Petters, and Neckers
Though historians are likely to dismiss the 1920s as lacking the fascinating
complexity of the later Depression Era 30s, Ill always be fascinated by
the social events and movements of the "Roaring 20s." Heres
a couple of writings from the day addressing the woman of the 20s and her new-found
Spanking the Christ Child
Max Ernst was instrumental in starting the Dada movement in his native Cologne
before moving to Paris to influence the evolution of Surrealism. One thing all
his works have in common is an unlimited imagination which often manifests itself
with an eerie touch of the bizarre. Humor often plays a role in his paintings,
and like his imagination often dark or sarcastic. Here is a seldom talked
about work that not only revels his impish humor, but also a typical Surrealist
twist of imagery.
" It will be just fantastic when all the worms start crawling about in
the rotting meat... Good art ought to stink a bit." This quote pretty much
says it all, but if you want more read on...
in Nazi Germany
Humor is a great reflection of who we are, and as societies change so too their
humor. Just look at what your parents laughed at growing up and how very different
that is from the current generation. Not just a form of entertainment, humor
often serves as a relief valve when tension becomes unbearable. Ever notice
a well placed joke, or humorous quip at just the right moment puts a heretofore
tense group at ease? Witness a politician under heat respond with a strategic
joke as a weapon to deflect criticism. Centuries from now, will "Monica
jokes" be a better reflection of how we as a society dealt with the White
House scandals than the voluminous press releases?
So what of Nazi Germany? What can be learned from the jokes making the
rounds during Germanys darkest years. To quote Richard Grunberger, "when
totalitarianism blights every manifestation of thought except humor it causes
political jokes to flower like long-rooted weeds tapping springs of imagination
and wit that are denied their natural outlets." What follows are a few
of the actual jokes circulated during Hitlers reign of the Third Reich.
Keep in mind, the penalty for anti-Hitler jokes was death.