Sunday, March 29, 2009

A nice juxtoposition: Comic Books in America and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil

Last Tuesday after having the port in my chest irrigated we drove back south to Chula Vista to take care of some errands. At Wal-Mart, while my wife was picking up food for the children and the dogs and buying this and that, I got a magazine and sat at the counter in the Wal-Mart McDonald’s to pass the time. The magazine was Gentleman’s Quarterly—my Bible as Jay Leno would have it.

Anyhow, in this edition of GQ there was an article on comic books and what a splash they are making around the edges of American culture. I didn’t see much there that interested me, but the story itself was interesting. People are reading comic books? Young people? Maybe college kids? Is this something I should ignore? One of my friends in Baja is a very talented artist and cartoonist. I could do something with this.

I have been thinking about setting up The CODOH Writer’s Group to produce brief opinion articles to submit to the campus and off-campus press via the Internet. It occurs to me that I can do the same with political cartoons. The columns and cartoons would be free of charge, the only requirement being that CODOH would be informed and credited for publication. In the moment I was very enthusiastic about the cartoon project. I made a note in the scratch pad I carry in my shirt picket, along with my driving glasses and a black and a red ball point pen.

The note, in red ink, reads: “GQ. Review comics. Verdette can do drawings for me.” I make these notes because I am always having ideas and then forgetting what they are. In this instance there is a second note below the first on the same page of the scratch pad. It reads:

“Earlier today. The Journal idea.”

That’s all. Five words. No reference to anything. I like to keep track of my ideas, such as they are, and I am especially keen on noting the moment, or the circumstance, in which the idea comes to me. In this instance there is nothing. Sometime during the day, driving to the VA hospital, while I was sitting in the green plastic recliner, or afterwards driving south to Chula Vista and our favorite Wal-Mart, the idea for publishing a scholarly—for that’s what I mean with the word—journal. But the moment was gone. Not a hint. A blank. And that’s the way it has remained. I have just torn that sheet from the scratch pad and typed out the words written on it.

I wrote the five words six days ago. I have been out of town for two days. It’s amazing to discover how far five words can take you in five days.



A new Web site aimed at curbing Holocaust denial will include a history of Muslim-Jewish relations in English, French, Arabic and Farsi, the project's organizers said before the project's launch on Friday by prominent figures from Europe and the Muslim world. [….] Auschwitz survivor Simone Veil, one of France's most influential woman politicians, will also speak at the event.

For an introductory insight to how Simone Veil works with this stuff you can read Robert Faurisson here. Scroll down to “2. The Thesis of Simone Veil.”

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