Bittersweet vindication today for those who’ve been trying to warn us that all was not quite right mit dem SkSjugend.
There’s no amusing way to say this, so I’ll just blurt it out…
Someone at our sister site, Skeptical Science, has Photoshopped Hitler’s face onto John Cook’s body.
Now I’m no climate neurologist, but if you put a gun to my brain and demanded a differential diagnosis, I’d wager the hive-mind of SkS has just had a subarachnoid phrenzal embolism of the prefrontals, likely brought on by the good news people are calling ‘ClimAxed’ (to wit: reports that the US has pulled off a daring escape from the eco-masochism cult currently squatting on the banks of the Seine).
In layman’s terms, Trump Derangement Syndrome is real, it’s here, and it’s now.
And it’s not the sun. It’s not volcanoes. It’s not urban heat islands.
It’s not you. It’s me.
Was this idjit-prop meant to be enjoyed outside the reëntrant admiration graph that is the SkS treehouse? We may never know. But either way, you can’t fight a law of nature: art wants to be free, and so does dreck.
The mysterious benefactor who emailed our CEO this afternoon (as follows) has all the gaudy details. ■
DEAR SCEPTICUS, I WAS tooling around today at SkepticalScience—World’s Leading Antiskeptical Site For Nonscientists—when I accidentally penetrated all the tissues of John Cook’s professionally-coded, best-practice attempt at a security system. The details don’t really matter; suffice it to say I employed what hackers call a web browser, which has a hidden feature whereby you can type in literally any “URL” and it’ll automagically ‘navigate’ or ‘browse’ there, if you’ll pardon my geek-speak. (You can think of a URL as a bunch of letters and punctuation marks.)
Most of what I found on the Skexies’ server was procedural palaver of the sort any association of well-adjusted grownups would leave lying around: memos declaring Certainty Is Our Product; a strategy whitepaper for ‘Repositioning Climate Ragnarok from Gaseous, Pre-hypothetical Conjecture to Fact;’ and dark mutterings about ‘taking down’ people who disagree with them, ‘riping out [sic] their throats’ and ‘glassing the c*nts,’ bla bla yawn yawn.
But then I saw this.
[Paste ludicrous anti-Trump jpeg.]
Let’s parse this image—or image, as they say in France, birthplace of Semiotics.
Every kindergarten student knows where the face comes from. He’s a Hitler!, with apologies to George Bush père. In fact, though, this photo doesn’t just depict any Hitler—it’s the patriarch and prototype of them all, by the name of Adolf—the guy who singlehandedly started the whole being-a-Hitler meme.
As a bit of an adolficionado myself, I can even tell you what Hitler The First was doing when the paparazzi took that makeup-free candid: he was clearing his throat for the great podium-splintering declamation at Klimanürnberg Stadium, 1932. Every preschooler knows the opening lines memoriter, even if (like me) they don’t understand a single syllable:
Aber man muß klar sagen: wir verteilen durch die Klimapolitik de facto das Weltvermögen um!! Daß die Besitzer von Gas, Kohle und Öl davon nicht begeistert sind, das liegt auf der Hand! Das liegt auf der Hand!!! Man muß, muß, muß sich von der Illusion freimachen, daß internationale Klimapolitik Umweltpolitik ist. Illusion! Das hat mit Umweltpolitik, mit Problemen wie Waldsterben und Ozonloch, fast nichts mehr zu tun. Fast nichts!!
That’s a black-belt seminar in oratory right there. A friend of mine teaches Gibberish As A Second Language, and she once made an astute comparison between early-20th-century German and URLs: you have to look between the nonsensical vowels and consonants to the part that conveys the speaker’s meaning. Id est, the punctuation.
I’ll give you a moment to silently reread it, but this time, really try to enjoy the sheer variety; it’s been said that Hitler never ended two sentences in a row with the same number of exclamation marks, and I can believe it. We’re in the presence of a master here.
The remainder of the photo, meanwhile, is jarring in its utter un-Naziish dorkhood. Say what you will about those S***********e, at least they knew how to shoot a cuff, tie a knot and choose the perfect eagle insignia to really bring out a skull-and-crossbones motif.
So how exactly did Donald Hitrump come to be dressed as Prince Harry? The clumsily-composited clothes were a transparent anachronism, but where had I seen them before? It was on the tip of my brain.
Rather than rack my memory and ruin an already-borderline evening, I went to Goo…
[A litany of technical details follow that went over Scepticus’ head, so you’d have no chance.]
…bingo. How on heck could I forget this?
It was of course John Cook himself, mugging it up for his rsvp profile pic:Chunder.
I hope you’re happy now, Cook. You’ve completely destroyed the Fascination of Fascism for me, and—thanks to this post—for a whole generation of blogonauts to boot. I can’t even enjoy Friday-Night-Is-Holocaust-Documentary-Night on SBS TV without a shudder of homo-emetic formication anymore.
Thanks a lot, p****g.
Is there a worse human being in terrestrial history than John Cook? Probably, but I’m drawing a blank.
Anyway, I’m off to find an exposed high-voltage cable to shower with. Regular bath-time sanding-off of the first three layers of one’s skin just won’t cut it after catching a glimpse of the above cheesecaquery—at times like this, you need 36-48 hours of retrograde amnesia. ■
You really shouldn’t have looked directly at that second image, should you?
You must feel like a right goose. Or should I say, a right-wing goose-stepping antiquities broker who forgot the importance of always using a square of cardboard with a tiny hole in it when viewing solar eclipses:
TRIGGER WARNING WARNING
Because of our extreme centrewards leanings here at CliScep, we believe that issuing trigger warnings in advance is a steaming crock of Bolshevism that serves only to retard the evolution of girly-boys into womeny-men. Every hominid has the right—nay, the positive duty—to make its own mistakes, and (optionally) learn from them.
Think about it: do you teach your own kids about responsible gun use by locking the pistol cabinet and throwing away the key, like some taboo Tree of the Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Of course not. Understanding firearm safety—truly understanding it—only comes from experiencing firearm accidents.
And in many ways we view you, our readers, as pre-verbal children to whom a loaded, unattended Desert Eagle can, under the right circumstances, speak louder than words.