Remembering Winston Churchill

“On this day in 1965, Winston Churchill died at the ripe old age of 90. He drank a bottle of champagne at lunch every day, took a proper nap in the afternoon, smoked huge cigars incessantly, ate a hearty dinner with wine every evening and finished off each day with copious quantities of brandy. Truly, an example to us all.” Indeed. Hat-tip to Memex 1.1.

Hitler not such a monster after all?

Photograph of Adolf Hitler in a modern fashion styleWhat do you think of Daniel Eatock’s “modern” version of Adolf Hitler (pictured)? He actually looks quite striking, does he not? Follow the link and you’ll see a similar treatment of Winston Churchill too.

Whenever we see Hitler on TV, he’s rendered in slow motion and we hear the droning, threatening music. The message is extremely unsubtle: This Man Is A Monster.

I think it’s dangerous to depict Hitler that way.

Yes, of course Hitler was a monster. But if we ever need to deal with another charismatic, psychotic, genocidal maniac there won’t be some invisible orchestra playing the theme from Jaws so we can spot him. We’ll have to figure it out for ourselves.

That’ll be tough. Just as Hitler and his mates used the best media technology and techniques of their age to craft their public image, any new Hitler-esque politician will do the same. Their PR agency will craft an image we can relate to. If they’re a Rising Star of politics, the magazines will commission photo shoots — and it’ll all look something like this photo.

Remember, Hitler was Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1938. In 1942 it was Joseph Stalin. History has since decided they were probably not the best of people.

(In Time‘s defence, I should point out that their Person of the Year, as they call it now, is for the man, woman, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that “for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year.” Certainly Hitler influenced the events of 1938!)

Continue reading “Hitler not such a monster after all?”