Adolf Hitler struggles to remove his spectacles as his hands shake uncontrollably at the thought of his childhood hero, local DJ PierreCordina, campaigning against divorce legislation.
“Are we going to remain in the Third World because of a couple of lawyers and a DJ,” he shouts, before going on a rant about priests’ homilies all sounding the same and the anti-divorce movement’s song reaching number one in the charts.
It was only a matter of time before the famous Hitler outburst scene from the biopic Downfall, which has been used to parody contemporary culture spanning American politics, British football and everything in between, was subtitled for the May 28 divorce referendum.
More than 2,000 people have viewed the local version since it was uploaded on Youtube two days ago.
This lighter part of the otherwise rather heated divorce campaign has been played out mostly online, where people can hide behind anonymity, relying on others to do the viral sharing.
A number of Facebook groups have been set up by both sides, whereby people are invited to upload their satirical spoofs ofofficial billboards.
The most spoofed billboard is undoubtedly the one that features an image of Jesus Christ with the words, in Maltese, ‘Christ Yes, Divorce No’. This too has been mocked.
The billboards being used by the pro-divorce camp have also been manipulated to show the other side of the argument.
‘Give love a second chance... and a third and a fourth’, reads one that plays on the main slogan of the Yes Movement.
The Yes Movement has focused on the issue of children being forced to live out of wedlock. However, the parodies quote the same children saying they are being forced to call their mother’s new husband ‘daddy’ or being forced to spend less time with their father, because he is spending time with his new wife.
Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, who kickstarted the debate when he presented a divorce bill for parliamentary discussion last year, has also been the focus of satire.
One of the most shared images plays on the colloquial Maltese word for cohabiting, ‘poġġut’, which also means sitting down.
“Poġġut bilfors għax inkella jeħdulu s-siġġu” (Of course he is seated, otherwise they would take his seat), says the spoof billboard making a joke about the fact that Dr Pullicino Orlando has become unpopular with his party’santi-divorce members.
The official billboards of theMarriage Without Divorce movement have also been manipulated.
One of the main ones, ‘Marriage that expires? No thanks’, has been changed to say ‘An expired mentality? No thanks’.
The ‘Together for our Children’ billboard has also been changed, either by replacing the photo of a happy family with that of an unhappy one, or by pointing out that they want to be married for their children, but without divorce they cannot.
With two weeks of the campaign remaining, the volume of jokes and satire on Facebook, Youtube ore-mail are expected to increase.
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