Monday, November 9, 2009

An Internet meme hits politics, and something's lost in the translation

One of the more popular Internet memes on YouTube over the past few years has been the Hitler meltdown mash-up. The source is a scene from a critically acclaimed German film about Hitler's final days called Der Untergang (The Downfall), in which an angry Hitler explodes at his confidants after he realizes the war is going poorly for the Germans. According to Wired, the Downfall clip has been "ironically remixed almost 100 times, making fun of everyone from the New England Patriots for the loss of the Superbowl to gamers banned from Microsoft’s Xbox Live service."

But when a few Australian pols created a version of The Downfall starring an Australian parliamentary candidate who they believed was ineffective, the government didn't find it very funny. One Liberal Party operative lost his job over the weekend, and "decisive disciplinary action" is being taken, said Nick Campbell, the party's state President. Read more here, and see the clip in question below. Something is lost in the irony of the meme when the Hitler character is compared to an actual human being as opposed to an entity; watch the clip and see if you agree that it falls flat and that it's creators deserved to get canned.


Anonymous said...

Looks pretty funny to me.

Britethorn said...

Yes it was amusing (although not at all original since its been done to death.) The Pols who did it should have been smart enough to know that when you play with Hitler in politics, you're playing with fire. My guess is that they were fired because of their stupidity rather than because the Hitler video was especially objectionable.

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