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You misspelled "dysentery".

The word "genocide" was coined in reference to the massacre of Armenians, which was also a population transfer.

Your mention of Sade reminded me of a note in S. T. Joshi's collection of Lovecraft stories which mention him along with Gilles de Retz/Rais. Gilles was not accused of writing about atrocities but actually committing them, Joshi notes that such an account is not considered credible today. And speaking of the occult, did you hear about the guy executed in Texas for arson (killing his own children) now considered innocent by modern arson experts? Radley Balko linked to a story where the prosecutor stuck to his guns because the accused's Iron Maiden posters and the burn marks indicated he was a satanist!

Why do you think "this is the moment"?


Thanks for the spellcheck. I'm sure there are numerous typos. I'll try to clean things up over the next few days as time permits. Maybe trim some of the fat as well. The post is way too long.

It may be the wrong place to start, but I think there's a fair amount of bullshit in the Armenian tale as well. The Trabzon affidavits should invite some measure of disinterested skepticism, what with so many claims centering on the deliberate killing of Armenian women and children, often by doctors who are alleged to have forged death certificates to cover their tracks. There's also the stuff about mass gassings of kids in school buildings, which reeks of propaganda. Maybe I'll look into it for part three.

Regardless, one may acknowledge that the Turks committed atrocious acts and sympathize with the historic ordeal of Armenians without turning history over to state authority, which too often is the effect when the "genocide" card is played. Ultimately, I question whether Lemkin's term adds much to our understanding of ethnic and nationalist conflict. Bad things happen for complicated reasons, but once the "G" word is deployed, the history quickly settles on some version of good and evil, and becomes irretrievably political. The postwar expulsion of Germans from various territories may have led to millions of deaths, but the Potsdam agreement is never cited as a genocidal decree. Nor should it be.

I think it's really stupid and shameful that Bernard Lewis and some few others have been sanctioned for expressing doubt about the Ottoman government's culpability for whichever massacres. And I think it's plain silly when governments issue declarations about matters that should by all reason be left to scholarly dispute. My argument applies to Armenian genocide "deniers," Tasmanian genocide "deniers," Holodor "deniers" and to any other unseemly species of "denier" whose freedom to interpret the past is threatened by state power. Every question should be open and every view should exposed to sunlight. But let's not kid ourselves; the fines that have been imposed against those who dispute the extent and context of Turkish war crimes are small pellets when compared to the prison terms handed down to gas chamber skeptics. This is the free speech story of our age, and good people let it slide out of a misguided sense of decorum. That's the rub.

"This is the moment" because this is always the moment. The phrase alludes to Bradley's line in "Liver." Life is short. Play your hand.

I think Bluebeard is just another bogeyman. Same with that Bathory chick. Or, for that matter, Ilsa Koch. Of course, I'm also the guy who thinks Charlie Manson got a bad rap.

I have before me the book by James J. Martin, THE MAN WHO INVENTED GENOCIDE, The Public Career and Consequences of Raphael Lemkin. In the index under the letter "A" I can find no references to Armenia or Armenians. The word genocide, which was coined by Lemkin, and used to maximum effect at Nuremburg by Lt. Col. Murray C. Bernays has nothing to do with the Armenia. FYI the "Armenian genocide" was perpetrated by Turkish Dohnme crypto-Jews. Lemkin was a Polish Jew and Murray C. Bernays (ne Cohen) was the brother-in-law of Edward Bernays, the nephew of Freud and the man known worldwide as "The Father of Spin." Genocide is, well...,Jewish, just like Simon & Garfunkel.

So if it ain't in Martin's book it can't be right? I think the library at Alexandria was burned for similar reasons. You may have arguments with Lemkin, but his idea of genocide had a lot to do with Armenia. In the 30s he was using the term "Crime of Barbarity" and came up with genocide in 1943, but behind the name change is a continuity of thought. Here is an interview with Lemkin where he says his interest in genocide stems from what happened to the Armenians:

Also of interest:


"Doyle's Baker Street sleuth didn't smoke a pipe. The pipe was an iconographic embellishment. It came later. Stories evolve."

Yeah, that's great, except for this:

"Sherlock Holmes rose and lit his pipe." -- A Study in Scarlet, Chapter 2

A Study In Scarlet was the first Holmes story published (in Beeton's Christmas Annual, 1887). Maybe you're confusing the fact that it wasn't a calabash pipe that he smoked? You, like your so-called "scholar" can't be bothered to get your facts straight, can you? Why the fuck should I trust what you have to say? Because you're a clear fan of those "A Word A Day" calendars?

Brought here by your antinatalist views, turned away by your venomous spite masquerading as intellectual discourse. No thanks.

PS Nice photo. Had any dates lately?


Belated thanks for your correction regarding Holmes' pipe being a an extra-literary embellishment. Not being a Baker Street Irregular, I had simply misremembered a notation about the evolution of Sherlockian iconography (which, upon review, was in line with your suggestion; i.e., the signature calabash is, apparently, never described in Doyle's stories). In any case, I have redacted the inaccurate passage.

As it happens, I do care about getting facts straight, and for what it's worth, I object to your characterization of my temperament. I don't think you or anyone should "trust what I have to say." In time, Crowell's scholarship will stand or fall on its merit. He's certainly more careful than I could ever hope to be.

All doubts should be opened and every view should exposed to sunlight. But the fines that have been imposed against those who dispute the extent and context of Turkish war crimes are small pellets when compared to the prison terms handed down to gas chamber skeptics.

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