Mugwumps Bug Powder t-shirt

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82 Responses to “Mugwumps Bug Powder t-shirt”

  1. Takuan says:

    “Aside from the Asatru/neopagan stuff it’s a mishmash of imagery: flying monkeys (Oz), the Sacred Heart of Jesus, digital piracy, skull and roses (Grateful Dead), drugs, Galileo, Escher………………….

    WITCH! GET OUT OF MY SOUL!!!!

  2. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    They could use a Takuan t-shirt.

  3. Conservationist says:

    Metal heads in general aren’t too bright.

    I think that’s a gross generalization.

    Danzig was originally a punk musician, with his band the Misfits, and if you can find nationalist imagery there, please point it out. I don’t see if. If you’d mentioned Infester, Graveland, Burzum, Darkthrone, Absurd or Gontyna Kry, then I’d say you have a point.

    I think a lot of metal is like Slayer and Motorhead, both of whom used deathsheads and other Nazi imagery, just like Judas Priest. They’re not endorsing anything. They’re singing about it because they’re obsessed with murder, darkness, horror, natural selection, war, mayhem and sodomy.

    Burroughs was too, and I’ve never encountered anything racist in his work. Maybe I don’t know where to look. Can you post some pointers?

  4. Takuan says:

    a Takuan t-shirt?…..now, what would that look like?…….(shudder!!)

  5. Jumbo says:

    There is nothing Racist whatsoever on that website. All those who think so can also pull a rabbit out of thier ass.

  6. Antinous says:

    murder, darkness, horror, natural selection, war, mayhem and sodomy

    ♫ One of these things is not like the others ♫

    T,

    I was just trying to separate the combatants.

  7. Antinous says:

    Best I could find was a gherkin tee shirt. Lots of those.

  8. Conservationist says:

    Antinous:

    “War and Sodomy” is a refrain by a band named Weltmacht who are not NSBM but use some Nazi iconography, interspersed with Satanic imagery and praise of sodomy.

    Then there is the genius rant of Paul Ledney…well, I can’t post it here, so google “paul ledney” “Rip the sacred flesh” and you’ll find the text.

    Metal is, in fact, quite enamored of sodomy, and I’ll leave that up to your interpretation. From the band Sodom, to Morbid Angel’s praise of the act on “Blessed Are the Sick,” to Blood’s “Sodomize the Weak,” the list goes on!

  9. RJ says:

    @Teresa

    You have a lot more patience and dedication to this site’s forums than I would, were I in your shoes.

    I had the word “cryptoracists” stuck in my head for about a solid day after my previous engagement in this thread. It’s just a fun word to say, and I imagine an entire, absurd culture attached to the word.

    Anthropologists might discover one of their long-forgotten temples in some wild, Scandinavian place, and spend years decoding their crabby little runic glyphs. Finally, one breathless afternoon, a red-eyed researcher bursts from his chambers. “Eureka! I’ve decoded their messages!”

    “What do they say?” the people would ask. In the hush that follows, the researcher would psychologically hit that brick wall of underwhelming reality as he flatly recites from the paper, “Honkys rule, n*gg*rs drool.”

    The moment that follows this announcement would be the epitome of the phrase, “awkward silence.” He might then point at the paper and softly say, “That… that’s what it says.” Then return quietly to his chambers.

    Damn those cryptoracists!

  10. Hounskull says:

    #59 posted by Takuan
    “Dear Hounskull; rest assured, I know when someone is a racist long before they start using “code words”.”

    Or right. sure. Nobody fools you.

    #60 posted by Conservationist
    “You’re telling me that “heritage” is racism? I am thoroughly offended.”

    Ywn. bvsly tht’s nt wht sd, trll.

    nywys, g bck t whtvr y wr dng bfr rlty ntrdd.

  11. Takuan says:

    I also know when someone is rude.

    Why are you grinding this particular axe? Step up to the line, propose your toast and hurl your glass, we’re listening and it won’t hurt the fireplace.

  12. Antinous says:

    That doesn’t look like pickled daikon to me. But the model was cute.

  13. Antinous says:

    my tinfoil helmet warning light goes on

    But don’t you find that the tinfoil blocks the warning signal? We need to get R & D on that one. Perhaps a sharp wasabi odor.

    T,

    Alt + 14(number pad) = ♫

    There’s a whole universe of symbols in Alt + …

  14. Antinous says:

    Hounskull,

    There comes a time in a man’s life when he must acknowledge that, whether he’s right or whether he’s wrong, he’s posted way too many comments in a single thread. I think, for you, that time is now. Nobody is going to stop you from posting in this aging thread, but you’re shredding your own credibility in future discussions.

  15. Takuan says:

    and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest,

    on the morrow

  16. ike says:

    I feel compelled to bring up another example of more or less the same William S. Burroughs reference bleeding into other media:

    The song “Bug Powder Dust” by Bomb The Bass

    I prefer the Kruder and Dorfmeister Remix of the song, but the original is catchy too. Both can be found on youtube.

  17. Prescott says:

    Rprsnt yr rc wtht fr. Lv yr rc.

    f y’r Wht, y hv spcl rspnsblty t rprsnt yr rc bcs thr r s mny tht r wrkng t bltrt y.

    Pt p fght. Dn’t g qtly t th grv. Dn’t b frd f th mncl Gncdlsts (lk hnskll) bt d b frd f gncd. B vry frd.

  18. RJ says:

    Just don’t ask where they get the Mugwump fluid.

  19. robin_hood says:

    While I think it is probably an open question whether the site owners are actually neo-nazis or simply pandering to a broad subculture that includes significant white supremacist tendencies in order to make a buck, I must say that I’m with Hounskull on this one. One does not coincidentally decide to offer shirt designs with German WWII tanks, nooses/lynchings, iconography that has been appropriated by the Aryan subculture, and images of Hitler without having a target audience in mind, regardless if all the symbols have other interpretations, or even more dominant interpretations.

  20. anthony says:

    Is there a Kafka version?
    I gave up hip tees (or any logo tees) for plain ones years ago, but this one is tempting me.

  21. Hounskull says:

    I’m just pointing this out so people who don’t know about this stuff don’t foolishly represent neo-nazi imagery. Also, police are aware of them, so if you get pulled over by a black cop for speeding, might not want to be wearing a lot of Celtic crosses and Thor’s hammers.

    Anyways, Not everything they sell is racist. There’s a lot of drug culture stuff, big daddy, etc. But all of that is common with white supremacists. It’s a mashup of punk, skinheads, metal, goth, etc. These aren’t exactly the brightest or most original people.

    The percentage of specifically Nazi and Aryan Nation icons is way too high to be coincidental. Nobody but white supremacists is really into many of the specific icons they’re selling, and to find them all in once place is a dead giveaway.

    For example, an ordinary head shop might have some ravens and spooky gothic crap on it. But they wouldn’t name them “Huginn and Muninn” which are associated with Nazi mythology and wankery.

    Here’s a partial list of racist images they sell:

    Thor’s Hammer. One of the most common Nazi icons. Not really interesting otherwise. They sell several.
    http://www.adl.org/hate_symbols/ThorsHammer.asp

    White power fist:
    http://www.adl.org/hate_symbols/racist_aryan_fist.asp

    lots of Iron Cross:
    http://www.adl.org/hate_symbols/neo-nazi_iron-cross.asp

    Several variations of the Crosstar:
    http://www.adl.org/hate_symbols/groups_nationalist_crosstar.asp

    Several variations of Aryan Nations iconography worked into designs:
    http://www.adl.org/hate_symbols/groups_aryan_nations.asp

    Lots of Wolf’s Hook, Dopplehaken in designs:
    http://www.adl.org/hate_symbols/Wolfsangel.asp

    etc. There’s a lot more for anyone to see.

    And for anyone who isn’t aware, it’s actually a pretty widespread subculture in many parts of America and Europe. Something like 10% of the prison population is Aryan Brotherhood. Wherever there are ignorant drug addicts living in post labor towns, like the rust belt, you’ll find plenty of them.

    They’re also very cryptic because they have to be. They want to be recognized by each other, but don’t want their asses kicked constantly whenever they’re away from the gang.

  22. License Farm says:

    No matter how inclined I may or may not be to believe a conspiracy theorist, my tinfoil helmet warning light goes on whenever someone posts more than two sequential comments on a blog. It speaks to poor impulse control that is likely indicative of immense leaps in logic to reach a desired conclusion rather than that which the evidence supports, and it betrays a narcissistic need for attention so ravenous that it can’t even wait for a response. For example: I wear two pendants which are symbols out of Norse mythology. Am I then a Nazi? That’d be a neat trick, seeing as I’m a Jew. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    Now that that’s settled, I saw a handful of shirts on there that piqued my interest, most notably the Star Trek “Mirror Mirror” Galactic Empire insignia. That’s the sort of badassery that only fellow geeks will fully enjoy.

  23. Hounskull says:

    #42 Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator

    Overall you seem to be missing the point. Sure, iconography can be infinitely interpreted. You keep making that point which isn’t in dispute.

    The point is that if a group chooses a large number of symbols, including writers, icons, and themes, all associated with racism by known racist groups, then it’s almost certainly racism. It’s totally improbable all of this stuff linked to racism was chosen randomly. there’s too much of it, and the ties to racism are too strong, for it all to be random.

    Someone’s ignorance of the symbols of racist groups, or different interpretations of them, doesn’t change the fact they use them.

    “The point is, a Celtic cross or a Thor’s hammer doesn’t automatically become the property of the skinhead Nazi racists…”

    They don’t “own” it and you can’t “cede” it to them. That’s entirely the wrong frame of mind. I really couldn’t care less about thor’s hammer and such. t’s lt f wnkry.

    Having said that, people should be more aware of these groups, which are widespread among disaffected whites in depressed labor areas and urban areas. They use these symbols as their banners, as a language to communicate. To anyone who has looked into the issues (did you read the links?) that’s a fact. They are code for white supremacists.

    On Asatru:

    Asatru is a neopagan religion, AND it’s a religious front group for white supremacists. Just as for example Scientology is a religion for some sincere goofballs, and it’s a cult designed to exploit and indoctrinate and then exert influence on them. It’s a structure for organization and indoctrination, with tax benefits.

    You may notice that many Asatru sites mention genetics frequently. “Heritage” is another code word frequently used by racists with specific meaning. I.e. it’s a religion for Germanic people. It’s often used in the South as code for racism.

    http://www.asatru.org/

    “Ásatrú is an Ancestoral religion it gives you a sense of belonging. Genealogy is the path where you acquire insight about the experience of your ancestors. How they lived, the land where they came from or how much luck came to you through them. It is your Heritage.””

    On Lovecract, and Poe, I think you need to research them further. You’re apparently unaware of several decades of racist criticism. Have you googled their names + racism? Regardless, there’s no doubt racist groups themselves believe them to have been racists.

    “I’m certainly not giving the Aryan Nation every bit of writing associated with victimization …”

    Again, you seem to think you can “give” them that. The fact is they already use them as racist material. The fact is both Lovecraft and Poe were virulent racists and xenophobes in their own lives. Lovecraft hated the multiculturalism of NYC. Poe was pro-slavery and his black characters reflected that. That’s well documented.

    Of course someone else can read whatever they want into it. But one shouldn’t be ignorant of the fact they personally were racists, and both rather mentally unstable also.

    “If Edvard Munch was seen as the epitome of “degenerate art,” why would skinheads wear shirts with his images on them?”

    Ever heard of crass irony in a subculture? White supremacists are full of contradictions. Munch particularly is important because the Nazis focused on him as a white degenerate blue blood addicted to drugs. What are white supremacists today? Poor white lower class drug addicts with a lot of envy for the elites.

    They hate the rich and elites, yet they want to be rich. They aspire to “racial purity” and “high culture” and yet they’re often junkies and real losers. They claim they’re the best specifically because they’re on the lowest rungs of society. This is typical in many subcultures.

    “I have a real problem with the idea that a bunch of raucous anti-intellectual skinheads are into reading subtext in stories written by a shy, socially backward weirdo (I mean that in the nicest possible way) who married a Jew.”

    Then you probably don’t know any skinheads and white supremacists. Most of them are shy, backwards, chronically insecure, kids who then find identity and strength through a group with a simplistic racial ideology. Whether or not they’ve actually read Lovecraft or Poe is entirely beside the point. They’re an oral story telling culture, and increasingly a web based culture, which thrives on allegory. Again, anyone expressing disbelief that racists lack an intellectually rigorous ideology… is totally missing the point.

    “Big Daddy Roth-style art did not come out of the rural South; it came out of the Southern California hotrod scene.”

    Hotrod culture was a part of southern CA suburban and rural all-white culture. Much of SoCal was in the 50′s undeveloped and even farm land. LA proper was much smaller, and much of today’s sprawl was then rural. Not to say all were racists, but all were originally white. It’s also where the Hells Angels and such racist groups came from. Von Dutch aka Kenny Howard, considered to be the father of the movement, was an extreme racist.

  24. Hounskull says:

    “The other problem is that The Absinthe Drinkers was painted by Edgar Degas.”

    Different painting. There was a lot of absinthe drinking at that time. Absinthe was the drink of the Bohemians, which is what most modernist painters were.

    The painting of absinthe drinkers I’m referring to was painted by Munche, and was specifically critiqued in Julius Lanbehn’s proto-Nazi manifesto: Rembrandt als Erzieher (“Rembrandt as Teacher”) which is one of the “bibles” for white racists.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I have tried to register with a couple of different emails but I never got the email confirmation, that is why I am having to post anonymously.
    I want to thank the reasonable posting and particularly Theresa for her great comments. I am the owner and I create most of the designs for November Fire, and I understand that people can think whatever they want regarding the imagery on the site, but being called stupid, and a Neo-Nazi is pretty extreme without any knowledge of the people or person behind a business.
    My favorite is that November Fire was taken from a Samhain record therefor we are associated with Danzig and therefor we are raciest! Wow! I named the company November Fire for my love of all things Halloween, nothing to do with Danzig. The Nordic artwork was commissioned from my brother in law who’s art I love and want more people to share it.
    Hounskull, I am a person who loves old horror movies, and Halloween. I like building World War 2 models and found a lot of the machines and imagery fascinating. I am not a Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, or Skinhead and have absolutely no affiliation with any such group. You are entitled to your opinion as am I, but you are off base with your generalization of me.

    Strephon Taylor

  26. Takuan says:

    when someone says “your heritage”, I think 10,000 years plus backwards. Who cares about fiddly stuff at best a few thousand years old?

  27. License Farm says:

    @ #77 TNH: License Farm (47), that mishegas over Obama is a political cheap trick: find a potentially inflammatory statement made by a long-term associate of the candidate, whip up a huge fuss over it, then demand that the candidate either disavow an old associate, or stand behind the statement that person made. Which is nonsense, of course; none of us agree with every word that proceedeth out of the mouths of our friends. I thought Obama responded to that as well as anyone could.

    Oh, you ain’t got to prove that to me, hon; if I weren’t already convinced Obama is the best candidate for that job already that speech was the clincher. Or, as John Stewart pointed out agog, “A presidential candidate just talked to the American people as though they were adults.” After seven-plus years of people who at least preach of dealing in moral absolutes (but spend every moment away from the public eye acting every bit the sheisty bastards they paint their enemies as), a palpable sense of duty, quiet dignity and confidence and, dare we think it possible of the highest office in the land, humility in the face of the multitudes of ideas and perspectives in this country alone, much less internationally, would be a refreshing change, to say nothing of everything else he brings to the table.

    And look, I managed to be positive about something without bagging on his competition. Isn’t that nice when things can stand on their own merits without needing to tear down to look better? Shouldn’t we deserve that pride more often?

    Wow, we have gotten very, very far from Mugwump Bug Poison.

  28. Takuan says:

    I’m founding “Mitochondrialism” and “YChromosonolgy”.
    Join me in celebrating our wonderful heritage and evolutionary legacy. You are all eligible. Now: I need ideas for the secret handshake and flag symbol.

  29. Hounskull says:

    When white racists say “heritage” they’re talking about Western European and usually Germanic culture over millennium, and more recently white immigrants to Southern American Confederate States in the Civil War, who have historically been the most pro-slavery and racist, and who were largely settled by poor Germanic and Scots-Irish immigrants.

    For a recent example, remember Senator “macaca” aka George Allen (R) Virginia. He had a noose and “stars and bars” hanging in his office over the years. When questioned on them he said they weren’t racist, they were “heritage.” He was, ironically, from Southern CA. Strom Thurmond, the notorious racist and segregationist, gave many speeches on “Heritage” as a euphemism for racism going back to the 50s. It’s long been a code word for white supremacists.

    I’m kind of surprised by the lack of cultural literacy. In one way it’s good that people aren’t thinking about this stuff. On the other hand, ignorance is never helpful.

  30. Hounskull says:

    Yo mods: That website is chock full o white supremacists.

    There’s a LOT of neo-nazi and skinhead themes on their t-shirts. Everything they sell is really keyed to white supremacists and chock full of coded messages.

    The Celtic Cross and Thors’s Hammer are flags for the largest white supremacist groups. They’re like covert swastikas. The Union Jack and British crown are for UK skinheads. Skulls are also very popular (Nazi SS). The Hungarian cross and Irminsul are others.

    The “mugwumps” Burroughs shirt is a coded message: extermination of vermin. Burroughs was a notorious racist and gun nut. The Mugwumps were Northern Republicans who sided with the Dixiecrat Grover Cleveland, who repealed protections for blacks in the South. Another shirt says “celebrate diversity” and pictures the monstrous skeleton of Siamese twins skeletons.

    The other themes also go with white supremacy, like heavy drug use especially meth and heroin. White supremacists are trailer trash after all. General themes of cannibalism and violence. There’s a lot of nooses and guns and knives and such.

    Pretty much everything they sell has a coded message to hate groups. Some more subtle than others. But the overall picture is overwhelmingly clear.

  31. Takuan says:

    yeah, its terrible racists are culturally illiterate,but what are ya gonna do?

  32. Hounskull says:

    #11 “Space Invaders”, E.A. Poe, H.P. Lovecraft , Munch’s “The Scream”, The Eye of Horus, Ankh, “R2 Dog Doo”, Jack the Ripper, Tiffany’s, Galileo Galilei and finally “Digital Piracy and How You Can Help” are, as you say, keyed to white supremacy, I would find that most fascinating.”

    You can google them.

    Well, like I said, not everything they sell is racist, that I’m aware of. But most is racist, if you know how to read it. Most of those have important ties to racism. The rest may also, but I’m not sure.

    Sorry to the Lovecraft fans, but he’s commonly known to have been a xenophobe and racist; and a bit daft. Central to many of his works are racist allegories dealing with notions of genetic contamination. i.e. groups performing sexual rituals, summoning old world gods with African sounding names up from the depths to devour civilization. Many of Lovecraft’s monsters are based on African deities. The protagonist embodies staunch puritanical values.

    E.A. Poe was a pro-slavery Southerner. Many of his works contain racist themes and are veiled racist allegories. Much has been written ong the subject and can be googled. A major theme of racists and Poe is victim complex and revenge. Nazis perceived themselves as victims. So do skinheads, Aryan Nation, etc. They’re also big on themes of imprisonment, chains, handcuffs, and torture which are motifs on many of their products.

    Munch was criticized as being of “inferior blood” due to being “blue blooded” in an influential early Nazi work titled “Rembrandt als Erzieher” which translated to Rembrandt as Teacher. For Nazis Rembrandt was the epitome of Germanic aesthetics, Munch was seen as the epitome of “degenerate” art at the time, along with the “blue bloods” (Nazis are of course nationalist socialists) Jews, Blacks, etc.

    “Space invaders” is xenophobia/racism.

    Several prominent white supremacists, like eugenicist Arthur Jensen, fancy themselves as modern day scientific truth-tellers, like Galileo Galileo. (for that matter so do many Intelligent Design advocates, climate change deniers, and Young Earthers.)

    White supremacist groups organize online extensively these days.

  33. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    And just to demonstrate that heavy metal fans are less predictable than you think: Headbangers for Huckabee, a.k.a. “Huck ‘Em All.”

    (Okay, License Farm: did it light up?)

  34. Hounskull says:

    But then, y sm t b rthr cltrlly lltrt about the history and ongoing racism and white supremacist in the US.

    So for example, a politician could say “Heritage” and other code words to racists continually in a speech, and you’d never know he or she was a racist. If people hadn’t wised up to George Allen for example, he’d still be a white supremacist Senator. And he’s not the only one.

    Just as Bush for example passed coded messages to religious fundies, which were missed by most Americans until it was too late. He’s been siphoning billions to extremist religious groups, many of whom operate like cults in every sense, including grinding members down mentally till they’re practically zombies.

    BoingBoing spends a lot of time on Scientology, which aren’t much of a threat to anyone and is just a waste of time.

    s thy sy, gnrnc s blss, gss. ntl t’s nt.

  35. Hounskull says:

    Catalog of Germanic symbols, many of which are also used by racist groups.

    Notice “Huginn and Muninn” ravens, the eight pointed Ægishjálm: the Helm of Awe, Wolfsangel, Black Sun, and Todesrune, which are all combined in various patterns on several t-shirts and patches they sell.

    http://www.geocities.com/reginheim/symbols.html

  36. Hounskull says:

    #30

    The reason there are so many posts is because this is actually a rather in depth subject. It can’t be summarized quickly.

    If you think providing informations is “lack of impulse control”, well, you’re entitled to your opinion. It’s not very well informed or thought out, but it’s yours.

    btw, nobody said all Norse symbols are Nazi co-opted. But the assortment they sell are specifically those the Nazi have co-opoted. There are countless Norse symbols. The fact that their selection is all Nazi related is a totally improbably coincidence.

    Also, the artists they highlight are all notorious racists as I outlined above. As is Danzig, who the site is named after.

    btw: Big Daddy Roth idolized Von Dutch, who was also a notorious white supremacist and hated just about everyone. That whole style of art, while trendy now, originated among predominantly Southern and rural car tuners, Hells Angels, etc. Who are often associated with racism.

  37. Takuan says:

    Oh and hey there! Mr. Bush’s grandaddy #49 April Fools Boy! Howya doing? Yep, Love your race! There ain’t no race like the HUMAN race , anyplace!! Yessiree! I can’t tell you how delighted I am to see you support blacks and whites and reds and tans and browns and blues (they count to!) and ALL sexes`and flavours and passport holderships!

    YAY PRESCOTT! You are a hero for fighting racist knuckleheads!

  38. Hounskull says:

    btw, George Allen was an up and comer in Republican circles, despite long being known for pandering to crypto racists and racist symbolism.

    Had it not been for the “macaca” slip up, he would have been a strong Presidential candidate for 2008.

    People who think this stuff doesn’t matter, or is totally obscure, need to pull their head out.

  39. alisong76 says:

    14:

    The Guardian on why metal fans are brainier.

    I don’t have an opinion either way, but not everyone seems to think metal fan = dumb.

  40. Takuan says:

    Dear Hounskull; rest assured, I know when someone is a racist long before they start using “code words”.
    As the Gump said: Stupid is as stupid does.

  41. Hounskull says:

    #17 Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator

    I can’t answer all of those, but a lot of them are racism related.

    “Absinthe Drinkers” was a painting Munch sold right before being being denounced in an important Nazi manifesto on “blood inferiority” and “degenerate” art, as well as antisemitism, and national socialist anti-elitism. Absinthe was associated with Bohemians who Nazis regarded as degenerate, though ironically much of today’s white supremacist culture is meth and heroin addicted.

    The Four Horsemen are important to the Christian right white supremacists, symbolizing holy war and final battles. Apocalyptic paintings by Bosch are popular for the same reasons.

    Spartans are symbolically important to contemporary white supremacists and were to the Nazis as well. i.e. The “ideal soldiers” living in a fascistic society, defeating the invading hoards.

    Stylized swords and arrows, in specific arrangements, are some of the most common neo-nazi emblems originating in Norse mythology.

    Monstrosities, biohazards, Lovecraft, etc, all relate to genetic impurity. I posted more on Lovecraft above and it’s easy to google Lovecraft and racism.

    Vlad is seen by white supremacists as a sort of martyr figure of the occult, similar to hitler. He’s also their example of how to deal with Muslims due to his long guerrilla war to push back the Ottoman empire and mass execution of Turkish captives. Transylvania was at the time settled by Germanic people from the Holy Roman Empire. He’s also the inspiration for Dracula of course. Vlad the Impaler is a song by The Monolith Deathcult, a very racist metal band which encourages holy war against Muslims in the middle east.

  42. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    Gee mommy! We’re ALL nazis NOW!

  43. Hounskull says:

    #33 alisong76

    Thanks for the link. It was a pretty funny read.

    I’d mention that even the author points out that it’s a common stereotype metal heads are idiots. Also, the “study” he cites is a blurb on “raising kids” site. Not exactly the journal Nature is it? (proving my point about Metal Heads.)

    I’d also point out that there’s long been a sort of over-compensation by Metal Heads to literary pretentiousness. For example the article mentions a metal piece based on Moby Dick… Yeah, I’m sure it really captures the nuances. right. Just as Metalica’s “One” did for Johnny got His Gun. lol.

    btw, I knew Metallica years ago as they went to the same parties as I did. What a bunch of morons and their groupies were complete idiots and junkies. No wonder they’re such DMCA tools now.

  44. Xopher says:

    Antinous 23: Two, surely? Darkness isn’t a bad human thing…even if you’re using the definition of sodomy most justified by modern interpretations of the story of Sodom, which is more like xenophobia than like a sexual act.

    Hounskull, regardless of its use by racists (I don’t know) the Thor’s Hammer is not a racist symbol. It’s an Asatru symbol, and it’s been worn since Christianity came to the Norse lands, by people who stayed Pagan (for that generation) but thought wearing a religious symbol around their necks was necessary or just decorative (until cross-wearing came there, no such thing was done).

    You’re defaming a lot of perfectly nice Asatru people. Asatru isn’t any more racist than Christianity (not saying much, I agree), despite the fact that racists practice or claim both religions.

    Lumping the Celtic Cross in with those is patently absurd. While it was Pagan before it was Christian, it’s been adopted as a Christian symbol, especially by those who know of Celtic Christianity, the gentlest, most inclusive form of that religion that has ever existed, even to the present day.

    ____ 31: Ankh? The EYE OF HORUS??? OK, this is pure wakka-wakka.

  45. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    They also quite liked skull imagery and were quite fond of dogs,so what are YOU hiding behind your
    nom de web,eh”Hounskull”?
    nothing is true yadayadayada…

  46. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    They also quite liked skull imagery and were quite fond of dogs,so what are YOU hiding behind your
    nom de web,eh”Hounskull”?
    nothing is true yadayadayada…

  47. Hounskull says:

    #37 Was that supposed to be witty? Cuz ur doing it wrong.

  48. Xopher says:

    Oh, btw, on your list of racist symbols, you forgot the crucifix, which is actually a mini-sculpture of A JEW BEING TORTURED TO DEATH. How anti-Semitic can you get??? And the cross (that is, without a body): much burned by the KKK, that makes it a racist symbol! Anybody who wears either better hope they don’t get stopped by an African American cop!!!!!

    !!!!1111!!one!

  49. November Fire says:

    Robin Hood

    My instinct is to defend myself. But I cannot add anything more than what has been extensively debate on this topic.

    My comment regarding Hounskull is #52 above.

  50. Hounskull says:

    Samhain and “November Fire” are references to an album by the band “Danzig.” Glenn Danzig was probably referencing events in Nazi Germany during the rise of Hitler, several occurring in November around Samhain, a Nordic holiday.

    Glenn Danzig is of Germaninc and Scottish background and has long been accused of being a racist.

    Otto Rahn was a German medievalist and a Obersturmführer of the SS. Himmler employed him to research claims of the Nazis to the Holy Grail, which he was to complete by Samhain of 1936. Otto Rahn was the inspiration for the Indiana Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    The Free City of Danzig was symbolically important to Nazi propaganda. It was forcibly split from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. It was then occupied and annexed by the Nazis in 1939. After the war it became part of Poland.

    http://www.shoaheducation.com/naziholidays.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_City_of_Danzig

    http://www.the7thhouse.com/news/Articles/seconds44.htm

    SECONDS: You’ve raised the question of what’s wrong with being proud to be White.

    DANZIG: Why would I not be proud of being White? “Look what all the White people have done –” Well, look what all the Black people have done. Look what all the Mexican people have done. … But if there’s a race war, what I am going to do? Twenty Black guys with guns aren’t going to care that I’m not with anybody.

    SECONDS: Is that in, our future?

    DANZIG: Sure. Civil wars like that have always happened and are always going to happen. As much as you’d like to change it, the world will always take you back to what it is. You’re just a speck on this planet and as the world evolves, it repeats itself.

    SECONDS: There are cleansing processes.

    DANZIG: Nature has its own cleansing processes — AIDS may be one of them. Ebola, all these different things, nature controls what happens on this planet. The world always has its way of clarifying things.

  51. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    just askin’

  52. License Farm says:

    Theresa: I am doing my impression of the patient from the boardgame Operation, complete with shrill buzzer. But you get a pass since you work here.

    Perhaps the greatest lesson we can take from these allegations is that our idols are, in most cases, still human, and thus prone to the same foibles and errors in judgment as anyone else. Roald Dahl is beloved for his contributions to children’s literature, but behind closed doors he was an inveterate anti-Semite. Does that make Tim Burton, Angelica Huston, Jim Henson, Johnny Depp, Danny Elfman or Gene Wilder guilty of the same by association? Again, that’d be a neat trick on Gene Wilder and Danny Elfman’s part, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to make any sort of case for the others.

    This is a topical issue, considering the mishegahs directed at Barack Obama over his former pastor’s comments from the pulpit. Holding unpopular or outrightly misinformed opinions does not make someone a bad person implicitly, and loving someone despite those flaws does not make you a bad person by osmosis. Despite attempt to stultify society into accepting simplistic, stark justifications, there is honor, not shame, in trying to understand the perspectives of others; there is no better way to repair ignorance than by taking it apart to see how it works or, more likely, doesn’t work.

  53. RJ says:

    Hounskull, the site is selling horror-oriented and metal-oriented stuff. A few old Nordic symbols doesn’t make it the next chapter of the KKK.

    If that were true, then Buddhists would have to answer for their use of the Swastika as well, don’t you agree?

    It’s just another “eclectic” clothing and accessory shop. There aren’t any super secret squirrel codes to unlock the sooper-dooper pro-whitey agenda.

  54. MarkM says:

    So, of about 2000 items they sell, there’s
    one Iron Cross (and not even a swastika),
    and that makes it a racist, white supremicist site?
    If so, they’re doing a pretty poor job of it.

    The site’s “Links” section is also quite bereft
    of fellow racist links.

    (I think we can safely assume Hounskull was kidding
    or trolling; everyone go back to sleep.)

  55. Hounskull says:

    “If that were true, then Buddhists would have to answer for their use of the Swastika as well, don’t you agree?”

    Tht’s jst stpd nd ttlly bckwrds.

    Believe whatever you want, but that store is selling white supremacist stuff. It’s not just the typical metal stuff. There’s a lot of ordinary metal-head motifs missing there. What they do sell is almost all directly featured by white supremacist groups and allegory.

    That the site is named after Danzig’s most Aryan inspired album, and Danzig’s music is filled with Nazi mysticism, is a bit of a tip off.

  56. Hounskull says:

    Check out their t-shirts and patches featuring monkeys with big red lips and little hats straight out of minstrelsy posters.

    Danzig has long been accused of being a neo-nazi. He and similar metal bands are hugely poplar in Germany with neo-nazis and skinheads.

    Not to say all Danzig and metal fans are racists, some are just idiots. But there’s a lot of overlap and the genre caters heavily to that audience.

  57. searconflex says:

    Hounskull:
    Thanks for the interesting links… however if you could please explain how “Space Invaders”, E.A. Poe, H.P. Lovecraft , Munch’s “The Scream”, The Eye of Horus, Ankh, “R2 Dog Doo”, Jack the Ripper, Tiffany’s, Galileo Galilei and finally “Digital Piracy and How You Can Help” are, as you say, keyed to white supremacy, I would find that most fascinating.

    No baiting going on here… just honest to goodness curiosity.

  58. RJ says:

    @Houndskull

    Yes, I do see what they’re selling. But none of it really qualifies as abjectly racist. It is a product line catering to the sort of subculture that tattoos its arms, wears lots of pointy, silver jewelry and throws the horns up anytime something good happens.

    But hey, if you can see all kinds of wild conspiracies in everything around you, that’s your business. Ultimately, your paranoia doesn’t affect me one way or the other.

  59. Antinous says:

    Hounskull,

    Don’t waste your fingertips. It’s not worth it. If it’s really a link to a white supremacist site, flag your own e-mail so that Teresa can notify David.

  60. Conservationist says:

    Now pride in your “heritage” is racist.

    I’m a Jew and I take pride in my heritage. It’s not intended to harm or offend others, but sometimes, people are offended by non-offensive things.

    My parents participated in the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s (and the marijuana legalization struggle of the 1990s) and their parents barely escaped Hitler’s ovens.

    You’re telling me that “heritage” is racism? I am thoroughly offended.

  61. Xopher says:

    License 72: I’ve been thinking of making a button that says “Go, Xenu, Go!” This would go along with my chanting puja songs to Kali-ji when I pass the Hare Krishna guys…but I haven’t seen them in ages.

  62. License Farm says:

    Antinous: It took this long for Hounskull to shed his credibility for you? Like I said, it was when he was compelled to make post after post, one after the other, of interminable and pointless accusations with the flimsiest of pretexts that he lost me. He’s making NikFromNYC seem the model of comprehensibility comparatively.

    BTW, it’s been pointed out elsewhere that the concept of a tinfoil helmet would actually conduct supposed mind-control rays, not insulate from them. Something ceramic or lead would likely work better for keeping them out. At least, that’s what Xenu tells me in my head.

  63. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Timestamp: Strephon Taylor’s comment (anonymous @52) was made visible around 11:30 a.m. EDT, Wednesday 02 April 2008.

  64. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    (Our term for today is latitude of interpretation. If it’s too narrow, it excludes meanings that are obviously present, and forces literal but absurd readings. If it’s too broad, all interpretations are admitted, but none can be reliably assumed to have meaning.)

    License Farm (47), that mishegas over Obama is a political cheap trick: find a potentially inflammatory statement made by a long-term associate of the candidate, whip up a huge fuss over it, then demand that the candidate either disavow an old associate, or stand behind the statement that person made. Which is nonsense, of course; none of us agree with every word that proceedeth out of the mouths of our friends. I thought Obama responded to that as well as anyone could.

    Antinous (48): The keys on either side of my space bar show a quatrefoil St. John’s cross and a little picture of an apple. What are these strange new terms, ALT and keypad?

    Prescott (49): Good news! You can relax now. Whoever it was you thought was working to obliterate whites has abandoned the project.

    Hounskull (50):

    The point is that if a group chooses a large number of symbols, including writers, icons, and themes, all associated with racism by known racist groups, then it’s almost certainly racism. It’s totally improbable all of this stuff linked to racism was chosen randomly. there’s too much of it, and the ties to racism are too strong, for it all to be random.

    I’d say the point is that your idea of what constitutes a legitimate link is waaaaay too broad. For instance: you claim that Ed Roth is said to admire some guy who is said to be a racist (though not, I gather, for his racism per se), and therefore anyone who likes Ed Roth-style artwork must be a racist. Hoo boy. I know authors who admire the work of Roald Dahl (though not on account of Dahl’s racism). By your logic, anyone who buys a t-shirt which references writing by those authors must also be a racist.

    Skinhead racism is not what that site is about. As I wrote yesterday to Avram Grumer:

    I think what they’re really about is scary movies and loud music. The movies section takes up ten pages in their shirt catalogue and is constantly being updated. And if you look at their Rogues’ Gallery section of sites and organizations that are cross-promoting with theirs, most of them are media-related.”

    This is in fact what Strephon Taylor wrote about his site — and yes, I do feel vindicated.

    Someone’s ignorance of the symbols of racist groups, or different interpretations of them, doesn’t change the fact they use them.

    Disagreeing with your latitude of interpretation is not the same thing as ignorance. And by the way, you never got around to explaining why skinheads would sell or buy t-shirts decorated with Pigasus, the hammer and sickle, or “Eat the Rich.”

    The general public may not be sufficiently aware of white supremacists, but I don’t think they’re going to learn the facts from you.

    Asatru is a neopagan religion, AND it’s a religious front group for white supremacists. Just as for example Scientology is a religion for some sincere goofballs, and it’s a cult designed to exploit and indoctrinate and then exert influence on them. It’s a structure for organization and indoctrination, with tax benefits.

    You’re wrong, and the error is offensive.

    For about a day and a half now, I’ve been thinking of mentioning how much your argument that these shirt designs must derive from white supremacist beliefs reminds me of that classic of hate literature, Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons. One of Hislop’s central claims is that, while Protestants worship God and Jesus, Catholics who think they’re worshipping the Trinity and venerating the Blessed Virgin Mary are actually worshipping Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz. It doesn’t matter what they think they’re doing, or what they mean by their symbols; Hislop is sure he knows better.

    It was the passage I’ve quoted above that finally moved me to talk about this. Now first, what you’re saying about Asatru being a front group is impossible. Front groups only work if they’re owned and controlled by some person or organization. The rank and file think the group has one purpose; management knows it has a different one, and they use the group to pursue goals and agendas the general membership isn’t aware of.

    Asatru doesn’t have a top-down management structure. Mostly it has some large-scale tendencies and affinities. It doesn’t have a unified set of beliefs or body of religious practice. Religious leaders, local groups, and individual practitioners need not affiliate themselves with any other Asatru tendency.

    In order for something to be a front group, it has to first be an organization that has some hope of being able to tell its members what to do. Asatru doesn’t qualify.

    Second: there are some white supremacists who identify as Asatru. Many religious denominations have members who are white supremacists. Unlike many of those denominations, the main Asatru groups kicked theirs out. Quoting from Wikipedia:

    Some groups identifying as Ásatrú have been associated with neo-Nazi and “white power” movements. This was notably an issue in the 1980s, when the Asatru Free Assembly disintegrated as a result of tensions between the racist and the non-racist factions.

    Today, the three largest US American Ásatrú organizations have specifically denounced any association with racist groups.

    It’s a strange sort of front organization that repudiates its supposed leaders.

    Third, you do not know more than Asatru’s adherents do about what they’re worshipping, or what their symbols mean to them. You can’t. They’re the primary data source on the subject — just like Strephon Taylor is the primary source on the intentions behind his business and website.

    On Lovecract, and Poe, I think you need to research them further.

    Mmmmm?

    You’re apparently unaware of several decades of racist criticism.

    Criticism written by racists? Criticism of them as racists? Criticism that pursues a racist agenda? You’re not being clear.

    I will proceed on the assumption that you’re talking about the same bodies of literary criticism that I’m familiar with. So: Poe was born in 1809, died in 1849, grew up in Virginia, and wasn’t on record as being an abolitionist. It follows, then, that he was something of a racist. Some scholars have attempted to make a case for Poe being a fervent racist. The chief evidence for this involves crediting him with an anonymous review published in the 1836 Southern Literary Messenger. Some other scholars have argued that there’s more and stronger evidence for crediting the review to one Beverly Tucker, a premature secessionist. Some scholars have pointed out that while Poe certainly had subjects that exercised his mind a great deal, race is far down the list, well below death, the waywardness and fickleness of readers and publishers, detection, cryptology, the problem of writing material that would sell in all the regions of a sectionally divided country, premature burial, copyright issues, the difficulty of getting paid for one’s work, and being disappointed by beautiful women.

    If you tell me these scholarly bunfights are a common topic of skinhead conversation, I will laugh and laugh and laugh.

    I’m reasonably familiar with Lovecraft criticism, but I don’t want to argue with you about it because you think there are sexual rituals in his stories, so you can’t have read them right-side-up.

    The fact is [skinheads] already use them as racist material.

    What — with all the genuinely racist material that’s available, skinheads are reduced to teasing out subtext in Poe, and dissecting metaphors in Lovecraft? Pull the other one. Better yet, give me a citation.

    The fact is both Lovecraft and Poe were virulent racists and xenophobes in their own lives. Lovecraft hated the multiculturalism of NYC. Poe was pro-slavery and his black characters reflected that. That’s well documented.

    Oh no it isn’t; not in Poe’s case, at any rate. That’s a gross misrepresentation of the current state of Poe criticism.

    Lovecraft was a withdrawn, passive racist and xenophobe whose response to the threat of the Alien Other was to feel frightened and oppressed, and write stories about beleaguered New Englanders who, if they ran away fast enough to avoid being eaten, spent the rest of their days contemplating their wretchedness and vulnerability. I find it hard to see the appeal to white-power militants.

    Of course someone else can read whatever they want into it.

    Not if they want to be taken seriously, they can’t.

    But one shouldn’t be ignorant of the fact they personally were racists,

    Would you like a long but necessarily incomplete list of authors contemporary with them who were also racists?

    and both rather mentally unstable also.

    Which proves exactly what?

    I’m going to move a passage of yours up to this location, where it makes more nonsense. You were responding to something I said:

    I have a real problem with the idea that a bunch of raucous anti-intellectual skinheads are into reading subtext in stories written by a shy, socially backward weirdo (I mean that in the nicest possible way) who married a Jew.

    Then you probably don’t know any skinheads and white supremacists. Most of them are shy, backwards, chronically insecure, kids who then find identity and strength through a group with a simplistic racial ideology.

    That simplistic ideology they cling to would be the one they casually subvert via ironic reversals like wearing shirts with Munch art on them?

    Whether or not they’ve actually read Lovecraft or Poe is entirely beside the point. They’re an oral story telling culture,

    Whoa. Hold it right there. Suppose we grant that this is true: They’re an oral culture, and they hang out and recite The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and The Shadow over Innsmouth to each other. It’s picturesque, but I’ll entertain the notion for the sake of the argument.

    However. If they’re retelling tales from Poe and Lovecraft to each other, they’re not getting the fine points of Poe’s subtext (whatever you conceive that to be), or Lovecraft’s weirdly suggestive assortments of adjectives. They’re certainly not getting the earnest editorial introduction with biographical sketch of the author. All they’re getting are the storylines. If the storytellers are good enough, they’re getting the storylines plus enough description to make the plots make sense.

    This is a problem for you, because all your previous arguments about why they’d be into Poe and Lovecraft are based on readings and interpretations of their literary works. If you transplant those works from the literary context to oral storytelling, your earlier arguments stop working.

    and increasingly a web based culture, which thrives on allegory.

    They hang out and recite HTML to each other?

    As for the bit about allegory? Hogwash and flapdoodle. The web isn’t especially prone to allegory. In fact, it’s quite the opposite — why devise an elaborate allegorical schema when you can simply link to the thing you wish to represent?

    Also, none of the art or literature on the t-shirts we’ve discussed has been allegorical.

    Again, anyone expressing disbelief that racists lack an intellectually rigorous ideology… is totally missing the point.

    Has anyone expressed such disbelief? I don’t recall it. And if I’m missing the point, I’m more and more inclined to think it’s because the point isn’t there.

    Reverting to the original sequence …

    If Edvard Munch was seen as the epitome of “degenerate art,” why would skinheads wear shirts with his images on them?

    Ever heard of crass irony in a subculture?

    Yes. I’ve never heard it’s characteristic of this one.

    White supremacists are full of contradictions.

    Forgive me for thinking that last sentence translates as, “I have no rigor, and no plans to get any.” Shall we count up all kinds of justification you’ve offered for adducing shirts from that site as evidence of racism?

    (1.) Explicitly racist images (except you haven’t cited any).
    (2.) Non-racist images sometimes used by racists (except you never demonstrated that they used them to signify racist meanings, as opposed to their common or ostensible significance).
    (3.) Non-racist images created by artists said to have admired artists who are said to have been racists (though you never demonstrated that the racist artists were admired for their racism, or that the audience for the images was aware of the connection and perceived it as the primary meaning of the images).
    (4.) Images or writing created by persons who have or had any connection whatsoever to other persons said to be racists.
    (5.) Literary works by writers who were racists, but who expressed it by writing about Malign Seafood, Ancient Evil Gods of Chaos, and Things From Space.
    (6.) Literary works by writers who were either normal mid-19th-C. American racists, or were (according to the theories of some critics) rather more fervently racist than was the norm; but who, in a context where writing explicitly racist material carried very few penalties, expressed this hypothetical racism by writing about Creatures, Phantasms, Apparitions, Ravens, Detectives, Plagues, Beautiful Dead Women, and the occasional batch of South Sea Islanders.
    (7.) Images of things you shoot at in video games.
    (8.) Images that make you feel oppressed, victimized, or sorry for yourself.
    (9.) Norse, Teutonic, or Celtic images or emblems.
    (10.) Monsters.
    (11.) Jewish, Christian, or Greco-Roman images or emblems.
    (12.) Images which refer to movies, TV shows, or musical groups.
    (13.) Memento Mori/Dance of Death images.
    (14.) Images randomly derived from the popular culture of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
    (15.) Images created by artists whose lives, works, ideas, and artistic traditions are repellent to skinheads, but which skinheads supposedly buy in response to subtly ironic impulses not previously observed in members of their tribe.

    As of #15 you’ve got it narrowed down to “stuff racists like,” “stuff with any imaginable connection to racists,” and “stuff racists don’t like, just to be ironic.” So, what’s left? Random image captures from security cameras? Hogarth engravings? Old labels from discontinued brands of vegetables?

    I should be merciful and stop responding. Your argument is disintegrating on you, and it’s painful to watch you trying to patch it with tissue paper and chewing gum.

    One more bit:

    Big Daddy Roth-style art did not come out of the rural South; it came out of the Southern California hotrod scene.

    Hotrod culture was a part of southern CA suburban and rural all-white culture. Much of SoCal was in the 50′s undeveloped and even farm land. LA proper was much smaller, and much of today’s sprawl was then rural.

    No matter how undeveloped Southern California was, it still wasn’t the rural South. No amount of handwaving is going to make that anything but an error.

    Not to say all were racists, but all were originally white.

    De veras, gringo? California agriculture was all-white? That’s a remarkable assertion. Also, while the government did run off the Japanese during WWII, not all of them stayed gone afterward. Agriculture wasn’t all-white, and the suburbs weren’t either.

    Cripes, why am I even trying? This isn’t a meaningful argument. You don’t really believe all this stuff. You’re just saying it because you don’t want to admit you were wrong about Roth, and you don’t want to admit you were wrong about him because you don’t want to admit you were wrong about the site that sells the t-shirts.

    At different periods I’ve had the privilege of hanging out with really smart people. You know what they do when they find that something they’ve said is completely wrong? They say “No kidding? I had no idea — when did that happen?” or “Oh, that’s interesting — tell me more?” and go on from there. And you know what? It doesn’t make them look dumb. Quite the opposite.

    I’m not in the same class with Joanna Russ or Chip Delany or John M. Ford, but I hope I can recognize a good response when I hear it. That one’s served me well. I highly recommend it.

    Anonymous #52 (Strephon Taylor): Welcome, and thank you for clearing that up!

    Registration: if you’ll click on the eyeball icon next to the comment you posted, and give all the relevant information plus a description of what happened, I’ll forward it to tech support for diagnosis and assistance.

    Conservationist again (61): Well said.

    Xopher, I love “coefficient of ignorability.”

    Murderface, he may not be the same guy, but he’s got the same bad habits.

    Kids, if you’re reading this, remember: It’s much easier to just say you were wrong and go on with the conversation.

  65. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Me, I want to know how Antinous made the little musical notes, and what search method Takuan used to turn up a picture of three men holding a piece of sod.

    Separating the combatants: good idea. I can’t improve on RJ’s characterization of that subculture’s aesthetics.

    Conservationist, it’s always a pleasure to watch an expert sort out a question.

    Hounskull: I think there’s a bug in the way you’re reading and interpreting this imagery.

    First: the primary meaning of a symbol is the one its users assign to it. It may have other associations that shade its meaning, but those only affect the interpretation if the people using the symbol are aware of them.

    Second: interpreting an image to mean something orthogonal to its obvious significance, on the grounds that its creator “is associated with” something related to that orthogonal meaning, only works if (a.) that association is clear and obvious to its intended audience; (b.) it’s common knowledge among them; and (c.) there are no other strong associations which contradict or subvert that orthogonal meaning.

    Third: you need to consider is how frequently racism crops up in our culture. “Has any connection to something with racist connections” is like “has any connection to redheads.”

    Fourth, an opinion: I believe it’s an error to cede major symbols to groups and movements one opposes. It grants them too much power to define your world. This is why I had an American flag in the front window of my apartment long before 9/11: it’s my flag too, and I refuse to cede it to the far right.

    Some years back, there was a CHINO Evangelist group that vetted YA books for subversive imagery. They watched out for all kinds of innocuous images. The two I remember best were rainbows and the color green: neopagans are big on green, and the rainbow as a symbol by the Rainbow Coalition, and therefore any use of rainbows or the color green was a covert advertisement for those groups.

    When I heard about this from Jane Yolen, I was dazed: “They’ve ceded the entire photosynthetic universe to the neopagans?” I asked her.

    “Apparently so,” she said.

    “And I’d swear the rainbow was also used as a symbol by God Almighty, right there in Genesis.”

    “They make me want to swear too,” said Jane.

    The point is, a Celtic cross or a Thor’s hammer doesn’t automatically become the property of the skinhead Nazi racists unless we agree that it’s theirs and stop using it for other things. I’m not going to do that, and neither should you. Those symbols have been around a lot longer than suburban Nazi-boys.

  66. Hounskull says:

    RJ-

    Yr rgmnt s frm gnrnc. The stuff they feature is too specific to white supremacists, and not nearly general enough to be for ordinary metal heads. The site is based on Danzig, which is a white supremacist metal band, though some fans of course are too stupid to know it. Metal heads in general aren’t too bright.

    However, the site owner must certainly know it because the inventory has been carefully selected to represent white supremacist iconography. For example, the Union Jack isn’t popular with metal heads. It is popular with skinheads. Other items they list aren’t generally popular with metal heads at all, like Thor’s Hammer and a lot of obscure nordic emblems, every one of which is associated with the Nazi mythology.

    Antinous – yep.

  67. Takuan says:

    I don’t care if people want to celebrate their cultural trivialities. I put tattoos and religions in the same basket. Knock yourselves out. Me, I’m proud of that opposable thumb thing. We really got the edge with that one. Legs,legs I’m not sure of. We were having a good time in that ocean, we probably would have been fine with flippers. Leavin g the egg-laying thing behind now, what do you think about that? Should we have gone monotreme?

  68. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    More quibbles on the details, because I want to make License Farm’s tinfoil helmet warning light go on:

    Hounskull, do you know from Asatru? All that Northern European imagery is part of their religion. That’s why I mentioned the shirt with Thor’s goats on it: it’s an Asatru thing, not a skinhead thing.

    My suspension of disbelief fails me when you assert that there are sexual rituals in Lovecraft’s works. Spa fon? Squa tront? H. P. disliked seafood in all its forms. Also, I have a real problem with the idea that a bunch of raucous anti-intellectual skinheads are into reading subtext in stories written by a shy, socially backward weirdo (I mean that in the nicest possible way) who married a Jew.

    I’m not giving you Edgar Allen Poe, either, and he was not writing thinly-veiled racist allegories. I’m certainly not giving the Aryan Nation every bit of writing associated with victimization, revenge, or imprisonment. And if you do a Google image search on chains and handcuffs, you’ll find that skinheads are far from being their primary association.

    If Edvard Munch was seen as the epitome of “degenerate art,” why would skinheads wear shirts with his images on them?

    Space Invaders is not about xenophobia and racism. It’s about shooting small, colorful, crudely animated pixel-creatures.

    Big Daddy Roth-style art did not come out of the rural South; it came out of the Southern California hotrod scene. Furthermore, it is not about white supremacy. It’s about the joyful fetishization of the internal combustion engine.

    Your exegesis of The Absinthe Drinkers has two problems. One is the problem noted earlier: why would skinheads would want to wear images painted by Munch? The other problem is that The Absinthe Drinkers was painted by Edgar Degas.

    Sword emblems turn up all over the place. The same goes for arrows.

    And so forth.

    Hassan-i-Sabbah’s question about “Hounskull” was less farfetched.

  69. Antinous says:

    I prefer to travel by quinquereme, thanks. Oh, monotreme! Never mind.

  70. Takuan says:

    top bench or bottom bench?

  71. Crunchbird says:

    It’s not a metalhead merchandising site, it’s a gothic horror merchandising site. The fact that Glenn Danzig may be personally be a racist doesn’t mean that a store named after one of his albums is a White Power front. You’ve pointed out a few examples of images that are, sometimes used as racist “code” but the handful of images you’re wailing about are a tiny percentage of the designs they have on sale, most of which are far more conventionally “Satanic” or counter-cultural. The fact that you persist in going on and on about the Union Jack, as if everyone who wears a UK-flag-design t-shirt is a crypto-racist rather than a stuck-in-the-80s Anglophile, makes me really question the depth of your obsession.

    Again, I’m not saying I know anything about the personal racial politics of the site owner, the shirt designer, Danzig himself, or anyone else. Claiming that that this particular storefront is “obviously” a skinhead/white power front based on the evidence you’ve presented just seems pretty over the top to me.

  72. MarkM says:

    Observation #1:
    Their company motto should be:
    “Don’t be fooled by imitators!”
    [you know, those hacks over in
    Room #17, Hotel el-Minzah, Tangier]

    Observation #2:
    In case, you missed that: WTF?
    Their company HQ is a room in a hotel in Morocco
    and they print it prominently on the label like
    that inspires brand confidence.
    Maybe, the thought is “it sounds so shady: these
    guys must know what they’re talking about.”
    What a research facility: an actual fleabag
    hotel is their proving grounds (Rooms #10-20).

  73. Antinous says:

    I thought that we had already established whether I’m a top or a bottom.

  74. Xopher says:

    And, IMO, Strephon Taylor’s comment 52 credibly refutes Hounskull’s foaming accusations. Not that I expect anything from hir other than silence or more justifications. That one has a high Coefficient of Ignorability.

  75. Takuan says:

    umm, I was referring to the inevitable bathroom arrangements – shackles? remember? Wasn’t it just yesterday when we rowed from Gaul to Eygptus?

  76. Murderface says:

    I’m way too late to this party, but….I’m pretty sure that Hounskull is the Mall Ninja!

  77. Takuan says:

    nope, not me. I’m NEVER wrong.

  78. Antinous says:

    We’ll always have Actium.

  79. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Antinous, I’ve looked through the entire site and I’m not seeing the racism. I’d say RJ hit the nail right on the head:

    It is a product line catering to the sort of subculture that tattoos its arms, wears lots of pointy, silver jewelry and throws the horns up anytime something good happens.

    I think what tripped up Hounskull is all the Asatru-related imagery. I’m sure it’s Asatru. White supremacists may be big on Thor’s hammer, but I can’t imagine them wanting a shirt with the names of Thor’s goats on it. I also doubt they’d fancy a shirt showing Pigasus, or a hammer and sickle, or the slogan “Eat the Rich.”

    Aside from the Asatru/neopagan stuff it’s a mishmash of imagery: flying monkeys (Oz), the Sacred Heart of Jesus, digital piracy, skull and roses (Grateful Dead), drugs, Galileo, Escher’s dragon, Giant Size Man Thing, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth knockoffs, Durer’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, memento mori images, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a zombie “Hello Kitty,” Mos Eisley Cantina, Aurora model sheets for the Mummy and Wolf Man, the Weekly World News Bat Boy, “Gabba Gabba Hey” (the Ramones) crossed with “We accept you / one of us” (Freaks), Tiny Tim, Andy Warhol, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” a Spartan helmet, Jack the Ripper, a labrador humping R2D2, Sid Vicious, the biohazard icon, a ghost from Pac-Man, an ankh, Pacific Biological Laboratories, Rhine ESP cards, Vlad the Impaler, Elvis, Edgar Allen Poe, the Jersey Devil, Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabra, Bigfoot, Blackbeard, H. P. Lovecraft, the tarot three of swords, Houdini, handcuffs, Space Invaders, the Eye of Horus, Ouija logo, the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. logo, MI5′s logo, a demonic Tony Danza (?), absinthe, X-Ray Specs, and The Scream.

    If you’re trying to prove something, you can find at least one of anything in this collection of t-shirts. The only difficulty then is explaining how the rest of the line fits in.

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