Monday, February 25, 2013

#53, Facebook Exchange: Discussing Nazis

This page on Facebook ("Monkeemaniaheads") sounds as if it is being written by a young British teenager.  Many kudos to the activity on this account, especially the amount of postings of videos from the entire history of the group.

I am including the below exchange as an example of how people free associate, and how references to various time periods (in something like a history class) can conjure up an episode.  Personally, that instinct acted as an infinite loop for me.  As evidenced in this entire blog.  (And frankly, I am driven to demystify every unknown reference in my everyday life as well!)

I didn't know how to begin a discussion about "Nazis" here, but I dove right in anyway. I couldn't let the association go unremarked.

MMH: At the moment in history we are doing about the Nazi's. And randomly I thought of The Monkees Race Again episode. I told Ligia a little about the episode she thought that it sounded like a good episode. Then today in history I said wouldn't it be cool if we could watch the Monkee episode that I told you about yesterday, in class that would be lots of fun. Ligia said yeah why not ask miss. (I have two history teachers, but only Miss Jones let's us watch clips or videos the most out of the two) So I asked Miss Jones if we could watch it. She said that she would look into it and at least she has heard of the Monkees. :) So we could be lucky, we might get the chance to watch The Monkees Race Again in class. I'm really looking forward to it. It might be next week, on tuesday when we have, our next lesson. Fingers crossed. ♥ :D

Me:What made you think of that episode while studying Nazis? Was it the bad German accents and Baron Von Klutz?

MMH:It just came to me, because they Baron Von Klutz dress up as one so, it just came to me./By the way Tamara I have nothing agents Germans. It just came to me.

Me:I didn't mean anything negative. I actually think there are a lot of interesting references to history and "stock characters" or caricatures within the series. I think it is great that you wanted to bring the show into your classroom!// The Baron is wearing a German WW1 helmet, btw. Another good source for something spoofing the idea of Nazis is "The Producers", written by Mel Brooks

MMH:Well I'm glad that you think that Tamara, because I was beginning to regret asking about it.

Me: Not at all. I just think it's important when mentioning Nazis/Germans to understand how to link one thought to another. It's interesting to see how in a lot of American culture, Nazis became "evil yet bumbling" stock characters. How they get portrayed in 20th century entertainment is a whole project itself.

MMH: Okay I understand where just coming from there. Yet I really did start to feel that way. And still do a little.

Other person:I heard this somewhere, if you go to Germany and bring up the Nazis or Hitler they feel really bad about what happened and don't really wanna speak about it// *now a days

MMH:Yes I could imagine that.

Other person: I am 1/4 German and feel guilty

MMH: I see I'm glad that no is taking this the wrong way. It just came to my head at the time. And just really would like it if more people liked them, well even heard of them. Most of them haven't. Sometimes I get asked by others what am I listening to, and if its the Monkees at that time. Say it then they are like the Arctic Monkeys then I'm like no. Just The Monkees.

Me:There were no movies or tv shows involving any Nazi or even German characters for 10-15 years after WW2. People were afraid to discuss it at all. One reason I love the Monkees, is that they reflect their times, the late 1960's. They can only MAKE FUN of them. Now a days, we get to have a more open discussion and can think about how hard it is to have that legacy as a human.

MMH: Yeah I guess your right Tamara.
Thanks to you and Rebecca to help me see the other side of things.

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