I had a bath and am now on the way to ‘perform’ for the adolescents at a public school. I enjoy working there, because they are talented human beings and very focussed which makes work much easier.
Walking up the hill to Mutley I encounter these annoying school buses once again. I had forgot about them since last week, and must remember to take a different route next time. Due to rush hour and multiple traffic lights the buses and I are moving at the same speed. Kids are banging on the window, shout things at me and occasionally try to squeeze their little arms through the top hatch hit me with the remaining content of their lunch boxes. I whistle a tune to calm myself down, and then I realize that societal norms do not allow me to whistle; a woman whistles only when she is nervous, or if she is a weirdo. And a nervous weirdo is the showpiece for bullying. I do like whistling, although I’m a rather bad whistler, and I cannot think of a reasonable way to reclaim whistling for women as an expression of liberation and joy. The two abusive bus loads are following me the whole way up the hill, which is a ten minute walk, but seemingly endless if accompanied by a mass of abusive school children.
Instead of whistling I try to look cool, which is difficult because the hat I am wearing is too big for me, and tries to escape with the Plymouthian breeze. The orange flat cap is from one of these fascist-conservative student organisations that friends of mine had found it in an Austrian ditch. I cajoled them into giving it to me, because I thought it would be ironic to wear, and nobody in England would make this cringe worthy link to intellectual fascism anyway. These kids are still banging against the windows. Horrible school bus memories arise in me; but still, I wish that they would bully someone inside the school bus instead of me.
A few minutes too late I enter the classroom. I greet the teacher and students, and quickly disappear into the toilets to strip off. On my return the art teacher rips off a curtain in the corner alcove, which had covered a red brick wall. He has some idea of drapings for his students to draw. Whilst he takes out the metal tacks at the top of the fabric so I don’t hurt myself, he mumbles in his Scottish accent: ‘The only reason for this curtain is to cover up the mess on open days so that the parents don’t think their £12500 gets wasted. £12500 a year, Jeesis Cahrist, that’s someone’s salary!’ I am glad he mentions this after all the time I worked in this school, but am aware that his students are listening. I answer, ‘Yes, and I think every school should be like this one…’ and somehow I get interrupted, maybe because he just touched my boob whilst draping the cloth over my body. This never happened before. And then I realize that what I said was not what I wanted to say.
From my outside perspective this school is nurturing each pupil’s needs and talents and dreams. The kids are very strong in making their own choices and treat each other with respect, which I assume is reciprocally effected by being treated with respect and as independent human beings by their teachers. Every school should be like that is what I meant. Make everybody an elitist to abolish elitism. Thousands of jobless teachers could be employed to make this essential care possible. On the other hand, I do still shudder when I see the young cadets walking in full army uniforms around the school grounds on a Friday afternoon because ‘national pride’ is part of the curriculum.
I take a standing pose with the curtain draped over my left body half. There is complete silence in the room, and the young artists begin to draw. After some time I hear noise from outside. There were incidences in the past, when some bloke dropped by to fix the copy-machine. Coincidentally the copier was always broken when I was there. I feel that I’m tensing up and instinctively move my draped leg over my non draped one, to hide at least a bit of bare flesh from the intruder, with the least pose-corrupting effort.
As expected the door opens without previous knocking, despite the warning signs ‘Life Drawing in Progress’ pinned to the outside. I can see an army boot and some camouflage uniform entering the room. The art teacher quickly approaches the soldier to throw him out, but contrary to my anticipation he says, ‘Oh great, I thought you would never come. Sit down!’ He gives him a drawing board whilst I regain my original pose. I’m naked in front of a soldier. The art teacher enquires if the newcomer has had any live drawing experience. I am naked in front of a soldier. He instructs him in measuring my body proportions. The soldier starts drawing.
He could be the young Hitler before he failed art school. He looks much healthier, stockier, and red-cheeked to be a young Hitler. No sign of moustache growth. Movie scenes flash by my inner eye, scenes that involved soldiers and naked women. I wonder if the others who draw me can see my internal outrage, despite that I haven’t moved an inch. The kid-soldier and my eyes meet. Several times.
Should I have stopped at the moment he came through the door and exclaimed: ‘I’m not posing for soldiers!’ ? The teacher pays the soldier a compliment on his drawing. He does not react, only sighs. Is he used to compliments? Is he the pride and joy of his parents in this ‘I’m making a statement to be hard enough to kill other people for the good of us all’- attire. My body is frozen, but on the inside I’m boiling with rage. I tell myself to not over-react, even though I neither over-, re-, nor act. Perhaps he is forced to wear the uniform as part of the curriculum. Imperialist revanchist brainwashers! But maybe this one can be saved and will eventually favour the arts over warfare. Three two one, and I’m back in the room. Class is over and I haste to the toilets to morph from an object of art into a human being.
It is a sunny spring afternoon on the banks of Dartmoor. I’m eating grapes, which I purchased at the petrol station about fifty yards away. I don’t have to wait long for a lift. The driver is an old man with a golden watch and a golden pin. The car looks expensive and holds the smell of catheter and talcum powder. Something makes me certain that I am in the company of a politician.
At first we don’t speak. Then the driver asks: ‘Are you Dutch or German?’ ‘German’, I answer, slightly perplexed by the precision of his guess. Again there is silence. I am about to ask: ‘And where are you from?’ but decide that this is a pathetic question and would sound like I’m taking the piss.
I wonder what goes on in his mind right now, with the information that I’m German being fed into his brain. Judging by his age he might have been fighting in WW2 and my presence triggered specific memories.
‘I’m 90 years old’, he says. ‘Really? I reply, ‘And I have to take my drivers test again to prove that I’m still capable.’ ‘I think your style of driving is remarkable’ ‘I need to go shopping at Waitrose’, he says, ignoring my compliment. ‘My son works at Waitrose, but in the Truro store. I think they have good quality food.’ I nod, despite the fact that I have never been inside such a posh supermarket.
We drive into the parking lot. While the old man gets out of his car, rummaging for his walking stick, I quickly issue a parking ticket. We enter the store and I am ambivalent about whether I should support him, help to navigate his shopping trolley, or discretely keep a distance. I decide to fidget between all of these motions.
We slowly move through the spacey isles towards the cheese counter where he enquires about the age and manufacturing methods of a certain type of Blue Stilton. A specialist is called for and gives specialist advice. He looks at me while he is talking, presuming that I am responsible for the old man’s decisions of purchase. The carefully wrapped cheese eventually finds itself in the shopping trolley and the old man steers towards the meat and poultry counter.
Again the same thing happens and we get a detailed specialist advice about the product. Whilst four ounces of sirloin are cut the old man turns to me and says: ‘I bombed Hanover.’ I look at him in disbelief. He watches the lady cut the meat. ‘I gave the command to attack. Back in the days.’ Lost in thought, he continues gazing at the meat grinder. I take the meaty parcel; we continue our journey towards the bread.
I dare not to speak, even though I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say to this. Well done? It must have been an adventure? And how did it make you feel? Why?
Passing the bread he tells me that a few years ago the mayor of Hanover invited him to be his guest of honour. The more he tells me the more bizarre it sounds. ‘… and when I was staying with them, they were lovely people by the way’, he thoughtfully picks up a loaf of bread ‘I realized that Germans really DO have a sense of humour.’ My brain is overwhelmed and short-circuits the weirdest connections: So he bombed Hanover because he wrongly assumed that Germans have no sense of humour … The mayor of Hanover made him a guest of honour to have a good giggle about the war … the war, which happened in fact about the claim of who has the better sense of humour.
He pays, we load the shopping in the car, and he continues throughout to tell me war stories. I should be rather grateful for that, because I haven’t had grandfathers sharing first hand experiences. Instead I do not know how to respond to anything he says, and I am terribly embarrassed about that. He talks veteran talk. I wonder if other people also have trouble to have a dialogue with him, and what it would be like to only share the same ‘language’ with fellow veterans who slowly die away.
Until we reach a country lane where he drops me off, I can only look at him with big eyes, nod and say ‘Really?’ now and then. Before he drives off, I thank him for the stories. I normally thank people for the lift at this point. As the car disappears between the blossoming trees, I ruminate if I just had a lift with somebody famous. Once a war-hero, he is totally alienated from my reality and understanding.
Tags: art, egg, insurrection, intellectual, new wave, punk, subversion
Highlights from the brain of a progressive communication scientist, writing his master thesis:
“We, today’s youth, we the new artists, the modern artists of this time think: No!
We consider ourselves to be the antipole to the emotional belly farting of any movement and past eras, culture or else.
If we are the after-wit of history, we demand to be able to wholeheartedly laugh about it.
We don’t count the deaths any longer; we can no longer beat our brains sore with the statistics of horror.
We only react.
We only have a single cultural artistic possibility, the possibility of appraisal.
I would even go so far: we can only be archivists for a lost future.
We consider our feelings, our fears, with a cynical, with a destructive realism.
Yes, this is how I would like to express it.
This radical lack of emotion
Is apparent from these lines: ‘I am two oil tanks’.
This self-devaluation in the perverse repulsiveness
‘I kiss your dog madam’
Concerns us in our deepest and closest family circle.
We want to make all that clear to the politicians,
Our inner monologue,
Our fears, which we no longer have.
Life is serious enough
For one to take it too seriously.
More fun with demise!
And as for this conceptual art
I will play a song.
I am the useful idiot
(That is not the name of the song,
That’s just me).
And this song is about bursting borders
That we all wish for.
Namely the spatially, three-dimensional
With a 4th dimension – time – implemented.
The 3 minute egg.
[sings:] Egg egg egg egg eggeggeggegg egg egg […]”
text derived and translated from ‘das 3 minuten ei’ by lorenz lorenz
Tags: Bullenschweine, censorship, illegal, Normahl, police-raid, punk band
LARGE-SCALE RAID IN BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG
Police discovers punk classic
NoRMAhl (Photo: Waiblinger Kreiszeitung)
The national security starts to raid the punk band NoRMAhl, because of the 31-year-old song “Bullenschweine”. The charge: glorification of violence. By Arno Frank
WIESBADEN The Sachsen office of criminal investigation must have extensively and meticulously gathered evidence before asking the Stuttgart public prosecution department for assistance, which planned its concerted action with high logistical efforts.
16 police officers were on duty, when on the 31st of January 2013 the site was accessed. With four officers each, the police searched simultaneously several apartments in northern Baden-Württemberg, namely in Heidenheim, Winnenden, Sulzbach and Plüderhausen. At the break of dawn, six o’clock, the accused – members of NoRMAhl, Germany’s longest-serving punk band – and their families were surprised, partially still asleep.
The officials were after the song “Bullenschweine”, which appeared among others on the LP “Ein Volk steht hinter uns” 31 years ago.
In “Bullenschweine”, a poignant artefact of the ructious eighties, it says: “They call themselves supporters of the nation / Pigs we ought to honour / I shit all over this tradition / I have to defend myself from cops / Beat the pigs flat as sandwiches / Beat them in the face (…) Until the skull breaks”.
Computers and records seized
Police seized therefore not only computers but also looked painstakingly through the private record collections. Wherever they found recordings of the song it was confiscated. Lars Besa, singer of NoRMAhl, reported to TAZ “They probably thought we had a conspiratorial sales”. All recordings were still available as usual “on Amazon or in the case of a still existing record store”.
In fact the prosecutors still see the conditions for crime of the glorification of violence as being fulfilled. According to the Criminal Code, the distribution of texts to “describe cruel or otherwise inhuman violence against humans or human-like beings in a way that expresses a glorification or trivialization of such acts of violence” is prohibited.
Originally, the Sachsen State Guards also investigated because of the song “1, 2, 3″, sung by Besa: “1, 2, 3, where is the police? / For capital in Wackersdorf you were always fully present / But where are you when in Rostock an asylum home burns down? / 1, 2, 3, that’s how the police fails / 1, 2, 3, that’s how the brown [symbolic colour of the Nazi party] mush stinks”.
This text was written in 1992 as a response to the pogroms of Rostock-Lichtenhagen, and it is also, amongst others, on the benefit CD “Coloured not Brown [symbolic colour of the Nazi party]” in favour of Winnenden “Foundation against violence in schools”, which was supported by the police. This song would also have to be seized, if not the charge against “1, 2, 3″ had been dropped – so was an investigation which claimed Besa “inciting racial hatred”.
“The criminal police was a slightly embarrassed”
The 47-year-old Besa has a full time job leading his father’s plumbing company in Leutenbach near Winnenden. He does not want to complain about the local police. They have left the computer in his company. And: “The competent people of the criminal police in Waiblingen were slightly embarrassed. They had previously asked to informally come by [the police station]. They wanted to know whether it would be possible for us get a lawyer and make a official complaint against the whole thing”.
But the prosecutors insisted upon information from the Waiblingen district newspaper that “face punches and breaking of the skull would be connected with very severe pain”. The appeal was rejected, and investigations against “Bullenschweine” resumed. It followed, according to Besa “the heavy blow of the search warrant”.
In uncovering the NSU murders [a series of murders taking place between 2000 and 2006 perpetrated by the National Socialist Underground], the authorities may have investigated past each other with a sleepwalker’s certainty. In the case of leftist terrorists NoRMAhl, however, the transnational cooperation functioned smoothly. And this, despite the valiant police headquarters Waiblingen having already made an appeasing note in filing the current state of investigations in 2011 in all matters of NoRMAhl: “Important information about the band was retrieved” it says. Namely “on the homepage http://www.wikipedia.de”.
Frank, Arno (2013) Grossrazzia in Baden-Württemberg [online] http://www.taz.de/Grossrazzia-in-Baden-Wuerttemberg/!110583/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitters. Accessed on 9/02/2013.
Halfway through the 2nd life modelling session of today I am grateful for the much needed break. At the coffee machine stands an old friend who is trying to aspire towards the movie making business with his arbitrary unedited films. He exclaims, ‘What a fortunate coincidence, I need you to act out a few scenes, because I’m making a film, which is about the apocalypse and there are zombies and then headless dummies, and in the end sci-fi amazons – which is you – and they all fight for the world supremacy, and then….’ ‘Listen, it’s my break, I’m tired and aching all over.’ ‘Will only take two minutes.’ So we enter his studio and I ask, ‘Do you think sci-fi amazons wear Eastfield t-shirts?’ ‘Yes.’ He hands me a rifle. I try looking mean. I don’t know how to hold a rifle. Actually I don’t want to know. ‘Bang, bang…Kapow…. Do you want me to make a noise?’ ‘I don’t mind, it’ll be edited anyway.’ Edit my ass. He hands me a harpoon gun and I notice his extensive arsenal of props. I suddenly realize that I am fighting on the wrong side for the wrong thing and swiftly escape his fantasies.