December 02, 2002
Morons And Nazis

From InstaPundit:

MINNESOTA HATE CRIME UPDATE: The friendly posters at Twin Cities IndyMedia think that defacing a Norm Coleman billboard with swastikas and SS symbols is just peachy. Republicanism, we're told, is "one-hundred times more dangerous than mere Nazism."

They also appear to be near-illiterates, but that's not really a surprise either.

There seems to be some deep mystic connection between stupidity and Nazism, whether practiced or falsely imputed to others. I still recall the graphic message I saw spray-painted on the wall of a San Francisco branch library many years ago. I don't have a photograph, but it looked very much like this:

The stupid vandal couldn't even get the number of bends right.

Around the same time (1979-81) I noticed that someone was spray-painting "Deport the Shaw" on a lot of sidewalks around town. I suppose the bad spelling may have meant that the vandals were non-native speakers -- perhaps even Iranian refugees -- but I always wondered whether they were just stupid.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at December 02, 2002 07:43 PM

someone was spray-painting "Deport the Shaw" on a lot of sidewalks around town

What a tragedy for movie-lovers that would have been!
Robert Shaw was sensational in "The Sting," and some say even better in "Jaws." He died too young.

Posted by: Charles Compton on December 2, 2002 11:19 PM

I think they might have been demanding that all people of Shawnee extraction be forcibly evicted... haven't the Indians suffered enough?

Posted by: Russell on December 3, 2002 01:10 AM

By the way, they also bent the arms facing the wrong way. Nazi swastikas turn clockwise. A swastika with the arms turned the other way is an ancient symbol (going back at least 3000 years) denoting (or beseeching) good luck, I think. Maybe the vandal was indicating that he was a follower of some ancient pagan religion.

Posted by: Russell on December 3, 2002 01:18 AM

I vote for stupidity. On the other hand, some of 'em mean it. The last time I came across this in conversaiton I asked 'isn't it beyond the pale to call someone a Nazi whose parents survived the death camps?' only to be told 'oh, he would have been a Kapo.' That's it for these people - Republican Jew = Kapo.

Posted by: Michael Tinkler on December 3, 2002 11:48 AM

Nobody knows hate like the left!

Posted by: Samuel Brainsample on December 3, 2002 03:34 PM

Maybe the graffito was older than you thought and it was an antisocialist slam against that old blowhard George Bernard Shaw after his visit to the US in the '20s.

Posted by: Robert Speirs on December 4, 2002 03:33 PM

Dr, you need to face your slashes the right way in your IMG SRC tag. Netscape doesn't pick them up backwards. (An amusing little irony akin to the immutable law of the spelling flame.)

Russell, both clockwise and counter-clockwise swastikas are ancient. The US Army's 45th Infantry Division used to use a clockwise swastika as its shoulder insignia! It was changed during the 1930s to the now-famed Thunderbird.

As for the graffitto, it may or may not have been "wrong". Personally, guessing it was spray-painted, I'd imagine it was just an artifact of the process, like the squiggles and connectors in cursive writing. But there are also deliberate variations of the swastika, used in places like Germany and South Africa where the real thing was heavily regulated.

Posted by: Dan Hartung on December 4, 2002 04:55 PM

Thanks, DH, I've fixed the slashes. I seem to recall that the division with the swastika patches was formed from the Arizona and New Mexico National Guards, who chose it because it was a Navaho symbol. It's certainly a favorite symbol in Hinduism. I have seen in a college library a multi-volume series of translated Hindu classics called something like "Ancient Wisdom of the East" which had little swastikas embossed all around the cover. I believe it was published well before Hitler. Didn't he adopt the symbol as an 'Aryan' one? Not that his Aryans had much to do with the Indian kind. I didn't notice which way the book-cover swastikas were turned.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on December 4, 2002 11:13 PM

If it is to be a Nazi swastika, it is backwards, the angles bend the wrong way.

Interestingly, there have been reports of persons being upset at seeing swastikas on old buildings in the Detroit area. Buildings built before the Nazi movement in Germany came to any kind of prominence. Apparently the swastika was a native American good luck symbol. I can still recall the start I had going into the downtown office building I worked in. One morning while crossing the street I looked up at it and saw a number of swatikas worked into the facade. (It was the Penobscot Building and has a native American motif). I defy anyone to prove that a major office building built in the late 1920's in Detroit had anything to do with obscure political movements in central Europe. (Then again, I could be wrong).

Posted by: Mike Orris on December 8, 2002 07:38 PM

That's the Vichy's running away.
To say that a screaming moderate like Coleman is a Nazi just drains any meaning from the word; like 'racism', it just means "we don't like you".

Posted by: Noel on December 8, 2002 11:25 PM