Thursday, May 26, 2016

The looming dark clouds ...

There are somethings that I would way prefer that I did not ever know.  But, the cosmos couldn't care.

It was a pleasant evening when the friend and I walked up to the bridge over the river.  Spring time in the valley is simply beautiful.  But, then so is the summer.  And the fall too.  Anyway, it was a pleasant evening.  We stood looking at the river.  It just flows. Couldn't care for anything as it rushes to join the mighty ocean.

Which is when I spotted it.  A Nazi swastika etched on the bench.  Not very big.  Small or large, well, it is awful.  And, even stranger were the numbers that were fainter.  "1488."  1488?  What did that mean?

I checked with Google.  It led me to the Anti-Defamation League website:
1488 is a combination of two popular white supremacist numeric symbols. The first symbol is 14, which is shorthand for the "14 Words" slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." The second is 88, which stands for "Heil Hitler" (H being the 8th letter of the alphabet). Together, the numbers form a general endorsement of white supremacy and its beliefs. As such, they are ubiquitous within the white supremacist movement
I did not need to know that.  Damn the person who had etched that on the bench!

The ADL adds this:
Some white supremacists will even price racist merchandise, such as t-shirts or compact discs, for $14.88.
How sick is that!

This graffiti is recent, I would think, because that is a spot that I frequent and I am usually observant of the places and people in my life.  My mind wants to jump to conclusions that it might have been after the visit of the hate-spewing fascist candidate for the White House; but, I have no evidence, of course.

A tad too unnerving given that only a couple of days earlier we had watched "Look Who's Back" (the  German title is "Er Ist Wieder Da")
Before shooting the dramatic film, [the director, David Wnednt] took the actor who plays Hitler all over Germany, dressed as Hitler and in character, to find out. The result is a mockumentary that makes you laugh and then it makes you feel uncomfortable that you're laughing. 
People knew that it was an actor.  Yet:
Oliver Masucci, the actor who plays Hitler, spent nearly a year traveling around Germany completely in character. He said it was a disturbing experience.
"The first thing they did was take selfies. I took about 25,0000 selfies. First [people] laughed and asked why I was dressed as Hitler," Masucci said.
He explained that he was Hitler and told them he was shooting a movie so people could tell him what they really think about today's Germany. "Then people started to talk to me. This was really awful."
Masucci says Germans told him they thought democracy wasn't working, that Germany needed another strongman, that refugees should be sent home and the unemployed should be put in labor camps.
Democracy not working. Needs a strongman. Refugees should be sent home. Sounds familiar as the hate-spewing fascist candidate's platform as well?

Meanwhile, this Slate essay argues that Trump is "the most prominent Aryan warrior of the modern age":
Trump’s vulgar, unvarnished manner of speaking and his penchant for favoring extreme measures—the very characteristics deemed unpresidential and dangerous by his critics—are seen as not only refreshing but also as essential for the rebirth of the Aryan nation-state. When Trump calls Hispanic immigrants “criminals, drug dealers, rapists,” and vows to “take our country back” from those “taking our jobs” and “taking our money,” white nationalists hear Trump telling the same uncomfortable truths about the sorry state of white society they have voiced for decades. Every time he eggs followers on to forcefully confront detractors or swears to “take out the families” of terrorists, he projects a muscular approach to protecting the white republic. 
Back to the Hitler movie; the director, David Wnednt, adds:
It was just normal people who elected [the Nazis], normal people who followed orders, and normal people who could've stopped him. And that didn't happen
It starts with a swastika and 1488 etched on a bench on a bridge over a river :(  Here is to hoping that we will end it all before it even takes hold.


Ramesh said...


Yes indeed, it was normal people who voted in Hitler.

Sriram Khé said...

I have sent the photos across to the city government folks. I hope they will clean it up at the earliest.
Trump bullying and humiliating the people he defeats is really, really scary. Which is also why Paul Ryan standing up to Trump and not endorsing him is pretty amazing. Let us see how Ryan finally decides about the fascist.

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