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.
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?
| October 22, 2010; 8:42 AM ET
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