Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oh God, he's doing jokes again

Martin Jacques: "you know, Europe hasn't exactly always covered itself in glory in these things over the last 200 years". [emphasis added - bb]

David Aaronovitch: "well, it's hardly as if the Catholic Church has tried to censor literature! The Catholic Church! Censoring free expression! The very idea! This is the very essence of comedy!"

World: "what the fuck?"

I have always been told in the business world that the iron rule is that you don't slag off the competition because 1) what goes around comes around, 2) it makes you look insecure 3) it gives them free publicity. Either Aaro never got the message, or in his heart he's still at the Grauniad. Either way, the message of this column is quite simåply mocking poor ignorant people in the third world for being poor and ignorant, and that to be frank is what we call "racism" when Richard Littlejohn does it.


Anonymous Backword Dave said...

World: "what the fuck?"
Oh god no. Have you seen the comments on his blog?

At least someone has pointed out that Angela Merkel is a Lutheran Protestant and as such, unlikely to call for the destruction of *Holland*.
Calling on the Italian authorities to order an immediate, independent investigation into the violent suppression of an apparently peaceful demonstration by Seventh Day Adventists in Naples on February 13, 2005. Hundreds of demonstrators, including women and children, were injured when police and armed militia from the Catholic Enforcement League broke up the protest, apparently using excessive force, and as many as 1,200 protesters are believed to have been arrested. A year later 200 of those detained are still being held without trial.

Oh, DA has heard of Italian Fascism and German Nazism, hasn't he? People did disappear in both countries, and, just about, within living memory.
First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
For fuck's sake.

2/21/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

It's absolutely appalling.

He seems to have a blind spot about certain parts of history when he fancies a joke. This was first seen in his piece about Saddam's trial, in which we were meant to find the idea of Hitler being on trial, and various parties criticising various aspects of it, as so fanciful as to be hilarious. Yet of course there were trials of leading Nazis, and there was, and is, a debate about to what extent they those trials were a good idea, and how well they were carried out.

But this piece is worse. As BB says we are meant to be in stitches at the idea that the Catholic Church might censor literature and suppress dissent, sometimes violently. Yet of course this is part of the history of the Catholic Church, and indeed in soem places part of its present.

Worse though, as BD mentions, we are meant to find it hilarious that the German government would ever call conferences to "investigate" races and religions, could ever threaten and bully its smaller neighbours, and could ever attempt to build weapons of mass destruction and threaten their use (or try to get a religious backing for it, in Munich!). Or censor things, apparently.

Or is this some amazingly clever parody of that kind of parody?

2/21/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

This article


explains that many Rwandans are turning to Islam because Muslims helped hide potential victims of genocide whilst the local representative of the Catholic Church were implicated in it.

2/21/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Would it be terribly racist of me to say that commenter 'Nick (South Africa)' displays attitudes not historically uncommon among South African whites?

2/21/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Latest decent campaign prediction, defend David Irving.

2/21/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

This is pathetic. Aaronovitch is morphing into the decent left's answer to Robert Kilroy-Silk. Note the number of right-wing Islamophobic types on his comments box delighted at how Aaronovitch will not allow himself to be silenced by accusations of 'racism' by the 'politically correct'. Ironic considering how Aaronovitch has in recent years accused leftists of using 'anti-zionism' to hide anti-semetic prejudice. Aaronovitch is worse than the right-wing commentators like Littlejohn, Kilroy and Philips in the sense that at least they have the guts to often just say what they mean as opposed to hiding behind 'satire'. Next thing Aaronovitch will be
giving 'culture wars' speeches at the Labour Party Conference like a British Pat Buchanan.

2/22/2006 01:00:00 AM  
Anonymous little keithy said...

Normally I would have laughed at what I have posted below. Pagans being victimised by Catholic spells (part of me still laughs). But After reading Dave A's latest attempt at humour, I wonder if "Catholics" were replaced by "Muslims" then wouldn't we have heard more about it than just a letter in a west country newspaper?


I am writing in regard to the disrespect a certain faith had for Glastonbury town on the weekend of October 29 and 30. There was a Halloween Holistic fair in the town hall, which with its stalls, workshops and lectures cover a very wide spectrum of the spiritual field. I gave two lectures there on the Saturday and Sunday.
On this same weekend there was a Catholic convention going on all round the town, but largely gathered at the Mary Magdalene Church, in Magdalene Street, I feel it is good that there are opportunities for every belief and religion to exercise its space within the Glastonbury community.
But I was more than shocked and surprised to learn of the disrespect showed by certain groups of people from the Catholic convention, not just the disrespect for others faiths and belief systems but a general total disrespect for Glastonbury itself.
How can large proportions of Catholics feel it is their right to wander round within the town and enter shops throwing crosses around?
Not only that but they were standing outside shops in large numbers singing hymns and intimidating people going about their everyday business.
I fully acknowledge that people have the right to their opinions but to do it in the way they did I feel is totally unacceptable.
You do not find New Age and other belief systems picketing the catholic church on a Sunday nor do you see people entering their church and throwing symbolism around.

2/22/2006 02:17:00 AM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

Ironic considering how Aaronovitch has in recent years accused leftists of using 'anti-zionism' to hide anti-semetic prejudice.

to be fair to Aaro he hasn't really done much of this; the Gilad Atzmon piece last year is the only one I can think of.

2/22/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Bckword Dave said...

Dennis the Peasant (who believes in TWAT):
Does anyone want to argue that a collective lack of knowledge of, and a persistent misunderstanding of, of the religion, culture, politics and history of the Middle East didn't play a huge part in facilitating the success of al-Qaeda on September 11? And if our ignorance of the peoples, religion, history and politics played into the hands of Osama bin Laden and his followers, just how do the actions of "thought leading, tipping point" bloggers like Charles Johnson and columnists like Ann Coulter help to rectify that situation? How does the mocking of the faith of over a billion souls serve our interests in winning the War on Terror? How does the dehumanization of those same billion souls make us stronger - either materially or morally - in the fight against al Qaeda?

2/22/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger fatbongo said...

saffa Nick's argument:

As to the inevitable charge of Islamophobia - meaning 'an irrational fear of Islam'. Given recent events over some completely innocuous cartoons and the Global Islamic insurrection going on - pray tell, what's 'irrational' about harbouring a fear of this imperialist, intolerant, totalitarian political movement that DEMANDS submission (well it means submission)? No, the word Islamophobe is an oxymoron.

is an entire world away from Gilad Atzmon

there is no anti-Semitism any more. In the devastating reality created by the Jewish state, anti-Semitism has been
replaced by political reaction....If Israel is the state of the Jewish people and the Jewish people
themselves do not stand up collectively against the crimes that are committed on their behalf, then every Jewish person, Jewish symbol and Jewish object becomes an Israeli interest and a potential terrorist target. It is up to the Jewish people to take a stand against their Jewish state and to disassociate themselves from their zealous national movement.

2/22/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

"to be fair to Aaro he hasn't really done much of this; the Gilad Atzmon piece last year is the only one I can think of."

I was more thinking of the stuff he was writing around 2003. He wrote an article in the Guardian implying that anti-semetism was widespread on the left and smeared a left-wing website because of a couple of posts by two individuals (one of whom plainly wasnt anti-semetic) on the message board. He implied the administrators themselves were probably anti-semetic because they hadn't deleted the posts or 'shut the message board down' as he thought they should have done. He then warned leftists not to try and hide their prejudice behind terms like 'anti-zionism'. Further, on a Newsnight debate he bizarrely suggested that 'neo-conservative' was a leftist code-word for Jewish. I just find it ironic that a few years later Aaronovitch is allowing all manner of Islamophobes to post on his message board, without any hint of protest, while being held up as a hero for not allowing accusations of racism from the 'politically correct' to silence him.

2/22/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

are you sure it's not Nick that you're thinking of? Aaro has done a few articles about his regular run-ins with the MediaLens crowd but as I remember it NC is much freer with his accusations of anti-semitism.

2/22/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

I'm finding this, but it's got quite a light touch and I'm not finding much more

2/22/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

He wrote an article in the Guardian implying that anti-semetism was widespread on the left and smeared a left-wing website because of a couple of posts by two individuals (one of whom plainly wasnt anti-semetic) on the message board.

Could this be a garbled recollection of this piece by Cohen (see in particular the passage making the false claim that "the Guardian ran a web debate entitled: “David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen are enough to make a good man anti-Semitic”").

2/22/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

... and he called Neil Clark an anti-semite here, possibly gratuitously or possibly not.

2/22/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

No, I was thinking about the Aaronovich article BB has posted a link to, nothing to do with Nick Cohen. I was perhaps wrong to say that Aaronovitch had implied that the admin were anti-semites, but he clearly intended to smear the site as at least tolerating if not promoting anti-semetism. The stuff about him rather absurdly demanding the message-board closed down comes not from the article but from an e-mail exchange with the site's admin which is probably still up on their site or on ZNET. The Newsnight thing was a debate, probably in late 2003, when some journalist, someone from the New Statesman I think, mentioned 'neo-conservatives' and Aaronovitch cut in and said something like "Of course, that mean Jewish dosent it?". I don't think he has written much on the subject since.

Incidentally, some of the message board posts Aaronovitch refered to were anti-semetic. One guy on there was posting about next to nothing but Israel, on how Jews were secretly dominating Western governments and about how he suspected the Protocols might be genuine. However, the other guy he mentioned had posted something about how he believed high-ranking Zionists in Israel exploited the memory of Jewish suffering and the Holocaust and he made a statement that they were the 'supposed victims of prejudice', obviously refering specifically to those individuals as was obvious from the full post, but Aaronovitch selectively quoted him in the Guardian to leave the reader with the impression that the poster was refering to Jews in general as only the 'supposed victims of prejudice' and named the poster in print. Aaronovitch denied this to the administrators, saying he could 'happily have quoted the full paragraph', which was blatantly false. If he's consistant, judging by this Aaronovitch must consider Norman Finkelstein to be a anti-semite. At the time, it was suspected that Aaronovitch had been motivated by the number of attacks and detailed critiques of his work the admin had been making. For a long while after, he insisted on mentioning anti-semitism in every piece of correspondence with the admin, such as beginning e-mails with "How are things going with the anti-semites?" or ending them with "PS good luck with the a-semites!" and so on. Bearing all this in mind, I just thought it was kind of hypocritical of him to not only write this article but then to happily tolerate any number of Islamophobic posters on his own message board and neither challenge them nor delete their posts.

2/22/2006 04:57:00 PM  

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