Q: Hitler – Ripe for comedy or still taboo?
A: What is the answer? Is there one? You tell me.
This is Day 6. Two more day’s until T.R.’s birthday. His 152nd birthday to be exact.
There are good men and bad men of all nationalities, creeds and colors; and if this world of ours is ever to become what we hope some day it may become, it must be by the general recognition that the man’s heart and soul, the man’s worth and actions, determine his standing.
This quote ties in well to yesterday’s in that both deal with merit. This line, however, also brings to the table the notion of equality and how we should “judge” an individuals worth by their actions, ideas and personality. This is a powerful notion well worth striving for, especially in an election year where we go about the business of deciding who to best represent our interests. We judge those candidates not only on their ideas, but on their personality, intellect and practical actions.
Or at least we should, anyways.
In case any readers were curious all of the quotes I have used come from the Theodore Roosevelt Association. They have a nice little section called “In His Own Words” which has been very helpful during these blog posts.
For those of you out-of-the-loop (it’s okay, it’s a small loop right now), there is a new webcomic on the the march. And when I say “on the march” I mean that literally. The webcomic in question is one “Hipster Hitler.”
Yes, you read that correctly. A webcomic. About Hitler. As a Hipster. If you don’t believe me, then check it out: http://hipsterhitler.com/
The problem I have with the webcomic is that I *don’t* have a problem with it and that, in turn, makes me feel guilty.
Because it’s Hitler. And I’m laughing at him. I’m laughing at a man who tried to wipe an entire people of the face of the earth.
But, I have to confess, for a history buff (and closet hipster), the webcomic appeals on many levels: it’s historically smart, it’s creative, and it’s also visually appealing. To say nothing of it’s prefect characterization of all that is “hipster.” If you don’t know what I mean, watch this video and then get back to me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5dIzY7yvRA
But, as I said, and as you might say, it’s a webcomic about Hitler.
Well, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it shows we can laugh at the things that terrify us the most. To dork this post up even more, lets think about this in Harry Potter-terms:
Hitler, or anyone like him (i.e. Vlad the Impaler, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Osama bin Laden), is a boggart and in order to destroy said boggart we have to laugh at it. Laughing at something shows that we either believe it to be amusing or absurd. Since we can’t laugh at Hitler as a genuine source of humor (because, you know, genocide is hi-larious) then the only alternative is to think of it as absurd.
I laugh at Hipster Hitler because it’s a joke: literally. Hitler was never a hipster. Hitler never wore a t-shirt that read “Eva 4 Eva”. Hitler never invaded a country on a bicycle (to save gas, of course) with a single grenade and a bag of cashews. All of these, however, occur in the webcomic.
So, perhaps it could be fair to say that laughing at a monster (or something we believe to be a monster) is how we can defeat it. Maybe one long laugh wouldn’t do the trick (this isn’t Monty Python), but hell, it’s a start. Maybe if a few more people had originally laughed at Hitler as absurd, and his belief’s as ridiculous, them maybe the Second World War would never have occurred. Maybe tens of millions of people wouldn’t have died. Maybe.
But hey, hindsight is 20/20…and when it comes to what you laugh at, John Lennon said it best: “Whatever gets you through the night it’s alright, alright.”