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That Hilter Meme

Memes are funny things (both funny as in odd and, if done well, often funny and in the laughing stuff) but I never really expected Hilter (or even an actor playing Hitler) to be become meme central. I guess that shows I really do underestimate those interweb folks! 😛 So, as you might have guessed, a new meme is rapidly spreading; it features new subtitles added to the 2004 German film Downfall (Der Untergang) by Oliver Hirschbiegel, which depicts Hitler’s last 10 days. This footage is now being remixed with new subtitles added to talk about new topics, many of which are really quite funny.

The standout version thus far, though, has to be this one in which Hitler realises that he’s the new Star Wars Kid:

I suspect the ridiculousness and almost sacrilegious idea of Hitler as a comic figure is one of the reasons it’s hard to look away from this clip! [Via Kevin Lim]

Update: Chuck Tryon has some interesting thoughts about a version of this meme which parodies Hillary Clinton’s campaign to become the democratic presidential nominee.

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  1. I’m torn about these clips. Many of them are pretty funny, but the one that compared Hitler to Hillary Clinton (“Hillary’s Downfall”) ended up really bothering me, in large part because it played into right-wing talking points that have long depicted her as a totalitarian threat to people’s liberties (here’s a pointer, but my blog has been really slow today, so it may take a while to open).

  2. Hey Chuck, I hadn’t actually watched Hillary’s Downfall before, but even at a glance I can see how the subject matter can certainly give this sort of mashup a more sinister edge. I think the Downfall mixes I find funniest are those which just make ridiculous links (Hitler as meme; Hitler on Xbox and so on). As you say, making links with contemporary politicians really makes the material work in different and more disturbing ways (although, I guess, is it really making that different a point to the Apple 1984 ad or is it just that the material being mixed has such powerful resonance due to its ‘real’ history rather than fictional origins?)

  3. I’ve thought about that. I think there is something far more sinister about linking her to a real historical figure than to the fictional Big Brother figure. But it is consistent with the link between her and some form of totalitarianism.

    I’m not a huge fan of Hillary’s, but the baggage of associating her with Hitler, even in what is intended to be a somewhat ridiculous way, carries some serious ideological baggage.

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