We were trying to make a point last week about Alabama Governor Bob Riley and his wacky anti-gambling task force--and darned if we didn't stumble into a Web phenomenon. It all was quite by accident.
A reader sent us a brief video that supposedly featured behind-the-scenes footage of a recent task force meeting. But the video actually was from a movie about the last day's of Adolph Hitler's regime in Germany. The actors were speaking in German, but English subtitles helped bring the scene into modern-day Alabama.
In the original, several henchmen are giving Hitler some news he obviously does not want to hear, sending The Fuhrer into a fury. In the Alabama version, Riley is the Hitler character, and he becomes enraged that he can't figure out a way to stamp out the evil of electronic bingo.
It was cleverly done and elicited numerous cackles from Mrs. Schnauzer and me. We don't know who produced the Alabama video, but we assume they are gambling supporters who were getting a kick out of poking fun at Riley.
Turns out they are not the only folks who have used the Hitler clip to comic effect. Some brief research taught us that the Alabama clip is only one of about 100 such parodies on the Web, all spawned by a highly acclaimed 2004 German-Austrian film called Downfall (Der Undergang). It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Perhaps the best known of the parodies is called "Hillary's Downfall," where Hitler (as Hillary Clinton) can't believe that Barack Obama actually is overtaking her/him in the Democratic primaries:
You can almost keep up with current events by watching Hitler parodies. Here he discovers that the new iPad isn't all it's cracked up to be:
And here, Hitler learns that Jay Leno is bumping Conan O'Brien off The Tonight Show. Hitler's a big Conan O'Brien fan? Who knew?
We're pleased that we could play a small role in helping keep the Hitler parodies alive and well. In fact, Mrs. Schnauzer and I have talked about staging our own re-enactment. It would have Hitler learning that he's going to have to defend a bogus lawsuit in Shelby County, Alabama, only to have corrupt judges screw him at every turn--and then when Hitler decides to write a blog about what he's experienced, he gets cheated out of his job!
Now that would really tick Hitler off. We're working on the dialogue right now. We're trying to figure out what roles our cats, Baxter and Chloe, can play.
While we're on the subject of viral videos, let's revisit one of the classics--the "Dancing Cadet" from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Enjoy.
Riley is a crook.
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