“The chief function of propaganda is to convince the masses, whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time so they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on their mind."
Thus spake Adolph Hitler in his opus, Mein Kampf.
And so to the gigantic twisting of knickers over a primary-school kid dressed as Hitler (for a school shin-dig) wherein kid wins prize for best costume (repeat Best Costume not Nicest Historical Figure) and then parents complain and then the principal of this school is probably going to have to spend the rest of his life apologising for the incident. Because dressing a ten year old as Hitler is like finding Voldemort’s final Horcrux and bringing him back to life. For real.
I feel sorry for the kid, the parents of the kid and the principal but mostly I feel sorry for the people who complained. Them with the twisted undies, the folk whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time.
In Nazi Germany, under Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, public events were censored, like maybe it would’ve been less risky at 1939 school book-week to dress up Aryan rather than Jewish. Are you getting my drift? Is it all so tiring or is it just me?
A number of parents also complained about children dressing up as vampires and the grim reaper, so clearly the only kernel of truth in the whole internationally newsworthy kerfuffle is that a number of parents at that school are really, really thick. Which is maybe why the BBC ran it, that whole “Look how thick they are in the antipodes” thing.
Russel Brand dressing up as Osama Bin Laden on September 12, 2001, dumb. One of The Chaser crew dressing up as Osama Bin Laden in the Apec restriction zone, hilarious. A generation of parents losing perspective, heartbreaking.
This morning I was listening to Little Secrets by Passion Pit where a bunch of school kids sing the chorus refrain “higher and higher and higher” which is about taking drugs and I was gob-smacked they’d gotten away with it, that there hadn’t been a public dunking of the parents and the band for allowing children to sing in a song ABOUT DRUGS. A happy song about drugs. A song, that makes you feel happy, ABOUT DRUGS. The song makes you feel happy, not happy about drugs… see? Now I’m all confused.
I looked all over the internet and couldn’t find a single reference to a major freak out about it. And I was glad. Common sense had prevailed, teenagers were listening to this happy drug song and they were okay! It was a major hit and it got heaps of airplay and, astonishingly, there wasn’t a concurrent spike in children using drugs. I know. Fucking amazing.
I also know that Hitler isn’t the same as a pop song and that the holocaust is not like a pop song and I know that constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on my mind so that I can join in when there is a collective huff going on about something stupid.
Here’s the idea:
Children must not ever, ever be exposed to the darker realities of life, particularly not in an historical context, where there might arise the opportunity for discussion, reflection and learning.