Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Six Degrees of Nazification

Scientists including Einstein* have long argued that any person can be connected to Nazism via a chain of no more than five intermediary acquaintances or beliefs. This so-called “Six Degrees of Nazification” is not a new concept: the term was first used in 1906 by Swiss spocktologist Pierre Swille, but it was not until the advent of the Nazi Party in 1920 that it made any sense. Since then, the concept has been used primarily as a parlour game, as well as forming the basis of a short-lived 1986 gameshow hosted by Maurie Fields.

“Six Degrees of Nazification” is in fact a misnomer. As Tagenflagenbelde notes in his 1957 book Schlechter Deutscher Für Schlechte Deutsche the “six” is redundant as by virtue of its Nazi status the last or “goal” degree would on principle have driven the other four degrees into the woods and machine gunned them prior to the connection being made. Thus a typical example of the six degrees takes the form of a simple syllogism of the kind beloved of people with glasses named Aubrey:

Paul McCartney is a vegetarian
Top Nazi Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian
Paul McCartney is a Nazi

John Travolta is a pilot
Top Nazi Hermann Goering was a pilot
John Travolta is a Nazi

This simplified version of the formula is highly popular amongst those wishing to smear their political opponents:

Senator Bob Brown wears suits
Top Nazi Josef Goebbels wore suits
Senator Bob Brown is a Nazi

Schmitt, in his 1975 paper “Aber beklecker nicht das Sofa, Sofa” refutes the validity of this stripped-back formula, although the Japanese translation is said to arrive at the opposite conclusion by way of several highly dubious recipes for home-made old people’s food. McRammstein takes issue with Schmitt in his 1981 paper “Ich bin freddy Quecksilber”, but we all know McRammstein fiddles with pigeons so his views can be disregarded.

In short, Six Degrees of Nazification is something that exists and you should probably know about it. Apparently there is a film in the works starring Will Smith. Whether he will play the Six Degrees or the Nazification is unknown, but we can confirm that Donald Sutherland has signed to play Anne Frank.

Finally, we turn to Wikipedia to completely contradict everything said thus far:
Six Degrees of Nazification is a board game from Frown & Andrews. Players must move counter-clockwise while manipulating a special orb (Hitler's "ball") upon which images of Walt Disney films are projected, interspersed with random gore from Rob Zombie's remake of His Girl Friday. The first player to eat another player's big toe wins.
* Gerald Einstein, V.C.E., Warrnambool


Jon said...

haha...Schlechter Deutscher Für Schlechte Deutsche: almost as funny as shurikenfish. Top notch.

Beth said...

Ah, too too funny. Thanks for the midweek smile.