Muse by Craig Ranapia

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Muse: Guilt By Association Copy

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  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Tristan,

    Isn't nice that with just a tiny scratch you can reveal New Zealand's racist side

    Yes, plus the fact that we seem to have more info on DC than any other person that is in the corridors of Parliament or trying to get there. I totally believe his video game reason and for an investment portfolio, seems totally within the realm of accruing value and basic interest in war memorabilia. So 3 things before anyone wants to get all Nazi on his arse.
    Geez I know a true pacifist who collects shell casings from all over the world and collects other things that would make people consider him a true war monger. Whereas I know for a fact otherwise.
    Once again Slater seems at the forefront to rubbish any competition of his leader. Here we go again.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • richard, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I didn’t mean to imply that Dotcom has roomful of Nazi memorabilia. Nor would I necessarily judge someone for owning a copy of Mein Kampf. But to go out of your way to buy a copy whose main attraction is that it was personally handled by Hitler – I think you are entitled to think there’s something just a little bit sick about that.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Besides which, people are judging him purely on there own feelings about his choice of the way he spent his money. The reason its now public knowledge is because a smear campaign has begun and he saw fit to be honest with the public before the likes of Slater innuendo took hold which clearly it already is. Personally I think Slater bile is far more tasteless than DC's admission that he holds a book in a vault. However I feel, does not make me think Slater should not be writing what he wants. That is his choice as far as I'm concerned.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to richard,

    I think you are entitled to think there’s something just a little bit sick about that.

    So what about his Churchill and Stalin books?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • alobar, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    However I feel, does not make me think Slater should not be writing what he wants. That is his choice as far as I’m concerned.

    Its just a shame so many read and are taken in by his bile

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to alobar,

    Its just a shame so many read and are taken in by his bile

    Well exactly, but that says more to me about them than him really.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    So what about his Churchill and Stalin books?

    I'd pretty much feel the same way about an autographed book by Stalin, for the record. Or Pol Pot, etc, etc.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    I’d pretty much feel the same way about an autographed book by Stalin, for the record. Or Pol Pot, etc, etc.

    That should be fine to have an opinion huh?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    That should be fine to have an opinion huh?

    I am pretty confident that it’s OK for me to hold opinions, yes, weirdly enough. I don’t think that my opinions are reasons for real-world consequences, however – people are entitled to collect these books* and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be. But I find it weird and creepy and I’m also entitled to do so.

    *Again: the weird and creepy bit for me is the autograph, although if someone made a habit of collecting works by genocidal dictators in general, and wasn't making an academic study of them (or possibly even if they were) I would find that creepy, yep.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to richard,

    But to go out of your way to buy a copy whose main attraction is that it was personally handled by Hitler – I think you are entitled to think there’s something just a little bit sick about that.

    Oh please. I wouldn't own a copy myself - I can read it for free if I ever become interested in that nutcase's ravings.

    But Dotcom is a collector, and also about the bling-bling. It makes complete sense to me that someone with those traits would totally go for the MOST expensive and MOST rare instance of what he was interested in, if the opportunity arose. No ulterior motive - like a Hitler-shrine in the games room - required.

    If you're a collector of pretty much anything, there is plenty of prestige in getting the "best" item possible amongst other collectors. Something I'm sure Dotcom world enjoy.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    the weird and creepy bit for me is the autograph

    Exactly. I also consider that weird. And kinda gross. I should stress that I don't think he has Nazi sympathies, but even if you're a collector, you don't necessarily *need* to fetishise an object that is associated with genocide. Yicchhh.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    Supposedly, because KDC can make the PM's life uncomfortable, maybe even prove he lied, this is just another smear to discredit KDC courtesy of Whaleoil and picked up by the MSM.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson,

    I don't at all understand this series of responses.

    The message seems to me to be that a bad thing happened with a bad person, so everything associated with that should be destroyed or hidden and only weirdos and creeps would be interested in anything to do with it. Seems a bit close to the original bad thing, to me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • alobar, in reply to TracyMac,

    If you’re a collector of pretty much anything, there is plenty of prestige in getting the “best” item possible amongst other collectors. Something I’m sure Dotcom world enjoy.

    That seems right , even if Dotcom himself can see the creepy element that wouldn't stop him having it in the collection.
    And its creepier for Whaleoil to exaggerate the story for his own purposes .

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    What Danielle said.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4082 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Greg Dawson,

    so everything associated with that should be destroyed or hidden and only weirdos and creeps would be interested in anything to do with it

    No, I don't think it should be destroyed or hidden, but yeah, I think it's weird and creepy to spend top dollar for it and keep it as an "investment". Soz.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    It needs the be kept in a public place, as a symbol, for everyone to really contemplate how fucked up Hitler actually was.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4082 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    I’d pretty much feel the same way about an autographed book by Stalin, for the record. Or Pol Pot, etc, etc.

    There’s no way I’d want to own this type of item, but I can’t completely rationalise where I draw the line except that I think it’s around how recent the history is.

    Genghis Khan went out of his way to efficiently and effectively wipe out entire nations in genocidal waves of destruction for little reason other than to stamp his name on the world, yet every week thousands of kiwis probably dine in a Mongolian barbecue restaurant chain which celebrates the guy and his notariety. This is the exact type of recognition and memory which Genghis wanted with his deeds, and he’s immortal thanks to his butcherous regime.

    Horrible, disgusting and evil man by today’s standards, but it’s also had 700-800 years to date, so fewer people care about what he did besides an aspect of history that no longer effects anyone in ways that matter to them, and we laugh over dinner as we order off a menu with his face on it. You can bet where the personal items of Genghis turn up today, they’d be considered valuable and interesting.

    Hitler and the Nazis generally? Also horrible and disgusting, and more to the point it’s still in the living memories of many people who are alive today, from both sides of events, whether directly or through connections. WW2 stuff, expecially Nazi memorabilia, means completely different things for a large number of people in today’s society.

    KDC doesn’t seem automatically creepy to me for owning it as an investment, though. It’s not as if he carries it around and idolises it (unless there’s further evidence), and from an investment perspective it’s almost certainly going to be more valuable in future, especially as new generations come along and the perception of WW2 and the Holocaust changes over the decades to come.

    Pretty dumb politically, but he’s also not exactly in politics for the traditional reasons.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Well, Cameron Slater can hang a Mission Accomplished banner in his room.

    Ok, fine, we can question Dotcom's taste in collectibles, memorabilia and investments. But the closest I saw to anybody actually finding a story in this non-issue is this bit from the Herald's article:

    Jewish Federation of New Zealand president Stephen Goodman said Mr Dotcom's ownership of Nazi memorabilia was upsetting and could cost him support in New Zealand.

    "We're always disappointed that anyone wants to make profit out of the suffering of others and making profit out of Nazi war memorabilia shows great disrespect to those who suffered."

    Fair enough. And Dotcom wasn't helping himself by mentioning the likely future value of the book.

    But the offending book has real historical value, even more so given that it was signed by Hitler and dedicated to his cellmate. It may also be worth noting that Mein Kampf is not illegal in Germany and there are plans to publish a new, annotated German edition (and on that note, this is a good, quick glance at the legal issues surrounding publication of Mein Kampf). But really, how are we supposed to teach kids about the evils of the Nazis if this is how we react to the news that somebody owns a copy of Mein Kampf signed by Hitler? Nobody's going to learn anything until they understand that the Nazis were real people just like us.

    But hey, Cameron Slater must be dancing in glee, having just spun an issue of poor taste in collectibles into some major political scandal.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to izogi,

    Genghis Khan

    is a poor example, having suffered a similar fate to the Vikings in having his popular historical memory reduced to a caricature.

    I think a better East Asian example is Mao Zedong. Didn't set out to conquer the world like Genghis Khan, but then again, Mao didn't see himself as God's vengeance on a sinful world. He did rack up one hell of a bodycount, and there are plenty still alive with vivid memories of the horrors wrought in his name, but somehow there's a certain industry in Cultural Revolution chic. At least back in my first few years in China there were plenty of young expats running around with Mao memorabilia, tourist-oriented markets had stalls with large piles of the Little Red Book translated into several major European languages, and more than a few people of a similar age and skin colour to me had olive green satchels with 为人民服务 (wèi rénmín fúwù - serve the people) emblazoned on the side in Mao-style calligraphy*. Somehow I very much doubt any of the young Westerners stocking up on Mao memorabilia would've found similar stalls in German or Austrian markets selling Mein Kampf and Nazi memorabilia in anyway tasteful, or thought it cool to wander around Germany wearing Nazi regalia, even if the law allowed it. So I very much doubt the passage of time has much to do with how these things are perceived - especially considering that Mao died 31 years after Hitler and those who personally remember life under Mao are much younger and far more numerous than those who remember life in Nazi occupied Europe.

    *it's a real thing, and still fairly commonly seen, calligraphy in the style of Mao's own handwriting. Personally I hate it - just an illegible scrawl to my eyes - but others consider it to be fine art when done well. No accounting for taste.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    The people I know who are fans of WWII war games and own copies of Mein Kampf are normally extremely quick to clear up the whole "not a Nazi" thing. And I believe them, of course. But it is a thing you rather have to make clear, because being a fan of WWII and owning copies of Mein Kampf is a pretty Nazi thing to be.

    And the autograph? Getting to the point of being pretty icky, really.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    And the autograph? Getting to the point of being pretty icky, really.

    Yes, but icky enough to generate all this fuss?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    So I very much doubt the passage of time has much to do with how these things are perceived

    I think it is important, as one of several ways distance can be achieved – others being cultural/social unfamiliarity and physical separation. So Mao can be “chic” for Europeans, no worries. But … are you also saying that Mao remains “chic” among Chinese, despite none of these distancing effects operating for them? Interesting. Do you think it may be that, for good or bad, Mao is still bound up with Chinese national identity, undeniably part of “our” (as opposed to Western) history and thought? (And similarly, in part, Mao memorabilia appeals to Westerners because it operates as a symbol of opposition to/ rebellion against Western capitalism?)

    Whereas the official narrative of modern German national identity is founded on rejecting Hitler.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1847 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to TracyMac,

    But Dotcom is a collector, and also about the bling-bling. It makes complete sense to me that someone with those traits would totally go for the MOST expensive and MOST rare instance of what he was interested in, if the opportunity arose. No ulterior motive – like a Hitler-shrine in the games room – required.

    Well, yes - that's the appeal of book collecting in general and seriously high end association copies. If I had $3.85 million going spare, I probably wouldn't be spending it on this -- even though every penny went to a very good cause. Amazon obviously felt differently, and it certainly wasn't better publicity that a simple donation to Rowling's charity.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to linger,

    So Mao can be “chic” for Europeans, no worries. But … are you also saying that Mao remains “chic” among Chinese,

    For some, yes. For others, there's nostalgia value. For others, liberation and national identity. For others, all of the above. And for more than a few drivers who hang Mao medallions from their rearview mirrors, he's been elevated to some kind of patron saint (although that, somewhat ironically, falls perfectly into Chinese tradition of elevating historic heroes to god status - Guan Yu is another great example). It also helps that China has not made a clean break from the Mao era - the regime Mao set in place is still here, albeit somewhat evolved. There's more to explore there - like the lack of a clear distinction between Good and Bad in the Chinese civil wars, for example, but I must run.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

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