via David Schneider
What’s the internet law about every discussion eventually citing Hitler?
I just read a pathetic whine from some right wing US blogger about how terrible it is that Obama is so popular and looks set to win the election. Irony free he blathered on about the terrible damage that will be done to America if McCain loses before likening himself to a citizen of Weimar Germany watching the rise of Adolf Hitler.
Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hitler, if you think we’re on the run?
We are the boys who will stop your little game.
We are the boys who will make you think again.
‘Cus who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hitler, if you think old England’s done?
Mr. Brown goes off to town on the 8:21.
But he comes home each evening and he’s ready with his gun.
So watch out Mr. Hitler: You have met your match in us.
If you think you can push us we’re afraid you’ve missed the bus.
‘Cos who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hitler, if you think old England’s done?
Dad’s Army Theme
It’s always a risk with a film about a school shooting, but it was still creepy to surface from watching Elephant to hear about events in Montreal. As with the shooters in the film we’re still at the stage with yesterday’s events where we don’t really know or understand what drove a man to walk into a school and kill one and injure nineteen others.
Elephant doesn’t offer any explanation for the two young gunmen. Sure they play violent (but very simple looking) video games, have a fascination for guns and watch a documentary on Hitler whilst waiting for their weapons to arrive. They’re also gay, or at the very least experimenting, and one is a fairly talented pianist. However, these factors are given as much weight as the fact that one of their schoolmates is a keen photographer and another has a drunken father. They might be important or they might not, it’s up to the viewer to decide.
The film’s style is non-mainstream. Long tracking shots follow characters as they walk the halls and go about their everyday lives. More than once we loop back to see a scene from a different perspective. For an hour we’re getting to know a little about these kids, like we’re watching some sort of documentary. But the viewer knows what is coming and, as with the old school ensemble disaster movies, can’t help but wonder who will live and who will die. That their troubles are, mostly, so trivial makes them more real than having a gang of OC types with story arcs that can only be resolved by the sudden arrival of a skinny geek with a Tec-9.
Overall, not for someone who wants to be told why America’s youth keep killing each other or is looking for slick storytelling and pat characterisation. However, if you want something more this is for you.
A group of historians are arguing that it wasn’t the efforts of Fighter Command in teh Battle of Britain that kept Hitler from invading Britain, but the threat of the Navy to his invasion fleet. RAF types are, obviously, offended by this theory.
I don’t see why both sides can’t be right, to an extent. Without the destruction of the RAF the invasion couldn’t happen because there would still be air cover for the Navy, which would deal the killing blow to barges full of German soldiers crossing the Channel.
Anophtalmus hitleri, AKA the “eyeless Hitler” beetle, is under threat from neo-Nazis who collect them as mementoes of the dictator. Named by a Nazi entomologist in the 1930s, the species only exists in one habitat- a cave in Slovenia and examples are currently selling for as much as £680.
The Martin Luther Memorial Church in Berlin is a wood and stone celebration of Hitler and his Reich. Still standing 61 years after trhe end of the war, the protestant parish responsible for the building wants it renovated and turned into a museum.
It is the country’s last surviving Nazi era church with an interior still dominated by fascist symbols. Consecrated in 1935 two years after Hitler seized power, its exterior was designed in the Bauhaus style in 1929, before the reign of the Nazis began. Brown-tiled and cavernous, it is foreboding and devoid of grace, yet religious services took place here regularly until just a year ago when the church was deemed unsafe because tiles started falling off the facade.
There are moments of pitch black comedy, and even farce, in Joachim Fest’s account of the final days of the battle for Berlin.
Soviet General Chuikov was caught off guard by a German delegation to discuss surrender or ceasefire terms and was without his senior staff. Uniformed members of his immediate entourage had to stand in. A civilian composer, there to write about the liberation of Berlin, was stuck in an antechamber and told to remain absolutely quiet. As the debate dragged on, the composer eventually passed out and fell out of the closet. He was carried away, and no-one present thought to mention the strange event.
The book also has some interesting observations on Hitler’s character, that fit well with the back story for my in-development webcomic. Both Hitler and Goebbels spoke at different times of how, when they fell, they would take the German people, and as many others as possible, with them. “Hitler’s bomb” is a popular conspiracy/ alternate history theory. It is entirely conceivable that Hitler, in possession of an atomic bomb but surrounded and unable to launch it at Moscow, London or Manhattan would detonate it as Russian forces approached. This leads directly to the situation at the start of the story, with the the city a mass grave and memorial to the greatest crime of all time and the Berlin wall going around the city to keep scavengers and trophy hunters out and a lot of secrets in.
Let’s see. In the last few months I have been-
Land of the Dead You can’t really go wrong with a zombie movie, especially when you have one of the masters at the helm. The satire is a bit less subtle than in Dawn and there isn’t the same feeling of stalking death- you’re certain that some of the characters will survive- which takes a little of the edge off. More horror/action than pure horror, but a good example of it nonetheless.
Revolver I’m going to sue Guy Ritchie for two hours of my life. This is probably the new low, replacing Catwoman. The thing is, certain elements were well done but were let down by being in such an awful, nonsensical movie. Whilst Catwoman was bad because every aspect was awful, this film was bad because parts of it could, could, have been so good.
Pride and Prejudice Chick flick. I wanted to go and see Lords of Dogtown. However, this was still a good little comedy of manners. I haven’t read the book, or seen the BBC adaptation, so I don’t know how it stands up to what has gone before. And I still think the soundtrack album should have remixes by The Prodigy, Aphex Twin and Osymyso.
The Dukes of Hazzard This was great fun in a lovely shallow way. Seann William Scott can be annoying and Jessica Simpson is just a pretty vacant space, but Johnny Knoxville is turning into quite a charismatic actor, within a limited range.
Young and Dangerous I knew this looked familiar, but it wasn’t until a particular scene halfway through that I realised I’d owned it before. It seems a former housemate decided to trade it without asking me. Anyway, it’s a Hong Kong gangster movie about loyalty, honour and death. A gang of young hoodlums follow the same “uncle” for over a decade until betrayal sees one of them betrayed, the gang torn apart by jealousies and a rival crimelord taking over. Revenge comes in one carefully orchestrated night of violence. I can’t remember whether I’ve seen “A Better Tomorrow”, to which it gets favourable comparisons, but it’s definitely a powerful piece.
One Down, Two To Go Blaxploitation and Kung-Fu collide. A Californian sensei and his publicist (played by Shaft) are robbed of their winnings after a tournament in New York. After being beaten and shot they call in two friends from the West Coast, Cal and J, who proceed to shoot a lot of mobsters. It all ends with a strange scene where mobsters and black avengers stand three feet apart in a smokey warehouse and trade shots. Not a great movie, but somehow better than Revolver.
Stargate: The Director’s Cut After watching a lot of the TV series it seemed like a good idea to go back to the source. The series was quite faithful to the film, taking the elements and expanding on them. Above all, it’s quite a different mythos from all the other sci-fi that was out there at the time, and a lot of what has come since, and it was well done and entertaining.
Neuromancer There’s a bit early on in this book where a character having 3 MEGS of hot RAM is an important plot point. It’s the only bit that really struck me as a quaint view of the future. The rest of the book holds up well. Yes, it is a very eighties vision of the future, but that is because Neuromancer was the break out cyberpunk novel and shaped so much of the eighties’ vision of the future.
Nathaniel’s Nutmeg Consider this a companion piece to the author’s Big Chief Elizabeth. Whilst Britain’s colonists were trying to get a foothold in America, the British East India Company was trying to earn millions from the spice trade with the islands in the Indian Ocean. However they had to compete, in a genuinely cutthroat way with the Spanish and Portugese and eventually the Dutch, for the rights to trade. Central to the story, and the source of the title, is the defence of the tiny island of Run and its prodigious nutmeg harvest by one Nathaniel Courthope. For all that this is “bravery that changed the course of history”, very little of the book is devoted to it. Rather it concentrates on how the trade was established and how Britain and Holland used the island as a bargaining chip after going to war. Fascinating stuff well presented.
The Mask of Command A very different type of history book. Whilst Nathaniel’s Nutmeg is history presented by a journalist and thus has a lightness and is easily readable, this is history presented by a historian and thus is laden with clauses and other traps. Taking the examples of Alexander, Wellington, Ulysses S Grant and Hitler, John Keegan attempts to convey the changing face of command and commanders. Alexander was a heroic commander, leading very much from the front, but as armies grew larger and became composed more of citizens than the elite, commanders had to move ever further away from the action to get a better overall view. Grant and Wellington were still on the battlefield and in some personal danger, but the generals of the First World War used telephones and runners to conduct their battles from fifty miles behind the lines. Hitler, whilst deriding their methods, was the chateau general writ large, dealing from Berlin in the minutiae of logistics without really understanding the conditions his soldiers suffered. Hard going, but interesting stuff if you have a thing for military history.
The Men Who Stare At Goats Jon Ronson examines the nuttier fringes of the US military and discovers how a post-vietnam search for meaning became poisoned and led, directly and indirectly, to the horrors of Abu Ghraib. All the while he is also trying very hard to find the man who reputedly stopped the heart of a goat simply by staring at it.
Enigma This is the sort of thriller The Da Vinci Code wishes it was, well researched, gripping and intelligent enough not to patronise its readers. Haven’t finished it yet, just give me until the end of the week.
Command & Conquer: Generals I haven’t actually bought any PC games sinceI got this, though I think there’s a copy of Medieval Total War somewhere that Daz gave me. I gave up on trying to beat real people ages ago and have settled for overcoming ever harder computer enemies.
Radio 4 (mostly at 6.30 in the evening for the comedy slots.)
A big pile of tapes I just rediscovered.
I don’t have the time to miss television.
Technorati tag: Reviews
Is Episode 3 a parable on the death of democracy, or just not as disappointing as the previous two?
[Lucas] found historical echoes down the ages. “I looked at ancient Rome, and how, having got rid of kings, the Senate ended up with Caesar’s nephew as emperor … how democracy turns itself into a dictatorship. I also looked at revolutionary France … and Hitler.
“It tends to follow similar patterns. Threats from outside leading to the need for more control; democracy not being able to function properly because of internal squabbling.”
“I hope that situation never arises in our country,” he said. “Maybe the film will awaken people to this danger.”
Recently discovered colour footage has been used to piece together Hitler in Colour, a documentary about the man and his use of film and other propaganda.
David Batty, producer of Hitler in Colour, said: ‘Hitler’s rise to power mirrored the rise of colour film. In the Thirties there were two colour film studios: Agfa in Germany and Kodak in America. Hitler had an eye for PR and realised the power of colour film so he handed it to his cronies.
‘We believe Hitler was the most filmed person in the world up to his death.’
Under Hitler, Germany killed thousands of mentally ill people alongside the larger extermination programme against Jews, Gypsys and other “lesser” races. One of the “idiotic progeny” killed under the scheme was a relative of Hitler.
Technorati tag: Hitler
Did Hitler plan to have the then Pope, Pius XII, kidnapped and whisked away to a German castle so that a new religion could be formed with Adolf worshipped as the saviour of mankind? That’s what recently released documents suggest, but others hint that they have come out at just the right time to distract from reports of Pius’ attitude to the Jews during and after the war.
Technorati tag: Hitler
You were just yearning for a bust of Adolf Hitler weren’t you. Yes, I thought so.
Painted up, it looks just like Charlie Chaplin.
Times Online- Last of the Cockleshell Heroes Dies It’s easy enough to sit here and type out stories of commando raids, quite something else to contemplate what they really involved. Of the ten men who set out up the Gironde Estuary in canoes, only two made it back to England. Two others drowned and the rest were captured and shot.
Raids such as this, and the destroying of the Normandie dry docks, denying an Atlantic port where Germany’s biggest battleships could put in for repair, were such great strategic and psychological victories that Hitler issued a ‘commando directive’ ordering the murder of any who took part.