Monday, July 22, 2013

Whatever you do, don't mention the war....

I don't think it will come as an enormous shock to any of you that if a news article is a bit out there, a bit irreverent or a bit ridiculous, I'm all over it.  I do love me some weird and wonderful news.  But even I did a bit of a double take when I saw this one.

Did you guys know that Saturday was Swastika Rehabilitation Day [link]?

True bananas.  Apparently those kooky alien loving little weirdos over at the Raelian International Movement got together and decided that enough was enough, the Swastika had done it's time and that now they wanted to reclaim it from it's association with the Nazis.

Uh ... good luck with that, Raelians.

I mean, logically I know what they're saying is true.  The Swastika was around a hell of a long time before it was adopted by Hitler and his cohorts.  It was a mystical and religious symbol for plenty of non-evil groups for thousands of years.

The Edmonton Swastikas
Hell, it was even the symbol for a women's hockey team back in 1915, who I'm sure had no idea that they were wearing a symbol slap bang on their chests that would become so universally reviled it would be taboo to use it almost seventy years later.

And that's the point, I think.  It's a taboo.  We all know taboos are social constructs, and often illogical, but that doesn't make them any less powerful.  As a society, when we see the Swastika we have a visceral reaction, and yes we were taught to feel that way but it doesn't change the fact.

So while I don't necessarily have the same angry reaction to this as other's I've seen, I'm still going to have to decline the Raelian invitation to embrace the Swastika.  More power to you if you've put it's history behind you and can accept it again ... I'm just not quite there yet.

43 comments:

  1. Yeah, I agree. I'm afraid the swastika is pretty much ruined forever, due respect to the Raelians. Maybe they could adapt something else, like maybe the hammer and sickle. ;)

    S

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    1. No no no I am still getting over the hammer and sickle...awh glorious communism how i miss thee

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    2. Personally I favour the "Live Long And Prosper" symbol, but that might be the Trekkie in me talking ;D

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  2. It was a Native American symbol for good luck...but I'm with you, the symbol as been hijacked and it should not be revived.

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    1. When it can be, it will be. But I just don't think now is the time.

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  3. It will take eons for that symbol to lose its negative connotation. Better stick with "Live Long and Prosper". Besides, that's an easier symbol to do with one's hand! ;)

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  4. Give it a couple more generations...eventually it will become more acceptable.

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  5. Hahaha to Lowandslow..... or the skull and cross bones.

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  6. There are some things that just can't be taken back. Maybe we should just let this one go?

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. It's probably for the best for as long as there are people alive who can remember it all.

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  7. You can see it in a lot of Buddhist imagery, although its older even than that. Its a shame it ended up the way it has, but I doubt it will ever shake that bad rap. Its a classic sun symbol---St Brigid's Cross reminds me of it, although without the bent arms.

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  8. On Saturday, someone that I follow on Instagram posted a picture of their friend, passed out drunk. They had drawn swastikas all over his face. Now I know why.

    I'm glad the people I follow on Instagram aren't Nazis.

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    1. LOL! I imagine without knowing it must have been a bit confusing.

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  9. Just like flared jeans, let it go - forever.

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    1. Yep. There are some thing we just shouldn't save. I'd like to add ra-ra skirts to that list.

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  10. On my recent trip to India I noticed swastikas everywhere. In India it has nothing to do with the Nazis.

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    1. I imagine it'd be a bit confronting if you didn't know that.

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  11. I remember my son's outraged kindy teacher calling me one day, because he'd drawn a swastika on his picture. He loves old black and white war movies, and he just copying it because he'd seen it in a movie, he had no idea of the connotations. His teacher was all ready to refer him for counselling, which to me was an over-the-top reaction for the circumstances, but an example of how strongly people felt about it still. Maybe one day the original meaning can be reclaimed... but not yet, I don't think.

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    1. LOL! Did she think you were teaching him how to draw them at home or something?

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  12. I'm not as outraged as many people I know, but I am Jewish and I am upset. I do realize (now) that others used the symbol long before Hitler. The problem is that people all over the world do not associate the Swastika with anything except Nazis & death camps. Thanks for sharing the article.

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    1. Yeah, whatever the symbol's history, the fact still remains it was linked to the Nazi's. I guess that's all that's going to matter.

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  13. Maybe if they change the color, shape and name of it, it would work.

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  14. It would never catch on in Germany...

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  15. I met a Raelian once at a party. He had long hair, he explained, because it blocks the brainwashing signals from getting into his ears (I'm not kidding. He looked like Chad Kroeger, too. Go figure).

    I think the swastika was the least of his problems...

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    1. LOL! What, a tin foil hat not good enough for him?

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  16. I had the unpleasure of touring Dachau when I was in Germany. I felt as if I was standing directly over Hell. No swastikas, ever again.

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  17. Many years ago my wife and I were traveling in China and my wife found these Chinese baby shoes she loved and wanted to by for our potential future daughter if were to have one (which we did). She showed them to me and asked what I thought. I said they're pretty cool except for the swastikas. I guess the swastika is a Chinese character. My wife hadn't noticed them but needless to say we didn't buy them.

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    1. Ack, that would have been hard to explain if you had bought them.

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  18. Oh yes, the Edmonton Swastikas. Part of our proud sporting heritage. There was an artist in Edmonton named ManWoman who also tried to single-handedly rehabilitate the ancient oriental symbol of the swastika. He used it in his art and had it tattooed all over his body. He wrote a book about his crusade to reclaim it from the Nazis. Very persuasive but ultimately -- I think it's a lost cause. The Nazis perverted that symbol forever. I can't see how it can ever be viewed positively again or even in a neutral way.

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    1. No matter how persuasive, one person isn't going to be able to do it. No, not until quite a few more generations have passed would I expect to see it come back.

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  19. The swastika is forever tainted and I don't see anyone being able to embrace it...ever again. I, too visited the concentration camps in Germany and would never be able to look at a swastika without thinking of the horrible association it had to a most horrendous period in history.

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  20. I once got quite an earful from an antique shop owner when I remarked to my wife something about how they would have trouble selling this piece of furniture with swastikas on it. When I could get a word in edgewise, all I could say was I know, I know, ancient Persia, but everyone who sees that symbol is only ever going to think Nazi.

    By the way, I accidentally mentioned the war once, but I think I got away with it okay.

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  21. I'm just not quite there either. I've aways felt the Nazie should've used this symbol: CLICK.

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  22. It's not like it's that special looking to begin with...why bother to reclaim it? Let it die.

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  23. Give it a few generations. If we can completely ruin the image of something, we can fix it. We just need some time.

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  24. Unfortunately people tend to forget that words or graphics were used decades before what "made them famous" and then they get all up in arms over it because they believe that's the only thing it's used for when it's not.

    For example, faggot. A faggot is an English meatball and a basket woven from twigs (which Moses was sent down the river in as a baby). Yet because some moron decided to start calling homosexuals that it has become a "bad" word. The same with gay. Back in Calamity Jane she described the curtains as gay because gay meant and still means happy, bright and cheerful.

    You pointed out that the swasticka was around before the war which means you did some research, it's just a pity more people don't, and don't get it when it comes to words and graphics used today that they were around a long time before their current usage.

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