Friday, March 19, 2010

This One's for Matthew...

So earlier this week I told all of you about a conversation I had with my friend Matthew, who lovingly compared my blog to the Third Reich with me as the dictator and you guys as my loyal followers ("I meant it in the best possible way!" he cried) and I posted this during my weekly haiku roundup, and many of you wrote haikus about him and his comments rather than the episode. Most entertaining haikus for me EVER. I was laughing all day long. Poor Matthew even came on and wrote some haikus in his own desperate defense (and making me think, "Wait, does that make him one of my minions?" Hm...)

Anyway, Sonshine Music has gone even further, and after much digging finally uncovered the truth to back up Matthew's claims. Sigh... we can no longer deny it; it's true. Behold, the evidence:

[A photo of Hitler standing before his army, with my face photoshopped onto the little man's body and various avatars of my readers photoshopped onto the heads of the followers, has been removed because I don't want it to offend. Please see comments for a further explanation of my stance, and why I don't actually believe in doing this, but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and would rather get back to talking about other things]

35 comments:

humanebean said...

Bwahahahahahaha!

*phew*

Oh, that is just so WRONG on SO many different levels. And yet ... so freakin' funny.

You know what they say ... at least Nikki makes the brains run on time...

Kudos, Sonshine!

Anonymous said...

Note to self - Never EVER make off the cuff comments to Nikki... look where it ends up!

That is actually rather disturbing!

Matthew here. And may I say, once and for all, I do not believe that Nikki is a dictator. Too small, for one thing!

Nikki Stafford said...

hb: It is wrong, isn't it? SO wrong... and yet so hilarious.

Matthew: Off the cuff... pfft.

Let me fill you guys in on how it went.

Matthew: "I have this theory about your blog and this is totally off the cuff and I haven't thought it through at all but" THESIS... POINT 1 to back it up... POINT 2... off-the-cuff remark about Germany

Me: "Uh... what? Wait... really? Germany in 1934? No, I don't... what? I don't see that, no."

Matthew: Point 3... backing evidence... going to write a paper on it

Me: "I... you're wrong, I... no. No, it's not like..."

Matthew: recent example from blog... more backing evidence...

Me: [speechless]

And we all know what a rare thing THAT is.

Of course, I saw him the next day after having thought it through and let him have it then. ;) It was actually a very fun and illuminating discussion! But he's wrong and I'm right (shock).

Now go photoshop my Finding Lost books into more scenes on Lost, NOW!!

asiancolossus said...

OMG Sonshine, that is absolutely brilliant!

Although Nikki you are much too smiley faced for your uniform there :)

Teebore said...

Hahaha! Brilliant Sonshine, absolutely Brilliant.

But, of course Nikki's not reallya dictator; she clearly doesn't have the mustache for it. ;)

humanebean said...

@Matthew - what are you gettin' at? Napoleon wasn't really a dictator? Nero was really 7-footer? Haile Selassie wore lifts? Where are you going with this?

Nikki Stafford said...

As for my short stature, I shall look to Lord Farquod as my guide. ;)

ashlie said...

Hey - that's me back there! This is awesome! I'm going to have to show this to a friend of mine...she just had an art piece rejected from a show because they called it Nazi propaganda...for some reason I've been linked to a lot of supposed Nazis lately...weird...

SonshineMusic said...

hahaha! Thanks everybody. I just got this image in my head and couldn't resist. Ah the fun to be had on Nik at Nite

Batcabbage said...

Sonshine, that is BRILLIANT!

Sorry, guys, I'm totally not smiling in that shot. My bad. Joan, on the other hand, has a LOVELY smile! Also, I was sure Evil Blam was there that day...

Marebabe said...

This is an obvious forgery. It is SOOO Photoshopped! ;)

Sonshine, way to make everyone's Friday morning! I really need to learn to do all this cool computery stuff. :)

Erin said...

OH MY GOD. I'm a Nazi now?!??! Look at my sly smirk. Am I planning to overthrow our sweet dictator? Looks like I might be...

So wrong on so many different levels (you've put it perfectly Humanebean), and yet I cannot help but laugh!

Blam said...

This is now Exhibit A in "Things I Cannot Ever Show to My Jewish Grandparents".

Erin said...

I've been thinking... Maybe we could be Nikki's Army (a la Dumbledore's Army) instead of the Third Reich? Those kids were tireless in their support of their headmaster (and he wasn't at all evil)

Just a thought!

Nikki Stafford said...

Erin: Love it!! I just changed my follower's button on the lefthand side to reflect that. Haha!!

Joan Crawford said...
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Joan Crawford said...
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Erin said...

Hey, wait a minute. Sonshine! Where did you find the time to do this?! You're supposed to be knitting me a baby owl... Get back to work!

The Question Mark said...

HAHAHAHAHA
That's awesome!

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that everyone is ok with this picture. It is completely inappropriate. Yes it is a joke but there is no place to make light of something as horrible as the Nazis and the Holocaust.

I used to read this blog and I no longer will after this.

JS said...

I don't even know what to say. This is beyond hilariously silly. And yet, oddly appropriate.

Jenn said...

Joan, you look astonishingly terrifying in this photo!

Then again—I suppose in a way we all look a little scary in this photo!

Nikki, look at you! The happiest dictator in the whole wide world! With an…uh…eclectic group of followers:)

Tooooo funny, Sonshine! Between this gem, and your Batcabbage vs. Humanebean vid, I am in awe of your talent:)

Nikki Stafford said...

Just once I wish someone would use their real name to tell me I suck.

Anonymous: There was no bad intention behind this. I wasn't setting out to belittle the Holocaust or what happened... and many of us have commented on the inappropriate nature of the photo and that we're aware it's meant to be uncomfortable. I'd think if we were all talking about it and making funny swastika shirts to wear to a group meet, then you could accuse us of being insensitive, but this is mocking the group mentality that actually leads to things like the Holocaust.

Funny that I've posted videos of Hiter bemoaning his iPad, the end of Watchmen, and the Lost S5 finale and you didn't have a problem with any of those.

But I'm sorry if we offended. It certainly wasn't the intent at all.

humanebean said...

Dear Anonymous,

I hereby depart from my usual attitude of peace, love and understanding. That being said, bite me. It is not acceptable to willingly take offense to something that is clearly not intended to give offense just to serve an agenda. The unfortunate fact that your sense of humor was apparently surgically removed does not give you liberty and license to berate others for having theirs intact. I speak for myself when I say that me, myself and I will not miss you as you depart. Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

And Nik, while I'm at it, you suck. ; ]

Jenn said...

@Humanebean, Nikki

I thought of responding to Anonymous, but I'm glad I didn't. Humanebean said it sooooo much better.

But Humanebean, you better be careful. You've told Furher Nikki, that she…gasp!…sucks! And she knows your name! From the look of the photo, she doesn't look like the kind of leader that takes things like that lightly! (Actually from the smile in the photo, she looks like she appreciates a good joke, so actually you should be okay.)

Ha!

Ambivalentman said...

Wow! I must have been so drunk playing "F-You, Phil" that I forgot all about doing this cast photo. Oh well, it sure looked like we were all having a good time!

Funny stuff, Sonshine! Thanks for making me a part of the Nikki's Army.

SonshineMusic said...

Thanks to Nikki and Humanebean. You guys basically covered what I would have wanted to say. Definitely did not mean to offend or upset anybody and I'm glad that the majority of you took it that way.

Anyhoo...

Also Anonymous said...

Wow, I love Lost too, but this picture just put on blast the top 11 fans without lives beyond Lost. Sorry, but it's true. Oh I know you're a defensive bunch and will just keep on praising Nikki (and yes, Nikki, you do a great job), further supporting the point that you have minions to defend your honor. Anyway, just had to say that.

Jenn said...

Funny, isn't it? Also Anonymous chose to tell not just Nikki, but the rest of us, that we suck without leaving his or her name.

Huh.

redeem147 said...

I can see someone being uncomfortable with a photoshopped Nazi photo. I was.

But I'm not going anywhere.

humanebean said...

Not to belabor the point - but - I did want to cop to responding rather viscerally to narrow criticism of Sonshine's sense of humor, those who found it funny and by extension Nikki and her blog. Certainly I can understand one finding the notion of pointed humor on sensitive topics uncomfortable and awkward. Yet this is the source of what is most profound and therapeutic about laughter and a sense of humor in general.

We as a species and a society are surrounded by issues of the utmost importance and gravity. How do we evaluate them fully? How do we parse the various and sometimes conflicting responses they arouse in us? We contemplate, we rage, we cry, we laugh. Often, as we all know, we laugh that we may not cry - for this is a rational response to a sometimes irrational world.

The specter of death, genocide, militarism and human suffering is not funny. What can be funny is the ways in which we deal with these overwhelming issues. Humor, so the saying goes, is "the juxtaposition of incongruities". A casual review of history and literature gives us innumerable examples of the ways in which humanity struggles to cope with serious issues in irreverent ways.

Ultimately, intent matters. To caustically make fun of suffering for mere sport demeans and denigrates those who have suffered. However, simply to find humor in incongruous situations - or seek it in even the most challenging material is not proof of insensitivity or evil intent. We each may have strong emotional responses to images and opinions on controversial topics. However, we also have the ability to think through these responses, evaluate intentions and outcomes and thereby reach a more considered conclusion.

What we learn is that the fullest evaluation of worth is short-changed by an overly hasty assessment of intent and meaning. Certainly I did that yesterday in responding so quickly to what I felt were narrow-minded and intentionally shallow comments that seemed to arise from an overly developed sense of political correctness and unwillingness to allow others to explore the boundaries of their own sense of humor.

Anonymous (and Also Anonymous) have a right to their opinions - as do Sonshine, Nikki and myself or others who may choose to read and respond to content such as this. We must also be willing to allow each other to appreciate - or reject - such content as we see fit. We can, however, expect that context be sought and reflected upon before judgment is passed - and sentence delivered.

Personally, I thought Sonshine's attempt at humor was sharp and funny. I thought it was funny when Charlie Chaplin parodied Hitler in The Great Dictator. I thought it was funny when Warner Brothers cartoons did the same. I thought it was funny when Mel Brooks penned "Springtime For Hitler" in The Producers. Heck, I thought Hogan's Heroes was funny - although I beg forgiveness on the grounds that callow youth and ignorance were my main inspirations at the time.

I'm sure I've said quite enough on this issue and I yield the floor to contrasting viewpoints. Lastly, I apologize for failing to practice what I preach. Tolerance, in the land of the free, means giving space to even ill-considered and objectionable commentary. "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire. Or was that Lenny Bruce?

Nikki Stafford said...

Wow, for the first time EVER Blogger told me my comment was too long. I didn't even know there WAS a limit!! Is that new?? I've seen CRAZY long posts on here before... anyway. I shall split it into two:

As usual around here one discussion can often go in a very different direction. If we were sitting around in a group discussing this, I'd actually be asking more questions of everyone (and encouraging the naysayers to respond). That's why I wish those who oppose my post would just tell me their name. "Hi, I'm Nikki Stafford and I just wanted to say that I really took offense to what you posted there." See? that wasn't so hard. It's not like people are going to actually physically hurt you... it's online, for god's sakes! And maybe, if you come on here using a real name, the immense respect we'll have for showing that kind of courage will translate into changing minds.

The moment you hide behind an Anonymous mask, you're showing that you can't really stand behind what you're saying. And I actually, honestly, truly WANT you to stand behind that. Because it's an important stance to take.

As I said earlier, the intent was not to make fun of the Holocaust. Someone chose to use this post as a sounding board and took offense to something that wasn't intended to be that way.

Here's an example of intent: the other day my 5-year-old daughter was going on a picnic with some of our best friends. The wife, husband, and their 4 boys happen to be black. Sitting in the back of the car, my daughter exclaimed, "I'm SO excited!! I'm part of a brown family!" They told me this story afterwards, barely breathing they were laughing so hard. They adore her and think her insights and comments about things are bang-on, and while I'll admit there was a moment of mortification that ran through me when they told me she'd said that, A) she didn't intend anything beyond the comment that their skin was a different colour (i.e. she doesn't think that different-coloured skin is WRONG, it was just like saying, 'Hey look, that leaf is red instead of green!') and B) they took absolutely no offense to it. If they HAD, they would have been attributing meaning to it that wasn't there, and it would have spoken more about a society where there ARE people making racist statements and intending harm, and reacting to that. But my daughter was innocent.

Similarly, to suggest that I'm somehow downplaying the Holocaust or the impact Hitler had by posting that picture is unfair, and undermines everything I've ever said on here. Have I ever come off as a racist? Or intolerant of anyone? Have I ever made such a ludicrous statement that Hitler is REALLY hilarious and wasn't it funny what he did to those Jews? Because if I did, I'd hope that you would have left this blog long ago along with everyone else, with the blog being taken down and me strung up and beaten.

That was not the intent behind it, and if you'd read any of the previous posts about it leading up to it you would have seen how we were mocking and belittling such a mentality that would lead to such a tiny, horrible person having an army like that. To put my face on the body of Hitler is an example of irony, of subverting the original photo, of diminishing the power of Hitler by showing how ridiculous he was. He was dangerous, powerful, and a murderer. You deface his picture and mock his stance and you show how crazy it was.

Nikki Stafford said...

cont'd:

One of my all-time favourite movies is the South Park film. In that movie, Saddam Hussein is pictured as a ridiculous little man with a helium-laced voice who is having a homosexual affair with Satan. They were joking about Hussein while he was STILL murdering, raping, pillaging, and creating mass genocide. It wasn't a case of "too soon"; they'd distanced this caricature from the reality of the person, and mocked him, defacing the powerful man and turning him into a little whiny baby. The only offensive thing about it was that they made him gay, as if that was somehow something that would make him worse than what he is. That is the part that should have gotten people riled.

After 9/11, Jon Stewart was on the Daily Show, crying and unable to actually do the broadcast, saying that there's nothing to joke about anymore. And yet only a few weeks later, he was joking about all of the pundits talking about the death of irony, something he himself had suggested.

He'd realized, just like humanebean says, that sometimes the only way our minds can deal with something so monumentally horrific, so unbelievably sinister, is to mock it. To pretend it's something else. To deface it. To pretend it's a joke.

The Holocaust is not a joke. It never will be. There will never be a time where enough time has passed to joke about anything that happened there. But the photo wasn't a comment on the Holocaust, it was about the horrible man who committed it... despite what you'd like me to do, I don't really feel like honouring his memory by keeping him intact.

I actually hesitated before posting the picture, but I did it anyway. Maybe that was the wrong thing to do, and again I apologize if people were offended. Truly. But if you have something to say, post it under your real name, and tell us how you feel, back up your position, and only then can we actually open up a real discussion about the topic, one that could change minds.

For now, I'm taking it down. We've all seen it now, and I can remove it... but part of me worries that it's simply suggesting there WAS bad intent behind it. It's like apologizing for something that I didn't do, that Sonshine didn't do. And that is absolutely not the case. If I take it down, it will simply be because the vast majority of our population is easily offended and unwilling to consider the subtleties of irony and meaning and intent. And for that, I will take it down.

Well... and for Blam's Jewish grandparents.

SonshineMusic said...

This has actually been eating at me ever since I saw the comment last night. I truly and deeply did not intend for this to offend anyone. I was not making light of the Holocaust or the horrendous and horrific things that occurred during that shameful period of history.

I apologize if it did bother anybody, and I actually was thinking I wished I had put the Dharma symbol on the armband as perhaps that might have lightened it up enough. I never meant to do anything but give Nikki a chuckle and I thank you for all of the deep and interesting comments that have made me think - as always happens on this blog. So I'm glad some of you got a laugh out of it and I'm sorry to anybody who thought it was inappropriate. It was not my intent and I don't want this one thing to cause anybody to leave this wonderful and insightful blog.

Marebabe said...

@humanebean and Nikki: I’ve just read your lengthy comments here, and they should be published. In PRINT! If I had run across your very thoughtful essays in a magazine, I would’ve A) pointed them out to people I know, and B) torn the pages out of the magazine and saved them. Way to get your point across!

I just have one thing to add, and it goes back to your statement, Mr. Bean, that “we laugh that we may NOT cry.” When I read that, I instantly flashed back to the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster in 1986, the mission that included teacher Christa McAuliffe which blew up right after lift-off. At that time, my husband was working as an NC Programmer for an aircraft manufacturer. Immediately after the explosion, jokes started FLYING around the office where he worked. The debris was literally still falling into the Atlantic, and people were making like stand-up comics. When I heard about it, I felt conflicted, because the disaster was so horrific and terrible, but the jokes were so funny. On that day, I realized that tasteless jokes often serve as a coping mechanism.