Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Speak no evil

Ah, friends, the hour is getting late. Be sure to check out the brand spankin' new Lost Writers today to see my very first column on the sneaky branding tactics of rodents!

So this British "historian" was sentenced to three years in prison in Austria for denying the existence of the Auschwitz gas chambers. Now, I'm all for embarrassing and inconveniencing people who make such idiotic claims as suggesting that the Holocaust never happened (though the defendant, David Irving, claims to have "moderated" his views), but I don't feel so great about putting such obnoxious people in jail. Or, more specifically, I don't feel so great about making Holocaust denial a crime. I know I can't really understand the fear and discomfort around the topic in the countries where Nazism was born and the Holocaust was carried out, but I know that repressing people's right to say what they think, even when it's astoundingly dumb and hurtful, is the first step towards limiting the rights of free speech that are the only weapon we have against these jackasses running the world. Wait, am I allowed to say that?

Let all of this be a warning to memoir-falsifier James Frey: if you don't want to really go to jail (as opposed to lying about going to jail), I'd keep your bad ass out of Europe.


Anonymous katrinkles said...

your brand piece in lost writers is so right on!

2:16 PM  

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