Godwin on Godwin
March 13, 2013 12:18 PM   Subscribe

"Relatives don’t really show me any examples, but there was a point where my daughter, who is about to turn 20, when she was in her early teens, she thought it was a hoot when she was mad at me to compare me to Hitler. She’d look at me with a very mischievous look and say, 'You know, you’re acting just like Hilter.'"
posted by vidur (55 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Having writing, presented, and published my first academic research article on one of the early uses of the Hitler analogy, I fear that I will never, ever, write about a topic that will have any cultural relevance again.

Thanks for this.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:26 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


All the way back in 1990, a lawyer who has been on the Internet longer than you have

If only there was a law regarding possibly faulty assumptions about the readers, maybe named after the author, Dan Amira. Then I could say, "Damn, he Amiraed in the first paragraph!"
posted by Ad hominem at 12:27 PM on March 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


Well I think in honour of his nazi-related meme credentials we should all now call The History Channel "The Hitler Channel"
posted by iotic at 12:31 PM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


you know who else's daughter thought he acted like Hitler?
posted by HuronBob at 12:34 PM on March 13, 2013 [47 favorites]


Well I think in honour of his nazi-related meme credentials we should all now call The History Channel "The Hitler Channel"

The joke has been around for years. I'm a little surprised he dragged it out.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:37 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought it was Hitlarious
posted by iotic at 12:37 PM on March 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


> Well I think in honour of his nazi-related meme credentials we should all now call The History Channel "The Hitler Channel"

>> The joke has been around for years. I'm a little surprised he dragged it out.


As an online discussion of history grows longer, the probability of calling the History Channel the "Hitler Channel" approaches 1.
posted by Panjandrum at 12:40 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


As an online discussion of history grows longer, the probability of calling the History Channel the "Hitler Channel" approaches 1.

"Approaches Hitler," you mean.
posted by zippy at 12:45 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


My new joke is "People who misuse hyperbole are worse than a million cannibal hitlers."

I'll be here all week.
posted by poe at 12:46 PM on March 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


As an online discussion of Hitler grows Hitler, the Hitler of calling the Hitler Channel the "Hitler Channel" approaches Hitler.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:48 PM on March 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


Hey, even Hitler had a girlfriend...
posted by blaneyphoto at 12:49 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


As the length of a Godwin obituary grows to two sentences, the probability of Hitler being mentioned approaches 1.
posted by Tsuga at 12:49 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


So when do we get the interview with Mr. 34?
posted by marienbad at 12:50 PM on March 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


If only there was a law regarding possibly faulty assumptions about the readers, maybe named after the author, Dan Amira. Then I could say, "Damn, he Amiraed in the first paragraph!"

Top 5 Things You Don't Know About Your Readers

5. Social Security numbers

[click to next page for number 4]

4. PINs

[click to next page for number 3]

3. Isn't it annoying when you have to click to another screen after every sentence? KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF!

[click to next page for number 2]

2. Seriously

[click to next page for number 1]

1. On the Internet, everybody knows you're Hitler
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:50 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


this is what I love about mefightclub. Rotato is basically the godwin antidote
posted by rebent at 12:53 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


If only there was a law regarding possibly faulty assumptions about the readers, maybe named after the author, Dan Amira. Then I could say, "Damn, he Amiraed in the first paragraph!"
posted by Ad hominem at 21:27 on March 13 [2 favorites +] [!]


We would name it after you, but "Ad homineming" would be too confusing. Let's call it "Hitlering", just to give future generations a juicy piece of etymology.
posted by springload at 12:55 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The joke has been around for years. I'm a little surprised he dragged it out.

It's not even accurate anymore - it's either the Pawn Channel or All Aliens All The Time.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:56 PM on March 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


Do you happen to know a lot about Hitler? Are you a Hitler expert?

Oh, no. I think there are probably countless watchers of the Hitler — pardon me — the History Channel who know much more about Hitler than I do. I’ve read some of the classic texts, but I’m not a Hitler expert. Which is just as well, because my name is already uncomfortably linked to Hitler anyway, and if I were, like, publishing papers or doing Hitler scholarship, it would just be worse.


Did anyone else think of DeLillo when they read that?
"It was my own formal custom on Fridays, after an evening in front of the TV set, to read deeply in Hitler well into the night."
-- p.16, White Noise
posted by Afroblanco at 12:56 PM on March 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ad hominem: "If only there was a law regarding possibly faulty assumptions about the readers, maybe named after the author, Dan Amira. Then I could say, "Damn, he Amiraed in the first paragraph!""

yeah that would be pretty admirable.
posted by boo_radley at 1:03 PM on March 13, 2013


Afroblanco: "Did anyone else think of DeLillo when they read that?"

Yes, I did. Jack Gladney is professor of Hitler Studies in White Noise.

Also, I think Godwin sounds like a real stand-up guy.
posted by chavenet at 1:09 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


My new joke is "People who misuse hyperbole are worse than a million cannibal hitlers."

My 8-bit grindcore band name will be "a million cannibal hitlers," and we will be terrible. Just to prove you right, and ruin your joke, and thus making us even worse.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on March 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


A side effect of Godwin's Law is that it has made talking about The Holocaust or even fascism in public spheres nearly impossible. It's left as an exercise to the reader whether this has provided cover for any spread of fascism.
posted by 3.2.3 at 1:26 PM on March 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yes, I did. Jack Gladney is professor of Hitler Studies in White Noise.

The scene where Jack and Murray verbally spar over the relative import of Hitler and Elvis, reducing them both to not only meaningless symbol, but also a list of trivia "Hitler had a dog named Wolfie", is precisely what people do when they compare people to Hitler. For Jack, his reduction of Hitler is part of his obsession with the fear of death. I wonder when people compare Cuomo to Hitler, if they also want to bring Hitler "down" to Cuomo's level. It makes Hitler seem completely and utterly banal.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:32 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


My 8-bit grindcore band name will be "a million cannibal hitlers," and we will be terrible. Just to prove you right, and ruin your joke, and thus making us even worse.

There was, apparently (at least according to stickers seen on the London Underground around 2006) an Italian metal band named “Aborted Hitler Cock”.

No idea what they sounded like, but the odds of them being rather good could be somewhat long.
posted by acb at 1:37 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ad hominem: "It makes Hitler seem completely and utterly banal."

Indeed, famously so.
posted by chavenet at 1:39 PM on March 13, 2013


My Mussolini comparison law was a bust. I was phoning into all my BBS's and posting about Area Man's Law, but no one paid any attention.
posted by Area Man at 1:40 PM on March 13, 2013


Everyone's so worked up about Hitler, but what about this Hilter fellow referenced in the link?
posted by landis at 1:40 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hmm... I think the username for my second Metafilter account is going to have to be 'Sockler'.
posted by jamjam at 1:41 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread is equipped with an auto-Godwin.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:45 PM on March 13, 2013


The joke has been around for years. I'm a little surprised he dragged it out.

I didn't think he was deliberately joking. It read to me like he had just said the word "Hitler" a bajillion times in a five minute interview and fucked it up, and the writer left it it because it was an amusing Freudian slip.
posted by Diablevert at 1:45 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Indeed, famously so.

Sure, it was carried out by functionaries and managers, but someone had a grand vision right? Unless the argument is that there was no grand vision at all.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:48 PM on March 13, 2013


"Wirse than Hitler" is actually valid for art critisism.
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]



Everyone's so worked up about Hitler, but what about this Hilter fellow referenced in the link?


In Nazi Germany, der Führer spells yoü!
posted by lalochezia at 1:56 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Everyone's so worked up about Hitler, but what about this Hilter fellow referenced in the link?

He's a candidate in the North Minehead by-election.
posted by Daily Alice at 2:02 PM on March 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't like the sound of these here boncentration bamps...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:13 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am delighted by the discovery, from his reference linking to the French wikipedia entry, that in France the tipping point of a conversation is sometimes referred to as "le point Godwin", and even more delighted that that apparently somehow got reinterpreted as a notional point-to-be-awarded such that sarcastic French internet users might send each other ASCII art certificates awarding "1 POINT GODWIN" for shitty argumentation.
posted by cortex at 2:14 PM on March 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


you know who else's daughter thought he acted like Hitler?

Every father's ever since the 1930s?
posted by yoink at 2:19 PM on March 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


The de Gaulle of that daughter!
posted by srboisvert at 2:27 PM on March 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


He sounds like a charming fellow. Too bad Godwin's Law is taken so jokingly when there is a serious intent behind it.
posted by angrycat at 2:41 PM on March 13, 2013


It's not even accurate anymore - it's either the Pawn Channel or All Aliens All The Time.

Ancient alien pawn kings race through disasters and airline crashes to discover Hitler memorabilia.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:09 PM on March 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


The de Gaulle of that daughter!

I think she was really Pétain his case. Even de Gaulle wasn't that Vichy-ous.
posted by zippy at 3:12 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well I think in honour of his nazi-related meme credentials we should all now call The History Channel "The Hitler Channel"

It used to be the Hitler channel. It used to be informative about that one narrow area of historical interest, and that wasn't a bad thing. It's become the "ancient alien pyramid builders ate my baby" channel.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:28 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


WWHD?
posted by Artw at 3:38 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This interview has been condensed and edited for your reading pleasure.

Ugh, this is a thing that we're doing now?
posted by limeonaire at 4:16 PM on March 13, 2013


On the astronet in a thousand years, the phrase will be "Worse than Godwin."
posted by Ron Thanagar at 4:21 PM on March 13, 2013


NB: The History Channel's morph from History to Hitler to WTF? is a meme.
posted by mosk at 4:25 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


My new joke is "People who misuse hyperbole are worse than a million cannibal hitlers."

Wouldn't a "cannibal Hitler" be a Hitler that only ate other Hitlers? If this is so, a million cannibal Hitlers, while alarming, would be a self-correcting problem. Plus, there would be plenty of Hitlers for everyone to punch!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:54 PM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


would be a self-correcting problem

It depends on the mean time between incidents of cannibalism, the number consumed per incident, and the production rate of the cloning facility in Argentina. Plus, we'd be left with one cannibal standing per deme.

Finally, while we know through observation that the degenerate case of one Hitler is self-correcting, it requires the prompting of an advancing Soviet Army to do so.
posted by zippy at 5:03 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It doesn’t even really make sense to talk about Attila the Hun in terms of left/right politics...

It does if you read his blog. Man, he goes off on the Burgundian news bias.

Which is just as well, because my name is already uncomfortably linked to Hitler anyway,

You know who else's name is uncomfortably linked...
posted by Smedleyman at 7:17 PM on March 13, 2013


There was, apparently (at least according to stickers seen on the London Underground around 2006) an Italian metal band named “Aborted Hitler Cock”.

Oh, they exist, and they misuse umlauts:
Welcome to the internet crack-den of Abörted Hitler Cöck.
And now, a word from our sponsors.
Their sponsor is the "freaks" line of fleshlights.

And I think they're actually from London, but probably claimed to be Italian to be more brutal. But using bloody luchador masks kind of ruins the appearance of being utterly brutal, and lends them a more comical appearance. Then again, grindcore bands kind of recognize their own ridiculousness. If you wanted to hear them, here's Erections at An Animal Autopsy on Archive.org.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:17 PM on March 13, 2013


My 8-bit grindcore band name will be "a million cannibal hitlers," and we will be terrible. Just to prove you right, and ruin your joke, and thus making us even worse.

There was, apparently (at least according to stickers seen on the London Underground around 2006) an Italian metal band named “Aborted Hitler Cock”.


"The Very Thought of Fucking Hitler"
posted by homunculus at 7:41 PM on March 13, 2013


                                                                        
                                                                        
  ______   ______   ______   ______   ______   ______   ______   ______ 
 /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/ 
                                                                        
                                                                        
 ._.           ____                     .__        __               ._. 
 | |          /_   |      ______   ____ |__| _____/  |_             | | 
 |_|           |   |      \____ \ /  _ \|  |/    \   __\            |_| 
 |-|           |   |      |  |_ > >  <> )  |   |  \  |              |-| 
 | |           |___|      |   __/ \____/|__|___|  /__|              | | 
 |_|                      |__|                  \/                  |_| 
 ._.           ________           .___       .__                    ._. 
 | |          /  _____/  ____   __| _/_  _  _|__| ____              | | 
 |_|         /   \  ___ /  _ \ / __ |\ \/ \/ /  |/    \             |_| 
 |-|         \    \_\  (  <>  ) /_/ | \     /|  |   |  \            |-| 
 | |          \______  /\____/\____ |  \/\_/ |__|___|  /            | | 
 |_|                 \/            \/                \/             |_| 
                                                                        
                                                                        
  ______   ______   ______   ______   ______   ______   ______   ______ 
 /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/  /_____/ 
                                                                        
                                                                        
My god, it's beautiful. Can we keep it?
posted by slogger at 8:35 PM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


whether it will still exist in the year 3000

The Reich of Godwin's Law will last a thousand years!
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 10:05 PM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


ah.. byofl. There goes my afternoon

Thanks! :)
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:59 PM on March 14, 2013


a million incestuous cannibal socklers

this thread makes me giddy
posted by theora55 at 6:47 AM on March 15, 2013


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