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Soundtrack: Bikini Kill–“Reject All-American”

Good evening! I’m still reading Klock (had to work today—first Saturday in a long time… I hate deviations from my routine!!). As far as I can see, he’s not going to be any help to me, but I’m enjoying the book on its’ own terms (and it has gotten me thinking about trying to free up some cash to buy an ABC title or two, which is unusual for me… the last time I bought a comic off the rack was in 1991!) Tomorrow, I’ll check in with my considered opinion on the book as a whole…

Forager has read the book and has a completely different take on it from what I’ve offered so far:

http://www.forager23.com/archives/000142.html/

Now, moving on to Hitler… (Yes, you read me correctly.) I don’t like Hitler—do you? I’m sick of that motherfucker, and I’m sick of World War Two. Unfortunately, I never go more than a couple of days without being reminded of The Big One (and the Big Hun), because our “history” section is basically one big Hitler fest. When I’m at the cash, there’s no avoiding his megalomaniac gaze–he’s got every angle covered.

In Canada, there are only two big chain bookstores (Chapters & Indigo), and they’re both owned by the same person—so it’s no coincidence that both chains have banned Mein Kampf from their shelves. My store, however, has refused to give in to the temptation to censor the book, and, consequently, we have become known, in some circles, as “The Mein Kampf store”. And if you’re guessing that that’s not a good thing, you’re guessing correctly.

Now, I’m the last person to play the “political correctness game”, and I often take the line that the abandonment of old grievances by formerly oppressed people is the major challenge facing liberal democracies in our day and age. We all need to develop thicker skin. However, my “free speech at all costs” stance buckles at the knees every time a neo-Nazi comes into the store and smiles at me because we’ve got his (or her) drug of choice. Of course, many people read Hitler’s asinine book for scholarly purposes, and a large group read it because they like car accidents and they like “plumbing the dark side” or whatever. But then there are those who you just know are getting it for their little nephews in the hopes that someday someone at the big family Christmas Dinner will join them in a chorus of Holocaust denial… There’s no way out. We’ve got to sell it. But man, I don’t have to like it…

Good night friends!

Dave

2 comments

  1. I absolutely believe in complete, utter, and absolutely unconditional freedom of expression in every conceivable form for everyone who agrees with me, or whose viewpoints I can’t be bothered to care about.

    People who annoy or offend me, however, should be very very quiet and not attract my attention, lest I write my Congressman demanding that they be repressed.

    This is, quite honestly, how I feel. It is, quite honestly, how I think everyone feels, on some level (and yes, all those stinkers who talk about the need for discourse and fighting to the death for people’s rights to say things that they don’t agree with are simply blowing smoke; they feel exactly the way I just expressed.)

    However, BECAUSE I feel that way, and BECAUSE I think everyone else feels that way, I also BELIEVE that a sane and ethical and responsible and mature civilization MUST TOLERATE ALL VOICES. Even the nutty, violent, horrifying, intolerant, hateful ones. We must tread very very warily as to exactly what kind of behavior we criminalize, it MUST be clearly and discernibly an absolutely intolerably dangerous anti-social action before we step in with guns and handcuffs, because, otherwise, pretty quickly, you get around to criminalizing a lot of stuff that, well, us marginalized freakish fringe people do, just because the decent folks in their suits and ties and Sunday bonnets don’t LIKE it.

    Be proud of working in ‘the Mein Kampf bookstore’. Beats working in the ‘we only stock the stuff that doesn’t OFFEND us’ ghetto.

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