Monday, July 21, 2008

Bonfire of the Banalities

Usually, when you bring the Nazis into any argument you're getting lazy and are probably well on the way to losing the argument.

This is a well-documented feature of post-war rhetoric : e.g
* Godwin's Law states that "As a (Usenet) discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one"
and also
* "Reductio Ad Hitlerum" states that "Hitler (or the Nazis) supported X, therefore X must be evil/undesirable/bad". It has the corollary "
Hitler (or the Nazis) were against X, therefore X must be good".
As far as I can remember I've kept Nazi references out of this blog, except where Darfur is concerned and I still say that's totally justified.

A less justified example is the owner of a Lap Dancing Club in West Sussex that burned down under suspicious circumstances last week. Now, I certainly would love it if all Lap Dancing establishments were to vanish, however setting them on fire is a step too far. I almost started to feel for the owner but then I read the following quote:
"Personally I think they did it because they are anti-lapdancing. With some people it runs to a high passion. I compare it to the book burning in Berlin in 1939."
Where to start with a comment like that !

For starters there weren't many books left to burn in 1939 - the major burnings were in 1933. But more importantly, isn't there a difference between the freedom to pay £500 for a bottle of naff champagne and a bump 'n' grind and the freedom to read Hemmingway, Freud and Brecht?!


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