Paris Hilton's Nazi (1 Viewer)

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Paris Hilton's Nazi

The lesson of Paris Hilton's Nazi photo flap
The socialite is accused of doing a Hitler pose on a yacht. Are we becoming too quick to pull out the Nazi smear?
By Mary Elizabeth Williams

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The lesson of Paris Hilton's Nazi photo flap
AP/Salon

It's been a great week for Nazi references. First, while partying in St. Tropez, Paris Hilton briefly reminded the world she still exists by donning a military style hat, sticking her forefinger underneath her nose, and raising her right hand stiffly into the air. To make matters more absurd, her publicist promptly insisted she was merely dancing and scratching her face, explaining the impossibility of her doing a Nazi salute because, "Half of her family is Jewish and many of her friends are as well."

Oliver Stone, meanwhile, generously giving Mel Gibson a day off from being the biggest douche in Hollywood, gave a scathing interview for the Sunday Times of London that touched upon "the Jewish domination of the media" and the fact that "Hitler was a Frankenstein, but there was also a Dr. Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British." Though he issued an apology Monday, saying, "I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret," the remarks, coming as they did from a guy who in January declared "Hitler is an easy scapegoat," were not universally absolved. Fox News, Stone's spiritual twin in restraint and good taste, still declared him guilty Tuesday of "empowering evil."

Nazism, like other heavily loaded, deeply painful subjects, isn't exactly the sort of thing one jokes easily about. And the difference between a celebutard possibly goofily goose stepping on a yacht and an Oscar-winning director not wishing to scapegoat Hitler is clear. But after a Facebook page for an "Auschwitz Spa" with gas saunas and a "very slimming" diet was condemned this week by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as the "latest trivialization of the Holocaust" (and subsequently removed) we have to wonder -- what do we talk about when we talk about Nazis?

An "Auschwitz Spa" is obviously offensive. But is trivialization always a bad thing? We might shudder when Paris Hilton dons a finger mustache, but when John Cleese does it, it's bloody brilliant. Is it possible that we can understand that the Holocaust is a blight in human history and an ongoing pain, that anti-Semitism is a thriving affliction in too many parts of the world today, and still celebrate the "Soup Nazi" reopening for business? Can our minds reel at the news that just Wednesday, 90-year-old former Belzec camp guard Samuel Kunz was charged with participating in the murder of 430,000 Jews during the Holocaust -- and still enjoy, nay, be entertained by the kicking of Nazi ass in "Inglourious Basterds" or "Dead Snow"? Anyone who's spent any time online knows the persistence of the meme, the rapidity with which discussions turn into Holocaust analogies and the ease with which any news story can be an excuse for Hitler to blow his top. Because being open about malevolence isn't necessarily an endorsement of it -- far from it. Sometimes it's just that the only way to look at unfathomable horror is sideways.

While Paris Hilton and Oliver Stone clearly need considerably more sensitivity training, the N-word isn't always verboten. Surely the power of the word and its imagery can be applied with a degree of precision and even, occasionally, humor. Sometimes used hyperbolically, sometimes with dead seriousness, Nazism is the mot juste for what it made itself -- unambiguously synonymous with pure evil.
 

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AJCongress Suspends Activities.

The American Jewish Congress has suspended its activities after running out of funds.

The suspension of the venerable Jewish-American advocacy organization’s activities, confirmed to JTA on Sunday by acting co-executive director Marc Stern, comes after months of rumors that the organization was on the verge of collapse after losing most of its endowment in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.

As of Sunday afternoon there was no mention of the suspension on the AJCongress website.

The Jerusalem Post had reported in April that the AJCongress lost as much as 90 percent of its approximately $24 million endowment in the Madoff scam.

Richard Gordon, the AJCongress president, told the Post that the group has money in the bank but cannot access it now due to the constraints of its constitution.

The 92-year-old organization is rumored to be in merger talks with the American Jewish Committee.


:lol::lol::lol:......the irony.
 

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