Rammstein: Deutschland

 

In the mind apart
In the heart united

– from Deutschland by Rammstein

This is another epic song and music video, similar to This Is America by Donald Glover (Childish Gambino). Both highlight issues of conflict, division, violence, and dehumanization in their countries, and bring these uncomfortable and often politely ignored issues right in front of us.

The music video for Deutschland follows these themes through German history, and I won’t go into the specific references since it’s easily found online. (Red thread, Germania, high technology co-existing with primitive cruelty, etc.)

In the lyrics, I am especially struck by the phrase…

Im Geist getrennt / In the mind apart
Im Herz vereint / In the heart united

That’s the human condition in a nutshell. We often find ourselves divided in the mind while united in the heart.

Just by being human, and being part of existence, we are united in the heart and our being. And as soon as our mind believes its own ideas about the world, we are often divided in the mind, and this is what’s behind (most of) the violence, conflict, and division.

And then…

Du / you
Ich / I
Wir / we
Ihr / you (plural)

…. which I take to mean that this applies to all of us. We are all in the same boat. We cannot blame some of us and pretend we are not part of it.

Rammstein are masters at the occasional epic and unforgettable lyrics, music, and music videos, and also of marketing. They know how to upset some people just enough so they get more attention. In this case, it’s the hanging scene that’s controversial, although they cast themselves as the jews (again, the theme that this is about all of us) and the lyrics and video are obviously critical of the themes of cruelty and dehumanization running through German history. And not only German history, but the history of humanity.

Initial notes….

  • Rammstein: Deutschland
    • similar to “this is america
      • epic/iconic visually and in theme
      • brings an uncomfortable issue to our attention
    • highlights the thread of conflict, division, dehumanization, and violence through German history (and most human cultures)
    • In the mind apart, In the heart united
      • how it is with all of us
      • one in reality, apart in our minds
    • don’t quite understand why it’s controversial (unless people want to be offended, which is often the case, and in the process gives Rammstein the best possible advertisement)
    • very good at marketing, promotion – epic, visually gorgeous, baiting people who are easily offended (free marketing) etc.
    • …..

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