Rapper Kanye West marked the occasion of his new album with Jay-Z to compare himself to a certain German dictator. At an English music festival, the rapper reportedly told the crowd: “I walk through the hotel, and I walk down the street, and people look at me like I’m f—ing insane, like I’m Hitler… One day the light will shine through, and one day people will understand everything I ever did.”
We don’t understand quite everything Mr. West attempts (he was speaking in particular about his violent “Monster” music video), but we are fairly familiar with his metaphor. We understand! It’s the sane convenient metaphor for cruelty that Lars von Trier reached for at Cannes and the same go-to emotional outburst that John Galliano stumbled upon in Paris.
Godwin’s Law indicates that as any online conversation continues and grows more heated, a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis is inevitable. For figures who live in the public eye by choice, the unceasing, hyperbolic conversation about their faults and their foibles would seem to prove the point. (A corollary indicates that anyone who mentions Hitler ends the conversation, which seems true only online.)
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