Feb. 14th, 2005

silversolitaire: (d'oh!)
Lately it seems like I'm constantly warding off morons who try to start flamewars. It's starting to get tedious. I don't know what they keep following me, these Nazi references.

Let me explain. I'm admining a messageboard for an alliance in an online game Tom and I are playing. Two weeks ago... no actually a week before that, another alliance declared war on us. That's what you do in this game basically, go to war against each other. With spaceships and stuff. Anyhow, following the announcement in the official boards there was the usual wanking around and flaming that you get when two alliances go up against each other.

Now comes the tricky part. At some point, the diplomat of our alliance (I know, how embarrassing) called the admin of the other alliance (which is called GREED)... a jew. Yes. I can see you all squirm now. Naturally, everybody felt the same. This was just extremely poor taste and a lot of people were upset about it, understandably. Of course, inevitably, someone drew upon the Third Reich reference. Since, of course, when someone mentions the word "jew" in a hostile situation you can only mean something Nazi.

I'm phrasing this so sarcastically, because I'm really sick and tired of this. Why is it that the word "jew" is such a bad word for so many people? Why is it, that it even was banned as a swear word on iRO? I mean, I know why but it just beats me. Totally beats me. But I guess you have to counteract somehow to all these morons who keep using it as a bad word. Time for some reclaiming, IMO. But that's beside the point. Fact is, a very nasty discussion evolved around people calling each others Nazis and condoning the Third Reich and what not. It was very unpleasant.

Won't bore you with anymore details about how this business was resolved. Last week we finally booted that "diplomat" from the alliance, because even though we thought he was just being a moron and using this word unwisely, he kept using provocative terms, drawing more and more people on the other side against us. Yesterday I had yet another unpleasant discussion with this guy, trying to make him understand why it is that he upsets people when he's spreading nasty prejudices. He then kept insisting that we all misunderstood him and that to him the word "jew" has no special meaning or implication. But he just didn't get it that just because he feels this way it doesn't mean others do. He'll still be offensive, even though he has mastered such superior forms of conversation. *eyes roll* That's beside the fact that it was obviously a lie, because if he really thought this word didn't bear any implication he wouldn't have drawn the connection between "jew" and "greed".

Okay, enough of that. What prompted my rant right now is this. Today I ran into yet another similar situation. The latest strip of VG Cats was posted to the LJ newsfeed. Apparently a couple of people didn't find it funny and actually had the cheek to complain about it. Really beats me. Some guy is going out of his way to provide a free comic of high quality with regular updates and then they're at his throat when they feel it's sub par for once. Morons. Personally I didn't find it funny either, but that's simply because I don't understand the references, as I usual do. I need Tom to explain those to me ^^;.

Such a situation causes polarization of course. You have the "OMG this sux!!!!" faction and the "Does not and ur a dumbass if u don't get it!" party. Oh and the "Well this is okay I guess. Don't really find it funny" group, too! (can you polarize between more than two??). Anyway. Naturally, this caused the usual wanking and flaming which I read with great interest because it's just so amusing to see morons wank each other.

And then someone pulls this corker:

A: Play Soulreaver you uncultured heathens who don't get it.
B: yeah, I understand who it is, it's just not funny...
C: You are wrong.
B: really? you think so? It's my opinion, so to me I'm right.
D: General consensus suggests otherwise.
C: You know who else went by the general consensus? Hitler. [emphasis not mine]

...

Right. You know a conversation has hit the bottom of the pond when someone summons the dark specter of the Third Reich. I read this and just though "What... the... freaking fuck?" This is the best this person can come up with to give his or her point more meaning? Makes me think of Monkey Island. "How appropriate. You fight like a cow." Luckily, someone was so quick to point out Godwin's law to this moron. "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." Some people...

So now that I have successfully manoeuvered myself out of the dangerous waters of racism I'm going to unleash the full power of my acid barb upon these moron people who think that comparisons with Hitler or the Nazis will automatically make them right. What the fuck is wrong with these people? I just don't get them. I don't understand why it's so horrible to use the word "Nazi" or "Hitler", so bad that it makes everyone freeze in shock and gasp. I realize I probably have two opinions on this. One is that it upsets me everytime someone does this. And the other is that I'm so fucking tired of this demonization AND trivialization at the same time. And I also realize that these two things are interrelated. Allow me to explain.

It upsets me because I too am victim of this demonization. The Nazi terror was a horrible time 60 years ago and we don't need to argue about the obvious things such as that it never should have happened, that it was terrible and we all need to make sure it never happens again. But why is it that we must not utter the words? That Hitler is he-who-must-not-be-named and when you do people freeze in terror. Right now we have a war going on, people are dying in it right now and yet it's okay to crack jokes about Iraq. But no, not the Second World War. Let's not argue that WW2 was a war of a proportion beyond comparison. If we keep thinking that it will continue to loom above us like a dark shadow and we'll never be able to step out of it. Sometimes you need to let go. And you need to incorporate a horrible thing into your every day life to make sure it doesn't happen again. If you demonize something it will become hushed and glossed over and at some point forgotten, like a scary story that you whisper to each other at the fireplace, but that isn't really true. So, I'm saying: Stop being so fucking scared about the Third Reich. Learn your history, know what happened and then DEAL. This is the only way.

At the same time I have nothing but contempt for people who trivialize it. Who use it as a lame way to strike fear in the hearts of people, so to speak. How dare they. This is basically what the Godwin Law is referring to. Unless you're referring to something of equal seriousness such as genocide any reference to the Nazi era is WAY over the top and of poor taste. There are so many other rhethoric ways to make someone realize their bad ways. This isn't one of it.

Okay, I think I'm quite ranted out now... Maybe I'll add more later.

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