Tag Archives: Adolf Hitler

Lawless Love: New Orleans Mardi Gras and Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Niebelungen….Can Civilization survive a merger? On Lundi Gras, the Ancient Krewe of Proteus tested the waters….

In 2017, Mardi Gras in New Orleans yields gigantic piles of trash, poisons thousands with excessive alcohol, and fosters a welfare oriented and sometimes criminal mentality, yet it is a uniquely community affirming ritual that nearly shuts down this medium-sized city and draws the attention of the rest of the world.  Mardi Gras allows (especially a lot of black) people an escape from the humdrum of poverty and ordinary life.  Like the Saturnalia of Ancient Rome, Mardi Gras is a time of reversal, an inversion of all the rules. 

In the years 1843-1883, Richard Wagner broke all the rules of music and theatre and made new ones, many of which we still follow in playhouses and cinemas and opera houses today (such as “dimming the lights” before and during a performance, which was a brand new idea in Wagner’s day).  Wagner equated hatred of Jews with love of art and civilization, especially music, and in so doing (and writing prolifically about it) he served as an inspiration for the German National Socialist movement, especially one Iron-Cross winning corporal who survived “the Great War”: Adolf Hitler.  

This year the Krewe of Proteus (founded 1881) brought Mardi Gras madness and Wagnerian passion together in a torchlight parade…. and the result was stunning and extremely impressive, if not quite terribly loyal to the plot or typical imagery of the operas.  But Proteus gave us an amazingly intellectual interlude in the utter squalor and depravity of most Mardi Gras events…. and one which surely went over the head of (I would estimate, unscientifically) more than 95% of the people assembled along Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue Monday Night.

The parade received SOME local attention, e.g.: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/entertainment_life/festivals/article_be5d1948-d9bb-11e6-ad6b-4faaff249cf7.html, but well-over half of this town speaks a dialectical variety of English which cannot be called “educated”…. and the rest of the population isn’t overly steeped in European culture—the original Opera House (the first in the United States) at the corner of Toulouse and Bourbon Street, burned down in 1919 and is now the site of a modern hotel in the absolutely most depraved and degenerate blocks of Bourbon Street…. several blocks of which constitute one of the most depraved and degenerate (and dirty) “micro-neighborhoods” anywhere in the United States… I have written before on these pages about the destruction and degradation of beautiful New Orleans after 1865, and especially in the 20th century.  The City had reached its pinnacle in 1860…..and then a very destructive war happened….

But if one is the pinnacle or Zenith of all things Elite and Erudite in Western Civilization and the other marks the Nadir or even polar opposite of high civilization, what do “Der Ring des Niebelungen” and New Orleans Mardi Gras have in common?

Actually quite a bit: both exalt what can only be called “Lawlessness”, especially in the realm of love and sex…

To start off with, Wotan, in Wagner’s Ring, like his Ancient Greek Counterpart Zeus, can only be called a “philandering cad”…. I know this would be considered an insult in many quarters, but it is, statistically speaking, quite a “Godlike” or “Kingly” trait… and I confess I’ve lived that way myself for most of my existence…. although I can claim neither Divinity nor Royalty….  Wagner’s Wotan is a tragic character…. he is adventurous, generally idealistic, and seeks to build a beautiful new world (Valhalla).  And yet dies as he watches his world destroyed around him….by a fire set by his daughter….well, actually a fire set by ONE of his many daughters (Brunhilde) by Erda, ONE of Wotan’s many girlfriends/paramours/liasons… whatever it is proper for the King of the Gods to call his mistresses…. (Sidebar: in the original Icelandic and Norse sagas and tales, Erda (aka “Jörð” was the mother of the thunder and hammer God THOR with Wotan, not the Valkyrie Brunhilde….)

Aside from Wotan and Erde, Wotan also fathers the lineage which ultimately overthrows him—the Walsunga….first a male-female pair of twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde, who are separated in early childhood and meet once Sieglinde is married to a very beastly, babbitty, bourgeois bore by the name of Hunding….  “Naturally” or unnaturally, Siegmund and Sieglinde rapidly become an item one Spring AFTER (not in spite of, but because of) recognizing each other as long-lost siblings, and they have a child.  (Wotan’s wife Fricka, the goddess of Marriage [NOT love, but marriage] compels Wotan to kill Siegmund to avenge Hunding’s loss of his wife…. and Wotan’s daughter….to Wotan’s son…. talk about conflicts of interest, you know…. NO modern lawyer would ever know what to do with the Walsung estate…. IF Brunhilde’s immolation had left anything, which it didn’t….

Siegmund and Sieglinde’s lovechild….(Sieglinde dies in childbirth)….is SIEGFRIED… destined to become the boy who knew no fear… the Dragonslayer… and, not coincidentally, Brunhilde’s “POSSLQ”…. at least for a while….

Now any competent sociologist will tell you that families JUST LIKE WOTAN’s typify the underclasses everywhere, as well as the extreme upper classes (e.g. the British monarchy). But especially dysfunctional families are well-known as characteristic of the black community….in Chicago, South Central Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and New Orleans, and these are the families who most enjoy watching and trashing the Mardi Gras parades.

A substantial number of middle-class to upper class and truly, traditionally, elite Uptown New Orleans White Families and a lot of middle class white tourists from Peoria, Princeton (Illinois), Paris (Texas), Portland, Poughkeepsie, Punksetawny, and every other real or imagined “Pottersville” (cf. “It’s a Wonderful Life”)…. create some illusion of “racial balance,” or at least “diversity.”  But the overwhelming majority of the parade viewers on the street, “throw collectors” and Mardi Gras celebrants generally are mulatto (mixed race) and black African-Americans….and their culture clearly does not have any credal element that dictates “Cleanliness is Godliness.”

So the Krewe of Proteus has done something amazing…. they have made a brilliant parade out of the operatic tetralogy that inspired the Third Reich, and all its dreams of a thousand years of racial purity and Aryan supremacy…. and brought it to New Orleans where almost nobody understands it or “gets” anything about it.

Why did they (the Krewe of Proteus) do it and what does it mean?  “The Advocate” states that Proteus has a long tradition of operatic support….but this just isn’t enough.  Proteus was founded when Richard Wagner was still alive (albeit near the end of his life… within a year of the date that Wagner’s last opera Parsifal premiered on July 26, 1882, at the Festspielhaus in beloved Bayreuth….)…

All I can promise you is that I intend to find out…. And write more about this when I have more to report…. I confess I have a suspicion, a hope perhaps, that Krewe of Proteus is sending a highly concealed “Alt-Right” message that the same kind of elite which formerly ruled the West is still alive, and well, and hiding in New Orleans, biding its time for an opportunity to seize power once again…. in the land of pioneering “Third Way” Americans like Huey Long and Gerald L.K. Smith…..

Adolf Hitler may have once been Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” but he never got his Picture on the Cover of the Rolling Stones….

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/heil-hipster-the-young-neo-nazis-trying-to-put-a-stylish-face-on-hate-20140623

Heil Hipster: The Young Neo-Nazis Trying to Put a Stylish Face on Hate
Inside the tote-bag friendly, “Harlem Shake”-happy world of Germany’s “nipsters”

Patrick Schroeder
http://www.photosofkaos.com
By THOMAS ROGERS
June 23, 2014 10:00 AM ET
It’s a rainy Sunday evening in May, in the town of Weiden, in northeastern Bavaria, and Patrick Schroeder, whom the German press has dubbed the “Nazi-hipster,” is preparing for his big webcam entrance. As the opening sequence for his weekly Internet TV show, FSN.tv, plays silently in the background, he ties a bandana stitched with the slogan “H8” around his mouth and fiddles with his mouse. A map of Germany in 1937 hangs on the wall above him.

It’s hard to get the timing for the intro “just right,” he explains, and once the graphics stop playing, he strides into frame and raises his arm, curling his hand into a fist and wishing his viewers, a few hundred members of Germany’s extreme right, a lovely evening. He calls this gesture his “professional wrestling entrance move,” which he claims was inspired by WWE-style theatrics, though it also, not inconveniently, looks a bit like a heil Hitler Nazi salute.

Schroeder is 30 years old, about six feet tall, with the boxy musculature of an MMA fighter, his blond hair shaved except for a jaunty strip along the top of his head. He’s dressed all in black, wearing armbands slightly reminiscent of those favored by vintage Avril Lavigne and speaks quickly and loudly, with a strong Bavarian lilt. When he laughs, his upper right lip rises up, making him look both threatening and insecure. “If the Third Reich was so bad, it would have been toppled,” he argues, before the filming begins. “Every half-intelligent person knows there is no system where everything was bad.”

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He won’t elaborate, for legal reasons, but he’ll happily share his topline thoughts about everything from Obama (whom he grossly describes as America’s “neger president”) to why black people don’t belong in Germany (“It’s against nature — there’s a reason we’re not walking around in the sun, in Ghana, with our skin color”), to why American neo-Nazis are “primitive” (“It’s like they’re always dressing up for a costume party”) and — because, just like many other Germans, he loves American TV — his strong feelings about the series finale of How I Met Your Mother (“The mother dying was a good reminder that the world isn’t a great place”).

Inane rhetoric notwithstanding, Schroeder comes across first and foremost as a dedicated self-promoter, and he clearly enjoys putting on a show: For the next two hours, he sits at the computer and chats with his remote co-host about the latest Nazi news — recently banned groups, European elections — and riffs on pop culture. He peppers his statements with self-deprecating asides and eye-rolls, and he occasionally interrupts the chatter to play Rechstrock, neo-Nazi rock songs.

FSN.tv is Germany’s only neo-Nazi Internet TV show, and in the two years since it has existed it has turned Schroeder into a well-known, if highly controversial, figure in the German extreme right, largely because he has been open about his desire to give the German neo-Nazi movement a friendlier, hipper face. Schroeder sometimes conducts seminars showing neo-Nazis how they can dress less threateningly and argues that anybody from hip-hop fans to hipsters in skinny jeans should be able to join the scene without changing the way they look, an idea that, for many older members, is an affront to their anti-mainstream values.

Over the past year, partly because of leaders like Schroeder and partly because of the unstoppable globalization of youth culture, the hipsterification of the German neo-Nazi scene has begun to gain steam. This winter, the German media came up with a new term, “nipster,” to describe the trend of people dressing like Brooklyn hipsters at Nazi events. Experts have noted that the German neo-Nazi presence on Tumblr and other social networking sites has become sleeker and more sophisticated. Neo-Nazi clothing has become more stylish and difficult to recognize. There’s even a vegan Nazi cooking show. “If the definition of the nipster is someone who can live in the mainstream,” Schroeder explains, “then I see it as the future of the movement.”

Patrick Schroeder and his co-host Vendetta on his weekly Internet TV show, FSN.tv.
These are strange times to be a neo-Nazi in Germany. The Federal Constitutional Court is gearing up for a hearing on the latest attempt to ban the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), the country’s oldest and biggest extreme-right political party. Regardless of the verdict, the party is close to running out of money and Nazi opponents have become successful at shutting down its public appearances (in April, a high-profile Berlin NPD march was successfully blockaded by several thousand protesters). The murder trial of the lone surviving core member of the National Socialist Underground, a far-right terror cell that is accused of killing 10 people between 2000 and 2007, is also ongoing in Munich, and focusing the nation’s attention on extreme-right crimes, and a recent study found that the number of people with extreme-right sympathies has sunken from 9.7 to 5.6 percent in the last 12 years.

At the same time, Germany and German culture have become more porous and international than ever: A federal survey found that nearly 20 percent of Germans have an immigrant background, and another new study found that immigrants and Germans are becoming increasingly similar. German TV broadcasts The Real Housewives, the Top 20 pop charts include songs by Calvin Harris, Coldplay and Pitbull and thanks to the Internet, teenagers can pirate the latest episode of Girls a few hours after it airs in America. And now another American export has arrived: In 2012, the daily Welt heralded the “hipster” as Germany’s “new object of hate” and just this February, the country’s biggest tabloid, Bild, offered a guide to “hipster types” for its readers. (Example: “The fixed-gear fanatic never goes anywhere without his bike.”)

For people like Andy Knape, the rise of the German hipster presents both an opportunity and a dilemma. For the past two years, the 28-year-old Knape has been the head of the Junge Nationaldemokraten (JN), the youth wing of the NPD. His office is located in the state parliament of Saxony, in the eastern part of Germany, and overlooks the city’s majestic opera house, which largely burnt down after the city’s firebombing and was rebuilt after the war. A poster of an elderly woman with a shotgun and the words “drastic security measures” hangs on the wall, next to a photo of several steely-eyed white people smiling.

The Hidden War Against Gay Teens

As head of the JN, Knape’s job is to make the NPD, and its extreme-right politics, appealing to young people (one of his biggest goals, he explains, is to “preserve German culture”) and he’s a good salesman — 5’8″, fit and dressed in a grey T-shirt and Converse-style sneakers, he wouldn’t look out of place on an American college campus. He first entered the scene when he was 13, in Magdeburg, because his brother was also “right-wing oriented” and he “started to ask himself lots of questions.” Eventually, he says, he began going to NPD demonstrations, and got more involved. Although his eyes betray a palpable aggressiveness and many of his talking points seem clearly rehearsed, for a man in charge of an organization being monitored by the Bundesverfassungsschutz — Germany’s domestic security agency — he is surprisingly soft-spoken. When he speaks he tends to curl up in his chair.

Like Schroeder, whom he sees as an acolyte, Knape wants to give “nationalism” a friendlier, cooler face (in the NPD, and many other extreme-right organizations, “nationalist” often functions as a politically acceptable euphemism for “Nazi”). For Knape, who grew up with American pop culture, the idea of policing what young members of the scene watch or listen to is silly — he’d much rather hijack it, and use it to bring young people into the fold. Michael Schaefer, the JN’s excitable 31-year-old press person, chimes in: “We’ve taken over the nipster,” he says, giddily, before catching himself. “I mean nationalist hipster, not Nazi hipster.”

The term hipster has, of course, always been notoriously slippery. Back in his 2010 book What Was the Hipster?, Mark Greif described the term as meaning a “consumer” who “aligns himself both with rebel subculture and with the dominant class and thus opens up a poisonous conduit between the two.” But in Germany, as elsewhere, the newly discovered hipster is often reduced to its more superficial component parts: “skinny jeans, a bushy beard, bright sunglasses” (Welt), “strange, nerdy and somehow different,” (Sueddeutsche Zeitung), “self-important culture snobs” (Tagesspiegel). Here, the hipster is simultaneously a uniform, a cooler-than-thou weltanschauung and signpost of globalized American youth culture and consumerism.

“We don’t want to cut ourselves off,” Knape says, about hipster culture. “I see rap and hip-hop, for example, as a way of transporting our message.” In recent years, a number of extreme-right hip-hop acts have emerged in Germany — with names like Makss Damage and Dee Ex. Despite the awkward politics of using hip-hop to preach the virtues of German identity, they’ve amassed a small, but significant presence within the scene. Dee Ex, for example, has over 7,000 likes on Facebook and posts photos of herself in a revealing outfit on her blog. There is now neo-Nazi techno (biggest act: DJ Adolf) and neo-Nazi reggae.

Knape, on his end, has also gotten increasingly invested in online culture: “The Internet allows us to reach people we can’t reach on the street.” Now young people can get in touch with him over Facebook or e-mail without their parents, or anybody else, finding out. “They don’t need to out themselves immediately,” he says. Knape is especially proud of his viral-video outreach: last year, his group filmed a “Harlem Shake” video. In the JN video, people in masks bounce around junked cars while one of them holds up a sign saying “Have more sex with Nazis, unprotected.” It has over 17,000 hits on YouTube. (“New, modern, but not decadent,” Knape says about the video, which you can watch below.)

But, perhaps partly because of this internationalization of German culture, Knape struggles to define the “German traditions” he’s trying to preserve. It’s understandable: Germany, even by European standards, is a supremely contrived state composed of 300 formerly distinct political entities. Founded in 1871, it is also younger even than Canada — there’s a reason Hitler had to reach back to centuries-old, mythical folklore when trying to sell people on the idea of Germanic superiority. Knape says he wants more people to mark the “Sonnenwende” or solstice — a celebration the Nazis tried to revive in the Hitler era — for example, and to preserve the German language. He is concerned that “these days, we see a lot of people mixing German and English” — though he acknowledges that when it comes to technology, it’s “not easy to avoid.” He notes, with some resignation, that there is no German word for “hashtag.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/heil-hipster-the-young-neo-nazis-trying-to-put-a-stylish-face-on-hate-20140623#ixzz35dgsvMjn
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Heil Hipster: The Young Neo-Nazis Trying to Put a Stylish Face on Hate
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In their latest 2013 report, the Bundesverfassungschutz concluded that there are approximately 22,000 members of the extreme right in Germany, including 9,600 who are “willing to engage in violence.” According to official statistics,they committed 473 violent crimes against foreigners last year — a shocking 20 percent rise over the previous year.

In September, for example, three suspected neo-Nazis brutally beat a 15-year-old in Saxony, allegedly because the boy was half Taiwanese. The same month, a Turkish immigrant was nearly beaten to death by a group of nine alleged neo-Nazis in a train station in Saxony-Anhalt and this February, a group of more than a dozen neo-Nazis walked into a community center in the town of Ballstaedt, in the state of Thuringia, and began assaulting the attendees at a party, sending two of them to the hospital.

Despite its shrinking status, the NPD remains the most important manifestation of the German neo-Nazi scene. The party — which was founded in 1964 by Hitler loyalists, and which the government has tried to ban, unsuccessfully — is the public face of the movement, which is otherwise composed of various loose, small organizations spread across the country. But it has never managed to attain the five percent of the popular vote necessary for a political party to hold seats in the German federal parliament and only holds a few seats in the state parliaments of two German states.

The NPD’s main platform is anti-immigration: A 2009 document sent out by the Berlin party head, for example, advocates banning “foreigners” from owning property in Germany. A 2012 investigation by Spiegel, Germany’s leading news magazine, found — surprise — widespread anti-Semitism within the party. In 2011, a Vice reporter photographed a barbecue stamped with “Happy Holocaust” outside an NPD office, and the same year, one NPD campaign poster featured a candidate on a motorcycle above the words “Give gas.” It was posted, among many other places, in front of Berlin’s Jewish Museum.

Although the extreme right has existed in Germany, in various forms, since World War II, the neo-Nazi scene as it exists today largely took shape in the 1980s, and spread dramatically after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Especially in the post-reunification East, where young people were suddenly robbed of the Communist strictures and institutions they had grown up with, extreme-right politics provided an easy outside explanation for their economic and cultural alienation: multiculturalism, asylum seekers, American “imperialism,” Israel and global big business.

In the 1990s, the skinhead became the embodiment of the neo-Nazi ethos — masculine, angry, violence-prone — and the news was awash with images of bullish, shaved-headed men with steel-toed combat boots and bomber jackets. During the neo-Nazi crime-waves of that decade, the German public learned to watch out for the brands favored by the extreme right: Fred Perry, which was worn because of its laurel wreath-logo, New Balance, chosen because “N” could stand for “Nazi” and, most prominently Lonsdale, the British sportswear brand. Although Lonsdale had always been popular in the left-wing British skinhead scene, it also offered German neo-Nazis the option of spelling out most of “NSDAP,” the German acronym for the Nazi party, under a half-open bomber jacket.

Today, Lonsdale is a popular sporting label in the United States, but in Germany it is still, despite its best efforts, widely seen as a Nazi brand. Geurt Schotsman, the politically-progressive owner of the brand’s German license, has been trying to rid himself of the neo-Nazi association for over a decade — with a campaign called “Lonsdale Loves All Colours,” a sponsorship of the Cologne Gay Pride parade and, this spring, official support of two left-wing German football clubs, Leipzig Roter Stern and SV Babelsberg. “If we had a huge budget, we would make a billboard campaign, and maybe that would solve the problem,” Schotsman says, “but we don’t have a huge budget.” In 1999, Schotsman underwent the drastic measure of blacklisting stores with extreme-right associations, causing Lonsdale’s German business to drop 35 percent — a tumble from which it is still recovering.

Around the turn of the 21st century, the skinhead look waned and the scene underwent another philosophical and aesthetic transformation. “Society had started to react against the extreme right, and it became less attractive for young people to stigmatize themselves,” says Simone Rafael, the editor-in-chief of Netz Gegen Nazis, a blog that monitors the extreme right. As a result, a new extreme-right group, the Autonomous Nationalists (AN), began aping the look of the extreme left — black hoodies, black pants and even Che Guevara T-shirts (with the words “Not only Che would be with us”) — and incorporating traditionally progressive issues like environmentalism and animal rights into neo-Nazi ideology. “Once [neo-Nazi leaders] saw it was successful, it was taken up by the scene,” says Rafael.

Almost simultaneously, in 2002, a Brandenburg-based clothing brand called Thor Steinar began to sell stylish-looking clothes, reminiscent of Aeropostale, with Germanic runes and emblazoned with provocative, ambiguously extreme-right slogans, like “Ski Heil.” Thor Steinar was brought to court for its logo, which looked like a banned neo-Nazi symbol, but it later rebranded and in 2009 was sold to a company based in Dubai. It has registered its trademark in the United States — this spring it opened up its first British store in the North Finchley neighborhood in London — and in recent years, a slew of imitator brands have popped up, with names like Erik And Sons and Ansgar Aryan (the latter currently employs Patrick Schroeder in the sales department), allowing members of the extreme-right to surreptitiously identify each other in public.

These developments helped spur the notion, now championed by Knape and Schroeder, that young neo-Nazis should be allowed to dress however they want, as long as they have the “right” anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic ideas. This newly relaxed approach allows neo-Nazi leaders to attract young people from different subcultures and makes neo-Nazis more difficult for their opponents to identify. “Now the neo-Nazi youth culture is really broad,” says Christoph Schulze, one of several left-wing activists who assemble the annual Versteckspiel (“Hide and seek”), a glossary of symbols used by members of the extreme-right to surreptitiously identify one another.

Those aforementioned symbols include everything from number codes (the most obvious: “88” to replace “Heil Hitler” — because “H” is the eighth letter in the alphabet) to logos (an eagle catching a Christian ichthys — a symbol of Germanic strength over “degenerates”) to sayings (“14 words,” which stands for a quote by American white nationalist David Lane). “The movement is always changing,” Schulze says. “One thing goes out of fashion and there’s already something new. This year it’s the hipster.”

The nipster came to widespread attention in February of this year, when a photographer snapped a picture of a group of men wearing skinny jeans, unruly beards, plug piercings — and, in one case, a tote bag with the words “don’t shove me, I’ve got a joghurt in my bag” — at an NPD march in Magdeburg. The photo quickly went viral in Germany and bloggers came up with the new portmanteau. Taz, the left-leaning Berlin daily, made a list of other hipster stances the Nazis could adopt (“change your favorite band when they become too mainstream.”).

Daniel Koehler, director of research at the Institute for the Study of Radical Movements in Berlin, says the nipster is less new than many people think — he’s been seeing them at extreme-right rallies for the past two or three years. “When we first saw it, it was something weird,” he says, “but now it’s pretty normal.”

“It’s a pretty new phenomenon,” Rafael says, noting that it marks a departure from the “manly” culture usually favored by the neo-Nazis. “It’s a good example of how this kind of thing is used very strategically,” she explains, echoing Schroeder. She has also noticed the emergence of a much hipper online neo-Nazi presence: “It’s a way of bringing the ideology into other circles, of finding entry points into hipster culture — blogs, selfies, Tumblr and so forth.”

She points to neo-Nazi Tumblrs, like Kindstattgross, which post stylized images of Nazi rallies and other heavily filtered extreme-right imagery. “I clicked on one of these Tumblr blogs, and suddenly discovered that there were tons and tons of them, where you wouldn’t recognize the message, and they are becoming more subtle and confusing people who aren’t part of the extreme right scene,” explains Rafael. (It’s also worth noting that neo-Nazis have started using the #nipster on Instagram.)

In recent years, a growing number of neo-Nazi groups have staged savvy viral campaigns, including one where they dressed up as the Sesame Street Cookie Monster and distributed pamphlets to schoolchildren, and another involving a man in a bear costume calling himself the “deportation bear” and posing in front of Hanover Turkish shops. “They can easily produce something that has the appearance of looking hip,” says Koehler. “These aren’t just dumb East German youth — they understand how to package their political ideology.”

Tim and Kevin, two 21-year-old self-proclaimed “nationalists and socialists” (“but anyone who reads this will know we’re Nazis”) from Hanover — who did not want to give their real names — say they have also noticed more people in the scene dressing like “hipsters,” with skinny pants and tote bags. “It’s noticeable,” Tim says, over the phone, and explains that everything that emerges in German mainstream culture ends up in the [neo-Nazi] scene, just with a delay. “We don’t walk around the city center with our eyes closed,” he says, “we see what people are wearing on TV.” He also agrees that the Nazi Tumblr style has gotten “more youthful” and “looser.”

In February, Tim and Kevin started Balaclava Kueche, Germany’s first Nazi vegan cooking show. In each episode, the two chatty, fast-talking men wear facemasks and earnestly explain to viewers how to make an array of vegan dishes (the first episode: mixed salad, tofu scramble). “The left-wing doesn’t have a prior claim to veganism,” says Tim. “Industrial meat production is incompatible with our nationalist and socialist world views.”

Both Tim and Kevin claim to live a straight-edge lifestyle — no alcohol, no drugs — and got involved in the scene in their late teens. “There was an election and I read up on all of the parties, and I wound up getting interested in the NPD,” says Kevin. “Hitler isn’t part of our era, but he’s part of our ideology and that time, in terms of aesthetics and discipline and brotherhood, was a model for today,” Tim adds. He also argues that the Allies carry the blame for the outbreak of World War II and that if people are going to dwell on the Holocaust they should also dwell more on Stalin’s crimes.

They started Balaclava Kueche as a fun project, to both encourage other people to stop eating animal products and portray their politics in a fun, sympathetic light. Early on, they attended NPD rallies, but were repelled by what they saw. “I don’t think the rallies make much sense,” Kevin says. “Most of the people there would scare people away with the way they look, and with their shitty sayings.” They see viral campaigns, like the “deportation bear” as a highly effective way of reaching out to people.

And then there are the Identitaeren, a two-year-old group with origins in France that has gotten widespread attention for its use of stylish viral videos to promote anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiment. Although claiming to be anti-Nazi, they, like many members of the extreme right, espouse a concept called ethnopluralism, which argues that ethnic groups should only live in their respective home countries. Nils Altmieks, the movement’s boyish, 27-year-old current leader, argues that Europe should be for Europeans — and not, for example, Africans — and cites the United States as an example of the dangers of embracing heterogeneity. “Multiculturalism isn’t a contribution to cultural understanding, it’s a cornerstone for conflict,” he says, over Skype. He becomes wishy-washy when pressed about the exact borders of Europe (“Some might view Russia as European”) and can’t account for countries, like Canada, with high immigration and low crime.

German extremism researcher Alexander Haeusler has warned that the Identitaeren are insidiously attempting to make “racism modern and hip.” Last year, group members filmed themselves disrupting a multiculturalism conference with a blaring boombox and they also have a dedicated video blogger — a stylish-looking young man who often wears thick plastic glasses frames and a hoodie and whose most recent dispatch is about the moral peril of eating ethnic food. In other videos they’ve dumped rubble in front of the office of a Green Party politician and posed with silly-looking 300-inspired shields in front of the Brandenburg Gate. “We aren’t consciously a hipster movement, but today’s young people grew up with this background,” says Altmieks. “This is part of society.” His favorite movie, he says, is Braveheart.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/heil-hipster-the-young-neo-nazis-trying-to-put-a-stylish-face-on-hate-20140623#ixzz35diDHoHo
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oincidentally or not, the emergence of the nipster has taken place at the same time as the rise of a new far-right political scene in Europe: In this May’s European elections, the National Front — the anti-immigrant party headed by Marine Le Pen — won the biggest voting share of parties in the French elections, and the British United Kingdom Independence Party won 27.5 percent of the vote in the U.K. Many people link these parties’ success to their ability to package themselves as a friendlier, less-threatening far right. Dutch political scientist Cas Mudde has argued that these parties largely swept into power by linking the euro crisis “to their core ideological features: nativism, authoritarianism and populism.”

The current German wave of, for instance, hip, vegan neo-Nazis functions in a similar way. Rafael says they attempt to slide into debates where young people wouldn’t expect them, and then sell their politics as a palatable outlet. “They use subjects like globalization and animal protection as entry points, and then offer a very simple worldview that makes complex subjects very easy to understand,” says Rafael. “Of course, in the end, it’s always about racism and anti-Semitism and nationalism.” The danger — in both cases — is that extreme-right positions might quietly shift into the mainstream.

Over the past two years, Cynthia Miller-Idriss, an associate professor at American University in Washington, D.C., has been conducting research with young people in Berlin schools who are on the periphery of the extreme-right. She says that, if anything, the change in neo-Nazi fashion has made it more difficult to step in when young people are being embroiled in the scene. “If you were a teacher,” she says, “you used to be able to identify a skinhead in your class and you could think of ways to intervene. But now it’s harder to mainstream society to understand who these young people are and to engage with them.”

Miller-Idriss suggests that for a generation raised on Facebook and Twitter, it may no longer feel ridiculous to, say, love Rihanna in real life but disparage black people on Facebook. “The social media space allows young people to have different expressions of their identities in different places,” she says. “This generation of youth likes the idea of having more control over their own identity. They’ve realized your style doesn’t have to be connected to your ideology. You can dress however you want to and still be a neo-Nazi.”

With this in mind, Koehler thinks there is a need in Germany for a new, broader educational campaign on how to identify members of the extreme right. “A short while ago we did a study with judges and lawyers, who thought they weren’t encountering neo-Nazis because they weren’t seeing any skinheads,” he says, “but they have no idea anymore what a neo-Nazi looks like.”

The stakes in the fight against extremism, of course, are more than just semantic. Several weeks ago, after Dortmund’s local elections, a group of about 20 neo-Nazis appeared outside city hall to protest the recent banning of an extreme-right group. They yelled “Germany for the Germans” and “foreigners out” and began singing the national anthem before attacking people outside the building with pepper spray and broken bottles, injuring ten. Dortmund city councilors have been meeting under police protection ever since.

Back in Bavaria, Patrick Schroeder is driving around downtown Weiden with his former co-host, Martin, a clean-cut 27-year-old computer programmer. Martin is not his real name, but he’s already lost his job twice because of his politics, and is worried about jeopardizing his newest position. Both men are complaining about the repression they face on the job market as neo-Nazis — since finishing his training as a salesman, Schroeder has only worked for companies tied to the scene. “We’re the new Jews in Germany,” he says, “except we don’t wear stars.”

They pull into the parking lot of a local Ernest Hemingway-themed restaurant and walk into a room crowded with people watching a soccer game. Heads turn. Schroeder is wearing a T-shirt of an extreme-right band called Terrorsphaera (“Terrorsphere”) with blood-like paint splatters. Martin, on the other hand, is dressed in gingham shirt, and looks like a character on Silicon Valley. The waitresses are all blonde and wearing “We love Germany” T-shirts, in honor of the upcoming World Cup, and as he sits down, the multiple men in the room give him dirty looks.

Although Schroeder is excited about the new wave of Internet activism, it appears that he’s worried that today’s young people are only interested in sitting at home and watching YouTube clips instead of going into the streets. “It’s a long road from listening to music to actually doing something,” he complains, while sipping a beer. And although there are no figures to back this up, others, like the Balaclava Kueche guys, suggest that such indolence represents the fickleness of the Internet generation. Some might also see that behavior as a sign of the movement’s slackening appeal.

That’s why Schroeder trying his best to mobilize his online following. He organizes an annual Live H8 concert, a gathering of neo-Nazi bands that he hopes will “help the mainstreaming of our music” and become “the most extreme Nazi concert” around. But he’s angry that people have been trying to pressure the venue owner to cancel the concert. “In this country, if you’ve got the wrong opinion, everything is against you,” he sighs. Such is life as a nipster these days. (This year’s concert was banned from taking place by authorities at the last minute.)

Schroeder also seems aware that the concepts of Germany and Europe — and, for that matter, America — are becoming increasingly theoretical. In the background, a soccer game is playing on the bar’s big screens, and it helps launch him on a tortured metaphor explaining why Asian immigrants don’t qualify as Germans. “It’s like if the Chinese bought 22 Brazilians and gave them Chinese passports and used them to win the World Cup,” he mopes. “If everybody’s the same, then what’s the point?”

Then he remembers that professional soccer, which is currently on the TV at the restaurant, operates on just that concept — and that the region’s most successful team, FC Bayern Munich, is partly made up of non-German players. “I still watch it,” Schroeder admits, “because there’s nothing else.” A few moments later, a goal is scored, and the bar erupts in cheers. Schroeder smiles at the TV, then catches himself and looks away.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/heil-hipster-the-young-neo-nazis-trying-to-put-a-stylish-face-on-hate-20140623#ixzz35djQlgac
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Easter, 4/20, Hitler’s Birthday, and the Sheeple’s search for a Good Shepherd—Christos Anesthe! Alithos Anesthe!

Today I am writing from Beverly Hills California.  Palm Sunday and every day of the Holy Week triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Eve Saturday) I attended services at All Saints Beverly Hills to listen to the sermons of the Reverend Barry Taylor.   So now I return to a theme about which I wrote something last year: https://charleslincoln3.com/2013/04/23/saint-george-the-anarchist-420-meditations/

A year ago today, on Sunday 4/21, it was already “Good Shepherd Sunday” (Fourth Sunday in Easter) and I was in New Orleans, and that day I attended Evening services in the Chapel of Trinity Church on Jackson Avenue in the Lower Garden District, the day after 4/20.  One of the hymns played and sung that Sunday a year ago was  #522, a well-known string-quartet composed by Franz Haydn which became the National Anthem of Germany and Austria.  (The Episcopal Hymnal text attached to this stirring tune is: “Glorious things of thee are Spoken”—522 is a dull, kind of uninspired hymnal text, at least to my mind and ears, but “Deutschland uber Alles” is inspiring and stirring….).

I thought it then worthy of note, and I think it today worthy of note, that this day 4/20 then, especially when celebrated with songs of leadership on days remarkable for their claims of world salvation, that the rules of Christ and Hitler should be compared.  Very few people read or take much comfort if they do read the writings of Adolf Hitler these days, but for about a dozen years he was considered by many millions to be the Savior of Germany (and they did so consider him until Hitler or, at least, the war he had as much a hand in starting as anyone else, if not more, all-but-totally destroyed Germany).  There are those in the world today who believe that the US and the UK both “backed the wrong dictators” in World War II, and that the modern world would be better if Stalin had been destroyed and Mao never allowed, while Hitler’s Germany guided Europe much as Angela Merkel’s Germany does today…. 

Guidance, leadership, rulership and power granted by or deriving from God, divine inspiration, Shepherding.  Those words are constant themes of Christianity on Easter and every Sunday, but I suppose, especially Good Shepherd Sunday.  

Yet, at least among people of a conservative mindset in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, Patriotic ideologues speak scornfully of the “sheeple”—the people who follow leadership like sheep, implicitly to their slaughter.

So on Good Shepherd Sunday last year, falling as it did on 4/21, and today Easter Sunday, falling on 4/20—I cannot help but reflect on the contrasting and possibly contradictory, and quite possibly irreconcilable human desires for Salvation, Leadership, and Freedom.  

Jesus was a genuine revolutionary, there seems no doubt of that.  Christ’s Gospel preachings were aimed at the Pharisees and Sadducees, the “powers that were” in his day in early First Century Jerusalem—and they seem eerily relevant to critiques of the “powers that are” today.  So were Hitler’s speeches and writings.  So were Karl Marx’ and Friedrich Engels’ texts.  More people know the Gospels today than any writings by Engels, Hitler, or Marx, but more people in the world today live under regimes which adhere to Marxist teachings and doctrines than to any version of Christianity or Christ’s lessons and parables.

Jesus taught, however much he preached about sheep and compared himself and his leadership to a Shepherd, about freedom from oppression, freedom from illegitimate power, but also about Freedom from Lies and Deception.

So how I have to ask: how can sheep ever be free?  How can we pray both to be guided and herded and responsible for self-determination?  How is free will compatible with leadership?  I suppose “free will” is generally understood to be the freedom given to Adam and Eve to choose to eat of the forbidden fruit or not…. and they had no Shepherd, but only a disinterested and experimental God watching over them.  But later generations that (presumably) either had Shepherds or at least had access to such people created Sodom and Gomorrah, and Babylon, and Beverly Hills, California.

Of course 4/20 has another widespread meaning to many people around the world, as Bob Marley’s birthday, it is “World Weed Day” or International Smoke Marijuana Day…..So I also have to ask, are wine and weed conducive to freedom or to compliance with power, to passivity or assertiveness?  Are stoned sheep likely to rebel?  I suspect that is why alcohol and drugs are tolerated in the west… and all around the world—they make people into better Sheep.

The purpose of Sheep’s existence is to be sheered and ultimately slaughtered.  I had a delicious lamb roast at the King’s Head Tavern in Santa Monica after Church…. it was almost as good as used to come from my Louisiana-born grandmother’s kitchen in Highland Park, Dallas, Texas….. But I insist on asking: Is it a really such a good thing for Sheep to have a good Shepherd which makes certain that none ever get away?  Or is it a bad thing to do anything other than the which “the powers that be” want you to do?  

Is this a problem with the Religion of Love which teaches us all to follow “The Good Shepherd?”  Or should we, as the Reverend Barry Taylor at All Saints BH seems to preach every Sunday, choose to reject the conformist “sheep” and “shepherd” analogies all together, and assert the freedom of sarcastic and cynical Englishmen to live and love as their core religious mantra?  Should we love Jesus the Good Shepherd, or the Rebel Jesus, the champion of the poor, the friendless, and the enemy of the money changers and lawyers in the Temple?

St. George the Anarchist? Adolf the Good Shepherd? St. George of Lydda was not a Good Shepherd, but on AH’s 124th birthday we might well reflect whether Der Fuhrer appealed to the sincere craving most people have for a Good Shepherd, a true leader: meditations at the Cusp of Aries & Taurus: April 20-23, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Today is St. George’s Day, the national day of England, Aragon & Portugal, Greece, and Russia (literally the Four Corners of Europe).  The real dragon that the historical St. George slew was not a scaly monster with wings but (in effect) the last gasp of Pagan imperialism and imperial taxation for the ancient Gods in Rome.  He was a nobleman who died a noble death for the highest of all causes: preservation of his own faith, morals, philosophy, and religion.  

George’s father, Gerontios, was a Greek, from Cappadocia, Asia Minor, a high officer in the Roman army of the Eastern Empire and his mother, Polychronia, was a Greek from the city Lydda, Palestine.  George’s parents were both pre-Nicene, pre-Imperial adoption Roman Christians and from noble families of Anici, so their child was raised with Christian beliefs, although it is probably fair to say that Christian beliefs of the late 3rd century might have included a lot of what we now consider “Gnostic” and other heresies.  His parents decided to call the future saint by a rather humble name: Georgios, which in Greek means “earth-worker” or “farmer”.  

No records attest or even suggest St. George’s birthdate or exact age, but “as a young man,” sometime in his early-to-mid twenties, before A.D. 302, George traveled to Nicomedia (now Turkish “Izmit” by the Sea of Marmara), the imperial city of the Eastern Roman Empire (from 284-324, just until the foundation of Constantinople).  There in what was then the Primary Center of the collapsing Roman Empire, George offered his services to the Eastern Roman Emperor Diocletian and applied for a commission in the Roman Army, specifically the late imperial version of the Praetorian Guard. Diocletian welcomed this young nobleman, apparently quite warmly, as the Imperator had known George’s father, Gerontius — one of his finest soldiers.  By his late 20s, George was promoted to the rank of Tribunus and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia.

In the year AD 302, Diocletian (following his junior imperial co-regent Emperor Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice (tax or offering of some sort) to the ancient Roman gods still prominent at the time.  A Christian himself, George son of Gerontius objected and with the courage of his faith approached the Emperor and ruler.   Roman Emperors, presumably, did not much like their edicts to be questioned, since their edicts were law.  (The current President of the United States feels much the same way).  

George’s actions put Diocletian in a pickle, however.  George was either his best or one of his best tribunes and the son of either his best or one of his best officials, Gerontius.

In what can only be called an act of Anarchism and Defiance of Leadership, George loudly renounced the Emperor’s edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and Tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ.  Diocletian sought to convert George, to “save” him as it were for Apollo, Jupiter, Juno, and Zeus, even offering gifts of land, money and slaves if George would bow down and sacrifice to the Roman gods.  The Emperor essentially offered George massive and generous bribes and benefits, which the saintly young Christian never accepted.

Recognizing the futility of his efforts, Diocletian was left with no choice but to haveGeorge executed for his defiance.  But, just to make the Emperor’s situation worse, before his execution George gave all his not inconsiderable wealth to the poor and prepared himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords from which George survived three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia’s city wall, on April 23, 303.

A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians as well, and so they joined George in martyrdom. George’s body was returned to Lydda in Palestine for burial, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr.  So the Dragon that George slew in fact was the dragon of obedience in violation of his faith, of his God and of his Truth.  St. George was a nobleman who followed no leader but Jesus Christ, although he might have been close in wealth to the Emperor had he consented to the bribery and pressure.   So let us feast today in memory of St. George the Anarchist, whose defiant death as an Imperial Tribune, so close to the emperor, brought the triumph of Christianity in Rome one major step closer.  

For all these reasons St. George was truly heroic and a model for our time, and his inheritance of the Ancient Indo-European mythic status as Dragon Slayer is altogether appropriate and fitting (see Calvert Watkins: How to Kill a Dragon Oxford University Press).  It seems particularly appropriate to celebrate St. George one week after April 15, in honor and memory of all who in adherence to their faith in freedom and the Constitution to defy the illegal taxes and sacrifices required of them in these United States today.  

In following Jesus Christ, St. George in fact died more as a Dragon himself than as a sheep—he died with full knowledge of the earthly riches and power he could have possessed, if only he had abandoned his Lord for his earthly leader.  

And all of this happened on the Cusp of Aries & Taurus (Does History Make Myth or does Myth Make History?): Does the following astrological characterization (“randomly” selected not by me but by Google as the first listed) seem at all appropriate for a week commemorating Adolf Hitler, Cannabis sativa L., Earth Day, Good Shepherd Sunday, and St. George’s Day?:

“Often times referred to as the as the “cusp of power”, the Aries/Taurus combination is one you do not want to fight against. I say this because you may never win; a fire/earth combination is never easy to beat. Aries is a fiery and impulsive sign.  They charge forward even where angels fear to tread and have no problem doing what needs to be done to obtain their objective. The Taurus part of this combination grounds the impulsiveness and provides an air of practicality and endurance. It is like a tug of war and the feel of both involved is set in concrete.
The Aries Taurus combination is truly dominant and capable of being a force you cannot control. Make no doubt, they will be a leader wherever they end up being and you will do their bidding. At home or even at work, they are the established principal and do not like submitting to someone else’s authority. At the same time, all of this ‘being the alpha’ of the group can also overwhelm them causing them to lose their drive or ambition. They begin to question if it is worth all their effort and skill. But for as strong as these two signs are, they are also very, very dangerous.
They are the first signs of the zodiac as well as their element and quality. Like many first signs you will always have a fight for lead position. They surround themselves with people who are not afraid to go toe to toe with them and don’t mind going that extra mile. They enjoy a challenge and love to be intellectually stimulated. As someone who loves an Aries Taurus cusp, you will need to be patient with them as they can be quarrelsome and changeable at the best of times, especially if you have their heart. You will get the brunt end of many aggressions because again, they expect you to be able to take it. If you can remember that they are likely to follow their instincts rather than rules, it might help you two get along better.  As a person living within this cusp, you are a bundle of energy at the best of times. The Aries in you is ready to take on the world while the Taurus in you thinks great idea but let’s sit down and plan strategy before you attack. If you are unable to find your own personal balance you are left restless and stressed. Finding the proper balance takes time, trial and error. You have to find your own path, one where you can let your aggressive nature out to play while keeping certain things in life stable and relaxed.”

(http://xstrologyscopes.com/articles/aries/aries-taurus-cusp)

We’ll see what happens today, but so far Sunday, April 21 has been the most dramatic day of this “Cusp” for me, mostly because of what happened at Church.  It was the Fourth Sunday of Easter and “Good Shepherd Sunday”—due to my own schedule and whereabouts on Sunday I ended up going to the evening service at the Trinity Church Chapel on Jackson Street instead of my usual trip to “Real Presence” at the Cathedral.  The 6:00 pm service at Trinity is much more conservative and traditional than the radically “avant guarde” event at the same time at Christ Church on St. Charles.  

The drama started immediately when the opening hymn was (Episcopal) 1982 Hymnal: 522 (Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken–http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/522).  The words are almost irrelevant: the tune, the music, is Franz Joseph Haydn Opus 76, no. 3: the world knows this as Deutschland über Alles.  Interesting choice the day after Hitler’s birthday, don’t you think?  To aggravate the complexity of the thought, and the coincidence.  Father Henry Hudon’s sermon concerned “Leadership” concluding “the Good Shepherd is the one who leads his flock, whom his flock will follow willingly.”   The Psalm was 23 of course:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
He leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul: 
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; 
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: 
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Historically speaking, Adolf Hitler was not a “Good Shepherd” for Germany or the world.  He did not lead them to green pastures or still waters but led Germany into near total self-anihilation by fighting a war that should never have been fought.  Even if we consider that Hitler had been a Good Shepherd for Germany right up until September 1, 1939, the invasion of Poland ultimately led to the cancellation of any good thing he or his regime had ever done.  Hitler did indeed lead the world into the valley of the shadow of death where everyone, both Germans and non-Germans, had much to fear in those days.  Goodness and mercy were not notable features either of the Third Reich nor the World War, nor of the Allied Occupation of Germany which followed.   The War Crimes Trials held in 1946-49 (and sporadically thereafter) are among the greatest mockeries of justice in history.

But none of this changes the fact that Hitler operated as a remarkably “Good Shepherd” in the sense of a persuasive leader—a man whom his people followed.  Many in the Patriot movement criticize Americans for being “Sheeple”—and yet our religion, or symbolism, everything in Christianity teaches us that the Lamb of God should be the leader of all the sheep.  The Gospel on Sunday was John 10:22-30 “My sheep hear my voice.  I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life and they will never perish.  No one will snatch them from out of my hand.  What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand.  The Father and I are one.”  

One of Hitler’s Harvard-educated followers Ernst Hanfstaengl once rhapsodized about the Nazi leader, “What Hitler was able to do to a crowd in 2½ hours will never be repeated in 10,000 years,” Hanfstaengl said. “Because of his miraculous throat construction, he was able to create a rhapsody of hysteria. In time, he became the living unknown soldier of Germany.”  Hitler’s sheep knew his voice, but perhaps he did not know them.  Hitler not only gave an early death rather than eternal life to a huge number of his people, especially a near generation and a half of the good-looking young German men pictured in film-clip after film-clip from the 1930s shouting “Sieg Heil.”  What could be more ironic?  Hitler’s personality followed very closely to the Aries-Taurus cusp described above.  Was it written with Hitler in mind?

And herein is the deep and troubling problem: people crave leadership.  They long for a “Good Shepherd.”  This is not merely a feature of the German people at all.  The Americans since at least 2000 have recently been led down several paths by two good and persuasive leaders whom they did not question.  The paths on which the United States of America has walked since 2000 are clearly paths to tyranny, despotic dictatorship, and one form or another of Socialism or Communism which will be utterly incompatible with the Constitution of 1787, or its ten 1791 Amendments known as “the Bill of Rights.”  

The comparisons between Bush, Hitler, and Obama may get tiresome, but they are not pointless.  Very few people in the world are actually capable of living as true leaderless “anarchists.”  I fancy that I am one of the few who can manage, in large part because I am my grandparents’ grandson, and I know a few other true “anarchists”, but most people long to be told what to do.  While teaching I learned this: most students hate a professor who encourages them to go their own way and be creative.  They want strict instructions and stricter guidelines.

Prior to the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, I had spent parts of Saturday meditating as I always do on the horrible incongruity of 420 being Adolf Hitler’s birthday and International Marijuana-Pot, “Cannabis sativa culture” day.  I don’t smoke pot anymore (never did very much) but almost everyone else in the world does or seems to.  I last smoked in July 1991, right here in New Orleans in fact at a party my wife Elena and I threw in the Mary Martin suite at the Pontchartrain Hotel, within a few blocks of where I’m sitting writing this in fact.   Elena’s little sister Alex and a bunch of Maya archaeological luminaries attending the International Congress of Americanists including Clemency Chase Coggins, Merle Greene Robertson, David H. Kelley, Edward B. Kurjack, Norman Hammond, and Harriot Topsey, were having a great time lighting up in one of the rooms while others were sitting “talking shop” in another.  Elena made a gigantic scene when she found her (underage) sister smoking in a room full of adults and told everyone the horrible study of her brother George and his decline due to drug addiction (he died nine years later in January 2010, at the ripe old age of 51).  It was the beginning of the end for me and Elena but it was absolutely the last time I ever touched Pot.  

Still, as an anarchist I believe in Freedom and the right of each individual to choose his way, and for that reason I support the 420 movement to the extent that it proposes an abolition of all government interference with both the production, sale, and distribution of whatever people really want, even if they are led to destructive habits by bad shepherds….. Yes, I do think part of freedom is the freedom to follow even Bush, even Hitler, even Obama, even Stalin, but it is the duty of every Anarchist to try to turn sheep into wolves…..

Earth Day has never been that “big” a day in my life.  I was President of the Environmental Law Society at the University of Chicago and have always fancied myself an environmentalist.  But in recent years, I have become extremely uncomfortable with the Environmental Movement largely because of its alliance with “Agenda 21” and what Obama Czar “Cass Sunstein” (my former professor for both Environmental and Administrative Law at the University of Chicago) calls “Command and Control” state action.  “Command and Control” over the economy under PRETEXT of environmentalism is to my mind, totally wrong.  

I submit that sound money is the best guarantor of sound economic policy.  But for ludicrously extravagant government expenditures in the 1920s-1930s, none of the gigantic dams could ever have been built along the Colorado River and, without that hideous diversion of water, the ecological fiasco known as Southern California suburbia could NEVER have come into existence.  Los Angeles might have remained a small railroad town.  Although, pushing the model back further, the great railways of the 1860s-1890s which created (among other things) Los Angeles and Pasadena, would likewise never have happened if government had stayed limited and constrained by sound monetary policy and the Constitution of 1787, limited by the Bill of Rights.  Dams are the greatest ecological and environmental curses known to the Planet, yet they provide short term comforts which people love.  As I have often written, Dams are just the latest manifestation of “Oriental Despotism” which is the original form of state-based welfare, the original basis for welfare-based “command and control” over large populations.  Ecologically speaking, NOTHING is more wasteful, destructive, and against nature than the water-redistributive policies which have transformed Southern California, Southern Nevada, and most of Central and Southern Arizona into suburban wastelands.  Abolish the free credit easy money economy, restore gold and silver as the only lawful currency, and the dams will soon cease to function, have to be torn down, and the Southwestern Deserts will reclaim the suburbs, slowly but surely.  That is MY dream for Earth Day.

But finally, will it take a real St. George to achieve such an ecological turn around?  A modern St. George might well be the man who dismantles the dams.   St. George, the Patron Saint of England, Greece, Aragon (Catalonia), Egypt, Lithuania, Serbia, Ukraine, and Russia.   St. George, by all accounts, was a leaderless Anarchist.  He was NOT a Good Shepherd.  He apparently did not lead people at all, but acted alone and set an example.  I think this is why St. George is such an appropriate Patron Saint for England, and Americans would do well to think more of his example as well.  

4-20 Focus on Cannabis and Confederates, Hitler and the Hunger-Games, the New Dark Ages, and Andreas Behring Breivik

Before writing anything else, I just want to reiterate a great big Cheer “Vive La France” for Marine Le Pen and the Front National in France.  The French National Elections are this Sunday, April 22, 2012, and although polls are not rating her as having much of a chance of winning, we can always hope that people lie to pollsters (as we know they do) and speak truth inside the ballot booth.  There was once a time when Jean-Marie Le Pen came in Second and the Established World went mad with fear that a real outsider candidate might have a real chance.  It was almost as crazy as the “Vote for the Crook, It’s Important” nationwide campaign to insure that Edwin Edwards beat David Duke in 1991, when Duke received over 60% of the White vote in Louisiana.  (Prior to serving his full ten year term for racketeering, the Federal Bureau of Prisons in its great mercy released Edwards from the federal gulag into a halfway house on January 13, 2011).  Marine Le Pen has none of Duke’s biographical baggages and the Old France is quite a bit more threatened by obvious aliens and outsiders today than the New France of La Louisianne  was in 1991, but the same forces of corporate industry and global homogenization have the same goal in both cases: KILL THE POLITICAL OUTSIDERS, let the real enemies of the people reign….  And no, of course, nothing that I’m saying has anything whatsoever to do with my theory of why I’m not on the California Ballot this year, absolutely, positively, nothing.

But today if 4-20, and as the show trial of Andreas Behring Breivik concludes its first week, I can only say that I am more convinced than ever that it IS a show trial staged precisely for the purpose of suppressing freedom in a uniquely European/Scandinavian way.  9-11 was too widely recognized in Europe for the staged fraud it was for the rail bombings in Madrid or the tube bombings in London to work again.  (France, as the world-leader in rational 9-11 doubt, was strangely immune to terrorist attacks—everyone old enough to talk in France knows what a sham 9-11 was and no one in that most enlightened country in Europe would be taken in by such a farce—but as PT Barnum is so famous for saying—no one EVER went broke UNDER-estimating the intelligence of the American people).

Just look at Andreas Behring Breivik making a pseudo-Nazi arm salute and then describing in such cool rational terms how he killed people.  Cui Bono Baby?  Would any rational thinking terrorist really imagine that killing a bunch of teenagers was going to garner sympathy for the cause of expelling non-Nordic immigrants from Norway?  Obviously Andreas Behring Breivik is NOT insane, as evidenced by his coherent and predictable patterns of speech and by his ability to follow instructions on courtroom decorum (such as “Don’t Make the Nazi salute anymore”, it upsets people).  But his explanation for what he’s doing is absurd.  Cui bono?  The only plausible beneficiaries of Andreas Behring Breivik’s attack are those who want to discredit his words.  The BNP, the Front National, and the German NPD certainly shy away from him, as do the National Democrats of neighboring Sweden.  Going around killing innocent people cannot CAUSE in the knowledge (which Breivik has affirmed) that you will become the most hated man in Norway is NOT a very effective way or means to become an apostle to cultural homogeneity.  Breivik’s trial has been scheduled in the week leading up to the French Elections….Marine Le Pen being the most effective anti-immigration leader in Europe, without any doubt—is this mere coincidence?  Anyone who studied how to kill people as calmly and as privately as Breivik did must have studied some history, and there is NO historical precedent or antecedent for mass random killings of completely innocent people leading to identity as a hero.  Sorry folks—if I’ve missed something out there, please let me know, but as far as I am concerned, Andreas Behring Breivik’s entire life story is part of the plot to make the descendants of the Vikings bow down and serve Mecca in much the same way that the Varangian guard once served the Byzantine Emperors.  It is to the Norwegian’s credit that they (unlike the Brits and the Americans) couldn’t be taken in by staged MUSLIM terrorist attacks), but in effect, they’ve just been taken in by the polar opposite….  And the fabled freedoms of Scandinavia will soon start to fade and diminish.  Sad but I guarantee you it’s true….

So the looming signs of the New Dark Ages come both closer and more obvious—Andreas Behring Breivik would not be giving Nazi-Arm Salutes if he were a real Nazi, he would not have chosen the targets he chose if he were a real Nazi, and this is, after all, Adolf Hitler’s birthday (4-20-1889).

The connection between Hitler’s birthday and Cannabis is one of the odder coincidences of history.  Why?  Some inconclusive evidence suggests that Hitler might (as many frontline soldiers in the Kaiser’s army did) have used Heroin during WWI, but otherwise his use of drugs is confined to having used various drugs during WWII, especially as the war went against him.

In the twisted and uneducated America today, what would you expect in the era of GW Bush & BH Obama, understanding of history is so confused in the popular mind that there is a tendency to conflate general notions of racism into one template. Confederates are considered equivalent to the Nazis and the Nazi forced labor of non-Germans in Europe to Southern American/US (i.e. “Confederate”) chattel slavery.  Critics of the Southern Confederacy have, on-line in this 150th anniversary year of Shiloh, gone so far as to claim that the CSA, if it had won the war, would have sought to extend slavery to Latin America and throughout the Western Hemisphere.  Such hateful, hate-filled fantasies seem likely to bear fruit in Tim Burton’s upcoming “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter“, and all I can say is—“will someone please help me organize a boycott?”  

The CSA Confederates and their Southern Patriotic heirs may believe in segregation of the races, and may even believe that Barack Hussein Obama is constitutionally disqualified to be and serve as Reich’s Fuhrer, I mean Chairman of the Central Committee and Supreme Soviet, I mean President…. but the Southern Tradition is one of individual freedom, not corporate tyranny.  Tennessee Williams, of course, saw a serious contradiction evolving in this tradition in the 1950s when he wrote Sweet Bird of Youth when Big Oil and other mostly “Yankee” Corporate Interests were taking over the South (especially early in Texas and Louisiana, but throughout the South after WWII)….

To a true Son of the Confederate State of America, there is nothing sadder than such confusion as links Confederates with Nazis, traditional southerners with corporate values or interests….because the reality is the extreme opposite.

The Confederates fought for Freedom AGAINST Centralized Government and Dictatorship, and modern Southern leaders, like the late Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, were war heroes on the beaches of Normandy to liberate France in 1944.  In Lincoln’s Marxists, Donald Kennedy and his co-author draw intense comparisons between Abraham and Adolf.  They do not mention the ultimate irony that Judah P. Benjamin, a West Indian Jew, was one of the leading statesmen of the Confederacy, or that Florida’s David Levy was the very first Jewish American to sit in the United States Senate.  Levy County on the Florida Gulf Coast is named after this pioneering Hebrew settler of the Sunshine State, and by some irony Levy County is the site of the infamous “Rosewood” Massacre.   But really and truly, as I have recently written, All Americans are now living in “Greater Rosewood,” Levy County, Florida—we are all subject to summary foreclosure and eviction by force—from sea to shining sea, but it is NOT the Klansmen who are after us this time….it is the Banks….and their “servicers” of course…. 04-19-2012 Carrie Loft v Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp et al Response to Order of 04-05-2012 and Motion for 30 day Extension of Time to file FAC.  

As I have also written here and elsewhere, the United States Federal Courts are unwilling to apply the Civil Rights Laws of the Land for the protection of white people, apparently because these laws only exist to foment racial discord and competition between Black and White (with some bones here and there thrown to fomenting conflict with Hispanics and Asians).   So long as the Banks and Banksters apply their vicious fraud equally to black and white alike, the courts will not recognize any violation of the civil rights of the people.  This too, is a sign of the Bush 41-Clinton-Bush 43-Obama Dark Age, descending upon us…

   The Nazis had certain ideals in common with conservatives throughout Western Europe and North America: the romanticized revitalization of indigenous European Culture, for example, rooting the spirit of progress in national pride and identity.  Such things are found in England, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Greece, and Israel, not to mention in the United States and many countries in Latin America, or even post-Colonial Africa and Asia.

If that were all that Hitler’s Naziism had amounted to—resurgent national pride and rebuilding the nation shattered by the Great Depression (which effectively began in Germany immediately after Versailles in 1919 and never really ended).  Chancellor Sutler in V-for-Vendetta is a thinly disguised Hitler (“H” is the 8th letter of the alphabet starting with “A”, “S” is the 8th letter of the alphabet reciting backwards from “Z”).  Chancellor Sutler, like Hitler, believed in the power of the Big Lie.  But unlike Chancellor Sutler and his terrorism through “St. Mary’s” infection…. Hitler did more than merely terrorize his own people.  He went off to terrorize the French and the Poles.  Had Hitler NOT embarked on his war of extensive military conquest, Naziism might have been accepted and remained a “Third Way” in Europe.  Great Britain had guaranteed the integrity of Poland, and the 129 years of the Polish Partition was a wrong that deserved finally to be righted (one of the few things the Versailles Conference actually got right, surely, was the restoration of Polish national identity and autonomy).

But as a Confederate and Patriot of the American tradition, I cannot accept Hitler’s invasion and conquest of Poland, which started World War II, as even remotely legitimate.  One interesting thought is that Hitler must have had at least as clear an idea that invading Poland (and especially then invading the Soviet Union two years later, breaking faith with the after the Von Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact) would ultimately lead to his demise as Andreas Behring Breivik must realize that his slaughter of innocents would win him no friends either personally or for his cause.  

One could almost wonder and ask “cui bono” of Nazi Germany?  Nazi Germany led to the modern religion of Globalism, suppression of nationalism, and “we are one” suppression of the ideology of race-as-extended family, in short, of race as a biologically natural and real element of human culture and social identity.  World War II also resulted in the foundation of the state of Israel and the rise of a distinctly non-Christian ethos and elite in the world, which non-Christian ethos and elite clearly either needed and created or is now using and needs Andreas Behring Breivik in Norway, and George Zimmerman in Florida…  (not to make any comparison here—what Andreas Behring Breivik did in Norway was murder—intention killing of another person without justification or provocation of any kind, but what George Zimmerman did in Florida was, in my opinion, probably—almost certainly—self-defense, but it is being USED as a racially polarizing device and divisive event by President Barack Hussein Obama….).  

Going back to my April 13, 2012, essay on the Hunger Games and the New Dark Ages, and the comparison and contrast between the Hunger Games and V-for-Vendetta, the latter is clearly about Hitler-like totalitarian oppression, while the former directly concerns Confederate Rebels within an easily recognizable future North American Corporate/Centralized Government hegemony.

Confederates were not Nazis; they were not conquerors.  For all of Robert E. Lee’s fabled brilliance a military strategist, his best bet was to seize Washington D.C. and Maryland for the Confederacy in 1861-1862, when the northern armies were poorly organized and poorly led, but he and Jefferson Davis declined even to try to impose their will on Maryland and Delaware, slave states which had elected not to secede.   The Confederacy, it has often occurred to me, could and should have simply taken Washington D.C. right after the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run, and taken over the capital there.  The War of 1861 might have then ended, perhaps with the Confederate Constitution replacing the new Federal Constitution of 1787 as Southern Sympathizers from Ohio, Illinois, and New York joined in. Slavery would have probably ended in the South by the 1880s or 1890s regardless, as it did in Brazil and the Spanish Colonies,but this is not consistent with Obama era anti-Confederate education, because Confederates were actually the original anti-Communists.  Worse (for themselves and the CSA) because Lee and Davis were dedicated to NON-CONQUEST IDEOLOGY, they gave up their best chances at winning in 1861-62.  By the time Lee invaded the North in earnest in 1863, there was no obvious purpose in doing so, no reasonable strategy, and once again, the chance to seize Washington D.C. and make it the Confederate Capital was lost.  Gettysburg ended that campaign and with it all reasonable hopes of Confederate victory, all reasonable hopes for the survival of the Confederate Constitution.

The Hunger Games, as I wrote last week, seems firmly rooted in the legacy of the vanquished 13 state of the Southern Confederacy, of which North Carolina was the state that sacrificed the most (suffering the greatest number of casualty losses, per capita, of any Southern State—Virginia lost more by number, but not as a percentage of the population, Florida lost the least, participating in the war hardly at all, Texas effectively won the war, maintaining its independence throughout, but surrendering on June 19, 1865 at Galveston, in spite of it all; New Orleans surrendered exactly 150 years ago this month, constituting the first great loss of the Confederacy, without firing a single shot, much as Paris was not defended in World War II—the French apparently like to save their beautiful cities from war-time destruction and mayhem…. consistently choosing discretion over valor….).

 But the Hunger Games also captured the coldly exploitative nature of the centralized government, in need of lots of “coal, minerals and row crops” as President Snow puts it while talking to the ill-fated game-master Seneca, who mistakenly thinks that “everyone likes an underdog.”

In the book, Hunger Games, which I finally started reading after seeing the movie last night for a seventh time in Santa Monica, suppression of private ownership of arms (even including ordinary bows and arrows like Katniss’) is a key an important aspect of the Government’s policy towards the people of District 12 (= Appalachia,  filmed in North Carolina).  

It was critical to keep the people disarmed lest they ever rise up against the establishment armies.  The people were forbidden effectively to feed themselves…. for fear that a well-fed populace might hunger for freedom….

In that connexion, I am today on my way to Fresno to work with members of the 4-20 cooperative there.  None of them, to the best of my knowledge, will be celebrating Hitler’s 123 birthday there this evening.  They have other problems.  The State of California has legalized medical marijuana but the Federal government continues to suppress it.  Just as in 1860, the Centralized Government wishes to suppress the farmers who supply a product much in demand around the world, to denigrate individual autonomy and local authority.  Unlike 1860, the states are weak, and in fact what I will face in Fresno is finding the ways and means to oppose the degree to which the Federal Government has skipped the state or effectively nullified state authority all together, and seeks to impose state law by collaborating with city and county authorities.

This is a Tenth Amendment crusade in the Confederate tradition: restore individual independence by building up autonomous farmers.  I personally haven’t touched cannabis as an intoxicant since July 1991, but the occasion when I did, in the Mary Martin Suite at the Hotel Pontchartrain in New Orleans, was one of the turning points in my life (and certainly it sounded the death knell of my marriage).  

But for the moment, I take pride in knowing that in 2012 as it was 152 years ago, real freedom and real liberty reside in the defense of self-supporting farmers away from the city and centralized economy and government.  This is the Confederate way, and the Confederate way is anti-communist and anti-Nazi, all at the same time as it is anti-Obama, anti-Bush, and generally antithetical to the Corporate establishment which rules America and Europe, and which has dedicated untold millions to the suppression of real individualists such as Marine Le Pen, and the creation of such fake individualists as Andreas Behring Breivik……

April 13: The Hunger Games, Judicial Immunity, and the Dawn of a New Dark Age

Life in its petty pace from day-to-day (and related notes on why I’m not on the California ballot)

Is it a coincidence that the California Secretary of State refused to approve me for a ballot place as candidate for the United States Senate Seat currently held by Diane Feinstein within 3 days of Facebook Canceling my profile because I was “promoting or organizing violence?”  Since I have never (to the best of my knowledge) advocated (much less “organized”) violence except to praise the spirit of continuing revolution, it was a great shock to me, but that was how my Spring season began.  (My long-time personal assistant and “Man Friday” Peyton assures me that I’ve never organized anything in my life, violent, peaceful, or indifferent)  

The snafu that led to my ballot position not being approved may yet prove the subject of a lawsuit, so I shan’t go into details except to say: California’s “Top Two, Voter Nominated” primary system only makes sense if non-professional political operatives (i.e. “voters”) are actually permitted to nominate candidates, and this requires a certain exercise of common sense on the part of the Registrar of Voters in each county as well as the Secretary of State.  Obviously, my supporters are largely battered down middle class working people who no longer trust the government to begin with.  They are anything BUT government insiders.  If only political insiders can maneuver the system then it is NOT a true “voter nominated” system.

I would guess that, in fact, the “top two” system was designed to protect the best funded insider candidates from even any hypothetical threat from outsiders like me, and that is, of course, a way of stifling change and preventing any real “dynamic” in the democratic process.  “Top two” primaries arguably serve a system well-designed to engender a “thousand year reich”, ironic indeed since one would think that individuals of Barbara Boxer’s, Diane Feinstein’s and Henry Waxman’s background and ethnic origins would not WANT a thousand year reich….but perhaps the quibble was with the identity of the master race destined to rule for a millennium, rather than whether a unitary elite should have such power…. forever.

Remembering V-for-Vendetta and Serenity from 2005-2006

The only redeeming feature of Spring 2012 so far is a new movie, which equals and possibly surpasses in political insight my (obvious, previous) all time favorite: V-for-Vendetta.   V-for-Vendetta was a futuristic science fiction (literally based on cartoon characters based on a four centuries old English school boys’  rhyme about a highly manipulated historical even in 1605) and as such it served as an allegory about 9-11 and the “W” Bush (43rd Presidential) administration in the USA.   The lead characters, the Guy Fawkes’ masked “V” (Hugo Weaving) and Evey Hammond” (Nathalie Portman), were an amazing couple NOT in love (at least not romantically, and not in any way at all, at least not until Evey’s post-mortem eulogy) were, as cartoon characters are, difficult to relate to any ordinary people one might encounter in life.  

The brilliance of V-for-Vendetta was the incisive treatment of 9-11 and all that had happened in and around that date under the Bush 43 administration: barely a stone was left unturned to expose the rotten mould and horrible colony of insect life underneath it.  The sad part about V-for-Vendetta is that it’s message apparently resonated with so few people.  

As a movie, it should have had a national impact on political thought, revealing the ruling government as an oligarchy of hypocrisy, lies and fear through government media manipulation concealing a simple policy of orchestrated terrorism attributed to foreigners, specifically Islamic fundamentalists, in the justification of never-ending war, even though it was in fact the brainchild policy of the government itself.  

Above all, V-for-Vendetta reminded us of Adolf Hitler’s brilliant but evil insight, that the great mass of people will sooner believe a great lie than a small one.  Another movie concerning a “big lie” by the government was Joss Whedon’s beautiful epic Serenity.  The tale of the outer-space “wild-west racially non-discriminatory confederates” was, in so many ways, merely the extra galactic, historically unspecific, parallel to V.  Unlike V, Serenity did not focus on any specific modern event like 9-11, but  very generally shared a focus on governmental experiments in biotechnology and psychological manipulation as the root of transformational events in human history.  Of course, Serenity very unusually and distinctively echoed and memorialized the injustice of the Confederate defeat at the hands of a technologically superior Centralized government (“the Federation”).

Die Hungerspiele von Panem/Die Tribute von Panem (Totliche Spiele) (You’re a Damn Confederate, aren’t you?)

The new movie which in my mind at least now threaten’s V-for-Vendetta’s supremacy as the greatest political movie of our time premiered on Friday March 23, and is of course, the Hunger Games. (I confess I have not read Suzanne Collins’ books—everything I say here is based on the movie and the movie alone, which I found absolutely overwhelming—but I didn’t read Gone with the Wind until I was 26, by which time I had seen the movie at leas 30 times in my life).  The Hunger Games lacks any of the cartoonish elements of V-for-Vendetta and Serenity (as much as I like and appreciate the genuinely artistic value of those elements).  

My suspicions of Collins’ perspectives as those of a not-so-closet Confederate sympathizer gain more than moderate a bolster from the knowledge that, although born in Connecticut, the author was the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and spent her High School (i.e. critical formative identity) years in the heart of Dixie, specifically in Alabama in the 1970s…. where she attended  high school at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, where she was a Theater Arts major.  Oh yea, FWIW, the Alabama School of Fine Arts was founded by George Corley Wallace’s Wife, Governor Lurleen Wallace, in 1968, shortly before she tragically died of Cancer at age 41, and George Corley Wallace was Governor 1971-1979, all through Suzanne’s High School years.

Now, one way of looking at it is that, perhaps, the Hunger Games takes place after the collapse of the United States and Civil War to which the government news commentators in V-for-Vendetta made such frequent allusion.  According to those reports, the USA “the country that had everything” had become a “cesspool” of continental proportions due to its “Godlessness.”  While that’s a legitimate perspective, I think that the overwhelming weight of evidence and frame of reference in the Hunger Games is to the War of Southern Independence/War Between the States/War of 1861-1973, realizing that those dates are not the ones usually used in High School American History texts.

In fact, The Hunger Games in some of its visuals at least, almost approximates a kind of a futuristic Nanook of the North staged realism, focusing on the lives of the common people of the post-War (I mean Post-War Between the States) south, especially of the Appalachian regions of North Carolina (where The Hunger Games was filmed “on site”).  As in Whedon’s Serenity, the strong suggestion of Confederate nostalgia and sympathy is, to my mind at least, absolutely undeniable.  

It is too much to ask that we NOT see parallels to the War of 1861-65 and its aftermath when the “Treaty of the Treason” and “War” movie both recite that 13 Districts of “Panem” (“Panem” to my eyes sounds like a Hellenized partial translation of “E Pluribus Unum“, cf. Pangea) rose up against the Paternalistic “Welfare” Government that “fed them, protected them, cared for them”, that the District 12 setting is so obviously the REAL Southern landscape of coal-mining Appalachia, and that the poor whites of District 12 have a closely parallel lives and culture to at least the partially segregated black-African dominated population of District 11.

Without wanting totally to “spoil” the Hunger Games for anyone who hasn’t seen it, I will just summarize my interpretation of its wild popularity this way (aside from the obvious: a very human love story about two extraordinarily mature for their age teenagers who were unlikely ever to have fallen in love, but end up being “perfect” for each other, played by a genuinely handsome “All American Boy” lead and beautiful soft-spoken and emotional “Tomboy-type-Girl” who is so hot she literally sets her red dress on fire, combined with lots of action): Even though most Americans are not in fact hungry for food (that is the “Nano of the North” element reality of the starving South of 1865-1950, seeing oppressed, hard-working, underdogs whose primary source of protein was from very small game—squirrels, because the deer were almost all hunted out) people are clearly hungry for genuine justice and a fair playing field. (For one alternative, but to my mind, quite beautifully written and  excellent review of the Hunger Games, I recommend “The Feminist Spectator” by Princeton University’s Jill Dolan, published on April 4: http://www.feministspectator.blogspot.com/.  I somehow doubt that Professor Dolan would agree with me on the strong Confederate Sympathies implicit in The Hunger Games but there was once a President of Princeton University, the only Ph.D. ever to become President of the USA in fact, who thought that Birth of a Nation was the greatest historical drama in history, and portrayed the reality of his native south perfectly—unfortunately, that was also the Democratic President who signed into law (1) the 16th Amendment and Federal Income Tax, (2) the Federal Reserve Banking System, and the (3) the 17th Amendment, namely Woodrow Wilson….)

Hunger for Justice and Freedom

Like the residents of the 13 oppressed Districts of Panem, despite all government hypocrisy and lies to the contrary Americans both you and old today know that the odds are NOT in their favor and that, in fact, the odds are fairly hopelessly stacked against them.  And yet the system has this tiny escape valve: that about 1 in every 24 people can make it rich.  That is, one-in-twenty four of the oppressed can make it rich IF they’re willing to “play the government’s game” and basically, kill a lot of their fellow citizens in the process.  As of this April 13, 2012, I have seen the Hunger Games 5 times, and each time I’ve liked it more, seen more details.  I will have to read the books before completely integrating it into my thought processes about modern pop-cultural reaction to the impending doom that this American Life obviously faces, but I submit to you: the American people (on the whole, and certainly as a population compared to many parts of the world at the present and throughout history) may not be starving or hungry for food, but they hunger for justice and an even playing field, and they do not “relish” the very real prospect of a thousand years of subservience to “the government that feeds, them clothes them, takes care of them.”

Of Time and Space and Presidential Succession in the Leap Years…..

The Hunger Games takes place on the 74th anniversary of the institution of these gladiatorial combats.  The significance of that 74 years has bothered me.  On the one hand, it COULD refer to 1860 (the election of Abraham Lincoln and the secession of “District 1, South Carolina…) + 74 = 1934, the year in which Roosevelt’s New Deal started WPA reorganization of the South in earnest, or it could refer to the original publication date of the book, 2008, as the 74th year since 1934—or it could refer to both.  The coincidence, again, is hard to avoid.  1934 was the first full year of (de facto) Socialist Dictatorship in the United States (Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1932, took office in March 1933, and many of his first year legislative proposals only took effect in 1934).  2008, 74 years later, Barack Hussein Obama, the first Communist President of the United States, was elected and took office, “perfecting” or at least completing the process begun by Abraham Lincoln in 1860, a mere 12 years after the publication of the Communist Manifesto in London in 1848.  (See Al Benson, Jr., & Walter Donald Kennedy’s 2011: Lincoln’s Marxists, Pelican Publishing, Gretna Louisiana, a fine historical summary of the connexion between Communism and Central government predominance in the USA, a historical summary which is easy to read although not nearly well-enough documented with footnotes and source citations as professional historians would like and scholars generally would appreciate).

Another aspect of the Hunger Games is the correlation between the oppressive Central government of Panem and Edward Gibbons’ the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, on the one hand, and a heartless, Machiavellian version of the Social Darwinism of the late 19th century on the other.  The capital of Panem is degenerate in a distinctly Roman Imperial Silver Age manner (Rome’s “Silver Age” normally said to run from the death of Augustus in A.D. 14 through the death of Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 180).  Nero and even Caracalla (“Post-Silver Age” Emperor from A.S. 198-217) would have felt quite at home in the Capitol of Panem, I think.  But the “Emperor” himself is a distinctly late 19th century Anglo-American type (President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland), who has a Romano-“Robber-Baron’s” scorn for the “underdog” without any explanation or moral justification, just the political desire to keep himself and his world on top and everyone else underneath.  President Snow appears to share none of the cultural degeneracy of the Capital, but has a great deal in common with aristocratic Victorian gardeners of the late 19th century.  

Snow’s name is English, as are most of the names of the characters known from District 12.  Most of the residents of the Capitol City, however, and apparently of Districts 1-2, have Roman names: “Cato”, “Caesar”, “Seneca”, “Octavia”, and “Claudius” just to name a few…..  

So the Hunger Games follows the pattern of Serenity and V-for-Vendetta in another distinctly modern way (although all these movies do it well, and for good purposes and effect, quite a few others, such as Captain America and [the movie that I dread most]—Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer, do it very poorly and for improper purposes): historical metaphors and mythic realities are conflated, merged, and reorganized.

NOX OCCIDIT (“NIGHT FALLS”)

In any event, there is a Leonard Cohen song that summarizes why the Hunger Games, as a historical-mythological and futuristic allegory of injustice and game rigging, is so wildly popular, and that song is:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through 
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary 
To the beach of Malibu 
Everybody knows it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

The saddest difference between V-for-Vendetta and Serenity on the one hand and the Hunger Games on the other is the complete transparency of the society of Panem: “Everybody knows that the system’s rotten…. everybody knows that the war is over, everybody knows that the good guys lost.”  Everybody knows that the government that feeds the people, clothes them, and cares for them does not like underdogs.  President Snow is a late 19th Century-styled  avatar of George H.W. Bush (41st), Bill Clinton, George W. Bush (43rd), & Barack Hussein Obama all rolled into one.  

At least in V-for-Vendetta and Serenity, there still existed the apparent hope that revelation of truth could lead to revolution and change. 

But now President Obama signs the National Defense Authorization Act allowing indefinite detention of American Citizens on American soil without charges or trial, and he does so unblinkingly and unabashedly.  President Obama jingoistically adopts the dead Trayvon Martin as his own son in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions and divisions to his advantage in an election year at the same time that he tells the AIPAC Conference that he supports Israel’s quest to maintain ethnic homogeneity and integrity.  

There are no secrets in modern America, our Joseph Stalin, aka President Obama, has no need of Hitlerian, Rooseveltian, or “W” Bushian type “Big Lie”—he tells us all that he wants the power to take away all our rights, but asks us to trust him that he won’t really do it—except in the case of real underdogs, like, I guess, for example, George Zimmerman?  And speaking of that, how many of you imagine that George Zimmerman, whether he be called White, Hispanic, or Jewish, or all of the above, will get a fair trial?

So now to celebrate April 13 even further: WHERE WILL WE BE 74 years from now, or from 2008, say in 2082?  I predict we may well be in a New Dark Age, and not just because I’m not on the California Ballot for this year (although that is symptomatic).  

So far as “fixed games” go, what could be worse than a criminal prosecution set by agreement between Judges and prosecutors arranged through bribes?  Is that the American Way?  We wouldn’t like to think so.  In 1980, the year I graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at Tulane and started graduate school at Harvard, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California said that “fixing” cases was not a normal judicial function and that no judicial immunity could attach to such activities: Rankin v Howard 633 F2d 844 _9th Circuit December 5 1980.  A short six years later, that same Ninth Circuit reversed itself and found judicial immunity from civil suit for such activities: Ashelman v Pope 793 F2d 1072 *EN BANC* 9th Circuit 1986

But the outrageous history of the suppression of judicial immunity just goes on and on through the subsequent citation history of Ashelman v. Pope to show how official immunity for prosecutors and the executive branch has almost merged with Judicial immunity to the point that the government is just one big immune mass of oppression against the people, and the modern government of E Pluribus Unum, aka “Panem” can prosecute you, jail you, and torture you, with complete immunity.

2010 has 110 Days Down, 255 to go: April 20 in History: 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba Failed; Trial-by-Battle upheld in 1818; Robert E. Lee Resigned U.S. Army 1861; Modern Bob Marley-Inspired? Pot Parties in US; Siege of Boston 1775; Columbine Colorado High School Shootings 1989; Jacques Cartier discovered Canada 1534; Adolf Hitler born in 1889; what if?

Events (all from Wikipedia)—April 20—How did Hitler’s Birthday end up as National Smoke Weed day in the U.S.?  Ah, the mysteries of life.

Historical “What if” of the day: if Virginia hadn’t seceded, Robert E. Lee might have commanded the northern forces against a much reduced Confederate States of America….and Slavery would almost certainly NOT have been abolished anywhere…. and the 1871 Civil Rights Act certainly would never have been enacted….so there never would have been the modern 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 action in vindication of civil rights—yes, the world would have been a very different place….

1303 – The University of Rome La Sapienza is instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.

1453 – The last naval battle in Byzantine history occurs, as three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fight their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn.

1534Jacques Cartier begins the voyage during which he discovers Canada and Labrador.

1535 – The Sun Dog phenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting “Vädersolstavlan

1653Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament.

1657Admiral Robert Blake destroys a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

1657 – Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).

1689 – The former King James II of England, now deposed, lays siege to Derry.

1775American Revolutionary War: the Siege of Boston begins, following the battles at Lexington and Concord.

1792France declares war on Austria, the beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.

1809 – Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four day campaign which ended in a French victory.

1810 – The Governor of Caracas declares independence from Spain.

1818 – The case of Ashford v Thornton was concluded, with Abraham Thornton allowed to go free rather than face a retrial for murder, after his demand for trial by battle was upheld.

1828René Caillié becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.

1836U.S. Congress passes an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.

1861American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.

1862Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the first pasteurization tests.

1871 – The Civil Rights Act of 1871 becomes law.

1884Pope Leo XIII publishes the encyclical Humanum Genus.

1902Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.

1908 – Opening day of competition of the New South Wales Rugby League.

1912 – Opening day for baseball stadiums Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, and Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

1914 – Forty-five men, women, and children die in the Ludlow Massacre during a Colorado coal-miner’s strike.

1916 – The Chicago Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park (currently Wrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings

1918Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.

1926Western Electric and Warner Bros. announce Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.

1939Billie Holiday records the first Civil Rights song “Strange Fruit“.

1945World War II: US troops capture Leipzig, Germany, only to later cede the city to the Soviet Union.

1945 – World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler makes his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.

1961 – Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed troops against Cuba.

1964BBC Two launches with the power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.

1968English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.

1972Apollo 16 landed on the moon commanded by John Young.

1978Korean Air Flight 902 is shot down by Soviets.

1980 – Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berber political activists are arrested.

1984 – The Good Friday Massacre, an extremely violent ice hockey playoff game, is played in Montreal, Canada.

1985ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.

1986 – Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performs in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.

1986 – Professional basketball player Michael Jordan sets all-time record for points in an NBA playoff game with 63 against the Boston Celtics.

1998German terrorist group Red Army Faction announces their dissolution after 28 years.

1999Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.

2007Johnson Space Center Shooting: A man with a handgun barricades himself in NASA‘s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas before killing a male hostage and himself.

2008Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.

[edit]

Births

571Muhammad, (traditional date) Prophet and founder of Islam (d. 632)

702Jafar Sadiq, Shi’a Imam and Muslim scholar (d. 765)

1494Johannes Agricola, German Protestant reformer (d. 1566)

1586Saint Rose of Lima, Peruvian saint (d. 1617)

1633Emperor Go-Komyo of Japan (d. 1654)

1646Charles Plumier, French botanist (d. 1704)

1650William Bedloe, English informer (d. 1680)

1668Yuri Troubetzkoy, Governor of Belgorod (d. 1739)

1718David Brainerd, American missionary (d. 1747)

1723Cornelius Harnett, American Continental Congress delegate (d. 1781)

1727Comte de Mercy-Argenteau, Belgian-born Austrian diplomat (d. 1794)

1745Philippe Pinel, French physician (d. 1826)

1808Napoleon III of France, Emperor of the French (d. 1873)

1818Heinrich Göbel, German-born inventor (d. 1893)

1826Dinah Craik, English author (d. 1887)

1850Daniel Chester French, American sculptor (d. 1931)

1851Young Tom Morris, Scottish golfer (d. 1875)

1870Maulvi Abdul Haq, Pakistani scholar (d. 1961)

1871Sydney Chapman, British economist and civil servant (d. 1951)

1879Paul Poiret, French couturier (d. 1944)

1882Holland Smith, U.S. General (d. 1967)

1884Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (d. 1966)

1889Albert Jean Amateau, Turkish-born businessman and activist (d. 1996)

1889 – Adolf Hitler, German Nazi dictator (d. 1945)

1890Maurice Duplessis, premier of Quebec (d. 1959)

1893Harold Lloyd, American actor (d. 1971)

1893 – Edna Parker, American supercentenarian (d. 2008)

1893 – Joan Miró, Spanish painter (d. 1983)

1895Emile Christian, American musician (d. 1973)

1896Wop May, Canadian aviator (d. 1952)

1896 – Henry de Montherlant, French writer (d. 1972)

1904Bruce Cabot, American actor (d. 1972)

1904 – George Stibitz, American scientist (d. 1995)

1907Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, Haitian president (d. 1971)

1908Lionel Hampton, American musician (d. 2002)

1914Betty Lou Gerson, American actress (d. 1999)

1915Joseph Wolpe, South African–born psychotherapist (d. 1997)

1918Edward L. Beach, Jr., American naval officer, author (d. 2002)

1918 – Kai Siegbahn, Swedish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2007)

1919Richard Hillary, Australian pilot and author (d. 1943)

1920John Paul Stevens, American jurist

1920 – Ronald Speirs, WWII Veteran (d. 2007)

1921Janine Sutto, French-Canadian actress

1923Mother Angelica, American nun and broadcaster

1923 – Tito Puente, American musician (d. 2000)

1924Leslie Phillips, English actor

1924 – Nina Foch, Dutch-born American actress (d. 2008)

1925Ernie Stautner, German-born American football player (d. 2006)

1927Phil Hill, American race car driver (d. 2008)

1927 – Karl Alexander Müller, Swiss physicist, Nobel Prize laureate

1928Johnny Gavin, Irish footballer (d. 2007)

1928 – Gerald S. Hawkins, English astronomer (d. 2003)

1931John Eccles, 2nd Viscount Eccles, British businessman and peer

1936Pat Roberts, American politician

1937Antonios Kounadis, Greek discus thrower

1937 – George Takei, American actor

1939Peter S. Beagle, American author

1939 – Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway

1939 – Johnny Tillotson, American singer

1941Ryan O’Neal, American actor

1942Arto Paasilinna, Finnish writer

1943John Eliot Gardiner, English conductor

1943 – Edie Sedgwick, American actress (d. 1971)

1945Michael Brandon, American actor

1945 – Steve Spurrier, American football player and coach

1946Julien Poulin, French Canadian actor

1946 – Gordon Smiley, American racecar driver (d. 1982)

1946 – Mel Winkler, American voice actor

1947Björn Skifs, Swedish singer (Blue Swede)

1947 – Ken Scott, English record producer and recording engineer

1947 – Andrew Tobias, American journalist and author

1947 – David Leland, British actor, director and screenwriter

1948Craig Frost, American musician (Grand Funk & Bob Seger)

1948 – Gregory Itzin, American actor

1948 – Rémy Trudel, French Canadian politician

1949Massimo D’Alema, 76th Prime Minister of Italy

1949 – Veronica Cartwright, American actress

1949 – Toller Cranston, Canadian figure skater and artist

1949 – Jessica Lange, American actress

1950Steve Erickson, American novelist

1950 – Aleksandr Lebed, Russian general and politician (d. 2002)

1950 – Chandra Babu Naidu, Indian politician

1951Luther Vandross, American singer (d. 2005)

1952Božidar Maljković, Serbian basketball coach

1953Sebastian Faulks, British novelist

1954Gilles Lupien, French-Canadian ice hockey player

1955Don Pettit, American Astronaut and Inventor

1956Beatrice Ask, Swedish politician

1957Geraint Wyn Davies, Welsh-born Canadian actor

1958Viacheslav Fetisov, Russian ice hockey player

1959Clint Howard, American actor

1961Don Mattingly, American baseball player

1961 – Konstantin Lavronenko, Russian actor

1961 – Barry Smolin, American radio host, writer, and musician

1961Ralph Cirella, American radio personality

1962Henry Joseph Nasiff Jr. (AKA: Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf), American radio personality (d. 2001)

1963Maurício Gugelmin, Brazilian racing driver

1963 – Aubrey de Grey, British biomedical gerontologist

1964Crispin Glover, American actor

1964 – Andy Serkis, English actor

1964 – Rosalynn Sumners, American figure skater

1965Kostas Hatzidakis, Greek politician

1965 – Adrian Fernández, Mexican racing driver

1965 – April March, American musician

1966David Chalmers, Australian philosopher

1967Raymond van Barneveld, Dutch darts player

1967 – Mike Portnoy, American drummer (Dream Theater)

1967 – Lara Jill Miller, American actress

1968J. D. Roth, American game show host and television personality

1970Shemar Moore, American actor

1970 – Adriano Moraes, Brazilian rodeo performer

1971Tina Cousins, English singer

1971 – Carla Geurts, Dutch swimmer

1971 – Allan Houston, American basketball player

1972Carmen Electra, American actress

1972 – Le Huynh Đuc, Vietnamese footballer

1972 – Željko Joksimović, Serbian singer, songwriter and producer

1972 – Stephen Marley, Jamaican musician

1973Geoff Lloyd, British radio presenter

1976Shay Given, Irish footballer

1976 – Joey Lawrence, American actor

1976 – Chris Mason, Canadian ice hockey goaltender

1977Johnny “The Bull” Stamboli, professional wrestler

1978Mirei Kuroda, Japanese gravure idol

1979Quinn Weng, Taiwanese singer (Seraphim)

1979Nathan Marquardt, American Mixed Martial Artist

1980Jasmin Wagner, German singer

1980 – Chris Duffy, American baseball player

1981Matus Valent, male fitness model

1983Danny Granger, American basketball player

1983 – Terrence J, American television host

1983 – Joanne King, Irish/English Actress

1983 – Miranda Kerr, Australian supermodel

1984Tyson Griffin, American mixed martial artist

1985Greg Lutzka, American Skateboarder

1986Cameron Duncan, New Zealand director (d. 2003)

1987John Patrick Amedori, American actor

[edit]

Deaths

1176Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, English soldier (b. 1130)

1314Pope Clement V (b. 1264)

1521Zhengde, Emperor of China (b. 1491)

1534Elizabeth Barton, English nun (executed)

1558Johannes Bugenhagen, German reformer (b. 1485)

1643Christoph Demantius, German composer (b. 1567)

1703Lancelot Addison, English royal chaplain (b. 1632)

1765Abigail Williams, American accuser in the Salem witch trials (b. 1674)

1769Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawa

1831John Abernethy, English surgeon (b. 1764)

1873William Tite, English architect (b. 1798)

1874Alexander H. Bailey, American politician (b. 1817)

1887Muhammad Sharif Pasha, Egyptian statesman (b. 1826)

1899Joseph Wolf, German artist (b. 1820)

1912Bram Stoker, Irish author (b. 1847)

1918Karl Ferdinand Braun, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1850)

1929Prince Albert Wilhelm Heinrich of Prussia (b. 1862)

1932Giuseppe Peano, Italian mathematician (b. 1858)

1945Erwin Bumke, German jurist (b. 1874)

1947 – King Christian X of Denmark (b. 1870)

1951Ivanoe Bonomi, Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1873)

1964Eddie Dyer, American baseball player (b. 1899)

1977Sepp Herberger, German football coach (b. 1897)

1982Archibald MacLeish, American poet and Librarian of Congress (b. 1892)

1984Hristo Prodanov, Bulgarian mountaineer (b. 1943)

1986Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist, journalist and writer (b. 1916)

1989Doru Davidovici, Romanian writer and fighter pilot (b. 1945)

1991Steve Marriott, British singer and songwriter (Humble Pie) (b. 1947)

1991 – Don Siegel, American film director (b. 1912)

1993Cantinflas, Mexican comedian and actor (b. 1911)

1994Jean Carmet, French actor (b. 1920)

1996Christopher Robin Milne, son of A.A. Milne (b. 1920)

1999Rick Rude, American professional wrestler (b. 1958)

1999 – Señor Wences, Spanish ventriloquist and comedian (b. 1896)

1999 – Eric David Harris, perpetrator of the Columbine High massacre (b. 1981)

1999 – Dylan Klebold, perpetrator of the Columbine High massacre (b. 1981)

1999 – Cassie Bernall, Columbine High School massacre victim (b. 1981)

1999 – Rachel Joy Scott, Columbine High School massacre victim (b. 1981)

2001Giuseppe Sinopoli, Italian conductor and composer (b. 1946)

2002Alan Dale, American singer (b. 1925)

2003Ruth Hale, American playwright and actress (b. 1908)

2003 – Daijiro Kato, Japanese motorcycle racer (b. 1976)

2003 – Bernard Katz, German-born biophysicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1911)

2005Fumio Niwa, Japanese novelist (b. 1904)

2005 – Zygfryd Blaut, Polish football player (b. 1943)

2006Anna Svidersky (b. 1988)

2007Andrew Hill, American jazz composer and pianist (b. 1931)

2007 – Michael Fu Tieshan, Chinese bishop (b. 1931).

2007 – Fred Fish, a computer programmer on the GNU Debugger and “Fish disks” (b. 1952)

2008VL Mike, American rapper (b. 1976)

2008 – Monica Lovinescu, Romanian essayist, literary critic and journalist (b. 1923)

2009Beata Asimakopoulou, Greek actress (b. 1932)

[edit]

Holidays and observances

4/20, a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.

Christian Feast Day

Agnes of Montepulciano

Blessed Oda of Brabant

Theotimus

L. Ron Hubbard Exhibition Day (Church of Scientology)

Ridván begins at sunset (Bahá’í Faith)