Please distribute this URL as you see fit. By Ted Baldwin
Amusing, isn't it?
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Hitler: A Broadway Denouement
Everything is show-biz..." It is

Hottest broadway show of 2001, 2002, 2003 (probably) ?
The stage adaptation of Mel Brook's 1967 film "The Producers".
(Five star film, 12 Tony Musical.)
     First saw The Producers in college, about 1972 or so. Can't remember the exact date, but I remember side splitting laughs and the most amazing stage number - "Springtime for Hitler". I investigated the music - even going so far as to talk with a professor about the possible origins of the marching cadence in the piece (Bolero, most likely). Dr. Demento revved up the song by playing it on his radio show, and I taped it and listened over and over.

The power of satire to devastate the self-nobility of egomaniacal tyrants like Hitler intrigued me, and still does. Our ability to encapsulate and diminish through truthful observation and commentary is the chief reason that totalitarian and dictatorial regimes clamp down on freedom of speech.

Some play it safe and immediately kill anyone who dares remark, others try to "manage" critical expression - balancing between too strict and too lenient. I think the hope is if they let a little steam blow off they will avoid the Krakatoan cataclysms sure to follow such intolerance.

By the same token, if there were not a lot of truth to Brook's interpretation of Hitler, I, I, I, I, I, did I mention Wonderful Me?, the piece would have only a distant intellectual resonance without the rousing gut-level intuition that tells you they pegged it.

For contrast, in politics today there are plenty of things George Bush, Jr. could be criticized for (fairly or not), but stupidity really is not one of them. Jokes harping on that theme miss the mark. No fighter pilot is a rank dumbass, period. Instead of capitalizing on the truth to uncover more truth, they try to manufacture a scenario and get everyone to buy in on it. It is puerile propaganda.

Brooks, however, takes the insanity of Hitler and packages it in what it used to captivate Germany - Show-Biz. He diminishes Uncle Adolph's 11 year reign by wrapping it in the Liza Minelli-like trappings of a starry ingenue, blasts it out like Jolson, (As some reviewers have put it) and uses any of a number of stage devices and theatrical cliches .

Leni Riefenstahl was the film choreographer for part of Hitler's media dance, and built up the Nazi mystique in the minds of People worldwide. "Triumph of the Will" was a rousing piece of pro-Hitler puffery that still stands today as one of the greatest propoganda fims ever made.

No dictator in history ever manipulated the media more cleverly than Hitler. His tenure as the despot of Germany was always about the Show.

Watch the Swastika, burning bright. Brown Shirts marching in the streets, book burnings, parades, banners, art, radio, opera - and if television had been around then, more than one channel would have been All-Hitler All-The-Time...

All boiled down to a fantastic mesmerization of a public eager to believe in someone - The Leader.

The essence of the lisping, limp wristed Hitler of Brooks' imagination is simply insulting to the self image of Hitler - were he alive today he would be furious that his enemies portrayed him as unmanly. (He was not unmanly, just a hideously evil coward with some rather plain tastes.) That embodiment is not the key to the power of the play, however. It is the self aggrandizement, the stage-managed presence, the heartfelt insouciance, the virtuoso plan for world conquest - all in the name of the German People that skewers Hitler, his memory, his evil deeds.

Mel Brooks writes Hitler's song:

"Heil Myself!
Heil to Me!
I'm the kraut
who's out
to change our history!
Heil Myself!
Raise your hand!
There's no greater
in the land.
Everything I do I do for you,
If you're looking for a war here's World War Two!
Heil Myself
Raise your beer,
every hotsy totsy Nazi stand and cheer!

and more, with Brooks' genius celebrating timeless truth;

It ain't no mystery,
If it's politics or history
The thing you got to know is -
Everything is show biz"

In real life, it was an act no one could follow, and we brought down the curtain.
Politically Correct Hatred
     Don't know about you, but looks like to me there is a group that is a-OK to hate - in fact there is no slur too vile, no excoriation too severe, no disenfranchisement too sweeping to keep these "people" at bay. (This is war, folks!). Here are some of their characteristics - see if you don't hate them too...

1a. They are destroying our air and
1b. Polluting the water.
2. Want to starve children.
3. Against medicine for old people.
4. Against world peace.
5. Against integration.
6. Anti- gay.
7. Anti-black.
8. Threaten civil liberties.
9. Seek to destroy all social progress.
10. Money is their real God.
11. Try to force "Christian" God on the rest of us.
12. Try to keep everyone poor.
13. Want to keep all wealth to themselves.
14. Start wars.
15. Don't care about other people at all.
16. Don't want to let young people do their thing (be irresponsible).
17. Don't want to let young people run things (be responsible).
18. Hate the environment.
19. Think Ketchup is a vegetable.
20. Can't spel.
21. Racist.
22. War mongers.
23. Imperialists.
24. Fuddy-duddies.
25. Want to turn back the clock.
26. Evil.
27. These are people, about whom, if you wanted to, and if they were appointed to a high enough position on the Supreme Court, you could on national television openly hope for them to die from cardiovascular disease and, because they are who they are, no one would lift a finger in their defense, even if they were black.
28. Against "patient bill of rights".
29. Against standardized health care for everyone because they want to keep prices artificially high.
30. Trying to destroy pension plans for seniors.
31. Against fairness.
32. Want people to die from AIDS.
33. Against high minimum wage to keep people enslaved.
34. Big hypocrites.
35. Try to rule the US based on philosophies of old dead white men from Europe.
36. They unilaterally despise Lenin, Marx, Trotsky, Stalin and other progressives.

What to do about them?
Recommended practices against these people: Laugh at their ideas, shun them, ignore them, ridicule their social positions, get them fired, take their money through taxation to give it to deserving sub-classes (everyone knows they did not earn most of it anyway), lie about them, expose their private lives, keep them from getting a job, try to infect them with flu germs as a joke even though flu is a deadly illness, hold them to a different moral standard, incite mobs against them, shout down their public appearances, criticize their education, publish their private letters and communications to embarrass them, harass their loved ones, ban and burn their books, piss on their religious artifacts and crap on the Madonna, otherwise destroy their cherished icons, point out personal things about them for public ridicule, invalidate their moral beliefs, destroy their religious institutions, remove them from radio, get them off TV, picket, organize against them politically, boycott their businesses, sabotage public appearances, disinform, flaunt their laws, rebel against their authority, steal elections from them, encourage their children to resent them, punish them for using "incorrect" language, destroy their history, revise their past, lie to them , sue them, dumb down their education, act condescendingly to them, and steal from them in general.

(All of this is OK, because they are immoral as those in-the-know define it.)

Of course, the people I am talking about are Republicans, and the aforementioned pretty much happened during the last ten years. See any similarities with peoples of Eastern Europe circa 1930?

Yes, politically sanctioned hate is a good thing.
"Heil Myself!
Catch "To Be, Or Not To Be", Jack Benny, Carole Lombard 1942.

OOOOPS!! I mis-remembered the propaganda piece as "Olympiad". It was pointed out to me by my friend Charles in California as "Triumph". Thanks!

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