Book musings on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Will it surprise anyone if I opine a moment on the subject of a Tennessee school banning “Maus” from being taught as part of the 8th grade curriculum. Left as open questions for the inquiring mind (mine) are the following:

Is it still allowed in the school library?

8th grade in US schools is typically the last year before US high school begins (9-12). Does removing this from the middle school/Jr. High curriculum mean it will added to the High School curriculum?

One of the board members who eventually sided with the rest of the board in the 10-0 vote to remove originally proposed censoring the naughty words. But really there’s no censoring the naked, dead mouse, unless you draw clothing on her, but since the point of the book is emphasize that the mouse was stripped to specifically to reduce her to the state of primal mouse, sub-mouse, if you will, that wouldn’t exactly drive the point home, now would it? It’s meant to be shocking, visceral, and horrible. Because that’s what the Shoah, the Holocaust, was.

I just saw an additional quote from the school board that was a little jaw dropping: The board members also complained of the depiction of violence throughout the novel, with Allman making the point of how “It shows people hanging, it shows them killing kids.” But another board member, Julie Goodin, conceded that “there is nothing pretty about the Holocaust and for me this was a great way to depict a horrific time in history.”

It shows them killing kids. Yes. That is, unfortunately, exactly what they did. How do you teach history and leave that part out? Would you like the depict the NAZIs as basically okay people whose biggest crime is yelling at people who criticize their soup? Despite a proliferation of absurd “NAZI” suffixation. (That’s not a word, but you know, when you throw NAZI on the back of anything to make it means “someone who is very strict” like Soup NAZI, Grammar NAZI, Feminazi etc.) The problem with NAZIs wasn’t that they cared so much about x thing, like grammar, that they couldn’t let a error go by without commenting meanly about it; it was that they were actively engaged in killing people for the sole purpose of committing genocide to comply with some monomaniacal idea of ethnic purity. In pure, simple fact, they attempted to separate humans from their humanity, ironically, stripping themselves of their own humanity as they forced others to literally strip off their clothing. Which they then looted, because they were thieves as well as murders. There’s very few polite words for a systematic murder, loot, recycle scheme such as the NAZIs employed during their Final solution. There are so many things I could expound on here and each little detail would make you sick in a completely different way, would stick with you in a completely different way and would randomly float up in your mind in a sort of WTF for the rest of your life. You’d be sitting there listening to music on a radio and the thought would pop into your head, “Who drives up to a building in which human beings are rotting, caged, dying and thinks, ‘the problem here is that we aren’t killing and cremating people fast enough. If we streamlined the process, this would solve everything.’?” Or “The reason no one thinks Belzec was ‘as bad’ as Auschwitz is because we’ve heard stories about what happened in Auschwitz. There aren’t many stories about what happened at Belzec, because there was a less than 1% survival rate.” (Estimates say about 7 prisoners of Belzec survived to the end of the war. 7. That’s not a percentage. That’s a total number.)

This book is violent! Ya think? I wonder why that might be… 7. Out of a possible number of 600,000. 7. survivors.

Someone posted on my facefriend timeline this article about how The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is still in print and how it is marketed. “If this is true, it should give one serious pause.”

Pause my ass. It’s a falsehood and a forgery and the only people who don’t know that are the people who don’t want to know it. I really wanted to be eloquent in my discourse on “speculative fiction” with respect to Protocols, I really did. But now I’m tired and I feel gross and exhausted.

You want some more language? Leave the Jews the fuck alone for awhile. I know we say every year on Passover “in every generation, they rise up to kill us,” but maybe, if you’re out there, Jew hater, maybe just take a breather and chill and just live and let live.

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