dear discorder & hothead column editors,
today is feb. 18. a flower will be present this morning outside of a building on granville street which is displaying an ss flag (inside out). in light of the “alternate reality” we presently occupy, this text will be released. sometimes what we say sounds ridiculous, but too often, we remain silent for too long. this is also a submission to your column.
P.S. this email will not accept a reply.
We have permitted the highest atrocity of willful ignorance towards the hatred that lives among us. It is not separate from us. It is not Other. Look up on our streets! We house fascists among us, ignoring their insignias of hatred. We tolerate their perversities as exercises in alternative logics, and remain comfortable in disagreement. We infantilize demonstrations of sociopathic symptoms. Cruelty is the silence that waits for violence to reveal itself at its most intolerable.
Fascism lives comfortably in the tepid pools of our passivity, steaming in its banality. It is permitted by an attitude that says, “maybe this time it will go away on its own”. It is the acceptance of an SS flag to fly in an apartment window on Granville, or so quickly forgetting the fascist propaganda and paraphernalia distributed through New Westminster – while instilling daily shame in our fellow people for the languages they speak, the clothing they wear, the prayers they whisper. Fascism is made possible by our systems of consumption and our muted ignorance of its survival through representation. By ignoring the blatant presence and self-satisfaction of neo-Nazi paraphernalia and the permutation of its ideology – in the Vancouver metropolitan area, in the Prairies, and in its visible manifestations in Quebec – we allow that hatred to grow and replicate once more, its magnitudes far surpassing the small frames of these windows that glimpse inwards to a half-concealed rot.
Do we really continue with business as usual?
It is ourselves we must now place on the tribunal: what is it that we have permitted? Whose hatred do we continue to house?
“Ride the air of those abject clouds of locusts,” wrote André Breton in 1943, in Arcanum 17, “set free the most fundamental right to live from the extreme limitations that a manifestly parasitic interference imposes on it, cleanse the sites exposed to the contamination of repression by all those who accommodated themselves to the claw on the nape, we can imagine, once again, nothing more essential, and still that does not yet constitute a decisive step towards a world forever sheltered from what just infested it.”
On February 18, 1943, Sophie and Hans Scholl of the White Rose antifa group were arrested by the Gestapo while pamphleting a university in Munich. They were executed by the Nazis on February 22, and the remaining White Rose antifa group faced trials. Today, February 18, 2017, the White Rose symbolizes the recurrence of history, the corruption of our historic memory, the shame for the complacency with which we have permitted the poison of fascism despite the cry, Never Again. But the White Rose is also the irrepressible beauty of persistence and resolution despite this cruel time, of the heart that demands to speak against the irrational hatred of our fellow people.
(“love, poetry, art, it’s only through their resilience that confidence will return”)
Hot Head is Discorder’s feedback column, encouraging any comments on the magazine or the community we serve. All submissions are welcome and will be considered for print unless they contain hateful language. To submit to Hot Head, email comments to email@example.com clearly indicating whether or not the submission is anonymous. Physical submissions can be left for Discorder Editor-In-Chief Brit Bachmann at the CiTR Station in the UBC Nest. To submit to Hot Head is to consent to being published in the magazine and online at discorder.ca