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Is Chinese remix ad the new Hitler meme?


The latest stand-out ad making the campaign circles is "Chinese Professor," set in "Beijing, China 2030 AD." It's a talker for a number of reasons: The ads imply both political parties assume the U.S.'s demise is nigh; the dark lighting and deep intonation of the teacher evoke a sci-fi feeling, marking the Chinese as our enemy; and it's a slick, high-quality production.

And, unless you speak Mandarin, it's entirely a subtitle-driven commercial. Which means people can easily manipulate the commercial to say whatever they want. So far, Ben Smith over at Politico has already found a new remix by Campus Progress that says the opposite of the original.

The original:

The update:

Will this be the new Hitler remix meme? The trend started back in 2008 when YouTubers started overlaying new subtitles to a scene in the little-known but critically acclaimed movie "The Downfall," about Hitler's final days. The scene has been remixed hundreds of times, even after the film's production company asked YouTube to start taking down the reinterpretations. It just may be "the meme that will never die," as TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld called it. Even the film's director is a fan of them.

Here's one clip of the Hitler meme decrying the end of the Hitler meme. So meta:

If you're feeling particularly subtitle-happy today, take a whack at the Mandarin remix. What should the teacher tell his students?

By Melissa Bell  | October 22, 2010; 8:42 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Not only are do these have an absurd humor to them, they also work for me on a metaphorical level.

The world is a very confusing place for just about everyone. The complexities of important issues are so difficult to comprehend that they might as well be in a foreign language. So, naturally, we look to pundits and the like to interpret these issues and present them in ways we can understand.

These videos shows how easy it is to abuse such interpretations by manipulating the message. That is, they make me think of the danger inherent in getting information only through subtitles.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 22, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It will not be the next Hitler parody video, despite the fervent wishes of the Left, for very simple reasons.

The Hitler video has an anguished passion that morphs into comedy when applied to mundane issues. The relatively flat delivery of the Chinese professor reduces its comedic (and hence, viral) potential. Secondly, the background features specific images that would be incongruent with most topics. The Hitler video has no such specificity.

The leftist penchant for "subversion" will find little traction here.

Posted by: ALee3 | October 22, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

no mention of the massive military expenditures. Healthcare is pea nuts compared to two wars and Star Wars and Aircraft Carrier fleets and "Homeland Security" apparatus. War with Iran and China after what we learned in Iraq and Afghanistan is not even being debated. The rest of the world hates us after 8 years of war and torture... capitalism already collapsed. But blame it on the black guy and deliver us back to the oligarchs.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld1 | October 23, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

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