Friday, November 25, 2005

Seashells, Plastic Mermaids -- and Internet Hate

A reader brings to my attention this cute little item in City Link magazine, a publication of the Tribune Company-owned Sun Sentinel in South Florida that calls itself "South Florida's premier youth culture magazine." In an item on the "best" places in the area, under "Best Place To Buy Tacky Souvenirs," the magazine picks the Peter Pan souvenir shop in Delray Beach, Florida:

You would never know from their business that Alex and Mona Seredin, the current owners of this 54-year-old store, hail from Canada. Stepping inside Peter Pan brings you back to 1950s South Florida, when walking catfish flopped across the roads and your nearest neighbor was likely to be an alligator. This store offers hundreds of pieces of coral, seashell jewelry, straw hats and embroidered T-shirts with Florida themes.

Cute! What the item leaves out, however, is its proprietor's real claim to fame -- which is peddling hate, not "tacky souvenirs." Alex Seredin is the author of literally thousands of crudely anti-Semitic screeds on Internet Usenet boards, commonly referring to Jews as "kikes" and "long noses." Seredin recently opined that Jews "have no right to a country except six feet under," and recommended that "Palestinians expel all the bloody kikes."

Suggestion to City Link: Next time you profile a "tacky" souvenir shop owner, run the name in Google. You might find that more than just the souvenirs are "tacky."

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