- Hitler was a snappy dresser.
- Pol Pot’s name is so easy to spell.
- Yes, 700 young men died in the USS Arizona, but remember that shot from Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor?
- Stalin’s hair was gorgeous.
- Many people in the burn ward forge lasting friendships with their fellow patients.
- The Diary of Anne Frank has earned its publisher millions of dollars over the years, spurring job creation.
- The Reverend Jim Jones had a very diverse congregation.
- Mobuto Sese Seko could wear the fuck out of a leopard-skin pillbox hat; most people–hell, most dictators–couldn’t pull that off.
- Mao was prolific.
And we close once again with the Big H:
- No Hitler, no Bill Graham: if the Nazis don’t exist, than Wulf Grajonca stays in Berlin and grows up to manage Can.
This is a fun game, New York Times. Can we not play it anymore?
Before I get to my point: Google is racist against Laotians, although the concept of the law wouldn’t really translate, as Southeast Asia has a much different relationship with Hitler than we do.
Here is my point: Godwin’s law must have its outer boundaries; at some point, a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis is well-deserved and appropriate. For the most part, the law works: I have called people Nazis before, and every single time, I was being a glib and stupid asshole. 99% of Hitler-comparisons are facile and belie a pugnacious ignorance of history in the maker. Worldwide, there have been few actual Hitlers since the actual Hitler: Pol Pot, Stalin, whichever Hutu general was in charge in Rwanda. That’s about it. Mao killed tens of millions, but most of them were accidents; and, you know: it’s China, so you can lose a lot of people without even making a dent in the population.
So: when does the comparison become valid? TotD now presents the “Can I Call This Guy Hitler?” checklist:
- Is there a(n intentional) physical resemblance, such as when Michael Jordan grew an unfortunate and inexplicable Hitler mustache, or the lead singer from the Arcade Fire’s haircut? I’m not talking about some poor fellow who just has the same face as Hitler; leave that guy alone; he’s sick of hearing it. (Although if you do look like Hitler, you should shave your head or grow your beard real long.) If you make styling choices that are Hitleresque, then everyone may call you Hitler.
- Is the person an actual Nazi? In the 90’s, they were called Neo-Nazis, and now I believe they have turned into Hyper-Nazis, but you get the picture. Hardcore shows in the basement and swastikas in the living room, that sort of thing. These people may not be called Hitler; here’s why: Hitler–for all his faults–got shit done, whereas today’s Nazis are cash-strapped losers. Hitler was a grand threat, not a minor one. This one’s a no.
- What if a candidate for President–not a sixth-party weirdo; someone from one of the two major parties–cast a specific minority group (or two) as The Enemy, and The Problem? What if he said he was going to round people up? What if he insinuated that certain people could never be true Americans because of their blood? It’s a toss-up, I guess: this is a clearly fictional example. No one who said these kind of things could ever win the nomination. It could never happen here.
Webster’s dictionary defines the word speech as “A prepared talk that should not begin with the words ‘Webster’s dictionary defines,'” and that’s good advice, even though it breaks a rather fundamental rule of set theory.
If the name of a fern plant were spelled “furn,” people wouldn’t take it seriously.
Due to the fluctuating membership of the band, if you were to turn the history of the Grateful Dead into a math equation, “Grateful Dead” would be a variable.
Smurfette. Rockette. Cigarette. They were originally made and marketed to women.
If you wrote out all of the cardinal numbers–one, two, three, etc.–then the first time “B” would appear is when teens approached you to see if you will buy them beers.
The movement known as counter-clockwise arose after clockwise began cracking down on political opponents and siphoning money out of the economy. Up and down are staying out of it.
Garcia had a teddy bear made in his image, but Billy did not. Though, if you’ve seen the movie Child’s Play, you know how it would’ve turned out.
As with so many other lists he tops, Hitler is the worst person to not have an opinion on. You’re not allowed to be on the fence on the Hitler question. Most people think Hitler was very bad. A few people think he was very good, and that is a sub-optimal opinion, but it’s still better than a “no comment.”
They should try doing plays in 3D.