Monday, January 24, 2005


Assorted stuff

Pornographers vs. Neo-Victorian Prudes 1:0 - a Federal Court has dismissed an obscenity lawsuit against porn company Extreme Associates. More here..

Meanwhile, The Hague rappers DHC are prosecuted for their "Hirshi Ali Diss" which was spread through the internet last summer. Link in English (courtesy of B&W) here.
The prosecuter demanded a 150-hour work order because the lyrics of the rap song were seen as constituting a death threat:

The court in The Hague was also asked on Thursday to impose a four-month suspended sentence on the rappers.

In a dis — a rap song written to criticise a person — DHC sang about wanting to break the Somali-born MP's neck. The number also suggested an assassination was being prepared in which she would be killed by a bomb attack.

The lyrics of the song in question are viewable here. Briefly, it's a compilation of rather crude racial slurs and even cruder sexist slurs. It's not, by any reasonable definition, a death threat. Not this side of cloud cuckoo land.

As the Expatica article noted, there is indeed a line in the lyrics about breaking Hirshi Ali's neck, as there is one about a bomb attack - there is also a line about cutting Hirshi Ali in two (in tweeën) and throwing her into the seven seas (de zeven zeeën). A demonstration of rather poor mathematical skill, yes, not to speak of poetical skill - a serious death threat, no way.

The fact that there is even a trial about this (and by Christ I hope that the judge in question sees some sense and throws out the charges) is probably testimony to the rotten atmosphere in the Netherlands today. After Pim Fortuyn got offed by an environmentalist crazy, every verbal fart from the left or the right (and particularly from the left) is taken literally with deadpan seriousness. When football commentator Jan Mulder spoke last summer about hanging the coach of the national team (and no; he wasn't serious) everyone fell all over him, with the Prime Minister sending a ridiculous open letter, etc. Something of an inverted political correctness - an rightist one instead of an leftist one - has taken root with the right seeing either islamic terrorists or shades of Volkert van de Graaf everywhere.

I remember that a few years ago, radical Moloccan groups in the Netherlands attempted to push the government into firmer action against Indonesia. One of their representatives came on TV to announce there would be "arson attacks" (brandaanslagen) if the government would not move, and then, well, maybe there would be "murder attacks" (moordaanslagen). The guy in question didn't even bother to mask his face. Yet I believe that the police let him go after a good talking-to. And indeed, the promised attacks never materialized. And, the Moloccans showed in the late seventies and early eighties that they're quite prepared to walk the walk as well.

And now there's all this hubbub about some acne-ridden hiphop kids from The Hague.

As one Theo Van Gogh commented the affair (my translation):

Two weeks ago I already wrote here that I hope the The Hague rappers would not be prosecuted, 'since their freedom of speech' is mine too. Even if I am not impressed with the 'free expression' of hitmen who, how telling, only dare to be caught on camera with their faces hidden (...) Hirshi Ali has every reason to feel threatened, but I do not understand how a judge is going to tell which rap does and which one does not cross the boundaries of the law."

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