Mathias Hasselmann

Premature bad taste becomes the norm

Seems premature bad taste becomes the norm in GNOME land.

Seems that video was shown at the desktop summit's GNOME: state of the union talk. Despite that the subtitles are entirely off, the German dialog behind is about the final days of WWII involving street fights and total destruction of Berlin.

That's nothing to make fun of. Is that really how GNOME wants to present itself?

Comments

Tom commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:05 p.m.

Yeah, showing that video in Berlin is probably as stupid as you can get. Quite offensive really. But I guess the uproar won't be as big as when Mark says "guys" a few times to often in a keynote.

John Stowers commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:07 p.m.

Quite a trend you have isolated there. I rather think an exponential fit would be more appropriate; at that rate GNOME developers will be devouring live babies on stage in about 5 months time.

You must be great fun at parties.

Sander commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.

I'd have to agree with John here.

Also, check this page on the origin of this parody video (of which there are hundreds):

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/downfal...

Sim commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:13 p.m.

As a german who likes satire I can say: There is nothing one can't make jokes about. Satire starts when it hurts. That hitler-video hurts. I like that video :)

I understand people can get offended about virgin- or hitler-jokes: It's sad if people don't understand the meaning of satire: Make fun of something to describe the problems in an intense way to gather some attention. Bad taste is only from each person's viewpoint.

How about going to Oslo next year?

laredo_de commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:13 p.m.

Thank you for posting this hilarious vid.

That scene from the movie "Downfall" is a well-known internet meme:
http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/downfal...

Tom commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:14 p.m.

@John Stowers: You would probably OK with making lame juvenile Breivik jokes when the summit is Oslo. Gnome must have a great community.

John Stowers commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:23 p.m.

@Tom

I offer no judgement on the video. Comedy is of course, all about context, cf. Louis CK.

I was objecting to the ridiculous notion that there is some GNOME trend here.

chris commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:24 p.m.

The downfall video is hilarious.

The emacs virgins joke was sexist and stupid.

I can't really see any connection between these two events.

Jeff Walden commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:31 p.m.

Surely the fact that it's a play on a well-known Internet meme changes the video's connotation just a bit, I would think. And the meme really is a complete tangent to anything in the actual clip, the actual translation of the words, and so on. One version of the meme on YouTube is described as "Hitler finds out Justin Bieber has more YouTube views than himself". It's difficult to interpret that as saying anything serious about Hitler, Germany, or WWII -- or in a certain sense even about Justin Bieber. The meme is pure farce. The GNOME version is just a mildly entertaining way to present a certain viewpoint (for discussion, I presume), not an insensitive commentary on Berlin or Germany or anyone at all.

Or were you not aware of the meme's existence? You say "Despite that the subtitles are entirely off" in a way that makes me think either you're not aware, or you're doing an excellent job trolling us. (Well played if you are. :-) )

Tom commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:37 p.m.

@chris:
There a lot of people who find sexist and stupid jokes hilarious. So that means nothing.
Not making jokes about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_o... (read at least the aftermath section) in Berlin should be covered by Gnomes code of conduct.

tm commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:38 p.m.

meh, that talk has always been sh1t. it's bit sad to see them coming back each year. if there is a trend then that might be that the taste of the humor of the nerds in audience leaves one willing to cry for their souls.

btw wat's up with your militant moderation algorithm? is sh1t really such a bad word!

Mo commented on August 7, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.

That video is great.

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 7, 2011 at 1 p.m.

Jeff: Sexists jokes are an even better known, meme. So you suggest sexists jokes are appropriate?

Tom commented on August 7, 2011 at 1:25 p.m.

I'm a great fan of the Downfall meme, and this video was great! Thanks for sharing.

I'm surprised that someone would find this offensive, maybe this would lighten things up: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xnNhz...> :-)

Tobias commented on August 7, 2011 at 1:26 p.m.

The problems with this video are:

1. badly made, a rush job, thinly veiled
2. shows how defensive Gnomers have become

g commented on August 7, 2011 at 1:31 p.m.

i left the summit after that video, not interested to be part of a community with such bad taste.

Peter commented on August 7, 2011 at 1:47 p.m.

Gnome has never been a community.

Andres G. Aragoneses commented on August 7, 2011 at 2:01 p.m.

IMHO the idea behind using that meme is fine, but the context is terribly wrong. They should have chosen that for a summit that is not in Germany, especially in Berlin. (As there are so many German Gnome contributors, maybe this meme is actually inappropiate in almost all kind of gnome events...)

Because many people there will be German. And if you're German the first thing you do is just listen to the voices ignoring the subtitles.

anon coward commented on August 7, 2011 at 2:06 p.m.

fsck! get a sense of humour!

John West commented on August 7, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.

Is that premature as in they should have waited until later in the conference? I don't understand what you mean...

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 7, 2011 at 2:41 p.m.

nazi "joke" with a german language movie about a historical, killing and traumatizing many 100.000 of people to a partly german audience only 1 km away from where that very scene happened.

john, i am sure you can figure out yourself what's wrong with that.

if not a few hints: consider showing a comparable movie in london, hiroshima, vietnam, new york, oslo, ...

actually i consider the entire meme quite off. similar of like for instance sexist "jokes". the battle of berlin really doesn't provide any ground for jokes.

Martin commented on August 7, 2011 at 2:51 p.m.

Maybe you don't know that: This video sequence is a scene from "Der Untergang" which is parodised about a hundred times in youtube. The joke is always the same. Hitler gets informed that everything is lost in the war in German, while the English subtitles suggest different things, e.g. the death of Michael Jackson etc. One can find this kind of jokes tasteless, of course. I do enjoy it. I probably would not show sth. like this in a conference, because I know, that many people do not share my taste. (Btw. I'm from Berlin.)

Martin commented on August 7, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.

One additional remark: I really can't imagine any issue about that jokes in general would not be appropriate. About the nazis, there are some good and funny films, such as "The Great Dictator" (1940) by Charlie Chaplin or "To Be or Not to Be" (1942) by Ernst Lubitsch. Funny films about racisms and sexisms exist, too. If you can't laugh about such things, I'm sorry.

Tom commented on August 7, 2011 at 4:32 p.m.

@John West: immature is probably the more correct term
@gnome peole: That meme might be well known around the world, but in Germany only hardcore geeks know it and if you understand German it isn't really all that funny when you see it for the first time. Showing something like that to an partly german audience in Berlin is really stupid, no way around that. An apology would be the right thing to do.

José commented on August 7, 2011 at 6:06 p.m.

I agree with John that associating the video with a trend in GNOME is wide off...I, as part of GNOME, if only a small part (one contributor at the end of the worl), don't endorse this video. First, I don't think that Fer or Xan mean to do harm by showing this video.

But the fact that many of us (who are not germans) might even like the video does not mean that it's Ok to show this joke in a public event, moreover if this event is in Berlin. Hitler and Nazis are a pretty delicate theme on Germany and sometimes outsiders don't understand this (just think that many of the grandparents of people around 30 were involved in some way of another in the war) I also think that there is a thin line you are crossing when doing an allegory between Hitler and Gnome 3 haters... as we should be preaching to get more contributors instead of alienating possible new one... Just see one of the last blog by Colin where he is trying to speak about "we" and how/can we do about being be perceived as an open community from the outside (I believe we are an open community but when you first approach it, this is not necessarily true)... So showing this video is not going in the right direction in my opinion, and I agree with Tom that, even If I think that no harm was meant, an apology would be best.

Berto commented on August 7, 2011 at 7:44 p.m.

I'm not German and I also can't say about London, Hiroshima, etc., but as a matter of fact in Spain jokes about the civil war and the Franco dictatorship are common on TV.

There's even a very popular program on Basque TV that makes fun of street violence and terrorism, that not only killed lots of people in the past, but that is still ONGOING:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PSIgD...

It's so successful that people from other parts of Spain watch it on YouTube.

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 7, 2011 at 9:09 p.m.

José: I am pretty sure neither Fer or Xan intended any harm.

Jeff Walden commented on August 7, 2011 at 9:16 p.m.

Mathias, I disagree that sexist jokes are at all a "meme". An unfortunate occurrence sometimes, yes. (How frequent they are, I can't say. I haven't gone to many conferences. But I also try to assume the best of people, so I'm not sure it's a trend so much as a bunch of isolated occurrences and isolated bad actors. Outside of certain "standard practices" like so-called "booth babes", at least. Although there, "trend" doesn't seem like quite the right word to me -- maybe "custom", although I get the impression it's in decline -- not that it's any good however you call it.) But ask most netizens, and I think they'd say they are not at all a meme of any sort. And for that reason, I'd say they're entirely inappropriate, where this movie is at the very least not "entirely inappropriate". Potentially ill-advised given the location, possibly, but not completely and obviously wrong.

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 8, 2011 at 12:36 a.m.

Jeff: My point isn't that sexist jokes are a meme. My point is, that saying "it's ok, because it's a meme" is of similar low intelligence as saying "it's ok to tell sexist jokes, everyone does".

Chris Cunningham commented on August 8, 2011 at 2:19 a.m.

@Jeff Walden :

> Potentially ill-advised given the location, possibly, but not completely and obviously wrong

It's a prominent presentation held as part of a (semi-)professional conference _held in Berlin_. How exactly could it be less appropriate?

@ John Stowers:

> I offer no judgement on the video. Comedy is of course, all about context, cf. Louis CK.

Given that the context is the entire reason for this being such a terribly poor decision, why did you choose to ignore it? In doing so, does that not make you part of the problem, and as such _does_ in fact indicate that there is a deeper problem in the community?

Jeff Walden commented on August 8, 2011 at 9:25 a.m.

Mathias, as you keep emphasizing, context matters. The context is that the presentation in question is part of a pattern which is not intended to be offensive but rather humorous, and is continuing the pattern and its humor. In that context it should not be taken as an offense.

I am not saying that the context of the presentation happening in Berlin is irrelevant. (I'd probably have said, "Eh, best not to chance it", myself, if asked.) But as context goes, the location of the summit seems fairly unimportant. In the vein of a bit older keynote, GNOME is people. It's code. It's collaboration and coordination. It's freedom. (I'm sure similar things can be said for KDE, this being a "desktop" summit and not completely a GNOME summit. But I identify much more strongly with GNOME than with KDE, so I hesitate to ascribe particular ideas to that community.) It's not Gran Canaria, except for a brief period of time. And it's not Berlin, except for a brief period of time. It seems to me the broader context much outweighs the very temporary context -- even for a presentation given within that temporary context.

Berto commented on August 8, 2011 at 10:04 a.m.

Mathias:

> My point is, that saying "it's ok, because it's a meme" is of similar low intelligence as saying "it's ok to tell sexist jokes, everyone does".

For what it's worth, even the director of the movie thinks the YouTube meme is funny.

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/...

"The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality," he says. "I think it's only fair if now it's taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like."

Jörgen commented on August 8, 2011 at 10:37 a.m.

The world would be a pretty boring place, if it would be ruled by "good taste" and "political correctness". That sad, I wouldn't even agree that this was bad taste. Sure, these what-Hitler-really-said videos aren't that much fun if you actually speak German, but you can always turn off the sound. I watched it without, and IMHO this was actually pretty funny and pretty spot-on satire.

Sad that I missed Fer and Xans talk, seems to have been great stuff --- as usual.

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 8, 2011 at 2:58 p.m.

I'm with Jörgen on this one. Humor and satire is precisely meant to contain a certain amount of "bad taste", it is precisely meant to ridicule an event, person or group.

It's purpose is not only to make the world a less boring place; satire is also used for and by a population to accept and cope with dramatic events, persons, etc.

You sure don't want to watch for example standup comedians like Theo Maassen en Hans Teeuwen if this already "offends" you. Although I really, really recommend going to their shows (Hans nowadays does English ones too). Satire has to contain a little bit of shock value. Eddy Murphy also added "bad taste" to his standup comedian shows. About gays, about black people, "bad taste" stereotypes about woman. Every comedy and comedian does this, and they should a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. not stop doing that.

I don't know but ever since this "oh noooo, don't talk about girls!! anti sexism"-nonsense that happened to GNOME I feel like GNOME is becoming like a bunch of anti-satire nazis.

I have since long decided to philosophically and completely disagree and ignore the PCPOS-people of GNOME. I disagree with them with ever bit of my brain that I have. They can go stand on their head and jump around.

It's Political Correct Piece Of Sh-t. Here's a songtext of a punkgroup from The Netherlands, with this I do agree:

You preach tolerance but hey, you act like a fascist
Never joke around, if I say 'nice chick' I'm a sexist

We sing about respect and unity in our scene
But what I see is p.c. purism, you know what I mean

Politically Correct Piece Of Sh-t
You kill fun in music, just get out of the pit!

Don't do that, just leave that,
we don't tolerate what you just said!

We should fight all -isms but were do we draw the line?
A funny joke about gays or white-trash? To me that's fine

Andres G. Aragoneses commented on August 8, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.

Philip, I agree with you wrt PCPOS (I even agree with RMS about the virgins-joke...).

But here we're not talking about the bad-taste of a joke, but the easy misinterpretation of a joke given the context. Remember: most german people would watch the video without even noticing the subtitles. Maybe the guys doing the talk should have reminded the people to read the subtitles even if they are German (maybe they even already did?).

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 8, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.

Andres: sure yeah, maybe the guys doing the talk should have done that reminder. That's a small error that they made, then, though. Not really worth the fanfare of blog articles and comparing with virgin jokes. Just tell them in person, they'll reply sorry, buy each other a beer and life goes on. Too late now.

Berto commented on August 8, 2011 at 4:15 p.m.

Andres: there were so many people laughing during the video that it was impossible for anyone to actually listen to the audio.

Also: this Hitler meme is so widespread that I don't think it needs any kind of introduction in a technical conference like this one. It was actually a quite predictable joke, I'd say.

E commented on August 8, 2011 at 9:08 p.m.

Remember, not laughing at Hitler jokes means you just saved 6 million lives!

Tobias commented on August 8, 2011 at 9:28 p.m.

Whichever German is pulling the "you mentioned the war" card here is just full of it.

As a German I cannot imagine that anybody is genuinely offended. Perhaps they are offended in their sense of humour because the video is badly made, or in their sense of justice because it’s mixed up. But not because, oh horrors, 66 years ago, not even two kilometers from here ... Poppycock, or as the Berliner says: Ete petete.

> I feel like GNOME is becoming like a bunch
> of anti-satire nazis.

No, they are already the interface Nazis, as we’ve known for years (look it up). So tell me again why is Hitler the /users/ and not the other way around? The whole thing is wrong.

Hitler should’ve made a rant about how much preferences confuse users, about his carefully crafted use case going to waste and so on and so forth. Sitting there, abandoned by all, in his cluttered bunker, after all his grandiose plans at world domination (10x10) failed. He evens rants about how Steiner (Jakub) failed him in the audio, ferchrissakes.

A golden opportunity gone to waste. But Gnomers aren’t able to self-criticize, even less have humour directed at themselves.

It’s a big circle-jerk, really.

Maybe I’ll make the actual version some day.

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 8, 2011 at 10:36 p.m.

Tobias: Word. Let me know when it's finished. Perhaps I'll forward it via my blog on planet-gnome ;-)

Martin commented on August 9, 2011 at 12:23 a.m.

Tobias, I as a born Berliner, would love to see the corrected version with Hitler as Gnome-3-Führer and his nazis telling him that a certain mister Torvalds did not like his idea.

Btw. many Germans know the Untergang-meme. In fact, it's especially funny, if you understand the German original dialogues and read at the same time the contradicting English subtitles.

Again, I would have not shown such a video at a conference, because I always have the impression my taste of humour is not necessarily compatible with most people.

Xan commented on August 9, 2011 at 12:25 a.m.

@Tobias: we made both versions (actually the one with Hitler as the lead GNOME 3 designer was the first we wrote), and we had lots of doubts about which one to use in the conference (or whether to use both). In the end we went with the one with Hitler as a user, but it could have gone either way. Sorry to break stereotypes with a dose of reality ;)

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 9, 2011 at 1:16 a.m.

Xan, Tobias: de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum. Just let Tobias make his version, and we'll see. :-)

Xan commented on August 9, 2011 at 1:24 a.m.

Philip: I didn't mean to say he was not entitled to not like the version that is on youtube. He surely is. I just wanted to clarify that his perception that we'd never make a version with Hitler as a GNOME 3 designer is wrong, since that was in fact the first one we wrote. He's of course free to write his own, I'm sure it will be funny.

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 9, 2011 at 1:51 a.m.

Voila

Tobias commented on August 9, 2011 at 1:55 a.m.

XAN: Oh sweet, really?

Well, then please go ahead post it. I’m totally curious. Also curious why you didn’t go for the first version then. Was it that you felt it would not have been as crowd-pleasing?

For me this whole back-and-forth in the last weeks has worn me out. Perhaps when frustration reaches a new level and I get to read more juicy draw-droppers form the likes of WJMC, AD, BN, EB et al.

And I suppose that will happen if I cannot pick and choose the fresh elements of Gnome3 I want to adopt and the elements I want to keep because I like them how they are now (viz gnome-panel and compiz) the next time I upgrade.

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 9, 2011 at 2:02 a.m.

God. Tobias, Relax. Xan decided to make the video the way it was made. It's satire. Comon guys. It has nothing to do with crowd-pleasing. The video is or would be funny either with Hitler being the user and Hitler being the GNOME developer. Both perspectives, in the context of satire, have merits (that's often the whole point of satire, to be pragmatic about both your own and! the other's point of view).

Chris Cunningham commented on August 9, 2011 at 3:10 a.m.

> I don't know but ever since this "oh noooo, don't talk about girls!! anti sexism"-nonsense that happened to GNOME I feel like GNOME is becoming like a bunch of anti-satire nazis.

Was this after mjg59's (typically) superb rebuttal to you "talking about girls"?[1] Of course it's not as if most of the community is of the opinion that Matthew Garrett is a) extremely funny and b) exceptionally good at understanding the problems the free software community has with offence caused by social ineptitude, is it?

[1] http://mjg59.livejournal.com/76440.html [2]
[2] really, no HTML in comments?

Jeff Walden commented on August 9, 2011 at 7:48 a.m.

Xan: ...

*Surely* you're not going to leave us hanging like that. Right? Right? Post the alternate version!

Xan commented on August 9, 2011 at 9:41 a.m.

Sorry, went to sleep! Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylfKI3...

Tom commented on August 9, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.

As one of the PCPOS, as I have been so lovingly called in these comments I would only like to bring one thing to your attention.
Sure I know Southpark humour is big all over the world, but it also has its place and people actively choose to consume it. Force feeding it at technical conf is not a very inclusive way of dealing with things.
The Gnome commenters here seem like a bunch of offensive jerks that are all too eager to go to Oslo and use Breivik for a few cheap laughs and one second of attention.
IMO there is something rotten in your community, guys.

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 9, 2011 at 11:22 a.m.

Chris Cunningham: Sorry but, although I respect Matthew for his technical contributions I think Matthew (typically) overreacts when he writes about social ineptitude within the free software community.

But then again ... I'm NOT part of the 'free software' community. It's more than clear that I distantiate from the extremism of the FSF and the free software community [1].

When Matthew in his own (typical) inept way linked me with the free software community, he did so knowingly wrong. This also means that I'm NOT part of the posse that Matthew tries to teach about his morality and ideology. Besides, a lot of free software people also don't feel part of Matthew's posse.

Just to make sure: indeed I don't think that Matthew is extremely funny and I absolutely don't think that he understands a lot about the problems the free software community has (for me, his condescending moral teaching is, although small compared to other extremism of the group, a part of the problem).

[1] http://linux.slashdot.org/story/09/12...

John Stowers commented on August 9, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.

The concern in the FOSS community is heartwarming.

http://i.imgur.com/kiMHY.png

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 9, 2011 at 11:37 a.m.

Apparently ... according to the purists do FOSS communities each have enough guilt to start their own religions :-) *unbelievable*

Good that most of the FOSS developers ignore the vast majority of purists. We'd (note the 'and open source') see our time being flooded with having to talk about their great ideology, and zero actual code would be written.

So lemme get back to my project now. I have some real work to do today.

Michael Natterer commented on August 9, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.

After reading all comments, I'm amazed that nobody has addressed the real problem here: After all these years, Hitler still owns what can and what can't be said? And that power is given to him not by some nazi government, but by some kabal of political correctness. That's offensive. It pisses me off. Stop that nonsense, please.

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 9, 2011 at 12:29 p.m.

Michael Natterer, yes. Finally somebody said it. I agree with this. IMO this is the very point of satire: to take that right away from this dramatic event, person, etc.

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 9, 2011 at 5:59 p.m.

Berto: Thank you for the quote, but you entirely put it out of context (The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality," he says. "I think it's only fair if now it's taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like."). That's fine, because you don't live in Germany.

Before that movie we indeed reached a stage where it became entirely impossible to discuss Nazi time. As soon as someone just started to say "But Hitler/the Nazis..." the person was hit by Godwin's law and branded as Neonazi by our awesome press. This indeed was a quite serious problem: You have no chance to understand how that Nazi regime worked, how it could grow that massive support, if you forget that Hitler and his gang where -- human --. For a very long, wasted time Hitler really was put equal with The Evil. Comparable to Christian church looks at the devil. If not works.

This very important movie was a game changer. It now is possible again, to consider the human aspect of Hitler, which gave very useful insight into that topic - I believe.

And yes, that foolish overplaying of the actors combined with the awesome pictures of that scene, make it very attractive for comedy.

Still doesn't change, that I believe calling someone who disagrees a Nazi, just falls back on yourself. Makes yourself appear stupid. Godwin law is just too omni present in the Internet.

Also still it doesn't change, that this video put bad associations into my mind, when hearing of the destruction of areas where I grew up. Just seen way too many photos of that final days in Berlin.
Also until a few years ago, this battle was way too omni present in Berlin: Almost all historic buildings, including Humboldt university, had thousands of bullet holes in their facade. We have quite some destructed churches serving as memorial in this city.

Maybe I should serve as your city guide, and show you some of the memorials. Guess we also should just cruise though the town that you get an idea how huge the areas of total destruction were.

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 9, 2011 at 6:02 p.m.

Michael I don't see how you conclude from this, that "Hitler still owns what can and what can't be said". It seems you just pulled another Godwin.

Berto commented on August 10, 2011 at 3:37 a.m.

Mathias: I understand what you mean. There was no World War or holocaust in Spain, but we have our share of suffering as well. Shortly before WWII we had a civil war, followed by 40 years of dictatorship and repression. There's also the Basque conflict, that has been there for decades and is still unresolved.

In both cases there was a lot of hatred and people betraying and killing their very neighbours.

In the case of the civil war everyone has relatives who died there and still today there are people trying to find where their bodies are buried.

In the Basque case -which as I said is still ongoing- you also have a significant part of the population and mainstream media saying that there are cities governed by terrorists.

And yet that doesn't prevent us from making jokes.

Inglourious Basterds was also as success in France and Germany, wasn't it?

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 10, 2011 at 11:14 a.m.

Berto: Don't think there many jokes about Nazis around, if any - but at least comedians regularly parody them. Inglourious Basterds, Downfall, ... and had their success. Even stupid stuff like Hogan's Heroes was popular.

But after all my problem isn't that much about using Nazis to parody users complaining about GNOME shell. A typical Godwin, fall back on the author. Well... ;-)

The problem really is with the very time frame that scene is showing. The scene very recognizably plays somewhere near the end of April 1945. I am sure you've read about the Battle of Berlin now. I try really hard to find a comparable event in history to give you a better understanding how deeply that event is burned into the brains, but as far as I know there is nothing comparable to a pointless battle of street fighting, bomb dropping, artillery fire for almost four weeks, involving something like 8 million people, costing at least 500.000 lives. Soldiers fighting for every single house. Total horror and madness. All because a single person is not able to raise the white flag.

That are the ghosts you are calling, by showing that very scene in Berlin.

It saddens me, how much WWII has been reduced to something abstract in the past. A few movie pictures, full of action, but after all this thing was affecting real people. Millions of real people. Well, maybe that helps you to see I might have a point. Hopefully.

On a different level, just noticed a third dimension of inadequacy of that movie: Few days after that scene that "stupid GNOME3 user" commits suicide. Brilliant.

Maybe that's the reason few (otherwise talented) artist refuse using the Nazi time for parody: Too many traps to put a foot in.

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 10, 2011 at 11:22 a.m.

Well, maybe Vietnam was similar pointless. So next time let's have GUADEC in Hanoi and have some fun with movies about that war. Preferable a scene with someone shooting countless Vietnamese farmers. Hope you won't consider that funny too.

Philip Van Hoof commented on August 10, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.

But the GNOME video did not show people getting randomly shot. So a scene with someone shooting countless Vietnamese farmers doesn't compare at all.

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 10, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.

Philip: It only doesn't compare for those ignoring history.

Mathias Hasselmann commented on August 10, 2011 at 12:28 p.m.

Phillip: Also to quote from the audio track: "Der Feind operiert jetzt am nördlichen Stadtrand zwischen Frohnau und Pankow, und im Osten ist der Feind bis zur Linie Lichtenberg-Mahlsdorf-Karlshorst gelangt." - http://goo.gl/U324V

Z commented on August 10, 2011 at 2:19 p.m.

If only people had laughed at Hitler and his idiotic ideas in the first place, WWII and the Holocaust would not have happened.

Michael Hasselmann commented on August 20, 2011 at 6:46 p.m.

@Z, but they did - no one took the Nazi threat seriously enough. Just check out Neville Chamberlain's tragic "I believe it is peace in our time".

Also, after digesting this sad wall of comments (the "I laughed at it, so it must be good" attitude expressed by some makes any deeper analysis impossible), the real question should have been: Does GNOME need such state of the union talks?

I get it that Xan and Fer are the unquestioned heroes of GNOME's SOTU (well, but why actually?) and are granted a jester's license (just imagine RMS had given this talk - still funny?). But what am I (as a typical attendee) supposed to take home from that? A few silly laughs? Or perhaps an analysis of the goals of GNOME, about what has been achieved and what needs to be done next?

Oh right, I forgot: critical thinking and self reflection is hard - let's go shopping!