Nazis are bad. Most of us can agree on that one. Those evil scumbags murdered millions of people, they believed in absolutely insane nonsense, and they ruined the toothbrush mustache forever. Nazis stink. Down with Nazis. I don’t like Nazis one bit.
But should you go to jail for making jokes about them?
Earlier this week in Scotland, a fellow named Mark Meechan, AKA “Count Dankula,” was convicted of a hate crime for posting a YouTube video of his girlfriend’s dog giving a Nazi salute on command. You can watch it below. WARNING: This video will probably irritate and/or offend you.
As Meechan explains it, the joke was that his girlfriend thought she had the sweetest dog in the world, so he trained it to salute the worst people in the world. The underlying premise of the joke is that Nazis are awful. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be giggling about this cute little pooch doing a Sieg Heil on command. As Kyle Smith at National Review put it: “Pugs are nearly the sweetest and most innocent of God’s creatures; Hitler was among the most evil men who ever lived. It’s incongruous for a pug to be a Nazi, and incongruousness can be funny.”
Is it funny, though? Well, it doesn’t make me laugh. Maybe it would if I knew the woman who owns the dog. I don’t know. It’s some guy in a grubby Glasgow
flat apartment who trained a little pug to do something stupid. It’s not really my thing. But I do believe Meechan’s explanation. It doesn’t work for me, but I can buy that he did it for that reason. I don’t think he hates Jews or wants any harm to come to anybody.
And it’s not hurting anybody. Meechan isn’t bringing about the Fourth Reich. He’s not herding Scottish Jews into train cars. All he did was post an annoying YouTube video because he was bored. Arresting him for it is insane.
Speaking of people who don’t make me laugh:
A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed “grossly offensive”. If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find “grossly offensive”, then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 20, 2018
As someone who was blocked by Ricky Gervais on Twitter years ago (one Easter, I made the mistake of mocking his anti-Christian bigotry), I agree with him 100% on this. People have the right to say things that offend you. People say things that offend me, every minute of every day, but it’s not hate speech just because I hate it. They’re free to say it, and I have the option of either talking back to them or ignoring them. That’s it. Anything beyond that is tyranny.
What’s happening in Scotland right now is tyranny.
Meechan is scheduled to be sentenced on April 23. It’s bad enough that he’s been convicted in a court of law for not being funny. If he actually goes to jail, it’s just more evidence that a new Dark Age is descending on the United Kingdom.
I mean, look at this crap:
— Police Scotland (@policescotland) March 16, 2018
You may think online you are anonymous, you can create fake profiles and
no-one can trace you. That’s wrong! The messages you type and send can be traced back to you.
The same laws apply to online messages, images and videos. What you post now can affect you later in life.
— Police Scotland (@policescotland) March 21, 2018
This, from the same culture that brought us George Orwell.
Dear Scotland: Piss off. Yer ma’s got bawls and yer da loves it.
And if you’re an actual, genuine Nazi and you think I want anything to do with you just because I believe you have the right to say things I don’t like, I leave you with this lullaby:
Hope I just offended you.