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'Eldritch Dark' Hate Speech

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  • 'Eldritch Dark' Hate Speech

    On the otherwise excellent Eldritch Dark website, dedicated to the work of Clark Ashton Smith, a thoroughly nasty article by one Simon Whitechapel has appeared, extrapolating from a few unfortunate remarks in CAS's correspondence to launch a full-blown defence of Anti-Semitism.

    I know other MWM contributors visit this site - which really is the One Stop on the net for all things CAS. Does anyone else think the great man's reputation is ill-served by this type of thing? If so - why not log on to the Eldritch Dark's discussion board and let them know?

    www.eldritchdark.com
    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

  • #2
    Ill-served? Absolutely. Very nasty stuff. It's the responsibility of the people who maintain the site to enforce some level of decorum, as well as keeping an eye out for the common good.

    I visit the site occasionally. I've got quite a lot of CAS in book form, so I don't generally need to read it online. The site contains some mildly interesting stuff, though, so I've checked it out from time to time. On the basis of this article, my respect for the site plummets.

    As for logging on to the discussion board -- well, I'm hesitant to do so, for a variety of reasons. If there's a likelihood of getting involved in an ugly argument, no way. I've better ways of spending my time and energy than teaching horses to sing. Still, since you ask, I'll think about it.

    LSN

    Comment


    • #3
      The contributors on the discussion board so far seem united in their disgust at the piece, so you needn't worry too much about getting into an argument. I just think this sort of thing shouldn't go unremarked.

      The only other time that I can remember politics raising its ugly head on 'The Eldritch Dark' was when the site owner posted up a banner for a 'Stop the War' site before the invasion of Iraq, and there was a big row about it, as some of the regular posters took exception. I actually thought it was inappropriate - as CAS was in no position to say what he thought of the matter. I suspect that he would veer towards the right in his views, but he was not really a writer you'd turn to for politics.
      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

      Comment


      • #4
        Okay, Mike. I logged in on Eldritch Dark and gave them my (very brief, carefully worded) response. I didn't go as far as I feel I ought, but mainly because I think Whitechapel shouldn't receive excessive attention, but should instead be consigned to fringe status. Reading the other posters, I'm not entirely convinced that they're all rational enough to cope with a cold-blooded demolition of Whitechapel's work. They're too wrapped up in emotional exchanges about how emotional others appear.

        A full dress diatribe seemed called for. I didn't feel I could stand the odour long enough to dissect his idiotic essay systematically. Its lack of sense and logic is appalling, to say nothing of its unbridled apparent racism.

        You should check what I wrote, and tell me if you think I should go farther.

        Thanks.

        LSN

        Comment


        • #5
          That's one of the most gobsmackingly obvious and transparent pieces of anti-semitic, racist claptrap, that I've ever read.

          CAS, may have been one of the many, back pre-WWII, to drop the occasional sullen, anti-semitic remark, but Whitechapel's garbage is of a whole other order.

          Comment


          • #6
            People should realize that CAS was not only pre-War in his social and intellectual milieu -- he was also virtually an American (which is to say provincial) backwoods autodidact. Such people tend to reflect a cultural matrix that seems even older than their chronology would suggest. I've always thought of CAS as fin de siأ¨cle in his thinking and artistic approach -- with kinship to people like Villiers de L'Isle-Adam rather than most of his contemporaries.

            For his "virtual" time frame, CAS's "gentil" anti-semitism and racism aren't particularly surprising, however much we regret them. One of CAS's friends said in an interview that by the time he came to know the writer, CAS had outgrown or gone beyond the attitudes Whitechapel referred to from CAS's letters. Perhaps that's true.

            As for Whitechapel's attempt to extract a general principle equating Jewishness with ugliness, it seems so indefensible that I cannot understand why eldritchdark gave him a forum for this viewpoint. By doing so, they give it their tacit approval.

            AndroMan, if you feel up to it, login to eldritchdark and give Mikey_C some support.

            I've very disappointed in that site.

            LSN

            Comment


            • #7
              Way past my bedtime, at the moment.

              Whitechapel has a website:

              http://web.onetel.com/~amygdala/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                You should check what I wrote, and tell me if you think I should go farther.
                Cheers, LSN. I think its fine as it goes, but
                Originally posted by LSN
                I can only theorize that Mr. Whitechapel was taking a deliberately revisionist / contrarian / transgressive stance -- presumably to be provocative -- and that the essay got away from him.
                If you follow Androman's quote to Whitechapel's site you find links to hardcore Nazi holocaust denial sites - including one raided by the British police for "incitement to racial hatred" - so it is clear that Whitechapel is following a deliberate agenda.

                Some of the posters on 'Eldritch Dark' do seem to be up their own intellectual backsides and are not really engaging with the situation - I don't even see any clear rejection of Whitechapel's poison from CAS's current editor and supporter Scott Connors - which makes me start to doubt whether I even wish to subscribe to the new 'Collected Works' he is currently preparing.

                Part of me now is now thinking that it is unwise to get drawn into debating this on the discussion board - perhaps direct appeals to the website owner to remove the offending material might be more appropriate. It is a terrible insult to CAS, who is unable to speak for himself.

                Anti-semitism is a sickness, which has clearly even infected someone on this forum. I can only say I'm saddened. I think that people need to reflect on what anti-semitism is, who it affects, and what it leads to. Surely Mike has written enough on this subject - what more can anyone do?
                \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mikey_C

                  Originally posted by LSN
                  I can only theorize that Mr. Whitechapel was taking a deliberately revisionist / contrarian / transgressive stance -- presumably to be provocative -- and that the essay got away from him.
                  If you follow Androman's quote to Whitechapel's site you find links to hardcore Nazi holocaust denial sites - including one raided by the British police for "incitement to racial hatred" - so it is clear that Whitechapel is following a deliberate agenda.
                  So he's an evil arsehole. :roll:

                  Note that although I've undeniably got a cranky side ("don't we know it"), it is my usual principle to be scrupulously fair. Since I hadn't read anything else my Mr. Simon Whitechapel, I was forced to hypothesize about what the bizarre outpourings in his on-site essay meant. I had another clause that followed the one you quoted above, that basically said that if it were really representative of his thought, I found it contemptibly risible.

                  Originally posted by Mikey_C

                  Some of the posters on 'Eldritch Dark' do seem to be up their own intellectual backsides and are not really engaging with the situation - I don't even see any clear rejection of Whitechapel's poison from CAS's current editor and supporter Scott Connors - which makes me start to doubt whether I even wish to subscribe to the new 'Collected Works' he is currently preparing.

                  Part of me now is now thinking that it is unwise to get drawn into debating this on the discussion board - perhaps direct appeals to the website owner to remove the offending material might be more appropriate. It is a terrible insult to CAS, who is unable to speak for himself.

                  Anti-semitism is a sickness, which has clearly even infected someone on this forum. I can only say I'm saddened. I think that people need to reflect on what anti-semitism is, who it affects, and what it leads to. Surely Mike has written enough on this subject - what more can anyone do?
                  I'm not sure I want my pseudonym associated with eldritch dark if they're little more than a cheap shill for this sort of thing.

                  LSN

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                    Note that although I've undeniably got a cranky side ("don't we know it"), it is my usual principle to be scrupulously fair. Since I hadn't read anything else my Mr. Simon Whitechapel, I was forced to hypothesize about what the bizarre outpourings in his on-site essay meant.
                    Well, I've been taken in by him before - if you remember I reproduced some of his ramblings re. CAS and Tolkien to spark some discussion, as I thought he was just an entertaining controversialist. Plainly not. I think your response was fair and did indeed address both possibilities.

                    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                    I know that anti-Semitism is a precious topic, but frankly why do Jews escape criticism of their behavior while Christians and other religions do not? They seem to be an untouchable group. I find that to be suspicious.
                    This is news to me, as I seem to hear nothing but criticism of Jews these days - particularly with reference to Israel / Palestine.

                    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                    anti-Semitism is actually generated by the group itself as they created themselves.
                    Ever heard of 'blame the victim'? You really do need to subject your ideas to scrutiny. Get down to some history, for example. Jews in pre-Holocaust Germany were about the most 'integrated' any ethnic group could get. Read the 'Diaries of Victor Klemperer' or Anne Frank's Diary for that matter. Ask yourself if these are members of "a group ... that proclaims its specialness".

                    I'm not even happy with having this discussion, if it's going to provoke more comments in support of anti-semitism. It doesn't count as 'reasoned debate'. Like a few of us here, I've taken some time to look into this subject, and I can assure you its fully repulsive on the 'intellectual' as well as the 'emotional' level. I'm in a thoroughly bad mood over The Eldritch Dark - I don't want to fall out with people here.
                    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I noted that eldritchdark has been suspended. Perhaps it is temporary. Perhaps permanent.

                      They lost my interest and respect, as well as any possible support from me, when they served as a cheap shill for a loathsome anti-semitic hate-monger, like Mr. Simon Whitechapel.

                      I hope eldritchdark hasn't gone down the tubes, but if they have, my regret is the less because they just don't seem to get it.

                      They could learn a thing or two from Berry.

                      LSN

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                        ...

                        I hope eldritchdark hasn't gone down the tubes, but if they have, my regret is the less because they just don't seem to get it.

                        ...
                        I did try to register with the site, but couldn't. I suspect the cookies needed adjusting (using Firefox). After reading some of the sniffy and smug replies, to posts objecting to Whitchapel's devious and unpleasant nonsense, I gave up.

                        On Whitechapel's Website, he mentions, at one point, that he'd just written a "disreputable" piece on Clark Ashton Smith. Eldritch Dark's administrators were just too stupid to realize that the piece ultimately 'dissed' CAS and was therefore totally against their own aims and objectives, to promote CAS and all his works. The site and perhaps even the reputation of CAS, may have paid the price.

                        Whitechapel's site is still up.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The disappearance of Eldritch Dark is interesting indeed. Perhaps they thought they gained some kind of kudos through association with Mr Whitechapel, a published author. I had the misfortune to peruse one of his novels last week - a misogynistic serial killer fantasy. He has also written droolingly about exploitation movies set in concentration camps. Most distasteful. Where CAS fits in with all this is something of a mystery.
                          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Eldritch Dark is back up. Boyd posted the reason for its disappearence in the forum section.

                            Ken
                            Ken Boorman
                            ************
                            Purveyor of the Runestaff and Stormbringer Legends
                            ************

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I noticed that Hippocampus Press was also down. Must be one of Boyd's sites. Whitechapel notwithstanding, I wouldn't like to have seen Eldritch Dark disappear for good.
                              \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                              Comment

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