I'm floating in general happiness this evening. Simon, who just arrived here in Iqaluit from St. John's, brought Timbits for myself and Cathy. Better still, chocolate Timbits. So I just spent a nice two hours watching Monty Python's Personal Best while munching on Timbits. Life is good.
Oh, for those of you here looking for smut (and my goodness, the numbers are growing), it's a little further down.
And now, for something a little more serious. I read this interesting article regarding David Irving. For those who don't know, he's a historian and a prominent Holocaust denier. Alas, in 1989 he made a speech denying the holocaust while in Austria, which has laws against that kind of thing. He's since repented and now says he believes it happened.
Too little, too late, it seems as he's now going to jail for three years.
Do I think Irving is an idiot? Yup. Do I think his views are detestable? Yup. Do I wish I had a bowel disrupter (go read Transmetropolitan) so that I could set it on Anal Krakatoa and hit him with it repeatedly? Absolutely.
Sadly, he does have the right to say it without going to jail. I really do believe that. Just like Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper had the right to run those cartoons. From all accounts the paper is a piece of garbage that rags on ethnic groups. But you know, freedom of speech means even those views that are reprehensible. It means defending those views when you would just as soon beat them for it. It's a bitch having to do this, but you know, no one said freedom of speech was going to be easy.
The sad thing about the Irving decision is that some Muslims in Europe are asking, rightly, why there is a double standard. That when a newspaper mocks Islam and make defamatory remarks about their prophet, they're told to be reasonable, but when someone denies a horrific event in the lives of many Jews, he goes to jail.
You know, I wish I was back home at the Duke with my friends. This would be a fun debate to have over a pint.
One more word on this, from the always entertaining Warren Ellis. I tend to agree with him when he said, "My take is simply this: is it right that he go to prison for this? No. Is it FUNNY that he go to prison for this? YES."
Because really, he's a Nazi. Or one stepped removed from them. They're about the least sympathetic group of people left in the world.