Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mykel Board's Hitler Column

You're Wrong
An Irregular Column
for MRR 316, September 2009
Mykel Board

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” --Winston Churchill
“As an Internet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” –Godwin's Law
“Those who study history are condemned to live in it.” --Mykel Board
I'm madder than a Klansman whose wife bought colored-- instead of white-- sheets. My fucking boss. Accusing me of sexual harassment because I ask a female student to sew a button on my shirt. Telling me what I can and can't say in class. He's a fascist.
“I'm gonna take a picture of him. Then, photoshop on a little mustache and comb-over,” I say, “Post it in the teacher's lounge.”
I sit in Jennifer's kitchen. The kettle on the stove whistles. Jennifer walks over to it. Using a Motel 6 towel as a potholder, she picks it up and pours the water over some green leaves. “Oh Mykel,” she says, “cut it with that Hitler stuff. Everything is Hitler- or the Nazis. If you get too much cream in your coffee, it's the Nazis. Somebody takes your seat on the subway. They're Hitler. Give it up already.” Kerpow. News item: Will Smith finds himself in hot water with the Jewish Defense League. He told a Scottish newspaper that Hitler didn't mean to do evil, but rather, using "a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good.'" The JDL denounced Smith's remark as "ignorant, detestable, and offensive." In response, Smith issued a statement clarifying his position on Hitler as a "vile, heinous, vicious killer." This column isn't (only) about Hitler. Though, he's probably the best example. Here are some others: Wikipedia: The Armenian Genocide also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as The Great Calamity refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction (genocide) of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by the use of massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of Armenian deaths generally held to have been between one and one-and-a-half million. Wikipedia 2: In God, Greed, and Genocide: The Holocaust Through the Centuries, Grenke quotes Chalk and Jonassohn with regards to the Cherokee Trail of Tears that "an act like the Cherokee deportation would almost certainly be considered an act of genocide today". “The Indian Removal Act of 1830” led to the Trail of Tears. About 17,000 Cherokees — along with approximately 2,000 black slaves owned by Cherokees — were removed from their homes. The number of people who died as a result of the Trail of Tears has been variously estimated. American doctor and missionary Elizur Butler, who made the journey with one party, estimated 4,000 deaths. From the Internet: The 1831 uprising in Southampton, Virginia was led by Nat Turner, who was himself a slave. Slave rebels systematically went from house to house killing about sixty whites before they were disbanded. In the suppression of the revolt, about one hundred African Americans died and authorities hanged sixteen more. In Turner's lengthy autobiographical statement, he says that God led him to bring judgment against whites because of the institution of slavery. NEWSFLASH: The bloodbath began when an 8-year-old girl attending a Christmas Eve party answered a knock at the door. A man dressed as Santa and carrying what appeared to a present, pulled out a handgun and shot her in the face. Then, he began shooting indiscriminately as party-goers tried to flee. By the time it was over, at least eight people at the party were dead and the house was torched. The gunman killed himself hours after exacting revenge against his ex-wife with the massacre at his former in-laws' home. FLASH TO LAST WEEK: I'm at my nephew's Bar Mitzvah. I mine-sweep the tables for the dregs of the vodka bottles. Following me is my cousin, B_ who came in from Thailand. A man whose mind runs through the same trough as mine, he moved there after his wife dumped him. A new girlfriend (35 years his junior) later, he's in New York for the festivities.
“Hey B_,” I say. “Did you meet S_? She's over there and she's got a pair of lips on her that could suck a car engine out through a tailpipe.” He looks over his shoulder.
“Yeah,” he says. “But I gotta keep away from her. We have a history.” Flashback to 1487: It's 2 AM. You're in bed. You lay naked, face up, your knees pressed close to your ears. On top of you, Pablo lies with his tubular bell, pressed deep into your belfry. Your lips press against his. You feel each thrust, stretching that once tight sphincter into an open, welcoming ring. Pain. Delightful pain, as Pablo bites into your shoulder, as he grunts to hold back the inevitable. Your own arm reaches around the back of your leg to pump yourself from the front, while Pablo comes up the rear.
BLAM! The doors smash open. You hear a shout. SODOMIA! A clothed arm curls around Pablo's neck. He's wrenched off you, thrown back against the wall. You smell the stench of your own body. Then two hands grab under your shoulders, pulling you naked out of the room. Your feet scrape against the cobblestones as you're dragged through the streets. Your naked body comes to rest-- face-down-- in the basement of the cathedral. You struggle. Something metallic smashes into your face. A warm liquid drips from the corner of your eye to the corner of your mouth. You taste the sweet saltiness of your own blood. You're face down, in chains, handcuffed to a kind of pedestal. It pressed into your stomach, and feels like it will tear your hips apart.
Voices in Latin speak above you. Again, you hear the word SODOMIA! Then you feel it. The Pear. You know what it is without seeing it. It's been your nightmare for years.
Now you feel it, the metal... like a clamp... pear shaped... shoved into your already bleeding rectum. A fist-sized metal flower bud at the end of a screw. It's massive. You'll die. But not too soon... That's just the beginning... The screw is turned. Slowly, the clamp expands. Its petals open inside you like a flower blooming from a bud. Opening larger and larger. Your insides rip. Then they shred. Death can't come soon enough for you. Stop! STOP!
Yes, STOP! Everybody's got their history. Everybody's got some saga that justifies being mean to someone else. Something 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 5000 years ago. Armenians, Jews, homos. History is a grudge factory that justifies any atrocity in the name of one that passed. Conservatives want to kill Muslims in the name of 9/11. Palestinians want to kill Israelis in the name of land taken in 1967. Israelis want to ethnically cleanse Israel from Palestinians in the name of God who “gave them” the land 5000 years ago. Get it? I'm writing about history. Its abuse at the hands of every vengeful despot. It provides the all-purpose excuse for the worst atrocities. Its erection rises to impale everyone who is close, but different. History. A bunch of guys killing other guys... written by the winner. Words in a book. The Bible, the single most deadly book in the world, is a history book. It starts on day zero, and goes downhill from there. Find a Jew. there's a holocaust museum. Talk to Catholics in Northern Ireland and you'll wait ten seconds before Protestant Oppression in Irish History pops to the fore. Talk to an anarchist? The commies, what they did to us in the Spanish Civil War. In Africa, tribal histories resurface every few years, along with severed limbs, and spilled intestines. People hate people they've never met. Why? History! The solution is simple... and very New York. FUHGEDDABOUDIT!
Yeah. Ignore that history. Let it go. Armenian's 3 million, trumped by Jews 8 million, trumped by Stalin's 9 million, trumped by Mao's, I donno a billion? It's over. Start again. FUHGEDDABOUDIT! The CIA tortured. G.W. Bush conspired. OK, show us the pictures. It's important to know the truth, but then LET IT GO! The future won't right the past. “Justice” is the drag name for revenge. Call in the Alzheimer’s! Start every day thinking about what's gonna happen tomorrow. What you do now will make that day. Yesterday's over. You won't change it. Forget it.
ENDNOTES: [email subscribers ( or website viewers ( will get live links and a chance to comment on and discuss the column]
-->Whoever said cops can't laugh dept: Ex-suburban Chicago cop, Drew Peterson, called into a local radio talk show. Peterson, in jail on suspicion of the murder of his third wife and the disappearance of his fourth, suggested a new on-the-air game: Win a Conjugal Visit with Drew. He did not say, however, if the winner would be leaving the prison alive.
-->Sometimes capitalism is its own best humor dept: The Aggronautix company has released GG Allin and Tesco Vee bobblehead dolls. Called Throbbleheads, the dolls will be a “limited edition” (yeah right) collector's item. The Dwarves collection is next. I shit you not. (But does the GG doll?)
-->Al and the Xenophobes dept: An organization calling itself Repower America is spamming email from coast to coast. Throwing Al Gore's name around, they're sponsoring a TV/YouTube commercial promoting “clean energy.” The commercial features some hick-looking actor, shucking hay and walking in front of a horse. The focus? “We've got to stop being held hostage by foreign oil.” And “we're still borrowing money to buy oil from dictators who don't like us.” How about we're burning in ways that kill God's green earth" Yeah, it's the new liberal strategy. Appeal to the worst in us: Xenophobia and religion. Evil foreigners and God's earth. It' elected George Bush, right? Maybe it'll work for the environment. Sorry bub, I don't want to breathe clean air made for God and against foreigners. You breathe it. It makes me sick.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Movie Review: Defiance (2008)

It's the true story of the Bielskis, Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Poland who escaped into the Belarussian forests, where they built a village in order to protect themselves and over 1,000 Jewish non-combatants. Starring Daniel Craig (wtf?) and Liev Schreiber as Tuvia and Zus Bielski.

Ok, I'm gonna say it, Daniel Craig does not look like a Polish Jew. He actually did a fairly good job with his accent work, but I'm sorry, the guy is so obviously British, it was a bit distracting. If you can get past that, this is a really good movie. The director doesn't pull any punches, and certainly doesn't sugar-coat the story. The Bielski partisans are portrayed as vicious, even cold-blooded in their treatment of their enemies. All parties are portrayed as fallible humans. There is a wonderful badassness to some of the Bielskis' dealings with volatile situations which is refreshing (Jews are not normally shown as tough guys - at one point Zus even makes a comment about this, saying "Jews aren't good at drinking or fighting, just at dying.") Unfortunately, some of the action sequences are stylistically over-wrought (devolving at points into music video-esqe montages and shaky-cam garbage). Fortunately, most of the movie is shot in a normal style, so I was able to overlook the bad sequences.

At its heart it is a story about living a normal life in the face of outrageously oppressive circumstances, about the bonds of culture and family. One of the most important elements of the story is the relationship between Tuvia and Zus, and the strength of brotherhood. I like any movie that has a family-first message, and when Zus returns at the end to his brother's side, I was crying.

Liev Schreiber: A+
Daniel Craig: B-/C+
writing: A
directing: B
action: A-
family-first message: A+
non-hamfisted approach to Holocaust story: A
and bonus points for a brief anti-Communist message
overall: A-

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hitler's Favorite Painters

From Uncle Eddie's Theory Corner by Eddie Fitzgerald
read the whole thing HERE.

I'm always curious to know the favorite media of famous people, what they watch or read for their own pleasure when they're off the time clock. I know Stalin was partial to John Wayne films, and Maria Callas liked to read Archie comics. Ayn Rand read detective stories. What, I wondered did Hitler prefer when he was sitting around in his pajamas, just passing the time? Well, I don't know what he read, but thanks to an article in Arts and Letters Daily I do know what art he collected and enjoyed. Hitler's favorite artist was a Swiss landscape painter named Arnold Boklin. That's his most famous painting above, "The Isle of the Dead."

Hitler owned one of the five versions of the picture, and displayed it prominently near the fireplace (above) of his home.
continued here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Victory Parade

German victory parade in Warsaw. Hitler on the platform.
October 1939. Photo by Hugo Jaeger.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Clucking of Morons.

Apparently a new Castle Wolfenstein game came out. We were alerted to this not by a press release & promo-copy from Activision, which we should have been, but instead, by the clucking of morons on a "Mommy Blog" by Jessica Gottlieb. In a gloriously Pavlovian response to the game, Gottlieb cranks up the air-raid sirens, rings the church bells (or is it temple bells?) & alerts her flock to a new, dangerous threat to their community. She seems to think that Wolfenstein is some sort of White Power video game designed to upset the Jews! Her blog is titled, "Activision Corners the White Pride Market". What's particularly wonderful is that Activision is currently under Jewish CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy.
It's a great blog post in terms of exhibiting the programmed response to Nazis, swastikas & Hitler that this blog is a response to.
"I cannot remember the last time I was this deeply wounded.
Activision sent the child of a Holocaust Survivor swastikas in the mail.
I shall not soon forget."
One day there will be a Jessica Gottlieb "I got Wolfenstein in the mail" museum for us to take field-trips to in order that we too "shall not soon forget".
The other classic part of her piece is the beginning where she says that her name, "Gottlieb" is a Jewish name.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mussolini Monday: Gotta Pay the Devil His Due

Fantastic cartoon of Mussolini. If this blog was a new Disney movie i'd cue, "Who Let the Dogs Out?"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hitler (& friends) by Covarrubias

Miguel Covarrubias
Impossible interviews - no. 18: Herr Adolf Hitler and Huey S. "Hooey" Long versus Josef Stalin and Benito Mussolini, gouache on board, 1933 Published in Vanity Fair, June 1933.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dispatch From Disney's

Here's a fascinating pamphlet that was part of the Clair Weeks collection. Titled "Dispatch From Disney's", this 1943 publication was distributed to Disney employees who were serving in the war effort. The first section includes an introduction by Walt, an article on the power of animation to educate by Major Alexander P. de Seversky (author of Victory Through Air Power), a cartoon feature by Roy Williams, and newsy info on Disney artists T. Hee, Freddie Moore, Frank Thomas and Woolie Reitherman.

Read more at The ASIFA - Hollywood Animation Archive Blog.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adolf Hitler 'did shake hands with Jesse Owens'

A veteran German sports reporter has claimed that Adolf Hitler did in fact shake hands with black US athlete Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. From the London Telegraph.
At the time, it was reported that Hitler had stormed out of the stadium furious that Owens, who had just run his way to the first of four gold medals in the 100 metres, had beaten his Aryan sportsmen. However, Siegfried Mischner, 83, said that Owens carried around a photograph in his wallet of Hitler shaking his hand before he left the stadium.

Owens, who felt the newspapers of the day reported "unfairly" on Hitler's attitude towards him, tried to get Mischner and his journalist colleagues to change the accepted version of history in the 1960s, the Daily Mail reports. Mischner, who was a reporter at the time, claimed Owens showed him the photograph and told him: "That was one of my most beautiful moments." He said: "It was taken behind the honour stand and so not captured by the world's press. But I saw it, I saw him shaking Hitler's hand.
"The predominating opinion in post-war Germany was that Hitler had ignored Owens.
"We therefore decided not to report on the photo. The consensus was that Hitler had to continue to be painted in a bad light in relation to Owens." Mischner's claims cannot be verified because all other witnesses, including Owens, are dead. Owens, who died in 1980 aged 66, was the son of sharecroppers and won four track and field gold medals - the 100m, the long jump, the 200m and the relay race - at Berlin. He insisted that he had not been snubbed by Hitler but made no reference to meeting him and shaking hands. "When I passed the Chancellor he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him. I think the writers showed bad taste in criticising the man of the hour in Germany," he said.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mussolini Monday

Benito Mussolini and Fascist Blackshirt youth in 1935 in Rome.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Swedish Punk Inger

20th May 1977: Iconic Swedish punk rock fan Inger, who has a safety pin through her cheek and a swastika tattoo on her face.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bush as Hitler, Swastika-Mania: A Retrospective

Bush as Hitler, Swastika-Mania: A Retrospective
from Zomblog & Zombietime.
At recent rallies, town hall meetings and “tea parties,” a few protesters have shown up with signs comparing Obama to Hitler (i.e. depicting him with a Hitler mustache), or displaying swastikas in the context of implying that Obama and/or his administration are Nazi-like.

One would think that this would not be particularly newsworthy, but Democrats, the White House and their supporters are expressing outrage at this “horrifying” and “menacing” turn of events. (Or faux-outrage, at least.) Pundits, bloggers, media outlets and even top politicians like Nancy Pelosi are claiming that such signs are unprecedented, racist, and even that anyone who brings a swastika to a protest must be self-identifying as a Nazi (instead of accusing their opponents of being Nazis). When anyone tries to point out that the Left continuously compared Bush to Hitler and brought swastikas to rallies for six straight years during the Bush era, Obama supporters mock such claims, demand proof, and then try to ignore any individual examples proffered.

Since I had a front-row seat between 2003 and 2008 at anti-Bush protests in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I saw literally THOUSANDS of Bush/Hitler comparisons and swastikas, I thought perhaps it would be useful to compile here in one place a small sampling of them — to prove beyond any doubt that Hitler and swastikas were referenced incessantly at basically every single protest during the Bush administration. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying, as is anyone who claims that people who bring swastikas to rallies are necessarily self-identifying as Nazis.

I’m not saying I “approve” of the new variant of this trend (comparing Obama to Hitler), nor that it is any more clever or insightful than comparing Bush to Hitler; I only post these images here to highlight the hypocrisy of anyone now expressing outrage that Obama could uniquely suffer such an indignity.

The pictures below were all taken by me at protests between 2003 and 2008 in the San Francisco Bay Area. One can easily find hundreds of similar photos on my site zombietime. And I am just one photographer in one city — there are innumerable similar examples by other citizen journalists in other cities across America.
Check out the original blog post for lots more exciting pictures!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Secret Swastika: Swastikas at the Library

From "Weird Nazareth"
n the floor of what used to be the front portico of Nazareth's library, there are a number of symbols including several swastikas. However, it is important to note that the home that became the library was built long before the rise of Nazism and that these swastikas are left-facing instead of right-facing, unlike those used by Hitler. Before it became a symbol of that evil, the swastika was used by many world cultures (and still is, in many cases) to represent positive qualities and even sacredness. No doubt the owners meant it as a cosmopolitan gesture.

Nevertheless, it is probably good that this door into the library is no longer used, because the first reaction of many people upon seeing the symbols is shock. In the same vein, it is also probably good that the library abandoned the use of its old mascot, which had the well-meaning but unfortunate name of--Nazzy!

The library director commented on the post hilariously.
"In fact they are not Swastikas. They are a collection of cross motif tiles produced by the Mueller Mosaic Company of Trenton New Jersey. The cross you have mistakenly called a Swastika is in fact a gammadion or flyfot cross. The motif means "well being or good fortune. The cross has been used by many cultures. To American Indians its a symbol of winds and waters, for Buddists it was a symbol of total resignation. To the Scandinavians it is a sign of the god Thor. The symbol appears on other public buildings across America, including a public high school in Detroit, lampposts in Los Angeles and on the floor of the tomb of President James A. Garfield. Visit the Library anytime. We have the facts on all sorts of weird stuff. Regards, Lynn Snodgrass-Pilla, Director"

Leave it to a bureaucrat to call a spade a heart, or in this case, a swastika a flyfot.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hitler speaks

Hitler speaking at the Lustgarden in Berlin. Photo by Hugo Jaeger.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mussolini Monday: Mussolini's Brain

I love these "visual icons of the brain's contents" post-cards.

"Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy."
Benito Mussolini

"Every anarchist is a baffled dictator."
Benito Mussolini

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Nazi pins & Anti-Hitler Button

Katie just alerted me to the fact that the button below was posted back in March as "Hitler Pog?"... so the above are bonuses.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Anti-Axis Pinback Buttons

Great collection of anti-Axis buttons. Imagine everyone walking around wearing these during the war!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Are Obama-Hitler Comparisons Okay?

By David A. Harris, President, National Jewish Democratic Council
Posted: August 6, 2009 04:03 PM From the Huffenstuff Post.

Are Nazi and Hitler comparisons -- and invoking Holocaust imagery -- ever acceptable in political discourse? Of course I think the answer is no, period. And we've always made clear that such comparisons are not okay for anyone, on either side of the aisle.

But these days the G.O.P. base has gone all-in when it comes to Hitler references and calling our president a Nazi. At times it seems funny on the surface, with the de facto leader of the insane birthers movement on the Colbert Report comparing the Obama Administration to Nazi Germany -- and of course Rush Limbaugh has long since gotten in on the act.

But it's not funny; it's profoundly troubling, and it takes us several steps beyond just a coarsening of our political discourse. At these too-well-organized "mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore" town hall meetings around the country this August, more and more of these disturbing Nazi comparisons are cropping up -- and they all seem to be coming from the heart of the Republican base. And it has to stop.

I strive to stick to my principles on this one, and my organization calls out folks on both sides of the aisle who engage in inappropriate Holocaust comparisons and Nazi rhetoric. But the shoe is clearly on the Republican foot right now, and it has been for quite some time. So my final question is this: when is the Republican Party going to formally say "enough is enough" with the wildly disturbing Nazi invective being hurled by its base?

Sean's Comment: What's funny to me is that George W. Bush really received the lion's share of Hitler comparisons, more than any president in American history. Obama is definitely getting alot as well, but maybe this should tell us something about our government in general & not the individual presidents. Still, Obama's no Hitler!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Swastika Cookies

Everyone should make swastika cookies at least once in their life.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Roseanne as Hitler

From Heeb Magazine.
As I wait for Barr to arrive, I contemplate the pop culture folklore that surrounds her: the alleged multiple personality disorder, the roller coaster relationship with Tom Arnold—which culminated in a bitter divorce—the theory (her own) that she may in fact be the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, whom she has requested to be dressed as for her Heeb photo shoot. “Nervous” doesn’t begin to describe my feelings about meeting this 5’4” Jewish grandmother.