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The Nazis loved the word “degenerate” — and so do right-wing trolls, applying it to everything from modern art to Disney films

In 1937, two years before they declared war on the western world, the Nazis declared war on modern art — which they classed as “Entartete Kunst,” — or, in English, “degenerate art.”

Not content with merely sniping at modernism in the press, the Nazis launched a “Degnerate Art” exhibition — or, rather, a sort of anti-art exhibition — featuring modernist works by an assortment of famous and not-so-famous artists, including Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, and Pablo Picasso. The idea was to show how self-evidently terrible this art was, and how its very existence was an affront to the good German people.

Now a self described “Classical” art teacher named Megha Verma has launched her own little war on “degenerate art.”

Given that she teaches art history, and is confident enough to describe herself as an arbiter of “Beauty, Truth and Virtue,” it seems exceedingly unlikely that Verma wasn’t aware of the “Degenerate Art” exhibit and the fascist connotations that now stick to the word “degenerate.” And if she didn’t know that “degenerate” has become something of a fascist dogwhistle, well, plenty of people in her mentions have spelled it out for her, and she has not backed down from her use of the word, even though she seems to consider herself a monarchist (or perhaps a mouse supremacist) rather than a fascist.

In recent years, contemporary Nazis (and the Nazi-adjacent) have glommed onto this word as one of their favorite insults, whether they mean to align themselves with the Nazis old or new, or if they use it because everyone else (in their right=wing bubble) uses it.

They’re especially fond of applying the word to LGBTQ+ people; this is certainly something they share with the OG Nazis.

They especially like using the word for trans people (and the occasional hockey league).

Other favorites include women having sex:

Women NOT having sex:

Black people (click to see the tweet in context):

People who get abortions:

And then, of course, there’s the Walt Disney Corporation, which one commenter wants to destroy with nuclear weapons.

These are the people you’re getting in bed with if you use the word “degenerate.” Unless you’re reclaiming the word for yourself just to stick it to the Nazis and the Nazi-adjacent. Then it’s kind of cool.

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GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
8 months ago

@VickyP: I have managed to get… hm… 90% of our books onto shelves. Yay me.

A theater I was associated with kept a supply of Condensed Books and outdated textbooks for decorating sets.

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