fancyphilosophe1912

fancyphilosophe1912

Channel 4 Buys Hitler's Hair for 3000

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British TV station Channel 4 is being strongly criticized after it authorized the purchase of a lock of hair that apparently once belonged to Adolf Hitler, for 3000.

The hair, which was acquired for DNA testing as part of the upcoming show 'Dead Famous DNA', was allegedly collected by the Dictator's barber.

Channel 4 bought the hair from Nazi sympathizer and Holocaust denier David Irving. The controversial 'historian' also attempted to sell other Nazi memorabilia online in 2009.



Yahoo! News quoted Labour MP Ian Austin as saying that the sale represented a particularly uncouth publicity stunt. Austin said, "This sounds sick. It's appalling that Channel 4 would get involved with a Holocaust denier in some bizarre and tawdry show purporting to be entertainment (...) It's disgusting, and raises questions about Channel 4'spublic broadcasting remit."

However, Channel 4 defended the move, with a spokesperson saying that "We believe the potential importance of the scientific and historical insight justified the purchase,"

Initially considered to be a respected academic, British author David Irving's career as a historian gradually fell into decline as his works became more and more biased towards Hitler's Third Reich. He has since spoken at various Neo Nazi rallies and has gone on record, a great many times, as both a Holocaust denier and a virulent anti-Semite. He has stated that he believes in a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world and has openly accused concentration camp survivors of lying about their experiences.

At the time of writing, Irving is banned from entering Germany, Austria, Italy, Australia and Canada.

According to The Jewish Chronicle Online, Mark Gardner, director of communications at the Community Security Trust, said, "It is distasteful to see Hitler being sensationalized in this way, but even worse that David Irving - of all people - ought to profit from it in this way."

'Dead Famous DNA' is to be fronted by Mark Evans and will see the DNA testing of the remains of other famous figures from history. People like Charles Darwin, Marilyn Monroe and Napoleon Bonaparte. The programme will be broadcast later this week.

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Author Neil Gaiman Defends Children's Literature From Adult 'Snobbery'

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52-year-old British author Neil Gaiman has spoken out against 'snobbish' adult judgements being placed upon children's literature.

The author, who delivered the second annual Reading Agency lecture in central London this week, chose to use this time, at least in part, to speak out against what he feels is a damaging trend in modern literary criticism.

"I don't think there is such a thing as a bad book for children," began the author, addressing a crowd that included many leading figures from the arts and entertainment world, as well asseveral representatives from educational institutions.

"Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children's books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading,"

"I've seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was ('Goosebumps' author) RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy".

"It's tosh, it's snobbery and it's foolishness", he continued.

Mr Gaiman, who's works include children's books (Odd & The Frost Giants), comic books (Sandman, 1602) and prize winning novels (The Graveyard Book, Coraline, American Gods), has seen his works adapted into popular films (Stardust, Coraline), and has written for several TV shows (Babylon 5, Dr. Who, Neverwhere). He is generally considered to be one of the most prolific and celebrated authors of his generation, so it is likely that his criticisms will carry some weight.

Gaiman continued, saying that, "There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories".

"A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn't hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is the gateway drug to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you.

He continued with a warning to parents, teachers and even older siblings, when he said that,

"Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child's love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st Century equivalents of Victorian 'improving' literature. You'll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant."

Gaiman's own book, 'Neverwhere' was recently removed from a High School reading list in New Mexico after a parent complained that it was inappropriate.

Gaiman's response to this was wry and well-considered, as he told a BBC reporter, "I tend to take books of mine being challenged and occasionally being banned - and very occasionally being burned - as a kind of badge of honour. You know you are doing something right."

Mr. Gaiman's concerns were echoed by a number of the lecture's attendees.

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FB Undergoes Gender Transformation

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Representatives from social media site Facebook have announced that they are adding several new site options, which will allow users to effectively customize their gender.

This action was taken after Facebook employees consulted members of 5 leading gay and transgender advocacy groups.

There will now be around 50 new options, including 'bi-gender', 'transgender' and 'androgynous'. It will also be possible for users to choose whether the site refers to them as 'he', 'she' or 'they'.

Facebook engineer Brielle Harrison told the press that, "There's going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world," However, as of 2011, there were an estimated 700,000 transgender adults in the US, so this decision is likely to positively effect a sizeable amount of people.

Gender is not the same concept as sex, or even sexuality, yet the general public erroneously considers all of them to be interchangeable. Whilst a person's sex simply refers to their sexual organs, the term 'gender' actually describes their social role within a broader cultural context.

For example, a person who considers him/herself to be bi-gender can often feel trapped when forced to conform to a culturally enforced 'male' or 'female' gender role. Bi-gender people generally exhibit traits indicative of multiple sexes, or occasionally create alternate personas for both their male and female sides.

People who describe themselves as transgender feel that a sex-based description is an incomplete one. They do not appreciate the rigid definition of 'male' or 'female' being thrust upon them and prefer instead to define themselves. This is, of course, totally independent of a person's sexual orientation. It is possible for a heterosexual male to identify as a female (and vice versa).

For another example, intersex individuals are people born with a variation in their sex characteristics, making them neither male nor female in terms of biology. Often, these people find our cultural enforcement of gender roles to be stifling and deeply emotionally unsettling.

As of this week, Facebook's English-speaking users will have the option to define themselves by these, or a multitude of other gender-based characteristics. The decision will allow users "to express themselves in an authentic way" according to Facebook.

This move reflects the growing exposure that LGBT groups and individuals are getting within contemporary culture. The Transgender Law Center in San Francisco stated that they were "thrilled" by the news. They are likely not alone.

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fancyphilosophe1912
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