Join the Blue Ribbon Anti-Censorship Campaign!
Note to the reader: In your travels throughout cyberland, you may come across "24 Hours in Cyberspace." One of the pages you will find there, To Remember the Truth, includes some comments from the following which I wrote while contemplating my participation in this project.
May 23, 1996, Further note to the reader: While the above link and page no longer exist, some of the contents have been incorporated in Online Hate
I did it again! I've stayed up far later than I promised myself I would! And I still haven't caught up on my e-mail. The "4-D" (daily dose of denier drivel) in alt.revisionism was about par for the course. I often wonder what goes on behind their closed screens. Is their "real life" persona as hate-filled as that which their words convey?
Dr. Martin Luther King wrote to a friend in 1967:
"The anti-semite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews.
This being the case, the anti-semite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerade. He does not hate Jews, he is just 'anti-Zionist'."
The anti-semite's new form is Holocaust denial. His forum, the Internet. He wraps his keyboard in the flag of freedom of speech and it would seem that the times are making it more popular - if not an imperative - to tolerate open hatred of the Jews - or of any other group.
Oh, the language and grammar is appalling sometimes - at others, quite laughable. Any semblance of credibility is quickly dissipated in the eyes of the discerning reader. But still their words are an assault on truth - although easily refuted by a quickly posted reference to the facts.
But the Web is a packet of a different colour! Armed with the facts, a reader has no difficulty seeing the vitriol between the lines. A careful reading reveals that the themes are no different. But coated with the patina of professionalism that a web page affords, the distortions and lies, comfortably ensconced in their unassailable place in the ether, await the click of the innocent and unsuspecting reader.
With apologies to William Shakespeare, "What a tangled web they weave, when they do set out to deceive."
In summarizing one of his more recent Web offerings, a page with the title "Zundelsite - Nuremberg: The Crime That Will Not Die", Mr. Zundel tells us:
"I bow my head in reverence to those who were judicially murdered at Nuremberg. They were the world's martyrs, not villains. Not one of them would have been condemned to death in a fair trial. Not one! Let's not forget they sacrificed an entire nation, and in the end themselves, to save Western civilization. They were defeated by thugs in robes and gangsters in uniform and by the conspiracies hatched by shysters from the ghettos and shtetls of Eastern Europe."
And in a mailing list post I saw the other day, an articulate and obviously reasonable writer, speaking in defense of freedom of speech for those who hold a "different viewpoint", acknowledged that he had visited the Zundelsite. And expressed his sympathy for Mr. Zundel "who seems very sincere."
Meanings of words do change over time. In Shakespeare's day one could at least depend on a time-frame which allows for a period of adjustment. I wonder if our dynamic link libraries must now include an on-the-fly dictionary constantly updating itself to reflect these new meanings of words.
December 15, 1995 was the last "change" on that particular page. The same date that I read in Canada's National Newspaper, "The Globe and Mail", in an article entitled: "Microsoft goes 'hard-core' on the Internet":
"In a year, a text only web page will have all the appeal of a green phosphor monitor."
Will words become irrelevant to communication? If true, then I suppose my personal website will lose its audience. Then again perhaps in this new medium, Mr. Zundel's message will be lost. Regardless, those who seek the facts will still find them on Nizkor.
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Revised October 19, 1997
Copyright © 1996 Hilary Ostrov