Walski generally likes the genre of music known as punk rock. But punk rock is far from homogenous, and it's some of the sub-genres of this music style that leaves him a little perturbed, particularly those sub-genres that are ideologically motivated by racial hate, anger and fascism.
And more disturbing would be those punk rockers who blindly use symbology just because they think it's "cool" to do so. Particularly these lot of misguided Malaysians.
Brown Power mongers? Or just misguided youth?
Let's not even talk about the silhoutte holding up what appears to be a Kalashnikov. Especially not after what happened at Virginia Tech yesterday.
Now, those of you who know Walski personally, would realize that he's pretty cool about a lot of things. There is, however, absolutely nothing cool about racism, hate and Neo-Nazism.
Suffice it to say that the owner of the venue that this gig was supposed to have been held has since decided to cancel the show. For obvious reasons, Walski will not tell you where (hence the blanked out spaces on the poster), but it's definitely off. It is not immediately known whether or not the organizers will look for another venue.
Ok - Walski will admit that he's not really seen any of these bands - but talking to someone who has seen Brown Power, here's a couple of interesting tid-bits Walski found out, and what Walski thinks about it.
They use Sieg Heil! as a greeting
Clearly, the thinking here seems to be "the Nazi's hated the Jews, and we hate the Jews, so therefore Nazis are cool". Granted, the phrase Sieg Heil [German: lit. Hail (to) Victory] should not be offensive literally, but the connotation that it was a common greeting among WW2 Nazis, should be. What these kids probably aren't aware of is that the Nazis hated anything and everything non-Aryan. Which includes those championing Brown Power.
It's no secret that the Malaysian Nazi Punks are almost exclusively Malays/Muslims, and in Walski's mind, is probably a fascist punk-ish extension of the Ketuanan Melayu mindset for the newer generation. Beyond that, Walski doesn't know what ideology or greater aim they do have. Except to express their anger and frustration, probably. And it really wouldn't surprise Walski one iota if they don't have an ideology or greater goal at all - it's just that classic WW2 Nazism, to them, is cool. Which it is not.
Now, real Neo-Nazism, on the other hand, is a stranger animal, as Walski found out, while doing a little digging around for this post. But more on that later.
(swastikas, Green Nazis, and more, in the full post)
Swastikas are cool
Of course, the ubiquitous symbol of Nazism is the swastika. So, it's no surprise really that you'd probably find this symbol and its derivatives in Nazi Punkism. And no surprise either that it's used on the poster as well.
There is an extensive and interesting history of the swastika in Wikepedia. Contrary to what many may believe (and Walski thinks that these Punksters think likewise), the swastika was not invented by the Nazi movement of Germany. In fact, it is a symbol commonly found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The word "swastika" itself originates from the Sanskrit svasti, which means "well-being" (the Thai greeting of Sawasdee has the same root).
Origin theories relating to the swastika are varied. According to the Wikipedia article above, the earliest known use was during the Neolithic era, across the entire Euro-Asian landmass. Interestingly, the swastika also developed independently in the American Indian culture. In pre-Christianity cultures across Europe,
In addition to being symbols of these Eastern religions, the swastika has been part of the ancient European symbology for a very, very long time. The WW2 German Nazis did not call this symbol the swastika. Rather, it was known by the German term Hakenkreuz, meaning "hooked cross". And contrary to popular belief, Adolf Hitler did not invent or popularize the Nazi swastika. It was already in use well before he joined the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers' Party).
Truth be told, the German Nazis of World War 2 have pretty much given this ancient sacred symbol a bad rep. And Walski believes that it is based on this Nazi association that the swastika has proudly emblazoned the gig poster above. Otherwise, why would a bunch of Malay/Muslim kids, who obviously are the straight-edged type and probably pious (a straight-edge lifestyle promotes a life without drugs/alcohol and general religious piety), want to glorify symbology that has its roots in ancient, non-Islamic religions? Particularly, having probably grown up in an environment of "traditionalist" Islam, where any non-Islamic symbology is synonymous with glorifying other religions, to the point of blasphemy and borderline aspostasy.
Confused kids? Or those that know squat about anything outside their immediate circle of concerns? Or what?
So, being that the classical WW2 Nazis were pretty much white supremacist, yearning to create a pure master Aryan race, why would any non-white, or off-white, or brown person, in their right minds, be attracted to such an ideology?
The answer, apparently, lies in the fact that latter-day Nazis have tweaked their ideology somewhat. It is no longer about hate of any kind, or even about supremacy. Neo-Nazism has a new face and outlook, apparently. Many new faces, in fact.
As part of doing a bit of digging around (Walski can't justifiably call any of this reasearch!) for this post, with assisting input from Lord Panda, he came across The Libertarian National Socialist Green Party website - the Green Nazis.
Apart from the fact that the color green is quite prominent, reading what's here gives us some clues as to how Nazism has evolved. If you do visit the site, take a gander at the buttons on the left sidebar, which link to various organizations around the globe that appear, at first glance, to be strangely placed on a Neo-Nazi website. Organizations like the Japanese National Socialist Party, The Black Panther Party, Independence Quebec, and The Black Nationalists.
The common thread that runs through these organizations? Separatism, based on race, and/or culture (which is why the most surprising link inclusion, to Walski, was that of the Taiwan Kuomintang website! Ok, they're separatist, but for other ideological reasons). So, it's no more based on hate, or supremacy of a particular race (with the exception of the Japanese NSP), but that of racial and cultural purity.
The Green Nazi site is quite intriguing in itself. It talks about sustainable life on planet Earth, it is concerned about the enviornment and global warming, and makes the stipulation that to achieve sustainable life henceforth, race separation is a necessity (any emphasis by myAsylum).>
Every ethnoculture has its own standards and specializations, and the only way to preserve these is to understand diversity to mean respecting other groups for what they are, and realizing the same standard applies to no two groups. As part of our respect for nature and for her diversity, we seek to separate each group from all others so that it may determine its own future and breed its people according to its traditions and culture. If this is not done, what results is people of a mixed breed who thus have a confused genetic-cultural memory, and are inclined toward only the lowest common denominator behavior, which is basic urges and products purchased from stores and things seen on television and in movies.
Our belief is that a stable world order will only result from accepting this truth of ethnicity, and upholding it, instead of creating modern superstates based on mixed tribe, caste and race. With this separation, the French are allowed to be French, the Zulu can be Zulu, and the Russians, Russian. In this way we preserve diversity by upholding differences, and while this is less convenient for a bureaucratic society, it is necessary for environmental respect, as no group treats the land as well as those who have a connection to it through genetics, history, culture and familiarity.
(source: About LNSGP [on race])
What Walski found a bit scary is that some of this exact rhetoric has been used by some of our own politicians in justifying against a Bangsa Malaysia. Is it this implicit separatist thinking that fuels the very mindset, which in turn has translated itself across the generational gap to the young Malay/Muslim kids behind these Nazi Punk outfits? The politico-religious rhetoric coming from the various Islam-based NGOs and politicos definitely falls into this separatist philosophy, albeit the demarkation being religion not race/culture.
So the question remains - are these punksters daft? Are they merely mimicking a heinous concept they don't fully grasp?
Or - do the kids know exactly what image they are portraying, and that this Daft Punk front is merely symptomatic of a bigger, more serious and urgent problem?
Walski's very important Punk Rock disclaimer footnote: Please realize that not all Punk Rock is bad, and portray a hateful and/or violent attitude towards others. Yes, aggression, anger and frustration are common themes in Punk Rock. However, for the most part these feelings are translated into social critique songs that point out the faults of society in general. On the other hand, the very niche sub-genre of Nazi Punkism is generally hateful, and sometimes violent, in nature, revolving around racial hatred and supremacist idealism. Walski firmly believes that it is the rotten few that give the entire genre a bad rep, and by association the entire independent music community, and is in no way making the assertion that punk rock in general should be suppressed in any way.