Tag Archives: Alterity

Why We Think it is Fitting to Compare BIDs to Nazis

An essential book for understanding what it felt like to be a Nazi before everyone hated the Nazis.  Click on image for detailed information.
An essential book for understanding what it felt like to be a Nazi before everyone hated the Nazis. Click on image for detailed information.
This blog has two essential purposes: first, to publish public records obtained from the three Hollywood area BIDs we cover and their collaborators and second, to needle employees and supporters of those BIDs. Neither educating nor convincing anyone of anything are huge priorities of ours, and even the public revelation of our two purposes cuts against the grain somewhat. However, it’s recently come to our attention that some of our readers who, so to speak, come upon our work innocently, not involved with the BIDs but just having a general interest in the political life of Los Angeles, may consider our constant comparisons of BIDs with Nazis to be glib, puerile, shallow, offensive, trivializing, and/or so on. Some of the objections expressed have come to seem, after much consideration, to have merit and to deserve a serious response.
The Olympic Games were held in Berlin in 1936, three years after the Nazis came to power.  Adolf Hitler, still seen by the world as a plausible member of the international community, led the opening ceremony.
The Olympic Games were held in Berlin in 1936, three years after the Nazis came to power (and, coincidentally, four years after they were held in Los Angeles for the first time). Adolf Hitler, still seen by the world as a plausible member of the international community, led the opening ceremony.

To understand our position, it’s essential to imagine what it felt like to inhabit the Third Reich as a non-Jew in the early 1930s, before Nazism was a universal symbol of pure and essential evil. Germany wasn’t yet an international outcast, and non-Jewish Germans, for the most part, didn’t feel like a nation of demons. In many ways they were not. Concentration camps, now considered primarily sites of genocide, were opened by the Nazis in March 1933 immediately after their accession to power. At first they were used for holding political prisoners and criminals and people were actually released from them on occasion. There’s also no particular reason to think that the Nazi government had any concrete plans to exterminate Jews from the earth when they took power in 1933.
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By Its Own Definition the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is Acting Craaaazy!

I said WHAT?!  You must be crazy...
I said WHAT?! You must be crazy…
If you click here you will be able to read the Spring 2014 issue of the Hollywood Entertainment District BID’s newsletter. It’s chock-full of mockable goodness, but today our attention is focused on page 7, which contains an article called Combatting Alcohol Issues.

Out of the many mockable statements in this piece, we have chosen for today’s post this minor claim as our topic: “As Albert Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”

First of all, Einstein didn’t say this, as anyone with any sense of history would have known immediately.1 Second of all, no matter who said it, it’s not just wrong, but stupidly wrong. Third, it’s a dreadfully overworked cliché. Finally, as with so many too-good-to-be-true misattributions, this is an instance of projection; that is, the author’s alienation2 from her own subconsciously perceived or imagined errors, turning them into imaginary characteristics of some delusionally constructed alterity.3

But for the sake of argument, we’ll assume that whoever wrote this little newsletter gem is right at least insofar as her own perception of insanity. Now what?
Continue reading By Its Own Definition the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is Acting Craaaazy!