Found on Refinery29.com and published on March 30, many are up in arms about Roseanne’s TV comeback as she has had controversial opinions in the past. She is an avid Trump supporter and often says very controversial things on her show. People are most shocked by her use of the Holocaust as a photo of her dressed as Hitler resurfaced from 2009. In the photo, she is holding a tray of burnt gingerbread cookies and wearing Nazi paraphernalia. Surprisingly, this photo appeared in a Jewish humor magazine titled “Heeb” and Roseanne identifies as Jewish herself.
Although this photo was meant to be funny, I find it very disturbing and inappropriate. When I first saw the photo, I only saw the picture of her dressed as Hitler. But seeing her hold the tray of cookies was just awful. After learning so much about the Holocaust and seeing images of burned bodies, this image greatly trivializes an event that was so painful and destructive towards a culture. Like the article states, she is not the first and only actor to portray Hitler. But due to her controversial behavior, many see this as a way of normalizing Trump’s rhetoric. To an extent, this makes sense. Trump promotes the idea of hatred of people who are different and Roseanne’s actions certainly reveal hate. But at the same time, the comparison of Holocaust rhetoric to Trump’s rhetoric is highly problematic. While this image is very upsetting to view, it’s ineffective to compare Trump’s beliefs and those who perpetuate them to the Holocaust.
Link to article: https://www.refinery29.com/2018/03/195178/roseanne-barr-dressed-up-as-hitler-explained
I have been having a hard time finding more things to write about in my blog so I ended up just typing “Holocaust” in twitter and seeing if anything came up and this was something that really caught my eye. I’m not sure it would be considered pop culture, but I know that I couldn’t find it anywhere else on the internet other than on twitter and there were a lot of likes on it as you can see. It was not trending, but I think that this is something that is important to share.
Someone calling out Trump and American government on not being patriotic is actually hilarious because the whole idea behind Trump being President is that he will bring America back to what it once was, back to being patriotic basically. The fact that it is a Holocaust Survivor makes it even better because someone who underwent some of the worst atrocities is calling out our president for taking in refugees and not upholding America’s core values. It is honestly just a huge slap in the face to America overall. He literally went so far as to say that the government was “trashing American values” which ought to be a huge problem for our government since that is exactly what they have been claiming to uphold since they have gotten into office.
I think this is really powerful because before World War II we know that America was not willing to let in Jews despite the fact that we knew they were being persecuted. Now, we have to ask ourselves, why aren’t we letting in these refugees? Are we making the same mistakes?
If you love memes and those who make them, perhaps you know of “daquan,” the popular Instagram memer who sports 10.7 million followers and the all too coveted blue check mark. Just an hour ago he posted a video captioned “Quite possibly the greatest story teller of Our generation [sic],” wherein a man describes a break in that occurred in his home. Long story short, the man says he hid like Anne Frank.
First of all, the video is hilarious, which makes sense because as it turns out it’s fake. The original was posted by YouTuber “The_Real_Spark” last April and currently has 1.3 million views. Perhaps this video has surfaced on social media before but I had never seen it until just now. I imagine the video and the YouTuber who created it will gain much more buzz within the days and weeks to come, as anything Daquan posts does–the video on his page already has 800,000 views and counting.
Link to daquan’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daquan/?hl=en
Link to the original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8vaVbT_lX0
A post on reddit last Sunday (3.18.18) showcasing a meme about Nazi logic appeared on the front page. The picture was posted to the r/beholdthemasterrace subreddit, which normally hosts posts criticizing the alt-right and racists. The picture makes the humorous argument that the Nazis are historically known for thinking that Jews were the inferior race while also having a hand in the dealings of everything involved in the world. Here is the post and the top comment:
The comment makes another contradiction jokes about Nazis/the alt-right being Holocaust deniers while also believing Hitler was a hero and saved the world from the Jews. Last week, I post a similar blog post here about another reddit post making Holocaust jokes. In that post, the jokes were puns about Auschwitz, and some comments made jokes that used victims, such as Anne Frank or referencing charred bones. This meme is obviously different than the previous jokes, since here we have humor that critiques Nazis and, essentially, sympathizes with the Jewish victims. I don’t believe very many people could be offended by this picture, except maybe Nazis/alt-right, which is the intent. This seems to be a good example of the answer to the questions of what jokes pertaining to the Holocaust are acceptable, if any.
First of all, if you watch Family Guy and care about spoilers, stop reading.
In the latest episode of Family Guy entitled “Send in Stewie Please,” which aired on March 11, Stewie visits a child psychologist after pushing a kid at his school. Early in the session, he opens up about his loneliness and his need to shield his “real self” from others. In Family Guy fashion, the psychologist, Dr. Pritchfield, tells an unnecessary and unreasonably long story about his past, and we watch via cutaway. Apparently, Pritchfield is really old, as he was a young boy during the Blitz in London. So the story goes, he was the only one in his family to survive, and was subsequently shuffled around to different extended family members and later to orphanages, all of which refused to take him because they “didn’t like little boys from London.” Finally, one did, but only after he created a fake persona and claimed to be from somewhere else. Stewie interrupts the story, saying “I don’t feel like waiting to see how it links up to my thing,” which I actually chuckled at, as cutaways don’t get interrupted in the show often. But then Pritchfield says something totally out of the blue:”The point of the story is I know what it’s like to feel alone and to have to pretend that you’re something that you’re not. Oh, and also, how my first kiss was with a Nazi,” (after which he smiles reminiscently).
The Blitz was not enough backstory for the joke to land in any sensical way, and even giving Family Guy a pass on its non-sensical approach to its signature cutaways isn’t enough to make the joke funny, which leads me to wonder who would actually find this funny? Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the show, was criticized for making his now infamous Jews-run-Hollywood joke at the Oscars in 2013, and Family Guy itself has consistently been criticized for anti-Semitism broadly, and insensitive Holocaust humor specifically, leading many to question whether or not MacFarlane is actually anti-Semitic. In saying all of this, should MacFarlane and the show just lay off completely? Further, are all Holocaust jokes insensitive? Can a Holocaust joke ever be funny? To add a bit more nuance, should non-Jews specifically leave the Holocaust alone in their comedy? I don’t believe these questions are mine to answer, but I imagine that even for those whose place it is to, the answers vary.
The Diary of Anne Frank comes up in “Adult Sh1t”–a podcast by Buzzfeeders Kate Peterman and Kelsey Darragh. In one segment, Kate and Kelsey read their favorite tweets from the hashtag of the week, this past week being #stup1dhistory. The hashtag itself doesn’t mean the history has to be “stupid,” but random more than anything else. A few folks tweeted about Anne Frank’s Diary–the fact that her father edited out the parts about her period, masturbation, and menstruation, and the fact that this version is kept out of schools. Kate mentions further Anne’s budding bisexuality, although uncertainly, saying, “I also thought that she talked about liking girls….I don’t know don’t quote me.” It’s interesting how unaware most people are about these things now. Being “in the know” really lets you see how much you didn’t know just a short time ago.
Didn’t mean to rhyme.
The Adult Sh1t podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud for listeners, and at https://www.youtube.com/asis
Will and Grace is a popular show from the 90’s I believe that just started having a reunion season. They oftentimes make political jokes on the show which is why I watch and pride themselves on a live studio audience. In this particular episode that I was watching on Hulu Karen made a comment about Anne Frank. She had put a bunch of kids from an acting class in an office to avoid dealing with them and told them they were doing the play “Anne Frank” where they had to stay in the attic and be silent, then went on later to compare it to the play Annie saying they both had dogs and got adopted by a rich, bald man which is obviously not true. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the reference just because it kind of down played the iconicness of Anne Frank, but I think that may have been part of the outlandish humor. I did laugh at the remark because it was pretty outlandish for Karen to say that just because obviously it makes no sense.
I also found it surprising to be in this show just because the main character is Jewish and consistently mentions that she is Jewish somewhat as a means to excuse some of her quirks, but maybe that is the reason that they thought this reference was okay. I am not sure if the author of this episode or anything is Jewish though.
I highly recommend this show, especially if you lean more towards the left politically. It can be really hilarious.
A post on reddit today (3/12/18) about an old Nazi party rally building being turned in Nuremberg being turned into a Burger King appeared on the front page. The post was posted on the r/evilbuildings subreddit and currently has 19.2k up votes and over 700 comments. I saw the post 2 hours after the original post when it had 2k up votes.
The post has garnished a ton of Holocaust jokes in the comments. Here are some:
Seeing this post has reminded about a few discussions we’ve had about if Holocausts jokes are ever acceptable, and if so, what kind. The joke in the third picture specifically reminds me of the jokes said in the tv special we watched about Holocaust themed cereals. Are these just harmless jokes pointing fun at an old building? Or, does this show the ignorance and insensitivity of a group of people online towards the Holocaust?
The jokes themselves don’t seem to be geared towards those effected by the Holocaust. The main themes of the comments are burgers and names of Nazis, and mostly leave Jews and victims a way from the conversation. This is except for the comment in, again, the third picture which mentions “charbroiled beyond recognition”, as well as the comment in the last picture that mentions Anne Frank (although not in regards to her suffering–just a name drop). It seems that most of these comments are simply puns about history. The point, for me at least, where the comments turn from humor to offense is when they directly bring in the suffering of Jews and others into context. The jokes like “You’re Goering to love it!” and “a Fuhrer with cheese” don’t seem entirely offensive to me, although I could I understand if another person felt they were. Holocaust jokes are most likely unavoidable, especially since we’ve all seen how relevant the Holocaust still is in today’s pop culture, but at what point do we find it okay and at what point is it absolutely unexceptable? And, importantly, who gets to decide?
Kansas Bowling, the 21 year old proclaimed “feminist slasher film” director of The B.C Butcher, posted the picture below on her personal instagram on February 26th.
The photo is tagged at the Charles Mansion, a party house in LA occupied by Bowling and her friends.
Here are some of the comments on the photo:
One follow claims that Kansas IS Anne Frank, leaving no other context for their reasoning. The comment is liked twice, by Kansas and her sister, Parker. Of course, it’s hard to identify the reasoning behind Kanas’ post and her logic towards Anne Frank, especially when her caption to the post is only “New Decor” and her comments following reveal little, besides the one comment by thepartridgeinthepeartree who writes that she could be referring to a lyric for the Grateful Dead. Kansas replied to the comment, saying the user should visit her at the Charles Mansion, leading us to believe the reply is either correct or at least sparked interest in Kansas.
The post and its comments show 1. the relevance of Anne Frank in our culture still, and 2. the ways pop culture uses Holocaust memory in its own forms, and in this case, the negative ways. I think most people will agree that this post isn’t in memory of Anne and her struggles, but rather a sort of odd joke to the clean and respectable nature of Anne Frank that we have, paired next to a young girl in a crop top at a party house in LA. To be honest, its hard to look at this post and come up with something to say other than, “why?”
I messaged Kansas and asked her her reasoning for the post and her knowledge about Anne Frank, but she never replied.
The reference is at around 2:02 of the video. http://www.vulture.com/2018/02/crazy-ex-girlfriend-nothing-is-anyones-fault-music-video.html
Although Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has already been mentioned, the latest season finale referenced Hitler and I felt the need to post about it. As soon as I watched it and heard the reference I was so excited to post about it. The song is satirical in the sense that it says that nothing is anyone’s fault and that you can get away with anything because of psychological drama. So this reference to Hitler is that it wasn’t actually his fault because his “brother died and that made him really sad.” Obviously this is all incredibly outlandish and wrong because they talk about serial killers as well. It is just kind of a big joke of a show.
I wasn’t completely sure how to feel about it because I thought it may have taken it too far, although I did laugh. I think they were just being outlandish and trying to make the song as ridiculous as possible by acting like nothing is anyone’s fault and that people no longer take responsibility for their actions. The song itself was really funny, but sometimes it’s not someone’s fault, at least in my opinion. Hitler = totally his fault. Obviously. So the joke works in that sense. I mean I think the show is really funny so I can’t really say a bad thing about it, but I do know that this song was something that made me feel a little uneasy and I’m not sure if it was because of the Hitler reference or the point they are trying to make. Somehow, though, I managed to laugh throughout the entire song anyway.