Museum wearing T-shirts that say ‘Eat Me.’” 3
Between the kitsch and the nonchalance, not to mention historical illiteracy, we can’t expect much in the way of any enlargement of a visitor’s moral resources after a tour of a Holocaust museum. He or she may as well be wandering through the spookhouse at the local circus.
1. Richard Corliss, Time, "Saints in the Neighbourhood," March 4, 1996.
2. Toronto Globe and Mail, March 23, 1999.