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Type Has Something to Say

Fact One: People seem to have a lot more time on their hands than me.

Fact Two: Hitler is an excellent object of fun.

YouTube offers almost infinite testimony to those facts. One of the cult memes currently infesting the internet video portal is a series of alternative comedy subtitlings to Oliver Hirschbiegel’s 2004 drama Der Untergang (The Downfall) — no, I’d never heard of it either.

This one (Hitler Gets a Cheap Font CD), although employing strong language that we would not tolerate here at the Forward, upholds the premise of our current article, A Bubbling Font of Creativity: Oded Ezer and His Hebrew Designs that typography is something more than just pretty letters, but is an inherent part of the design process.

This one (Hitler Finally Declares War on Hitler Parodies) is just as potty-mouthed as its earlier counterpart but funnier maybe because it is consciously part of the meme, self-reflective and sensitive to the action of the original film. It bears more relation to our other current piece, Sex and the Shoah, Through Survivor and Sons insofar as it asks how we, in the 21st century, should relate to the Nazis.

Insofar as the delightfully named AlbertHallProds (a reference, no doubt, to the wartime song which proposes the Albert Hall as a location for Hitler’s testicles) answers that question, he tells us that guerrilla subtitling should be undertaken only when it will be very, very funny indeed. Otherwise video posters will pay the ultimate price.

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