Rio Carnival float depicting Holocaust banned

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117 Responses to “Rio Carnival float depicting Holocaust banned”

  1. Jack says:

    @ #89 POSTED BY BBSSH , FEBRUARY 1, 2008 11:22 AM
    I’m sorry I went back to my Hiroshima and Nagasaki comments and reaffirmed what I said here again. I’m going to repost this comment again because I don’t want to hear you—or anyone—twisting my words into fodder in a straw man debate. Also because I accidentally didn’t italicize the full quote so it might read oddly. Here it is again and it comes from here.

    Something as destructive and powerful as the atomic bomb was needed to just end things once and for all. What was the alternative people wring their hands over? A prolonged ground assault? A protracted war that drains us more?

    Heck, I think the fire bombing of Tokyo was immoral because when it was done there was no good reason and the war wasn’t going that bad at that point. Ditto with the internment of Japanese Americans; incredibly stupid.

    Maybe you need to actually read and understand what people write and say. I derive no joy from war, but sometimes acts of war are necessary.

    And please reread what I wrote above; here’s the “Cliff Notes” version to make it easier:
    1) All war is horrible.
    2) But Japan attacking the U.S. and the U.S. fighting back against a nation that has declared war is justified.
    3) Nazi Germany declaring a preemptive strike on Poland—the largest Jewish nation at the time—by falsely claiming Poland would attack Germany was an act of murder and genocide since it laid the foundation for an extermination of people based on race/ethnicity. Nothing more, nothing less.

    You know what else is genocide? “Ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia. Mass murders under Stalin in the Soviet Union. Rwandan genocide. The murders in the Darfur region of the Sudan.

    An act of war during a war is… war.

    Completely different.

  2. OM says:

    …Ok, if they want to be macabre about it, keep the basic layout, dress the manniquins in tropical attire, and recreate Jonestown.

  3. Antinous says:

    T,

    Welcome home. We missed you.

  4. h3llc4t says:

    According to Reuters, the theme is “Shockers”, rather than “It Gives You Goosebumps”: http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSN2955554720080129?feedType=RSS&6=7&feedName=worldNews&sp=true&rpc=92

  5. Jack says:

    The problem with the “satire” or “irony” defense for stuff like this is it’s an excuse for the behavior rather than a true analysis. I see it as the art/entertainment version of saying “But he’s a good guy…” about an abusive boyfriend/father. It’s basically a societal excuse to attempt to make bad behavior seem a bit more palapable.

    The reality is that good art/entertainment can touch on horrific topics, but approach it at an angle that truly criticizes the issue while still highlighting it. What good art/entertainment does is get at the core of issues and they “dress itself” in other superficialities connected with those issues to criticize things.

    Bad entertainment/art never gets past the superficialities and just uses “shock” as an excuse to “stimulate discussion”.

    Long way of saying this is unbelievable and makes me wonder what is it about South America’s culture that helps hide war criminals and somehow “inspires” so-called artists to create crap like this.

  6. Takuan says:

    Do you stand by this remark then?

    “Long way of saying this is unbelievable and makes me wonder what is it about South America’s culture that helps hide war criminals and somehow “inspires” so-called artists to create crap like this”.

  7. Antinous says:

    From BBC online:

    The Holocaust float would have shown a pile of mannequins and have had no people dancing or singing alongside it. Viradouro’s creative director, Paulo Barros, said the float was a “very respectful” reminder of the Holocaust and a reminder that such an atrocity should never be repeated. “This an extremely serious work, and people think we’re mocking,” said Mr Barros, who was in tears as his team started dismantling the float.

    From the same article:

    They often pick social issues as a theme for their floats or costumes and this is not the first time it has attracted controversy. At the 1989 carnival, another samba school had to cover up a float which portrayed Rio’s statue of Christ the Redeemer as a homeless person.

  8. bbssh says:

    @ Elnico

    As Jack has clearly demonstrated, people are free to write whatever misinformed opinions they’d like about the mass killing of Japanese people no matter how offensive their point might be to others.

    Why should the Holocaust be treated any differently?

    Or do you think Jack should be banned from writing a history book on Hiroshima as well?

    If so …..

    Who do you think we should put in charge of determining the ‘truth’?

    Who do you think the gatekeepers should be that get to decide our ‘history’?

    Who gets to decide what can only be talked about in pubs but not written about in books?

  9. anthropomorphictoast says:

    Bizarre. O_o

  10. Antinous says:

    The problem with the “satire” or “irony” defense for stuff like this is it’s an excuse for the behavior rather than a true analysis.

    What do you think about terrorist Mohammed cartoons?

  11. cyberscythe says:

    “$28,000 for each dancer dressed as Hitler”

    That’s bizarre taken out of context.

  12. Takuan says:

    what is the spirit of Carnival? What is the purpose of the samba? Has there ever been a samba school float depicting the Conquest and the butchery wrought on the Indians by the coming of the Spanish and the church?

    I understand dancing when they are exterminating you.

  13. Jamie Sue says:

    Censorships IS evil but…
    Showing photos of plauge victims on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood is STILL innapropriate…

    Regardless of the RIGHT to speak freely it is still within reason to determine that a particular float does not fit the overall theme of an event. Just as certain subject matter, though historically accurate, is not appropriate for children’s television.

    Or, forget children’s programming. How about a video of an open heart surgery playing at a mall food court? It’s educational and serves the point to inform the public about the dangers of poor diet… but it’s still not appropriate for the venu.

  14. Jack says:

    @ #38 POSTED BY BBSSH , JANUARY 31, 2008 7:04 PM
    Jack .. The word ‘anti-semite’ is used by racists like you as a weapon. You throw it around to silence people, to stop discussions, to scare people off.

    I’m a racist when I call someone else an anti-Semite? I don’t even know the races of anyone posting here or ethnicity or anything.

    But I’m glad I was able to stop your ability to talk and express yourself! I hope your keyboard recovers and you are able to express opinions afterwards… Wait… You DID!

    Look, you when you bitch/moan about the Holocaust being held to some unnatural degree and then make unfounded claims of others speaking ill about other atrocities, you’ve dug your own straw man grave. The reality is that other genocides are talked about all the time and respected. I’ve never met one person who spoke lightly about Stalin’s “labor camps” or the Gulag’s. Provide some proof and your claim of me being a “racist” might hold some water.

    But I’m not going to deny my right to call an anti-Semite an anti-Semite. Instead of complaining about how others “keep you down” and philosophical canards, how about you discuss real issues with real facts.

  15. Parn says:

    @#61: Takuan, I am a Brazilian. I don’t claim to be the voice of all Brazilians, but I think I can shed some relative light into this subject. There are no written norms about previous discussion/consultation in such matters. But it seems Brazilian society in general isn’t very tolerant about the religious variety of hate crime. Religious hate crime *can* be very harshly punished, including with jailtime in addition to banning the float. The Christ float was a big deal at the time, but it seemed to be forgotten not much time after Carnival. However, it probably resurfaced now.

    There are some people who think Brazil is a backwards country without free speech. This is untrue. Although there are many problems with basic freedoms here, free speech is a right granted by our Constitution, with the limits you usually see: slandering, for example, isn’t protected by free speech. I won’t tire you with the details, but there is a lot of freedom to badmouth politicians, for example. =P

    For the sake of full disclosure, I must say that, personally, I believe Viradouro just wanted to make something shocking for shock’s sake and not much more. It would be pretty much in line with what they did and tried to do in past years’ parades.

  16. zikzak says:

    “Bad entertainment/art never gets past the superficialities and just uses “shock” as an excuse to “stimulate discussion”.”

    Ok, so it’s bad art. That’s a fair allegation to make, but you seem to be implying that because it’s bad art, it somehow has less of a right to exist or be displayed in public. Like bad art is somehow /wrong/.

    First off, that’s messed up. Secondly, I think you should always allow for the possibility that it’s not bad, you just don’t fully appreciate it. If you don’t grasp the deeper meaning of a piece of art, it’s easy to conclude that it must just exist to be offensive and piss you off.

    That’s exactly what religious fundamentalists think about most contemporary art.

  17. Takuan says:

    Jack: what do you think was the intent of the float builders?

  18. ill lich says:

    “. . . the clear banalization of barbaric events.”

    Isn’t that what the modern world is all about? (Been to a horror movie lately?)

  19. Jack says:

    @ #43 POSTED BY TAKUAN , JANUARY 31, 2008 8:53 PM
    Jack: what do you think was the intent of the float builders?
    The intent of another is a question I cannot answer, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so I leave that self-justification to your logic.

    I do know many “hack” artists who use shock instead of talent to get a message across—please reread my post #9 above—and in my opinion artists who touch on heavy topics with no grace or talent deserve the backlash they get.

  20. Jack says:

    @ #91 POSTED BY TAKUAN , FEBRUARY 1, 2008 11:55 AM
    TAKUAN, you pattern of commenting and questioning is very loaded and filled with false premises and flame-baits. I have no idea why you are creating the false construct of me somehow NOT standing by something I said previously.

    It’s a ludicrous question that barely deserves this acknowledgement: If I didn’t agree with what I wrote I would not have written it.

  21. mistervega says:

    they could just enter a disney float and it would be just as close.

  22. Kid says:

    The topic works on a few levels:

    1. Bad Art?: I agree with #14 the most. Whether the art is in ‘bad taste’ or not does not subject to censorship, since evoking disgust or depression can certainly be a form of art. And the fact that one does not understand the deeper meaning of the a piece does not equate the art to be bad. But of course, whether the message is clear or effective is a different question. In fact, by reading the judge’s statement, it seems she wants the art in the carnival to be in bad taste, i.e. the ‘lesson’ portrayed in the float needs to be as clear as a propaganda (and politically correct).

    It is hard to define good or bad art, and there is a very fine line between the two. Nevertheless, the art being bad does not equate a ban.

    In terms of craftsmanship, the float seems very well made from what I can see in the photo. All the gore is clearly depicted.

    2. Contextual?: Some said that the float is to macabre for the parade comparing the rest, so that it is inappropriate. This is easily false because all art is contextual no matter what, as even antagonism is a form of context and juxtaposition.

    And as #24 had mentioned, their parade is not exact like the ones in America, which portrays politically-neutral subjects and commercial products. It seems quite contextual, as massacres are similar to slavery in terms of expressing the evils of our society. Either way, contextualism does not equal a ban.

    3. Racism? Hate crime?: It’s hard to tell if the piece is really made against a certain race, unless the artist himself admits it, or at least had a record of doing such. Simply because an art is made to re-enact a historical event does not necessarily mean the artist agrees with a particular party in that event.

    (Personal note: When I first saw “Miss Saigon”, I found the portrayal of the characters pretty racist, but nevertheless it gives me another point of view to understand the event, and besides, who cares in America is some Chinese or Vietnamese newspaper wrote a sensationalist article about the hypocrisy.)

    I am trying to think about the topic from my own perspective. For Chinese, the Nanjing massacre is a big deal (as #35 said). But no matter it were to be re-enacted by Chinese, Japanese or any other race, the only thing that matters seem to be whether or not the artist is glorifying the killing or the evil. While people who are easily offended would dismiss any re-enactment as evil, it seems the ultimate answer is still to ask the artist, in which the news report hardly touches on.

    4. Censorship?: It seems that the judge’s statement of the carnival “should not be used as a tool for the cult of hate” is hypocritical, as I looked at the slideshow on MSNBC and saw President Bush placed inside a bird cage. I guess it’s like Amazon.com, in the way that things would not change unless somebody complains about it.

    I’d like to read about what determined the float to be a tool for the cult of hate. While I agree that hate crime should be banned, it is also very easy for one to manipulate the law to get anything banned just because a subject is controversial. A lot of other ways can be used to express such angst, and there were a lot of good examples, from boycotting Abercrombie racist t-shirts to burning Marilyn Manson CDs. Using a legal ban to prevent others from expression is an overkill.

    Anyway, I like the discussions going on in this thread here so far.

  23. Antinous says:

    Jack,

    Both Takuan and I have asked you direct, non-hostile, relevant questions and you’ve kind of screamed at both of us. We’re not attacking you.

  24. Takuan says:

    “what is it about South America’s culture that helps hide war criminals ” just strikes me as somewhat prejudiced.

    Who owns the Holocaust?

  25. Parababelico says:

    I thought I could give a bit of general context.

    Carnival parades in Rio are a complex matter. Each samba school comes up with a topic and tells a story following a non-linear plot. Each float and group of dancers is supposed to be a chapter of that story, much like Medieval street theatre. Paradoxical images are created in the process: scenes of tortures and massacres are represented by people dancing, just because everything is represented by people dancing. For example, many times events in the history of slavery in Brazil were represented that way — since samba schools are essencially black culture, telling the history of slavery was a “natural” topic.

    Samba schools are then judged in several categories (a bit like the Oscars): music, art direction, plot, etc, and then one is granted the prize of best school that year.

    Since the 80s, samba schools don’t shy away from controversial, “dark” themes. Violence, poverty, injustice, villains of all kids are always clad in bright, colourful costumes. They always dance — not dancing is not even allowed by the rules.

    I know nothing about the specifics of this case, though.

  26. Jack says:

    @ #47 POSTED BY ANTINOUS , JANUARY 31, 2008 9:16 PM
    Both Takuan and I have asked you direct, non-hostile, relevant questions and you’ve kind of screamed at both of us. We’re not attacking you.

    And the straw man in this case is the claim I did not “answer” your question by providing you with a debate based on a false premise. I have not yelled at you or anyone and I have answered the questions posed.

    If your preference in answer is that I follow your straw men down the road to a flame war, I’m not following that path. That’s true choice, and true freedom. So please look at yourselves before accusing anyone of anything.

  27. Takuan says:

    then they should be allowed to tell this important story the way they tell all stories.

  28. Takuan says:

    “The intent of another is a question I cannot answer, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so I leave that self-justification to your logic.”

    “The intent of another is a question I cannot answer” Agreed,neither can I. How about the benefit of the doubt? Or just asking them ? Presumed innocence? Assumption of simple error rather than malice? Will you consider it?

    “The road to hell etc.” just another proverb,sometimes true, sometimes not.

    “Self-justification” Whose? Mine? I have no axe to grind here. Theirs? I see no evidence.

    “your logic” I haven’t said enough for you to derive a pattern,much less “my logic”.

    Please reconsider, assume nothing.

  29. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Hi, guys. I missed you too. I’m looking despondently at messages 10-97ish, which I need to Deal With.

    Elnico, the other side of town looks a lot like Sebastopol, CA. It’s rainy, cold, and full of people who talk intensively about identity, social networks, moderation hacks, and alphabet soup.

  30. Registrado says:

    Time changes the perception of all things. Through several steps, Vlad the Impaler has morphed into Count Chocula. The future “evolution” of Hitler should make for several interesting centuries.

  31. dculberson says:

    “$28,000 for each dancer dressed as Hitler”

    That’s bizarre taken out of context.

    Totally off topic, but that reminds me of the recent changes to freeway construction zone signs. They say something along the lines of “Construction Zone – Fines Doubled – Injure/Kill Worker $3500.” And I can’t help but think .. is that all it costs? I immediately feel bad.

  32. Takuan says:

    Why waste your valuable time? Dump the whole thing in the grinder and we’ll get going on something else.

  33. bbssh says:

    Some of Jack’s comments in a previous thread on the atrocities in Hiroshima:

    … It’s not like the U.S. woke up one day and decided “Let’s kill random people!” There was a logic to it.

    Like it or not …World War II truly was a war in which none of us can judge what was done to end it. … if Hiroshima and Nagasaki never happened, it’s pretty clear the Japanese would not have stopped fighting in any way. Like it or not Hirohito was seen as an emperor and the structure of Japanese society did see him as an ruler above all others.

    Heck, he’s known as Hirohito outside of Japan partially as a way of “humanizing” him since referring to an emperor by a personal name is seen as an insult in Japan. And at that time, even with the war looking bleak for Japan, it was very clear they were not going out without a fight.

    Something as destructive and powerful as the atomic bomb was needed to just end things once and for all.

  34. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    An appealing thought. How about the other people who caught flak? Any of you guys object if I don’t go over this in detail?

  35. Wickedashtray says:

    Jack

    so you and another poster chastise me for what I originally wrote and then when I reply you state thats “all I’ve done” is post about how no one can post rationally about the Holocaust. Talk about twisting an argument. I’ve also read your responses to others. It’s quite sad.

    At first I made the assumption you were a halfway intelligent individual capable of rational debate but now I see you are simply a spoiled little brat who can’t accept people who disagree with your stance on ANYTHING.

    Sorry but I can’t stand up to a skull made of cinder block. You win my friend.

  36. Parn says:

    @80: Takuan, I believe his action was irresponsible and insensitive, but not criminal. Therefore, I think it seems appropriate to ban the float while not arresting the responsible for it. Anedoctally, I asked a few people about what happened and they seem to agree with me that although the float itself seemed in bad taste (albeit wonderfully done and a piece of art by itself), the final straw was the Hitler dancers. I don’t know what could be done to give the right context to the float and the dancers, but it seems that Viradouro didn’t even try and scrapped the float as some kind of a marketing play.

    If it was done only for shock’s sake, he’s at least mistaken and at worst acting in bad faith. But I agree that it may have been a honest mistake, I just don’t think it’s the case due to his past record.

  37. Antinous says:

    Through several steps, Vlad the Impaler has morphed into Count Chocula.

    That’s a great video waiting to happen.

  38. Jack says:

    @ #49 POSTED BY TAKUAN , JANUARY 31, 2008 9:45 PM
    How about the benefit of the doubt?

    As a child of Holocaust victims and someone involved in underground publication scenes and who is an art fan, I can tell you that “keeping an open mind” towards art that claims to “stimulate” discussion of horrific events but are really just hackneyed attempts to shock others is not worth my—or your—effort.

    If the art was profound enough to raise valid questions, none of this would be an issue of contention.

    And the other problem I have with your logic is the assumption that things are only bad if malice is connected to them. That’s patently ridiculous. Please, again reread what I wrote in comment #9. Specifically this:
    The problem with the “satire” or “irony” defense for stuff like this is it’s an excuse for the behavior rather than a true analysis. I see it as the art/entertainment version of saying “But he’s a good guy…” about an abusive boyfriend/father. It’s basically a societal excuse to attempt to make bad behavior seem a bit more palapable.

    On a most basic level, even the law of most any country doesn’t hinge on the concept of intent. It’s part of the reason judges and juries are faced with people constantly saying “I didn’t mean to do that…” Technically speaking, the whole globe would then “…never meant to do that…” But that’s not the issue.

    For example, a kid reads a Nazi comic book, sees a Swastika, think it looks cool and draws it on school tables. No evil intent, but that kid will be chastised and learn that that symbol is connected with great hate and therefore he inadvertently hurt others.

    In this case I’ll nibble a bit on your flame bait. The intent of the float—like any group endeavor—was to create something that makes an impact on others and perhaps wins a prize or accolades from others. While some are portraying this “Samba school” and the Carnival float as being some unique cultural thing most would never comprehend, it’s painfully simple. It’s a parade with groups that compete against each other and they make floats that touch social topics and supposedly “raise awareness”. Let me spell it out simpler (and repeat myself) the intent is simply to shock and hit viewers with a blunt object.

    So the question I have is this: If you believe the intent of this float is so innocuous and should not be taken seriously at all, why are you so intent on getting others to basically “apologized” for the float by denying our outrage? Why does it matter so much to you that others accept this horrid thing as a creation of a neutral entity? If you truly believe that this float is something people are making “much adoo about nothing” about, then why the desire to get others to change their views?

    I’ve actually never told anyone to change their views on this. If you like it, fine. I think you might have some Anti-semitism and racist hate in you. And if you think that’s a hard-line stance, maybe it is. But I actually do not deny you that thought.

    You—on the other hand—seem hellbent on having me change my views and feelings to suit your needs and weaknesses. Sorry, not going there.

    I’m comfortable with who I am and what my beliefs are. What about you?

  39. Antinous says:

    Don’t waste your time. It’s water under the bridge.

  40. Parn says:

    @#96: Takuan, I had the opportunity to talk with more people and changed my mind. Perhaps banning the float was overreacting by the judge. Thinking about it made me realize that nothing changed fundamentally, and if they had the chance to show the float the way it was, with dancers and everything, the ensuing discussion would be more productive and much more worthy than preserving some group’s sensibilities. It would be better if Viradouro used the float and dealt with the consequences and protests later, not before the parade. Banning the float stopped us from seeing it and judging it by ourselves.

    You see, there’s not that much awareness of the Holocaust, at least not as much as in European countries and in the USA, and despite the seemingly sensationalist intentions of Viradouro, at least this could have been a good opportunity to talk about this very important matter. Young people don’t know and don’t care much about anything related to the WWII – it seems like ancient stuff to them, something they usually only hear about in American blockbuster movies (like Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan and Pearl Harbour). And this is despite having Brazilians fighting the war against the fascists in the Italian front.

    I think you’re right about the Holocaust becoming taboo. If we don’t talk about it, it will be forgotten, even if we don’t have a message that will please everyone. A lot of sensitive (or shocking in a non-gratuitous way) stuff was already used as themes by samba schools in the past, and in the end it’s good that such things are remembered (although most people forget about them just a few days after the parade). Even shock may have value.

  41. Antinous says:

    Jack,

    Disagreeing with you does not equal flame bait. Your comments have been consistently hostile in tone. You’re accusing one of the most kind, compassionate people in the BB commentverse of anti-semitism and racist hate. Turn off the computer and go to bed.

  42. Takuan says:

    Ah, I think I have it:
    “If the art was profound enough”

    I submit your cultural experience does not include
    what is daily reality for a typical Brazilian. My opinion is that this art IS sufficiently “profound” to qualify as “real” art – at least where they live.

    Can you agree with this?

  43. Takuan says:

    Umm,I see. A final solution to the Japanese problem.

    @80; Parn; thank you for that information. In your opinion, just how great is Viradouro’s offence here?
    If he did it mainly to shock and without regard to the sensibilities of others,is he a criminal, a fool, just mistaken, what?

  44. Takuan says:

    thanks for that

  45. lolanose says:

    I find it disturbing that no one has yet to mention what this incident is really about: government censorship. Certainly I find the concept of dancing Hitlers on a mound of Holocaust victims reprehensible. What I find more disturbing is that a private group can complain to the government and get the government to ban the actions of other private citizens. This could not happen our country. This is a free speech issue, not a taste issue. Boingboing readers and editors seem to want it both ways: “for God’s sake don’t censor the Internet! But jeez, look at the ugly ideas coming out of Brazil. Ban them!” The judge wrote that the float was “a clear trivialization of barbaric events” — that’s true. That doesn’t mean the government should have the power to ban ideas.

  46. Takuan says:

    Hmm. And is everything now put right by what has happened? What is the typical Brazilians mental awareness of the Holocaust? Do young people know about it? It strikes me that perhaps Viradouro has done more for preserving the memory and message than he has actually done anyone harm.

    If the Holocaust becomes such a sacred cow and the exclusive preserve of a few, if any discussion of it is fraught with social peril – then it will be forgotten.

  47. Jack says:

    #53 POSTED BY ANTINOUS , JANUARY 31, 2008 10:31 PM
    Disagreeing with you does not equal flame bait. Your comments have been consistently hostile in tone. You’re accusing one of the most kind, compassionate people in the BB commentverse of anti-semitism and racist hate. Turn off the computer and go to bed.

    Patently ridiculous and more hostile than anything I posted. Especially this bit:
    You’re accusing one of the most kind, compassionate people in the BB commentverse of anti-semitism and racist hate.

    While I post comments on Boing Boing I don’t keep track of all commenters and make notes of who is naughty or nice. In fact if you see me commenting positively with a point I happen to agree with on another thread, don’t be shocked. Personal politics plays no roles in the comments I’ve made here.

    Based on the comments and excuses I am reading here, I feel confident in calling someone out for what I believe they are. And if that makes you feel uncomfortable, I’m sorry. But in the end the biggest controllers, censors and dictators of behavior here are people who are telling people who are outraged that they are wrong in their feelings and they must change.

    True freedom of speech is not just airing a contrary opinion, but allowing opposition to speak. I’ve never told you to stop thinking or posting your feelings and thoughts. Why then do you feel the need to truly bait others by explicitly telling them what to do?

    To bring this full circle, shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater is not freedom of speech. And the removal of this float from Carnival is 100% appropriate.

  48. Takuan says:

    I invite any who might be reading at this point to read the link added at the top of this item

  49. Jack says:

    @ #54 POSTED BY TAKUAN , JANUARY 31, 2008 10:32 PM
    I submit your cultural experience does not include what is daily reality for a typical Brazilian.

    I truly do not understand what your point is beyond, “If you were Brazilian you would understand this…” Not really at all. While there are cultural differences in the world, the idea that somehow one must be Brazilian to understand the concept of a parade with floats is ludicrous at best. I don’t see what magically “daily experience” in another culture can explain this at all.

    Again I will say it speaks more to your feelings about this float that you demand others psychically apologize for others. If you don’t like my opinion that’s fine; I’m cool with that. What is it in your being that demands that I must alter my views to suit your comfort?

    If any of this was valid in anyway, issues of comfort would not even be on the radar. The reality is some simply don’t want to face the inanity of this float existing and the negativity and pain in brings to others to see someone use a horrific event to win a prize in a Carnival parade.

  50. elNico says:

    ok, my last comment on the matter, since this seems to be a reocurring theme for some…

    #84 bbssh

    Who do you think we should put in charge of determining the ‘truth’?

    Who do you think the gatekeepers should be that get to decide our ‘history’?

    Who gets to decide what can only be talked about in pubs but not written about in books?

    I actually think all is well. Historians have a similar process to the science community where rogue individuals with an agenda are pretty quickly identified.

    You probably would find that the population in those countries that ban denying the Holocaust are generally quite happy with that decision, minus the far-right and a bunch of skinheads, and just get on with life.

    But by all means…deny your heart out and respect my right to think of you as a nutter…

  51. Jack says:

    @ #10 POSTED BY ANTINOUS , JANUARY 31, 2008 1:00 PM:
    What do you think about terrorist Mohammed cartoons?
    The wording of your question is weird and hard to understand or take seriously. But taking the high road, my opinion is in the case of a cartoon or comic or something that is explicitly a parody/satire it’s fine. A float in a parade with no real context? That’s wrong.

    @ #19 POSTED BY LOLANOSE , JANUARY 31, 2008 2:23 PM
    What I find more disturbing is that a private group can complain to the government and get the government to ban the actions of other private citizens. This could not happen our country.
    Are you serious? I—as a private person—can complain about hate speech/art and have a U.S. police officer and possibly the F.B.I. investigate the issue.

    Having a private entity complain about something and then have the government step in is the way the basic concept of the social contract works.

  52. Jack says:

    @ #56 POSTED BY TAKUAN , JANUARY 31, 2008 10:50 PM
    I invite any who might be reading at this point to read the link added at the top of this item

    I have. And it hasn’t changed much of anything in my mind. If anything it begs of me to ask, if Paulo Barros was so intent on making the float a “respectful” reminder, why didn’t he—and his group Viradouro—work with local Jewish organizations to create something that would work for all? While some are hung up on the concept of “intent” as being the excuse for this being created, what about “reckless disregard”?

    Is it so crazy to think that someone creating such a touchy piece of art for public consumption might want to “test the waters” by actually reaching out to others directly connected with the atrocities depicted?

  53. Takuan says:

    The purpose of discussion is to learn from each other and re-examine what we “know”.

    Please rest assured that I am not attempting to force you in any way to change your thinking. That is obviously impossible, and not desirable in my view.

    I am asking you to carefully examine some of your thinking and reevaluate it in light of my ideas and those of others -as well as the available evidence; see added link.

    Whether you wish to take any input from me is entirely up to you. I honestly do believe that a number of the things you have said here are either wrong or mistaken. That does not mean I conclude malice on your part.

    This matter is charged with emotion, it is not reasonable to expect people to discuss it bloodlessly. I do think though, that it can be profitably discussed if taken a little at a time.
    I also believe it is absolutely essential to discuss it to educate people enough to prevent a recurrence.

    Your strongly worded and strongly held views secure an absolute position. And I agree with that. There is no room for relativity when dealing with genocide. Evil must be acknowledged and faced unequivocally. But if you are trying to reach people, remember humans are relative, equivocal,weak and tend to react to the tone more than the meaning.

    Have you honestly kept an open mind towards the authors of this piece? Are you honestly keeping an open mind towards me. Remember; you know nothing about me. All you have is a few words and my assurances.

  54. Antinous says:

    How about a video of an open heart surgery playing at a mall food court?

    It’s still more appetizing than the smell of Panda Express.

  55. elNico says:

    …back to the float…

    I would have loved to see what would have happened if this would have made it into Berlin’s Love Parade…

    I think the universe would have collapsed into a pinhole…at least in Germany.

  56. Jack says:

    @ #94 WICKEDASHTRAY

    Instead of complaining incessantly about victimization how about you do what I have asked you before repeatedly: Talk about the “facts” you are so passionate about?

    The reality is from your first comment on this thread all you do is whine about how there are supposedly large and small conspiracies that prevent “real” discussion.

    So why don’t you engage in real discussion?

    Or is victimization of yourself as a supposed “oppressed” entity really the only leg your straw man can stand on?

  57. Jack says:

    @ #59 POSTED BY TAKUAN , JANUARY 31, 2008 11:07 PM
    I am asking you to carefully examine some of your thinking and reevaluate it in light of my ideas and those of others -as well as the available evidence; see added link.

    Nope. Why? Have you actually read what I wrote? Did you actually read what I said when I said:
    Is it so crazy to think that someone creating such a touchy piece of art for public consumption might want to “test the waters” by actually reaching out to others directly connected with the atrocities depicted?

    A false art school conceit that forms horrid attitudes is that an artist answers to no one and can simply create and answers to nobody. True artists who achieve a level of respect from others learn that while they ultimately call the shots—and are indeed incharge—reaching out to their audience and gauging what/how they should approach something will lead to better work in the long run.

    So please, can you accept that more people feel this piece was horrid and believe it was justifiably removed? Or is the reality of public opinion too much to accept?

  58. Jeff says:

    It seems in bad taste to me. Of course that may simply be a direct reflection of my primary cultural programming. The Detroit area has a very horrific holocaust museum. It’s a subject that needs to be contemplated, not used as entertainment at carnival. But I guess anything’s fair game in a world hungry for chaos.

  59. Takuan says:

    I need the words of a Brazilian. What are local norms for sensitivity and discussion/consultation in such matters? I note the example of the Christ float being similarilly rejected for the homeless person portrayal. Was this a big deal then? Was the insult quickly forgotten? Do Brazilans give and take and forgive offense more easily than North Americans in general?

  60. Takuan says:

    follow up

    Brazil samba group condemned for Holocaust float parades with gagged men, women

    February 4, 2008 – 6:32 pm

    By: Alan Clendenning, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – A Brazilian carnival group banned from parading with a dancing Hitler and mannequins representing Holocaust victims danced the samba through the streets Monday with men and women in white gowns wearing gags.

  61. Cefeida says:

    Re:
    I’ve never met one person who spoke lightly about Stalin’s “labor camps” or the Gulag’s.

    etc.

    I can buy red socks with a hammer and sickle embroidered on them, and everyone thinks it’s wicked cool and cute. A swastika wouldn’t go over so well.

  62. Takuan says:

    We are reading, composing and replying all at the same time.I am reading all your words. I would prefer to have more time to consider them,but here we are.

    As for the majority of public opinion, there is insufficient information here. I know how you and I feel.

    Your comments about “true artists”; some artist are perhaps better than others – certainly some are less clumsy. But “true”? As opposed to wilfully “false”?

    The artist here has certainly got people thinking and talking.

  63. Antinous says:

    They had said that they would change the theme to censorship. On a more cheerful note, Mainichi has a huge photo essay about one of the samba schools celebrating the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil. They don’t quite get Japan, but it’s spectacular. That whole thing is just one samba school.

  64. Parababelico says:

    @ JACK
    “A float in a parade with no real context? That’s wrong.”

    I tried to give a very general context in my post above. Care to give the explanation as to there’s no real context in Viradouro Samba School’s float? Or was it just your assumption?

  65. Takuan says:

    Apparently there is a chance the court order could be overturned on appeal.

    How would you feel if the float appeared, without any dancers and after consultation and agreement with the group that filed the complaint?

    This could happen.

  66. Jack says:

    @ #62 POSTED BY CEFEIDA , JANUARY 31, 2008 11:26 PM
    I can buy red socks with a hammer and sickle embroidered on them, and everyone thinks it’s wicked cool and cute. A swastika wouldn’t go over so well.

    Not exactly a parallel. The “Hammer and Sickle” is a symbol of the Communist Party, a political entity that did much more than just massacre and dominate others. Under Lenin and others in the pre-Stalin world, it was simply a unifying symbol for their ideology. The fact that Stalin was a murdering lunatic is independent of the political ideology.

    The Swastika is a whole different thing. The National Socialist party was not as socially known, and the Nazis used the Swastika as a symbol for their specific reign and their control. There’s practically no way to disconnect the Swastika from Hitler and the Nazis; they are all companion products.

    I see wearing a Soviet flag no better/worse than wearing a U.S. flag. But Swastika? Unless you’re an Asian culture that has used that for centuries before it was perverted for nefarious uses by the Nazis, you should not use or even joke about that lightly unless you know what you are doing.

  67. Takuan says:

    do not assume that the way you dance is the only way to dance. Do not assume that a dance in Carnival is just a party. They take the samba school seriously (remember Feynman’s experience?). It is appropriate to the culture they have made and are to tell the history of things by what you see at Carnival. I do not think a samba float is the same as a float in a typical North American parade. How much detail the participants really7 understand, I do not know. But I do not think they are trivializing anything, at least not any more than they trivialize any other history they show in Carnival. Does every sanitized Hollywood movie about WW 2 trivialize the Holocaust? There may be insufficient depth of understanding in the eyes of the principal victims of the Holocaust – but I do not think there is any malice here.

  68. Jack says:

    TAKUAN, in the great scheme of things you have spent much more time in these comments telling people what to think, how to act and what I should think.

    In contrast I have not done that to you once.

    In the larger picture, you might want to step back and realize your comments show a far stronger desire to control and repress ideas than most anyone else here. And while you can claim that you are nobly defending a right to expression, you are actually expressing a desire to control more than anything.

    Also your Guardian link about “Die Suche (The Search)” is a superficial comparison. There have been tons of books, movies and comics that are used to teach children the horrors of the Holocaust; this is nothing new. And it’s not shocking.

    But if you can’t differentiate between a book created to educate and a float in a Carnival parade designed to shock, that’s another thing. Yes, no dancers are supposed to be near that float. Just before, and after and surround the float from revelers on the street.

    It’s the difference between watching a film on lynchings and then having a float in a parade filled with drunks that is “dedicated” to lynching.

  69. elNico says:

    It started as a nice, straight fishing line. This one is now a few hundred meters long and has been rubbed with collective dirty hands to an untangleable(?) messy blob that is probably pretty unworthy to spend time with.

    Just like any Holocaust debate, really.

    So yes, don’t bother, nobody got hurt…

  70. Antinous says:

    I tried to give a very general context in my post above.

    Which was much more helpful than the article, which was sensationalist gossip. The author might, in the interest of basic journalistic fairness, have asked the organizers if they had a rationale. The same article could have been written about “The Producers” and incited the same reaction. Does anyone think that the fact that the troupe is less than perfectly Caucasian might play some role in assuming that their intentions are less than perfectly honorable?

  71. Takuan says:

    A rising sun flag in China? I think it would evoke an even more violent response than a swastika in Tel Aviv.

  72. Antinous says:

    Are you the voice in my head or am I the voice in yours?

  73. searconflex says:

    “In contrast I have not done that to you once.”

    That’s correct… thirteen is more like it.

  74. elNico says:

    Ok…so I go step step and to the left, step step and to the right…and identify with someone being trapped in a bunker with hundreds of other stripped individuals and being showered with Zyklon B.

    and say yeah!

    No offence, PARN, you’re probably the most sane poster on this thread, but I’m not so sure whether trivialising the matter and thereby reaching a broader audience is something positive.

  75. Jack says:

    @ #68 POSTED BY TAKUAN , JANUARY 31, 2008 11:48 PM
    A rising sun flag in China? I think it would evoke an even more violent response than a swastika in Tel Aviv.

    Please read my comment on the “Hammer and Sickle” flag in #66.

  76. Jack says:

    @ #69 POSTED BY SEARCONFLEX , JANUARY 31, 2008 11:53 PM
    That’s correct… thirteen is more like it.

    More flame-bait. Where exactly did I tell anyone anywhere in these comments to change their opinions? I admit that I have been vocal about the issue of mocking an event like the Holocaust via a parade float and I have even said if you want to defend the float, that’s fine. But at no point did I tell others how/what to think or how to feel about this.

  77. Takuan says:

    Does anyone here feel “controlled”?

  78. elNico says:

    @#79 Wickedashtray

    Ok, your issue is with free speech…you should be able to question the Holocaust? numbers dead? places killed?

    Sure…you can mention that in any pub in Europe and go on your merry way. No undercover agents throwing you in jail. Just don’t write a “history” book about it.

    What exactly are you questioning? And first and foremost, why?

    The actual “debate” is easy to research and you presumably went with Irving’s view of events. Again, why?

  79. Takuan says:

    also, attempting to persuade or convince someone is not the same as “controlling” them. Otherwise no one could talk to anyone, ever.

  80. Mike Mongo says:

    Here is the (translated) site of Viradouro. They are parade samba champions, and this is the group’s 60th anniversary. Watch the flash header, it turns to an nazi image complete with Hitler. But this makes no sense.

    This is does not strike me as intentionally anti-jewish. Inevitably Hitler will be recontextualized. People are trying now is all, and it being so close to the insanity — after all, people who suffered the costs of nazi Germany are still living! — it is in poor taste.

    Good effort, bad implementation. Bravo to the parade committee for their stand on the issue.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pt&u=http://www.unidosdoviradouro.com.br/&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3DViradouro%2B%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DlQ3

  81. Takuan says:

    “Flamebait is a message posted to a public Internet discussion group, such as a forum, newsgroup or mailing list, with the intent of provoking an angry response (a “flame”) or argument over a topic the troll often has no real interest in.”

  82. pedroleite says:

    it’s not irony, trust me. I’m from Brazil.

    It’s bad taste, plain and simple. This guy that created the “holocaust float” it’s no Roman polanski (or any of the other holocaust, award winning, movie directors: pick your favorite)
    He was trying to adress an important historical issue because there’s an idea down here in Brazil that we should try to “teach” people something in every opportunity we have; almost as he was feeling guilty for all the semi naked girls and decided to talk seriuosly for a second.

    Just like Tom Jobim once said: Brazil it’s not for amateurs.

    or Charles de Gaulle: Brazil is not a serious country. (He was right, i think)

  83. Alper Çugun says:

    I thought it was pretty cool and I find it shocking that so many BoingBoing readers -who I’d have thought would be somewhat more enlightened- are in favor of government censorship. The sensibilities expressed above are culturally biased to the extreme.

    The holocaust is not felt quite as close or as horrible in most of the world. For most people the event is distant in space and a long time ago. And it hasn’t served as a real lesson judging by the amount of genocide that has taken place all over the world since then.

    But the story has dominated a lot of media and is popularly known. So why should people not be allowed to take it and retell it

  84. searconflex says:

    No… he can keep his flame-bait accusation. After I hit ‘post’ I realized that it was wrong and cheap. I guess I got wrapped up in the heat. My apologies.

    So look, Jack… you think what you want, but in the end Takuan only wanted you to consider what you know concerning the float controversy.

    He didn’t want to control you or change your thoughts, just point out that due to your strong emotional feelings towards the subject you might be missing something important.

  85. Takuan says:

    that’s about it

  86. Eduardo Padoan says:

    @12, Takuan
    “what is the spirit of Carnival? What is the purpose of the samba? Has there ever been a samba school float depicting the Conquest and the butchery wrought on the Indians by the coming of the Spanish and the church?”

    Changing Spanish to Portuguese (if you are talking about Brazils’ colonization), then yes, probrably.

  87. Takuan says:

    and was there any uproar from the descendants of Indians that their suffering was trivialized?

  88. Jack says:

    @ #29 POSTED BY ALPER ÇUGUN , JANUARY 31, 2008 3:39 PM
    I thought it was pretty cool and I find it shocking that so many BoingBoing readers -who I’d have thought would be somewhat more enlightened- are in favor of government censorship. The sensibilities expressed above are culturally biased to the extreme.
    No they aren’t. And your premise of “censorship” is canard at best. Had this float been preemptively censored by the government without public awareness, THAT is government censorship. Don’t think folks; we’ll do it for you.

    In this case, the group was allowed to make their float, groups opposed to the float spoke out, and the government stepped in much in the same way the U.S. government would have stepped in to quell a hate crime.

    The holocaust is not felt quite as close or as horrible in most of the world. For most people the event is distant in space and a long time ago. And it hasn’t served as a real lesson judging by the amount of genocide that has taken place all over the world since then.
    Or what about prior to then? As a Jew whose family was directly affected by the Holocaust, I can say your blanket statement that “For most people the event is distant in space and a long time ago.” is a ridiculous conceit. I mention the holocaust perpetrated by the Nazi’s in World War II to people half my age, they all get it. Nobody reacts lightly to someone wearing a Swastika. The conceit you place on this being forgotten is laughable.

    The fact that people still engage in mass killings based on race and ethnicity doesn’t mean the message was lost, but the message was not received to begin with.

    What is sad is that governments like the U.S. DON’T step in to stop genocide when it happens nowadays. Look at Rwanda. Look at the Sudan. What exactly would you like? If an outside entity stepped in to help stop the bloodshed would you then jump on the bandwagon of it being U.S. imperialism and not much else?

    Freedom of expression is not freedom from responsibility. And ultimately that’s the difference some folks don’t get.

  89. Wickedashtray says:

    “The holocaust is not felt quite as close or as horrible in most of the world. For most people the event is distant in space and a long time ago. And it hasn’t served as a real lesson judging by the amount of genocide that has taken place all over the world since then.”

    ——

    I’m sure I will be taken out of context but, anyway….

    The holocaust is “felt” in western civilization more than any other event in history. We’ve gotten to the point where unless the event is discussed in only the most guarded and nearly religious fervor its almost a given that one will be labeled as disrespectful all the way up to “racist” along with the terms applied to it such as “hate speech”. Many northern European countries now consider it an arrestable offense for non-Jews to question events even in a rational debate. Does anyone truly think nothing would be said if information came to light that would throw doubt on the number of those who were murdered (given that the numbers were somehow less)? Yet the 16 million Russians that were murdered under Stalin are discussed openly with people free to disagree and not be labeled a racist or even charged with a crime. Sorry but I don’t buy the fact that people are somehow ignorant of the Holocaust. I think the issue here is that people are naive if they think that if they are a non-Jew that they can discuss or make a social commentary about the Holocaust without being put under a microscope by certain groups saliviting over the chance to pounce on anything they can tag as anti-semitic. I’m honestly not a skinhead, racist etc. I’m simply trying to understand why we allow ourselves to get to a hysterical mindset over an event that people ought to be able to discuss rationally without over reacting everytime the subject is brought up. While i agree that the float probably had no place in Carnivale, the response was indicative of the level of fear public officials and some media folks feel when even discussing the subject lest they be labeled by groups like the JDL etc.

  90. Takuan says:

    and what do you think was the intent of the float builders in this case?

  91. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Man, I spend a day traveling and look what happens.

    Jack (9):

    The problem with the “satire” or “irony” defense for stuff like this is it’s an excuse for the behavior rather than a true analysis.”

    Jack, you’re wrong. First, satire and irony can be applied to damned near anything. To say otherwise about a particular subject is to grant it undue power. (It’s also an ontological error, but I won’t go into that right now.)

    Second: sometimes one can judge the intention behind a satire, but not always.

    Second, personalized: Sometimes one can judge the intention behind a satire, but not always; and should definitely be more cautious about assuming that you can. Even people who have expert reading skills and a nearly supernatural ear for tone will sometimes admit themselves stumped on that score; and Jack, you’re not that kind of reader.

    Third: The intent behind a satire, and the degree to which that satire succeeds as a work or art and act of communication, are separate issues.

    You have made a screaming hash of this thread, which would put you in the wrong even if your premises were correct.

    “I see it as the art/entertainment version of saying “But he’s a good guy…” about an abusive boyfriend/father. It’s basically a societal excuse to attempt to make bad behavior seem a bit more palapable.”

    Sometimes it’s used that way. It’s not always used that way. The fact that you see it that way does not give you an absolute right to berate your fellow commenters.

    “The reality is that good art/entertainment can touch on horrific topics, but approach it at an angle that truly criticizes the issue while still highlighting it. What good art/entertainment does is get at the core of issues and they “dress itself” in other superficialities connected with those issues to criticize things.”

    Good art does a great many things. You’re describing one of them. What you’re saying is that this piece of art doesn’t work for you.

    “Bad entertainment/art never gets past the superficialities and just uses “shock” as an excuse to “stimulate discussion”.”

    You have confused your reaction to the art with having objective knowledge of the artist’s intentions.

    “Long way of saying this is unbelievable and makes me wonder what is it about South America’s culture –”

    South America’s culture? It may be that I’m forgetting a minor instance or two, but I honestly believe that’s the first time I’ve ever heard “South American culture” described as a single unitary entity. It’s a complicated place, just like any other inhabited continent.

    “– that helps hide war criminals –”

    You know, all kinds of non-Holocaust-related things happen in South America. You should read up on it. Context does wonders for understanding.

    “and somehow “inspires” so-called artists to create crap like this.”

    Your dismissive contempt doesn’t mean it isn’t art, its creators aren’t artists, or its intended meaning isn’t what they say it is.

    (More to come.)

  92. Takuan says:

    (jeez oh jeez oh jeez! she’s back man! she’s back!!!
    hide the bong!!)

  93. evilrooster says:

    Takuan @104:

    Keep that pot well hidden where you’re sure
    That it will not be found
    And be careful not to ‘turn on’
    When the Scoutmaster’s around
    For he only will insist that it be shared.
    Be prepared!

    - Be Prepared, Tom Lehrer

  94. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    (I was fantasizing just this morning about having a batch command added that would enable me to post the message “Sinners, repent!” to every active thread. Or possibly just “Don’t think I can’t see you,” which would convey much the same message, and have the additional virtue of not upsetting Cpt. Tim.)

  95. Jack says:

    @#33 POSTED BY WICKEDASHTRAY , JANUARY 31, 2008 4:38 PM
    We’ve gotten to the point where unless the event is discussed in only the most guarded and nearly religious fervor its almost a given that one will be labeled as disrespectful all the way up to “racist” along with the terms applied to it such as “hate speech”.

    What exaggerated hyperbolic place are you talking about? I cannot think of anyone talking lightly about deaths in the former Soviet Union, the killing fields in Cambodia, the slaughter in Bosnia or even the bloodshed in Rwanda who will not get shot down. Heck, try to talk lightly about slavery in the U.S. and you’ll get smacked down. This exaggerated claim the Holocaust of the Jews during W.W. II is put on a pedestal above all others is a pretty anti-Semitic.

    Also, the main reason deaths under Stalin in the former Soviet Union have not been talked about openly until recently is because they were a closed country. And only now with the slight sliver of openness do people feel somewhat comfortable to speak their minds. Before that, you couldn’t say anything out of fear of reprisals.

    Now if you want to talk about genocides that are ignored and seemingly swept under the rugs, you might do well to research the way the Imperial Japanese forces treated the Chinese and other Asians during World War II. Actually the only time I have ever been “shushed” in a discussion was when I mentioned the way the Japanese behaved in World War II to a Japanophilic friend of mine.

  96. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Another thing that has to be said about this story: Whatever the creators’ actual intent, a Carnival float featuring Holocaust corpses, with or without dancing Hitlers, is bound to be misunderstood.

  97. elNico says:

    #19 lolanose

    What I find more disturbing is that a private group can complain to the government and get the government to ban the actions of other private citizens. This could not happen our country. This is a free speech issue, not a taste issue.

    I’m going out on a limb, but I assume YOUR country is the US? It’s amazing how you can claim to have no censorship, although I hear it all the time from Americans.

    Is it one of those things that, if you say it often enough, it’ll become true?

    It’s too ridiculous to list examples, just like one wouldn’t engage in arguing that the earth was really round.

  98. Eduardo Padoan says:

    I am not the best one to talk about Brazilian carnival, as I am far from being a samba fan, but anyway: as people already said, every carnival in Rio and São Paulo, each “samba school” (wich sounds ridicule when translated, because an “escola de samba” does not resemble a dance school much, AFAIK) choose a theme to base their parade, with enourmous and hystericly colourful floats with lots of semi-nude models to retract that theme in quite abstract ways. It is usually seen as an opportunity to educate people.
    Similar themes like slavery and indian genocide are not so much delicate subjects here like the Holocaust, and this float seems very macabre if compared to anything else I have seen in carnival so far. Putting people dancing on the top of it surely will offend lots of people. I am against censorship and self-censorship and I am not advocating it, but without doubt this is f*cking horrible.

  99. Jeff says:

    Teresa, “I can see you” uses less words and is proactive. You’re like the God of the Blog. I love being watched. Hehehe… (That’s my Bender laugh.)

  100. zombiemaster says:

    There a few things on this planet that really confuse me. McDonalds claim that they have healthy food, people still smoking and the world wide hate for the Jewish people. It really boggles my mind.

  101. elNico says:

    Holocaust deniers – they always pop up.

    I didn’t read yet through the whole thread, but wicketwhatever is a prime example.

    “Can’t we deny it a little bit? Perhaps in the name of science?? Open debate and such??”

    The irony is that BECAUSE of this being the most documented genocide in history, it brings out the nutters who will construct their own version of events with plenty of pieces to play with.

  102. ubernym says:

    It’s from an art-group, right? Maybe they were trying to make a satirical statement about the banality of evil? Beside, censorship is always wrong.

  103. Jack says:

    @ #81 POSTED BY BBSSH , FEBRUARY 1, 2008 8:02 AM
    Some of Jack’s comments in a previous thread on the atrocities in Hiroshima:

    Utterly ridiculous and it shows you barely understand the difference between a calculated act of genocide such as the Holocaust, and a military strike on a nation obsessed with world domination.

    Here’s the difference. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland under the threat of Poland (supposedly because of Jewish influence), that WAS A COMPLETE LIE! It was a false/non-existent threat created as an excuse to kill thousands based on nothing but racism and hate.

    When the U.S. bombed Japan, Japan had not only attacked U.S. soil (Hawaii) but also showed no signs of giving up and was engaging in a war of conquest in the Pacific that seemingly would not end. Japan at that point WAS an active antagonist of the U.S. and others and was a nation explicitly at war. Attacking a nation that is at war with you is not the same as the calculated genocide of people.

    If the U.S. was truly racist and wanted the elimination of Japan and the Japanese people, then please explain the recovery of Japan AFTER World War II and the U.S.’s role in helping Japan rebuild itself and grow?

    If you actually read the comments on that post you have made you’d realize that I did not see the bombings as much as a good thing but as a necessary evil, but I guess that’s what happens when a Troll expunges most of my comments AGAINST the bomb and just focuses on what holds up their straw man. Specifically I also said this:
    Something as destructive and powerful as the atomic bomb was needed to just end things once and for all. What was the alternative people wring their hands over? A prolonged ground assault? A protracted war that drains us more?

    Heck, I think the fire bombing of Tokyo was immoral because when it was done there was no good reason and the war wasn’t going that bad at that point. Ditto with the internment of Japanese Americans; incredibly stupid.

    The Holocaust and genocides in other countries are cowardly acts of bullying of others based on race and ethnicity; preemptive strikes made by delusional idiots who see the persons religion or skin color as the “ultimate source” of all problems. As horrific the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, they were an act of war done on a nation that had attacked the U.S. and was clear in their desires to dominate the U.S. and the world.

    Also, WICKEDASHTRAY people are calling you an anti-Semite because all you have done—and posted—are screeds about how you supposedly can’t talk about the Holocaust “rationally” when the reality is NOBODY has stopped you yet you provide no facts and just ramble on and on and on about these mysterious forces that somehow “keep you down”. If you have facts and true ideas to share share them, but don’t claim oppression and then say “Well, I can’t say what I want to say because of some non-tangible conspiracy…” Maybe ultimately you have not much to say other than complain about nothing?

  104. Antinous says:

    Can we get over the idea of flame bait? Why not just blame your flame comments on demonic possession while you’re at it? I mean, how could you possible be responsible for what you type in the little box and submit for everyone to read?

  105. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    UBERNYM: Bad taste is always wrong, evil is not banal, ignorance rules all.

  106. dculberson says:

    Zombie, I’m also completely baffled by it.

  107. License Farm says:

    Because nothing screams CARNIVAL! quite like the genocide of millions. This has to be for the Brazilian production of The Producers.

  108. cinemajay says:

    @ ubernym,

    Isn’t using Hitler to make a statement cliche at this point? And anyway, it looks FAR too dark to be satire.

    I don’t get how anyone thought this was appropriate for something coasting along a public street. A gallery? Maybe. At least you have to WANT to enter a gallery. But even then, it comes off as tasteless and short-sighted.

  109. Wickedashtray says:

    “This exaggerated claim the Holocaust of the Jews during W.W. II is put on a pedestal above all others is a pretty anti-Semitic.”

    I’d respond Jack but then I realized you made my point for me. Thanks.

  110. JG says:

    As usual #86 Antinous is right on the money with his comments!!

    Always cuts the BS !

  111. Jack says:

    @ #84 POSTED BY BBSSH , FEBRUARY 1, 2008 10:55 AM
    Who do you think we should put in charge of determining the ‘truth’?
    Who do you think the gatekeepers should be that get to decide our ‘history’?
    Who gets to decide what can only be talked about in pubs but not written about in books?

    The attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki AND the Holocaust are two of the most documented and account acts of war in history. As unpleasant as an atomic attack is/was, at the time it happened Hiroshima and Nagasaki made sense and ENDED WORLD WAR II in the Pacific. In the case of the Holocaust, the mass slaughter of Jews, gays, gypsies and other “undesirables” is one of the most proven acts of murder on a mass scale ever to occur in history. The facts as proven over the years by thousands of people and thousands of pieces of evidence refute claims against it. The reason why people snap back against claims against the Holocaust is it’s patently ridiculous to deny the facts of what happened, who did it and how many people suffered. It’s simply crazy to do so and it is highly anti-Semitic to make claims against it.

    Show me one Holocaust denier who has real evidence against it AND is not a complete wingnut, and I will be shocked. Might as well claim the Earth is flat and the sun revolves around the Earth… And that there are dragons at the edge of the Earth….

    So again, it’s nice to see that supposedly “raises the awareness” of the Holocaust has spurred discussion of Holocaust deniers. Like I said before, true art raises real issues. Hack art raises eyebrows but shocks and not much else. Case proven.

  112. Wickedashtray says:

    “Holocaust deniers – they always pop up.

    I didn’t read yet through the whole thread, but wicketwhatever is a prime example.

    “Can’t we deny it a little bit? Perhaps in the name of science?? Open debate and such??”

    The irony is that BECAUSE of this being the most documented genocide in history, it brings out the nutters who will construct their own version of events with plenty of pieces to play with”

    ——–

    Once again another post that makes my point for me perfectly.

    You seem, like Jack, to have read the first paragraph, not read the rest and made up your mind. I am a “nutter” to question laws that would actually JAIL people for posing a question? I theorized that had information come toight that the numbers were, say, 5.5 million rather than 6 that there would be a charges of racism throw about like confetti by individuals like you and Jack simply because we have been taught since birth to NEVER EVER question anything related to the event. Just making this post has caused me to be called an anti-semite, a holocaust denier, racist, nutter, etc. THAT is what I am speaking of, NOT denigrating Jews, NOT making light of the holocaust. The individuals who ruled on this case didn’t, for one second, inquire as to whether the art piece was a serious commentary on the event (it turns out it was). They simply reacted, like we all do, to the fact that unless we speak in the unspoken ruleset of hushed reverential tomes regarding the event we are hate-filled, deniers and anti-semtites.

    Lastly, I know full well what my opinion is on the event. I accept the common facts and don’t question them in the least. The fact that no one else can question it and even be jailed for uttering anything to the contrary disturbs me (as it should any rational thinker) immensely.

  113. bbssh says:

    Jack .. The word ‘anti-semite’ is used by racists like you as a weapon. You throw it around to silence people, to stop discussions, to scare people off.

    Nothing WICKEDASHTRAY said was even remotely anti-semitic.

  114. bbssh says:

    As unpleasant as an atomic attack is/was, at the time it happened Hiroshima and Nagasaki made sense …

    wow. i can’t believe you actually wrote that. that is beyond offensive.

    There is no reason to continue this discussion.

    i wish you nothing but peace and happiness.

  115. elNico says:

    @#103 Teresa Nielsen Hayden

    Man, I spend a day traveling and look what happens.

    You travelled? For a day?

    How does that other end of town look like?

  116. Takuan says:

    “At the request of Rio’s Israelite Federation, Judge Juliana Kalichsztein established a fine of 117,000 dollars to be levied if Viradouro decides to show the float despite the ban.
    The Jewish organization’s lawyer, Ricardo Brajterman, said its members were “indignant” when they found out details of the intended presentation.
    “The federation read about the float in the press and was seeking an educational solution with the (samba) school, like showing a banner or a plate with the phrase ‘Holocaust never again,’ to put the float into context,” he said.
    “But when they learned that there would be a ‘sambista’ representing Hitler, the federation considered that vile, a lack of respect not only to Jews, but to homosexuals, gypsies, and all other segments of society who were persecuted by the Nazis,” Brajterman said.
    The judge said the parade of a samba school or “escola do samba” cannot be a tool to glorify hatred or racism or show barbaric elements.
    Marco Lira, the head of the samba group responsible for the float, said prior to the court decision that he did not intend to withdraw the controversial piece.
    “We want to represent a historical event and to issue a warning. This is a very serious float. It is not disrespectful. Carnival is also there to inform people,” Lira said.”

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