Speaking of “The Other Thing…”

There are some curious wrinkles of late:

  • Pat Hartman, erstwhile editor of the memorable zine of libertarianish cultural criticism, Salon: A Journal of Aesthetics, has republished her bestselling 1994 issue devoted to Holocaust Revisionism  as an e-book. You can purchase a copy on eBay for $15.  As a guide to the vicissitudes of the controversy, it’s more than a bit dated, but highly recommended if you’re curious to see what happens when revisionist arguments are engaged in a skeptical but independent forum.  Hartman’s dalliance with HR is also of interest in that it showcases a number of freewheeling — and funny — commentaries by the self-styled independent scholar David Cole, well before he was bullied into reclusion by JDL thugs. The hook with David, for those of you who don’t know or recall, was his virtually anomalous profile as Jewish liberal exponent of dissident Holocaust history. But the substance of his scholarship is done ill-service by such an inevitable reduction.  Before his imposed exile, Cole contributed at least two important documents to the heterodox discourse,  the first being his low rent but jaw-dropping on-site Auschwitz documentary, David Cole Interviews Dr. Francizek Piper, the second being his scrupulously conceived essay/inquiry "46 Important Unanswered Questions on the Nazi Gas Chambers."  Far from being a self-loathing Jew or attention-seeking shit-stirrer, as  revisionist and anti-revisionist critics once alleged, Cole stood (and stands) as a more noble exemplar of American-bred zeteticism.  A skeptically astute critical thinker,  who saw in the Holocaust controversy an intellectual litmus test of unique and profound relevance. He paid a heavy price for his honesty.  The least you can do is listen.   (In the interest of disclosure, I should mention that David also contributed to the long-defunct print version of The Hoover Hog, copies of which are still available for free upon request.)
  • One of my favorite writers, the indefatigable revisionist gadfly Bradley Smith, recently premiered a rough cut of a documentary devoted to the Holocaust question and the assault on free speech.  After receiving a bewilderingly positive reception at the Hispanic Corto Creativo Film Festival in Otay Mesa, Mexico (which Smith describes as "an upscale suburb of Tijuana, the metropolis on
    the Mexico/California border"),  El Gran Tabu (The Great Taboo) has thus far been subject to only one obligatory — and quite unoriginal — condemnatory gesture and missive, which may be credited to BINACOM president Ruth Wallen (whose videotaped exchange with Smith at the festival I will post later if I can find a link).  I’m sure things will heat up as Bradley’s work-in-progress gains enough YouTube-enabled traction, but for now I will simply count myself among the curious.  Regardless of your take on the merits of Holocaust revisionism, this, as I’ve said before, is the free speech story of our age.  And the truth — whatever it is — will out.   

That’s enough Big H trendspotting for the while.  For those of you who care, the final installment of my "Initial Harm" series (on antinatalism) is in the wings (if you want to catch up, the first three installments are here, here, and here).   Keep checking in.