[Air-L] the case for critical commons

Alex Leavitt alexleavitt at gmail.com
Fri Jan 22 08:58:03 PST 2010


Reference: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/downfall-hitler-meme

---

Alexander Leavitt
Research Specialist, Convergence Culture Consortium
Comparative Media Studies, MIT
http://doalchemy.org
Twitter: @alexleavitt


On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 11:45 AM, jeremy hunsinger <jhuns at vt.edu> wrote:

> It is actually just a spin off of a meme that uses this clip from that
> movie, there are probably 30 or so different re-texts and mashups i've seen
> of this clip.  The joke, i think, of the meme is that it never ever comes
> close to the German, nor is it ever supposed to, nor is the content really
> supposed to be evil or really related to the clip, it is a play of contrasts
> and a play of hyperbole.   I think you hit it on the head, it is supposed to
> be contrary to intentions, that's sort of its point. Sometimes people
> re-vocalize the video, but usually they just subtitle it.    True it does
> for some play off the general ignorance of germans, but then the meme has
> traveled quite far and wide, however, i'm pretty sure that neither german,
> nor evil is supposed to be the point here.  I think the point of the meme
> centers around the banality of the reproduction and reconstruction of the
> meanings, well if it has a point at all and isn't, which it frequently is
> just a form of nihilism of the /b/ sort.
>
> I posted this one because there was recently a big debate across a series
> of blogs about digital humanities versus media studies and I think the use
> of the meme here captures elements of the mutual critique.
>
> I'm sorry you didn't find it worth watching.
> On Jan 22, 2010, at 11:31 AM, Charles Ess wrote:
>
> > Very sorry to have to say this ...
> > How profoundly disappointing, if not on the edge of insulting.
> > If (a) you know German reasonably well, and especially if (b) you've seen
> > the terrific film, Der Untergang, that is ripped off here - it doesn't
> > strike me as funny at all.
> > The kindest thing that I can say about it from my standpoint is that it
> is a
> > weak attempt at humor that depends first of all upon complete ignorance
> of
> > German, and secondly a strikingly uncritical willingness to accept the
> now
> > very tired trope of Hitler as the archetype of reactionary evil. (Part of
> > the irony here: I don't think he was all that reactionary, especially
> with
> > regard to new technologies.)
> > As sympathetic as I am to the argument attempted to be made here - this
> > seems to me to thereby works directly contrary to its intentions.
> >
> > Sorry - no one bats a thousand, not even the redoubtable Jeremy!
> >
> > - charles ess
> > Institut for Informations- og Medievidenskab
> > Helsingforsgade 14
> > 8200 Århus N.
> > Denmark
> > mail: <imvce at hum.au.dk>
> > tel: (+45) 8942 9250
> >
> > Distinguished Research Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
> > Drury University, Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
> >
> > Exemplary persons seek harmony, not sameness. -- Analects 13.23
> >
> >
> >
> >> in case you've not seen this
> >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VREJV--VHSw
> >>
> >
> >
>
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