Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Grammar nazis

God, it's so bloody predictable.

News item: teenage schoolboys think it's hilarious to 'worship' a swastika. Is that the best you can do? "Children do stupid thing - no one harmed"? Are the children nazis - let alone Nazis? I can't imagine they are; I suspect that, like other children, their political views largely consist of arguing over who is the best Pokemon, or whatever Pokemon-derivative is popular these days.

Nonetheless, we have to go through the whole boring public flagellation - lest we forget.

Step 1: Contact the president of the RSA to see what he thinks about it. Surprisingly, he's against it.

Step 2: Contact the head of the New Zealand Jewish Council to see what Jews think about the holocaust. Seriously, the only time anyone contacts him is when we've all embarrassed ourselves, and it's all part of the collective punishment. Because we know what he's going to say, right? He's shocked and appalled. We knew that already. So next time someone vandalises a Jewish cemetery or salutes a swastika we can probably just assume that the Jewish Council aren't going to be delighted. Maybe once in a while they could contact the New Zealand Gypsy Council to see how they feel. Just for a change.

Step 3: Force the kids - whose crime, after all, was to get caught - to make a public apology. Then we can film it and write about it and then the millions of victims of the war won't have died in vain.

It's all over the online media: the Herald, the perennially awful stuff.co.nz, Your Views, ridiculous blogs - yeah, hold them back a year, that will teach them. Here's the lead graphic from stuff.co.nz:

Wait, they perpetrated the holocaust, right?

It's also in the print media, of course. The Herald have helpfully included a swastika next to the article for those readers unsure of exactly what the students were worshipping.

I'm sure Watercare and Partridge Jewellers are delighted with the juxtaposition. In a different delicious, picture-related irony, the same media who lambasted the children for putting pictures of their depraved acts on the internet have responded by... putting pictures of the depraved acts on the internet.

Meanwhile, Your Views is concerned with what this means for the education system. Are our children not learning their history? Probably not, but what that has to do with this case I am unsure. Do people really think this is the first time anyone has made a joke or 'prank' about the Nazis? I'm pretty sure the first post-war Nazi 'pranks' were made in 1945. Get a grip, people. And the Herald is far from the beacon of progressive light that it seems to think it is. Which do you think would have entertained Hitler more: some idiot kids who know nothing about him, or this cartoon?

Anyway, everything will be fine. Let me know when the media is over lynching a group of kids. I'll be in the bar.


  1. They're not really children are they? I mean they're in their late teens.

    I'm personally more annoyed with all the 'boys will be boys'/'they're just kids' bullshit.

    God forbid they realise that in life there are occasionally consequences for your stupid actions.

    Do we really need to cry a river over these kids? They had to apologise - big deal. How is making them apologise 'lynching' them?

  2. In saying that - every news website has gone completely over the top with their coverage. The idiots have said sorry so leave it at that. And you're spot on about re-publishing the facebook photos. That is just overwhelmingly retarded.

  3. God, it's so bloody predictable.

    Yeah, totally predictable. The only reason they did it (I assume) is cos they ran the risk of being caught and getting in trouble. Just like smoking at lunchtime or bringing Vodka to the school ball, for the kids at least it had nothing to do with Nazis or the holocaust.

    It's an excellent excuse to run a full-colour swastika in the paper though.

  4. That cartoon... am I getting it? Is it actually subversive and ironic? Because it from here it really seems like blatant racism.

  5. I haven't actually seen their ages printed anywhere, so I assume that at the time (early this year) they were somewhere between 13 and 17. Not old enough to vote, certainly.

  6. Nazi should begin with a capital N.

    That is all.

  7. Clefable for sure.

  8. A conservative is someone who holds conservative beliefs. A Conservative is someone who, say, votes for the Conservative Party.

    A nazi is someone who holds 'nazi' beliefs. A Nazi is a member of some ridiculous Nazi organisation.

    That's the way I see it. The only thing more ridiculous than calling these kids 'nazis' is calling them 'Nazis'.

  9. so what do you have to say about this treatment, oh wise one?


  10. Haha, the Telegraph.

    Priceless overseas coverage.

  11. whose crime, after all, was to get caught

    I think their real crime was not knowing which one of mankind's thousands of historical atrocities you're not allowed to make fun of.

    Isn't NZ great though? Grammar boys do something wrong or a white kid goes missing and the whole country shuts down. Sure beats having real problems.

  12. To be fair, the incident probably justified a (minor) story. I suspect a lot of people found the actions of the students grossly offensive, rather than just dumb. So it was fair to report the incident.

    If only they had stopped there. How does TV3 justify having this as its lead story? Weren't the referendum or the ACC carve up big enough stories for them?

  13. Monk De Wally De HonkOctober 20, 2009 at 9:51 PM

    I've got Jewish heritage - not a practising Jew you understand but half my relatives wiped out in Europe thanks to the soldiers of the Third Reich only following orders. I took one look at this, thought 'prats' and carried on on my merry way.

    There's a fixation with Nazi Germany. It's easy copy because it's so black and white Good versus Evil stuff. Now Mel Brooks was fantastic in sending it up, ridiculing a very dark time for the world. Comedy is strength.

    But these boys were just being stupid. The end.

  14. Everyone went to high school. Perhaps it's some residual "grammar-bashing". Tall poppy syndrome etc.

    Probably not, but just a thought.

  15. Don't you have to be a tall poppy to be a victim of tall poppy syndrome?

  16. When I saw the image of the kid saluting while wearing the finger moustache, I instantly thought to myself not to mention the war. I did mention it once, but I think I got away with it. Anyway, that's two egg mayonnaise, a prawn Goebbels, a Hermann Goering, and four Colditz salads.

    Another spectacular headline by the way.