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TOPIC: I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant

I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 01 Jul 2017 10:54 #250738

This started as post about Kung Fury in the movie thread but it turned into a rant so I decided to post it here. Feel free to share your thoughts.

I truly question the logic of using Nazis in comedy. Not because it's morally wrong, but simply because bringing up Nazis brings to my mind people attemping to claw their way out of gas chambers, not a good laugh. Hahaha, hey, look at these guys who murdered several million people! We kill them violently, so funny!

The worst thing is that when you bring it up the makers, or the Secret Hitler designers or whoever comes up and says "It's comedy, you are not supposed to think of that!". You know, it's meant to be fun.

Well, why did you fucking use Nazis if you don't want people to think about genocide then you fucking dipshit? Really, this is not about the banalization of evil or any high-concept like that, it's about common sense!

And really, it's boring as fuck. They are overplayed, overused, overparodied and they are even more overused in the nerd world. Apparently there are too many games about trains, zombies or medieval merchants? But Nazis? Please give us more! Why even bother coming up with a villain, just make him a Nazi and you are set to go! Even The Lion King has nazis on it, for fuck's sake, don't you really have any better ideas for your villains?

And here's the thing. They are so overused, that they don't even register as bad. A movie can be very tame, with no violence, sex or bigotry and yet have Nazis on it. In fact, those go out and are censored way before the Nazis are. You can't make an off-colour joke, but you can put as many Nazis as you like.

I also hate their convenience. You see ,in the minds of many, Nazis deserve whatever they get. You can torture them, blow them up, kill them without remorse or without need. You can be as violent, as disgusting and as inhumane as you want to, because they are Nazis. And hence, when creators and audiences want to be disgusting and inhumane, they put Nazis in their work. It gives them an excuse, a free pass for being an immoral piece of shit.

There's also the Nazi fetish so many nerds have. Barnes has talked about it before, but it bears repeating. There are a lot of nerds that have a hard-on for Nazi-looking stuff and are willing to overlook everything else as long as they get it. Given that, that stuff like Red Pill, /pol/ and Gamergate abounds in gaming should not be a surprise.

So yeah, an incoherent rant, but please share your thoughts.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 01 Jul 2017 12:02 #250741

Same with Russians, Chinese, Pakis, Afghans, et al.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 01 Jul 2017 13:51 #250745

There's a lot in that post Erik my friend! I'll try and address the comedy/humour aspect as it's the one I'm most comfortable with.

I think people find it comforting to be able to laugh at the Nazis and Hitler, specifically. It sort of helps to feel like we've overcome evil. I know it's sort of a form of propaganda but since its no longer an enemy of today, I guess it's ok. Humour is a powerful tool, especially satire and I think dealing with something so evil with a bit of levity makes it easier to digest.

To Petes point, yeah movies have pretty much made everyone the villain at some point. Indiana jones picks the nazis cuz it's easy, but pretty much all cultures will get movie time as villains at some point.

At the end of the day, there's a time and place for everything. While the Holocaust Museum would be an inappropriate place for humour about the nazis, I think pop culture is a good place for it.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 01 Jul 2017 13:58 #250746

Here is an interesting take on the subject.

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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 01 Jul 2017 14:45 #250747

I'm of the opinion that it's all about how well it's done. I'm fine with Nazi's in a film if it's done well... cliche or not.

Some people here may be familiar with the old adage 'tragedy plus time equals comedy' I first heard it in a Woody Allen film but I'm not sure if he was the first to say it... there is some truth to that line. I find it odd that we could, culturally at least, laugh at something like Hogan's Heroes years ago and we're more sensitive about Nazi's now than we were forty years ago. Why have we become more sensitive to it? Some of the people who played Nazi's in that show were Jewish too so it's not like they weren't aware of what a Nazi is... they knew better than us that's for damn sure.

I will admit that it's harder to use Nazi's well now because they've been over used for the last 70 years. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use them though, it's just a bigger challenge.

Personally I find humour in the darkest places sometimes and I feel that art should be able to express whatever it wants. So if you can make a serious art film about Nazism than you should be able to make jokes about it too, also poetry, songs, horror films, actions films... whatever you want. I don't like the idea of limiting creators based on my biases. It's up to them to use the material well. I'll judge the final product, not the ingredients.

It's worth considering that the people who invented Hollywood were very caught up in WWII and in fighting Nazi's so it's no wonder that they turned to them as a villainous tool. Not just Jews but America and England as a whole. Why isn't Yagoda as famous as Hitler? Or Stalin or Mao or Pot? The people in Hollywood making films didn't have that as part of their history in quite the same way. Nazism came to prominence with Hollywood and as such takes it's place as an almost mythological idea among villain narratives.

I guess in some ways I agree with you but I'm not so willing to call a creator an 'immoral piece of shit' for using a Nazi in a film. I would need more evidence of their immorality to make that call.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 01 Jul 2017 15:21 #250748

Tarantino has come the closest to crossing the morality of using them, in my opinion
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 01 Jul 2017 19:05 #250751

When you ban something you give it power, when you accept something and treat it with all the lack of respect it deserves you have the power.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 01 Jul 2017 20:42 #250753

Black Barney wrote:
Tarantino has come the closest to crossing the morality of using them, in my opinion

Agreed. Tarantino Nazis are pretty nuanced... for Nazis. As usual, I can't mention Inglorious Basterds without reminding of Verhoeven's Black Book, which also had a similarly subtile approach.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 01 Jul 2017 23:16 #250756

So I’m gonna randomly reply to some of the thoughts here.

First of all, there’s Nazi’s as comedy. I do get the idea of disempowering through laughter. I’m OK with that. I did watch Hogan’s Hero’s as a kid and loved it. It wasn’t until years later that I realized how weird it was. Not just that we were laughing at a German prison camp, but because the Germans were portrayed as being so stupid that it became somewhat racist. So now WE are the bad guys.

And yes Indiana Jones did fight Nazi’s. It was easy, but it was also cool. It was also almost four decades ago. It’s become a much more tired cliché since then.

I think what really drives me crazy now is people using the Nazi term in order to make money, whether through the “fetish” stuff that Eric refers to or through the “shock value” of the term bringing notice to your product like with SECRET HITLER.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 02 Jul 2017 00:27 #250759

Nazism can be used as powerful symbol of evil like in the film, Wizards.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 02 Jul 2017 11:21 #250769

I play all kinds of games and consume all kinds of media that "makes light" of Nazis. At the same time, we have spent some time in this house talking about Nazism as a movement and what it caused. I've literally made my 8yo cry about this, but it's better that she be tempered with knowledge on how things were 75 years ago than not. I mean, Nazis didn't give a shit about 8yo Jewish girls.

If anyone needs to re-calibrate on Nazism, I recommend COME AND SEE, a Soviet film from the 80s. It will ruin you.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 02 Jul 2017 12:50 #250773

.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 02 Jul 2017 15:39 #250774

This was a debate that started during the war. Spike Jones produced films to sell bonds and encourage recruitment that made the Nazis look like idiots. The thought at the time was that turning them into buffoons would make them easier to defeat. The films were considered huge morale boosters.

With the return of the white supremacy movement (who see Putin as their spiritual leader) I have no problem seeing these people portrayed as complete buffoons. I still want the FBI up in their business, but everything that helps is on the table as far as I'm concerned.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 02 Jul 2017 15:51 #250776

Making Nazis look like fools does many things:

- takes power away from their speech
- hurts recruitment because why join idiots
- encourages others to view them as nutters

Now, with regard to interactive media (games etc) I love killing Nazis. There is no better enemy; their ideology is the antithesis of humanity and portraying them as subhuman is not off the mark too far.

If I wasn't such a true believer in freedom I'd personally have no issue with hearing reports of a Columbine/style ambush where a couple of nutters go into their little clubhouse and wipe them from existence. If they want to spew hate, via con Dios, totally legit. If it infringes others rights or incites violence, gloves come off - farmhouse and a few dozen 338 Lapua Magnum round later, problem solved. But that's no solution - there's always more. The better way to defeat them is to marginalize them, take their perceived power and, finally, discriminate (privately) against them so they have no acess to any private jobs, services, and food and water if that's possible. Government can't stop them, and shouldn't. Citizens should.

They represent everything wrong with humanity and thus are the perfect villain.
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I'm fed up with Nazis, a rant 03 Jul 2017 04:20 #250780

Erik Twice wrote:
And here's the thing. They are so overused, that they don't even register as bad. A movie can be very tame, with no violence, sex or bigotry and yet have Nazis on it. In fact, those go out and are censored way before the Nazis are. You can't make an off-colour joke, but you can put as many Nazis as you like.

Yeah, I've long seen this as quite a serious problem and been surprised it's not more widely commented on.

Everyone knows Nazis are bad, right? So nowadays, you don't even have to remind people why they're bad. They don't even have to appear particularly evil. Instead they just function as cartoon opposition: the generic villains of media, the butt of jokes, their failure guaranteed. The banality of evil, right?

This is now so common that it's easy to forget that real life Nazis were the perpetrators of the worst atrocities the world had seen since slavery, perhaps the worst atrocities ever. Torture, murder and mutilation on an industrial scale to for no reason other than to satisfy base ideological whims. And with that forgetting, the word has lost its power to shock. Nowadays if you don't like someone who leans right you just call them a Nazi and that's them told.

So, now that real, actual Nazis are marching back into view and actually have a finger in power in Washington and Moscow, those of us who can see where this is heading are shouting "Nazis" and it's like crying wolf. No one hears the danger any more. And I'm scared they won't right up until someone in power, somewhere, starts lighting the ovens again. And by then it will be too late.
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