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Who was Hitler before Hitler before Who Was Hitler Before Hitler?
October 5, 2011 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Who was Hitler before Hitler? Asked and answered in Askme five years ago, asked and answered in Slate today, hung lazily on Hank Williams II's recent reference to the Moustachioed One.

For the record, I found the AskMe discussion a LOT more interesting. Hivemind FTW.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to MetaFilter-Related at 11:29 AM (40 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

This is one of the weaker uses of the "MetaFilter-Related" category.
posted by grouse at 11:40 AM on October 5, 2011


I can't believe you haven't gone into the Slate comments to say "You know who else wondered who was Hitler before Hitler?"
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:45 AM on October 5, 2011 [14 favorites]


It is not often that a MetaTalk thread Godwins itself right out of the gate.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:09 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


That is a fantastic AskMe thread, both for ajp's really interesting comment and for the very odd meta that the thread spawned (apparently the threshold for grar was lower back in 2006?).
posted by Frobenius Twist at 12:24 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know who else was stupid and sexy?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:25 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


My ideal trophy husband/wife combo, for one.
posted by elizardbits at 12:27 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the future, comparisons of someone merely stupid to The Stupid One (by which I mean, Hank Jr.) will automatically lose the argument.

Although truthfully, Ted Nugent is even worse, and he went hunting with Rick Perry.
posted by spitbull at 12:44 PM on October 5, 2011


I don't understand why you think that's "hung lazily" on the Hank thing. Seems perfectly well done and timely.
posted by jbickers at 12:54 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


recent reference to the Moustachioed One

ObPedantry: The hitler toothbrush style is pretty much the opposite of a moustachio.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:06 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hank Williams II's recent reference to the Moustachioed One.

Groucho Marx?
posted by nathancaswell at 1:23 PM on October 5, 2011


oh look the best answer in that thread is from languagehat. :C
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:29 PM on October 5, 2011


Who was Godwin before Godwin?
posted by XMLicious at 1:33 PM on October 5, 2011


The best thing to come out of the article was in the Fark thread on it:

WTF Indeed
The Devil?

MaudlinMutantMollusk
Conan the Barbarian

Mr. Coffee Nerves
Not nearly as much of a stumper as "What was the best thing BEFORE sliced bread?"

tallguywithglasseson
The Kaiser?

posted by darksasami at 1:40 PM on October 5, 2011


Who was Godwin before Godwin?

Mark Twain. Or maybe Ambrose Pierce.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:09 PM on October 5, 2011


So which answer is better? AskMe's or Slate's?
posted by TedW at 2:11 PM on October 5, 2011


I wish I had seconded the suggestion of Tamerlane in that AskMe--in 19th century rhetoric you often find would-be and actual despots and dictators being compared to Tamerlane. Search Google books for "a Tamerlane" or "like Tamerlane" and you will see what I mean.
posted by LarryC at 2:17 PM on October 5, 2011


Is this where I talk about the $79 dollar kindle. This thing is amazing. I can't believe I live in a world where I can buy a $79 device that displays any damn book I want, let's me buy whatever book strikes my fancy at the touch of a button, keeps a charge for 2 months, and actually fits in my pocket. Just the e-ink alone is amazing.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


So which answer is better? AskMe's or Slate's?

Slate's suggestion of the Pharaoh is good but misses the mark. In American political rhetoric to call someone a Pharaoh was to suggest they were all-powerful, unjust, and disconnected from those that they ruled. It misses some of the baggage attached to calling someone a Hitler, which implies a certain level of bloodthirstiness and mental imbalance.
posted by LarryC at 2:22 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this where I talk about the $79 dollar kindle. This thing is amazing. I can't believe I live in a world where I can buy a $79 device that displays any damn book I want, let's me buy whatever book strikes my fancy at the touch of a button, keeps a charge for 2 months, and actually fits in my pocket. Just the e-ink alone is amazing.

Does it include a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range?

Because really, if it doesn't have that they're not even trying.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:25 PM on October 5, 2011


Attila and Tamerlane, and to a certain extent Napoleon, remember, Adam Worth Moriarty was the Napoleon of Crime!
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:27 PM on October 5, 2011


What was your original face before your grandparents were born?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:41 PM on October 5, 2011


Cortex, weren't you saying something in the other thread about performance art?
posted by Melismata at 3:07 PM on October 5, 2011


Does it include a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range?

Certainly could be alien technology since even DS9 does not have Kindle level technology. They clearly carry multiple ebooks that are thicker than the cheapo kindle. It is strange when actual technology surpasses SF technology, like the ebooks on DS9 and the "tablets" on Star Gate Atlantis.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:13 PM on October 5, 2011


Until my doors make that swishy noise like a squashed mouse, then I'm not living in the future.
posted by arcticseal at 3:58 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know, but if there is any logic to mustaches Mick Mars is the most good man in history.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:33 PM on October 5, 2011


Ooooh, Steve Jobs died. This might set a record for deleted obitfilter posts.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011


Not nearly as much of a stumper as "What was the best thing BEFORE sliced bread?"

AskMetafilter answers ALL THE QUESTIONS.
posted by epersonae at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011


Who was Hitler before Hitler?

Hitler's dad.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:02 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I spent a couple of months reading several hundred newspaper columns (some on microfiches - they were that obscure), and a good few books, from the 1930s on English language reportage from Weimar and Nazi Germany. At least for journalists of that time, they seem to have rarely referred to "Nazism" and usually early on called it "German Fascism" or "Aryanism" and, later, "Hitlerism". And when trying to draw parallels with Hitlerism, they seem to have most frequently used the term "Bonapartism". So al the people in that thread who said "Napoleon", I agree with them. Louis Leo Snyder was very big on conflations between Hitlerism and Bonapartism early on, but abandoned these after WW2 when Hitler became a superbrand in its own right. Using structuralist theories of historical framing, the historian Pieter Geyl actually wrote a complicated thesis comparing Hitler and Bonaparte that, ironically, was due out in 1940 but shelved due to Nazi occupation of that country. Geyl argued strongly against sonderweg, the idea of German exceptionalism that frames the ability of Hitler and the Nazis to seize the State apparatus as uniquely and inevitably German. If you reject sonderweg then Hitlers, or Bonapartes, could arise anywhere...
posted by meehawl at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hitler doesn't like the 4S.
posted by Trurl at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2011


Is the $79 one the one with the ads? How obtrusive are they? I'm supposed to be investigating Kindle purchases for staff-development-day prizes, and I'm trying to decide how cheap to recommend we go.
posted by box at 6:55 PM on October 5, 2011


Is anyone else kind of blown away by the fact that the airplane is older than sliced bread?
posted by dirigibleman at 10:02 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Im usually blown away by a shotgun. and those are older than airplanes.
posted by davejay at 10:18 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is the $79 one the one with the ads? How obtrusive are they? I'm supposed to be investigating Kindle purchases for staff-development-day prizes, and I'm trying to decide how cheap to recommend we go

The "cover" is an ad when it is turned off, and I think I saw an ad someplace else on the bottom of the screen.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:33 PM on October 5, 2011


This seems like something that you need something like a 'smarter' version of google's n-gram viewer and a semantic analysis. Then you could ask a question like "given the semantic context around the individual 'hitler' today what other individuals were mentioned with similar semantic context in years prior to 1930?"
posted by delmoi at 3:26 AM on October 6, 2011


We have a saying around here, alright: Get used to it, Hitler.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:17 AM on October 6, 2011


Who was lither than Hitler, eh?
posted by MuffinMan at 10:52 AM on October 6, 2011


Hello, I am drunk.

[This is a comment that is suitably witty yet somber that references Hitler and his notoriety while comparing him to modern personages.]

Please favorite.
posted by Jehan at 1:41 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is anyone else kind of blown away by the fact that the airplane is older than sliced bread?
posted by dirigible man...


I think the Earl of Sandwich might dispute that; I would guess sliced bread is even older than steerable balloons. Sliced bread in stores, on the other hand...
posted by TedW at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2011


Certainly could be alien technology since even DS9 does not have Kindle level technology. They clearly carry multiple ebooks that are thicker than the cheapo kindle. It is strange when actual technology surpasses SF technology, like the ebooks on DS9 and the "tablets" on Star Gate Atlantis.

Oh, that's so easy to Treksplain that it's not even funny. The in-universe explanation for Picard or Sisko having multiple PADDs on their desk would have something to do with wanting a separate PADD for confidential documents instead of putting everything on one device or out on whatever they had for cloud storage, because in the Trek universe those can be hacked, and there's no particular reason not to have multiple PADDs because they don't cost $79, they're free thanks to replicators, and they can be recycled in same. The real explanation has to do with coming up with an analogy for the cluttered desk, showing you that that particular captain is busy busy busy. (Star Trek has lots of things that were done for storytelling or even financial reasons; the reason that the show has transporters, for example, has nothing to do with the scientific feasibility--it was cheaper to film the effect in the 60s than to do a shuttle landing every week.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:56 AM on October 11, 2011


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