Pensions, art, parody, and Nazis

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Looks like a popular parody on YouTube using Hitler for laughs has begun to run out of gas after being used to mock public employee unions and their pensions.

The Orange County-specific video is no longer available, apparently due to copyright infringement.

Man, that was fast. I went to see the video on Saturday night, and it was already down.

The Orange County Register’s watchdog, Teri Sforza, found the video and posted a blog item about it on Friday. She quoted Orange County Employees Association General Manager Nick Berardino saying that using Hitler to mock public pensions isn’t funny.

“What his image represents should not be forgotten or taken humorously in any way,” Berardino told Sforza.

It’s interesting to note that the website that posted the video – produced by an anonymous supporter – has an advisory board that features two of the public employees’ most vocal critics: County Supervisor John Moorlach and Reed Royalty, who heads up the OC Taxpayers Association.

Jack Dean, who runs the Pension Tsunami website, has been a key source on the pension issue for many news reporters for years, flooding our email inboxes with the ton of stories that, on a daily basis, show the budgetary pressure that enhanced public pensions have triggered.

He told Sforza that Berardino is being thin-skinned, noting that the OCEA attack mailers on pension-issue candidate Shawn Nelson (who won a seat on the county board of supervisors on Tuesday) were just as vile and off-topic.

I’ve seen that Hitler parody, taken from a German film called “Downfall,” used a bunch of times during different awards celebrations, such as the Video Music Awards.

Apparently, Berardino is not the only one offended.

The New York Times looked at the issue several years ago as the video parody began its sweep through the Internet.

I’m wondering: How are Orange County residents reacting to the sweep of this video and its latest utilization?




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