Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Mean Old Man" -- Not a Denier

O, the price one pays every once in a while being available online, having one's name and work and sense of humor "out there." The other day some girl on MySpace, whose avator is a set of huge (not unlovely) tits crammed into a tight T-shirt that proclaims "Brunette's Have More Fun," wrote me a message containing a one line question: "Are you a Holocaust denier?"

I have been asked odd and insulting questions over the years, in person and online, but I must confess that no other matched this for shock-value or caliber. The person asking was not among my Friends' list, not someone with whom I'd even exchanged email. Just this random note rolling into in my Inbox asking if I'm one of the crazies of this world who denies one of the most gargantuan and horrible events of the 20th Century.

I'm not a Holocaust denier. I'm no great historian, but I've never read or seen any credible critique of the version of history that tells us 6,000,000 Jews (20 million people in total) were methodically slaughtered by the Nazis in concentration camps. If anything, my reading has focused on the travesty of justice with how so many infamous Nazi war criminals escaped to South America, and elsewhere. For instance, the notorious Martin Bormann escaped Germany with the aid of the Vatican. He was issued a Vatican visa, which allowed him to escape Europe and justice. I read in one book called The List about how many Nazi war criminals settled in America and in Canada. One Nazi was said to have settled in Windsor, Ontario, my hometown! I was horrified.
Das Korrespondence:

No Subject in the subject heading box

Are you a holocaust denier?

My reply:

You have spectacular tits.

Her reply:

are you? and thanks.

My reply:

No, I'm not a holocaust denier. What in the name of god would make you ask a complete stranger such a question? Looking for kindred spirits? You'll find none here.

Her reply:

No. I'm a Jew. There was something on your profile that lead me to believe that.

My reply:

OK, jokes and sarcasm and cynicism aside, what in the world did you read in my profile that would lead you to think I'm a Holocaust denier? I'm genuinely curious. Only a few weeks ago was I contacted by an Auchwitz survivor and I was not only encouraging him to write a book about his experiences, I was offering my services (free) to write and publish the work. The pervasive, destructive amnesia in our world is a suffocating bubble in which every manner of horror occurs.

Please do indicate what you read in my profile that gave you pause. No more sarcastic remarks out of me.

Best,
Matt

Her reply:

Mean old man.

My reply:

Oh, for fuck's sake you're referring to that Lenny Bruce photograph I have. You goddamned ignoramus! He was a Jewish comedian and had that newspaper specially made. Christ-in-a-handcart, get some goddamned culture! Holy shit, I'd thought you were some neo-Nazi slut recruiting. Take a course on satire, learn what humor and hyperbole are all about. Better yet, disconnect from the Internet, this ain't the place for the irony impaired. And you are most certainly impaired!

Now that I have this sorted out, please fuck off!

Signed,
Not Mel Gibson
Her reply:

You're very nasty. I know who Lenny Bruce is. Asshole.

My reply:

Go fuck yourself and get the Jewish Defense League after someone else's ass. You go around being some idiotic crusader. Christ, talk to someone who survived the Holocaust and see how your wretched self-righteousness rates. You're a fucking idiot who is not fit for adult conversation. Go fuck around with your iPod or learn to douche or something constructive. Anything, just keep the fuck away from anyone who knows how to think. There are too many pilons on the road as it is.

Fuck you.
That's about the gist of our interchange.

Man, Lenny Bruce once said, "There's nothing sadder than an aging hipster."

I say, "There is nothing more awful than an un-entertaining crazy person."

The power in Lenny's faked newspaper headline is that the absurdity of it causes a momentary laugh, which is quickly overtaken by the haunting realization of the calculated slaughter perpetrated by the Nazis -- while at the same time satirizing the escaped Nazis' hiding place (stating it in such baldfaced terms; "We don't know where they're hiding" becomes as empty as "I was just following orders"), and taking a shot at all those in a position of power who did nothing with the knowledge. I think it's a very powerful photograph and a very poignant statement. It's a stick in the eye to Holocaust deniers, not a call to arms.

But there is no subtlety left in this world. Peoples' idea of subtlety is ripping wet farts in elevators. Crass and base. No wonder this image was lost on a lost youth.

6 comments:

Gazetteer said...

Matt--

It just may be that this is, indeed, the age of 'Crap Is All You Need'.

And while the following may be a virally exhausted meme by now.....

If you have not seen/heard about it yet, just go here.

OK?

.

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

Thank you for sharing that. It was a very welcome addition to my day.

Jackson's Scraps said...

Matt,

Laughed my ass off at this newest blog entry. Based on some of your previous exchanges with people on the net, you seem to be a kind of dumbass magnet. I love how you blowtorch them with your wit and intellect, though.

My problem is that I attract people who think I'm the dumbass. I remember one time watching the movie "Babe" (against my will) at a friend's house, when my friend turned to tell me, as the pig on the screen was crying, that, and I quote, "This is where the pig gets sad, Jackson." I laugh about it now, but at the time I was simply flabbergasted that I (presumably) looked stupid enough to not know that a crying pig was a sad pig.

A more recent incident of me apparently looking like a bleeding idiot happened at a dinner party where a lady, a total stranger, informed me during the course of our conversation that, "Sri Lanka is an island," and, "The Euro is the currency of Europe."

I never felt so stupid or insulted.

Great blogging, Matt. Your friend and fan.

Jackson

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

Jackson, always great hearing from!

You know, I really don't relish holding private citizens up for ridicule, but when someone comes knocking on my door and exposes themselves as being ferociously stupid and exceedingly aggressive in sharing their stupidity, I cannot help but give them a verbal pink-belly.

Jeff said...

I would just like to say that I like the movie Babe. I also like Babe 2 (Pig in The City).

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

I wish I'd had the moral steel in my spine to admit that Babe is one of my favorite films. But I still understand your point, Jackson.