Today, the day I’m recording this, is August 14, 2018. Spike Lee’s movie Black Klansmen is new in theatres, released to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the neo-Nazi march on Charlottesville in which one Nazi terrorist used his car to kill anti-fascist activist Heather Heyer.
The nazis who marched, the same people who accuse humans with compassion of being “snowflakes,” brought their hateful temper tantrum to Charlottesville because they opposed the removal of monuments in honour of those who used violence to defend the racist colonial dictatorship that presided over a continent-wide rape gulag.
Those nazis said they were simply honouring their culture, the culture of the American South. But if they truly wanted to honour southern heroes, they could easily have honoured Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Francis Ellen Watkins Harper, Maria W. Stewart, Charles Osborn, or any of the 106 anti-slavery societies in the US South. But these people don’t honour history. They honour racial supremacy and genocide.
On August 12, 2018, just two days ago, US nazis marched on Washington to celebrate the anniversary of murdering Heather Heyer. The man who convened last year’s riot and this year’s event was Jason Kessler (whose own father denounced yelled at him to "Get out of my room!" during a livestream because the 34-year-old Aryan warrior had moved back home with his folks). Yet with a full year to prepare, they could muster only two dozen Whitesupremacists, according to The Atlantic. Black Lives Matter, anti-fascist, and other demonstrators vastly outnumbered them. According to The Atlantic, media alone outnumbered the nazis three to one.
But don’t be fooled. Just because their rally fizzled, their movement isn’t doomed. After all, White identity extremists hold power at every level of the US economy, military, media, educational system, and political structure, right up to the Oval Office. Those who ignore their power and their growth are doomed to follow in the train tracks of victims of Nazis past.
Enter Mike Stuchbery. He’s a Twitter commentator, popular historian, writer, and broadcaster based in Luton, England. He uses history and humour to challenge fascists online, delving into topics from Africans in Ancient Rome to George Orwell and why so many right-wingers love to claim that the Nazis of Germany were socialists, despite their deadly attacks on unionists, socialists, and communists in defense of Germany’s wealthiest people and corporations.
Mike Stuchbery spoke with me on April 13, 2018 by web video from his home in Luton. We discussed:
Just before I asked my first question, Stuchbery told me that while he was born in Australia, he’s lived in England and for a while lived in Germany, raising intriguing questions for me about his motivation for risking so much online to define what fascism is, and what it isn’t.
If you’re an artist, it’s almost a guarantee you’ve experienced the difficulty of getting your work noticed. No matter how much you care, it seems too many other people just don’t. Being ignored that way is always frustrating, but it’s worse when it’s in your hometown, and even more so when you’ve worked to promote the work of other artists around you and even get them work.
That’s been the experience of Matt Alden Dykes. He’s an outstanding actor and improvisor, with decades on the job, and he’s also an executive producer, writer, and actor on the sketch comedy show Caution: May Contain Nuts. And if that weren’t enough, he’s worked on the TV shows Tiny Plastic Men and Delmer & Marta, and is a long-time member of Edmonton’s Rapid Fire Theatre, the live improvised soap opera Die-Nasty, and the comedy troupe Blacklisted.
On May 1, 2018, we met at Simply Done Café in Edmonton’s Gallery District and discussed:
Cautiontv.com – Matt Alden