[78-L] KKK records

Michael Biel mbiel at mbiel.com
Wed Mar 3 17:34:36 PST 2010

Bertrand CHAUMELLE wrote:
> Le 2 mars 10, à 06:40, Michael Biel a écrit :
>> Bertrand CHAUMELLE wrote:
>>> +++I've read a few books about the Nazi regime, that includes some
>>> excerpts from 'M.K.', of course.
>> And that is what I meant by "second hand information".  But the authors
>> and researchers of those books DID actually read the book, or at least 
>> I
>> hope they did -- otherwise their books would not be properly researched
>> or trustworthy.
> ***So I can rely on their work; I don't have enter that world myself, 
> because I'm afraid of the contagion of ideas. Can you understand that ?

Not really, at least not for me.  As a trained researcher I learned 
early on not to rely on other people's interpretation of something like 
a book, an article, a speech, or a recording if I am able to access the 
original work.  I actually DO use footnotes in a book to go find the 
original source.  And I have found many instances of misinterpretation, 
misquoting, or misunderstanding, usually accidental, but sometimes 
>> If you want to write about them authoritatively you do need access to
>> them somehow.
> ***But I don't want to WRITE about them. I just want to READ, 
> sometimes, that's wholly different.

As an educator, researcher, and writer I rarely just read something 
without knowing I might put it to use.  Same thing with listening to a 
recording or watching a TV show.
>>  For example, could you write about how jazz sounded
>> without ever hearing some of it?  If you did write without hearing it,
>> the writing would be worthless.
> ***I think that you're showing some kind of unsensitivity by equalling 
> KKK records with jazz records.

This is a foolish statement.  I could have used any example. I placed no 
value judgment on the content, and you should not have assumed so.   I 
don't think someone should write about ANYTHING without proper minimal 
research, and whenever anything is said about the content of ANY 
recording -- no matter what the subject, even the KKK -- if it is 
accessible it has to be heard by the writer or else what is written is 
probably going to be useless.  That is why I clearly and openly stated 
that I have not hard any of these records except for the normal Gennett 
issue of "Keep Cool With Coolidge" which I can report has absolutely no 
objectionable or racist content.  I do  not know what objectionable 
material might be in the others.
>  At its best, jazz is an art form. The 
> same cannot be said about the former. 

You have no valid proof if you refuse to look at the evidence.  If you 
were on the jury at a murder trial, or a war crimes trial, or a hat 
crime trial you will be required to look at and examine all the 
evidence.  Of course this is not a trial, but you might be surprised by 
what you hear.  I can give you a specific example.  Iva Togouri was 
convicted of treason as "Tokyo Rose" but listening to the actual 
recordings of her Orphan Anne programs proves that her broadcasts were 
not at all what the press made them out to be.  
> That's the risk of contagion I 
> was talking about. Remember the highly educated guy who said your 
> President was a N.... ? He explained that it was natural to speak like 
> that because it was "in the spirit of the times" (the time of the music 
> he was studying). He made no apologies, he just thought it was OK.

All of us realized that this was not the case.  That "the times" had 
changed and this guy was a jerk.
>  I 
> don't want to become like him, see ?
Are you THAT weak?  He was like that before, and he thought he could 
trick us to go along with him.

> I want to draw the line between what's attractive (jazz, and hence,collectible), and what is repulsive (to be destroyed).

In our discussion a few months ago I mentioned that I dislike much free 
form jazz like Coltrane.  I would never, ever, suggest that because I 
find it unattractive it should be destroyed.  And I take great exception 
with your thought because you might think the KKK recording are 
unattractive that they should be destroyed and potentially deny me the 
opportunity to study them.  That is tyranny,  and I will not grant you 
that right over me,

>>> +++Of course, I've heard about autodafés and 'Fahrenheit 451'.
>> No, I'm talking about the Nazi book burnings, not fiction.
> ***That's what 'autodafé' means: burning of books, or persons, during 
> the Inquisition, and during the '30's in Germany. See the monument on 
> Bebbelplatz in Berlin.

It does not seem to have the meaning of book burning in English.  Only 
people burning.  And in the extraordinary rare instances the word is 
used in English, it apparently is hyphenated "auto-da-fe", or written as 
three words "auto da fe".  I've never seen the word .

In the English language pages and dictionary pages, there is no 
reference to anything but people burning. 
A lengthy article in the Jewish Encyclopedia makes no mention of book 

The only reference to the Nazis and to book burning is when I translate 
the French language Wikipedia page.

>> No, I'm talking about what actually happened in 1933 when the Nazi book
>> burnings was just a part of the suppression of the ideas in those books
>> -- it included the disbanding of schools and eventually the murder of 
>> the writers and the readers.
>>> I see those stupid records as dead things, dead leaves that you can
>>> burn in your backyard when winter comes, nothing more.
>> You only wish they were dead things.  The Nazis hoped the things they
>> burned were dead things -- fortunately they weren't.  And there ARE
>> those that still believe in these things also -- and pretending they
>> aren't there won't cause them to disappear.
> ***Please don't call me a 'negationist'. I'm not asking you to pretend 
> anything, you can write volumes about those records if you want. I just 
> don't want listen to them, to deal with them in any 'real' manner 
> whatsoever. This isn't a denial of their existence, it's an affirmation 
> of their repulsiveness.

Fine.  Stick your head in the sand.  But destroying what you think you 
might not like IS potentially denying me the right to hear and study 
them. I won't give you that right.

>>> Believe me, racist acts are on the rise everywhere in France, in
>>> stadiums, in cemetaries...
>> ... in government decrees.
> ***In France, you mean ? you're totally mistaken. 
*law 2004-228 of 15 March 2004*)

> But it's not the place to argue about it.

So I won't.

>>>> But history is repeating itself  It may happen sooner than you think.
>>> +++I know that history is repeating itself. We could speak about
>>> Serbia, for instance. How that tragedy could have been prevented ? By
>>> telling the 'history of the past' to determined racists ? I just don't
>>> believe it's efficient.
>> No, the knowledge of the past is for those who could have prevented it
>> -- to help them to have recognized the signs of what was possibly 
>> coming 
>> again because it is how it happened the earlier time.
> ***I'm sure you know that Hitler, in one of his speeches, before 
> extermination camps were operating, told the German people about the 
> Armenian genocide. He said that Turkey had gotten away with it, so it 
> would be a cinch to do the same in Germany with the 'parasites'. Or 
> something to that effect...
> So, he knew about the past, and the people also knew....but they didn't 
> want to understand, and against that, there's nothing you can do.
> BC

But the German people knew and eventually agreed with him.  If the 
people in power outside of Germany had read his book and combined that 
info with what he said in the speeches,  they might have had a better 
idea of what they were up against.  They needed to have the same 
knowledge of Hitler as Hitler had about Hitler.

Mike Biel  mbiel at mbiel.com

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