Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Silence Is Not An Option

The amount of comments to the last post, The Day Hitler Became A "Funky Dude", and the often inane and vituperative comments that have been published in Absolute Write under the guise and flag "free speech" and "religious freedom" has forced me to revisit this whole issue once and yet again.

To be honest dealing with hate-mongers is not on the top of my list. To be honest some of the emails and comments show an incredible lack of historical understanding and full of apologetics. To be honest it is tiresome and weary. People who hate - simply hate. And I really suggest that some should just read Hannah Arendt's classic work, The Banality Of Evil.

I have waited for awhile due to other demands on my time. I have thought on this issue - removed from the personal - removed from any desire to immediately answer - or to lash out in cynical remarks. I have waited and read and judged - from comments, to emails, to phone calls, to people offering help, to people asking and telling me that since Absolute Write did them a favor "how could I wash their dirty laundry in public?" (Honestly that made me laugh and shake my head in disbelief.) Shows a real screwed up understanding of priorities and an incredibly ego-centric take on the world. Between Absolute Write and the showing of a Swastika... well it is incumbent upon any normal thinking human being to indeed "wash that linen in public". Indeed it is a moral and ethical sin not to. Besides the fact that any post in Absolute Write is put out there in Public for the PUBLIC to read.

So there were positive and negative comments. That is to be expected.

Let me make this clear as well. There are many good, moral and wonderful people that hang out at Absolute Write. There are many, a great deal, who have sanely stayed away from this argument. There are many others who are too afraid from some perceived vestige of power they wish to give to those who are powerless, to say something in public. Yet the mass hysteria display of a swastika, the lines about Hitler, the utter inane insistence that those lines had to be read in context - was condoned, supported and backed by the person who owns this board along with those who she has appointed to moderate her board. It is like watching the march of the red ants. And thus, because this is public board, because the "official" policy seems so riddled with warped hate; because silence in this area would be equivalent to admission - one must speak up. To those who think that Absolute Write is always right... well most people know where such a philosophy leads.

Whereas I do not make any claim that people at Absolute Write are sporting swastikas because they uphold Nazi beliefs - I am saying, that the posting of swastikas will invariably bring out an emotional response from those in the modern world, and especially from those who were and are effected by that symbol, and there are millions and millions - and rightfully so. And if one takes that hated symbol and posts it with others - to no less and no more - "reclaim" it - then one is showing at the very least an incredible amount of insensitivity and dullness. It becomes frightening when it then causes people to make inane comments about Hitler and the Nazis. It becomes insidious when normal people, not having a clue about what they are defending, follow a leader in some nutty attempt at revisionist history. It becomes loathsome when comments are dismissed as sarcastic and the readers are accused of taking them out of context when such comments can only bring pain and hurt and nightmares to so many. It becomes evil when the excuses are made.

If we remove the personal from all this, there seem to be two divergent lines being taken. First that the swastika showed originally was meant to portray the religious convictions of one person. It was not a swastika. It was not a call to attention. It was a normative expression which every true Buddhist would have done. And thus the swastika adopted by others was also meant to portray a showing of solidarity for this person.

The other argument is deeper and a bit more insidious. It states clearly and simply that yes, the Swastika was used as a symbol by the Nazis to perpetrate the most heinous crime on humanity that has yet to be repeated. (And God help us if it does get repeated.) And yes the Swastika represents evil and death. But it is time to "reclaim" the Swastika. It is time to look at this wondrous symbol with peace and joy and love. After all 60 years have passed. I mean 60 years! That is a lifetime. Move on. Get over it.

The first idea, where the swastika that was shown was not meant as a call to attention nor as a particularly depraved method in making a statement, has been defended in the comments section by one who calls herself Tsuki. You can view both here comments in the post, The Day Hitler Became A "Funky Dude". Tsuki lectures me and all of us on the differences in swastika's, and of course along the line tells me/us how disrespectful we are of the Buddhist/Hindu faith. Of course, Buddhists, real Buddhists, have never and will never use their symbol on a forum board. Of course real Buddhists would do everything NOT TO CALL attention to themselves.

All the time she defended Buddhism and the symbol, well one can smile and take it in. Though this argument does not and never had anything to do with Buddhists. But the moment someone tells me just what I should be doing...well..that is the moment when I must take a step back and say, "Hold on. Wait a second here." And it is the crux, the central point, the focal part of this insidious hate.

Let us see from the comment what Tsuki preaches:
The symbol that SHOULD be offensive to those of Jewish faith is a CLOCKWISE SWASTIKA ON A WHITE CIRCLE WITH A RED BACKGROUND.
Now I know what a Swastika is! So the only swastika I should be offended at, by virtue of being Jewish is the one you describe. Well Tsuki here is a picture-graph.



In other words since none of those Swastikas, do not have a red background and most are not slanted correctly - whether they are painted wrong or right, upside down or sideways - none of them should offend me? They are not being used as hate symbols? Golly Gee! Would you look at that! All those pretty little swastikas must have been painted by well-meaning people who had no desire to offend, harm or kill.

Now let us do a comparison shall we? Just a little itty bitty one. Just to make sure we are all seeing the same hate-ridden symbol. Just to make sure that we are presenting this properly.

Compare the swastika on the right of this picture...




Compare the swastika on the right under the S of "Cleaners"...





And this one...


And the all too familiar...



Jewish graves are a favorite...



Oh yes, I know. There is a symbol - never flaunted, never worn on a lapel. And one is the embodiment of evil. Always flaunted by the hate mongers. Oh yes, I realize one is the symbol of peace and joy and love - the other a symbol of death and horror. Of course we should all look real closely, see the dots, click on links, read the word Swastika emblazoned on top of Internet pages, see the explanations about Nazis and then - "reclaim" the symbol. Or maybe we should just let it go by. Because we all know that Buddhists always flaunt those symbols in public - on forum boards no less - where they know it will cause nightmares for many.

Those symbols above so look like a Nazi SWASTIKA! Now how could any Jew or holocaust survivor take umbrage! Shame on us! We need to see slanted, and red backgrounds. We need to see the EXACT REPLICA before we start having nightmares. I need to look for the dots no less! What a revelation! We need to see it exactly as you see it in the movies before we say - Never Again! We need to see a Storm Trooper in Black Boots and a white on red swastika before we can actually say that those lovely symbols bring every memory of evil personified back into our minds.

Not on your life. Not in a million lifetimes. Those are symbols in the modern world of hate and evil. Buddhists do NOT EVER paint their symbols in public forums outside of their own places of worship or places where they live. They do not go to public forum boards and wave that symbol around in a call to attention. Not ever.

This is so not about Buddhist symbols. This was never about Buddhist symbols. This was about a child who had to call attention to himself, and decided to link a "symbol" to a page emblazoned with the word Swastika also including the Nazi's use of this symbol.

At best this is about "revisionist history". This is about the first step in trying to eradicate the Holocaust from the mind of man. This is about a total and deep lack of understanding just what exactly did happen.

My last worry in the world is offending Buddhists. They are well aware what that symbol means to the mind of modern man. My last worry is that someone became a Buddhist and was proud of the fact and all the more power to a person that does so in purity and good faith. The very fact that the foul phrases used ("scummy holocaust crap" comes to mind just for starters) and the quotes about Hitler (which we will get to) were engendered by all of this, points to things a hell of a lot more sinister than just a Buddhist symbol used by the wrong person in the wrong time in the wrong place.

You want to lecture us on Buddhist symbols. Go right ahead. Don't you ever dare lecture me on what a Jew should be offended at. Don't you dare lecture anyone on just what that symbol means to any normal thinking human being. Don't you dare tell me what should or should not offend me. I have seen those who walk around with a swastika on their arms, in tattoos and elsewhere. They were not painted on red backgrounds. They were upright or upside down and right side left. They could have been sky-blue pink to me for all I care. They were swastikas. And I know damn well what the portrayal of that symbol means. I do not rely on the intelligence of some child who cannot imagine in her wildest dreams what that symbol represents to a nation murdered in cold blood by the bearers of that symbol - to tell me what I should be offended at and how that symbol should look - before I interpret the hate in the eyes of those who wear it, and spray paint it, and put it on their signatures. There is nothing more loathsome, more disgusting, more depraved than a mob mentality defending the use of a swastika as a religious symbol - when they themselves have no clue what they are talking about.

And let us for a moment deal with this shall we. Just a short part of this long post. One called Toothpaste seems to have gotten dragged over the coals for expressing an opposing opinion. (Not to talk about others who were told just where to shove it.) And Toothpaste made it clear, absolutely clear, she/he did not agree with me. (Click here to see the full post.) But then she/he informed all of Absolute Write:
"But I do think the choice should be to show that symbol, but everyone has been telling me the choice in not an act of peace, but rather a means of solidarity in an antagonistic fashion."
This is what Buddhists do? Antagonize? Wear symbols to show their antagonism? And they want people to show solidarity for their symbol by antagonizing others? You have got to be kidding me.

Who is insulting Buddhism now? Who is insulting that religious symbol? Who is making a mockery of it? All the sudden "free speech" people at Absolute Write? Just who here has degraded the symbol of Buddhism into a method of attack and depravity?

So in order to show this "means of solidarity in an antagonistic fashion" others placed a Swastika on their signatures. They were indeed careful. They made sure that they were "teaching" the uneducated among us that a "swastika" does not, in certain societies have any "evil" connotations. They wanted to make it clear that the swastika was and is still used by other societies.

And thus we have this:



And this (The A below should be an image of a swastika as the text bears out):




And this piece (where to be totally fair to the poster of the Swastika below, where he wrote "Here for your enjoyment" he simply pulled that picture from Wikipedia's article on Swastikas. The exact same article where the authors made it clear:
In the Western world, since World War II, the swastika is usually associated with the flag of Nazi Germany and the Nazi Party. Prior to this association, swastikas were used throughout the western world.)



The mob attacks. They sing "all for one and one for all". They hold the symbol up and scream their loyalty. They do so without understanding or thinking.

So according to these people, either the Swastika is a symbol that must be "reclaimed" or it is a symbol that should be recognized by one and all - symbolizing the Buddhist tradition. Or a symbol of farmers from Tibet or the Navajo Medicine Men. Perhaps there are others that use this symbol as well. Funny how I did not see not ONE person wear a swastika on their signature and say:
"This symbol was also used by Hitler and Nazi Germany to murder, rape and kill in a megalomaniac war millions upon millions of people - and was also used to send millions to their death in concentration camps."
Indeed since we are quoting eclectic and "revisionist" statements, maybe we should also quote this as well (For a full link - go here.) And this is from an article trying to show the differences between the symbols and how the Buddhist symbol is a mirror image of the Nazi Swastika.

swastika

The swastika is a symbol representing the Nazi party and all of the evil that party stood for: anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, hatred of homosexuals, desire to eliminate the handicapped and infirm, etc.

It wasn't always that way. The swastika is an ancient and frequently recurring symbol, found in many different cultures during many different times. One can find the swastika associated with Hopi Indians, Aztecs, the Celts, Buddhists, Greeks, Hindus (swastika derives from Sanskrit and means to be well), etc.

Whatever and however noble its ancient heritage, the symbol of the swastika has been forever tainted in the West because of its Nazi association.

The fact remains that the symbol was also and most recently used by the Nazis. The fact remains that most people know and realize that Buddhists never use this symbol to flaunt or antagonize especially in public - especially on a public forum board. The fact remains that the only reason any person displayed a swastika was to either call pathetic attention to themselves - knowing full well that such an act is depraved - or as was so aptly put as a "means of solidarity in an antagonistic fashion". More to the point, if this symbol was being expressed as an act of love, then why, the question is asked, why did it engender such shocking statements on Absolute Write about Hitler and the Nazis? Why even after all the explanations did many find it completely shocking? Why were so many disgusted at it? Why were they told to shut up when they voiced opposition to the "means of solidarity in an antagonistic fashion" being displayed at Absolute Write? Even in light of the fact that it certainly is true that in today's society - "the swastika is usually associated with the flag of Nazi Germany and the Nazi Party."

I honestly have no real answers to these questions. I can put it down to ignorance. I can explain it away as simply being not aware what the swastika truly means to many who were and are effected by it. I can say it is insidious hate. I can say it is just plain old stupidity. I can give a million answers and none truly cover the horrendous display that was made at Absolute Write of swastikas and Hitler/Nazi lines.

Indeed perhaps it would be good to remember that - "Whatever and however noble its ancient heritage, the symbol of the swastika has been forever tainted in the West because of its Nazi association."

However I do know some things are completely and totally inexcusable. And so we are forced now to deal with the "sarcastic wit". Let us for the moment show the picture of this wonderful post.



Now of course Ben, who calls himself Loquax on Absolute Write, must have been appalled that his post would be hung out for all the world to see. And so he commented in the thread, The Day Hitler Became A "Funky Dude".
I would just like to point out that what I wrote was a quote from social satirist Bill Hicks. Our intentions were both light hearted, and do not represent our true feelings on the matter - such is the nature of satire and sarcasm. It disappoints me I have to point this out.

But what you have written about me and my friends is from the heart. Your insults are not jokes. Not only are they not jokes, neither are they directed at us. Your badmouthing is behind our backs, in the safety of your moderated blog. You did not contact me for explanation or an apology request. You simply insulted me behind my back and expected things to "get better". Your actions have been petty, immature, and quite frankly laughable for a man of your age and intelligence.

The difference between us is that your words are intended to harm, whereas ours are intended to crack a smile or raise an eyebrow. Our hearts are free of hate - yours is brimming with it. The poison in your words, and the disrespect you show to your fellow man, is disgusting. I want you to understand this, and I want you to seriously consider the intentions behind what you have written.

I also strongly suggest you direct your hate at the real problems of our world - not at the sarcastic ramblings of an online writing group. You have passion in your heart, and it needs a vent. Find something constructive to do - all you are achieving here is destruction and hatred. Do you really think our world needs more of that?

Or perhaps we need tolerance and the ability to laugh at ourselves.
Just to remind you, here is the comment meant to "crack a smile".
Hitler had the right idea, he was just an underachiever.
So of course it is sarcastic wit. This was a comment intended to "crack a smile"! This is funny! This is from someone "free of hate". Someone with a deep understanding of history and the Nazis. Someone full of sensitivity for holocaust survivors. This is just to "crack a smile"! Now I have heard it all.

Thing is, that little ditty he quoted is at least 40 years old. I heard it from some skinheads when they were not called skinheads when I was 14 years old. Thing is no matter how you look at it, no matter how you want it to come out - it is just plain evil and sick. Imagine a comedian saying that from a stage. Or someone on radio or television coming out with that line. Or a public figure in a normal country espousing such a thought. The person, thankfully, would be ripped apart in the press in less than 5 seconds. And yet for some reason it is excused on Absolute Write. That can only point to an insidious sick deeply depraved way of thinking.

There are some things you just do not say. There are some lines that no matter how funny they sound to your ears - that remain inexcusable and just plain disgusting. Forever. There is no turning back.

You said it and signed your name to it. Worse, you defended it when you should have apologized and then hid under a rock. It is your swastika now.


There is no "context" for such a line. There is no before and after. There is no excuse. It is one of those things that once uttered stands in all its glory all by itself. Insistence by the writer of that line and others at Absolute Write that this does not portray a sick, evil thought- that it should be seen in context as "sarcasm" - that it is not the quintessence of hate and certainly not anti-semitic - does not fly. This line along with others is one of those lines that simply portray hatred in all its manifestations.


You think excusing this away in some fashion where you try to sound like an intellect will excuse just what you said and all the memories such a line brings to the fore. Insulting you? Damn straight. You insulted an entire people - No, you did much worse than that. You insulted millions upon millions of people that were killed in the name of the megalomania of the "underachiever". Sarcastic wit? Cracking a smile? Laughing at ourselves by calling Hitler an underachiever? What dark hole did you crawl out of?

Underachiever? Lets see how much of smile we can crack here. Let us just look at some of the images this line brings to the fore, shall we? Since it seems words only bring out the evil, let us try pictures. Maybe then those who think this is some "rant" will possibly think twice at defending the Swastika and portraying it. Maybe, but I doubt it. (Every single picture below is taken from Holocaust archives. Easy to find. Easy to view.)

You mean this picture from Bergen Belsen should "crack a smile"?



Or maybe this one from Auschwitz of the Germans being forced to view what the underachiever had accomplished?



Tell me how many human beings, how many lives does this pile of glasses represent? How much underachieving is there? How much of a "funky dude" Hitler must have been!



Or maybe this one from bodies being burned in a pit in Poland?



Or maybe this one of mass murder?



Or this?



Or this?



THIS IS WHAT THE SWASTIKA REPRESENTS TO US. RIGHT SIDE UP OR UPSIDE DOWN. BLACK ON RED; PINK ON PURPLE. NO SMILING HERE. NO STANDING IN AWE OF INCREDIBLE WIT. NO TAKING A MOMENT TO "CHILL". NO NEED TO LOOK IT UP IN WIKIPEDIA. JUST PURE SHOCK AT THE EVIL.

This is what the underachiever line of yours and others makes any Jew and non-Jew who has a semblance of self respect see in their mind. Sarcastic wit? Crack a smile? If you truly believe such a thing and sadly I believe you do, I believe you are just simply too dulled to see the nature of your words and their evil... then what a sick, dark and evil place your mind must be.

And truthfully in the end it is sadly time for a picture history lesson. About the "funky dude" and the "underachiever". Let us see why normal human beings are horrified when they see the Swastika. Let us understand why excuses about using "sarcasm" just do not cut it. Why they are simply excuses and point to insidious hate on a real deep level. Let us understand why I personally do not give a damn in what color or how the swastika is displayed - because in the end as we saw above the only reason it was displayed was to provoke. You must possess a real sick mind, a shallow understanding of history and a real twisted view on the world to be able to demand that the swastika should be reclaimed. Any sick, twisted, demented individual who would dare post such a line and then hide behind "Hey, it is not my fault. It is just sarcastic wit. I am sorry to have to point that out!" - is not only evil but a coward to boot. But then again I am not surprised. Not in the least.

You see the Swastika bearers did this to our children. It was just a medical experiment. They did it to please the underachiever who was a funky dude, wearing the swastika.



They murdered us in cold blood and took pictures of it in pride.



When one allows things like this to pass in silence, then it is no wonder we find tee-shirts like this being worn by people - to "crack a smile" as it were. (And by the way, that tee-shirt caused such a ruckus it was taken down the moment it hit the press that it was being sold at a popular Internet site. But why? I mean, hey, it is funny...isn't it?)



In three weeks we commemorate Yom HaShoah (lit. "The Day of the Holocaust) or as it is known throughout the world "Holocaust Remembrance Day". Jews and non-Jews all over the world commemorate this day. On that day, at 11:00 AM precisely, the wail of a mournful siren is heard throughout Israel for two eternal minutes. Souls of six million children, women and men whisper to us as we stand with heads bowed listening to that siren. We listen. We listen and utter the Kaddish for those six million slaughtered human beings. We remember. We burn what the swastika bearers did to our people and the rest of humanity not 60 years ago into our collective and singular conscience. We feel the tears flow. The sorrow. We look to blame God and the ministering angels - asking God - "Why?"

And in the words of the Kaddish we find the frightening truth. We understand that it is not God that wrought this destruction - but a portion of mankind who for a moment in history traded places with Satan himself, and with a swastika emblazoned as a symbol upon their hearts went out on a rampage of hate and murder such as the world never knew.

It was our silence that allowed this to occur. The silence of those who saw the swastika and listened to exactly what a monster was going to do - and said "That is just a scare tatic. The Jews are being made into a scapegoat just to unite the Aryan nation. No one is going to mass murder an entire people."

And when it was over, even while they had seen the ashes of the concentration camp crematoria rain down upon their villages and cities for years; even while every morning they awoke to the smell of burning flesh; even while they stayed silent - they claimed:

"We did not know!"
"We did not believe it was happening."
"We were only following orders."

When that siren goes off on Holocaust Remembrance Day it is a reminder. We do not want to reclaim the swastika. We do not want to purify it. How does one purge the blood of millions from the symbol that caused the murder? How does one forget it?

We remember. We burn into our hearts and minds. We teach our children. And their children. And we will teach our great-great-great great grandchildren to remember. Because if we fail in that task - if the Kaddish ever fails to pass over our lips - if we choose to forgive and forget - if we allow ourselves to become complacent - if for one moment in time we choose to ignore statements of hate which do not belong upon the lips of civilized man - it will happen again.

So you must excuse us when someone normal sees a swastika, then reads lines about Hitler being "a funky dude" and "an underachiever" - we don't break out in laughter at the great awesome wit. You will excuse us please, if we refuse to forget. You will excuse us if we get a wee bit "over-emotional" at such things. You will excuse us if we see the mob mentality take over - and the swastika come out once again in all its loathsome glory - to antagonize; to bite; to remind us; to make us shiver with fear in the night. You will excuse us when we say "Never Again".




Silence Is Not An Option.



Posted On: Cobwebs Of The Mind


28 comments:

Robert Toy said...

It is incredibly how anyone who reads this post, and looks at the pictures can still make jokes or “witty” remarks about the swastika, or continue to try and defend the swastika as a peace symbol. The mere sight of a swastika invokes hostility and not just for Jews. Wave a swastika (Buddhist peace symbol) in the face of a WWII vet who served in Europe and you are liable to wind up flat on your back.

Wave a KKK flag in the face of a Black man. Ah, but you will say that is different, because the KKK symbol stands for racial oppression and hate, try the confederate flag…oops same reaction, same excuse.

That being said, does it really come as a surprise that knowingly posting (waving) a swastika on a forum will always invoke a negative gut reaction and that the swastika represents the most heinous part of man’s history.

It is like the myth of waving a red flag in front of a bull, guess what folks, bulls are color blind. You will invoke a negative reaction regardless of the color, shape or slant of the cloth you taunt him with.

I am a firm believer in Freedom of Speech, but it is a Right that can and has been amended. Keep ignoring the past, and pushing the envelope, and slowly that Right will become more and more restrictive, and you will have nobody to blame but yourself. Trust me it will not be too long before the U.S. follows Europe in restricting some forms of speech.

B.E. Sanderson said...

"...solidarity in an antagonistic fashion..."? Actually, this is one of the scariest statements I've seen yet. Collectivism at its lowest. Isn't that what every group of hatemongers is doing? Isn't that what the KKK does every time they dress up in bed linens? Of course, it is, but these people would rather not think about the implications of their statements.

I'd compare them to sheep or lemmings, but that's doing a disservice to both sheep and lemmings - who are both rather harmless. Perhaps hyenas are a better example in the animal world.

Bah.

zentao said...

Ted,

After reading your blog, I have just spent the better part of four hours reading through the latest ugliness upon the AW website. I am appalled. I am wordless. I must ponder response, because my varied thoughts and sentiments seethe forth, welling up in an overwhelming flood to become jumbled, meaningless chaos as each vies to lead. Therefore do I quell the tides and give time to allow reasoning to profit productive result by appropriate allocation. Meanwhile, know that these "AW twerps," and I do not use that term lightly, demonstrate themselves in all their utter contemptible ignominy. Buddhists these are not, nor defenders of Buddhism or of what is just and honorable. Pride, stubbornness, inability to reason as well as to admit error demonstrates AW and its membership as ever more suffering a ridiculous self-indulgence and ever-heightening viciousness.

zen-

Anonymous said...

Robert Toy-well said.

Teddy-thank you for NOT taking the easy way out and just ignoring what is going on the AW site. I know that it is incredibly draining emotionally to write the posts you've been putting up on your blog (especially this one), especially when the target audience seems to have experienced a massive brain fart which is hindering their reason and communication skills.

Kayla Ship

Anonymous said...

To find a place to begin is ifficult when so much is left to say. The first thing that disturbs me is the fact that Loquax accuses you of hate and talking about him behind his back. This from a
supposed writer with so much knowledge, yet felt it humorous to
say “Hitler had the right idea, he was just an underachiever”

If he was quoting satirist Bill Hicks in an attempt to be funny, he failed,Miserably!

Loquax further says he and his “friends” were just joking.
I don’t know what is funny about any of this. I looked at the pictures here In Silence is Not an Option and I cried. Each and every time I think about
what happened and all the lives lost, my heart aches.

Next, Tsuki tells you to take a look, it is not the swastika. Unfortunately she has missed the point completely and comments only to show her support to the
forum which she belongs. This has moved beyond that. She tells you that as a Jew, you should know the difference. Well, I do hope she returns to see just how that
symbol is used, in the wrong direction all the time, to spread fear and hate.


When the offense first occurred, the offenders had a choice to make. They chose to make a mockery of something so painful and hate filled. At that point they proved they had no intention of doing what was right but instead chose to band together and spread the hate. I am filled with sadness that in the world today
common civility is not practiced among adults. If something is found to cause fear, pain or harm, simply refrain from using it. Don’t hide behind an ulterior motive of religion. If that were the case, it would have been represented in a much more
peaceful manner and there would have been no mockery.

As many here have stated, Never again! To do nothing is to allow
it to continue and I will stand against evil. We must NEVER let anything like this EVER stand a chance of happening. We never know in what forms evil lurks and must beware of all it is capable of.

To some, it is the incorrect comprehension of a symbol, you have
shown here that sometimes it is plastered incorrectly on the grave of a Jew, on the side of a Temple or on the side of a public building
Its intension is mean and meant to cause pain. Those who still deny should really search deep within themselves.

May you all find peace and joy, today and always

Vanessa Munroe

Paula's Poetry said...

Ted

You have done so much work here with all the posts since
the beginning. I imagine it is with much difficulty to have to keep re-living all that has taken place both here and in the past.

I too agree with Robert Toy that it is now impossible for anyone
to find humor in just what this all represents.

It is just a sin that some refuse to remember what enters our minds when we see the swastika and are then forced to read what they
attempt to joke about.

The owner of AW and her posse have proven they are just on a power trip and shall continue in the direction of ignorance.

How anyone can think of what happened and consider joking about it or making light of it? It makes me sick. Just reading over this and looking through the pictures , I am saddened
beyond belief. I am aware of all the swastika represents, I am
aware of the horror, pain and evil. Still, each and every time
I am reminded, I find myself fill with tears. I wonder how another human being can be so cold and not feel shame for mocking and continuing to carry on with hate.


Hate, I will never understand it, but I will always stand against it.

The Deepening said...

Short and simple: Terminate AW's effectiveness as a writer's website. Get their approval from all other writer's websites and organizations disavowed. An online petition with thousands of signatures would do the trick, this petition sent to any and every website, periodical, publication, organzation who has them listed as a good place for writers to visit, as well as to any advertiser using their site for promotional ads. Why? Because it is too obvious now that they have absolutely NO intention of admitting error and persist in flaunting their position and making too terrible and ugly abusive remarks about Ted and the rest of us who object to their inexcusable actions.

Hit 'em where they'll feel it most, in their greedy, ugly little pocket books and promo capabilities.

D.L.Keur, owner/publisher, The Deepening

loquax said...

The quote is intended to crack a smile at the irony, not the subject matter. The fact you even considered the former possibility boggles my mind - in fact, it DISGUSTS me. And then there's THIS.

My word, you need to vent your anger. I've never come across a more hateful, desperate person in my life. I truly feel sorry for you. Once upon a time you and I had some quite fruitful discussions on AW - you've probably forgotten them. I want the old Teddy back. We all do.

~Lo

Ted W. Gross said...

There is no "old" and "new" Teddy. There is just this one. You made a comment on AW. You submitted an explanation here. It was published both in the comments section and in this post. It was in context and clear.

Those who read your post (and other posts in a similar vein) at Absolute Write and then saw your explanation were shocked. As is clear. The only thing I will give you is that you chose not to hide behind some anonymous name which is to your credit.

But your explanation just does not "hold water". You obviously do not understand the nature of the comment you made, which is probably the saddest thing I have seen. You just do not seem to "get it".

This is about a simple choice. One which was a "no-brainer". It is a choice between standing up for my people or being silent in the face of viciousness and hate. That comment should never, not in any sane world, not in any world that prides itself on "respect" - should never ever EVER have seen the light of day.

You made it. You defended it. Your words were posted. Your explanation was posted. And still NO ONE sees it in any way but a loathsome, degrading, viscous thing to say. (And trust me I can throw around other 100 adjectives at it.)

Apologies were the way to start. Not by defending yourself nor Absolute Write.

Are you truly that dull not to see the pictures your comment created in the minds of people?

And may I add it was not only your comment. It was a slew of them. All idiotic. All hate-filled.

No. There is no "old" and "new" Teddy. There is one Teddy. One who will not EVER allow such things to be passed over in silence. NOT EVER.

Keep your pity to yourself. Let those who have "self-respect" and a modicum of intelligence simply judge. Is it the one who calls "Hitler an underachiever" in a public forum full of hate and disgust and depravity, or the one who stands up and says - "There is a limit to what you can write down and post in public and not bear the consequences."

Let them be the judge. You have been given free reign to explain yourself. You have done so now twice.

End result - You wrote it. You posted it. You take responsibility for it. And you excuse it away. That my dear sir, is one hell of a legacy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Loquax,

I'm keeping THIS Teddy!

How dare you accuse THIS Teddy of being full of hate when he calls you on your lapse of good taste.

It may be possible that your comment about Hitler was not ill-intended. However, once the errs of your way were laid out for you in plain sight, instead of apologizing you went on the offensive and attacked Teddy and all those who agree with him.

That quote was intended to crack a smile? OK-so you're warped. But to then be DISGUSTED at THIS Teddy for his reaction? Why couldn't you have just admitted that it was a mistake, in poor taste, and say you're sorry? Believe me, THIS Teddy would then have moved on. Teddy, if I am wrong, you need not post this comment.

Kayla Ship
a fan of THIS Teddy

Anonymous said...

Loquax, how dare you!

You have the poor judgement to post something so horrific and then try and blame someone else because we do not find the humor in the sickening things you say.

You call Ted hateful and disgusting for having the sense to recognize true hate when he sees it. If you find humor in something that brings nothing but horror and pain to people like myself, then it is YOU I feel sorry for. I do not pity you, I feel sorry for how low you have sunk.

I have first hand knowledge of all that happened at the hands of the very person you joke about.

You and your people at that forum need to look deep inside and realize that what you feel is funny is absolutely painful to see, no matter what the intention.

This Ted has common sense and a good mind to stand against all evil. I don't think he just became this way. I bet he too has always had common sense backed with a heart of compassion.
From one who knows all to well.

Renee

The Deepening said...

Makes me want to wrap my arms around you, Renee. *virtual hug from the heart.*

D.L.Keur, owner/publisher, The Deepening

Robert Toy said...

What Holocaust?

Teachers are dropping controversial subjects such as the Holocaust and the Crusades from history lessons because they do not want to offend children from certain races or religions, a report claims.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,263146,00.html

Has the world gone stupid?

Loquax said...

Hey guys,

I'm truly sorry if anyone found any offence in the comment I relayed from Mr Hicks. It's not my intention to offend people, nor was it his. The comment, if anything, is making fun of the neo-nazis who would take such a ridiculous statement seriously (such is the nature of satire). I've now come to realise that there exist people with a predisposition to find offence in distasteful humour. I'll bear this in mind for the future.

I won't, however, back down on my position that Teddy has been incredibly insulting and immature throughout this whole ordeal. Comparing good-willed people to neo-nazis is about as offensive as you can get. In fact, it's MORE offensive than the satire in that AW thread.

Teddy, I'm really not quite sure what you're trying to achieve. If you wanted an apology, you were too late by the time you uploaded your very first post that insulted me. I can apologise to everyone except you. You've caused me far more offence than I ever caused anyone else. Understand this.

I won't take down the post, because I believe there are level-minded, unprejudiced people out there who can find humour in it. Bill Hicks wasn't a hate monger - he was a comedian. The comment was intended to make people laugh because of its insanely twisted logic and shocking idiocy.

Your insults, however, have no ambiguity to them. They're directed at me personally (not like the Bill Hicks line, which doesn't mention you by name). When you realise that objectively your comments are more deserved of an apology than mine are, I'll give you the apology you want. Until then, I believe you are insulting and hateful, and I'm just a sarcastic bastard.

~Lo

zentao said...

Oh, I especially like this quote:

“Staff may wish to avoid causing offence or appearing insensitive to individuals or groups in their classes. In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship,” it concluded.

Times Online UK article: Schools Drop Holocaust lessons to avoid offense

REALLY!! This is very suspect. This is, at minimum, supremely short-sighted, and borders on the criminal, because it is purposely allowing dilusional perspectives and agenda-filled purposes to foster and perpetuate themselves, encouraging the indoctrination of youth in potentially dangerous political ideologies.

...I'm sputtering I'm so outraged.


By the way, all who are writers looking for an alternative, find one now at http://z7.zentao7.com/forum/ This just opened yesterday afternoon late.

Anonymous said...

Loquax,

You come here and say you’re disgusted and your mind is boggled!
The quote intended to crack a smile at the irony! That makes it ok in your world? What kind of sick humor were you aiming for?

Now you think Ted is venting his anger here. You still really don’t get it do you? I will try to maintain my temper here which will take a lot of effort.

After reading through all that Ted has painfully put together through all of this, I am physically sick to my stomach. I can’t believe you can still defend the words you wrote and still try to pass it off as being misconstrued.

Please restore my faith in humanity. Please tell me that you really are just lacking basic comprehension and you are maybe just a child. Now that you have seen , through the courtesy of all Ted has posted, just what comes into our minds when we read or hear what you call humor, please tell me that you finally understand why we are so disgusted, appalled and angry by what has been done. If you can look through all of this and still find humor in what you say then please do me a favor and refrain from commenting here.


You see Loquax, with every post here, each of those pictures enter my mind and there is no room to see the sad, miserable attempt of your humor. Life is not a comic strip. History was not a stop on a comedy tour for those who suffered.

Borrow a pair of eyes from someone who is capable of seeing what you are a part of causing. Maybe then and only then you will find room in that warped mind to see truth.

Ted, I also want to thank you for all you have done here. I am sure it was painful and difficult to have to go through again.

Renee, I also send my heart to you.

I will never turn away, I will never stand down.


Cyrena T

Bartholomew said...

I deeply apologize for offending you.

In order to honor you and display the boundless respect I have for you, I shall leave my swastika up and continue to use the symbol, so that you may have further fuel with which to draw traffic to your blog.

-Bartholomew

zentao said...

bartholomew, you are an ass and a nincumpoop. You, your cohorts in unconscienable arrogant perversion, and all similarly-minded, ass-licking AW lackeys are most representative of the worst of the Internet.

Robert Toy said...

I keep reading and re-reading Bartholomew’s post, hoping that I am misunderstanding something, is it just me?

Anonymous said...

Bartholomew(If you're the same overweight, annoying kid who posts at AW and always starts annoying useless threads about nothing), you are an ignorant ass who would be better served by getting an education than showing your ignorance in public places.

Akuma said...

While you have every right to protest this whole argument, I would just like to point out that no one is "forcing" you to again address this topic. Usually, I might see this as a ploy to gain more hits after a successful rant, but I respect you too much to accuse you of that.

Still, I'm just a bit bewildered. I know you have good intentions, Teddy, but I don't feel fighting "hate mongrels" with sarcasm and more hate is a fantastic solution.

After all, if AW is such a cesspool of human trash and whatnot, why add fuel to the fire? Internet anonymity gives many illusions of backbone, but I doubt anyone from AW is actually going to go out and beat Jews, so what's the point of getting flustered about it? Human cruelty is a fact of life and I apologize if that sounds callous.

My suggestion? I say we just sit back and chill. Leave embers to cool into nothing, right? And if people still want to pursue this and if you still want to fan the fire, well, more hits for you. But more hits for AW, too.

I really can't understand this situation, Teddy. Defending your position is admirable, of course, but fighting base prejudice and racism on the internet is, I'm sorry to say, futile.

As a side note, please don't start blaming AW as a source for racism and bigotry. It's a very helpful site when it comes to the craft of writing and all these inner politics and rants would be caused by a minority of members. Just please take that into consideration before you begin blasting away the majority of AW as being evil.

Just my two cents.

zentao said...

Robert Toy, if you are questioning the vehemence of my post, here is my reasoning: I interpret THIS posted by Bartholomew:

"I deeply apologize for offending you.

In order to honor you and display the boundless respect I have for you, I shall leave my swastika up and continue to use the symbol, so that you may have further fuel with which to draw traffic to your blog.

-Bartholomew"

to be sarcasm, as evidenced by his perverse declaration that one reason for which he will continue to maintain symbolism offensive to Western minds within his signature at AW is principally to provide Ted with traffic, thereby suggesting Ted to be what is termed in Internet jargon a "blog whore", which term has been often, openly, liberally, and erroneously applied to Ted and his blog entries by several notoriously vicious AWers, including its management clique.

Ted W. Gross said...

One at a time...one at a time..

Akuma

1) I need no hits from AW nor from any of this. Cobwebs Of The Mind does really fine without having had to get into this whole thing. Which leads me to point 2.

2) I have no desire nor ever had any such desire to fight hate all over the Internet. What I will not "idly" sit by and watch - is when a public forum board to which I once belonged - where as I said in the post that these comments are attached to, there are a great many sane and moral people - I will not sit silently and watch symbols of hate be thrown up and not say a thing about it.

If I ever had any doubt about the reason for the appearance of the Swastika at AW, (and I never did), it was certainly put to rest with the comment above made by the "teen" in defense of his stance.

I have seen AW arguments about gay rights and women where people got banned for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Because this argument seems to effect the owner of AW and her cronies.

Yet she has no problems sporting a swastika in her sig along with others. Such depraved actions, and there truly is no other word for it but depraved, need to be "outed". Then let people decide.

You can be silent. You can continue to ignore it. Or you can say "This is just not right".

That is each individual's choice in the matter. But, for me to sit silent while the owner and mods at AW in the fashion, method and way they have, continuously defend the presence of a swastika... I can only shake my head in disgust.

And that disgust I will reveal with every possible proof of hypocrisy and depravity that I find.

AW is not holy. It is not infallible. It indeed has proven to be run by some incredibly sick people - the posts, comments, and signatures speak for themselves. And while AW may be a source of important information, it is owned and run by a woman who has made her point and beliefs clear and to the point. Her mods have done so as well. This is not a regular member. This is the person that "owns" this public/private board. Thus she is responsible and as such everything at AW becomes tainted with the shadow of a swastika.

Indeed lately, I need do nothing but sit back and watch comments like those of some attention starved teen hit my system to prove the point again and again.

But there is not a chance in hell that I will stay silent when I see a swastika displayed - to provoke, antagonize and portray hate.

I will choose my own time and place and method. No one will determine that for me. I do not, nor never have, feared hate-mongers. They are human garbage, and I can honestly think of no other term.

If one chooses to be silent in the face of such hate - that is their legacy. Futile or not, an impossible situation or not, that does not alleviate me or anyone else for that matter of the necessity and obligation of fighting it. Hate grows like a stinking bog when we are silent in its wake. No matter how futile, how small and how weak our voice may seem.

Robert Toy said...

zentao,

Our postings got crossed, and I asked the question just [b]before[/b] your post was displayed. I just could not believe how ill-mannered and stupid Bartholomew’s post was.

zentao said...

Robert Toy: I thought we were of one mind, but wanted to be sure there would be no misunderstanding, so chose to clarify. BTW, you are more than welcome to come to http://z7.zentao7.com/forum/ where you will find intelligent discourse (and a bit of fun), an equitable environment for creative writers, and a good work climate.

Akuma, we will continue to blast away at AW for so long as it continues its refusal to acknowledge the error of its means, method, and persuasion, simply because it infects writers' minds with perversion, sanctioning narrow viewpoints, promoting intolerance of any outside the grace of its owners/managers. AW is a known purveyor of unkindness, hate mob mentality, self-righteous and two-faced discriminatory policies, as well as a festering womb -- a breeding ground -- striving to promote, gain sanction, and prestige for itself and its self-serving agenda.

Bartholomew said...

It was a sincere apology. I don't want to offend anyone. But I'm not going to cater to anyone's whim, either.

Besides, this cause is obviously important enough to warrent the amount of time Teddy has spent on it. So let him spend it.

He could go find some real Nazis, or some other hate group and attack them instead, but that would take courage, a commodity Mr. Gross has in short supply.

Anonymous said...

Bartholomew,

Twice you use the word sincere in your attempt to apologize for your actions, yet you do so with such sarcasm it leaves one to doubt there was ever any sincerity behind it at all.

Had you not stated that you were going to leave the swastika up in order for Mr. Gross to draw traffic to his blog, your apology almost would have looked real.

With that statement alone, you have just confirmed that you use that symbol as a mean for attention.

In your warped mind, you think courage is only displayed when calling out real Nazis. Let me ask you this. Have you ever seen a real Nazi? Do you think they walk this earth wearing a sign of warning that we should fear them?

Courage is something Mr. Gross has shown with each of his posts here. Do you think it was easy for him to go through the pictures he has posted here? Do you think it is easy for me to look at those pictures and not weep?

Let me give you a small lesson. In my life I have encountered much hate and destruction. Never once did they announce themselves as "real Nazis". Hate comes in many forms and one has to always be aware.

When a person or group of people show lack of compassion and disregard for fellow human beings, it is then that those like Mr. Gross and all who have stood up against what you discredit as a fun way to decorate yourself show true courage.

Your apology was no more sincere than your original claim for bearing that symbol for your religious beliefs. For if you intended to show your pride, you would never have done so in such a manner that allowed such hate and ignorance to continue.

You ought to be ashamed for not correcting this in the beginning.

It is you who lacks courage.
I for one feel it is much too late for your apology, especially with the lack of sincerity.


Renee

MuseinMeltdown said...

I have read your blog post - and the comments.

My friend - your pain is palpable and the defence of your heritage does you credit. If you don't say something - no one will.

Nobody has the right to "dis" you for who and what you are.

Thank you for informing me - and I suggest those who only feel able to be verbally abusive shut up unless they can add constructively to the shame known as the holocaust.

May peace be with you and yours - Shani