My latest from the Observers:
In today’s comic terrain, few if any subjects are off limits. Case in point, the proliferation of YouTube clips that use Adolf Hitler as fodder for comedy.
Using a pivotal and sombre scene from The Downfall, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s controversial film about Hitler’s final twelve days in his Berlin bunker, the YouTube videos juxtapose subtitles that are completely unrelated to the content of Hitler’s words. The scene in question depicts Hitler’s bout of unsuppressed anger as he is told by a group of cowering generals that the war and Nazi cause will end in defeat for Germany.
Since the film is in German, YouTubers have taken the liberty to add subtitles that deal with unlikely and comical subject matters. In one clip Hitler is enraged by Barack Obama’s success; in another, he is lambasting the transfer of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to Real Madrid; and in a third, Hitler scolds his generals as he is told that his Microsoft Live account is frozen and that he should think about getting a Wii instead.
Funny indeed, but the videos also raise some interesting questions. Should Hitler be used as fodder for comedy? What psychological function do such jokes fulfil? And is evil trivialised by such efforts? Our Observers weigh in.
Please be advised that some of the clips contain strong language.