Dear Reader: Could You Kill a Baby Hitler? – NYT Mag, Oct 23, 2015
Last month, the New York Times decided to troll the Internet with its question about going back in time to kill a baby Hitler. They got their desired result, with this manufactured controversy, plus a plurality saying yes and the majority pretty evenly split between no and I don’t know. Most death penalty cases require a bit more in the way of unanimity from the jury for a guilty verdict, but this is the Internet, so who cares about any of that?
Like I said, this meme was pretty much last month’s news, until this week when Jeb Bush stepped in it. When asked if he would kill a baby Hitler in the crib, his answer was, “Hell yeah, I would!” Please note that this does not violate his pro-life pledge. Twitter erupted, with my favorite being: “Jeb Bush kills baby Hitler. WW II averted. Barbara and George HW Bush never meet. Jeb Bush not born. Hitler lives!” It’s the classic time paradox that also foreshadows Jeb’s campaign.
I’ve gone into this post with an attitude of disapproval at this levity directed at Hitler, perpetrator of the Holocaust, as in it’s too soon, but we’ve been ridiculing him since he came to power. So why not now? I’m most ambivalent, because I’ve just watched a cheesy movie that involves going back in time to kill Hitler, albeit not as a baby It’s on Netflix. It’s “Kung Fury”.
The movie is a spoof, but about short of everything I could not say exactly what. It was made in 2015, but had the look and feel of a 1985 film. The movie was so authentically convincing with its Back to the
Future Past vibe that I had to look it up on imDb, just to be sure. Its 1985 production values were so cheap and cheesy that they must have cost a fortune. It is a short, at only 31 minutes and is the Swedish creation of David Sandberg (writer, director and star) and it was a Kickstarter. Here is Sandberg’s synopsis:
During an unfortunate series of events a friend of Kung Fury is assassinated by the most dangerous kung fu master criminal of all time; Adolf Hitler, aka Kung Führer. Kung Fury decides to travel back in time, to Nazi Germany, in order to kill Hitler and end the Nazi empire once and for all.
It was a fun and silly little flick, but I can’t get over the idea that laughing at the greatest monster of all time is somehow wrong and is disrespectful of all of the innocents that he murdered. Maybe, I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth and sound like I’m crying crocodile tears too, but that’s how I feel and that is why I chose the above rather hateful image for this post that I did, to tamp down all the recent the merriment about killing Hitler. What’s done is done and cannot be undone. We just have to find a way to live with it.