The Past and Future are Always Changing

Mark Steyn:
I get a lot of mail complaining that I never feature Beatles songs in our Song of the Week. Okay then:
I read the news today, oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire...
I also read the news today, oh boy. And it tells me there won't be any Beatles songs on the radio in Blackburn in a few years time, nor theatre in the West End of London, nor pubs in the East End, nor uncovered women in Birmingham, nor mixed swimming pools in Manchester, nor bacon butties in Sheffield, nor the teaching of the Crusades, the Holocaust and other problematic matters in schools... There might not even be Sheikh Speare - whoops, sorry, Shakespeare - at Stratford-upon-Avon. Because when you lose your future, you lose your past, too.
I'm of the James Bond school of thought about the Beatles, myself.

Steyn goes on to note that the police in Cologne denied for a week or so that the attacks on women by migrants actually happened. That's a very important question of fact. A friend of mine who is of Soviet Jewish extraction -- from the USSR to Israel, tour of duty in the IDF, eventually to America and citizenship here -- was greatly concerned by the story because it reminded him of antisemitic stories the Nazis told about Jews ravishing German women. These were apparently part of the justification for the suppression of Jews in the Fatherland. It matters a great deal whether or not these stories are true.

We are forced to judge that from a distance both in time and place. It seems as if they did happen, from what we can tell by reading open sources. Is it plausible that they are a paranoid myth by Germans to justify a reaction against the refugees? It's not impossible, I suppose. However, it is also true that the structure of Islam's approach to women makes it more plausible than the old antisemitic story ever was. Likewise the recent demonstrations during the Arab Spring, especially in Egypt. Laura Logan was an eyewitness to similar violence, and it was reported on a wide scale even by Egyptian women talking about Egyptian men. Neither antisemitism nor anti-Islamic sentiment is indicated there, nor xenophobia either.

The past seems to be trying to change before our eyes, though. Just as Steyn says.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

In Chesterton's On War And Peace he makes much of the propaganda by the peace crowd during WWI that the stories of German atrocities were just exaggerations, as people always do in war. As Nazism rose in the 30's, these same pulled out the supposedly disproven previous reports as reasons not to believe any of the stories of Nazi atrocities either.

The problem is, the stories from WWI had not been disproven, but later verified. Yet when people are tired of hearing about war at all, no one much paid attention to that in the early 20's, and the notion that it had all been exaggerated became the conventional wisdom. Chesterton (who died before WWII began but very much saw it coming) identified such false beliefs as a main reason England would not intervene to stop Hitler.

Cassandra said...

I keep trying to leave a comment on this post, but it's like I'm cursed :p

It seems odd to believe the Germans are fabricating some kind of rape myth when similar incidents have been reported in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, etc. And then there are those pesky police reports - unless one believes in mass hysteria, that seems pretty straightforward.

Finally, I have been reading reports of cultural clashes with Muslim (North African, often) migrants since 2003/2004. I'm always a big fan of getting the data, and the data I remember seeing indicated that the reported percentages of these incidents were disproportionate to the share of the population comprised of Persons of Unclear Ethnicity :p

Not that anyone should take my word for it - my recollection could be wrong. But it's hard to see a conspiracy here.

Ymar Sakar said...

First of all, the Leftist elites, including the so called intellectuals from other regions, would not have been able to recognize a Jew from an Andalusian, from an Arab, back in the old days.

Their ignorance transfers to the present, but only in part.

Second of all, the stories are far worse than reported. That is the truth.]

As Cassandra notes, there are other sources than to sit in front of Leftist media and believe the propaganda is true. Propaganda is always partially true, but that is where the greatest deception is present, in the partial truth.