In 1993 Deborah Lipstadt published a book titled Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. In it, she accused well-known racist, anti-Semitic, fucking Nazi holocaust denier, liar, and all-around piece of human garbage David Irving of being a racist, anti-Semitic, fucking Nazi holocaust denier, liar, and all-around piece of human garbage. So the well-known racist, anti-Semitic, etc., etc. sued her for libel in England. (Technically, he sued Penguin Books, but it was really aimed at her.)
In what must be the greatest travesty of justice in the English judicial system, if some piece of human garbage sues you for libel, it is up to you to prove you did not libel him. How anyone, anywhere, at any time thought this monstrous idea was a good one is beyond me. The burden of proof is on the defendant? I can’t express how fucked up that is. It means that any asshole Joe Limey off the fucking street in fucking London can sue me for anything I might write, and I have to appear in court and prove that I did not libel him. Does anyone think this makes sense? No, it does not. In any sane legal system the burden of proof of libel must fall to the plaintiff. Therefore, the British laws regarding libel are insane. QED.
Anyway, after several years of preparation, the expenditure of millions of pounds on the side of the defendant and the court … but not by Irving, who only had to buy a presentable suit and wash the shit off his face, since he was arguing for himself, which is exactly what he wanted … Irving was found to be a racist, anti-Semitic, fucking Nazi holocaust denier, but most importantly, a major league liar. (The court did not weigh in on his status as a piece of human garbage, but it didn’t have to. It was obvious to anyone with a soul, which Irving lacks.)
One thing the British do do better than the litigious-mad U.S. is that the loser in a case like that has to pay the costs of the defense. Which amounted to something like £2,000,000. Since no one would buy his books now, even for use as toilet paper, he was forced into bankruptcy. He lost his house, his publisher, and everything else, which just goes to show you that good things do happen in this world every now and then. I would have liked it if he had been thrown naked into the freezing streets and denied food or shelter, but you can’t have everything.
I have two more comments to make.
I am all in favor of innovative casting in some ways. If a part does not involve race, I think it’s cool to cast black or white people in just about any role. Clearly, not if it’s about slavery, for instance, or the biography of Jackie Robinson, or Othello, which should always be played by a black man. (Sorry, Lord Olivier.) You can extend this even to gender. If sex is not the subject or storyline, why not cast a male in a female role, or vice versa? Remember Mrs. Peel in The Avengers? Played by Diana Rigg, the part was written for a man.
You could say the same about casting a Jew or a Gentile in some roles. As with Hispanics, you often can’t tell. … except when it comes to stories about anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust. There, it seems to me, it would be best to cast a Jew in a Jewish role. Hilary Swank, a Gentile, was originally signed to play the part of Lipstadt. I think this was a bad idea. Not wrong, mind you, just ill-advised. Luckily, she was replaced by an actress I like better: Rachel Weisz, a Jew.
Then there comes the matter of free speech. That racist, anti-Semitic, fucking Nazi holocaust denier and piece of human garbage, David Irving, is currently not allowed to enter at least eight countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. In Austria and Germany he would be arrested, not just expelled. He in fact did jail time in Austria for Holocaust denial.
I feel this is deeply wrong. All these countries have laws against “hate speech.” What the fuck? Are they so terrified of this miserable little pipsqueak that they close their borders to him? Terrible idea. It’s like those idiots in America who shout down or even physically assault people who they don’t agree with. These morons will never understand that this is precisely what they want! If they had just quietly held protest signs outside the venue where a racist asshole was scheduled to speak, the news media would barely have covered it, believe me. Now, because of you brain-dead “antifa” rioters (oh man, how I hate them), he’s the lead story. You can’t suppress an idea with violence, or censorship. You just draw more attention to it.
There are several reasons why hate speech laws are a bad idea. I’m sure all you folks who voted for those laws are all morally upright, pro LGBTQIA+, anti domestic violence and sexism and racism and you hate Islamophobia. You are in favor of equal treatment of all races, red and yellow black and white, all religions, all sexual orientations, and so forth.
And kum by ya my Lord, kum by fuckin’ ya.
Ask yourself this: Who decides? Right now you are the ones who define hate speech as opposed to good speech, that is, speech you agree with. Are you sure it will always be that way? One day you might find that what you have to say is hate speech.
Hate against what? How about the Bible? Mike Pence and millions of others would like to make America a truly Christian nation. It could easily become hate speech to advocate the right to abortion (it equals murder), or the rights of a fucking faggot, or to question the truth of the Gospel. You think the Supreme Court would never allow such a law? Think again. Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonya Sotomayor can only last so long.
Therefore I always have and always will defend the right of all individuals and groups to express their horrible opinions without risking doing time in some Austrian slammer. This includes fucking Nazis, the KKK, anti-abortion groups, PETA, David Duke, David Irving, and even (he said, gritting his teeth very hard) the current orangutan disgracing the Shit House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Now, I realize with great sadness that my government has forfeited the moral right to criticize anybody about anything … but I ain’t the fucking government, and I say to you, Austria, Germany, Italy, Canada, France, UK, New Zealand, and Australia, you’ve got it wrong.
Gee, with all the anger and preaching here, I almost forgot to say whether I liked it or not. I liked it a lot. Weisz is very good, though I didn’t always buy her Georgia accent. (Once more, they cast a Brit. I don’t know why.) Timothy Spall is a great actor, and really nails what must have been a very distasteful role as Irving. Tom Wilkinson does a fine job as her barrister. He had to explain the difference between a solicitor, who prepares the case, and a barrister, who appears in court. (I’m glad he did, because I’ve never been entirely sure. It’s the barrister who wears the silly wig.) And Andrew Scott is the dour and humorless solicitor. I remember him vividly from his chilling portrayal of Moriarty in the recent Sherlock TV series.