Monday, February 11, 2008

Genocide Is Hilarious

In pretty much the vilest prank I've ever seen, Canada's Worst Blogger has decided that it would be really really funny to fake a Holocaust tattoo and fool someone with it. Robert has a rundown of events here, and Warren Kinsella, the intended butt of the joke, responds here. Personally, I'm just speechless.

Update: I see from SDA's commenters and elsewhere (no link, feh) that the point is supposed to be that Kinsella is some kind of sucker when it comes to the internet. Kinsella got a email from someone purporting to be a Holocaust survivor, and reprinted the picture of the tattoo without checking. This, allegedly, proves that Kinsella is careless with sources.

But here's the thing: put yourself in Kinsella's place for a moment. Suppose you got an email exactly like the one he got, with picture to go along with it:

Now, if you're not a sociopathic freak, probably the last thing that is going to occur to you is that somebody would be faking this just for the purpose of making you look bad. That's because (a) the Holocaust really happened and tattoos are a well-known symbol of it, and (b) neither the Holocaust nor death camp tattoos are usually considered a laughing matter. The default presumption on receiving an email like this would naturally be that it was sent in good faith, because to conduct a prank along these lines is so disgusting that it's just not what most people would ever think of doing. Kinsella's only fault here, as far as I can see, is that he was incapable of imagining the depravity that would induce somebody to pull a stunt this crass. How this is meant to reflect badly on him I have no idea.

Cross-posted at The Vanity Press.

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