HousewitzRemember Dickie Thijssen? He’s the dutch fellow who created ‘Housewitz’*. The latter is an advertisement for a fake rave that used images of the holocaust juxtaposed with such clever witicisms as “Seven million party people – set their bodies on fire – literally speaking – HA HA.” and “Hot showers (free)”. Muffti doesn’t think he’s a bad guy per se, but he does have a rather rotten sense of humour. Thijssesn himself characterized the video as “very, very, very black humour”. Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center thought otherwise:

has gone beyond the bounds of freedom of expression to an unprecedented level of obscenity.

Muffti loves it when people speak with gross certainty about the bounds of freedom of expression.

Anyhow, Thijssen appologized and pulled the video from his site when he became aware of the attention it was getting. Nonetheless, charges of discrimination were levelled by the Dutch internet watchdog group MDI on ground of ‘discrimination’. Dickie faced the possibility of a year in jail and a 4500 euro fine. In the end he was sentenced to the far less severe sentence of 40 hours of community service.

Muffti is not impressed, even with the light sentence. Europe, bastion of freedom of speech, publishers of the mohammed cartoons takes a guy who makes a video (Muffti knows; they are different countries, but…) no matter how tasteless and arrests him for it?

Not cool.

*clicking on link will take you to the video, which is extremely tasteless. Consider yourself warned.

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5 Comments

  • Europe has not and is not a bastion of freedom of speech.The ground concept (if not the practice) that is at least philisophically inherent in the american concept of freedom of speech, much like the american concept of seperation of church and state, is foriegn to european states in practice, historically and philosophically. I could go on and on but…
    Here´s an example from todays Swedish Dagens Nyheter newspaper:
    The French rapper Monsieur R is being prosecuted and can recieve three years prison for the lines “I piss on Napoleon and on General de Gaulle” and for, on his album “Politically Incorrect”, comparinf the motherland to a whore (I always thought that being a whore was the uncontroversial philosophical and historical linchpin of french foriegn policy).
    The concept that one can “abuse” the right of freedom of speech by saying things that people don`t like and that freedom of speech is only to be practiced by people who don´t offend anyone, or at least anyone important (fuck the moslems),is pretty much an accepted concept by all political parties in Europe. Mostly what they squabble about is what is offensive.
    This is the grounds for why I, personally,am so ambivelant to european laws abainst Holocaust denial.
    I really don´t see that it has and can have any effect on the very disturbing historical, prevelant, day to day and socially institutionalised european antisemitism. Does anybody truly believe that the Holocaust was performed by the germans alone and without the enthusiastic practical support of much of conquered europe?

  • Interesting point, JC. Muffti didn’t realize – especially wiht the governments in europe all claiing that freedom of the press was inviolable after the cartoon affair.

  • an israeli woman who came to my summer camp sohpmore year told us regarding the holocaust “how the winds were laughing, they laughed with all thier might, laugh and laugh the whole day through and half summers night” the worlds complete disregard towards our tragedy, i have nothing else to say but whatever fuck them

  • Actually, the Dutch MDI did NOT file charges against Dickie Thijssen, it filed charges against the schocklog ‘GeenStijl, for mirroring the video when it went offline, for spreading it around the world and for refusing to remove the zillion antisemitic comments on their site. However, the Dutch public prosecutor decided not to go after GeenStijl but after Dickie Thijssen. A pity.

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