Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Oh, you mean that swastika?

New York Times today:

"Britain's royal family could hardly be described as immune to slips and stumbles and scandals, but even by those standards, Prince Harry, son of Princess Diana, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and third in line to the throne, has broken new ground. After photographs of him wearing a Nazi swastika at a private fancy dress party appeared in the British tabloid The Sun today, Jewish groups from Los Angeles to Jerusalem registered protest and some people called for him to visit the Auschwitz death camp to understand why his party clothes caused such deep offense."

Um... oops?

11 comments:

The Law Talking Guy said...

You know, when I was in high school I had a "Hitler's European Tour" T-shirt that I used to wear - it had dates of occupation and some "dates" (like England) marked 'cancelled.' I thought it was funny. My aunt survived Auschwitz and I knew all about that. But I still thought it was funny. I'm embarrassed about that now, and I would express my outrage in person to anyone who wore such a costume near me. Same goes with the Confederate flag.

But kids are often dumb and insensitive. And rebellious. They revel in breaking taboos. Give Prince Harry a break. He's apologized and won't do it again.

Raised By Republicans said...

Unfortunately its not new ground for the Windsors. QE2's uncle abdicated not only under a cloud of sexual scandal but amid rumors of NAZI sympathies. During WWII, he and Wallace Simpson were sent to Bermuda (for their safety) while his brother, the new King, stayed in England.

To paraphrase the movie "Dr. Strangelove: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb" ....

Windsor, Windsor, that ain't no kraut name.
They changed it in 1914, it used to be von Saxe-Coburg und Gotha

The Law Talking Guy said...

What's not new ground for Windsors is congenital stupidity. Nobody seriously thinks that Prince Harry harbors Nazi sympathies. He may be a Tory, but that's all. Joseph Kennedy was a Nazi sympathizer -- one would not accuse Robert Kennedy or Ted Kennedy of the same. In the 1930s, when capitalism was failing, when European countries were abandoning democracy right and left (pun intended), there were many fascist sympathizers among the well-heeled of the West. They preferred fascism (which seemed to "work" or "make the trains run on time") to Soviet communism. America was not persuaded to go to war with Nazi Germany until Dec. 11, 1941, when Nazi Germany declared war on us.

Dustin said...

Originally the swastika was a symbol for the Greeks and more recently as a good luck charm for those of Buddhist faith. Also it is the oldest cross known to man...It forms a combination of four "L's" standing for Luck, Light, Love and Life.

Raised By Republicans said...

Yes, I suppose the swastika has been around since humans first spit paint on the walls of caves.

You know, in Germany the swastika is currently banned. So neo-NAZI groups turn to another symbol frequently used by the NAZI's, the party initials (NSDAP) inside a circular gear. I suppose of Hitler had made the armbands be a gear instead of a swastika, we'd be offended by gears. ... and Prince Harry would have worn a gear on his arm instead.

Yep, congenital stupidity!

There is a scene in "The Madness of King George III" in which a Whig politician - frustrated by an insane monarch with an idiot son - says, "Oh Lord give us the wisdom of the Americans!"

US West said...

And let's keep in mind that Prince Harry is a very well educated young man. He knows about the press and how relentless it is with the Royals. He knew what he was doing and there are millions of ways to be rebellious that are less hurtful. And let me just point out, LTG, that if a Kennedy had shown up at a party with s swastika, it would have been an even bigger scandal.

I agree, though. Cut Harry a break. It is a tempest in a tea cup. I am sure he got berated pretty seriously at home.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Although the swastika is an old symbol, Prince Harry was wearing it as part of a German military uniform. I suspect he was aware of the symbolism and was just being rebellious, as others have suggested--maybe he's enjoying being the "bad boy" of the royalty.

The problem is that Prince Harry isn't exactly living on his own. There's a huge apparatus of servants and media consultants who live along with him. For example, I have heard that his older brother was present when he selected the costume. What bothers many people is that nobody thought to stop him, which suggests that the culture in Buckingham Palace is at best incompetent and at worst totally insensitive toward the holocaust.

For an archaic institution that relies on popular support to stay afloat, either option is pretty bad. I'm sure his grandmother is wishing Harry would stick to tattoos or body-piercings.

The Law Talking Guy said...
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The Law Talking Guy said...

Maybe Princes Harry and William wanted to demonstrate that the Royals could get in the tabloids for something other than a sex scandal. Maybe they are both a little sick of being sex symbols (particularly William) and a little odium might give them some peace. They may also have thought, not unreasonably, that given their family's stand as the victors over fascism in WWII, they could get away with a joke.

It's a little naive to think that a 20-year-old kid is going to be "on" all the time. Despite his preppy education, he's frankly not likely to be any brighter or more mature than a typical Dartmouth freshman. And let's face it, at least William gets a job when his Dad and Grandma finally kick it. Harry has nothing to do but go to dress up parties.

Hell, it's not like they caught Jenna in blackface...

Raised By Republicans said...

I can just picture old Lizzy II going after him. "Now Harry we mus'n't keep reminding people that we're Germans. The family's had no end of trouble with it. First, Grandpapa George had to change the family name during the Great War. Then there were all those rumors about Uncle Edward having tea with that common Mr. Hitler. Your own Grandpapa Phillip had to change his name from von Battenberg to Mountbatten before we could put him in charge of Scotland. You simply must learn to at least pretend to be English!"

US West said...

RBR, I think you are the only one I know who makes such a big deal over the Royals having German roots. So do I, but I hardly think of myself as German and I do have the last name. I hardly think Harry et all think of themsevles as anything but British. Get over the German thing.