FIRE is looking into reports that a student at @Stanford may be disciplined for reading Hitler's "Mein Kampf."https://t.co/Pi4QmvEVSa
— FIRE (@TheFIREorg) January 25, 2023
Stanford seems to have an unusual affinity for misguided ‘student protection’ (and given prominent recent graduates like Sam Banks Friedman & the Theranos lady, can it be wondered?) … but, on the other hand, learning that there are consequences to being ostentatiously offensive in public is an important part of a college education, isn’t it?
i am always blown away by the large number of people, mostly men, who genuinely seem to believe that free speech means they should be allowed to demonstrate antisocial behaviors in public without a single, solitary person making any assumption about their character
— GOLIKEHELLMACHINE (@golikehellmachi) January 27, 2023
this is specifically about the student reading hitler in the library from yesterday, but just in general, this whole phenomenon is just like, a brash and bold defense of being utterly, irredeemably obtuse
in this case, i don’t think the student should’ve been bothered by the university about it, they should have left him alone, but it is *entirely reasonable and normal* to have some suspicions about someone that does this
i am a cis white man, if i am reading mein kampf out in public, you are absolutely right to think i may be a little suspect, that’s a fucking normal thing to think when you see something like this, man
but just generally, like, if you behave in ways that draw attention to yourself, you should not be surprised (and can’t really complain) when people form impressions about you because of it, this is like, earth for humans 101
now, that doesn’t mean those impressions are correct, and that’s not what i am arguing, but if you don’t understand why and how your behavior led to people forming them, i don’t know what to fucking tell you, man, i can’t help you
if i, looking the way i do, roll up to the bar with a, like, copy of the turner diaries, this does not mean i am a terrorist, but it *does* mean i have spectacularly terrible judgment and may be unpleasant to be around!
Maybe I’m just an Old, but so much of the outcry over wokeness! seems to be thoroughly unpleasant people demanding the rest of us not only hear, but endorse, their least attractive opinions.
It’s like Cleek and Godwin merged and now the internet has become corporeal. Good times!
West of the Rockies
Was he reading it aloud? I rarely look at the covers of books people are reading. Was he calling attention to himself? Maybe he wanted to know what a mad man sounds like. I must be missing something. We all agree Hitler was vile, odious, and psychologically hideous. But his book is not banned or illegal, is it? How was he reading in a way to “call attention” to himself? Was it a massively over-sized book?
The offending picture is not included in any of the linked articles. Having read the articles, it seems the triggering event was two girls taking a picture of one of them reading Mein Kampf so they could post it on social media as some kind of joke. Or have I misread things? If that interpretation is correct, then yes, I think there’s a difference between “reading Mein Kampf” and “making a big show of reading Mein Kampf just to piss off and/or intimidate others.” The later being assholery for the sake of being an asshole.
According to the article, there is at least one class where the book is assigned reading. There are many other reasons one might want to read the book on a university campus. Are there some books that must only be read behind closed doors? That being said, choosing to be public about it can be a political or simply provocative statement in and of itself.
@West of the Rockies:
Yeah! This seems some ginned up nonsense.
Yeah. I’ve been saying for years this is exclusively a movement of loss of cultural authority – that these folks don’t get to write the rules any longer and *everything* since then are just performative exercises to reclaim what was lost. For a long time I thought the main measure of this was national elections and the rights inability to win them, but I really think the the main measure is marketing. We now have large national brands straight up trolling the culture war right in their marketing – basically signaling that they are so inconsequential to their sales that they are wiling to set them on fire for the sake of attracting liberal consumers. There’s a bit of that on the right – but mostly in the gun market where liberals aren’t a large presence anyway. Data that shows that the GDP of Biden elected counties are 70% of the nations GDP really drives this point home.
So not only did culture war conservatives previously get to dictate the terms of the nations culture by suppressing broad access to other cultures (LGBTQ, black, indigenous, disability, etc.) they were also being reinforced by marketing – companies appealed to their interests, and denied other markets. They wouldn’t *dare* put a gay couple in an ad. Or a black family, etc.
So culture war conservatives are hit in two ways – they aren’t getting the reinforcement and they aren’t getting the authority to veto. So yeah, they keep lashing out like this. 20 years ago they could get away with reading Mein Kampf, but at the same time they didn’t need to test that. Wokeness is nothing more than the recognition that they have fallen if not into the cultural minority, out of cultural supremacy. They need to share the cultural space, and they are NOT okay with that. The social contract is shifting in pretty important ways.
Florida is nothing but an exercise in cultural veto right now. I don’t think it’ll fare well for the state.
@Omnes Omnibus: Reading it in class or at home is one thing. Posting pics of yourself reading it outdoors is another, and is absolutely intentional. People enjoy reminding Jews how hated we are.
PC was the earlier upset about having to be polite to people to one didn’t want to. So now they’ve upped their demands to include other’s mandatory applause for their lack of politeness. They now need bigger and bigger hits of their drug of choice.
West of the Rockies
Any idea what the opposite of wokeness is? Unconscious? Asleep? Ignorant? Stupid? Willfully obnoxious? Blithely rude?
It’s such a stupid fucking word.
That FIRE article is useless. It seems to want to bash the university more than explain the incident. Was he reading it in front of the university’s Jewish centre? Was he making it a point to be seen? Or did two girls shoot for TikTok fame and go “OH MY GAWRSH!!!” and take the picture? There are holes missing here, and I can’t make a determination as to why this is a big deal.
West of the Rockies
You’re right. How did I not notice that wokeness is this era’s PC? It’s like how The Tea Party became Trumpers, or whatever the hell they call themselves now.
@Yutsano: One of the links in the FIRE article said it was a snapchat picture that prompted everything.
@Citizen Alan: And after wasting 15 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back, I can confirm that the offending picture is not to be found anywhere, but it appears to involve two drunk dingbats posting on Snapchat, with one of them pretending to read Mein Kampf while wearing an exaggerated expression of approval,
Haven’t read the comments yet, but what if someone is reading objectionable literature as research or in a “know your enemies” mode? That said, I might be somewhat discreet about it. I see that Mein Kampf is available on Kindle for $10.99. I’m just sitting here in the cafeteria looking at my e-reader.
Or, yes, this could just be an asshole doing some performative bullshit thing.
But if there’s any place that should be a balls-out, anything-goes free-speech zone it should be a university.
Poor Turkey. This is hard to watch.
@HumboldtBlue: I don’t think it is, but I think it’s difficult to explain why it is.
One of the tactics that we’ve seen in this embrace of fascist ideas is using technology and memes and such things to basically put these ideas out ahead of the general publics ability to understand them. This was widely employed during Gamergate.
These seemingly innocuous things are designed on the surface to be innocuous but actually serve as a shibboleth to the community. You can’t just say ‘this is two girls taking a photo’ without also noting the context and audience for it. Because of *course* they want you to think this is ginned up. It’s like the use of 1488. It’s just a number, and telling someone that it’s a secret Hitler reference sounds fucking stupid, but it’s totally a secret Hitler reference. Same with ’14 words’. Those are better known ones, but new ones show up daily and some only last a few days. By the time the normies catch on, they’ve moved to something else and can safely deny that it meant what it meant.
My point is that your response is exactly what they engineer these efforts to generate. Maybe it is ginned up, but I’ll note that Stanford does not bend over backward to woeness. They aren’t Oberlin. They house the Hoover Institute, FFS. I’m willing to bet that if Stanford feels this needs to be called out it’s because there was a motive to it which is hard to discern from the reporting, but it easy to see from the context.
And we’re not immune to this – think of all the BJ secret language – green balloons, etc. We communicate a lot of information in ‘Subaru in a field’ or ‘lost mustard’ that nobody outside the community will *ever* be able to deduce. We don’t use them to communicate subversively because we don’t do that, but we could.
@West of the Rockies: Cultural conformist.
Wake me up when there’s some actual context to this story.
I’m going to bed. Night all.
@Citizen Alan: My understanding the photo is comparable to the selfies that regularly get taken at Auchwitz with the caption ‘LOL’.
@Martin: Yep. Soulless people, IOW.
Why do prominent universities keep stepping on their dicks like this?
Is there something about being a university administrator that rots the brain and causes you to lose all sense of judgement? Probably so, I suspect. Probably all the money. How much do you think the Stanford Dean or Administrator makes upon who’s lap this “incident” falls
For God’s sake. They have this book in the university library and it is required reading for some courses
And so what if he took a stupid photo and posted it on SnapChat. You don’t have to take the bait.
@Steeplejack: Generally universities are. There’s some boundaries being tested though. One is denying other people’s right to speak by shouting them down. Another is speech which is expressly designed to harm – ‘all jews should die’, as a relevant example.
Ultimately speech operates in service to preservation of community. Things that reinforce the community are favored and those that tear it apart are punished. This is more true at universities than most other places because of the necessity given students living with each other, etc. But how we preserve community has changed pretty radically in the last 20 years so how we police ideas has changed. For instance it’s WAY easier to be openly marxist or anarchist than it used to be. Those used to get your exiled. It’s a LOT harder to be racist, etc.
@Martin: Hey man, don’t plant that willow so close to the house!
I mean, I (Jewish) was assigned parts of that, plus a couple of other rather obnoxious books, for a class. I would therefore not draw any conclusions about anyone reading it. Though I can understand why some would.
Now, having read the comments, I think it seems that some nimrods posted a picture somewhere as a provocation? So much of our discourse has devolved from the thing itself to immediate arguments in the meta zone. Ugh.
I am a bit lost in this thread, so here’s a baking video I was watching after I searched for the France v Italy rugby match and got bored with it. Nothing more exciting than watching people make bread.
And France beat Italy in a riveting match.
I am sort of half-watching The Last Jedi on TBS, and it is coming across as a hot mess. I think I even saw it in the theater when it first came out, and I still can’t make heads or tails of it. CGI wank-fest.
ETA: Is this the one with the interminable sword fight in the wind between Adam Driver and the girl Jedi? I do remember in the theater that I felt like their capes were blowing in the wrong directions.
@Kent: Ok. This used to be my job.
At my institution, for many years, we had conflicts between Jewish and Palestinian students. This conflict which was spirited between the two student populations was fine until groups outside the university saw an opportunity to use them as proxies for bigger axes to grind. Once that happened, things escalated to daily threats of violence, near daily bomb threats, threats against specific students and so on. It was so bad that we had to hire armed security and run everyone, students included, through metal detectors at commencement. I can say that the need for these measure was not unfounded.
Seemingly innocuous (or at worst misguided) student expressions on campus would turn into prolonged threat campaigns.
I don’t know what the dynamics at Stanford are, tensions between student populations, interactions with the outside community etc. but we constantly were having to do this kind of stuff. Understand, Stanford isn’t banning the book, or telling instructors whether to assign it or not. It looks like the pretty common ‘someone did something inflammatory, we’re going to ask them to apologize and learn from this’ kind of action. A lot of what universities are tasked with doing these days is teaching kids how to respect others. As CAs new ethnic studies curriculum seeks students to learn:
That’s what we expect out of high school students. College age students have much higher expectations for this kind of behavior than people our age do, so we tend to not get it. But I can see this causing significant anger across a campus. (My local survey of two zoomers thinks this is entirely appropriate, and necessary).
That this has blown up suggests that Stanfords actions here are being weaponized knowing that Stanford can’t really contextualize this, and by the time they might contextualize it, we’ve all moved onto something else and aren’t interested in hearing it.
IOW, I think it’s fair to trust the administrators on this one, and not do the fascists work for them, because I’m about 99% sure that’s what’s going on here.
You can buy Mein Kampf at amazon.com. So many Americans seem to get up in the morning determined to find some ridiculous thing to add to their prized collection of grievances.
@Adam Lang: It’s not as if they were reading Ayn Rand.
@Ken_L: when you go to the Amazon site check out Hannah Arendt’s books while yer at it, also too.
If people want to understand some of these dynamics a little bit better – because they are fucking out there – here’s a really good lecture on the history of Gamergate presented at UC Merced. It’s a produced zoom video and 50 minutes. The presenter is Ian Danskin who does some of the best work on YouTube talking about facism and media critique. Gamergate is an intersection of those and as one of the earlier fascist campaigns on the internet to get real reach, there’s a lot we can learn from it in hindsight.
Check out his Alt Right Playbook series as well.
Yeah. Hot mess is probably the best description. I saw it in the theaters and was so disappointed that I almost wanted to warn those folks buying tickets for the next show.
I think you are likely correct, but.
I can see someone not being particularly thrilled about having to read Mein Kampf, and they may not have known about this prior to signing up for the class but I also see that they may have been making a deal of reading it – and believing it. Or they may have some other reason, like thinking it’s funny having to read it – and that can go either way if they are college student age, although I can’t really make the case that having lived long enough to be a student at Stanford, they didn’t really have at least some exposure to the history. Individuals can look at something and rather easily have different responses, some of which are illogical
And also, your point of view seems to me to be very reasonable.
@West of the Rockies: The opposite of woke is basically racist, wth a bit of homophobic thrown in. Kind of like a martini with gin and a splash of vermouth.
So, bit more information – 2nd hand from someone who did see the post. Supposedly the photo was a couple of sorority girls in costume using Mein Kampf as a prop at a pregame event/pregame promotion for the basketball game yesterday.
They weren’t reading the book. It wasn’t an assignment. It was a prop, and given that it’s a prop the subtext is what matters, which we have no way of knowing without seeing the photo or contextualizing it.
Raising my 99% sure estimation above.
I’m gonna go with Joe Wilkinson’s highlights.
Bruce K in ATH-GR
@Brachiator: Funny, that’s what I thought about the third one. The Last Jedi had a feeling of too much happening too fast, but I could sort of see what Rian Johnson was trying to do – see Knives Out and Glass Onion for what he can do when he’s not as constrained. Rise of Skywalker, on the other hand, had the feeling of a bunch of disparate vignettes duct-taped together and forming an incoherent mishmash.
Of course, partly, that was J.J. Abrams catering to the blazing entitlement of the loudest and most obnoxious parts of the fan base, deliberately undoing a lot of what Johnson had tried to do in the middle film.
Silly me, always looked on that as one of the tasks of kindergarten.
Bruce K in ATH-GR
And as for complaints about “wokeness” – it’s like the old complaints about “political correctness”, which is basically crafting an unpleasant term for stuff like compassion, only it’s coopting a term used by minorities about the structural biases in society, and couching it as a Bad Thing.
I don’t know if I’d qualify as “woke” – that’s the sort of thing that you really can’t judge from the inside – but I’ve yet to be off base in my assumption that anyone who uses “woke” as an insult is an asshole and probably an unrepentant racist to boot. I mean, it could happen, but the next time I see it will be the first.
I have read parts of Mein Kampf (but couldn’t bring myself to read the whole thing). I also occasionally watch Tucker Carlson on FOX, and unfortunately, have read and heard and watched way too much of Donald Trump. It is important to know what evil lurks in the hearts of men.
Seriously, modern fascists use similar tropes and appeals and Hitler and Mussolini were their teachers.
Also, if some asshole is reading it to troll, it should become a humiliating moment for him.
@Bruce K in ATH-GR
Why not “wokx?”
“They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.”
James E Powell
Friedman graduated from MIT & Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos lady, dropped out.
@Bruce K in ATH-GR:
Holy crap. I mixed The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. I felt that the last film was a huge disappointment and that Abrams was furiously trying a course correction to salvage the trilogy.
The second film left me feeling not much of anything. I really like Rian Johnson and was curious to see what he would do. I know that this film has lots of fans and I have no beef or big argument. But I felt as though he didn’t like the characters he had inherited and made his own independent Star Wars movie, without much regard for what had happened in the previous film.
I mentioned earlier that the trilogy should have been something like Top Gun Maverick and been built around Luke, Leia and Han, with the new cast more as supporting characters. Note that I think that the new Top Gun movie is somewhat soulless, but it knows how to update and rejigger the original movie to give the audience what they want.
A little cynical perhaps. But the audience reasonably wanted to see Luke Skywalker in his prime, or at least in a mellow middle age, instead of the cranky old guy we saw.
Stanford was out of line. It’s not as if anyone was reading Hitler in drag.
I read the whole thing, and you didn’t miss anything. I read it in eighth grade. Backstory – I had just read Albert Speer’s Inside The Third Reich, which was then a new release. I was struck by what he said about Mein Kampf in the book. He said that the book was an enormous best seller, because everyone gave it as gifts – as graduation presents, as wedding presents, as Christmas presents, everyone gifted it and everyone received it… and nobody read it! He didn’t read it.
After the war, Speer and others were prisoners awaiting trial, and when their captors mentioned Mein Kampf and Speer said he’d never read it, they didn’t believe him, they couldn’t believe that a total power ruler had written a book about his life philosophy and plans and that people who worked for him in high level positions didn’t read it. Speer was embarrassed and said that okay, he’d read it, but he was lying.
Well, the library had a copy, so I checked it out – and read the whole thing. That was sheer teenage obstinacy, because great swaths of it was pretty much just gibberish. Over eight hundred pages of it. These days, I’ll give up on a book without a qualm – life is too short.
Years later it occurred to me that my parents were mighty trusting and level-headed folks, not to freak out when their eighth grade daughter was reading Mein Kampf and not even questioning me about what I was doing.
@West of the Rockies:
A few weeks ago some genius here offered the opposite of Woke as ‘Volk’, which I think hits all of the necessary buttons.
As to the topic of Mein Kampf I think it’s pretty much in the same boat as Fifty Shades of Gray, in that once you’ve skimmed the sex-scenes there’s not much to it but bloviating repetition of unpleasant themes, and if you want people to see you reading it they’re perfectly entitled to make unflattering judgements about you, your ethics and your taste in leather leisure-wear.
OT – I swear to God I’ve spent decades thinking Jennifer Garner was James Garner’s nepo-baby daughter. FFS she even looks a bit like him!
Also, too, Tom Cruise has never played a better role than in this comic-book mini-series. Inhabit it, he did,
The mash-up: Fifty Shades of Goy?
“Maybe I’m just an Old, but so much of the outcry over wokeness! seems to be thoroughly unpleasant people demanding the rest of us not only hear, but endorse, their least attractive opinions.”
And in defense of my alma mater, SBF is an MIT grad, not Stanford.
I remember the days of Hawley spouting off about his hobbyhorses. If you think Yale’s backlash to Kavanaugh was something, you ain’t seen nothing yet if Josh gets close to the presidency.
Go to the back of the room, think about what you’ve done, and I want a three-page treatment on my desk before you leave.
@JoyceH: Your parents sound like mine…trusting.
Interesting that very few actually read Mein Kampf. Sounds like the modern right wing press offerings. Given as gifts that nobody reads. Left wing books are actually read.
@NotMax: We unteach that stuff once they engage in popular culture. Gotta reteach it.
@Martin: 20 years ago reading Mein Keimf was suspect. It was one of the things repeated about Trump that made him seem dodgy even back then when he got his first divorce.
People did read it to study the bad guys. They also read it because they were bad or going bad. Other people who knew they read it, watched them to see which way they were going to go…unless they already knew that person.
I considered reading it myself as I thought you should read original sources, but I heard he Hitlers writing wasn’t all that and my interest wore out. The massive horror hit too much and I shut off. I would not have read it in public.
@sab: It sounds like Mein Kampf is hard reading. Still, Western leaders would have done well to read the book once Hitler took power in the 1930s, because Hitler meant every word of it.
@Gvg: I read a little excerpt of Mein Kampf for a class. It was like the worst bigot Internet rant you’ve ever read, just this repetitive rambling broadside about how terrible Jews were. A whole book of that would have been a lot.
The standard line we learned was that the Nazis could ban books but it’d be a bad idea for us to ban Mein Kampf–we had to be exposed to these writings to see how terrible the associated thought was. It was a very American, First Amendment line. Europeans may not have agreed. But there are obviously people out there who read this kind of garbage and think “this is dynamite”.
What really made him seem dodgy was that it was reportedly the only book he owned without his own face on the cover.
As usual, I don’t know the whole story here, but people should absolutely be able to read whatever they want to read without harassment. I actually read an English translation of “Mein Kampf”, borrowed from the town library, when I was 16 years old. I gave a book report on it in my sophomore high school English class. Nobody stopped me. No, I was not and am not a Nazi. I was curious to learn about the origins of that destructive ideology. I thought that reading that book was very educational, because it illustrated, to me, that Hitler’s ideology was nothing more than an exaggerated version of the militarism, imperialism, racism and anti-semitism that had been a major part of European culture for centuries. I think that everyone should read “Mein Kampf” in order to learn how the Nazis were part of European culture, not cartoon villiains from another planet.
@Geminid: Yes. People should read “Mein Kampf” now also, because the Nazi ideology hasn’t gone away. They just wear slightly different uniforms now.
FIRE is wasting time with this, while the university system of Florida gets hollowed out. What a useless organization — apart from being a fig leaf for right wing wokeism panic (which is surely it’s intent).
Mein Kampf gets assigned in college classrooms in courses on German history, or fascism, or antisemitism, etc. all the time. Stanford has had several very distinguished scholars of Nazism and modern German history over the years (Craig, Sheehan, e.g.), so no surprise that this is studied there. Like several posters have already observed, though, the issue here is that the students reading it were taking pictures of the book and putting it on Snapchat for lulz or something. Disrespectful and assholish? Yes. Worthy of making a federal case out of? No.
I’m thinking we’re being gamed by even paying a lot of attention to these “university admin makes excessively PC reaction” stories. Right-wing trolls are going to go out of their way to provoke and promote them, and keep us fighting ourselves because we’re bending over backwards to be accommodating and debate the right way to do liberalism. And it obscures the fact that we have right-wing governors going full Big Brother on their state university systems, turning them into conservative indoctrination machines in the name of “anti-wokeism”.
@Princess: FIRE apparently gets major funding from The Charles Koch Institute. When I think of freedom, the heroic Koch Brothers come immediately to mind.
So, it’s a Star Wars movie.
In all seriousness, the major selling point of the original movie was “Wow, the CGI!” back before that term existed, back when computers doing any special effects was cool and new and impressive.
@James E Powell: SBF’s parents are professors there, though. Actually, Fried recently retired.
Young people do stupid things, and using Mein Kampf as a prop sounds like that. That doesn’t mean that Stanford has to overreact, which this sounds like to me. Dragging students into some sort of progressive circle jerk to ponder the impact of their sins sounds pretty insipid to me.
But then again, Stanford today doesn’t sound like the Stanford of my college days, back in the 70s.
The Moar You Know
Mein Kampf. I read it. Not in public. The first fifty pages are an absolutely stunningly on-point observation of the state of German society and what is wrong with it. I mean, just excellent sociological work. Hitler really missed his calling.
And then from out of nowhere comes “BECAUSE THE JEWS” and it just goes straight off a cliff. More unreadable than Battlefield Earth, almost as long, and that’s really saying something.
I prefer people posing with a copy of Mein Kampf than posting without using capital letters.
The best description of Mein Kampf I’ve come across was by Hugh Trevor-Roper
“The intellectual detritus of the centuries”
I tried reading it once, part of a know your enemies study of fascism. Trevor-Roper was right
Was he reading Mein Kampf in the library or was he reading Mein Kampf in the library – aloud?
My response depends on that last word.
Speaking of being obnoxious in public … have you seen a lot of the rotating tags at the top of this website? They are the reason I can’t recommend this blog to my family and friends who were raised as Republicans. (As was I, but I got better.)
E.g,, “Fuck you, Motherfucker.”
@Bruce K in ATH-GR:
I enjoyed The Last Jedi. A thoughtful and entertaining film, it picks up the questions that The Force Awakens raised and runs with them. The Last Jedi gets better every time I watch it.
I would put FIRE in the performance “first amendment activist” category. While they have sided with liberal speech on some occasions, they are mainly concerned with the suppression of right wing speech by liberal universities. For example, being more concerned about students protesting student funds going to “speech for pay” commencement speeches and being against any push against sexual assault on campuses.
I took a look at their site and the big thing that they are working on in Florida is being offended that a professor in a Florida university is pushing against a student group’s Islamophobic flyer. Nothing about the STOP WOKE Act or books being pulled from schools.
Paul in KY
I’m as anti-fascist as they come, but think anyone should be allowed to read “Mein Kampf’. It shows how Hitler had it all planned out and any German (who was alive then) who says they never thought he would do this or the other is a fucking liar.
A ‘book’ that I do think should never be read by anybody is ‘The Turner Diaries’, which (IMO) is actually not a book, but a recruiting pamphlet for losers who need a rationale for murdering people.
Paul in KY
@Alison Rose: ‘Reading’ it to get clicks and piss off people (on a campus) is something that I think can get the Dean involved and suspensions, double-secret probations, etc handed out.
Paul in KY
@Martin: Cause there’s nothing more funny than using ‘Mein Kampf’ as a prop for pre-game hijinks.
Paul in KY
@Gvg: I have a degree in political science and I must confess, I have never read it. Have read brief excerpts, but not the whole thing. Is it as unreadable as ‘Atlas Shrugged’?
Paul in KY
@Frankensteinbeck: It certainly was astounding when it came out in 1977.
@jonas: As a former college student (back in the Stone Age of the seventies) I can attest that an awful lot of college students (especially the male ones) are real assholes. But unless their asshole behavior is physically harming anyone, they should just be left alone.
@Paul in KY: Yeah, it’s pretty incompetently written. it’s basically a rant, an unformatted dump of all the hatred in Hitler’s mind. But it was apparently just what a plurality of Germans were ready to hear; Hitler was elected with a plurality of the vote less than ten years later. The impression that I got reading it as a teenager was that Hitler, though no great intellect, was neither stupid nor psychotic. Just a man who was full of hatred, whose hatred struck a chord with the German people of that era.
@Tony G: … and still worth reading today, because that type of hatred has never disappeared and has proliferated recently.
@Frankensteinbeck: As I recall, many people believed there was far more CGI in Star Wars (in its original 1977 cut) than there actually was.
There really was a tiny amount of honest-to-God digital CGI in it (the vector graphics shown to all the pilots before the Death Star battle). There was also some analog video animation, of a type that was usually called “computer graphics” at the time, though we wouldn’t call it that (Darth Vader’s targeting display when he’s waiting for the rebel base to come into range–I always thought that was incredibly cool-looking).
And the model shots used computerized motion control, so they were “computer effects” in that sense.
But there was a popular belief that it was all computer-rendered, which wouldn’t have been close to possible at the time. The first space movie to try that was The Last Starfighter, and those effects look quaint now, way worse than Star Wars.
@Paul in KY: Timothy McVeigh found “The Turner Diaries” to be very inspirational.
Paul in KY
@Tony G: Yup. He is the ur-loser who the evil pamphlet was designed for.