Wednesday, January 16, 2008

long overdue.

i've been meaning to sit down and write a more thorough blog post for some time, but my brain still feels mildly scrambled, so i fear this is not to be The Blog Post Of My Dreams. ah well. i'll at least try to keep it brief, then. :)

i've been unbelievably sick over the past month, beginning with the worst flu i can remember having, and ending with a rather nefarious cold/cough that has yet to go away. to make it worse, my ethics class required that we go on a hike today (?), and after about five minutes of clambering up the santa monica mountain range my lungs felt like they were on fire and i almost had to stop. yes, the whole class mocked me behind my back, i'm sure. yes, i now know what it's like to be the fat kid at recess. :( however, absent that little setback, i think i'm on the road to recovery.

my new apartment is cute as a button (with super swanky amenities), and although it will take some time to get used to sharing, well, everything with three other girls, it's only for another four months. at that point, i get to begin My Real Life...the life i have been referring to every time an adult insultingly asked me what i wanted to be when i grew up. well, in three and a half months, i'll have finished every academic goal i set for myself, and i'll be ready to grow least as much as i ever will. i can't wait. :):):)

i got rock band for christmas, but have literally played about four songs total. anybody who cares to help me break it in a bit more effectively is welcome to do so!

been playing some WoW, cooking a lot, spending some time at the hot tub, and just settling back into the rhythm of school. i'm going to be working like crazy on the thesis for the next month or three, but until today i hadn't yet gotten notes back from my advisor, so i had an excuse to just kind of laze around and recover. no more, i fear. wish me luck.

dance class started this week, and i'm teaching some cool new stuff this semester. we had excellent advertising (it's so cool to see my posters all over campus!), so enrollment was fabulous, and we had a ton of fun. i have fun, talented students and an excellent assisting staff, so i'm looking forward to a pretty stellar semester.

been drooling a little over the new macbook, but i won't be picking one up anytime soon. while it's a pretty toy, and i'm super envious of the new trackpad, it doesn't offer me anything i really need, and my macbook pro just has more applicability for me right now. attempting to save my pennies, anyway. got a $50 parking ticket this week and a surprise bill from the university for "additional units not covered by my scholarship". ugh.

anyway, the main thing that i've been meaning to write about is pretty random, but it's been bothering me for almost a year now: the concept of holocaust denial laws. i still need to do some more research on it, but, in that process, i thought i'd get a few of my thoughts out and try to get some feedback from various people.

an interesting british article found here summarizes the main points, including the reasons why britain has not adopted anti-denial legislation such as those in place in austria, belgium, france, germany, spain, switzerland, and israel.

basically, i'm incredibly hesitant to support any legislation that limits people's worldview or interpretation of history; under such a precedent, arguments such as those promoted by agnosticism, atheism, or even "the da vinci code" seem like the next to go (although, granted, that's pretty far along the ol' slippery slope). basically, legislating people's opinions/stupidity just doesn't seem like a grand idea. at the same time, i understand the ramifications of hate speech, and i DO realize that it can be extremely offensive to go beyond saying "the holocaust didn't exist" and conclude "the crazy jews made it up to get sympathy" (not that "offensive" language should be banned on principle, either, but...). i guess the bottom line, to my very, very minimal understanding, is that the HATEFUL ramifications of holocaust denial language are probably already dealt with under our messy blob of free speech supreme court decisions, and can probably easily be classified in terms of clear and present danger or inciting violence or whatever. my question, then, is what makes the situation of holocaust denial different enough to require legislation in the seven countries listed above (other than the fact that most of them were very directly influenced by the holocaust, more so than we were here in the states). do they not have similar hate speech legislation, or is the case of the holocaust so profoundly important that it demands separate laws?

i'll keep thinking about it, perhaps, but if anyone has anything to add regarding this rather muddy (for me) issue, please tell. :)

p.s. come visit me if you haven't yet! we can play tennis and sit in the hot tub. it will be grand, and maybe i'll make you brownies.


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