lundi, mai 26, 2008

Everybody Wants the Nazi

My good friend, Internet and comedy sensation Keith Lowell Jensen (who's Coexist Comedy Tour--Google it!--is sweeping the nation) is rather fond of using Hitler's defunct political juggernaut to make his point that religious people are without exception dangerous, brainless (or brainwashed) maniacs who must be rounded up and exterminated. He says (on his blog, in his movie, in his book--all of which I highly recommend--Google them!) that religion is what facilitated, encouraged, and generally inspired the Nazi atrocities. Without religious types, he implies with his inimitable (and genuinely infectious) enthusiasm, there may have been no holocaust, and there would certainly have been a greater abundance of religious Jewish people for him to mock and deride.

I thought his argument might be a little unfair, but it always gets a good cheer from a crowd of downtown hipsters, so I never thought of blogging about it. And really, I've talked about it with Keith and he has a heart of gold the size of Alaska. Finally, as everyone knows, I prefer to spend my blogging time making fun of fat people (come to think of it, why couldn't Hitler have--holy crap. Please forget I almost thought that.)

Then one night at work, I'm randomly clicking through sundry blogs and Youtube garbage (as I am unfortunately wont to do), and come across some mad (in both senses of the word) right-wing-preacher-freak's indictment of atheists, wherein he actually uses a version of what we were all starting to think of as the Keith Lowell Jensen Postulate. According to this man (and, we may assume, his ilk) the Nazis and their Holocaust were made possible by Godlessness--by the squelching of religion. His face was no doubt redder, but in a completely neutral rhetorical examination, his argument was AT LEAST as compelling as Keith's. And he actually cited evidence beyond the punchline.

But I still wasn't going to write about it here.

Then, that same morning, whether by complete random chance (Keith's very plausible explanation) or under the direction of some higher power or unity or harmonic convergence (the Dalai Lama's explanation), I was driving home, and two guys on the radio are expounding The Godwin Rule. This has, unbeknownst to me, been around since the mid-nineties, as chat rooms expanded exponentially, and people from all over began discussing "issues."

The Godwin Rule stipulates that in any discussion, debate, or argument, on any subject, the first person to bring up the Nazis LOSES IMMEDIATELY.

I thought: Beautiful! (I mean, we kind of already knew that--but it's beautiful.) Because it means that when Rush Limbaugh calls radical feminists "Feminazis," he has given the argument to the opposition, (thereby erasing whatever chance he may have had to make a point about the abhorrent nature of strident political activism! Thanks for nothing, Fatso!) Because it means that when people justify war as a concept, they have to do it purely philosophically, without the Hitler Crutch. Because it means that when a crowd of downtown hitlers--I mean, hipsters--huzzah the belittling, demeaning, and stereotyping of a diversified group of good hearted individuals, they are cheering the demise of their own half brained point of view.

So on the one hand: Let us at last put the Nazi to bed as a rhetorical device.
On the other: Keep up, dummies! The world could use a little simplification.

3 commentaires:

KLJ a dit...

The argument I made was grossly misstated. I merely took umbrage (raw umbrage?) with the concept of faith which to me amounts to a blind devotion in the absence of scientific reasoning. I do argue that this kind of "faith" is easily manipulated for evil and the Nazis are a prime example.

The Godwin rule is very funny and I'm guessing the downtown hipsters you cite will agree. But one must be cautious not to rule out discussing Nazis when it is relevant to the issue. It is certainly a period in history that must be remembered not only so that it's extremes are not repeated but so that it can be an extreme example of why lesser tyrannies are to be avoided as well.

And be cautious about letting your own bias allow you to group those who you may disagree with into a group (the downtown hipsters.) I happen to know that the audience in question was quite diverse, many Christians a few Hindus, even (GASP) some Mormons were in the crowd. There is no doubt some other didactic blogger out there referring to that crowd deridingly and counting YOU as one of the downtown hipsters. I bet the over whelming majority of that crowd and any other, are individuals who are sure they are the outsiders amidst a group.

Lastly, don't get suckered in by the Hitler as atheist camp. He professed his faith in Christ and in the Christian church and traveled constantly in the company of cardinals and such. Yes he killed religious people but he did so as religious people as always done, he killed those who were of the WRONG religion in his eyes.

s.k.namanny a dit...

Keith is back--and sharp as a tack!Thanks for getting yo dander up.

This entry was actually an experiment in two things. First, I wanted an excuse to bring up the Godwin Rule, which is, exactly as Keith has stated, hilarious as it is dangerous. To be applied with caution, etc. (And sorry, Keith, I had to misstate your argument so as to overwork the point for effect. I knew you'd clear it up. Which brings us to the second purpose).

I wanted to see how fast I could get a person to look at the blog by using their entire name multiple times. Or, rather, I wanted to see if my blog came up when someone googled Keith Lowell Jensen. (Or any other name, it just so happened there was an harmonic convergence of theme).

Finally, of course the fact that the audience of downtown hipsters is diverse is part of the point. I did refer to them as Hitlers, yes, but it was knowing that I was one of them at the time and chiefly to illustrate the value of the Godwin Rule. I've blogged enough about being cautious of "grouping people you disagree with into groups" (to use your words) or dismissing them unfairly to have to defend my almost pointless illustration. My own bias here, the only bias at issue, is my bias against people using the Nazi card lightly, which EVERYONE I MENTIONED HERE does, (including me, to make the point). I do not fall for the Hitler as atheist blah any more than I fall for the Nazis as people of faith bile.

P.S. Hitler had no faith in Christ, given that he did not follow even one of his teachings. And the "cardinals and such" with whom he circulated were no more christian than you.
P.P.S "raw umbrage" is golden! I love Keith!

KLJ a dit...

So Christians don't do bad things because the ones doing bad things are not real Christians?

I have a google search set up. It lets me know, impressively quickly, when every anyone blogs or otherwise uses the words Keith Lowell Jensen, Coexist? Comedy or Scott Namanny in Hot Pants.