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Thread: Downfall Meme

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    Downfall Meme

    Hitler is angry.

    Very angry indeed. Angry enough to order all but his most senior generals out of the room so he can vent his rage.

    He is angry because Cristiano Ronaldo has been sold to Real Madrid. Or because the ending of Watchmen has been changed. Or that Hillary Clinton has lost the Democratic presidential nomination. Or that Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift at an awards show.

    It's become one of the best known "internet memes" around, a comic construct that has spread inexorably on YouTube and other platforms like a cultural version of Japanese knotweed.

    ..parody makers have taken this clip, put it through a programme like Movie Maker or iMovie, and added their own subtitles, synced as closely as possible to the audio.

    In some parodies, Hitler is being the public figure that is lampooned - Hitler becomes Hillary Clinton losing the nomination, or BBC chief Mark Thompson having to face Jeremy Paxman. But in many of the parodies, Hitler is simply reacting to events, the relegation of Sheffield Utd or Usain Bolt breaking the 100m record.

    It is not an obvious subject for humour. Yet for millions of internet users there is something hilarious about this scene being turned on its head.

    There is no clear explanation why this category of parody should have proved such a hardy internet meme, says technology writer Bill Thompson.

    "It was just lucky. There is no particular reason why Downfall should have taken off."
    ...
    "Maybe Downfall was in the right place at the right time. It coincided with the launch of YouTube.
    ...
    some may draw positive conclusions from the idea of young people now feeling comfortable lampooning Hitler.

    Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel told a magazine earlier this year that he had seen many of the parodies and could see the merits of the idea.

    In many ways the parodies take things full circle. Allied propagandists at the beginning of World War II tried to paint Hitler as an undignified, cartoonish and flawed character, thinking this would better serve morale than the image of a remorseless, evil mastermind.

    And the creation of a human but still evil Hitler is what Downfall was setting out to achieve.
    [[full article]]

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    I read the article when it was first published on the BBC website. I was interested as Der Untergang (Downfall) is one of my favourite films.

    What caught my eye is this
    the idea of young people now feeling comfortable lampooning Hitler.
    Is the power of the Fuhrer so strong that only now - sixty five years after his death (and the eradication from the world of his remains by the KGB) that young people feel comfortable to lampoon him? The power of National Socialism!

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