Not All Of What Follows Is True

A recurring journal of mixed veracity.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Unhelig & The Nazi Playwrite

If the internet is envisaged as an empty room, Tangency’s art has always been to start fights in that room. In this spirit, I bring you Unhelig & The Nazi Playwrite. Unhelig had been using the signature

"Whenever I hear the word 'culture', I reach for my pistol" -HH

For several weeks. Whymme brought this to Tangency’s attention, noting that the quote is generally attributed to Herman Goering, but actually comes from the playwrite Hans Josst.

Predictably, the snark began as early as posts 2 and 3:

Originally Posted by B. Miller
The logic of your offense escapes me. Proceed.

Originally Posted by Whymme
The logic of your reply escapes me.

Several other posters expressed puzzlement, SteveD summing things up nicely:

Originally Posted by SteveD
The source alone does not completely characterise the quote. Or indeed, any quote. Just cos Goering said "I'd like a cup of tea" does not making liking a cup of tea fascist.

With post 7, however, the terminal decline began:

Originally Posted by Whymme
Not exactly upset, it's just that I'm not really a fan of skinheaded boys who quote nazi leaders.

After this, everyone knew that This Would Not Go Well. The debate rapidly cented on two key questions:

1) The politics of hair.
2) The use of quotes.

This was further livened up by Unhelig's inevitable, punchy entry into the thread:

Originally Posted by unheilig
what if i'm a nazi?
its not against forum rules to be a nazi. its skirting dangerously close to breaking forum rules, however, to try to oppress my right to be a nazi.
now usually, i rotate my sig file anytime i hear a new quote that attracts my fancy. your spaz attack sure is making the idea of keeping this one more attractive.

Page 3 saw tactical repositionings by all sides. Whymme retracted any statement implying that skinheads are also Nazis. Unhelig contextualised his use of the quote thus:

Originally Posted by unheilig
its meant to be taken out of context, and addresses how many tangentials use the word "culture", in terms of highbrow entertainment.

Page 4 saw the ususal futile attempts to stop the whole thing, both through humour:

Originally Posted by Mantodea
Hope I don’t get in trouble for using the infamous Dr. Chromedome quote in my sig. Whereas I am pretty sure he isn’t a Nazi, he is bald, and german(ish).

And advising both sides to "cool down". Both efforts were ignored, although the suggestion that Satanic Nazi Cultists were fine as long as they didn't drink Kool-Aid was providing a distraction.

Following this all sides engaged in a cold war of provocation, by the use of as many provocative historical/political/religious statements as they could without actually breaking any rules. By post 82, a sense of the absurdity of it all was setting in:

Originally Posted by Fortinbras
Between this and the "High Schools ban Playing Cards" thread, we have had a flame war over someone's sig and a flame war over the morality of Tokezo's college (the one he went to, not the one he teaches at) banning cards from public areas of the college years ago.

Tangency's in rare form today.

After this, things became strangely dull, with people seemingly attempting to engage in some form of debate, although sporadic fire from the Kool-Aidistas kept everyone on their toes.

Tangency being Tangency, music lyrics were bound to crop up eventually, and, in post 113, they finally did, with the poster questioning whether the lyrics to Pere Ubu's "Final Solution" made them Nazis.

No-one thinks they are.

Amazingly, it takes until post 132 for someone to note that the thread was subject to Godwin's Law in the very first post. Perhaps calmed by this news, the thread once again resumed it's discussion of quotes, their context, Kool-Aid, how context affects meaning, Volkswagens, and whether DjtHeutii was actually a rat-person or not.

By post 214 a sense of disorientation with which the author can fully identify was setting in:

Originally Posted by Luthiel
Why is this thread so long?

Some 40 posts further on, a minor spat as to whether Unhelig is an artist produces this pithy repost:

Originally Posted by Andrew
When you 'assume,' you make a 'fucking moron' out of 'U.'

By post 253 Unhelig has changed his quote to one by Josef Stalin. The lack of protest at this produces glee in him.

Oddly, this finally derails the thread, with discussion now centering on whether there was a Staliniferous period in which mustachiod Dinosaurs ruled the Earth. In this final dying of the embers, which continues with the "what is an artist" discussion, the phrase "Vigerously Alive" crops up, for no particular reason. Finally, after 31 pages and 302 posts, the thread is abandoned, probably due to general exhaustion.

The room is empty again.


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