Friday, February 24, 2017

Despair Management

Discussing with J& D this morning how we position ourselves politically these days, I talked about how important Despair Management is to me---limiting my exposure to overwhelming amounts of horribleness and upping my intake of smart silliness.
So, in the interest of Keeping One's Spirits Up, I offer a little political nose-thumbing:

I. Mock a Nazi
You've seen the original 1967 Producers, right?  
If not, the joke here is, Zero Mostel & Gene Wilder's characters are trying to produce a Broadway show so terrible it closes on the first night, thereby allowing them to write it off as a loss and keep all the (excessive) money they raised to put it on.
They choose the most tasteless show they can dig up, one that features this demented Busby Berkeley–style number, "Springtime for Hitler":

"Deutschland is happy and gay,
We're marching to a faster pace,
Look out, here comes the Master Race!"

Today I found an amazing, real historical fanvid-style remix, made  during World War II:
"Lambeth Walk - Nazi Style" (1941), by Charles A. Ridley of the British Ministry of Information:

Posted on youTube's POLITICAL REMIX channel:
Ridley re-edited footage from the German propaganda film Triumph of the Will to make it appear Hitler and Nazi soldiers were marching and dancing to "The Lambeth Walk". He used the song because members of the Nazi party had called it "Jewish mischief and animalistic hopping". The short was distributed uncredited to newsreel companies in the US and UK. It is regarded as one of the first political remix videos.
II. "It's all resistance now." 

Ha! Political Remix included one of my favorite Star Trek slash vids, "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps," by Killa, as part of their history of political remix before youTube--Killa made it in 2005, the same year youTube launched, so it just made the cut-off: 

I had to think a minute why it was political. I mean, that wasn't fandom's main motivation in editing together clips of Kirk & Spock giving each other come-hither looks, but sexuality is inherently political. I've just gotten so used to LGBTQ+ being part of pop culture, even if on the edges, I've started to take it the slightest bit for granted. 
But equality seems awfully shaky all of a sudden...

Until January 20, 2017, I'd been writing about fandom with the young Tumblr users I got to know last summer in mind. Tumblrites are not representative of all fandom (hardly!), but I did write as if young fans' (and my) general comfort with fluid identity and its concern with social justice were normal.

When I was working on the ms before the presidential inauguration, that all felt normal--the inevitable evolution of a democracy founded on the ideal of liberty and justice for all.
One (1) minute after inauguration, however, I felt like I was writing a radical political document.
I was talking to bink about this, and she said, "It's all resistance now."


Bink said...

Brilliant collection of vids! I expected the Triumph of the Will remix to be cruder, but it was really quite slick and well done. I laughed out loud when one of Hitler's gestures perfectly punctuated a silly bit of music.

And those traded looks in Perhaps...gems!

Fresca said...

The Nazi Lambeth Walk was impressive, wasn't it? especially considering he couldn't edit on iMovie, getting that timing right must have been tricky.