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You knew it was inevitable…the Wakefield Downfall parody

Clearly, once the allegations of Andrew Wakefield’s fraud, conflicts of interest, and business plans to profit off of his demonization of the MMR came to light, it was only a matter of time before this arrived:

NOTE: Apparently the creator of this parody has removed it. I’ve sent an e-mail asking to reconsider.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

35 replies on “You knew it was inevitable…the Wakefield Downfall parody”

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.

This is calling Andrew Wakefield a nazi.

Most of these parodies don’t put names on Hitler. We just assume hitler is complaining about the matter at hand. This video is different. It’s clearly meant to be Wakefield, talking about the accusations of fraud.

This is a comparisement to Hitler. It’s quite funny and I have no love for Wakefield’s fake killer research, but in my view, this is not appropriate. You don’t compare people to Hitler, unless they are mass murderers. And although Wakefield might have measles-related deaths on his conscience, those are not comparable to the horrors of the holocaust.

I think the maker of this video has crossed the line here and I think Orac is crossing that same line, by posting it on his blog.

The ONLY government that would appease the vaccine nazis would be an authoritarian style government that censors the dissenting views and sees “informing” stupid citizens as treason.

When one sees oneself as intellectually superior than the rest of one’s fellow citizens then every step must be taken to not let the “stupid it burns” citizens make informed decisions.

Obviously the average citizen is so stupid to be duped by Jenny McCarthy that obviously they must be lectured to in blog format and decisions must be made for them. It only makes sense that a totalitarian style government expedite the process of the invevitable takeover of the scienceblobs.

For all of the non-vaccinators/threats to govn’t and society do any of the scienceblobbers disagree. Shouldn’t they be forced by government consequence to comply or else be subject to government actions?

What other government could do that besides a nazi style government?

Thank you world scientists for the video. I hope that not all scientist have the same worldviews as the scienceblobbers.

You don’t compare people to Hitler, unless they are mass murderers.

bullshit.

try this one:

You don’t compare people to einstein, unless they are patent clerks.

Hitler was a person. Who did things, said things, and wrote things.

period.

how those things are judged says nothing about whether one can compare.

That said, even the idea Wakefield is being compared to Hitler because of character casting in a comedic video is…

insane.

You want a reaching comparison to Hitler?

How’s this:

hundreds of people have died as a result of reduced vaccination rates (CDC data). Since the reduced vaccination rates can be directly correlated with the increase in antivaxxer fear mongering, and that THAT pretty much STARTED with Wakefield, he’s a mass murderer via negligent homicide, at the least.

since Hitler was responsible for mass murders, that means since Wakefield also is, HE IS HITLER!!!

yeah.

as much of a reach as THAT is, it’s far LESS of a reach than saying this video is wrong because it paints Wakefield as Hitler.

Though, now that I think of it, it’s more like Wakefield could be compared to Martin Luther…

As the maker of the parody video, I must say that in the comedic tradition of Hitler mashups my intention was merely to use it as a vehicle for an “alternative” view on the current vaccine study fraud revelations.

However, in view of the fact that this might be taken in the wrong way, I think it best that I remove it. My sincerest apologies if I have caused anyone offence.

I’m hoping that someone will have saved that video by the time the video maker (the above poster) removed it. If anyone sees it please provide a link. I feel as if I’ve missed out on something.

In the mean time you like to reconsider who Bob Dylan was referring to in the following song:

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion’
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.

However, in view of the fact that this might be taken in the wrong way, I think it best that I remove it. My sincerest apologies if I have caused anyone offence.

Taking down the video was a mistake. These videos have become an Internet meme, with Hitler in so many ridiculous situations to comedic effect used as a means of making fun of various people who usually richly deserve it. I was being sarcastic when I said that it wouldn’t be long before someone accused you of comparing Wakefield to Hitler or calling him a Nazi because that’s what antivaxers do. Your parody fell into the tradition of these:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6262709/Hitler-Downfall-parodies-25-worth-watching.html

Yep, if Orac doesn’t see an argument ad nazism and there is no sign of his old enemy the Hitler Zombie then you’re probably safe.

Well, I make no claims to infallibility on the topic of spotting egregious Nazi comparisons, but I didn’t see anything offensive in this particular video. I do have a weakness for Downfall parodies, though.

I watched it last night. I thought it was extremely well-done, by someone with a detailed and accurate grasp of the facts of the case. I’d like to ask the author to reconsider.

The standard form of the Downfall parody is to have (a comedy version of) Hitler take the losing side to a position and then get furious when this is pointed out by his subordinates (for example, here he is as Chris Mooney’s publisher
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfoQfL8vJXQ )

I can understand that suggesting Hitler in the clip is actually a specific person (such as Wakefield) can provide fuel to those prone to taking offense although, lets face it, they would accuse you of playing the Nazi card even if you had done the parody in the usual way.

Ichthyic

“You don’t compare people to einstein, unless they are patent clerks.”

Einstein was not primarily defined by his work as a patent clerc, but by his scientific work. If you would claim ‘someone is just like Einstein’ most people would think you where implying someone is smart, has made a big discovery, or has strange hair.

“Hitler was a person. Who did things, said things, and wrote things.”

Yes, he was a person. Who orchestrated the murder of six million people, said that all jews are evil and wrote ‘Mein Kampf’. Saying he was ‘just a person’ is good way to play down the role of this monster.

“That said, even the idea Wakefield is being compared to Hitler because of character casting in a comedic video is…
insane.”

Why is it insane? It’s a man dressed like hitler that is ‘supposed to be Wakefield’.

“hundreds of people have died as a result of reduced vaccination rates (CDC data). Since the reduced vaccination rates can be directly correlated with the increase in antivaxxer fear mongering, and that THAT pretty much STARTED with Wakefield, he’s a mass murderer via negligent homicide, at the least. since Hitler was responsible for mass murders, that means since Wakefield also is, HE IS HITLER!!!”

Way to play down the holocaust Ichthyic. You’re arguing that what Hitler did, was in no way worse then not vaccinating. I sincerely dislike the anti-vaccine crowd, but they are not Nazi’s.

As for the Untergang-fragment itself. I mostly like the use of it. It generally is funny. But it always is Hitler in the picture: this time it was clearly Wakefield. That makes a lot of difference.

I think that taking down this fragment was the right thing to do.

(note: I’m not arguing that the maker of the video had no right to make it: after all freedom of speech applies)

“Obviously the average citizen is so stupid to be duped by Jenny McCarthy…”

Yes auggie, you are that stupid. Of course, your fundamental lack of honesty, and your disdain for people of other colors, contribute to make the horrid person you are.

Way to play down the holocaust Ichthyic.

seriously??

oh, do please take your logical fallacy and shove it right up your ass, sideways.

Ge, I think you missed some context – the specific clip here is from the film *Downfall* and has become an internet meme over the past few years. You can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downfall_(film)#Parodies

As dee09 (the creator of the video) says in comment 10, they were not attempted to call Wakefield Hitler or draw equivalencies between anti-vaccination and Nazism, just making use of an existing meme.

oh, do please take your logical fallacy and shove it right up your ass, sideways.

I’d add, that the reason I think you so entirely dense, is that my post was deliberately showing your initial case to BE a strawman, and instead of recognizing that was the intention, you only made it as far as recognizing that I indeed had created, just like you, a strawman!

seriously, I’m amazed you are actually able to use a computer.

…or does someone do that for you?

Yes, Ichthycic, someone else is using my computer. How very smart of you to notice.

You litteraly said: “as much of a reach as THAT is, it’s far LESS of a reach than saying this video is wrong because it paints Wakefield as Hitler.” Since I can make quite a reasonable case for why I consider this video a comparisament of Wakefield to Hitler, I concluded that you apparantly saw at least some merit in you’re own comparisment.

Finally: if you cannot have a civilised discussion and have to resort to ad hominem attacks and insults I think I won’t waste anymore time on you’re responses.

as much of a reach as THAT

Which means, obviously IT IS A STRAWMAN.

Since I can make quite a reasonable case for why I consider this video a comparisament of Wakefield to Hitler, but you didn’t. what you made was a strawman.

I was producing one that was at least plausible, for comparison.

yours wasn’t even that!

you apparently also don’t have a clue what an ad hominem is either.

which is not unexpected*

*(which is an actual example of an ad hominem, btw)

Your concern is noted, as is your obtuseness; run along and play now.

@Natalie,

Thanks… but I do know the meme. In most cases I find it quite funny. This case is, (in my view) different because it seems so clear that the Hitler character isn’t just ‘the vaccine-movement-guy’, but clearly ‘Wakefield’. I might be oversensitive to these things, but I think that’s going a bit far. But it’s up to debate of course.

It might be a good thing if the author put it back on the net, so people can decide for themselves what they think of it.

@26 TGAP dad. We agree on Wakefield, then 🙂

his case is, (in my view) different

except that it isn’t, which is why it’s a meme to begin with.

man, you really ARE dense.

shockingly so.

I might be oversensitive to these things

or, more likely, just plain wrong.

*shrug*

Anyway….did anyone have the foresight to save that video because it seems it’s creator has unfortunately allowed himself to be persuaded to take it down and cannot be persuaded to put it up again even though he must have had some really good reasons to post it in the first place.
Life is so complicated sometimes.

*sigh* Last night I linked to the response I gave last time someone jumped to inappropriate offense at a Downfall parody. Obviously in retrospect I should have done more than just link it; I make amends by quoting the relevant portion below:

I have yet to see even one Downfall parody where the intent is to suggest that the targets of the parody subscribe to Nazi ideology . . . Only the most simplistic (or deliberately obtuse) reading could be so literal.

Downfall does not spend its 156 minute running time exploring the point “They’re Nazis”; it instead documents how the grandiose ambitions of the Third Reich, the supposed “thousand-year Reich”, are falling apart as their fundamental hollowness is exposed. When public figures are mocked by a Downfall parody it is a commentary on their grandiose ambitions and those ambitions being doomed, not something as facile as “OMG he’s saying they’re Nazis.”

And is it just me, or is something really whacked with the suggestion “It’s too offensive to have Wakefield’s concerns being voiced by a figure who is identified as Wakefield, but by the nature of the pre-existing footage is seen as Hitler! To be less offensive, we should make sure the figure who is still clearly representing Wakefield is not just represented on-screen by Hitler, but called Hitler!“?

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