NAZI PRINCE OR CLOWN PRINCE?
With an estimated 250,000 people dead after the tsunami in south-east asia, you have to be stunned by the amount of interest generated by an individual who dresses up as a Nazi at a costume party. Calls for censure, forced reparations, and public flogging not withstanding, this storm in a teacup is trivial beyond belief. It stands a good chance of becoming a texbook example of "Semiotics in Action:Conflicts between the Signifier and the Signified."
It's pretty clear to anyone with only half a brain that the hapless royal was indulging in joke. Admittedly for some it might seem to be in bad taste, but then who said humor can't be brutal. My guess is that at the same costume party there was at least one Napoleon, some Saddam Husseins, and a couple of Genghis Khans. All of these have been responsible for human tragedy, yet no word on anyone else at the party being pilloried by the press.
The whole point of a costume party, apart from getting roaring drunk and groping members of the opposite sex, is to dress up as figures of fun. Problems only arise when particular groups don't see the humor.
Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks said: "This has offended members of the Jewish community and beyond. The wearing of a swastika was in extremely poor taste and I note that Prince Harry has recognised this." Really, Rabbi Sacks? And you are the arbiter of taste? Mel Gibson's Braveheart and The Patriot painted the Brits as bloodthirsty aggressors worthy of being castigated, yet I heard no public outcry about this. Until, of course, Mel brought out The Passion... and suddenly it was "anti-semitic" and once again the world had to be reminded of Nazi Germany and the suffering of the Jews.
Folks, we all know about the Holocaust, we all know the tragedy, and we all want to ensure it doesn't happen again. But when some kid dresses in a Nazi uniform for a party, it isn't the sign of the apocalypse and it doesn't herald the dawn of the Fourth Reich. Gee, I'm sorry some folks get offended by cynical humor, but that's just too bad - get over it.
And am I anti-semitic? Actually, I'm just misanthropic - I hate everyone! I'm anti folks who want to curtail freedom of speech and expression, regardless of their religion or politics. And telling me that dressing up as a Nazi is wrong is precisely that. What right has ANYONE to tell the Prince that he HAS to visit Auschwitz to atone for his behavior? I don't see folks screaming that George Bush should have to visit Abu Ghraib to see the effect his pre-emptive strike on Iraq has had on enemy combatants.
So just in case the press wants to follow ME for a story, at the next costume party I am invited to, I intend to dress as Mohammed, which should earn me the approbation of the Muslim community, and possibly a fatwah. Then I'll do the drunken Jesus act, just so I can also be hated by the Christian element too. By then, I will be labelled as anti-semitic, anti-muslim, and anti-christian, therefore becoming a pariah to the major faiths of the world.
Oh, and Buddha was just a big fat slob who talked in riddles because he was a cretin. Such a fine line between stupid and clever.