Some of you will remember "Prussian Blue", the twin girls who are, together, apparently the Spice Girls of the neo-Nazi world. In a bout of idle Internet-surfery, I occured again upon their web site. One of the things I discovered is that they have a little sister named Dresden. I also took a look at their lyrics. Let's just say that after reading them, you'd become a little more suspicious when someone invokes Norse mythology, and you'd feel more confident in a Wagner-Nazi ideological link! But: this is a little less fair to Norse mythology than it is to Wagner.
These young ladies get letters of support every time the media gives them a justifiably horrified glance. Some of these people claim that they'd never say such things in public. They have jobs like bank tellars and the like. So, if you're a darkie like me or a visible/seeming Joo, and you're at the bank, and you're being served by a white seeming-non-Jewish person, there's a chance that this person may be a closet neo-Nazi and believe that he'll have to shoot you in the coming race war. Feel free to profile them as desired.
One interesting one:
I am a Black woman and I have a lot of pride in my race but I don't wish any ill will toward any other race. I think you girls are talented and you should keep your race pride alive. Be proud of your accomplishments and always thank GOD for giving you the gift of musical ability and having the support from your parents to persue your dreams. Your website is really cool and if I were your demographic I would pick up your CD. I read the lyrics and they are really good. Keep up the good work, and don't get discouraged and never forget where you came from. (A fan)
If this person really is black, one really wonders what was going through her head as she wrote this. Is this some form of rhetorical judo based on fear? It's normal for beleaguered groups to engage in that sort of thing. Still, it's odd when the lamb goads the lion's self-pity.
Way back when the Web (as opposed to the Internet) was young, I had a slightly diffferent set of obsessions than I do now. One of the things about which I was obsessed was the Helleno-Turkish conflect, particularly the intractable Cyprus problem. So I used to follow, in that time, a (now defunct, deleted) Cypriot discussion board that was mostly populated by expats of the region in America. It was run by Greek Cypriot in the California tech industry (or something), who wanted Ordinary People to discuss solutions to the conflict given the failures of the leaders.
Now that the web is older, it generally knows better. Or, at least, many people on it do.
The most striking figure on this forum was this Greek-from-Greece, an ultra-ultra-nationalist, who had only vicious things to say about the innate barbarity of Turks and whose (unwittingly ironic) desire for Cyprus was that the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants be swept from the island or otherwise dissipated (even by "peaceful" means such as obligate assimilation, I assume). Of course, he desired this regardless of what Greek Cypriots themselves wanted, which, to their credit, involved at its strongest some form of compensation for lost property and an apology.
The presence of interfering irredentists and ultra-nationalists from the motherland is not in itself very remarkable. What is remarkable are as follows:
- A more reasonable Greek or Greek Cypriot once pointed out the fluidity of identity and the futility of establishing a firm definition of "Greek" by pointing out the existence of a Muslim Greek friend of his living in Greece. Mr. Ultra-Nationalist responded by saying that if he ever met this person, he would kill him. Because it's a worse crime to blur the definitions than it is to be a Turk. And this Muslim Greek blurred the definitions---since proper Greeks, no matter whether they actually believe and behave as such, identify as Greek Orthodox Christians.
- Mr. Ultra-Nationalist, like most of the discussion board, was actually living in America. He had a Chinese-American friend who had converted to Greek Orthodoxy and was learning Greek. Mr. Ultra-Nationalist believed that this individual was acceptably Hellenic, despite the inconvenient Chinese origin. A Muslim Greek is a vile concept, but a Chinese Greek is not. (Actually, he usually used the word "Hellenic" and objected to the term "Greek", because---and this is true---the word "Greek" is what the imperialistic Romans called them.)
Anyone who knows me will know that I'm a big fan of science fiction novels. One notable author that I usually like is Mike Resnick. But Resnick is quite a troublesome writer in some ways. He's a man who went to Africa or something on a lot of safaris or worked there or...well, I have no idea. But he---a white dude---writes a lot about Africa, including very good allegories for African politics, such as Purgatory.
Now I say that he is troublesome, because sometimes he is a subtle defender of colonialism in a Kiplingesque way. Not always---sometimes he's a clear critic of colonialism---but frequently one is left with the impression that he occasionally mourns the end of colonialism in Africa. That is actually what makes him a good writer. (Or maybe he is not mourning it, but trying to tell us that the end of colonialism has consequences too.)
One of his best works, however, is an anthology of a series short stories he published in magazines. It's called Kirinyaga, and its background is a futuristic, advanced Kenya centuries hence. In this rich, futuristic Kenya, very little traditional African lifestyles are left. Most of the tribes have urbanized and modernized and live wealthy, capitalistic lives. Except one.
And that one remnant of traditional life, kept on a reserve of their own making (one of the troubling theme that Resnick rides) is led by a witch doctor with a modern education. This man persuades an international council to give him a whole terraformed planet in another solar system (remember, this is far-future SF) to which he can take his tribe and re-establish the cultural life of his tribe in an environment similar to ancient Kenya.
Each of the short stories is thus an episode in the life of this colony as told by the witch doctor. In each episode, a "leak" in his cultural utopia starts to form, and he must patch it up. For instance, an old woman, his closest ally, decides that she wants to retain her independence in her old age---and he, in order to prevent the corruption of the traditions he is trying to save, must stop her. And he uses every power he has, including contact with the terraforming maintence services, to break her spirit.
A young woman wants to learn to read. But he cannot allow anyone to become literate but the witch doctor. (If they want an education, they can freely leave---forever.) Otherwise the ideas would poison his paradise. So she devises more and more devious ways to get what she wants. And he must thwart her at every turn. Eventually he wins, with tragic consequences.
And what is most striking about the way that Resnick paints his reaction (and Resnick writes it very well)? The witch doctor does not feel that any of the consequences are his responsibility. Instead, he crucifies himself on the gentle cross of martyred self-pity. The witch doctor communicates with his people through the use of parables---these pervade each story---and the responsibility for the consequences is entirely subsumed by the truth he creates with his parables. Every episode raises the stakes by raising the potency of the parables he invents---and the potential damage caused by a leak in the cultural dam grows every larger.
I don't know to what extent Resnick's whiteness and mentality afflicts his writing in this story, but he is trying to tell us that there is no single national moment. The witch doctor's attempts to stop time will always be futile and probably never reflected the ancient reality of the tribe. His parables were like the ancient parables---but they were all designed not to educate, but to justify. To screw down the lid of the pressure cooker of human creativity and independent desire. Eventually the parables must rupture.