Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Auf Wiedersehen, Hipster Hitler
June 6, 2011 11:18 PM   Subscribe

Say goodbye to the foppish Führer? RedBubble pulled the plug on Hipster Hitler's line of satirical products after complaints. The original comic takes on "both hipster culture and the exploits of the Third Reich." Controversial slogans include “Death Camp for Cutie”, “Back to the Fuhrer” and “Eastside Westside Genocide.” Previously.
posted by Yakuman (102 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just don't understand how these things get launched. Does any marketing exec actually think he's that good?
posted by d. z. wang at 11:21 PM on June 6, 2011


Last week, Red Bubble’s legal advisors, Arnold Block Leibler, ended their relationship with the online company stating, “We will not act for a company that in effect promotes Nazism.”

what

what
posted by NoraReed at 11:22 PM on June 6, 2011


This thing got old so fast.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:22 PM on June 6, 2011


You know who would like this?
posted by hal_c_on at 11:24 PM on June 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


I just don't understand how these things get launched. Does any marketing exec actually think he's that good?

Hipster Hitler is actually a pretty funny webcomic.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:24 PM on June 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nein, nein, nein, nein, nein!
posted by Artw at 11:27 PM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Uh, isn't actually selling the shirts a bit like marketing Idiocracy by selling Brawndo?
posted by nasreddin at 11:33 PM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not quite sure what is meant by "pull the plug" in this case... Buttons and posters are still available for ordering, and the t-shirt link says "THE T-SHIRT STORE IS DOWN FOR NOW. WE’RE WORKING ON GETTING IT BACK AS SOON AS WE CAN."

I guess maybe these products are now being done by someone other than RedBubble?
posted by hippybear at 11:33 PM on June 6, 2011


Why buy Dachau when you get the milk for free?
posted by ShutterBun at 11:49 PM on June 6, 2011 [36 favorites]


It seems more like it's producing Idiocracy to sell Brawndo.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 11:50 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this something I'd have to donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center to understand?
posted by ryanrs at 11:56 PM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's some more information about ABL's decision to ditch Red Bubble at Firmspy.
posted by oxford blue at 11:59 PM on June 6, 2011


I liked Death Camp For Cutie better back when they were called John Cougar Concentration Camp.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:59 PM on June 6, 2011 [30 favorites]


Brawndo markets itself.

IT'S GOT ELECTROLYTES!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:00 AM on June 7, 2011


I liked Death Camp For Cutie better back when they were called John Cougar Concentration Camp.

How is this stuff kinda off limits but I can listen to both Brian Jonestown Massacre and Jim Jones Revue and nobody complains? The event they reference is way more recent than World War 2.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:02 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Uhhhh, need hh t-shirts.

Vote with your wallet! (It's not leather.)
posted by billb at 12:04 AM on June 7, 2011


I guess this makes kaputt my plan to ride on the coattails with "Hungry, Hungry, Georing"
posted by wcfields at 12:05 AM on June 7, 2011


You'll have to pry my Hitler on Ice from my cold, dead hands.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:11 AM on June 7, 2011


I guess this makes kaputt my plan to ride on the coattails with "Hungry, Hungry, Georing"

I'm not the only one who reads 'nasi goreng' as 'Nazi Georing'?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:12 AM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Like Hitler, half of the hipsters I know went to art school.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:14 AM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


That comic is pretty damn funny.
posted by LarryC at 12:15 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, if this stuff is "in effect" promoting Nazism, isn't "Don't be stupid, be a smarty! Come and join the Nazi party!" explicitly promoting Nazism?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:16 AM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


RedBubble pulled the plug on Hipster Hitler's line of satirical products after complaints.

Hitler reaction video or it didn't happen.
posted by vidur at 12:19 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I laughed at quite a few of those comics. I thought it was a pretty funny idea and some of the T-shirt slogans cracked me up. I can see it probably got old fast, though. But yet again, people who don't get irony depress the hell out of me, and I wish to heaven they'd at least start to suspect that they may be being more than a little dull-witted, not to mention just dull.
posted by Decani at 12:19 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


We could certainly use fuhrer comics like this.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:28 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just think that unless you're Mel Brooks, holocaust humor does not work. At all.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 12:37 AM on June 7, 2011


You know who would like this?

Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin?
posted by zippy at 12:40 AM on June 7, 2011


Shoah-ly you jest.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:40 AM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: "I guess this makes kaputt my plan to ride on the coattails with "Hungry, Hungry, Georing"

I'm not the only one who reads 'nasi goreng' as 'Nazi Georing'?
"

No, I just think of the Emperor. (YT ad)
posted by oxford blue at 12:45 AM on June 7, 2011


<-- Real live Jew who thinks this is funny. (Wait, does that look like it's pointing at me? It's supposed to be pointing at me. But where is "me" located in the virtual world? Oh, well, anyway.)
posted by Mooseli at 12:50 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the Firmspy link: "There is a mix of opinions on the comic series. Some aspects of Hipster Hitler are genuinely funny and harmless. That does not mean it all is -- we think it should probably be judged by the worst bits. We're not saying that its overall intent is harmless, but anything that appears to be trying to bring Hitler's ideas back, especially in "chic" manner like the hipster vogue of today, is deserving of extreme caution."

Judged by the worst bits, or "How dare you drive a Volkswagen!"
posted by klangklangston at 12:51 AM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


For many months the only response we have received from him and the administration of the website is to have any posts regarding our concerns deleted, to be warned that expression of our concerns is against site rules and guidelines and some of us have had our accounts suspended or even fully deleted. It is clear that “free speech” on this website applies only to those who support “hipsterhitler”, and censorship is applied to those who dare speak out against it.

More people need to understand that when someone starts crying "free speech!" about comments on a message board, they are always completely wrong about whatever they were arguing about. Always.
posted by kafziel at 1:14 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Indeed. Free speech costs $5 around here. (same as in town?)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:25 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most of me thinks it's funny, and that if anything, it does a good job of reducing Hitler to a craven, irritating dick. I particularly like the dumb puns.

The hand-wringing, bleeding heart rest of me does worry about the fact that the concept of "Hitler" has been diluted into a stand-in for or caricature of "the bad guy." Only Hitler wasn't Darth Vader or Dastardly Whiplash. He was a real person who preached and coordinated mass murder—and through a mix of the world's hatred, avarice, and complacency, it fucking worked. And it still works, to this day. And it's worth taking a step back once and a while and thinking about that.

Which is to say, as much as I am picturing a strip involving a "Here's another Hitler, Barry Bonds" t-shirt, and a discussion of Fleet Foxes with Rommel, it also wouldn't kill me to have a little gravitas. I have a feeling I'd like it the strip lot less if it was about Hipster Habyarimana or Mashup Mladic.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:36 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


reducing Hitler to a craven, irritating dick

Reducing? I would think he'd have to have several decades of seriously good P.R. just to work his way up to "dick" level.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:50 AM on June 7, 2011


I've just been editing the memoirs of a Jewish Hungarian woman who died some years ago. She wrote about how her family was lined up and assessed when they arrived at Auschwitz-Berkenau in May 1944. "I can still see my grandmother standing with George, my 3 year old brother, and my sister Elizabeth who was just 8. We had just arrived at Auschwitz. They were turned to the left and my mother and I to the right. My mother and I were told we were fit to work as I was 22 and she was 45. My grandmother was too old and my sister and brother too young. They were put to death. That is the last picture of them in my mind." 4,200 Jews were rounded up from her home town of Pécs and sent to Auschwitz. Only 49 returned.

Forgive me if I don't find this comic stuff funny.
posted by joannemullen at 2:04 AM on June 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


How is this stuff kinda off limits but I can listen to both Brian Jonestown Massacre and Jim Jones Revue and nobody complains? The event they reference is way more recent than World War 2.

(ignoring the question of whether the comic is a Bad Thing or not)

a couple of obvious differences are the number of deaths and the way the victims were selected.
posted by russm at 2:12 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everything's offensive to somebody. Therefore: don't laugh at anything.
posted by hudders at 2:26 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Laugh at whatever you find funny (one has no choice), but don't insist that others laugh with you or chastise them if they don't.

I don't think anything should be off-limits when it comes to comedy, but it needs to be funny, and most of these aren't, not because of their subject matter, just because they're not.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 2:52 AM on June 7, 2011


Lame, predictable hipster stereotypes + Hitler jokes + sub-Garfield comedic value = no great loss.

Why am I not surprised that Hipster Hitler was from Australia? This is one of those examples of Australian humour that aspires to being a home-grown version of the American products but doesn't quite reach the heights of sophistication. In short, Hipster Hitler was the Hey Dad of web comics.
posted by acb at 3:00 AM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Ultimate Olympian, I like how you contradict your first phrase about the subjectivity of humor ("Laugh at whatever you find funny (one has no choice)") with your last where you imply that humor is objective: "but it needs to be funny, and most of these aren't, not because of their subject matter, just because they're not."
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 3:13 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


In short, Hipster Hitler was the Hey Dad of web comics.

so if we're playing analogies, who is Hipster Hitler's little fat kid?

(and out of curiosity, what American show was Hey Dad trying to be?)
posted by russm at 3:14 AM on June 7, 2011


AFAIK, Hey Dad wasn't specifically imitating any American sitcom, but rather slavishly chasing the tail-lights of the genre: it was an instance of that venerable Australian cultural cringe game, "Look! A shiny new product! Just as good as anything from Britain/America, only it's ours!"
posted by acb at 3:24 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


or was that more a comment on the generally dismal state of Australian sitcoms?
posted by russm at 3:25 AM on June 7, 2011


on non-preview, yeah, OK.
posted by russm at 3:26 AM on June 7, 2011



How is this stuff kinda off limits but I can listen to both Brian Jonestown Massacre and Jim Jones Revue yt and nobody complains? The event they reference is way more recent than World War 2.


Oh dude. Sometimes - I think, perhaps, a little more frequently - you should make use of that wonderful filter we all have between our brains and our mouths - or keyboard in this case. It's there for a reason, really.

If you truly don't understand this... well, I don't know what to say that's not pretty insulting. Regardless of whether the comic is good or bad, or the Jonestown massacre etc.
posted by smoke at 3:27 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you truly don't understand this... well, I don't know what to say that's not pretty insulting.

Try, because I don't know what you're talking about.

We're not allowed to laugh at Hitler? Why?
posted by fire&wings at 3:49 AM on June 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I didn't say that, fire&wings, but there are a multitude of reasons why people might take umbrage at Hitler versus the Jonestown massacre that even a moment's thought could conjure up, including but not limited to:

Casualties of WWII: 60 million

Casualties of the holocaust: 6 million

Rationale of Hitler and the holocaust: racial supremacist theories, wildly popular.

Casualities of Jonestown: 902.

Rationale of Jonestown: fruity cult that was never very popular.

Number of people that have heard of both Jonestown, and Brian Jonestown Massacre: maybe a few hundred thousand.

Number of people that have heard of Hitler and nazis: Several billion.

Number of people whose lives have been affected by nazi philosophy and actions: several billion.

I'm defending neither the comic, nor the decision to shut down the store. But the reasons why people may object are pretty obvious, and anybody conflating what's happened here with a free speech issue is hysterical and needs a reality check.
posted by smoke at 4:02 AM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't think it is absolutely wrong to make jokes about Hitler. Just that, when you do, the jokes should be something better than the usual LOLSKINNYJEANS! Pavlovian catchphrase humour.
posted by acb at 4:13 AM on June 7, 2011


Just that, when you do, the jokes should be something better than the usual LOLSKINNYJEANS! Pavlovian catchphrase humour.

I see what you did there.
posted by russm at 4:18 AM on June 7, 2011


Decani: "Yeah, I laughed at quite a few of those comics. I thought it was a pretty funny idea and some of the T-shirt slogans cracked me up. I can see it probably got old fast, though. But yet again, people who don't get irony depress the hell out of me, and I wish to heaven they'd at least start to suspect that they may be being more than a little dull-witted, not to mention just dull."

Oh really? Right back atcha.
posted by Splunge at 4:44 AM on June 7, 2011


Since the comic is pretty much just a vehicle to sell the shirts, I was hoping this would mean the comic would finally fizzle out and die an overdue death, but the sad truth is that it won't be at all hard for him to find some other company to sell the shirts through.
posted by Gator at 4:49 AM on June 7, 2011


I think it is possible to treat Adolf Hitler, the historical figure, with too much gravitas (and I do not mean a Culture ship blowing him up). It becomes easy to concentrate all of the sins of the Axis powers into one man. "Oh, if it were not for that Hitler fellow, things would all be different." It robs us of the understanding that Nazis were not ordinary people under the sway of some spell cast by a guy who dumped all of his points into charisma. Chances are, if he'd been born with more artistic talent or never born at all or assassinated by a time traveler, we would have still had the camps.

The disease is in the people. It is always in the people. Eventually, one of them gets up and stands in the middle and says the things the rest of the people have been wanting to hear, that final permission to begin the purge. Hitler is no more special than the first dude to buy rope in a lynch mob. That is the point of Hipster Hitler: the man probably was a tedious, tiresome sort, obsessed with his own ideas, often tolerated by the more competent, who feared him only in the immediacy of his own power, then largely went ahead and did what they wanted to do, anyway.

What we ought to be worrying about is how whole populations get that way, rather than preservation of the mythological status of The Guy Who Bent Europe to His Will via dropping T-shirt accounts.
posted by adipocere at 4:57 AM on June 7, 2011 [28 favorites]


I didn't find it Offensive. But I didn't think it was that good. It was one of those instances where you're not sure if they're being not funny ironically, or just telling lame and stupid jokes.
posted by delmoi at 4:59 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


But yet again, people who don't get irony depress the hell out of me, and I wish to heaven they'd at least start to suspect that they may be being more than a little dull-witted, not to mention just dull.

It's not getting irony, it's just so bloody boring. Both Hitler jokes and hipster jokes. Mashing them together is like tedium baked in a pie made from yawn pastry.
posted by mippy at 5:00 AM on June 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think it is possible to treat Adolf Hitler, the historical figure, with too much gravitas (and I do not mean a Culture ship blowing him up). It becomes easy to concentrate all of the sins of the Axis powers into one man. "Oh, if it were not for that Hitler fellow, things would all be different." It robs us of the understanding that Nazis were not ordinary people under the sway of some spell cast by a guy who dumped all of his points into charisma. Chances are, if he'd been born with more artistic talent or never born at all or assassinated by a time traveler, we would have still had the camps.
That's... pretty ridiculous. Time doesn't flow on a pre-determined path, and Hitler's decisions had a huge impact on how things went. It isn't like the Nazis came to power wanting to execute all the Jews. The initially just planned to expel them. First to Palestine, then to Madagascar. It was only when when those plans became logistically untenable did they agree on the 'final solution'. Things would have been radically different if only a few different choices had been made by lots of top people -- and those choices would have caused lots of individual things to go differently: different people would have met and had children, different people would have had different ideas, etc. You just can't realistically argue about alternate time lines.

Also how can you say the Nazis weren't "ordinary people"? Where do you think they came from? They weren't grown in labs. I think the important thing about the Nazis is that they were ordinary people, and that ordinary people are capable of doing some pretty awful stuff if society gets fucked up.
posted by delmoi at 5:08 AM on June 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


people who don't get irony depress the hell out of me
Oh, I get it. I get the Hitler humor. I get the hipster racist humor that's such the rage, too. I get it--it's all post-humor and post-racial and exposing the foibles of humanity and what-the-fuck-ever. I get it. I just don't think it's funny.

I mean, really, do whatever you want. But don't sneer at me if my sense of humor is different from yours.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:08 AM on June 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


it's just so bloody boring. Both Hitler jokes and hipster jokes. Mashing them together is like tedium baked in a pie made from yawn pastry.

This, for Christ's sake. Hitler and hipsters. Is it even possible to find two staler clichés in contemporary popular culture? Is this one of those things that I'd have to be twelve years old to laugh at?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:10 AM on June 7, 2011


While the comic is clever and amusing, it creeps me out a little bit that it turns Hitler from a monster into something less, a more pathetic character. If they had made the character some kind of clumsy grandson of Hitler, I think it would have been more palatable.
posted by gjc at 6:11 AM on June 7, 2011


Ugh
posted by nathancaswell at 6:11 AM on June 7, 2011


If there's money to be made selling Hipster Hitler merchandise, somebody will be willing to make the merchandise. Like much humor, the t shirts are a lot more offensive when taken out of context.

I think it's possible to simultaneously understand how horrible and evil the holocaust was and still laugh at a "what would happen if Hitler was a hipster" comic. You don't have to be Jewish like Mel Brooks to make fun of Hitler, but it sure helps people be certain of your motivation.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:18 AM on June 7, 2011


I had a jokey Hitler shirt design I put up on Cafe Press. It never got through their vetting process. I was pissed. I asked why. Rules of agreement, offensive, blah blah. I stated it was a joke shirt. That didn't matter to them, so I found all the REAL fucking Nazi shirts (with 88 on them, and actual PICTURES OF HITLER and Swastikas basically saying "hitler was right" and all that shit). I pointed to a couple, and said that if they were so concerned, then an easy search on their own site could easily turn up tons of Hitler products that were glorifying the man and his ideology. I don't know if they actually ever got rid of them or not.

I really don't like suppressing speech, even Nazi speech (scum as they are). But if I can't have a fucking joke shirt made those assholes best not have a real shirt made.

True story, bro!
posted by symbioid at 6:45 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Delmoi: Also how can you say the Nazis weren't "ordinary people"? Where do you think they came from? They weren't grown in labs.

I suggest you reread adipocere's sentence again: "It robs us of the understanding that Nazis were not ordinary people under the sway of some spell cast by a guy who dumped all of his points into charisma." Notice there's no period after "ordinary".
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 7:01 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


er, after "people".
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 7:01 AM on June 7, 2011


Then I suggest that adipocere maybe needed to write the sentence differently. The flaw wasn't in delmoi's understanding of the sentence.
posted by blucevalo at 7:03 AM on June 7, 2011


die hipster die
posted by Flashman at 7:53 AM on June 7, 2011


Nazi Hipsters Fuck Off!
posted by symbioid at 7:54 AM on June 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well this thread, like Hipster Hitler, certainly divided the earnest from the rest of us. You may or may not find it funny, but if you find it offensive you're probably tediously earnest. Might want to have that checked out.

Not to single out gjc, but this sums up what a number of people are saying: "it creeps me out a little bit that it turns Hitler from a monster into something less, a more pathetic character..."

Yeah, we can't have that, can we? Hitler was a half-bright racist who knew how to work the levers of power, but not what to do with it once he had it. He was a shrimpy little twerp who liked to dress up in uniforms and march around. He was not a monster. He was just a person. The monster was a nation of starving people who believed they deserved better, and thought they knew who to blame. Hitler was nothing.
posted by rusty at 7:56 AM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


A better question would be what if Ted Bundy were a hipster.

Ha. Ha. Funny. The jokes practically write themselves, plus there'd be nudity.

Which makes everything better, of course.

Ha. Oh my. Such hilarity.
posted by aramaic at 8:01 AM on June 7, 2011


I guess the whole "people joke about Stalin but they don't joke about Hitler!" meme* is dead then.

* usually it was accompanied by an explanation of how much worse Stalin was than Hitler that halfway made the poster seem like an apologist for the Third Reich.
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on June 7, 2011


Ted Bundy's ride was totally a hipstermobile.
posted by Artw at 8:03 AM on June 7, 2011


Hey everyone, you're too late. There's already a Hipster Hitler movie.
posted by oulipian at 8:05 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Then I suggest that adipocere maybe needed to write the sentence differently. The flaw wasn't in delmoi's understanding of the sentence.

I don't see how there's any way to read "It robs us of the understanding that Nazis were not ordinary people under the sway of some spell cast by a guy who dumped all of his points into charisma" and miss the last half, which contains the main point of the sentence. The sentence means exactly the same thing without "ordinary" in the context of the point being made. Don't be so obtuse.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:25 AM on June 7, 2011


I've been reading Hipster Hitler for a while now and I find it rather amusing.
posted by ob at 8:45 AM on June 7, 2011


Ted Bundy was the original South Park Republican.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:58 AM on June 7, 2011


The sentence means exactly the same thing without "ordinary" in the context of the point being made. Don't be so obtuse.

You're right. I wasn't being obtuse, I just misread the sentence. My apologies.
posted by blucevalo at 9:03 AM on June 7, 2011


Why give Hitler gravitas? Why empower his memory by taking it seriously?

And I gotta agree, some massacres seem to be treated as being more important than others, but it's hard to discuss, because they people who think their massacre is more important have overwhelming amounts of outrage at their disposal. Stalin? The Chinese? Tibet? Sorry. I guess numbers don't really matter. They still aren't as big a deal on the official sacred tragedy scale. What I can't figure out is why pointing this out leads to people losing it and going on the attack. It's not a contest., You don't win something if your tragedy is deemed more tragic. It doesn't diminish one tragedy to acknowledge others. Or to find it weird that you can joke about one tragedy and not another. It doesn't imply any sort of approval or diminishment. It's just curiosity. And for those eye-rolling hipsters who are over hipsters and think it's boring, fine. Since when do you censor boring? There'd be no tv at all.
posted by umberto at 9:10 AM on June 7, 2011


Why give Hitler gravitas? Why empower his memory by taking it seriously?

How is it empowering his memory to treat Hitler seriously? In my view, it's more problematic that we seem these days to err on the side of not taking him seriously -- it's like anytime he's mentioned now it's an occasion to laugh or crack jokes or slap our knees in hilarity, which empowers his memory by defaulting him into the mode of being a clown or an object of ridicule rather than a coldblooded genocidal maniac who started one of the bloodiest and most horrific wars in history. In that sense, yes, he has, and properly should have, gravitas.

because they people who think their massacre is more important have overwhelming amounts of outrage at their disposal.

I don't think there's a scale that makes one tragedy's "outrage" heavier than another, and I don't think there's really a "sacred tragedy scale," because, as you say, "It's not a contest."
posted by blucevalo at 9:31 AM on June 7, 2011


I can understand the outrage. If I were Hitler's ghost, I'd be outraged at the juxtaposition with hipsters, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:39 AM on June 7, 2011


They should refocus on Brosef Stalin. That guy is awesome.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:50 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I looked at some of the comic strips, they didn't strike me as particularly witty or clever or funny. The whole enterprise seems to be trading on shock value ("oh my god he is joking about hitler can you do that I don't think you can do that") and pre-approved jokes about hipsters (and bros and guidos) rather than making the sort of wry observations that I typically enjoy.

Well, perhaps "wry" is over-stating things, I love Patton Oswalt and similar comedians a lot.

I have no real opinion on the interruption of merchandising. The manufacturer decided they didn't want the contract any more. Oh well. That's how it goes.

The argument between the "Germans were ordinary" and "Germans were extraordinary" camps is a long-standing one. Personally I come down on the side of "Germans were ordinary," because to think otherwise risks becoming the next Germany, circa 1938. There was nothing especially broken or evil or poisonous in the German national soul. It could happen in your country too.
posted by kavasa at 10:19 AM on June 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pol-BR Pot and the Kickball Fields
posted by wcfields at 10:31 AM on June 7, 2011


You guys know that you can simultaneously take the serious parts of Hitler seriously, and still laugh at him for being an asshole, right? Like, I can still think that Bush should have been impeached for lying to Congress and indicted for war crimes (both torture and starting an illegal war) and still think that his malapropisms and chimpish looks are funny.

The same things can be seen from multiple contexts.
posted by klangklangston at 10:38 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that this whole discussion draws attention away from the tragedy of the modern Nazi.
posted by darksasami at 10:53 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, I'm the one who made the Harry Wayne Kasey-John Wayne Gacy morph (so old-skool it's on tripod). I was younger then--maybe I would have thought Hipster Hitler funny when I was in my 30s.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:06 AM on June 7, 2011


Did everybody forget Milgram all of a sudden?
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


If making fun of Hitler/Nazis isn't funny, someone better tell every single British comedy ever, because it seems like that's 50% of the jokes. "Don't mention the war!" and all.

Yes, we get it. You won (with help). Can we have jokes about something else now?
posted by Eideteker at 11:33 AM on June 7, 2011


You realise that Fawty Towers is from over thirty years ago, right?
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does any marketing exec actually think he's that good?

I don't think there is any marketing exec here. It's just a couple of people making the same tired joke over and over and using a print-on-demand service to make a buck.

The outrage is completely unnecessary, but so is yet another hipster comic.
posted by katillathehun at 11:48 AM on June 7, 2011


You realise that many under 30yr olds in the UK haven't actually seen Fawlty Towers, yes? And Dad's Army is even older?

Unless I was missing all the Nazi jokes in Gary Tank Commander.
posted by mippy at 1:32 PM on June 7, 2011


You may or may not find it funny, but if you find it offensive you're probably tediously earnest. Might want to have that checked out.

By whom? I don't find this comic offensive, just dull. What I find offensive is the sneering "you'd best get that looked at" thing that people who like X always trot out to people who don't like X. Give it a rest, why don't you.
posted by pinky at 1:55 PM on June 7, 2011


Whether or not you think it's funny, does it make any goddamn sense in the world to claim that it promotes Naziism, as the people who pulled the plug on the merchandise did?
posted by kafziel at 2:10 PM on June 7, 2011


Well this thread, like Hipster Hitler, certainly divided the earnest from the rest of us. You may or may not find it funny, but if you find it offensive you're probably tediously earnest.

What the fuck is wrong with being earnest? Though being 'tediously earnest' hasn't stopped me from greeting this comic with a wry shrug. Or a 'heh'.

If this comic wanted to be serious and still make hipster jokes they could do a storyline/joke about Anne Frank inspiring Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In The Aeroplane Over The Sea', but that would probably be too heavy.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:48 PM on June 7, 2011


"You realise that Fawty Towers is from over thirty years ago, right?"

Yes. And are you telling me that in the intervening time, it's gotten less okay to make fun of Hitler? That's the very opposite of "Too Soon." Was it only okay to make jokes about 9/11 right afterwards? Or is there a mourning period? Where's the sweet spot?

Either way, doesn't change the fact that a plurality of British TV shows rely on jokes about the war at some point. This is really no different, except maybe it's less funny (but Brosef Stalin is golden).
posted by Eideteker at 5:35 PM on June 7, 2011


Yes, we get it. You won (with help). Can we have jokes about something else now?

perhaps it's just me, but I always read "don't mention the war" as a joke about English people, not about Hitler, or Nazis, or the war itself... yes the Germans lost, but you wouldn't want to be seen to be making a thing of it, that would be crass...
posted by russm at 8:28 PM on June 7, 2011


ugh

webcomics died with leisuretown anyway, who even reads a 'web comic' anymore
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:47 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just hope nobody slagging this as offensive enjoys any Joy Division music.
posted by klangklangston at 9:02 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


re: don't mention the war... no, it's not just me...

Referring to the Fawlty Towers episode "The Germans", [John Cleese] explained "Everybody thinks that was a joke about the Germans but they missed it. It was a joke about English attitudes to the war and the fact that some people were still hanging on to that rubbish".
posted by russm at 9:08 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


russm, well done for pointing that out, I am always surprised at how easily that episode gets misquoted, I always thought it was so obvious who/what the target of the joke was.

And it's not old at all it has become very relevant again recently whenever there was an England vs German football match, the British tabloids tended to have a ball digging out every joke and stereotype about Germans and the war (and not just the tabloids sometimes - here's a blog post from a few years ago with a couple examples) - this got really crazy around the time of the European championship in England in 1996, though by the 2006 World Cup in Germany it had maybe toned down a bit, a bit of effort was made by the press at least...

(Interestingly, a German remake of Fawlty Towers was made but of course they had to skip that scene as it wouldn't have worked the other way round.)

So, yeah, that Fawlty Towers episode still has a relevance today, but the relevance is to those attitudes and perceptions about Germans, rather than to "comedy/jokes/making fun of the nazis" or much less, t-shirts for sale with puns and jokes. Not really comparable.
posted by bitteschoen at 1:21 AM on June 8, 2011


That isn't the point, Eidekter, it's that someone said that most British comedies have Hitler jokes when actually it was one 35yr old show which most people under 35 haven't seen here because it's very rarely repeated.

So it was a bizarre comment. And as Cleese says, it's often misunderstood anyway.
posted by mippy at 3:24 AM on June 8, 2011


...

The point I was making was that Cleese said, "Enough," 30 years ago and it's still going on.

Try-hards.
posted by Eideteker at 4:07 AM on June 8, 2011


no, the point you made was that "a plurality of British TV shows rely on jokes about the war", and "making fun of Hitler/Nazis ... [is] 50% of the jokes" and gave as an example an Englishman making a joke about other Englishmen.

/me shrugs, moves on...
posted by russm at 4:36 AM on June 8, 2011


« Older Is the contemporary epidemic of mental illness fue...   |   Syria vows to retaliate... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments