The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Frivolity: I Am the Dude Who Stands Still

Even in the midst of all the hectic fallout (I have been contacted by several people, including reporters) from yesterday’s monster post detailing how Brett Kimberlin attempted to frame me for a crime, I still found time for laughter.

That might sound odd to you, but anyone who knows me in real life realizes that I will make jokes all the time, even in pretty bad situations.  I tell people to only start worrying if I don’t joke.  I think it is a cultural quirk I picked up from my Jewish friends growing up.  That is why a movie like Life is Beautiful made profound sense to me, while I think for a lot of people it was kind of a head-scratcher.  Certainly this trailer doesn’t do a very good job explaining it:

Some people felt that it was weird to place a comedy during the holocaust, to show a man trying to make his son laugh in the midst of horror.  But I get it.  I can’t even quite explain it, but I get it.  I don’t mind any other person being offended by it, but I found it to be a great movie.

And of course there is also Mel Brooks’ decision to make a mockery of Hitler in The Producers (this clip is from the original, not the more recent movie based on a Broadway musical based on the original movie—and even reciting that makes my head hurt):

Brooks was indeed quoted as saying:

"If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win," says Brooks, 75. "That's what they do so well; they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter--they can't win. You show how crazy they are."

And he has said several other similar comments in the past, especially when his movie was adapted into a Broadway musical.  Of course for me that work was definitively done by Michael Palin:

I never even saw the full “Mr. Hilter” skit until I was looking it up for this post—I only saw him on the balcony.  After I saw Palin’s imitation of Hitler, every time I saw the real thing (like in a class on the History of World War II), I couldn’t help but giggle.  I know intellectually that somehow he got the German people to take him seriously, but I can’t on any level understand how they followed this guy who looks so ridiculous to my Palin-influenced eyes.

(Not that Hitler had any chance of actually convincing me he was right, given that he was a mortal enemy of the disabled, as well as Jews whom I count as my friends.  But one can make the argument that you should strive to understand the allure of evil so as to better inoculate yourself against its influence.  After all, one profile of the sociopath specifically states that such persons are at least superficially charming.)

Incidentally, Brooks himself is not a fan of Life is Beautiful, saying in this interview:

SPIEGEL: Which you of course know well yourself. “The Producers” is based on a musical that you produced that ran successfully on Broadway for five years and also on the film “The Producers” that you shot in 1967. How did the audience react to the film back then?

Brooks: The Jews were horrified. I received resentful letters of protest, saying things like: “How can you make jokes about Hitler? The man murdered 6 million Jews." But "The Producers" doesn’t concern a concentration camp or the Holocaust.

SPIEGEL: Can you really separate Hitler from the Holocaust?

Brooks: You have to separate it. For example, Roberto Benigni's comedy “Life Is Beautiful” really annoyed me. A crazy film that even attempted to find comedy in a concentration camp. It showed the barracks in which Jews were kept like cattle, and it made jokes about it. The philosophy of the film is: people can get over anything. No, they can’t. They can’t get over a concentration camp.

SPIEGEL: But the film has deeply moved a lot of people.

Brooks: I always asked myself: Tell me, Roberto, are you nuts? You didn’t lose any relatives in the Holocaust, you’re not even Jewish. You really don’t understand what it’s all about. The Americans were incredibly thrilled to discover from him that it wasn’t all that bad in the concentration camps after all. And that’s why they immediately pressed an Oscar into his hand.

Actually, while I respect Brooks very harsh criticism, I don’t think anyone who liked the movie thought it was telling them the concentration camp was not so bad.  They found it moving to watch this fathertrying to protect his son from such horror.  Which is admittedly a questionable decision.  Let’s not forget Kurt Cobain advising:

Don’t tell me what I want to hear
Afraid of never knowing fear
Experience anything you need

Cobain seemed to say that you needed to face reality as it was, ugly as it was.  But then again, he didn’t cope so well with reality, did he?  I don’t mean that as an attack on him, but if we are going to talk about how to cope with tough times it has to be said.  He died too young and left a lot of damage in wake.  For instance, I have always believed that this song was Dave Grohl’s pained tribute to his friend:

Of course mockery as a coping method is not limited to Jewish culture (and anyone can adopt quirks from any culture as my life attests).  Another Brooks comedy that was co-written by the late Richard Pryor was of course Blazing Saddles.  It was at times a silly movie with gags straight out of Bugs Bunny cartoons, but some of the comedy was more than a little angry and my intuition tells me that those bits were written by Pryor.  I can’t prove it, but I just feel like his “voice” is coming through in those scenes.  I can almost hear him pitching it to Brooks.  Take for instance this one:

At about the 36 second mark the overseers throw the rope... and pull the handcart out of quicksand.  And then they just leave these two men to die.  It is funny, but it is also horrible, that the overseers cared more for a handcart than the lives of two black men and underneath the writer’s laughter, you can feel his fury.

I think it is equally correct to say that the mocking of horror is as much a feature of African American culture as it is of Jewish culture.  And when you think about it there might be a commonality of reasons.  American slavery was a crime on par with the holocaust.  Obviously the holocaust was a more intense instance of oppression, but which is worse?  A few years of more intense evil, or a few centuries of horrible, but not quite as intense evil?  Is it worse to kill something like 11 million people in around 6 years, or to kill an estimated 15 million people over the course of several centuries as occurred just in the transportation of the kidnapped Africans to the New World to be slaves?  I think at that level comparison is impossible.  You just say that American Slavery and the Holocaust were both really f---ing evil and in the same ballpark in the level of evil involved, and leave it at that.

Maybe these events even exerted an almost “evolutionary” pressure on those cultures.  Maybe the guy who couldn’t find humor in horror simply went insane watching the Germans round up his family, or watching his “Master” sell his mother to some letch down the Mississippi, or otherwise failed to cope in a way that significantly shortened his life.  Maybe the only people who made it through that kind of cabal had this ability to see humor in horror and those people passed it on to their children, and it remained a part of the culture even after the radical horror of those events faded from memory.  It is sort of similar to James Taranto’s famous theory of the Roe effect.  It goes like this.  Ideas are very often transmitted from parent to child.  People who support abortion have less children than people who do.  So the anti-abortion movement is benefitted by the demographic advantage that their advocates have more children.  So maybe something like that is happening there.  I don’t know.

Which makes me lucky to have picked up that trait early on, I suppose.  I have had hard times before.  I have never made it a secret on this blog that I was the victim of disability discrimination in High School, as indeed Brett Kimberlin has inadvertently partially verified to the world.  And as you saw in my post yesterday, I am having one of those hard times now.  A few people have wondered how exactly I can make it through this sort of thing, and you can now get a better sense of it from reading this.  I’ve had practice.

And maybe if you are the type to believe that God intervenes in our daily lives, you would wonder if He wanted to make sure I had the emotional tools needed to survive this sort of thing.  I will confess I have an unshakeable belief that God exists, and he loves us, but I am less certain that He intervenes very much in the world.  I mean if God gave me a hand at one point in my life, why didn't he help Anne Frank?  Sorry to bum you out, but let's be blunt: she needed the help far more than I did.

Which is all a way of introducing to you a third video of the January 9, 2012 incident.  As you will remember I made a video myself where I compare and contrast what Kimberlin said about the incident to what you actually see in the video and I think it gives a pretty concise “thumbnail sketch” of the controversy.  So here it is, again:

Well, someone commented here on the monster post under the name “I Work Here Is Done” and they had their own video.  I literally have no idea who created it but it is clearly someone familiar with Patterico’s Pontifications because the nickname (“I work here is done”) is an in-joke among commenters at that site (it’s a long story, but I will note that the phrase is intentionally using poor grammar—it’s part of the joke).  This video doesn’t do as good a job introducing the controversy, or explaining the context as my video, and it is a little over the top.  That is why I showed you mine first in this post—you won’t even get what you are seeing without at least that background.  But at the same time it made me laugh out loud.

You should probably set this to full screen mode before you watch it, and watch the volume--the music a little loud:

I haven’t personally verified the 40 convictions part, but I do know Kimberlin has at least 35 convictions so we are in the right ballpark.  But the part where it credits “Aaron Walker: The dude who stands still almost the entire video” made me and my wife laugh very hard.  Why yes, yes I am.

And laughter is important.  So to whoever made that, thank you.


Follow me at Twitter @aaronworthing, mostly for snark and site updates.  And you can purchase my book (or borrow it for free if you have Amazon Prime), Archangel: A Novel of Alternate, Recent History here.  And you can read a little more about my novel, here.


  1. Heh.

    God is good. And he has a plan (and please don't reply with a Cylon joke).

    And maybe his plan was that some goofball would cheer you up. Maybe his plan was to put you through a painful experience because you will one day need that pain and the strength you gained to help someone else. We need our pain and our ordeals. That's not very constructive to you, given the sheer weight of the hardship you've been through, but maybe the long view will yield to that perspective.

  2. The movie was brilliant, and the part I think you're referring to is such a loving act by the father! Yes! It's entirely appropriate. Gosh, I cry just thinking about it.

  3. You've got your Pythons mixed up. Mr Hilter (bloke in the brown uniform, toothbrush mustache, waves a gun around a bit) is played by John Cleese. Michael Palin is Mr. Bimmler (black and silver uniform, chain smoking).