The All-American Cowboy. Painting by Randy Follis.

Ugly Americans, Mischievous Internet

American Cowboys are Liberating the World but Refined Europeans (Still) Know Better

Composed on June 30, 2014

Europe, 2014.  Europeans are suffering terribly under the ruthless yoke of American cultural imperialism. America’s brave spirit and mighty arms have long defeated all truly noble (reasonable) attempts to protect Europeans from liberty: the Spanish Inquisition, Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm, the Nazis, the Fascists, the Communists. Some Europeans are forced, for the first time, to take responsibility for their lives.

Tastes are defined by Hollywood, by local popular culture, and the (unhealthy) demand for liberty. TV shows such as Family Guy, Ridiculousness and Ugly Americans are freely available. Gangster rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem are subverting public morality. Biker gangs and skinhead hordes are freely roaming through the streets (as if this would be desirable). On a daily basis, Europeans are forced to make horrible decisions (not much easier than Sophie’s Choice): Should I listen to the Sponge Bob or to the Robot Chicken?

We know (for certain): This is bad. It is plainly evil to burden the average citizen with such decisions. But as if designed to amplify the Europeans’ suffering, irresponsible American cowboys – more than 40 years ago – launched a secret, irresistible, self-evolving weapon. A weapon of Biblical (if not Quranic) mischief, much more dangerous than a Smith & Wesson colt or the atomic bomb: the Internet. An unsuspicious precious seed (of hope) at first, it has turned into mighty Yggdrasil.

Designed to be potentially anonymous, non-controllable and indestructible, it is (long) bothering not only refined Europeans but all governmental outposts of common decency world-wide: the Islamic Republic of Iran and Kim’s North Korea as much as China and Kazakhstan.

Gay rights activists in Russia — just as if they desired to prove to the world that „the queers” know neither morals nor respect for the law — freely abuse the Internet to spread information outlawed by Putin’s parliament. In Germany, galleys of yellow-teethed, one-eyed Internet pirates keep on uploading (illegal) songs declared „hateful” by Merkel’s government: from Bushido to Screwdriver.

Internet Anonymity: Curse or Blessing? — Image courtesy of
Internet Anonymity: Curse or Blessing? — Image courtesy of

Decadent, filthy rich American libertarians like Steve Jobs or Marc Zuckerberg were and are dedicated to exporting (undesired) liberty even to the last dark corners of Asia and Africa. We are now all governed by American tastes and standards. Tastes there are none (but our human tastes), and the standard is the First Amendment protecting free and uninhibited speech (in the information age).

True Europeans do still understand that all of this is (very) wrong. They know (much) better. Unlike ugly, uncultured Americans, Europeans understand that morality, decency, and enlightenment work better if supported by the whip. The elite’s values and ideas must be hammered in by penal laws, by the police, by house searches, by penitentiaries — even by brutal force if necessary. All Europeans share this common faith. The last remnant of the traditional belief in a fatherly ruler, a benevolent prince.

Europeans instinctively feel that if they were to accept (sincerely) this very first American premise — that all men are created equal — Europe would cease to be Europe. If European governments would become as tolerant; if they would (finally) stop to harass non-privileged, disempowered people based on their manners, their faith, their convictions or their expressions then each and every European country would turn into nothing but — a constitutionally enlightened (freedom-conscious) democracy (with social rights).

Do European elites truly desire this? Not really. But although Europeans (still) oppose the idea to become truly free and democratic, they have grumpily accepted the inevitable. Two world wars, a cold war, a Balkan war, and the Internet later, Europeans have understood that (further) resistance is futile. They have silently accepted their fate.

All of them? Not quite. There is still hope. Right in the heartlands of Europe — in a city called Vienna — a few intellectuals were having a meeting. They are journalists writing for profil,” an Austrian weekly. Some of them are widely considered opinion leaders. They are Europe’s biggest hope for liberation — liberation from (undesired) freedom and liberty, from the Internet, from anonymous cell-phones, and from everything else that is essentially un-European.

To understand why let me add a bit of context.

Some weeks ago, an Internet „shitstorm” had swept via Facebook over a certain Miss Conchita Wurst, the (Austrian) winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. She or rather he – Mr. Thomas Neuwirth – had done nothing to deserve it, obviously.

Drag queen artist Thomas "Tom" Neuwirth — Image courtesy of REX, Willi Schneider
Drag queen artist Thomas “Tom” Neuwirth — Image courtesy of REX, Willi Schneider

Tom is just a (homosexual) drag queen artist (and a rather good one at that). He is also smart, educated, and sensitive enough to understand the cause of such emotions. Tom had expressed in articles that — in reality — people would neither hate him (as a person) nor his sexual orientation. It would simply be misdirected anger by disadvantaged people.

Nonetheless after the sky had cleared, Manfred Klimek — „a blogger, a journalist, a photographer” — published in „profil” some of the storm’s (more extreme) posts.

Manfred Klimek, blogger, journalist, photographer, wine connoisseur. — Image courtesy Manfred Klimek, Facebook
Manfred Klimek, blogger, journalist, photographer, wine connoisseur. — Image courtesy of Manfred Klimek, Facebook

When available, he added the full names (the true identity) of the Facebook flamers (to expose and to humiliate them?). Most of them were just young people — mostly immigrants — from the lower social strata (who certainly hadn’t meant any harm). Manfred also included information (found on the Internet) on who of them could be a recreational consumer of cannabis.

In the very same edition, the „profil” editors urged the Austrian Ministry of Justice to prosecute the flamers – for „insults” (if possible) but definitely for „incitement” (of the populace) and „more” („dangerous threat,” „breaching the public peace,” „National Socialist activity” and „cannabis possession” come to mind).

This is an attitude really true to the European history and heritage: political bigotry and moral Calvinism propagated by the government’s boot. The majority of „profil” editors have (still) an extraordinarily strong faith in government and in law enforcement. They are convinced that even common people (who didn’t reflect or who simply don’t know better) should be disciplined for bad manners and undesired online flames — by arrest, by house searches, by criminal records, even by prison (if necessary).

In reality, a handful of social workers produce (much) better results than a legion of cops and judges.

"profil" cover, May 12, 2014. Christian Rainer demands "Schluss mit der Anonymität im Netz!" ("No more Internet anonymity!"). — Image courtesy of profil
“profil” cover, May 12, 2014. Christian Rainer demands “Schluss mit der Anonymität im Netz!” (“No more Internet anonymity!”) — Image courtesy of profil

But there is an even more important reason why Europeans should get their hopes up. Dr. Christian Rainer — the „profil” publisher — has found out that anonymous Internet access constitutes an „anomaly in our (Austria’s) legal system.”

So far Rainer is (more or less) right. Most Austrian jurists would agree. But to Rainer that’s not a reason to appreciate this island of freedom or to suggest amending outdated laws. No, it’s rather anonymous Internet access — such as via anonymous cell-phones or at McDonald’s — which must be outlawed.

Dr. Christian Rainer, publisher and editor-in-chief of profil. — Image courtesy of profil
Dr. Christian Rainer, publisher and editor-in-chief of profil. — Image courtesy of profil

Rainer’s thoughts concerning the Internet exemplify that the Internet’s very design has still not been understood. Anonymity is inherent to the Internet. Proxy servers in other countries cannot be outlawed by Austrian parliament, and the U.S. Supreme Court has (long) ruled that anonymous expressions are well-protected — even desired — by the First Amendment.

And so we are (forcefully) trying to tame and cripple a free-minded, spirited racing horse in order to be able to squeeze it into our small cuckoo’s cage.  Who needs its healthy legs and the annoying horse-flies if the kids amongst us can safely joy-ride on the remainder? ◻︎