Saturday, 7 March 2009

Der Härpergang: Twilight of the Sods

Fans of the harrowing 2004 film Der Untergang will know that one of its more intense scenes has become something of a YouTube meme. I missed this one and this one when they were actually topical, during the last months of last year.

Are they in questionable taste? Certainly. Do they rely upon a feasible historical analogy? Not at all. Are they brilliant and hilarious? You bet.

Thus, enjoy.


Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

It's funny. But it's also an ugly piece of character assassination. I'm surprised you would have posted it.

Sir Francis said...

But it's also an ugly piece of character assassination.

As you can probably guess, I struggled with the question of whether or not to post it.

My gut reaction to Harper always comes from a pretty dark place. I'm usually able to rise above the impulse to give full vent to that darkness, but this post is a rare act of total surrender to it--only the second such act since I started blogging last year (the first being the notorious "Asshole" post). In that respect, it's an honest document (as long as we remember that I didn't actually create the thing; it's far beyond my technical capabilities).

That said, beyond its undoubted tastelessness--which I freely acknowledge in the post--I don't think anything in the actual script of the spoof can be considered "character assassination". I wouldn't have posted it otherwise.

If considered in the proper context, the spoof clearly wishes to make the "Harper = manic, tyrannical control-freak" equation (which is fair comment and legitimate material for comedy), rather than a "Harper = racist dictator and mass murderer" equation (which would be outrageous and comedically sterile).

At the end of the day, the thing is funny, and that's its only redeeming value. Look--I know it's a throw-away post--far below my usual standard (which you would be hard-pressed to credit anyway). It's not canonical, if you will. I suppose I deserve one lazy YouTube-driven post a year, since other bloggers seem to offer one a week.

Nevertheless, Tomm, I'll happily take a thrashing from you on this one; for once, I probably deserve it.

By the way, I might as well warn you: I'm thinking of using "Härperwaffe" and "Härpergruppe" as synonyms for "Conservative Party". Do you think that would cross a line?

I guess I'm just inspired by all those CPC partisans who obsessively use Communist/Stalinist tropes when describing Red Tories, Liberals and social democrats (I'm not necessarily talking about you here). It's so tempting to retaliate in kind, but perhaps I should listen to my better angels. After all, it's not enough to be superior to one's antagonists; one must act on that superiority, no?

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

It was funny. I can see how you were tempted.

If you wish to use German naming conventions for the Conservative Party, it will probably strike some people (me) as below the belt, but so what? You aren't here to find my agreement anyway.

As Yogi Berra said:

"If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer."