April 14, 2009

Three Cheers to Charles Johnson

I have been made aware of the feud between Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs and other bloggers at Lawrence Auster's VFR, and find the interpretation offered there credible. Frankly, LGF never hold any attraction to me and I never returned after some brief looks in the very first years of this millennium. Too big, too chaotic, too little substance.

Now some clever pranksters produced a rip-off of "Downfall" (German: Der Untergang), an Oscar nominated 2004 German/Austrian film depicting the final twelve days of Adolf Hitler in his Berlin bunker. The rip-offers subtitled the original German soundtrack anachronistically, to show Hitler (Charles Johnson) erupting in frenzied, paranoid rage over his loss of ratings, spies he's going to ban: "conservatives, fascists, creationists, Christians", who are all laughing at him, so he is sure (and very probably right).

I, personally, find that a breath of fresh air. The film is so abysmally bad, I mean TECHNICALLY bad (I am coming to the frightful ideological underpinning later) whilst having received the highest acclaim, that ANY ridicule is welcome to take it down a peg. Bruno Ganz' Hitler is chewing the scenery (pun not intended) as if he had confused films and thought he'd be in Amityville Horror, while reviewers are enthusiastically drooling over this ridiculous, self-indulgent crap, Corinna Harfouch is pulling out all her artistic stops from A to B depicting Martha Goebbels, and Ulrich Matthes as her husband Josef comes across as a dour interpretation of Mephisto in a Faust-production somewhere in the deepest provincial backwaters, white facepaint and all. The rest is worse.

Director Oliver Hirschbiegel's (Yes, we laughed too when we first read that name and he looks the part as well!) assessment of the beloved Führer, whom the film's makers sought to give a "three-dimensional personality" (I first thought that had something to do with Bruno Ganz' chewing the scenery) says all one needs to know: "We know from all accounts that he [Hitler] was a very charming man — a man who managed to seduce a whole people into barbarism."

But of course. Roughly 40 million of one of the culturally and technologically most achieving people in the history of mankind were magically charmed into crimes of so far unknown proportions, so to say against their will, by an ugly, funny looking epileptic Austrian housepainter of doubtful parentage. And 70 years later they are still so besotted with him that even the grottiest of films depicting his last pathetic days gets the highest acclaim, assisted in blissful ignorance by the [edited] Americans who graced this botch with an Oscar-nomination, presumably because they thought there'd be Panzerlied in it.

We are currently experiencing history revision of so far unknown proportions. Whether it is "Downfall" that explains that the Germans were victims of and string-puppets for Hitler, whether "Valkyrie" (interesting discussion here) tries to bring across the message that an utterly peripheral and not entirely blameless group of dissident insurgents stood for "a better Germany" that never existed, whether "The Reader" humanizes (and sexualizes) a perpetrator, the conscious or subconscious goal is to relativize German history, aided by idiot Americans wo hate to hate the Germans who have given, after all, Panzerlied to the world. Talk about the "leftist liberal commie" Hollywood coterie!

So thanks to Charles Johnson, whose antics have at least pushed the most obnoxious of those sorry efforts off its piedestal.


Alligator said...

Well, I don't keep up with blog wars or these individual bloggers, but I found that bit of satire extremely amusing. I can think of a couple sites worthy of similar parodies.

The_Editrix said...


Should we be thinking about the same site, I'd say Uncle Adolf is too macho and the German generals too well behaved. A mixture of Brokeback Mountains (which I heven't seen) and Flodder (which I have) would fit the bill better than Downfall.