Monday, July 11, 2011

And now I really have to see Downfall

because it's unfair to laugh this hard at something without watching the source material. Also, 2004's "Downfall" is supposed to be an excellent movie about the final days of The Third Reich in hitler's gradually-collapsing command center. The end result is comedy magic!

I know these vids are old, but (a) I don't care and (b) you might not have seen these before. The clip just below is 4 minutes long, but if that's too long for you, skip to the one after (just 1:18 long).

hitler, who apparently owns the Vikings, reacts to the Randy Moss trade

The above video is a good example of what you get. Most of the parodies center on the leader's big meeting with his military officers. The map is supposed to represent the advance of Allied forces, which leads to him reaming out the top brass - 'dolphie knows he's lost the war. You can see why creative people on the net used this scene - and the surprising effect is that I really want to watch the movie now.

hitler contacts his Internet Service Provider's call center

I suppose this also makes me think a bit about parody and what is or isn't offensive.

For one thing, it's not cool to dress as the world's most famous racist for Halloween - it's a little hard to describe exactly why (social insensitivity, scaring people, suggesting you want to emulate him). Yet at the same time, it doesn't matter how much you love free speech, it's hard to say that it isn't inappropriate.

Offense doesn't always have to be broad, like Gilbert Gottfried's jokes in the wake of Japan's catastrophic triple-disaster, Sometimes the balance between "could be funny" and "horribly, stupidly wrong" is actually quite fine. Even intent might only get recognized on a limited basis: I wasn't called down for dressing like Castro one year.

And it's ok to dress as a ghost on that American holiday, but it's not ok to show up as a KKK member, tho it's basically the same costume. I don't make these rules up, I just observe them and guess whether they're worth following. That's just the way it is. At least in this case, the parody is very, very clear...

hitler can't believe Susan Boyle lost "Britain's Got Talent."

But I certainly wouldn't want to be a 70s-era David Bowie, who made pro-fascist comments during interviews that were probably intended sarcastically and as "snappy one-liners." And I wouldn't want to appear in Victoria Station dressed in what looks like a fascist uniform, seeming to give the Nazi salute (see the 3rd paragraph in that link).

Mocking hitler, on the other hand, is perfectly ok, and apt. Extremist nutjobs like that were made for mockery, and what I'm happiest about is that clever internet video-makers didn't chose the most obvious jokes. In the truest spirit of comedy, they took the joke in new and fun directions.

Below is probably my favorite rant at the moment, adolph's reaction to the announcement of the IPad's features. Let's all enjoy a good laugh, shall we?

I'm almost paralyzed by how smart this one is.

I won't apologize for laughing at the Nazi High Command laying out the strategy to buy an IPad on the release date; or their leader's reaction when he learns that the features are shockingly limited. It's gold.

In this case, even Oliver Hirschbiegel, the director of "Downfall," found the parodies to be funny. The production company behind the film eventually relented in trying to block the clips with copyright claims.

I'd like to thank all the people who took these clips and made some excellent captions; they put a huge smile on my face, and I hope they did for you to. There's many more to check out, like "hitler gets banned from xbox live," "hitler can't find waldo," and "hitler reacts to obama's victory." Have a field day, and tell me if you find something good.

On a final note, I'd like to point you to the best rant video that I couldn't embed here: hitler reacts to Favre's un-retirement and move to the Vikings. I could probably watch that one every day - "I hope he fails miserably! I hope he throws 1000 interceptions! I hope defenses flatten him like a pancake!"


  1. I love this series. I am particularly partial to the one about having your scientific manuscript reviewed, and then rejected by the publishers. Priceless in the scientific world :)

  2. Thanks, tatiana! I'm amazed this series of parodies has been around for so long, but I'm just loving every moment of it. That vid you described sounds great! I'll have to try to find it - hit me up later if you remember the title or the keywords I should use to find it on youtube.


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