And now for something remotely similar...
Okay, I was stretching the truth yesterday. Claire Berlinski doesn't really like Till Lindemann or Rammstein.
That is, she doesn't rationally assent to the temptation whispering in her own heart when "in a growling bass whisper, Lindemann urges the audience: 'Mit dem Herzen denken!'" (Claire Berlinski, Menace in Europe, page 196).
"Think with your heart!" demand these words, uttered in the song "Links-Zwo-Drei-Vier," and Berlinski, remembering and quoting a passage by the Nazi speechmaster Hugo Ringler, finds an echo of the National Socialists' emphasis upon stirrings of the heart:
[Hitler] spoke not to the understanding but to the heart. He spoke out of his heart into the heart of his listener. And the better he understood how to execute this appeal to the heart, the more willingly he exploited it and the more receptive was the audience to his message. One could not at all at that time persuade the German people by rational argument; things worked out badly for parties that tried that approach. The people were won by the man who struck the chord that others had ignored -- the feelings, the sentiment or, as one wants to call it, the heart. (Hugo Ringler, quoted in Claire Berlinski, Menace in Europe, page 196)This quote comes from the sixth paragraph in Ringler's essay "Heart or Reason? What We Don't Want from Our Speakers," published in the Nazi Party's magazine for propagandists, Unser Wille und Weg (Our Will and Way), 7 (1937), pp. 245-249.
Not that the Rammstein is aware of any of this, and though Berlinski is impressed despite herself by Lindemann's emotive power, she recognizes Rammstein's perhaps unwitting links to the right and recoils from her attraction. In discussing the punning-pummeling song "Los," she writes:
For men who are basically quite stupid, they do come up with some clever puns. The suffix -los means "-less" in English but, when used as an adjective, means "off" or "loose." As a command, Los! means "go." When Lindemann sings "Sie sind gottlos," he pauses dramatically between gott and los. For a moment, it sounds as if he is singing, "You are God." The song conveys an eerie combination of self-pity and menace. You do hear it -- just what you think you hear. (Claire Berlinski, Menace in Europe, page 221)In effect, implies Berlinski, Lindemann is telling his hearers that they are gods and urging them to go . . . go and do something, but what?
Go and become proud, nationalistic Germans again?
Since the death of Christian Europe, Europe's new social order has been rooted in the nation state. Nationalism, propagated through the emerging secular channel of print media, restored meaning and ritual to European civic life. National ceremonies replaced those of the Church. The nation-state in Europe has always been more than an administrative structure; it has been a pseudo-spiritual entity, imparting meaning to the lives of men. (Claire Berlinski, Menace in Europe, pages 239-240)Berlinski worries that the Germans might be seeking their national soul again, might again become a menace in Europe.
Is she right? She does note "The Nazi manner" of diese Männer:
Just go down the checklist. The color: black. The material: leather. The seduction: beauty. The justification: honesty. The aim: ecstasy. The fantasy: death. Check, check, check. And they dominate German popular culture. It is the Germans who are fascinated by Rammstein, who are gobbling up this virtually undisguised Third Reich revivalism, devouring it as if they've been starved for years. But that's not Germany, you say? It's just a handful of jackbooted Teutonic nihilists who happen to be German. Then who bought all those albums? . . . the German people, the bourgeois German establishment. (Claire Berlinski, Menace in Europe, pages 229-230)Well, perhaps. But Rammstein is popular outside Germany, too.
Still, one can't help but wonder...