Respectful Insolence

As far as silly Internet memes go, given my interest in World War II history, I have a weakness for Downfall parodies, which have grown up on YouTube like kudzu over the last couple of years. I also thought it was only a matter of time before someone did something like this and wondered why it hadn’t been done before:

(Note: In case you don’t know or remember who Poul Thorsen is, read this.)

I love it:

“Perhaps that 14 Studies website was too high brow.” Heh.

“Now I’ll have to pay for another stupid telephone survey.” Heh heh.

“But what’s the use? Orac will only make fun of me.” Heh heh heh.

It’s a bummer when the scientific evidence encircles you like the Red Army encircling Berlin in April 1945. My guess, though, is that the target of the humor in this particular Downfall parody will misinterpret this mocking parody as calling him a Nazi.

Comments

  1. #1 somewhereingreece
    March 27, 2010

    …I read the post before I saw the video but I still burst out laughing when I got to the “Orac will make fun of me” bit.

    Brilliant. Just brilliant.

  2. #2 blf
    March 27, 2010

    That one had me giggling throughout. Congratulations to whoever did it.

  3. #3 isles
    March 27, 2010

    Hee! This one really works, even if you don’t get all the in-jokes. Well done!

  4. #4 David N. Brown
    March 27, 2010

    Handley’s completely different from the Nazis: The Nazis had a consistent, openly stated ideology. When they told lies, they were useful and consistent lies. Finally, the Nazis were good at their jobs.
    Hence, Handley is worse than Hitler. Not more evil, less competent.

  5. #5 TimonT
    March 27, 2010

    AgeOfAutism Media Roundtable was also posted by the person who posted the Hitler video.

    I’ve often wanted to be a “fly-on-the wall” of various crank organizations. This certainly is such an opportunity.

  6. #6 Scott Cunningham
    March 27, 2010

    Fly on the wall indeed.

    That roundtable doesn’t reveal much. One speaker claiming the vaccine makers “only changed the packaging” as an opinion with no cited evidence – a mere wikipedia fallacy.

    Another speaker is reigned in when she suggests doctors have no ill intent and are just too busy to follow the issue.

    Other than that it’s basically a tepid conversation with mere misinformation.

    The real thing, yes.
    Nowhere near as entertaining as Mr. Hitler, though.

    Heck, the things they say publicly are way more exaggerated than that! They keep their calmer, non-libelous speech in private?

    I’m slightly disappointed.

  7. #7 Science Mom
    March 27, 2010

    Brilliant. I hope the producer of that will take credit.

    “And I don’t mean that foul-mouthed dummkopf in a spandex dirndl”. Awesome.

  8. #8 AnthonyK
    March 27, 2010

    Oh yes, and “Downfall” is indeed a wonderful film, whose relentless parodising does not diminish it one bit.
    Incidentally, oh war enthusiasts (historians that is,not warmongers), please read Anthony Beevors

  9. #9 DLC
    March 27, 2010

    Yes, it would be nice to see Herr Handley meet his Downfall

  10. #10 AnthonyK
    March 27, 2010

    Beevor’s books about Berlin (also called “the Downfall”) and Stalingrad – oh and the film about the East german secret police “The lives of Others” is great too.
    Sorry for the interruption – I’m in Vietnam. (Communist my arse!)

  11. #11 a-non
    March 28, 2010

    The over-under on when J.B. Handley rants about this on AoA and/or initiates some spurious lawsuit: three days.

  12. #12 Marc
    March 28, 2010

    Absolutely fucking brilliant! And they even mentioned Orac!

  13. #13 paranoid android
    March 28, 2010

    Awesome! Too bad I have to watch it with the sound off, because I understand German and the original dialogue is too distracting.

  14. #14 Dianne
    March 28, 2010

    Two thoughts on this video.

    1. Hitler using the Yiddish word “putz” (there’s a similar word in German but it means something completely different) is jarring.

    2. Jenny McCarthy in a spandex drindl! Yech! Pass the brain bleach.

  15. #15 Liz Ditz
    March 28, 2010

    Aaaaaand Tanner’s Dad wins the Holocaust stakes!

    WOW that was a little over the top… Does that mean you are opening up the Holocaust discussion into the Vaccine Autism Debate

  16. #16 Science Mom
    March 28, 2010

    Dear Tanner’s Dad, there is no vaccine-autism debate, which is probably why you are having such difficulty parsing the use of the ‘Downfall’ scene for parody.

  17. #17 Tanners Dad
    March 28, 2010

    I appreciate the lesson about “Godwin’s Law”. I just think that Parody or anything else along these lines diminishes your scientific skeptic logic. I was hoping for stronger competition. I have never understood why you all do not understand the motivation behind the safe vaccine movement. Unless we come to a solution for families dealing with profound Autism the vaccine program in place is in jeopardy. Nothing put forward to date will end this debate. If it is so clean cut & Dried why are you afraid to initiate a Vaccinated vs non-vaccinated study? I was thankful for your reporting on the research into recovery… I did pass it on to Jenny.

  18. #18 Daniel J. Andrews
    March 28, 2010

    If it is so clean cut & Dried why are you afraid to initiate a Vaccinated vs non-vaccinated study?

    Orac’s written about this a number of times. In part, it has to do with something called “ethics”. You need to do some searching and a bit of background reading. If you can’t find those posts on your own, just ask.
    –dan

  19. #19 Mom and MD
    March 28, 2010

    Dear Tanner’s Dad, vaccines ARE safe, they do not cause autism.

  20. #20 triskelethecat
    March 28, 2010

    @Tanner’s Dad: As was pointed out by Daniel Andrews, most physicians have these things called ETHICS, and agree to abide by certain international agreements regarding investigative studies.
    One is that you CANNOT withhold a KNOWN effective treatment/vaccine from group to compare to a group who receives the treatment. It is illegal, it is wrong, and goes against national and international ethical boards.

    So, you can’t have a double-blinded study on vaccines. Any retrospective studies would have to take into account so many confounding issues that they are not really effective (i.e reasons for not vaccinating, exposure to disease, diet, lifestyles…). AND, the ones that have been done, even GR’s phone survey, don’t show that vaccines cause autism. (Of course, since they don’t show what you want them to show, you ignore them.)

    Vaccines did NOT cause Tanner to have autism. Genetics did. Enough said.

  21. #21 Molly, NYC
    March 28, 2010

    . . . that foul-mouthed dumbkopf in a spandex drindl.

    You know how Jonah Goldberg is always associated with the phrase “doughy pantload,” and almost two decades after the death of Spy magazine, Donald Trump is still the
    “thick-fingered vulgarian”?

    I suspect something like that just happened to Jenny McCarthy.

  22. #22 Science Mom
    March 28, 2010

    I appreciate the lesson about “Godwin’s Law”. I just think that Parody or anything else along these lines diminishes your scientific skeptic logic.

    It’s a parody, not a scientific discussion. And when you openly admonish your masters over at AoA for that vile and disgusting slime-job on Dr.s Offit, Novella and Amy Wallace they tried to dress up as ‘parody’, then come back and talk to me.

    I have never understood why you all do not understand the motivation behind the safe vaccine movement.

    As if you were actually about safe vaccines, for if you were, you would recognise that vaccines are very safe, you wouldn’t keep insisting they cause autism in spite of overwhelming evidence against that, or you would be so kind as to come up with something valid to demonstrate how they could be safer.

    Unless we come to a solution for families dealing with profound Autism the vaccine program in place is in jeopardy. Nothing put forward to date will end this debate.

    So why should investigators continue to spin their wheels on a vaccine-autism causation when nothing has indicated that that is the case? Why should limited resources be spent when nothing will appease your little band of pro-disease advocates? The debate only lives on in your minds, it’s over as far as the scientific and medical communities are concerned. Deal with it.

    If it is so clean cut & Dried why are you afraid to initiate a Vaccinated vs non-vaccinated study?

    That really should be turned back onto you. Your group won’t accept any studies, any implausibility that was illuminated by the OAP. So the onus is upon you to fund and conduct a retrospective or even prospective vaccinated versus unvaccinated study. Your mate Eisenstein boasts thousands of unvaccinated children, that would be a good place to start for recruitment. Your groups have the money so what are you afraid of?

  23. #23 Vindaloo
    March 28, 2010

    Tanner’s Dad: “I just think that Parody or anything else along these lines diminishes your scientific skeptic logic.”

    Hmmmm, that sounds like TD is either gerrymandering a discussion for his convenience or he is off his rocker.

    Tanner’s Dad: “I was hoping for stronger competition.”

    Ok, off his rocker wins.

  24. “If it is so clean cut & Dried why are you afraid to initiate a Vaccinated vs non-vaccinated study?”

    That’s a good question for the Fuhrer and that foul-mouthed dumbkopf in a spandex dirndl. Why haven’t they really put their money where their mouths are? There’s no shortage of whining, speculation, conspiracy theory, and complaining about vaccines over at JB and Jenny McRescue’s internet houses of ‘autism epidemic’, but absolutely no valid contribution to vaccine safety science that I have ever seen.

    They probably have the financial means. Why don’t you ask them (and hold them to an answer) why they don’t sponsor actual vaccine safety research, Tanner’s Dad?

  25. #25 Jimbo Jones
    March 29, 2010

    Tanner’s Dad, #17:

    Unless we come to a solution for families dealing with profound Autism…

    Two issues with this passage:
    1) Why are you trying to block scientists from actually studying autism, rather than having to come back and stick the wooden stake in the vaccine-autism hypothesis’s heart again?
    2) This passage hints at your wish for autism to disappear, as I’ve read in other of your writings. Why do you hate your son? I ask as an autist, who others like you would prefer to be dead than autistic. Were I not an autist, I wouldn’t be me; were Tanner to be cured, he wouldn’t be Tanner any more. Perhaps you should start parenting the children you have and not the children you wanted.

    And a third with your ‘nym:
    3) Tanner’s dad you may be. However, that doesn’t make you an advocate in the issue of autism. Trying to subsume Tanner’s identity is likely to earn you only the scorn of actual autists. Considering it is us with the condition of autism and not you, convincing unaffected people that autism is horrible is a battle you’re going to lose to us. “Nobody listens to the parents” because the parents aren’t being run through the mill trying to fight for their right to exist like the victims are. Never mind the quote is pure bullshit anyway.

    TL;DR: Please take your fake advocacy and shove it. Autists are sick of you bastards trying to steal our voices.

  26. #26 Whirl
    March 29, 2010

    Brilliant. Love it. But I am curious, do anti-vaxers have the same ability to parody the scientists?

  27. #27 Breton
    March 29, 2010

    I notice AoA have posted an attempted rebut to this video. However, in true AoA style, they attempt to martyr themselves further by comparing themselves to Martin Luther. I found this rather amusing as my brief readings of Snr Luther showed him to be a profound anti-semite and that possibly some of his writings were used to further the Nazi cause.
    Any thoughts? Could this be an inadvertent example of Godwins law to the power of 2?

  28. #28 CupofJoe
    March 29, 2010

    Thank you for making my day, my month, my year! This is so hysterical and it hits on every anti-vaccine marketing effort spun by GRescue.
    “But Sir, The Journal of Neurotoxicology withdrew Wakefield’s study.” “Then we will make our own journal!”
    “But none of us are scientists…” “Then find someone who can play one on t.v.!”

    priceless, absolutely priceless!

  29. #29 Joseph
    March 29, 2010

    That’s top notch.

  30. #30 Kristen
    March 29, 2010

    I just loved this one. “It’s funny, ’cause it’s true.”

    @25
    Jimbo,

    Were I not an autist, I wouldn’t be me; were Tanner to be cured, he wouldn’t be Tanner any more. Perhaps you should start parenting the children you have and not the children you wanted… Considering it is us with the condition of autism and not you, convincing unaffected people that autism is horrible is a battle you’re going to lose to us.

    This is my biggest problem with the autism bio-med believers. I am always glad to hear someone with real knowledge of what it is like to be autistic.

    I have always thought that having autism really only bothered the caretakers, not those affected. My husband has Asperger’s and he couldn’t care less about what other people think, his brain just doesn’t work that way. My son also doesn’t seem to care, but I will only know how he really feels when he is older and can tell me. Regardless, I don’t want them to be different, not even a little (well maybe he could stop trying to explain quantum theory…it makes my brain hurt).

    Keep speaking, nobody should be able to “steal your voice”.

  31. #31 Liz Ditz
    March 29, 2010

    Ugh. More Age of Autism…well, exploiting sick children to distort reality. See the post entitled When You Call Us Nazis, Remember This Boy.

    It’s a photograph of a young man who is severely underweight. He’s alleged to have severe GI disease, which in turn was alleged to have caused his autism.

  32. #32 Prometheus
    March 29, 2010

    Tanner’s Dad whinges:

    “Unless we come to a solution for families dealing with profound Autism the vaccine program in place is in jeopardy. Nothing put forward to date will end this debate. If it is so clean cut & Dried [sic] why are you afraid to initiate a Vaccinated vs non-vaccinated study?”

    Wow. So much wrong in just three sentences.

    The “vaccine program”, as Tanner’s Dad calls it, is not in jeopardy, it is those people who – by choice or by necessity – aren’t vaccinated who are in jeopardy. When (not if) the next big outbreak of measles, pertussis (which is already endemic again in many states in the US), rubella, diphtheria, etc. happens and hundreds of children are killed and disabled, the “vaccine program” will still be there. The question is whether Jim, Jenny and Tanner’s Dad will still be there, willing to step forward and accept their portion of the blame.

    I doubt it.

    “Nothing put forward to date will end this debate.”

    We’ve already seen that, thank you very much. No amount of data will change the minds of those who have already decided that vaccines cause autism and have already stated that nothing will change their minds.

    So, about that “vaccinated vs unvaccinated” study….where’s our motivation? I’ve already expressed my willingness to spearhead a retrospective study of an autism-vaccination correlation, but nobody has stepped up to fund it. Studies don’t just happen you know.

    The lack of willingness to throw good money after bad – which Tanner’s Dad perceives as “fear” – is based largely on two undeniable facts:

    [1] The studies to date have shown no association between vaccines and autism.

    [2] The only people who want such a study have already gone on record stating that they will only believe the results if they show a connection between autism and vaccines.

    Seems pretty much like a waste of time to do the study.

    If those people who fervently believe that vaccines cause autism want to “do a study”, they are more than welcome to fund on themselves. Why should the NIH or NSF divert money away from potentially useful research into this sterile dead end?

    Tanner’s Dad – put your money where your mouth is. If you’re serious about funding a study, I’ll be happy to arrange the research staff to do it. Or you can get some of your own pet scientists to do it.

    Just do it – or shut up about it.

    Prometheus

  33. #33 Julia
    March 30, 2010

    When (not if) the next big outbreak of measles, pertussis (which is already endemic again in many states in the US), rubella, diphtheria, etc. happens and hundreds of children are killed and disabled, the “vaccine program” will still be there.

    Yes, endemic is bad enough. I’m not sure it’s reached “epidemic” proportions here yet, but it’s hit “scary”. Being fully vaccinated oneself is no guarantee of immunity, either, as one of my friends found out. (Having to take a child to the ER because she can’t breathe is scary, to say the least.)

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