[Air-L] the case for critical commons

nativebuddha nativebuddha at gmail.com
Fri Jan 22 14:48:38 PST 2010

i'd like to add that the hitler/satire meme is not solely an internet thing,
but has strong roots in mel brook's movie, "the producers," which wrangles
with several of the issues mentioned in this thread.

here's the wikipedia article:


see the movie for even greater clarification.

i'm all for the multiple bakhtinian-style readings, but i'd hate to lose
sight of the fact that this emnates from a tradition of comedy, and not
internet culture or theory..

anyway, that's my zwei pfennig.


On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 3:37 PM, Charles Ess <charles.ess at gmail.com> wrote:

> Before it gets too late for me to think in any way approaching rational
> clarity ...
> A) i would have thought that the point of this sort of thing was to make an
> argument, and then underscore that argument one way or another - e.g., as
> Jeremy suggests, by attaching emotion, and/or as many others have
> suggested,
> by attempting humor.
> If that's true, then
> B) it seems that for at least a few of us, the effort at humor doesn't
> work.
> I did notice in the reference that Robin Cheeseman kindly sent along that
> the director himself has to turn down the sound in order to "get" the humor
> of the added text.  This suggests to me that a certain kind of literacy is
> called for here - one that requires separating the film, including the
> passion of the original voices in these incredible performances, from its
> own sound track, larger cultural context (e.g., what this film meant, for
> example, for German artists and actors who could, after nearly five decades
> of self-imposed silence, produce such a profoundly moving and insightful
> movie), etc.  My apologies for not being up to speed on this, but thanks
> for
> the generous efforts to educate me (really).
> Still, within this perspective, as one of the German comments on the
> reference Robin sent put it:
> So unterhaltsam ist's doch nicht!
> Whether or not we are able to find the clip humorous -
> C) while I'll give the posts a more careful and fresh look after I finish
> moving apartments this weekend (starting this evening) - I do get the
> impression that our discussion of this so far resembles the response to the
> following video:
> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vBn2_ia8zM>
> As pointed out to me by a wise and experienced film scholar colleague, who
> uses this in his film classes - when he asks the students afterwards what
> they notice about the film, they all point to the various ways in which it
> is funny, etc.
> Nobody notices or remembers that it's a commercial for Berlitz - and in
> that
> sense, while it may be a terribly funny video, it fails in its primary goal
> of making Berlitz stick in the mind of the audience.
> In the same way - while I was clearly not as clear as I needed to be in my
> original post, part of my point was that
> > 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.
> Again, perhaps I've missed something important in the postings, and if so
> apologies - but it seems to me that the focus has been on whether or not
> the
> meme works as humor, etc., _not_ whether or not it works to support the
> argument(s) attempted here.
> Given that there are important arguments to be made about such important
> matters as raised in the video - e.g., whether or not tenure must depend
> upon publication in print media - it's interesting that we have not taken
> up
> the arguments, but rather the question of humor.
> This is not meant as a criticism of anyone - but an observation that seems
> to reiterate my point: it's not clear to me how successful this is, in the
> end, at leaving us with an awareness of important arguments (and/or
> possible
> critiques thereof).
> In any event, good night and thanks for all the fish!
> With great gratitude and cordiality,
> - c.
> On 1/22/10 9:04 PM, "jeremy hunsinger" <jhuns at vt.edu> wrote:
> > The point is to attach emotion to text, now whether this text does that
> > effectively or not, we can debate.  However, the appropriation of the
> meme to
> > make the point to the population that it was attempting to reach, which
> is
> > clearly not all of AoIR, but perhaps a significant group within it,
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