Hitler as a social justice warrior

The Downfall parodies are of variable quality, but I liked this one, which is about the Linday Shepherd case at Canada’s Wilfred Laurier University (see my post here).

 

h/t: Orli

51 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    A fine specimen of the genre.

  2. Ruthann
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    While the parody text may be humorous, I doubt that those who know German and have taught German language, literature, and history will find this funny. I certainly do not.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      The genre is entirely about the parody text.

    • Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Yes, GB James is right. In fact, I studied German for years and can speak it ok and read it fluently. And I find it funny.

      • Geoff Toscano
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        My son’s girlfriend is German, from Berlin in fact, and she thinks it’s funny.

        • Craw
          Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          I too taught myself passable German, I can follow what is said. I find it funny.

          Our po-faced naysayers seem to think this is a case of “they are like Hitler”. It isn’t. It is extreme bathos. I guess no-one laughs at Pope’s liberties in the Dunciad?
          And it is also firmly part of tradition now of virtuosic display of matching words to images.

    • BJ
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Of course not. It’s specifically made for those of us who don’t know German. The entire effect is lost if you know what he’s actually saying.

      • Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        No, I can understand every word of the German. I just ignore the audio and read the text.

        • BJ
          Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          Ah, I don’t think I could do that if I actually knew what was being said. I would be too distracted.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted November 28, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            I’m with BJ. The thing with the subtitles works precisely because the original is in a foreign language (happens to be German).

            And I found the subtitles a hilarious play on the jargon of the current pomo/SJW cartel.

            cr

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      I think the humor’s sine qua non is the ironic tension between visuals taken from a deadly serious drama like Downfall and the incongruity of the text, Ruthann.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        The bastard love child of Lester Bangs & Stephen Fry could have written that. Kudos 🙂

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          I’ve always had some dark suspicions about my parentage, Michael.

    • chris moffatt
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      I have lived in Germany and speak German and I find this particular parody very funny. It’s a little difficult to turn off the dialog mentally but the parody, as most of them do, depends on the visual and voice tones not the dialog.

      IAC one wouldn’t want to endorse that old canard that germans don’t have a sense of humour.

    • Michiel
      Posted November 29, 2017 at 1:24 am | Permalink

      I know enough German to kind of ruin the meme if I leave the sound on. Still works fine with the sound off though. In fact it might be even better because you can concentrate more on the awkward faces and body language. (Great scene of a great film btw).

  3. Historian
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I didn’t find this “parody” funny in the least. When everything that one doesn’t like is compared to Hitler then the horror of his regime is diminished. Campus authoritarianism should be criticized. But this is not the way to do it. Even Trump, who has proto-fascistic tendencies, should not be compared to Hitler. Hitler and his regime were pure evil. You can perhaps legitimately compare Stalin to Hitler, but certainly not immature college students and some ivory tower professors.

    • BJ
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      The point of Downfall parodies isn’t to compare things to Hitler, but to use a very serious scene from a very serious film and make it amusing. Watch any of the many other parody videos and you can see this is the case.

      • Historian
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        This is the first I’ve heard of Downfall parodies. I think that each one needs to be critiqued on its own. For the reasons I cited, I didn’t find it amusing, despite whatever may have been the intent of it creators.

        • Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          It’s one of the internet’s most prolific memes. It’s been around at least 10 years. I think the first one I saw was about Catherine Tate being cast as a companion in Doctor Who.

          • Dave
            Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

            It might have gone on long enough for someone to make a Downfall parody of people who don’t understand Downfall parodies!

            • GBJames
              Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

              This one where Hitler is pissed about too many Downfall parodies, is pretty close!

    • GBJames
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Not a Mel Brooks fan then, Historian?

      • Historian
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        You inspired me to go to YouTube and watch “Springtime for Hitler.” It seems to me that at least in part, Brooks is mocking Hitler. The effect, if not the purpose, of the Downfall parody is to mock the campus activists for which Hitler is the vehicle for it. There is a big difference between Brooks and Downfall.

        • Posted November 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          Do you find that others frequently bring up the word “agelastic” in your conversations, Historian?

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        “It’s springtime for Hilter in Germany” pop’s into my head all the time!

        • GBJames
          Posted November 28, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          Nazi!

          • Eric Grobler
            Posted November 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

            Deutschland is happy and gay!

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you are overthinking it, most of us can enjoy the humor while not confusing the target of the humor with the actual Hitler.

      “Even Trump, who has proto-fascistic tendencies, should not be compared to Hitler. ”
      I agree, but that is not what is happening with this parody.

    • chris moffatt
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I find Hitler an excellent vehicle with which to criticise campus nazis.

    • Nobody Special
      Posted November 30, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      I’d say using Hitler is more than appropriate here; after all, Rambukkan did tell the teaching assistant that her showing part of a debate on gender pronouns without her specifically condemning the ”wrong’ side of the debate was exactly the same as uncritically showing Hitler’s speeches.

  4. Travis
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I got an actual LOL at the “don’t worry you’re passable” line.

    Here’s one of my favorites that I appreciated while learning Complex Analysis last year

    • sshort
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Not understanding the german or the math except in broad strokes, that is hilarious. As noted above, it is about matching the words to the facial expressions.

      Razor sharp.

      • Travis
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        I can share the frustration of learning that a countour integral (which CAN be difficult to solve) is simply 0 for a specific type of function and region and you want to apply this as often as possible… but when it doesn’t apply it doesn’t apply! There were also a lot of proofs in my Complex Analysis class however they were fairly straightforward… everything is easier with complex numbers

    • chris moffatt
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant

  5. BJ
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    The best Downfall parodies do what this one manages to get right: match the subtitles to the characters’ facial expressions and sentence lengths. This is one of the better Downfall parodies I’ve seen.

    “Anyone who thinks perspectivity isn’t a word, get out.” That line just killed me!

    Downfall is such a brilliant film, and Bruno Ganz gave one of the greatest performances in modern cinema. I’ve watched my DVD copy too many times to count.

    • Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Man, I feel like such a derp. I’ve never heard of Downfall or the parody series. I am always amazed at how much I miss. I am not sure why I do.

      • BJ
        Posted November 29, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        “Man, I feel like such a derp.”

        Why do you have to be so ableist, Mikey?!? “Derp” is not the preferred nomenclature, dude…

        It’s “neuroatypical.”

  6. Jon Gallant
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I was amused by Hitler’s angry sub-titled exclamation “Why did you send those idiots Rambukkana and Pimlott, even Evergreen State wouldn’t hire them!” In fact, Professor Pimlott is universally detected in the Laurier student ratings, with observations like this: “I refused to address him by his made up gender pronouns and he tried to crucify me for being an evil nazi.” Another of zer’s ratings reports: “A self proclaimed scholar, so full of himself it’s nauseating. I wouldn’t let this slimy creature teach my dog. A full fledged member of the thought police. “

    • Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      I think you meant “universally detested” but I like the typo!

    • BJ
      Posted November 28, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Of course, Pimlott is one of two people from that meeting who have not apologize to Shepherd. Not that it matter. Rambukkana’s “apology” was a long-form explanation of how he merely worded things improperly, apparently feeling he had nothing else for which he needed to apologize.

      • BJ
        Posted November 28, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know why I wrote “long-form.” I just meant to write “long.”

        • Craw
          Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          If you look at one of the rate my prof sites (linked elsewhere here) you will see Pimlott is accused of rape. (I am not kidding.) My guess is this is BS, but I would also guess that by his standards such accusations need to be believed.

          • Craw
            Posted November 30, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            Looking at the site I see that rating has been removed. I detect a double standard at work.

  7. Craw
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if people are paying too much attention to the word “parody”? I think travesty is le mot juste in these cases. What we see here is a bathetic travesty of Downfall, used to lampoon the events at WLU.

  8. Jon Gallant
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    I did mean to type “universally detested, but the typo was appropos, as mikeyc observes. Pimlott’s latest publication (of, I suspect, very few) is an essay in the Canadian Journal of Communication entitled “Engaging Class Struggles”: Preparing Students for the “Real World” by Teaching “Activist” Cultural Production in the Classroom”. Its abstract starts with: “In this self-reflective essay, the author argues that communication studies offers opportunities for integrating activism with classroom content”. The student ratings
    do indeed detect his qualities, it seems.

  9. Newish Gnu
    Posted November 28, 2017 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    I agree that this one was well above average. My all-time favorite is the grammar Nazi one. Hitler ends a sentence with a preposition and the generals immediately want to discuss that instead of war plans. He goes into his rant.

  10. Posted November 29, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Previously, for me, the best thing about the pronoun “ze” is it helped me eliminate all my tiles last time I played Scrabble and it yields a pretty decent double word score!

    This parody has now moved my Scrabble experience to the second best thing about “ze.”


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