A bit of a confession to make, first of all. I, of course, love what I do in the reactosphere, and want to contribute in some way to the rebirth of strong and masculine men throughout the world as well as the rebirth of something resembling normalcy in my lifetime, but a not-inconsiderable part of me got into the blogging game for the purpose of having people give me free stuff.
Indeed, I feel that many people try to become celebrities for that exact purpose. Whether they be celebrities in the traditional sense, or the new breed of Internet-born celebrities, they get a lot of free stuff, and to an extent, it is expected.
And thus, that brings us to the book I am reviewing today, a review copy of which was given to me for free by Jacobus Nieuwoudt of South Africa, better known by his alias “Jakobi Kid.” You can follow him on Twitter or on his website. And yes, you are not reading the title wrong.
“Fifty Shades of Adolf?!” you probably read, horrified. And I don’t blame you–with such a title, the only thing you could reasonably assume was a sado-masochistic pornography starring Der Fuhrer himself.
Well, I’m happy to tell you that it isn’t that. This story has the much more sensible plot of being about Jakobi, writing as himself, getting involved with a strange woman who turns out to be a necromancer. To make a long story short, they end up bringing Mr. Hitler back from the grave, and our hero chains him up in his basement and forces him to review movies. Which is, of course, what you would do with him.
While this is undoubtedly a very silly “high concept” plot, it has more intelligence than you would expect, and works as a fairly effective satire of Nazism, the public’s perception of Nazism, the cinema industry (and its accompanying reviewers), and society on the whole. You get this sense from the beginning of the novel, when Jakobi writes:
“Last Wednesday, me and my friends were out drinking. Wednesday, like Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, have become excuses to drink in this country.”
While you or I may question what sort of person starts drinking in the middle of the week and continues doing so until the weekend, we already know the answer to that–a person who has fully imbibed (no pun intended) in the degeneracy and vice of modern Western society, and lacking anything substantive going on in their lives, chooses to drink themselves into a numb stupor. This is the sort of person that might summon Adolf Hitler from the grave and put him to work in a completely inane task.
America is certainly no better than South Africa in that regard, and thus Jakobi has chosen wisely in how he portrays his fictional alter-ego…at least, I hope he’s exaggerating himself for comedic effect.
His reasons for choosing Hitler to be revived over Gandhi or Margaret Thatcher are very Millennial reasons indeed:
“Well, Adolf is the most popular of the three, an internet superstar if you will. Maybe if he came back Hollywood would forgive him, they’d give him shows. Perhaps be a Youtube star like PewDiePie?”
And after giving Adolf a few guidelines on reviewing (ie. explaining “the progressive stack” to him gently), the reviews begin, and form the bulk of the book. Here is some initial dialogue between Jakobi and Adolf, as an example:
“What does this mean?”
“It means you give your honest opinion while not offending anyone.”
“If I try not to offend anyone, how is it honest?”
In this exchange. Jakobi is, of course, making fun of how reviewers of all sorts have a notable tendency to become shills.
Hitler tends to shoehorn his political beliefs into his reviews, a problem which is common to all sorts of reviewers, as a casual glance at Channel Awesome could tell you. He didn’t like Batman Vs. Superman for example, and spends much of the review expounding upon his political beliefs (interpreting the film as a clash between Nationalism–represented by Batman–and Zionism–represented by Superman). He then gives the film 3/5 holy grails (an unexplained review scale, again making fun of the parochialism of reviewers).
The boneheaded racial policies of Nazi Germany are mocked as well, as Jakobi is clearly taking the piss out of Nazism to an extent. Conan the Barbarian (1982) is described as the greatest film ever made. “I cannot believe this film was realized by an American. He must have some good Aryan blood in his veins,” zombie Hitler wrote. The joke being that John Milius and Oliver Stone are both in fact Jewish, and that certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Nazis physiognomy to determine “Aryanism” failed. Conan, a film that is one of my favorites as well as Adolf’s, is given the highest rating: One Templar (yet again, a totally obtuse review scale)
Related to how Hitler and I apparently have a liking for a movie in common, there are a few other times that Necro-Hitler is the proverbial stopped clock. When describing The First Wives Club, Hitler opined, “In America, women can divorce you and take all your stuff. In Germany, they just committed suicide. I prefer the latter.” While I do not condone suicide, I surmise that one of the major points of the book on the whole is to point out that a lot of modern Western Society sucks pretty hard, on an equal (but inverted) level to Nazi Germany. “This movie is a testament to American audacity….time I’d never get back, like the time I spent watching this American propaganda,” Hitler wisecracked in a review. And yes, judging by the cultural output of America today, divorcées are very much sanctified.
The state of American manhood is not lifted off the hook either:
“Apparently, American men in their 40s love Star Wars. So this guy with the asthma is supposed to be me? I hope somebody’s sending my family royalties. It’s only fair.”
More reviews, as well as Cat People, a short story that I honestly didn’t care for, fill out the rest of the book.
Fifty Shades Of Adolf is not only meant to mock the many idiocies of Nazi Germany, but also to point out how by retreating full-tilt from Nazi Germany (as the Western world on the whole has been doing since 1945), we have developed a wholly different, but equal, form of national stupidity. The book is tragically a bit short (and again I’d recommend getting rid of Cat People and putting in more reviews), but it got a few laughs out of me, and thus I give it fair recommendation.
You can purchase the book here.