The Great Dictator is a comedy film directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. First released in October 1940, it was Chaplin’s first true talking picture, and more importantly was the only major film of its period to bitterly satirize Nazism and Adolf Hitler. In the film Chaplin plays two characters who look strikingly similar- a jewish barber and a dictator who looks like Adolf Hitler. Near the end of the film, after a series of far-flung mishaps, the dictator gets replaced by his look-alike, the barber, and is taken to the capital where he is asked to give a speech. The text below (via) is the transcription of the video above. I am posting it because I feel that it’s as relevant today as it was 69 years ago.
Hope… I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor – that’s not my business – I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that.
We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful.
But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls – has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say “Do not despair”.
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish…
Soldiers – don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you – who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.
Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate – only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers – don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.
In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written ” the kingdom of God is within man ” – not one man, nor a group of men – but in all men – in you, the people.
You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let’s use that power – let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.
Soldiers – in the name of democracy, let us all unite!”
For a cartographic bonus, here is another clip from the film where Charlie Chaplin, playing the role of Adenoid Hynkel (Adolf Hitler), dances with a globe balloon. If you look closely, you can see how the world was mapped in 1939 when the movie was filmed.
Signs of the Time: The Healthcare Hipster [OBAMA BRING BACK ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT]
|| 8/13/2009 || 12:04 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||
Photograph from a first-time Flickr user named “granitepics”
The other day I was a asked by a friend who writes for a local DC blog called ReadySetDC to define the word “hipster.” There was recently light-hearted article in the Washington Post that used the term “quasi-hipster,” and few other blogs debated the merits of the story.
Before submitting my overtly wordy & somewhat absurd quote for his story, I sent him the link to Douglass Haddow’s Adbuster’s article that I had transcribed last summer. Basically I was implying that I’ve already offered my two cents on the topic, but I’ll still participate because I’m curious as to how other people will define the word in the entry. Visually, however….
Earlier today a friend posted this link on Facebook and after scrolling down to bottom, past the crazy signs, and the dude wearing a gun, I found the photo above and chuckled.
Oh how timely, there was a hipster…. Sporting tacky dark red sunglasses, a batman t-shirt, flip-flops, and an absurd sign: OBAMA BRING BACK ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.
I immediately sent the photo to my high school friend Scott Thomas Towler because he used to work on the television show Arrested Development. I probably wouldn’t have even written this post had it not been for his work on the show—-
There has been such vitriol displayed at these dubiously titled “town hall” meetings by useful idiots, so seeing a hipster engaging in some type of contemporary culture jamming gave me some hope. The photograph shows that there is a societal buffer between for and against; evidence that people are not all left or right or wrong.
But then again, healthcare is a human right— something akin an inalienable right. Other countries know this very very well but there is far too much money to be made off of pain & suffering to transform health insurance corporations into non-profit entities. As such, it will continue to be a contentious issue that will be played out in the media for weeks to come.
Maybe we can begin to use a new term, like useful morons or useful morans, to describe the people being severely duped? Useful idiots needs to be modernized to describe the ignorance present in the American political landscape. Lucky for us, many of these useful morans will probably get distracted by a new television show come September. But unlike the show mentioned in sign the hipster is holding, the future health & well-being of Americans cannot be canceled.
Photograph from Flickr user ccc photography