Holy shit, guys. I never thought that I, as an American, would be able to criticize another first-world Western country for authoritative overreach without it smacking of terrible irony. But here we are.
A bit of background: A jolly, ear-gaged British internet personality by the name of Count Dankula got into some legal trouble last year when he posted a short video of him pranking his girlfriend. What was this prank, you ask? Did he roofie her? Did he send her death threats over the phone? Did he secretly feed her ill-gotten birth control pills in the form of tiny snacks and sundries? No. Those kinds of things would actually harm someone and warrant legal action. No, he was annoyed by her gushing over how cute her little pug-dog was, so he decided to troll her by teaching the pug to raise its paw every time he said “Zieg heil,” because nothing is less cute than a Nazi.
Apparently, thinking that Nazis are the exact antithesis to cuteness and goodness is . . . encouraging Nazism? I don’t know. That’s what the British government thinks, because Count Dankula is now going to prison–fucking prison–for hate speech and being “grossly offensive.” The British legal system is sending a guy who likes gallows humor to the same place as child traffickers and rapists and guys who inject meth into their eyeballs before beating someone to death with their bare hands. He’s getting sent there for being crude on the internet.
What the fuck, Britain? I live in the United States. I hardly have any leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing other countries for imprisoning people for stupid reasons. But this is ridiculous. Everyone knows it’s ridiculous. I hope Dankula is set free as soon as possible and gets a heaping paycheck courtesy of the British government for undue pain and suffering. I personally don’t think the joke was offensive. (The joke is literally “Nazi’s are bad.) Even if it was offensive–even if you could find some objective means of measuring that out and determing that yes, Dankula said a totally mean, problematic thing, that still would not warrant legal fucking action. Being offensive is not something the government should be able to bear down on you over. I don’t care if it’s an actual Nazi in question who went on Snapchat and made a video about how gassing the Jews is awesome. You don’t arrest people for being unpleasant. You don’t arrest people for having demonstrably shitty beliefs about something. You don’t arrest people for thought crimes. 2018 Scotland is acting like goddamn Soviet Russia, sending people to gulags for complaining too loudly. This is messed up.
I’m sure you can see how ridiculous this is. Instead of going into it anymore, I’m just going to provide a list of all the people I can think of, off the top of my head, who should be arrested and/or detained for being “grossly offensive,” according to the UK.
1.) British native Ricky Gervais, who, in his most recent comedy special, made a joke about how he preferred Hitler over people with nut allergies. Obviously, making light of genocide.
2.) Bo Burnham, who has written song lyrics such as “and if we met in 1941, I was a Nazi, you’s a gypsy on the run,” and met it to be funny even though it’s about the Holocaust.
3.) Writer Dan Harmon who, in his show Rick and Morty, conceptualized a character named Abradolph Lincler, a combination of the goodness of Abraham Lincoln and the evil Adolf Hitler who was met to be a morally neutral world leader. Because acknowledging that Hitler was bad in a joke is unacceptable.
4.) Musical comedian Stephen Lynch with his hit song “I Think You’re a Nazi,” all about making light of problematic racism.
6.) The guys who make Epic Rap Battles of History, who featured a comedic portrayal of Adolf Hitler making Holocaust jokes non-stop not once but three times.
7.) Jewish comedian Larry David, who makes frequent Holocuast jokes in his show Curb Your Enthusiam.
8.) YouTuber JonTron, for once making a joke about how a Chinese rip-off of a Disney game featured a blimp with swastikas on it. Obviously not taking Nazism seriously.
9.) Quentin Tarantino, a film director who, in his fim Inglorious Bastards, featured Adolf Hitler as a villain but also had the gall to depict those who killed him as bad people as well. Evil, anti-semetic hate speech at its finest.
10.) Me and my friends, five academically and socially upstanding young adults who have never harmed anyone in our lives or broken any major laws, because we have an inside joke about heiling Hitler that we laugh about sometimes.