Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Why People Persist Being Idiots

Check out this article, you'll need to read it before continuing, go ahead, I'll wait. If you want a quick tip, do a right mouse-click on the hyperlink and choose "Open in new window" that way I'll stay right where I am.

So why is it that people continue being idiots? I find several things funny about this article:

1. Two high school seniors picked quotations from Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf"

Did they really think this was funny? Do they even know who Hitler was and what he did?

2. The father was quoted as saying: "I guess he didn't seriously consider the source; he was more interested in the quote," he said. "He's a child."

Uhm, hello! He's at least 17 and probably 18 years old, he can be tried as an adult and be drafted, he's no longer a child.

3. Officials also are discussing with the yearbook's publishing company either reprinting the section in question or offering special tape to people who want to cover the quotes.

Come on people, what's done is done, do you really think that a piece of tape is going to make you forget what was printed there? "Oh, I wonder what's under this piece of tape? I have no idea?"

I think picking a quote from Hitler is pretty bad, I guess it's safe to say that neither of the kids are Jewish!


The Big Finn said...

Those who refuse to learn about the past...risk repeating it!

Michael said...

How true TBF!

Ms Mac said...

We all did stupid things when we were teenagers thinking wew were being smart. It says more about the school and the education system that than it does about the boys that nobody picked up the quotes before the book was distributed.

Teenage boys are stupid- fact. Teachers should be less stupid than teenage boys.

Robin said...

When I was in high school and taking Journalism, we had a faculty rep whose job it was to monitor stuff, to make sure things like this didn't slip by. Everytime anyone on the newspaper staff tried to write anything the slightest bit controversial, either the faculty rep or an adimistrator was there to shut it down. Where were those people before this yearbook went to the printer??

I read that these kids took the quotes out of a Bartlett's book. Not that it is excusing it in any way, but I suppose it is possible they neglected to read who exactly made the quotes. Then again, there was more than one Hitler quote in the book, probably not by coincidence...

xmichra said...

I am gonna get bashed here. I know this. But i find nothing wrong with the quotes. Sure, they were said by a highly evil man... but they are quotes we learned in high school. well at least I did. I read Mein Kampf when i was in grade 11, and yes.. you can see the madness. But there is also a great portion of truth and sense. Not that i am in any way shape or form condoning his actions... but still. Learning from the source is sometimes the best way.

In any case, i still think that this would breach a little thing called freedom of speach. And they were teenage boys who probably did think this was funny. Teenagers are idiots. I know first hand ;)

Ryan Charisma said...


I'm going to have to go along with xmichra on this one. Freedom of speech is just as valid for a teen as it is for an adult. While I certainly don't condone anything Hitler did. And I'm pretty sure the kids don't see him as any sort of heroic figure. They're just words. I believe protecting rights is much more important than being pc. Stupid parents make stupid kids.

Michael said...

XM - I'd never let you get bashed here, everyone can say what they want when they want it.

Mein Kampf was not part of my HS curriculum (American School, can you believe that) so I can't give an opinion on that.

I just wonder if the kids "knew" what they were doing, doing it to be "cool" or just didn't know?

I looked up this city on google and it's 95% white with a population of 7600, it's a small town but not that small.

I don't think they were going with their First Amendment rights because it doesn't mention that in the story, I'm sure that the kids would have said something to that effect if that's what they were trying to do....I guess we'll never know!

Ryan - Thanks for stopping by and commenting! You're probably right, they probably looked at them as "just words" and nothing more...which is a little sad that they don't associate anything else with him. Like Forrest Gump always says (well at least everytime I've watched the movie he says it) Stupid is as Stupid does.

xmichra said...

I am always a little leary when commenting about "hate literature" though. hehe.

The Sour Kraut said...

I've gotta believe they did it to be cool and for the shock value. Look at all the attention it's gotten them.

GammaGoblin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GammaGoblin said...

Yes special tape is a crap idea, maybe they should just burn the books! Oh how ironic!

It's funny, I myself used a little bit of tape to cover up the word "evil" in the synopsis on the back of my copy of Mein Kampf, because no book can be evil. To label something or someone as being evil is to sensationalise and to catagarise them to a super set of wickedness, and when this is done, we begin to stop listening. No longer do we decide upon the individual accounts given, rather we rely on our ignorance to automatically judge for us. When you wear the goggles of prejudice, you become as "evil" as that which you are looking at! And you can quote me on that one if you like :)

I seriously don’t understand the problem here. I mean sure, they probably just quoted Hitler for the buzz but the quotes themselves aren’t offensive. You could stretch the second quote to have some kind of Holocaust Revisionism connotation, but the fact that it was Hitler himself that said it nullifies that view. If anything, the quote could be taken as ironic; that Hitler was commenting on how chuffed he was telling the German people a great big whopper of a lie, covering up about the treatment of the Jews in concentration camps.

Individuals are not just black and white, isn’t that what people opposed Hitler on? Our characters are too complex to be mapped upon a binary representation. If someone does something bad does that vilify everything that person did up to that point? Can words be “evil”? Is this painting by Hitler “evil”? I like it, does that make me “evil”? If Hitler invented the lightbulb would it be easy to spot a racist at night, bathed in their electrical brilliance?

Evil is not a fact, it’s a perception. Homosexuality was perceived “evil” for years, its still deemed a perverse “evil” act within Catholicism, and we all know what a crock that is ;) Speaking of religion, imagine if rather than a quote they were to put a graphical doodle in and someone decided to doodle Muhammad! There’d be Jihads and Fatwa’s everywhere! :)