The Null Device
A look behind the scene of Aryanfest, a neo-Nazi/white-supremacist love-in held recently in Arizona, and attended by 300 people, from skinheads to family groups, from the former Saddam Hussein supporter who wants to nuke Washington to the mixed-up Mexican neo-Nazi who got unceremoniously kicked out:
The atmosphere inside Aryanfest was that of a Renaissance Fair gone over to the dark side, with "Heils" in place of "Huzzahs." Costumed attendees wore Iron Cross medallions and black bomber jackets emblazoned with swastika patches instead of studded leather armor and princess dresses. A Nazi memorabilia dealer hawked SS patches and framed photographs of Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Rudolph Hess in the parking lot. Next to the stage was a picnic pagoda, serving as the Aryanfest day-care center, where little white children in skinhead clothes colored in white power coloring books. Directly next door to the pagoda was a tattoo booth, where the incessant high-pitched buzz of a tattoo gun sounded from behind a blue tarp curtain. Beside the Panzerfaust merchandise stand was the Women for Aryan Unity booth, which sold child-rearing guides and White Nationalist Baby magazines, including one containing a simplified biography of Hitler suitable for bedtime stories: "He was a lifelong lover of animals and children . . . He is invincible and victory shall one day be his."
The police were happy that white-separatist group Volksfront's prediction of 1,000 people attending did not come true. But Browning said with a wry smile, "That's still a good-sized crowd. Come on, 300-plus racists in one place without a fight?"
In related news, a 36-year-old Oregon woman was arrested after having painted swastikas on an abandoned gas station. Her rationale: "I just wanted to show my heritage". She was also found in possession of methamphetamines. (via rotten.com)
In the UK, as the Blair administration prepares to dismantle the BBC, the Tories (who, presumably, have given up on wooing the Murdoch media for the next election) are dropping the anti-BBC plank of their platform, which called for the phasing out of the license fee and reducing the BBC to a minority broadcaster like the PBS in the US, and repositioning themselves as a "friend of the BBC"; a move undoubdtedly intended to appeal to those supporters of the venerable news organisation sufficiently gullible to fall for it. However, unreconstructed Thatcherites need not feel too betrayed; as Tory leader Michael Howard points out, the BBC's charter review will take place after the general election, and there's nothing stopping a Tory government from coming out, announcing that it has weighed up the facts, and after great deliberation, decided to take the chainsaw to Auntie.