Just Merveilleux?

Life at № 42

The David Irving Method & Wanker Theory

One of the less talked about films of last year was Denial. Not as cheerful as La La Land or dramatic as Fences, it tells the story of the libel case against historian Deborah Lipstadt. The case was brought by holocaust denier David Irving. The trailer of the film gives you an idea of how Mr. Irving operates, which is by using some of the classical techniques of psychosocial manipulation. He seeks attention through polemics and then if anyone contradicts or dismisses his ideas he claims persecution. Remind you of anyone?

Irving lost the case. In the decision Justice Charles Gray says:

In my view the Defendants have established that Irving has a political agenda. It is one which, it is legitimate to infer, disposes him, where he deems it necessary, to manipulate the historical record in order to make it conform with his political beliefs. 3

Irving was motivated by a desire to present events in a manner consistent with his own ideological beliefs even if that involved distortion and manipulation of historical evidence.” 4

and

In my opinion there is force in the opinion expressed by Evans13 that all Irving’s historiographical “errors” converge, in the sense that they all tend to exonerate Hitler and to reflect Irving’s partisanship for the Nazi leader. If indeed they were genuine errors or mistakes, one would not expect to find this consistency. I accept the Defendants’ contention that this convergence is a cogent reason for supposing that the evidence has been deliberately slanted by Irving.14

Everything the judge says comes down to the treatment/categorization of evidence. As David Cannadine put it: “Irving has consistently applied an evidential double standard, demanding absolute documentary proof to convict the Germans (as when he sought to show that Hitler was not responsible for the Holocaust), while relying on circumstantial evidence to condemn the British (as in his account of the Allied bombing of Dresden).” This, of course, is neither new nor unusual. It’s the same method used by opponents of the teaching of evolution or opponents of gay adoption. The latter do the most entertaining mental acrobatics when they say all of the 99% of the science that supports gay adoptions is wrong, but the one study which agrees with their religion is unquestionably correct.

Absurdity, but not just absurdity.

I’ve read a few articles recently which tried (and failed miserably) to make the case that the “rise” of clowns like Yiannopoulos, and/or even Trump’s election, are the responsibility of the left leaning press and the safe-space brigade. Not the fault of Breitbart and Fox News, not the fault of a spectacular media machine, not the fault of demagoguery, not the fault of manipulation- no. The rise of this imbecile:

yiannopoulos006-660x330

Neither clever nor funny.

… is the fault of a Prius driving Tiffany who eats quinoa, reads the Guardian  and spent her gap year digging wells in Africa? Hardly. The argument is so fantastically flawed I don’t know how the people making them haven’t been laughed off of the public stage already. Don’t get me wrong, I too find Tiffany annoying as hell- but in the grand scheme of things Tiffany and her fellow armpit hair braiders aren’t really a threat to civilization. Implying their annoyance could be responsible for the “success” (let’s see how long that lasts) of the opportunistic Yiannopoulos or Trump is simply mathematically ridiculous. And any educated person pushing that line is, in no uncertain terms, a total wanker.  And that my friends is Wanker Theory.

 

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35 comments on “The David Irving Method & Wanker Theory

  1. Steve Ruis
    February 15, 2017

    I like it! Wanker Theory. It has a certain ring to it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cara
    February 15, 2017

    That Yiannopoulos guy isn’t running his mouth because Tiffany (and FYI she doesn’t respond to that name anymore, she prefers to be called Gentle Breeze) drives a Prius and braids her armpit hair. Yiannopoulos is here because through the magic of YouTube, anyone with anything to say has a forum.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. inspiredbythedivine1
    February 15, 2017

    Wanker theory. Love it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • For there is no other name under heaven 😀
      But seriously, I’ve never seen so much nonsense get so much air time. The other line they’re peddling is the election was Americans “rejecting liberal values”. Which is of course an argument they could make if Clinton hadn’t actually *won* the popular vote by as much as the populations of Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont combined.

      Liked by 3 people

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        February 15, 2017

        I know. It’s absurd. Not enough Democrats and progressives voted and that helped tRump win. The idjit Americans who “reject” liberal values are not the brightest of blokes around nor are they in any way a majority of us. I’m hoping the fire I see lit under the asses of progressives continues to burn into the next elections and we can reverse some of this backward bullshit we’ve got going on. Oh, BTW, the 3 million folks who voted for Clinton and gave her the popular vote win are all illegal immigrants, Martians, vampires, and dead people. That’s what tRump and his Trumpanzees say, so it MUST be true, right? Utter fucking stupidity.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Esme upon the Cloud
    February 15, 2017

    “Don’t get me wrong, I too find Tiffany annoying as hell- but in the grand scheme of things Tiffany and her fellow armpit hair braiders aren’t really a threat to civilization.” – Very funny and also the core of it really. What we actually have is people writing their own reality here to suit the dim bulb/twisted view of the world that they prefer the sound of in order to take no bloody blame for anything themselves.

    ‘Wanker Theory’ – applauds Mr Pink.

    – esme shaking her head upon the Cloud

    Liked by 3 people

    • To demonize the people who are well intentioned, even if they do sometimes get it wrong, is ridiculous. And you’re right that what that accomplishes is precisely to allow guilty parties a free pass.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Hariod Brawn
    February 15, 2017

    . . . on the other hand . . .

    I’ve heard so many reasons why Trump won, and very, very few in the mainstream media stating the bleeding obvious: Hillary was a totally crap candidate. The States, as I understand it, is broadly speaking a Centre Left nation with a bent towards moderately progressive policies. The stupidly arrogant Democratic Party, being in thrall to corporate interests just as much as the GOP, denies U.S. citizens the alternative they need in a two party system. First causes are all but impossible to identify, but I’m happy to pin that tag on the Corporate Democrats if forced to pin it anywhere. Maybe that’s a different conclusion to yours, Pink, but the (so-called) Democrats wanted to pin the blame on anyone other than themselves, so we got that spate of stuff in the mainstream media about the failure of the Progressive Liberal agenda, which was just another mighty shot in the foot for them and their cosied-up-to pals in the DNC. I like this young man who’s running for DNC Chair, Sam Ronan; he tells it how it is, to those who need most to hear:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Except if Hillary was that bad a candidate her margin in the popular vote wouldn’t have been over 2 million.
      But let’s say I grant you the point she wasn’t an ideal candidate, as there’s an argument to be made in that regard. Then I’d say we have to review history to explain how she got to be the candidate- and there it becomes both interesting and murky because we can explore the Thatcher/Reagan era myth that a left wing candidate is “unelectable” (we can thank the Saatchi’s for that), and also the classic notions of aristocracy. Her birth/class/position/finances entitled her to her role as nominee. Could a (real) left wing candidate compete in a general election? I don’t know, but Hamon seems to be surprising everyone in how much support he’s gained in just one week (10 points above Marine Le Pen as of yesterday.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 15, 2017

        Wow, has Hamon taken a 10-point lead over Le Pen? That’s incredible! Are you sure? Of course you are. I’m amazed — that’s bloody good news. Hang on, I don’t think it’s right Pink. Are you thinking of some poll as regards his perceived integrity? Hamon can’t be 10 points above Le Pen in the who-you-gonna-vote-for polls.

        Like

      • Yesterday’s Le Point. Small sample but very interesting methodology because it’s not multiple choice. All they ask is who’s your candidate. The winner was Macron.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 15, 2017

        “But let’s say I grant you the point she wasn’t an ideal candidate, as there’s an argument to be made in that regard” — well Pink, she lost in a two-horse race against an incoherent, sex pest, reality TV star, so it’s not really an argument in my book. 🙂

        I don’t know if we have to explore history much to explain why she became the Dems candidate. She was in cozy with the party’s sponsors; she was going to protect their interests. Plus, all those safe jobs in the DNC were at risk with Bernie, so they weren’t gonna be turkeys voting for xmas. Progressives have to seize control of the party and get the corporate money out. The world had better hope they do it, because the DNC, as is, is a machine built to fail.

        Like

      • And labour?

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 15, 2017

        Macron yes, Hamon, no.

        Like

      • That plays directly into the left wing unelectability myth. You’re Tony Blair!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 15, 2017

        Hahahahaha! You’re right, I let Mandelson fuck me at least twice a day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 15, 2017

        “And Labour?”

        New Labour is dead, but nothing’s yet come in its stead. Mandelson and Blair want to revive it but I see that as completely futile. We’ll see whether Corbyn can turn Labour into a genuine party of the Left, or at least lay the foundations for that happening (which he’s trying to do). I see him as a stepping stone, and aren’t concerned about his un-electability. If the coup had worked and they’d installed the cringeworthy, two-faced, Owen Smith, or some other smarmy, middle class lawyer like Chuka Umunna, they’d have crashed against the Tories anyhow.

        Like

      • I nominate Owen Jones.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        February 15, 2017

        Good shout. I like him a lot. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Scottie
        February 16, 2017

        For all those who say that Bernie could have / should have won the primary fail to give credit and take into account people like me. We voted for Hillary for the democratic president because we wanted her, not Bernie. We had our reasons and in truth she did win many more votes and more states in the primary elections than Bernie did. She did not win the general election. However there is no proof that Bernie would have either. Yes their was failure’s all round, but it was not that more people who voted did not want Hillary. The fact as you state was that more did want her by almost 3 million votes. The sad fact is our system is set up badly for modern times and a sad bunch of people voted against their own interests. There are reasons why, but the fact is people did not vote for what was best for them. Now I keep hearing so many say they are sorry and wish they had not voted the way they did. Too late. I hear the ones too silly to bother to inform themselves that the ACA health insurance they are so proud of is the very same Obama Care health insurance they are demanding be destroyed. That emotional / intellectual disconnect gave us tRump. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

      • acflory
        February 16, 2017

        ‘the ACA health insurance they are so proud of is the very same Obama Care health insurance they are demanding be destroyed.’ Seriously? They didn’t know what the nickname stood for? Oh my…

        Liked by 2 people

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        February 16, 2017

        Yep. About 35% of the wise and intelligent people who voted for Putin’s Orange Puppet do not know the ACA and Obamacare are the same. It’s highly unlikely tRump knows this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        February 16, 2017

        -face palm- do you know who originally came up with ‘Obamacare’? Was it a kind of spontaneous ‘nickname’ by those who didn’t like it, or was it a malicious and successful attempt to hoodwink the masses?

        Like

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        February 16, 2017

        It was a Republican plan originally, I believe. They at least had much to do with creating a similar plan before Obama won. Once he made the plan his and put his tweaks on it, they hated it because, well, because Obama is black and, well, you get the rest. It is utterly despicable how Republicans and conservatives behave and behaved during Obama’s tenure. They, and the world, are now reaping the benefits of the hate-filled ground work they’ve been laying the past 8 years. They created tRump and those who voted for him. Now we all get to suffer for it.

        Like

      • acflory
        February 16, 2017

        Aaaah. Why am I not surprised. And they’re still scrambling for scraps of power falling from his table. The few who speak out – like John Cain – are voices in the wilderness.

        Liked by 1 person

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        February 16, 2017

        As his approval rating continues to plummet, I’m thinking a few more Republicans might just jump ship, but I’m not entirely confident in that as Republicans are very worm-like by nature. 🙂

        Like

      • acflory
        February 16, 2017

        We have exactly the same kind of ‘personalities’ here, and they cling to power with just as much tenacity. I wish we could sack them all and start over with people who don’t /want/ to be professional politicians. I wonder if it would do any good to restrict the tenure of ordinary politicians to two terms, however long those terms may be?

        Liked by 1 person

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        February 16, 2017

        I like that idea.

        Like

      • acflory
        February 16, 2017

        lol – we’re not holding our breath are we?

        Liked by 2 people

  6. rautakyy
    February 24, 2017

    I have not seen this film about the trial, but it sounds very interresting.

    I once saw a documentary about Irwing though. It must have been in the eightees, or early ninetees, he was touring Germany to spout out his revisionist nonsense. What struck me the most was that after he had had this meeting with old German people and few neo-nazi skinheads, his audience was asked by the filmcrew, wether they believed what Mr.Irwing said, that there were infact no concentration camps. I suppose to be in his audience pretty much predisposed those people to claim, that he was absolutely right. Then when the very same people were asked a follow up question what would these same people, who did not believe the nazies had organized concentration camps, thought about the Turkish immigrants in Germany and what should be done about them, well you can guess what they answered… It was odd. How could anyone be so stupid and blind?

    But people are able to jump the most extraordinary loops of logical contradiction, are they not? I guess the only thing that keeps us from doing so, is not our political preference, religious affiliation, but rather wether we are infact ready, able and willing to question ourselves in order not to do this. Yet, this willingness to question our own perspectives from time to time also leads us to certain political preferences, views on religion and such…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Fighting Anti-Intellectualism and Propaganda | Amusing Nonsense

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This entry was posted on February 15, 2017 by in activism and tagged , , , , , , , .
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